epguide_series6.jpg

Series 6

TRIVIA COMPILED BY
R Healy

Quote of the Series

"Duck should play with other ducks, cos he's no good at pulling trucks!"
 
TROUBLESOME TRUCKS
Edward The Really Useful Engine

A Bit About Series 6

Series Six saw yet another range of changes surrounding Thomas and Friends.  Following Thomas and The Magic Railroad, Britt Allcroft stepped down as chairperson of The Britt Allcroft Company, and in turn, the company went under its new name of Gullane Entertainment.
 
Allcroft remained a large shareholder in Gullane and she was active in production of the sixth series as Executive Producer alongside Peter Urie.  This new set of stories saw the adventures of the engines being written by a much larger writing team, with a small bit of coaching by David Mitton, who provided storylines for some of their stories.  It was around about this point the series took on the more moralistic route with it's stories, but that could mainly be put down to the writing style of the new writers.
 
This time around, the credit of Producer was given to Phil Fherle, who had worked on "Thomas and The Magic Railroad" along with Allcroft as a Co-Producer.  It also saw the launch of Fherle's own spin-off series, "Jack and the Sodor Construction Crew", which was to use Thomas as a springboard to its own mini-series concerning "The Pack".  These spin-off episodes were directed by Steve Asquith, a long standing member of the Thomas crew from 1984.  The first TV episodes not to be directed by Mitton.  But despite being launched in the 2002 series, The Pack would not be seen again until 2006!
 
It was this sixth series which saw the re-arrival of Thomas back to terrestrial television once more, but at the same time, this series was co-produced by Gullane Entertainment and Nick Jr UK.

Characters Introduced In Series 6

STEAM ENGINES
Harvey The Crane Engine
 
DIESEL ENGINES
Salty the Dockyard Diesel
 
NON-LOCOMOTIVE CHARACTERS
Elizabeth the Vintage Lorry
Cyril The Fogman
Farmer McColl
 
THE SODOR CONSTRUCTION CREW (The Pack)
Jack The Front Loader
Alfie The Little Excavator
Byron The Bulldozer
Kelly The Crane
Oliver the Big Excavator
Isabella the Steam Lorry
Max The Dump Truck
Ned The Steam Shovel

Songs Of The Series

James The Really Splendid Engine

Little Engines

Down by the Docks

Winter Wonderland

Boo!, Boo! Choo-Choo

Never, Never Give Up

Storytellers

Michael Angelis (UK)
Alec Baldwin (US)

Key Production Team

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Britt Allcroft
Peter Urie
 
PRODUCER
Phil Fherle
 
MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS & SONGS
Mike O'Donnell & Junior Campbell

DIRECTORS
David Mitton
Steve Asquith (Jack and the Pack Episodes)

In 2013, we ran a poll on Series 6 to determine what the best episodes of the Series were as well as what else fans enjoyed about it.  Best characters, episodes, songs and aspects of production are included and broken down in our poll results blog!

 

Series 6 Episode Guide

SCRIPT EDITOR
Abi Grant

6.1 - Jack Jumps In

Written by Jonathan Trueman, Abi Grant & Phil Fherle

Directed by Steve Asquith 

Thomas meets Jack, an energetic front-loader on trial to become the newest member of the ‘The Pack’ (aka. The Sodor Construction Company). Thomas takes Jack to the site where he immediately zips from machine to machine offering his assistance. They each turn him down until he is directed towards the foreman, who sets him to work with Alfie. Jack and Alfie immediately become good friends. But later that day, Jack eagerly jumps in when the foreman asks for some rock to be moved. The load is too heavy for Jack and he ends up causing a nasty accident. Miss Jenny (his owner) is not impressed, but Thomas and Alfie encourage Jack to keep trying. 

6.2 - A Friend In Need

Written by Jonathan Trueman, Abi Grant & Phil Fehrle

Directed by Steve Asquith

The Pack are at work on a site below an aging railway bridge, and Jack is slowly beginning to learn to control his eagerness. At the same time, we are introduced to a new member, Ned the Steam Shovel, who has a large bucket on the end of his arm. But when Ned’s bucket causes the bridge to give way, disaster approaches as Thomas rounds the bend. Jack rushes to the rescue and holds the bridge up with his arms, just in time to save Thomas from a horrific accident. For his bravery, Jack is welcomed into The Pack.

6.3 - The Fogman

Story by David Mitton

Written by Jonathan Trueman

Cyril the Fogman places detonators on the tracks that run through Misty Valley to warn the engines of fog. They like him a lot and are very sad when the Fat Controller replaces him with a foghorn. A few days later, the foghorn sounds as Percy is passing through. But moments after he has cleared it, the noise causes a landslide that covers the track and crushes the machine. With no warning to alert him, Thomas ploughs straight into the blockage, and to make matters worse Toby is also approaching not far behind. But out of the blue, a detonator sounds and he stops just in time. It turns out to be Cyril, and for preventing a serious accident, he is given his old job back.

6.4 - Salty’s Secret

Written by Robin Kingsland

Salty, a new Dockyard Diesel Engine, is summoned to the rock quarry to help Bill, Ben and Mavis with an important job. He is saddened because he cannot be near the sea, but gets on with the job without fuss. Bill and Ben think that the trucks will give Salty a bad time, but they are proved wrong when he shows he can handle them with ease. He teaches them that the way to keep them under control is to sing to them, but they fail miserably. Before long, the important job is completed and Salty is sent to work at the dockyard, where he feels much happier.   

6.5 - Harvey To The Rescue
Written by Jonathan Trueman

A queer-looking engine with a crane arm called Harvey arrives on the island on trial. His examination run is to take place in the next few days before the railway board, but the other engines look down on him. This makes him feel very sad. The next day, some trucks drag Percy down and hill and cause a derailment at Bulgy’s Bridge which blocks the road, meaning that Berite cannot get through with the railway board (who are going to attend Harvey’s trial). Harvey is summoned to the rescue, and with his crane arm, he helps to clear the mess swiftly. The railway board is impressed and the engines welcome Harvey aboard the fleet.

6.6 - No Sleep For Cranky

Written by Paul Larson

Cranky the tower crane works all night and day, getting very little rest and very little company. One morning, he is tiredly loading some pipes onto a flat truck when Salty arrives, noticing that he is in a bad mood and suggests that he needs company. Cranky doesn’t listen, but the arrival of Bill and Ben puts him in an even ‘crankier’ mood. He gets so annoyed with the engine’s constant chatter that he knocks over a shed, blocking the line. The twins stay awake all night, listening to Salty’s stories and the next day, Cranky is more then pleased to see Harvey arrive to clear the mess.

6.7 - A Bad Day For Harold The Helicopter

Story by David Mitton

Written by Simon Nicholson

Percy enjoys pulling the mail train, but Harold is convinced that he could make a much swifter job of it. His chance to prove himself comes when a broken signal means Percy cannot get through and whilst the workmen hastily try to repair it, the mail bags are loaded into Harold’s harness. He is feeling so clever that he decides to take them all at once, but the weight is far too much for him to handle. The mailbags get stuck in a Harold finds himself diving nose-first into a haystack. Once the signal is repaired, Percy sends for help and Harold realises he is not so clever after all.  But when he is repaired, Harold is very appreciative of Percy - who reminds him that is what friends are for.

6.8 - Elizabeth the Vintage Lorry / Elizabeth the Vintage Quarry Truck (US)

Written by Paul Larson

Thomas breaks one of his coupling rods whilst taking a special to the docks. His crew search an old barn nearby for a telephone, but instead find an old steam lorry called Elizabeth. She is rude and arrogant to Thomas, but reluctantly agrees to take the crew to the fitter’s yard to collect new coupling rods. She arrives back just in time and Thomas pulls into the dockyard exhausted, only for Elizabeth to arrive moments later. The Fat Controller reveals that he used to drive Elizabeth when he was a young man and he is so happy to see her again that he has her restored by Jem Cole.

6.9 - Twin Trouble

Written by Brian Trueman

Whilst double-heading a goods train, Donald and Douglas have an accident with a hay cart on the line, causing Donald to derail. He accuses Douglas of pushing him purposely and an argument erupts. As a result, the twins refuse to speak to one another for the rest of the day. Later, Donald is sent to help Duck at the smelter and Thomas wonders whether the twins will miss one another. It is clearly obvious that they do, but their true feelings are not brought out until Donald has an accident and Douglas is the only engine strong enough to save him. Afterwards, they realize how much they need one another.

6.10 - Gordon Takes A Tumble

Story by David Mitton

Written by Robin Kingsland

Gordon’s dignity gets the better of him when he looks down his nose at Salty for being a goods engine. But Salty laughs, saying that Gordon is simply getting ‘too big for his buffers’. That night, mist from the mainland causes delay at the harbour, and Gordon finds that he must take an overnight goods train at the last minute. Determined to show Salty that he can handle trucks he impatiently sets off, but when he is accidentally diverted onto an old branch line the next morning, he lands himself in trouble when the rails can’t take his weight. Gordon emerges from the accident a wiser engine. 

6.11 - Percy’s Chocolate Crunch

Story by David Mitton

Written by Brian Trueman

Percy is always given the dirtiest of jobs, and when a water-shortage means that the engines are restricted to fewer wash-downs, he feels even more annoyed. After rather a catastrophically day, in which he is dragged under the coal chute by his trucks and blown with ash by Harold, Percy excited excepts the task of taking sugar to the chocolate factory, convinced that he won’t get dirty. But slippery rails send him crashing into the wall of the factory, emerging on the other side covered in sticky chocolate. The Fat Controller rewards Percy with a new coat of paint for his troubles and Percy feels much better.

6.12 - The World’s Strongest Engine

Story by David Mitton

Written by Paul Larson

Diesel is drafted in at the dockyard when Henry is sent away for repairs,  much to the misery of the other engines. Diesel goes about determined to show how much more reliable diesel engines are then steam engines. The trucks encourage him to try pulling all of them at the same time, a challenge that he gladly expects as a way of proving himself to be ‘The World’s Strongest Engine’. But unknown to him, the truck’s brakes are ‘hard-on’, and Diesel pulls so hard that the coupling breaks, sending him through a pair of buffers and landing on a barge. Henry returns just as Diesel is sent packing, and pulls the train with ease. Thomas and Percy realise that trucks have their uses after all... like getting rid of smelly old Diesel!

6.13 - Middle Engine

Story by David Mitton

Written by Brian Trueman

None of the engines like being a ‘Middle Engine’, and Iron Arry and Iron Bert enjoy using this to an advantage. When Percy comes to collect some trucks from the smelter, the twins sandwich he between two sets of trucks. Not only does this make James laugh at him, but also being stuck in the middle causes Percy to be shunted onto the tipper’s loading ramp by mistake. James becomes conceited when the Fat Controller assigns him to Percy’s task whilst he investigates into the disturbance. He is determined not to let the diesel’s fool him, but when they succeed in making him a ‘Middle Engine’, James refuses to move. It is only when Percy quickly arrives on the scene that the train finally gets moving.  And when the unusual train arrives at the Docks, Percy explains that James is learning how to be a ‘Middle Engine’!

6.14 - Thomas the Jet Engine / Thomas & The Jet Engine (US)

Story by David Mitton

Written by Ross Hastings

Gordon boasts about his speed and the engines wish that for once, they could out beat him. Thomas is later summoned to the dockyard to collect a jet engine, which he must take to the airfield. This makes him feel so important that he becomes impatient, which upsets Cranky. Cranky’s hook accidentally knocks the switch on the jet engine, sending Thomas shooting off down the line, propelled by the powerful engine. Along the way, Thomas speeds straight past Gordon, leaving the big engine in a state of shock.

6.15 - Buffer Bother

Written by Ross Hastings

After a maintenance check at the quarry, the Fat Controller sends Ben to the works for a new set of buffers. This makes Bill jealous, who feels that because they are twins, he should get new buffers too. Whilst Ben is away, Bill angrily goes about his work and even blasting Mavis with soot, all out of jealousy towards his twin. He tries to distract himself by bumping trucks, but accidentally rams straight through the buffers, landing in a gravel pit. Ben arrives home just in time to pull his twin out of trouble, and the Fat Controller scolds Bill for damaging his buffers. He will need a new pair after all.

6.16 - Scaredy Engines

Story by David Mitton

Written by Robin Kingsland

On Halloween night, the engines are listening to Edward tell the story of the ghost engine that haunts the smelter’s yard looking for it’s lost whistle, when the Fat Controller arrives. He instructs Percy, Thomas and Duck to go to the smelter to assist with an important task, but Percy is still shaken up by the story. Thomas spends the night teasing Percy about the ghost, calling him a ‘scaredy engine’. But the tables turn when Thomas is left at the smelter alone and lets his sense get the better of him. Duck thinks it will teach Thomas a lesson, but Percy feels guilt and goes out to reconcile with his friend.  

6.17 - Percy & The Haunted Mine

Story by David Mitton

Written by Robyn Chateris

The Most Beautiful Station’ competition draws near and Percy is sent to collect shrubs from Maithwaite. But along the way, he witnesses a building sink into the ground on the site of an abandoned mine. Donald and Douglas tell him that it is the work of the legendary ‘Naughty Gnomes’, which frightens Percy even more. But when he is sent back to the mine to collect some trucks, another building sinks into the ground. In fright, Percy bumps the trucks and gnomes spill out. Percy is convinced that the legend is true, only to learn that they are in fact garden gnomes for the station competition. 

6.18 - James & The Red Balloon

Story by David Mitton

Written by Jenny McDade

Thomas brings a hot-air balloon to the airfield to take visitors on air-tours of the island. But James is suspicious and convinces Thomas that the balloon will take away their passenger traffic. To make matters worse, the balloon runs out of hot air and lands on the track right in front of James whilst he waits at a level crossing. The balloon deflates and in fright, James lets out steam, which sets the balloon going once again. This makes the two engine fret even more until they learn that the balloon has attracted so many tourists that their passenger traffic has increased. James takes a new liking to the balloon, and wishes that he could fly just like it.

6.19 - Toby Had A Little Lamb

Written by Jenny McDade

Toby is flagged down by Farmer McColl on the way home during a furious winter blizzard and learns that some baby lambs are stranded on the hillside. A vet is needed right away, and so the Fat Controller sends him out on Duck. But Duck’s snowplough is useless against the thick snow. Toby remembers his old branch line route and volunteers to take the vet out in search of the lambs. After a challenging journey, they find the lambs and bring them safety home aboard Henrietta. Farmer McColl gratefully thanks Toby for his bravery.

 6.20 - Thomas, Percy & The Squeak

Story by David Mitton

Written by Jenny McDade

The famous opera singer Alicia Botti is to give a concert and Thomas is selected to collect her from the docks. He becomes conceited and makes Percy miss his wash-down. But on the way to the docks, Thomas hears a strange squeaking sound coming from his train. It is not until Alicia boards the train that it is revealed to be a mouse and she refuses to board. When Percy arrives, still dirty having missed the wash-down, she decides to ride him instead (being grubby makes him look like a real engine!). That night, as Alicia gives her concert, the mouse makes a home in Tidmouth sheds.

6.21 - Edward The Very Useful Engine

 Written by David Mitton

Edward occasionally acts as banker for heavy trains on the main line in need of assistance on hills, but Gordon feels that he is unreliable and should be retired. This worries Percy, who speaks to the Fat Controller. Edward is sent to help Stepney on the new loop line and Duck is drafted in to take his place. But when Duck’s good train and Gordon’s Express find themselves at a standstill on the hill, only Edward can help get both trains through. Gordon realises afterwards that Edward is not as unreliable as he thought.

6.22 - It’s Only Snow

Story by David Mitton

Written by James Mason

The engines are down-heartened when they learn that must wear their snowploughs during the winter season. Thomas is especially cross, but he soon cheers up when he is given the task of delivering a Christmas tree for Toby to take to the mountain village. But Toby cannot get through the snow alone, so Thomas leads the cavalcade onwards. He has a tough time, but when a rock on the track causes his snowplough to break away and knock over a water tower, he must press on without it. After much hard work, Thomas finally leads the way into the station to cheers from the happy villagers.

6.23 - Jack Frost

Story by David Mitton

Written by Paul Larson

The winter weather is becoming increasingly colder, and so the Fat Controller assigns James and Percy to the task of making extra coal deliveries across the island. Thomas jokingly warns Percy to be careful of Jack Frost, which Percy takes seriously, but James rubs off as nonsense. Later that night, when Percy is taking coal to Lower Suddeny, he finds himself stranded in the snow and becomes coated in ice, moments before James passes and mistakes him for the mysterious Jack Frost.

6.24 - Dunkin Duncan

Story by Simon Nicholson

Written by Jenny McDade

Skarloey, Rheneas and Rusty arrive at the slate mine to help with an important operation with the incline, but Duncan is impatient and wants to get the work done faster. Despite warning from the others that safety should come first, he goes out of his way to prove them wrong and to show off his strength and speed. But disaster strikes when the crew forget to uncouple him from the trucks at the bottom of the incline.  Duncan is hauled up the incline, causing the rope to snap - and sends him hurtlign down into a muddy pond!  The shattering of his pride soon makes Duncan apologise for being bossy.

6.25 - Rusty Saves The Day

Story by David Mitton

Written by Paul Larson

Skarloey and Rheneas’ old branch line is closed down due to a lack of maintenance, meaning that they are forced to work at the quarry. Rusty takes pity on them and longs to help them out, but his chance comes when a two-week blasting operation means that the engines must find other work. The Fat Controller agrees to the restoring of the old line, but if the work is not done in two weeks time, it must be abandoned. With the unexpected help of Elizabeth, the three engines put all their effort and teamwork into the project, and the line is restored just in time.

6.26 - Faulty Whistles

Story by David Mitton

Written by Ross Hastings

When Peter Sam’s whistle is accidentally knocked off by a low-hanging branch, Duncan enforces that no engine could be considered proper without a whistle. Whilst taking a special goods train, including a new organ for the schoolmaster, he sets out to prove his point about whistles. But he uses it so much that it flies off into a field and cannot be found. Duncan cannot go on without it, but the schoolmaster suggests the humorous idea of using the organ as a substitute. The others made a joke about it, but even Duncan finds the situation amusing.