SiF Interviews

Here, we'll post all our exclusive interviews with members of the Thomas, Railway Series and TUGS crew...
(with the most recent interview links  posted at the top of  each section)

Directors & Producers

Interview with CGI Director and head of Nitrogen Studios: 
Greg Tiernan
 
Greg Tiernan is a veteran of the animation world with an impressive CV in terms of the productions he's been involved with.  Now, he's heading up his own production company with wife, Nicole Stinn, and making Thomas's move to a full-CGI world all the more worthwhile, with stunning visuals and amazing production values.  After two meetings with Greg at Thomas & Friends premieres he's become a friend of SiF and kindly agreed to be interviewed by Ryan.
 
Here, Greg talks about his previous experience, how Nitrogen came to be involved with Thomas, and what goes into the creative process of developing the bright, colourful CGI world of Thomas the Tank Engine. 
 

 

An Interview with a Thomas & Friends Legend: 
Steve Asquith
 
Steve started out with Clearwater Features on the first ever TV Series of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and carried on with the show until the model unit completed filming in 2008.  Here, he clears up rumours and tells us all about his career as part of Thomas's world.  Click here to read the interview.

 

Memories of Thomas and Tugs by the man who led them both...
David Mitton
An Interview With Ryan
 
For over eighteen months, I pursued David Mitton for an interview about his work and life on the Thomas and Friends set, as well as his memories of TUGS.  David sadly passed away in May 2008, and so a lot of this interview will be found to be inconclusive, but will provide a great deal of insight into a man who truly loved his work and had a real commitment and contribution to the childhood of many around the world...
 

 

An Interview with former T&F Producer: 
Phil Fehrle
 
Phil was gracious enough to set some time aside from his busy schedule to answer our questions about his work on Series 6 and 7 (2002-2003), including Jack & the Pack's origins. Phil's piece can be read HERE

 

An Interview with The Thomas The Tank Engine Man Documentary Producer: 
Nicholas Jones
 
TheTopHatts was kind enough to offer us his interview with Nicholas Jones for display here on the Fansite.  Here, Nicholas talks about how he got started in the media, and how the shooting the Railway Series' 50th Anniversary Documentary came about. 
 

 

Crew Members

Interview with Thomas & Friends modelmaker: 
Alexandra Dawe
 
Alexandra first joined the production with Series 6 and was credited as modelmaker up to Seires 8. She continued making contributions to the show after that period under contract up to at least Series 10. Alexandra kindly shares her recollections of working on the show in her interview with SiF.

 

Interview with TTTE & Friends character modelmaker: 
David Payne
 
Building the engine characters seen in Series 1 and 2 of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends fell under the responsibility of David Payne and his company colleagues from Penicott, Payne & Lillie. In his interview, David shares details about what went into the building of these characters we know and love.

 

Interview with TTTE, the Pack & TUGS Model/SFX maker: 
Chris Lloyd
 
After building several characters on TUGS, Chris Lloyd later joined TTTE & Friends' modelmaking unit in Series 5, where he built several characters amd later Jack and the Pack until Series 12. You'll learn a few interesting things about his work on TUGS, Thomas and the Pack in Chris' interview with SiF.

 

Interview with TTTE Art Director: 
Robert Gauld Galliers
 
Robert Gauld-Galliers was the longtime series Art Director from the Pilot until HiT Entertainment's takeover during Series 7. Many of Robert's former colleagues credit Robert for giving the TV Series its warmth and charm through his concept and set design work. Robert's interview is a must-read for all fans.

 

Interview with Series 1 and Pilot Editor: 
Michael Dixon
 
Michael Dixon gives fans insight into one aspect of the show's production that is rarely explored in detail.  If you're also curious about where the Series-1 Sound Effects came from, be sure to read Michael's interview!

 

Interview with Series 3,6 & TUGS Modelmaker: 
Jeremy King
 
Jeremy King started out as an Experience Student on Series 2 of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. From there he went on to work on TUGS, and later returning to Series 3 and 6 of Thomas. Jeremy shares his experience of working on both shows in  his SiF interview

 

Interview with Series 1-2 Modelmaker: 
Christopher Noulton
 
Back in 1983, a young professional TV advert industry modelmaker by the name of Christopher Noulton signed on to work on a new Children's TV Programme. Christopher shares his story and memories with James Gratton in this exclusive interview with SiF. 

 

An Interview with T&F Modelmaker and Designer: 
John Lee
 
Talented and versatile Modelmaker and Designer John Lee shares his recollections of working on Thomas and Friends. Click HERE to read John's story.

 

An Interview with TUGS': 
Giles Christopher
 
We had actually contacted Giles back  early Fall 2008 and to confirm that he was indeed the same chap who had worked on TUGS as 2nd Assistant Cameraman. To celebrate TUGS' 20th Anniversary in 2009, Giles was kind enough to give us some behind the scenes insight about working on the show  which can be found HERE

 

Memories of Working on Series 1 by: 
Tim Staffel
 
SiF is chuffed to have come into contact with Tim Staffel, who worked as both Modelmaker and Supervisor for Clearwater on Series 1 of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. Tim's recollections of working on the show can be read HERE.

 

An interview with Thomas Live: Engine Builder 
Chris Reynolds
 
On the 23rd July 2008, I had the pleasure of speaking to Alleffects Owner Chris Reynolds about how he and his company first devised and built the engine characters featured in Thomas and Friends Live: The Big Live Tour. The interview can be found HERE.

 

Artists & Illustrators
An interview with Animation Illustrator
Loraine Marshall
 
Loraine Marshall's talents were tapped to recreate the magic of the orginal Railway Series illustrations to be featured on Thomas and Friends - Mr. Perkins' Storytime segments:  Loraine's interview
 
An interview with Artist and Illustrator
Owen Bell
 
From 1986 to 1996 Owen Bell was the artist of choice to illustrate Thomas storybooks and merchandise. Owen shares his recollections of his many contributions in this interview with SiF
 

An interview with Artist and Illustrator
Edgar Hodges
 
Read about Edgar's contribution to the Rev. Awdry's 1979 and 1980 Thomas the Tank Engine annuals. You'll be amazed and fascinated about just how far-reaching Edgar's artistic contributions have gone - and continues to this very day! We're honoured to present an

 

An interview with C. Reginald Dalby's daughter
Kate Holland
 
Read Kate's memories about her father here

 

 An update from Railway Series Illustrators
Peter and Gunvor Edwards
 
Full details can be found here

 

An update from Railway Series Artist
Clive Spong

When this interview was conducted, over ten years had elapsed since 'New Little Engine' was published in 1996.  The 40th volume in the Railway Series was also the final one to date that artist Clive Spong was able to illustrate.

Jim Gratton managed to track down and contact Mr. Spong, and was pleasantly surprised when he set some time aside from his busy schedule to answer a few questions...

Click here to read what Clive had to say

 

The Vocal Talent

Interview with Thomas & Friends (UK) voice actress:

Teresa Gallagher

 

Teresa Gallagher started out on Thomas & Friends as the only female on the UK voice cast, a tall order to voice so many female characters, but if you read our interview with her, you’ll find she’s a seasoned professional with an extensive CV in acting, and currently plays as a musician in the band Arcelia.

 

Click here to read all about what Teresa gets up to!

 

Interview with the US voice of Thomas and Percy: 
Martin T. Sherman
 
Although he is currently best known for playing Thomas in the US version of the TV Series, Martin T. Sherman is a man of many talents and has performed in numerous other productions ranging from film and television to audiobooks and development of video games.
 

 

Interviews with the new UK Cast of Thomas & Friends: 
Keith Wickham & Ben Small
 
Now that Thomas and Friends has gone CGI, the creative decision has been taken to use voice actors to portray the engines.  Keith Wickham (who plays Edward, Henry, Gordon, James, Percy, The Fat Controller and others) and Ben Small (who plays Thomas and Toby) answer questions put to them by The Top Hatts and Callum Walker - click here to read what they had to say!

 

An interview with Thomas and Friends Storyteller

Michael Brandon

SiF is very honoured to be able to share Michael Brandon's insight as the North-American narrator for Thomas and Friends since 2003. Our timing for contacting Mr. Brandon is somewhat bittersweet, since this interview was done in 2007, which was supposed to be his final year as narrator for the series...

 

Click here to read SiF's interview with Michael Brandon

 

Live-Action Actor Interviews

Interview with Driver Mr. Arkwright: 
Robert G. Slade
 
Mr. Arkwright made his debut in 2008 as a new  live-action character on Thomas and Friends DVDs. Played by actor Robert G. Slade, Mr. Awkwright's segments were based inside the crew's lounge and lunch room. Robert shares his thoughts about his contributions in his interview with Callum Walker. 

 

Interview with Driver Mr. Perkins: 
Ben Forster
 
Since 2010, Mr. Perkins, played by British actor Ben Forster became the 2nd live-action character featured in the Thomas DVD interstitials.  Read Ben's thoughts about the role in his interview with SiF.

 

Musicians & Writers

Interview with former HIT Entertainment Script Executive:

Sam Barlow

 

Sam Barlow was HIT Entertainment’s Script Executive from 2002 to 2010, and overseen all of HIT Entertainment’s major brands like Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, Fireman Sam and Thomas & Friends.  Have a read at what Sam had to say about his time with the company, his views on the brands he looked after, the exciting developments he was part of throughout this period and what he’s up to now!

 

Click here to read what Sam had to say!

 

Interview with Thomas & Friends Head Writer:
Andrew Brenner
 
Andrew Brenner took over the role of Head Writer for Thomas & Friends in October of 2010, and has an impressive CV, writing for various children's comics and television series over a 20-year period, with credits to his name such as the new CGI Fireman Sam, Tractor Tom, Maisy and his own creation, Humf.
 
Here, Andrew discusses his career up until this point and his plans for Thomas & Friends in the future!
 

 

Interview with Thomas & Friends song vocalist: 
Sam Blewitt
 
Sam Blewitt has been the vocalist behind several Thomas & Friends songs including Go Go Thomas, Day of the Diesels, Roll Along and Blue Mountain Mystery.  Here, TheTopHatts interviews Sam on his involvement with composer Robert Hartshorne.
 
(Originally published on Roll Along Thomas Blog - May 2012)
 

 

Interview with Series 5 Railway Consultant: 
David Maidment
 
In 1997, new original storylines were being developed for the first series of Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends written completely by David Mitton & Britt Allcroft.  The Rev. Awdry had previously been the Railway Consultant for the series, but as he had passed away, it was time to bring in new blood to fill the role... step forward, David Maidment.
 

 

An interview with the legendary Thomas & Friends and TUGS Composer

Mike O'Donnell

Chris Signore was very fortunate to finally catch up with Mike O'Donnell, and gain a unique insight into his and Junior Campbell's musical work on Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and TUGS.

 

Click here to read SiF's interview with Mike O'Donnell

 

Interview with the Controller of Sodor's Railway Network and Twitter personality:
Sir Richard Topham Hatt
 
Sir Richard Topham Hatt has been keeping us all up to date with the day to day happenings on the Island of Sodor via his Twitter account for quite some time now and gathered a huge number of followers to his feed.  Here, he shares his views and opinions, whilst giving us insight to the modern day workings of his railway.
 
 

Shining Time Station

 
A conversation with Shining Time Station co-creator/producer
Rick Siggelkow

 

During the evening of Thursday, 17 January 2008, I spent the better part of an hour by phone speaking to Rick Siggelkow, Executive Producer and Vice President, Children's Division, for BBC Worldwide Americas. We had a fascinating discussion about his work on the critically-acclaimed Shining-Time Station television series that Rick co-created and produced with Britt Allcroft between 1989 and 1995. Fans will see that even after the passage of a dozen plus years, Rick still keeps a special place in his heart for Shining Time Station.

 

Click here to see what Rick had to say

 

An Interview with Flexitoons Puppets and Marionettes creator

Craig Marin
Interview compiled and submitted by Orion Anderson with our thanks