Thomas & Friends (series 5)

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Thomas & Friends (series 5)
Thomas and Friends DVD Cover - Series 5.jpg
DVD cover art
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes26
Original networkCartoon Network
Original release1 September 1998 (1998 1998-09-01) –
30 October 1998 (1998-10-30)
Series chronology
← Previous
Series 4
Next →
Series 6
List of Thomas & Friends episodes

Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends is a children's television series about the engines and other characters working on the railways of the Island of Sodor, and is based on The Railway Series books written by the Rev. W. Awdry.

This article lists and details episodes from the fifth series of the show, which was first broadcast in 1998. This series is narrated by Michael Angelis for the U.K. audiences, while Alec Baldwin narrated the episodes for the U.S. audiences.



The show's staff had decided since Series 3 that most of the best stories of The Railway Series had been adapted, the rest involving too many new characters or closely resembling previous stories.[1] With Series 5, the decision was made to write a full series of original, staff-written stories. One reason for this was producer Britt Allcroft's desire to create a theatrical Thomas the Tank Engine movie, and requested that director David Mitton show off his modelling skills.[2] Series 5 aired in 1998, and the movie Thomas and the Magic Railroad was released 2 years later.

Some inspiration for the stories came from a former LMR manager named David Maidment. In 1997, Maidment met with Steven Wright about the possibility of supporting the Railway Children charity, and while Wright told him the series' staff commonly received such requests, they would consider. During their meeting, Maidment relayed stories about his railway experiences working in South Wales and as the manager at Crewe station. Days later, Maidment received a call asking if he would allow some of his stories to be used as material – the stories from The Railway Series were frequently based on true events, and Allcroft and Mitton preferred this. Maidment agreed, and was also asked to review each story to make sure that the railway in the show operated realistically. As a result, Maidment received writing credit alongside Allcroft and Mitton. 10,000 pounds ($14,406 in U.S. money) was donated to the Railway Children for his work.[2]

These stories are amongst those adapted:

  • "Baa!" – a ram invades a railway station and attacks some vandals; additionally, the idea of a "Best Kept Station" competition.
  • "James and the Trouble with Trees" – rain erodes an embankment, causing a tree to slide down and stand upright on the tracks.
  • "Double Teething Troubles" – a British Rail Class 17 diesel stalls while banking a train.
  • "Gordon and the Gremlin" – bathwater in a luxury coach splashes around the compartment.[2]

The design for each new character would be chosen by David Eves, and given to David Mitton for approval.[1]


Mitton shot 2,700 slates for Series 5, the most of any of the series he shot for Thomas. Stock Footage Theme Music From Season 3 and 4.[2]


Previously Thomas had only appeared in the US as a segment on the TV show Shining Time Station, but Series 5 aired in the US as part of the half-hour Storytime with Thomas program. Each episode would include a new Series 5 episode, an episode of Britt Allcroft's Magic Adventures of Mumfie, and a Series 4 episode narrated by George Carlin, with music videos and footage of Day out with Thomas in between.


No. in
UK title (top)
Main title (middle)
US title (bottom)
Directed bySourceOriginal air date
1051"Cranky Bugs"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
14 September 1998 (1998-09-14)
A new crane at the Docks, Cranky, causes trouble for Thomas and Percy, calling them "bugs". But one night in a storm, Duck and the big engines are stuck at the docks. Cranky gets knocked over by a old tramp steamer, and needs the engines' help.
1062"Horrid Lorry"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
15 September 1998 (1998-09-15)
Three snide lorries arrive, and take over the engines' work. But eventually, the tables are turned, and the lorries wreck themselves and get sent away.
1073"A Better View for Gordon"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft, David Mitton, and David Maidment
16 September 1998 (1998-09-16)
Gordon complains about that a engine like him should have a good panoramic view from the new station. He takes on his first test runs, without coaches and he stops at the station just fine. When he takes the coaches for a try, he breaks down before the station. The third time he tries, he runs through the station wall. The last time, it is a success for the second grand opening of the new station, and The Fat Controller tells him that his panoramic view is there to stay.
1084"Lady Hatt's Birthday Party"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft, David Mitton, and David Maidment
17 September 1998 (1998-09-17)
It's Lady Hatt's birthday, and The Fat Controller is determined to get to her party at the station on time. On his way, his car hits a hole in the road. He then gets a ride with Caroline, until her engine overheats. George takes over, until he loses control and goes into a muddy ditch. Thomas gladly takes Sir Topham Hatt to Kirk Ronan station, where he gets of. When he arrives, Lady Hatt tells Sir Topham Hatt that she didn't know it was about "fancy dressing" for her party.
1095"James and the Trouble with Trees"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft, David Mitton, and David Maidment
18 September 1998 (1998-09-18)
James is boastful about his new coat of paint, and his bragging prevents him from listening to warnings about trees that are too close to the line while delivering the Troublesome Trucks.
1106"Gordon and the Gremlin"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft, David Mitton, and David Maidment
21 September 1998 (1998-09-21)
A VIP is arriving soon, but problems continue and the others joke of gremlins here. Gordon disagrees, until he has trouble with the VIP in his coach.
1117"Bye George!"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
22 September 1998 (1998-09-22)
George is once again up to no good. He goes as far as bullying Percy and tarmacs asphalt over the tracks where later, Thomas derails and ends up crashing through a chicken coop. The next day, George blocks the way for Duck, making Gordon ram Duck's last truck and send it flying into the air. Sir Topham Hatt deals with him after.
1128"Baa!"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft, David Mitton, and David Maidment
23 September 1998 (1998-09-23)
Thomas, Percy and Toby talk about a competition for "The Best Dressed Station" that is being held across Sodor. But as Percy is helping decorate Maithwaite, a hungry ram is found in the station as decorations are ruined.
1139"Put Upon Percy"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
24 September 1998 (1998-09-24)
Percy is feeling put upon with all the hard work he does, without rest. While working at the Coal Mine, some of the Troublesome Trucks escape from Percy, and they crash inside the mine which makes the entire mine collapse. Percy escapes backwards and is later stuck under a landslide. But luckily he is found and rescued.
11410"Toby and the Flood"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
25 September 1998 (1998-09-25)
During many days of rain, Toby is asked to investigate a dam on his branch line. As he is on it, he discovers it's about to break and rushes away. While on his way back, the bridge of the river floods away with him on it. Harold and Percy rescue Toby, with Harold securing a rope and Percy pulling him back on land. After the dam is mended, a party is held in Toby's honour.
11511"Haunted Henry"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft, David Mitton, and David Maidment
28 September 1998 (1998-09-28)
Henry refuses to believe in Edward's ghost stories, until he and his driver encounter a series of spooky events when he takes a goods train of Troublesome Trucks during the night.
11612"Double Teething Troubles"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft, David Mitton, and David Maidment
29 September 1998 (1998-09-29)
When Bill and Ben argue, a new diesel with "teething troubles" named Derek arrives to help. The twins misunderstand him by thinking he has a toothache. Later, Derek breaks down whilst pushing a train, and the twins must pull him back to the Quarry
11713"Stepney Gets Lost"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
30 September 1998 (1998-09-30)
Stepney is sent to work at the quarry, and after a delivery with a goods train, he unknowingly ends up in the scrapyard, where Iron Arry and Bert want him for scrap.
11814"Toby's Discovery"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
1 October 1998 (1998-10-01)
Toby is spooked when he stumbles across a disused mine. Thomas' tale of the "Old Warrior" ghost does not help, but finds out that "The Old Warrior" is not scary whatsoever, but he is actually an old engine named Bertram and is given the nickname due to his courageousness.
11915"Something in the Air"David MittonThomas the Tank Engine & Friends magazine story
by Andrew Brenner
2 October 1998 (1998-10-02)
Henry teases Thomas after his accident with fish, and refuses to listen to Thomas' warning about the damaged tracks near the beach, and soon pays the price.
12016"Thomas, Percy and Old Slow Coach"David MittonThomas the Tank Engine & Friends magazine story
by Andrew Brenner
5 October 1998 (1998-10-05)
Thomas and Percy want to help an old coach that is due for scrap. After a fire burns down the workmen's depot, the engines might have a use for her.
12117"Thomas and the Rumours"
"Thomas and the Rumors"
David MittonThomas the Tank Engine & Friends magazine story
by Andrew Brenner
6 October 1998 (1998-10-06)
Thomas wants to help save a children's playground, but the other engines are too busy jumping to conclusions, when Harold flies an important visitor around, and rumours spread that Harold will replace them. Gordon tries to show he's better but gets into trouble in a tunnel.
12218"Oliver's Find"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
7 October 1998 (1998-10-07)
After causing an accident with some of the Troublesome Trucks, Oliver is sent to take the mail train for a while. During the end of the mail run, the signalman is sleeping, resulting in Oliver being diverted onto an old track and into trouble.
12319"Happy Ever After"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
8 October 1998 (1998-10-08)
Percy is to put together a good luck package for Mrs. Kyndley's daughter's wedding, with something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.
12420"Sir Topham Hatt's Holiday"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
9 October 1998 (1998-10-09)
Sir Topham Hatt wants a break from working with the tracks, so takes his family on a vacation, but his adventure backfires; a biplane named "Tiger Moth" crashes, and then his canal boat gets stuck on a mud bank.
12521"A Surprise For Percy"
"A Big Surprise For Percy"
David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft, David Mitton, and David Maidment
12 October 1998 (1998-10-12)
Percy is bored and wants excitement, but Bertie tells him surprises only come when he does not expect it. Percy discovers that when, whilst hauling them up a steep hill, the Troublesome Trucks break away.
12622"Make Someone Happy"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
13 October 1998 (1998-10-13)
Thomas tells James to think of someone else for once. And when Mrs. Kyndley is upset when her sister cannot visit, James gladly takes part in cheering her up.
12723"Busy Going Backwards"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft, David Mitton, and David Maidment
14 October 1998 (1998-10-14)
Toad the brakevan is upset about always going backwards, wanting to see things the other way. When Oliver takes him up Gordon's Hill, the Troublesome Trucks decide to teach Toad about being careful what he wishes for, and break away.
12824"Duncan Gets Spooked"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft, David Mitton, and David Maidment
15 October 1998 (1998-10-15)
Duncan teases Peter Sam, when his slate trucks break away and fall off a bridge, saying his lost slate trucks will haunt him, so Rusty tells him a story about a ghost engine that crosses the bridge at night. Duncan does not believe it at first, but Duncan's crew plans to trick him into going on the haunted bridge at night.
12925"Rusty and the Boulder"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
16 October 1998 (1998-10-16)
A new quarry is being built under a mountain, where a huge Boulder dwells. Rusty worries that the boulder is watching him. The next day, the boulder falls and rolls very fast down the tracks after the other narrow-gauge trains, before finally stopping in the quarry yard.
13026"Snow"David MittonOriginal
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
19 October 1998 (1998-10-19)
Thomas does not think the snow could be any worse, so Rusty tells him about "the worst winter of all" when some slate trucks caused an avalanche, that fell right on top of Skarloey, who miraculously survived.



Recurring character cast[edit]