Thomas & Friends (series 12)

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Thomas & Friends (series 12)
Thomas and Friends DVD Cover - Series 12.jpg
DVD cover art
Country of origin United Kingdom, Canada
No. of episodes 20
Original network Five
Original release 1 September (2008-09-01) –
12 September 2008 (2008-09-12)
Series chronology
← Previous
Series 11
Next →
Series 13
List of Thomas & Friends episodes

Thomas & Friends (previously known as 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 twelfth series of the show, which was first broadcast in 2008.[1] This series was originally planned to be narrated by Pierce Brosnan, replacing Michael Angelis and Michael Brandon for the U.K. and U.S. narrations, respectively. However, Brosnan withdrew from the series for unknown reasons, and the series was released with Angelis narrating the U.K. releases and Brandon the U.S. releases.

Most episodes in this series have two titles: the original titles from the U.K. broadcasts are shown on top, while the American-adapted titles are shown underneath.

This was also the last season of the use of the live-action model animation to the show before being switching over to full CGI in 2009, starting with Hero of the Rails.


Filming and animation[edit]

Series 12 marked the beginning of the show's transition into CGI (computer-generated imagery).[2][3] Characters' faces were animated through CGI with the aid of motion capture animation. The physical models' molded faces were replaced by white targets with triangles in order to fix a computer-animated face in post-production. Static models of people and animals were replaced with 3D animations by using small, metal sticks with colored points on each end. The animation was provided by Nitrogen Studios, the studio contracted for future full-CGI episodes. This change marked the movement of production of the show from the United Kingdom to Canada,[2][3][4] although the model scenes were still filmed at Shepperton Studios. This was the last series where Ed Welch provided the music, while Robert Hartshorne continues to compose the music afterwards.

HiT Entertainment's Senior Vice President of Production and Programming, Christopher Skala, stated that the change, aside from budgetary reasons, was intended to convey more emotion and flexibility through the stories. Skala claimed that, of his focus group, even those who felt that Thomas, as an institution, should not be changed in this way ultimately responded positively to the demonstration of the new animation techniques.

Closed captioning for the 30-minute version of the show was produced by CaptionMax.


Total # UK title (top)
US title (bottom)
Directed by Written by Original air date TV order
289 1 "Thomas and the Billboard" Steve Asquith Mark Robertson 1 September 2008 (2008-09-01) 501a
When a photographer comes to photograph the engines for a billboard Diesel accidentally obscures Thomas. Believing that Diesel did it on purpose, Thomas deliberately avoids him when he accidentally loses the billboard and has to get another arranged.
290 2 "Steady Eddie" Steve Asquith Sharon Miller 1 September 2008 (2008-09-01) 501b
Edward, known for being the steadiest engine on Sodor, is told to take a brass wheel along the express line to the Waterworks, but opts to take the branch line so the people can see him.
291 3 "Rosie's Funfair Special"
"Rosie's Carnival Special"
Steve Asquith Andrew Viner 2 September 2008 (2008-09-02) 502a
Rosie and Emily are pulling a train for a fair, but Rosie wants to pull it alone to prove her worth. Her attempt goes badly wrong, causing all sorts of accidents, and she only ends up delivering two trucks.
292 4 "Mountain Marvel" Steve Asquith Sharon Miller 2 September 2008 (2008-09-02) 502b
Peter Sam discovers a statue of the magical engine, Proteus, in a siding. He decides to take it to a storytelling session without his friends knowing.
293 5 "Henry Gets It Wrong" Steve Asquith Abi Grant 3 September 2008 (2008-09-03) 503a
The Sodor Wishing Tree is struck by lightning, so some workmen are bought in to help it. However, Henry believes they are going to cut it down, and decides to obstruct their route.
294 6 "Heave Ho Thomas!" Steve Asquith Sharon Miller 3 September 2008 (2008-09-03) 503b
An American engine named Hank arrives on Sodor and Thomas must show him around, while doing his jobs. Misinterpreting Hank's compliments towards him as an insult, Thomas attempts to pull all his heavy trains at once...
295 7 "Toby's Special Surprise" Steve Asquith Sharon Miller 4 September 2008 (2008-09-04) 504a
After his friends are given important jobs and he isn't, Toby comes to the conclusion that he must find something special. But his search makes him late for his actual job.
296 8 "Excellent Emily" Steve Asquith Paul Larson 4 September 2008 (2008-09-04) 504b
Emily is the only one who finishes her jobs on time, and thus is called "Excellent" by the Fat Controller. This goes straight to her smokebox, and she ignores the advice of all the other engines, which gets her into trouble.
297 9 "The Party Surprise" Steve Asquith Simon Spencer 5 September 2008 (2008-09-05) 505a
Freddie decides to organize a winter party at the wharf instead of at Mr. Percival's house, so that Colin the Crane can join in, but neglects to tell Mr. Percival, with disastrous results.
298 10 "Saved You!" Steve Asquith Paul Larson 5 September 2008 (2008-09-05) 505b
Thomas has to take a fireman to Maithwaite for a medal ceremony and decides to try to help the engines on the way, but all his attempts end in failure.
299 11 "Duncan and the Hot Air Balloon" Steve Asquith Mark Robertson 8 September 2008 (2008-09-08) 506a
The Percival twins are to be getting a ride in a hot air balloon for their birthday, but Duncan, who used to give them their rides, wants to take them himself, so he attempts to get rid of the balloon, but later gets to know that the twins where supposed to ride with the balloon first and then with Duncan himself.
300 12 "James Works It Out" Steve Asquith Simon Spencer 8 September 2008 (2008-09-08) 506b
James is given the job of taking coal to Great Waterton. Amongst his train is Hector, who gives James advice on how to cope with the winter weather. James, refusing to be told what to do by a truck, ignores him, which gets him into trouble.
301 13 "Tram Trouble" Steve Asquith Sharon Miller 9 September 2008 (2008-09-09) 507a
The Great Waterton parade is to take place, and Toby is given the job of leading it. Thomas is pleased for him, but begins to worry when he learns that a new steam tram, named Flora, must also take part. Thomas doesn't want Toby to meet Flora, so he tries everything in excuse to avoid her meeting Toby, but it later turns out that Toby doesn't want to go, but when he sees Flora, he gets more relaxed and they go together to the parade.
302 14 "Don't Go Back" Steve Asquith Simon Spencer 9 September 2008 (2008-09-09) 507b
While working at the Quarry, Diesel challenges Thomas to a race. There is a catch, however; the engines must race backwards. Their racing results in Mavis, 'Arry and Bert all being derailed.
303 15 "Gordon Takes a Shortcut" Steve Asquith Wayne Jackman 10 September 2008 (2008-09-10) 508a
Gordon boasts to Stanley that he never gets lost. Later, when competing against the tank engine to get to Great Waterton, he decides to go along another track, believing it to be a shortcut. He soon discovers it isn't.
304 16 "The Man in the Hills" Steve Asquith Sharon Miller 10 September 2008 (2008-09-10) 508b
It is the Thin Controller's birthday, and Sir Handel is to tell everyone a story about "The Man in the Hills", said to be completely white. Thomas decides to find the real Man in the Hills, but his choices do not match the description.
305 17 "Thomas Puts the Brakes On" Steve Asquith Mark Robertson 11 September 2008 (2008-09-11) 509a
Thomas refuses to have Stanley help him with an important delivery, but Thomas soon regrets it when he ends up derailing on a broken end of the stone bridge after his brakes malfunction.
306 18 "Percy and the Bandstand" Steve Asquith Paul Larson 11 September 2008 (2008-09-11) 509b
A New Bandstand is being built at Great Waterton. The Fat Controller orders Percy to collect Lady Hatt, but not tell her where she is going. But Lady Hatt asks Percy to take her to her favourite places and Percy becomes worried that they might be late.
307 19 "Push Me, Pull You" Steve Asquith Sharon Miller 12 September 2008 (2008-09-12) 510a
Skarloey refuses help from Rheneas to pull the puppet show train. So he and Rhenas couple the trucks between them and pull all their might to take the load. Skarloey succeeds, but finds himself in a lot of trouble.
308 20 "Best Friends" Steve Asquith Anna Starkey 12 September 2008 (2008-09-12) 510b
Percy wishes that he can pull the Brass Band to a special concert at Great Waterton, so when Thomas is chosen to pull them, he feels bad and can't bring himself to tell Percy.



  • Hank (Heave Ho Thomas)
  • Flora (Tram Trouble)
  • Colin (The Party Surprise)
  • The Bargeman (The Party Surprise)
  • The Percival Twins (Duncan and the Hot Air Balloon)
  • The Tree Specialists (Henry Gets It Wrong)

Recurring character cast[edit]


  1. ^ [1], My DigiGuide - Five schedule
  2. ^ a b [2],, "Hit reveals new look for Bob and Thomas"
  3. ^ a b [3], Worldscreen, "Thomas, Bob Take CGI Route"
  4. ^ [4], Nitrogen Studios website