Thomas & Friends (series 4)

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Thomas & Friends (series 4)
Thomas and Friends DVD Cover - Series 4.jpg
DVD cover art
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 26
Release
Original network ITV
Original release 10 September 1994 –
30 May 1995
Series chronology
← Previous
Series 3
Next →
Series 5
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 fourth series of the show, which was broadcast in 1994 and 1995. This series was narrated by Michael Angelis for the U.K. audiences, with George Carlin narrating the episodes for the U.S. audiences on Shining Time Station, which was also his last series. This was also the final season where Thomas only appeared in the U.S. as a segment on Shining Time Station. This was the only season in which Carlin's voice changed.

Some 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. It was produced by Britt Allcroft (Thomas) Limited.

Production[edit]

Filming[edit]

The fourth series saw the introduction of the smaller narrow gauge engines. For ease of filming, series 5 would introduce larger-scale versions of the characters, and from series 6-12, these larger models were used almost exclusively.

Stories[edit]

Half of the third series consisted of stories written by the show's staff, but only one original story, "Rusty to the Rescue" (written by Allcroft and Mitton), was written for the fourth series. The episodes which used The Railway Series did take some liberties with the source material, in order to fill the runtime and make the stories more accessible. From series 5 onward, all stories would be staff-written, without using the Awdrys' books as a source.

Stepney, a character based on a real-life engine and used to highlight the preservation movement in the books, was given an entirely different background when he was introduced. This decision carried on into later series, in which he was seen on either a fictionalized Bluebell Railway or as a member of The Fat Controller's railway.

The show had come under fire for having too few female characters, and a conscious decision was made to rewrite Rusty, who was always a male character in the books, as gender-neutral.[1] This led to a minor controversy years later when the American dub of the ninth series, done by Michael Brandon, referred to Rusty as a female. While HiT Entertainment, Thomas' new owners, initially defended the decision, citing Rusty's gender neutrality since Series 4, later releases of the same episode substituted male pronouns in reference to Rusty.

Talent[edit]

Initially, each episode was broadcast in installments of the children's television program Shining Time Station. Two stories from Series 4 were aired in each of the hour-long "Family Specials" in 1995. The rest were broadcast in a six-episode offshoot called Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales. Later they would air in a new half-hour program called Storytime with Thomas, which also included a Series 5 episode narrated by Alec Baldwin and an episode of Britt Allcroft's Magic Adventures of Mumfie.

Episodes[edit]

Total # UK title (top)
US title (bottom)
Directed by Source Original air date
79 1 "Granpuff" David Mitton Duke the Lost Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
10 September 1994
Thomas tells the story of Duke, a narrow gauge engine who the younger engines admired. However, when his line closes, the old engine is put away in a shed.
80 2 "Sleeping Beauty" David Mitton Duke the Lost Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
12 September 1994
Thomas continues his story of Duke. Some rescuers go search for him, but his shed was long since covered. However, they know that Duke is around, and continue the grand search.
81 3 "Bulldog" David Mitton Duke the Lost Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
14 September 1994
Falcon is sent to take the Mountain Road with Duke. Falcon does not pay attention to where he is going, and winds up dangling from a cliff with Duke holding tight.
82 4 "You Can't Win" David Mitton Duke the Lost Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
20 September 1994
Duke is not feeling well, and Stuart teases him for it. Soon, he is too ill to manage on his own, so Falcon and Stuart assist him. But Duke has enough energy for a trick on Stuart.
83 5 "Four Little Engines" David Mitton Four Little Engines (Railway Series)
by Rev. W. Awdry (based on "Skarloey Remembers" and "Old Faithful")
25 September 1994
On the Narrow Gauge Railway, the coaches derail Sir Handel, meaning he can not work. Skarloey itches for a good run, and his front spring breaks but manages to get the passengers back to the station.
84 6 "A Bad Day for Sir Handel" David Mitton Four Little Engines
by Rev. W. Awdry (based on "Sir Handel")
2 October 1994
Skarloey and Rheneas become overworked, so Peter Sam and Sir Handel come to help. But Sir Handel is in a bad mood today, and only makes matters worse for himself.
85 7 "Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady" David Mitton Four Little Engines
by Rev. W. Awdry
3 October 1994
Peter Sam is pleased running the line on his own, but Henry's threat to leave if he is not on time makes him rush, and he accidentally leaves the Refreshment Lady behind.
86 8 "Trucks!"
"Rusty Helps Peter Sam"
David Mitton The Little Old Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
7 October 1994
Sir Handel does not feel like working at the slate quarry, so Gordon suggests he feign illness. However, when Peter Sam is doing Sir Handel's work, some trucks make a mistake and have often been known to cause trouble.
87 9 "Home at Last" David Mitton The Little Old Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
14 October 1994
Skarloey returns home from being repaired and meets Rusty, the little Diesel. He also meets Duncan, a rude and careless engine. Soon, Skarloey must rescue him from under a decrepit tunnel.
88 10 "Rock 'n' Roll" David Mitton The Little Old Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
17 October 1994
Duncan is cross about Rusty telling him what to do, even though it is sensible advice. With a tip from James, Duncan is off on his own and causes trouble.
89 11 "Special Funnel" David Mitton Gallant Old Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
13 January 1995
Peter Sam's funnel is in bad condition from an accident. He has been promised a new funnel, but he starts to lose hope in it, especially when an icicle sets ablaze his old funnel.
90 12 "Steam Roller" David Mitton Gallant Old Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
14 January 1995
Sir Handel wants to prove his special set of wheels make him superior, so he agrees to handle George, a rude steamroller. But George and Sir Handel are too evenly hot-headed.
91 13 "Passengers and Polish" David Mitton Gallant Old Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
30 January 1995
Duncan complains about not getting polished while the passengers and other engines get such luxuries. He gets so cross that he decides, "No polish means no passengers."
92 14 "Gallant Old Engine"
"The Gallant Old Engine"
David Mitton Gallant Old Engine (Railway Series)
by Rev. W. Awdry
2 February 1995
Skarloey wants to talk some sense into Duncan, so he tells the story of Rheneas who once went through a steep hill and crude weather for the sake of his passengers. In the end, Rheneas comes home, and all the engines whistle as a celebration.
93 15 "Rusty to the Rescue" David Mitton Original
by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton
7 February 1995
A new engine is needed for the Bluebell Railway, and Rusty suggests that he searches the spot Oliver was found - the scrapyard. Only diesels go there, so Rusty sets out bravely on his mission.
94 16 "Thomas and Stepney" David Mitton Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry (based on "Stepney's Special")
10 February 1995
Thomas is cross when the visiting engine Stepney is talked about more than he is. It does not help his anger when he is shunted on his own branch line for Stepney that night.
95 17 "Train Stops Play" David Mitton Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
16 February 1995
As Stepney's driver and fireman watch a game of cricket, a player hits the ball so hard it lands in one of Stepney's trucks. Therefore, the players chase Stepney in their old car, Caroline, to retrieve their ball.
96 18 "Bowled Out" David Mitton Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
20 February 1995
Stepney's visit is coming to an end, and a new visitor, a rude and snobbish Diesel, arrives. An inspector's hat soon puts him in his place.
97 19 "Henry and the Elephant" David Mitton Troublesome Engines
by Rev. W. Awdry
12 March 1995
The circus has arrived and Henry is upset when James gets to pull the circus train instead of him when it's time to leave. Later Henry is called to investigate a blockage in his tunnel, where he unhappily comes across part of the circus.
98 20 "Toad Stands By" David Mitton Oliver the Western Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
19 March 1995
Oliver is sad when the trucks tease him for his accident. Toad has a plan to put the silly trucks in their place. But the trucks' leader, S.C. Ruffey, is the one who really pays.
99 21 "Bulls Eyes" David Mitton Branch Line Engines
by Rev. W. Awdry
2 April 1995
Daisy scoffs at Toby and his cowcatchers, thinking them no use at all. However, she comes across a bull on the line that will need more than a command to move away.
100 22 "Thomas and the Special Letter" David Mitton The Eight Famous Engines
by Rev. W. Awdry (based on "The Fat Controller's Engines")
4 April 1995
After Sir Topham Hatt reads a letter to the engines requesting them to go to the big city, he then tells the engines going that they must show other engines their tasks. Thomas shows Oliver how to manage coaches, but recalls the time he beat Bertie in a race and becomes very conceited, putting his big trip in jeopardy.
101 23 "Paint Pots and Queens"
"Thomas Meets the Queen"
David Mitton Gordon the Big Engine
by Rev. W. Awdry
6 April 1995
As Her Majesty The Queen plans to visit the Island, Thomas and Gordon have made up for their disgrace, and a paint accident with Henry opens up some jobs for them.
102 24 "Fish" David Mitton Really Useful Engines
by Christopher Awdry
8 April 1995
Extra vans are added onto the Flying Kipper, and Henry needs a back engine as a result. Duck offers to help, but a badly attached lamp causes problems.
103 25 "Special Attraction" David Mitton Toby, Trucks and Trouble
by Christopher Awdry (based on "Toby's Seaside Holiday" and "Bulstrode")
1 May 1995
Toby is upset when he realises there is not enough room for him at a seaside festival, while Percy and the trucks have trouble with a grumpy old barge named Bulstrode.
104 26 "Mind That Bike" David Mitton Really Useful Engines
by Christopher Awdry
30 May 1995
Tom Tipper the postman is upset about losing his van and having to ride a bike to deliver the mail. Percy inadvertently flattens Tom's bike as he is in a rush. In the end, Tom gets a smart new van.

Characters[edit]

Introduced[edit]

Recurring character cast[edit]

References[edit]