David Nelson Godfrey Mitton (13 July 1938 - 16 May 2008) was a British director, producer, writer, model maker and special effects technician. He was the writer, producer, and director of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and the co-creator of TUGS.
He worked on the show from 1984–2003.
Mitton began his career as a special effects technican on Gerry Anderson shows such as "Thunderbirds", "Captain Scarlet" and "Joe 90" before founding Clearwater Features with Robert D. Cardona in 1983.
Mitton worked on various TV advertisements through his company before he was approached by Britt Allcroft to produce a series known as Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. Although some episodes were based on the Railway Series books, some of the scripts had been written down by him and Britt Allcroft. He directed and produced the series alongside Cardona.
Mitton wrote six episodes of his and Cardona's live-action model series "TUGS" in 1988 and directed nine of them. When Clearwater Features closed down in 1990, he joined the Britt Allcroft Company. Allcroft replaced Cardona as co-producer alongside Mitton.
After the death of the Reverend W. Awdry in 1997, Mitton and Allcroft decided to create stories of their own. He provided stories for episodes of the sixth and seventh series. His last episode as writer was Toby's Windmill. Phil Fehrle replaced Mitton and Allcroft as producer for the sixth and seventh series, but Mitton continued as director until Three Cheers for Thomas before retiring. Mitton worked as model unit creative consultant for Thomas and the Magic Railroad and also worked as model consultant for the sixth series episodes Jack Jumps In and A Friend in Need, and spin-off series Jack and the Sodor Construction Company. Steve Asquith directed these episodes and replaced Mitton as main director following his retirement.
Mitton suffered a heart attack and died on 16 May 2008, at the age of 69. His death was announced on 28 May 2008.
He was working with Gerry Anderson producer David Lane with their own company "Pineapple Squared Entertainment", which was due to launch a new CGI Animation series "Adventures On Orsum Island". Only a few episodes of "Orsum" were semi-completed before his death.
- Thomas' Christmas Party (co-written with Britt Allcroft)
- Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree (co-written with Britt Allcroft)
Both episodes were co-written with Britt Allcroft.
- Rusty to the Rescue (co-written with Britt Allcroft)
All episodes are co-written with Britt Allcroft and nine episodes were co-written with Allcroft and David Maidment.
- Cranky Bugs
- Horrid Lorry
- A Better View for Gordon (with Allcroft and Maidment)
- Lady Hatt's Birthday Party (with Allcroft and Maidment)
- James and the Trouble with Trees (with Allcroft and Maidment)
- Gordon and the Gremlin (with Allcroft and Maidment)
- Bye George!
- Baa! (with Allcroft and Maidment)
- Put Upon Percy
- Toby and the Flood
- Haunted Henry (with Allcroft and Maidment)
- Double Teething Troubles (with Allcroft and Maidment)
- Stepney Gets Lost
- Toby's Discovery
- Something in the Air
- Thomas, Percy and Old Slow Coach
- Oliver's Find
- Happy Ever After
- Sir Topham Hatt's Holiday
- A Surprise for Percy
- Make Someone Happy
- Busy Going Backwards (with Allcroft and Maidment)
- Duncan Gets Spooked (with Allcroft and Maidment)
- Rusty and the Boulder
- A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter (story by; with Simon Nicholson)
- The Fogman (story by; with Jonathan Trueman)
- It's Only Snow (story by; with James Mason)
- The World's Strongest Engine (story by; with Paul Larson)
- Scaredy Engines (story by; with Robin Kingsland)
- Percy and the Haunted Mine (story by; with Robyn Charteris)
- Middle Engine (story by; with Brian Trueman)
- James and the Red Balloon (story by; with Jenny McDade)
- Jack Frost (story by; with Paul Larson)
- Gordon Takes a Tumble (story by; with Robin Kingsland)
- Percy's Chocolate Crunch (story by; with Brian Trueman)
- Thomas, Percy and the Squeak (story by; with Jenny McDade)
- Thomas the Jet Engine (story by; with Ross Hastings)
- Edward the Very Useful Engine
- Rusty Saves the Day (story by; with Paul Larson)
- Faulty Whistles (story by; with Ross Hastings)
Awards and nominations
- Nominated - British Academy of Film and Television Arts - Best Animated Film for "Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends", 1985, shared with Britt Allcroft and Robert D. Cardona; 1987 shared with Robert D. Cardona
- David Mitton worked on the original "Thunderbirds" TV series. There have also been several other people that have worked on other parts of the Thunderbirds franchise:
- Martin Sherman worked as a voice actor on David's unfinished "Adventures on Orsum Island". Miranda Larson was to become head writer, Robert Gauld-Galliers worked as a Production Designer and Philip Reeves worked as a model maker on this series.