David Nelson Godfrey Mitton (13th July 1938 - 16th May 2008) was a Scottish-born 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 the Mysterons, Joe 90, The Secret Service and UFO 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 until he moved to America in 2004. Steve Asquith directed these episodes and replaced Mitton as main director following his retirement.

Mitton suffered a heart attack and died on 16th May 2008, at the age of 69. His death was announced on 28th 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.

Episodes Written

Series 1

Series 2

Series 3

Both episodes were co-written with Britt Allcroft.

Series 4

Series 5

All episodes are co-written with Britt Allcroft and nine episodes were co-written with Allcroft and David Maidment.

Series 6

Series 7





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



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