This article is about the series. You may be looking for the special and the theme song.

The twenty-second series of Thomas & Friends aired on 3rd September 2018 in the UK and on 17th September 2018 in the US.

Production

Development

Series 22, alongside Big World! Big Adventures! marks as the third major upgrade of the franchise, following the introduction of the Steam Team in Series 8 and the show switching over to full CGI in Hero of the Rails. Both productions were the masterminded concepts of Ian McCue and Micaela Winter and the result of the market research Mattel conducted with audiences around the globe. It was about how Mattel could keep Thomas & Friends relevant in a competitive market, as well as reversing declining toy sales. The one suggestion Mattel was intrigued with came from a child declaring "Thomas is a train but he never really goes anywhere." This evolved into Thomas travelling around the globe and learning about different cultures.

The episodes retained their eleven minute-long runtime but were now broken into seven-minute-long stories, with an additional four minutes reserved for a variety of segments like sing-along karaoke songs, music videos or segments of Thomas talking directly with the audience about lessons learned during a particular episode. The episodes now also feature more cartoonish laws of physics. Additionally, all episodes have a fantasy sequence and six of the seventeen development goals Mattel chose from the United Nations are featured. Among many other changes, Edward and Henry were removed from the Steam Team to make room for Nia and Rebecca in order to move the gender ratio among the main cast to a 50/50 split between male and female characters, with an episode focused on addressing their removal. Toby was also quietly dropped from the Steam Team for the same reason and the narrator was replaced with Thomas in a first-person perspective. Despite this, Mark Moraghan said that he will still work on the series. In School of Duck, he voiced an old coach named Dexter who was converted into a school classroom. He also now portrays a character in live-action segments named Mr. Evans, replacing the late Ben Forster's role as Mr. Perkins a year after Forster died on 2nd January 2017 following a battle with cancer. The former Steam Team members also make appearances in future seasons.

Series 22 is set after Big World! Big Adventures! The series is split into two halves: one half with Thomas travelling around the world, visiting China, India and Australia and one half taking place on the Island of Sodor.

Episodes

Screenshot UK title (top)
US title (bottom)
Written by Original UK release date Episode number #
NumberOneEnginepromo2.jpg Number One Engine Davey Moore 3 September 2018 #01
Thomas gets into trouble when racing with Hong-Mei, another blue, number one tank engine on his first day in China.
ForeverandEverpromo.jpg Forever and Ever Andrew Brenner 4 September 2018 #02
Gordon goes on strike after Henry leaves Tidmouth Sheds and complains about all the changes the Fat Controller made to the railway.
ConfusionWithoutDelaypromo3.jpg Confusion Without Delay Davey Moore 5 September 2018 #03
Rebecca, a big new tender engine, comes to the Island of Sodor and works so hard not to be late that she keeps leaving stations too early.
TrustyTrunkypromo2.jpg Trusty Trunky Becky Overton 6 September 2018 #04
Thomas is very surprised when an elephant comes to his rescue on his first day in India.
WhatRebeccaDoespromo.jpg What Rebecca Does Davey Moore 7 September 2018 #05
Rebecca is worried that, unlike the other engines, there is nothing special about her.
ThomasGoestoBollywoodpromo.jpg Thomas Goes to Bollywood Becky Overton 10 September 2018 #06
When an action movie is filmed on the Indian railway, Thomas is desperate to be involved.
ThomasintheWildpromo.jpg Thomas in the Wild Davey Moore 11 September 2018 #07
Thomas is excited about taking a film crew to a nature reserve in China, but gets distracted in finding a giant panda in the wild.
ThomasandtheMonkeyPalacepromo.jpg Thomas and the Monkey Palace Becky Overton 12 September 2018 #08
Thomas is pulling a truckload of coconuts in India when he encounters some cheeky monkeys.
AnEngineofManyColourspromo2.jpg An Engine of Many Colours
An Engine of Many Colors
Michael White 13 September 2018 #09
After The Fastest Red Engine on Sodor, James is waiting at the Steamworks to be repaired and gets worried he will be repainted a different colour, causing bad dreams to happen.
OutbackThomaspromo.jpg Outback Thomas Tim Bain 14 September 2018 #10
Thomas sees Shane taking passengers on an outback adventure and is impressed by Shane's showmanship and decides to do it himself on his first day in Australia.
SchoolofDuckpromo2.jpg School of Duck Lee Pressman 17 September 2018 #11
When a storm destroys a classroom at Harwick School, Duck tries to find a coach to take the children in.
TigerTroublepromo.jpg Tiger Trouble Becky Overton 18 September 2018 #12
When Thomas learns that tourists come to India to try to see tigers, he wants to see tigers too.
SeeingisBelievingpromo.jpg Seeing is Believing Andrew Brenner 19 September 2018 #13
Thomas' friend Merlin comes to Sodor from the Mainland for the first time and Percy wants to see him.
ApologyImpossiblepromo.jpg Apology Impossible Becky Overton 20 September 2018 #14
Philip learns that sometimes even the smallest engine's actions can make them the bigger engine.
TheWaterWheel(episode)promo.jpg The Water Wheel Davey Moore 21 September 2018 #15
Thomas thinks he has been given a very silly cargo until Hong-Mei explains that it is a very important water wheel, made from bamboo.
SamsonandtheFireworkspromo.jpg Samson and the Fireworks Lee Pressman 5 November 2018 #16
Samson is terrified of fireworks, and when he mistakes the sound of a warning detonator for fireworks, he is so frightened that he and Bradford race off into the fog and gets lost.
RunawayTruckpromo.jpg Runaway Truck
Runaway Car
Davey Moore 3 December 2018 #17
Thomas tries to save an accident-prone truck who is racing down the tracks.
Thomas'AnimalArkpromo.jpg Thomas' Animal Ark Lee Pressman 10 December 2018 #18
It's Christmas and the boiler at the Animal Park breaks down, so Thomas needs to find a way to keep the animals warm.
CycloneThomasPromo.png Cyclone Thomas Tim Bain 17 December 2018 #19
Thomas wants to be just like Isla, the Flying Doctor's plane, who transports Dr Claire to remote places where it is hard for patients to get to hospitals or doctors for treatment.
KangarooChristmaspromo.jpg Kangaroo Christmas Tim Bain 22 December 2018 #20
Thomas is in Australia for Christmas and is disappointed that it is different from Sodor, but in the meantime, he must help a little girl retrieve her toy kangaroo from a real one.
ThomasandtheDragonpromo.jpg Thomas and the Dragon Davey Moore 5 February 2019 #21
Thomas is terrified when he is given the honour of bringing a dragon to the Chinese New Year celebrations.
RosieisRedpromo.jpg Rosie is Red Davey Moore 14 February 2019 #22
After the engines tease Thomas that Rosie is his "special friend", he acts rudely towards her.
TheCaseofthePuzzlingPartspromo.jpg The Case of the Puzzling Parts Davey Moore 18 February 2019 #23
Sidney is shunting a flatbed of engine parts, but he cannot remember what he is supposed to be doing with them. Paxton thinks this sounds like a kind of mystery that can only be solved by a Special Agent.
BanjoandtheBushfire.jpg Banjo and the Bushfire Tim Bain 19 February 2019 #24
Thomas offers a lift to Ranger Jill while working in the Australian Rain Forest. Thomas is excited to learn from her about all the animals that live there, but he is too loud and impatient to be very useful.
CountingonNiapromo2.jpeg Counting on Nia Lee Pressman 20 February 2019 #25
When the Fat Controller asks Nia to take Thomas' coaches, Annie and Clarabel and pick up passengers from Knapford Station, she has great trouble finding the right platform.
HuntTheTruckPromo.png Hunt the Truck
Hunt the Car
Michael White 15 May 2019 #26
Bill and Ben's latest game consists of hiding trucks and making other engines hunt for them, but their trick against Edward nearly ruins the holiday party at Ulfstead Castle.

Songs

Screenshot Title Composers Original release date
Season22EngineRollCall.png Engine Roll Call (newly updated) Ed Welch 1 September 2018 (UK)
They're two, they're four, they're six, they're eight,
Shunting trucks and hauling freight...
BigWorldBigAdventuresPromo3.png Big World! Big Adventures! (Theme Song) Kevin Roberge
Carl Taylor
Noah Berg
1 September 2018 (UK)
James! Percy! Nia! and Gordon!
Rebecca! and Emily! and Thomas Number One!...
BigWorldBigAdventuresPromo3.png The Journey Never Ends Eggplant LF 3 September 2018 (UK)
Come on a journey
With Thomas and Friends...
WhatRebeccaDoes15.png All the Girls Around the World John McGrew 8 March 2019 (US)
Some big dreams, sometimes seem
Oh, so very far...
BigWorldBigAdventuresPromo3.png The Steam Team Eggplant LF 13 March 2019 (UK)
Clap your hands, stomp your feet
Feel the rhythm as the trains go by...
ConfusionWithoutDelay56.png Let's Dream Eggplant LF 27 March 2019 (UK)
We could fly to the moon
Dive under the sea...

Characters

Characters Introduced

Cast

UK, AUS and NZ

US and CAN

  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • William Hope as Edward, Toby, Whiff, Rocky and the Duke of Boxford
  • Kerry Shale as Henry, Gordon, Diesel, Kevin, Cyril the Fogman and Headkeeper Jack
  • Rob Rackstraw as James, Stanley, Bradford and the Fat Tiger Hunter
  • Christopher Ragland as Percy and Trevor
  • Steven Kynman as Duck, Dart and Paxton
  • Rasmus Hardiker as Bill, Philip and the Angry Man
  • Matt Wilkinson as Ben and the Knapford Stationmaster
  • Rufus Jones as Flying Scotsman
  • Keith Wickham as Harvey, Salty, Skarloey, Sir Topham Hatt, Dowager Hatt and the Foreman
  • Jules de Jongh as Emily and the Duchess of Boxford
  • Glenn Wrage as Spencer and Cranky
  • Nicola Stapleton as Rosie
  • Teresa Gallagher as Belle, Annie, Clarabel, Judy, Lady Hatt, Stephen Hatt, Bridget Hatt and Madeleine's Mother
  • David Menkin as Porter
  • Olivia Colman as Marion
  • Robert Wilfort as Samson
  • Tina Desai as Ashima
  • Nikhil Parmar as Rajiv and the Indian Director
  • Shane Jacobson as Shane
  • Dan Li as Yong Bao
  • Hugh Bonneville as Merlin
  • Yvonne Grundy as Nia
  • Tracy-Ann Oberman as Daisy
  • Bob Golding as Sidney
  • David Bedella as Victor
  • Maggie Ollerenshaw as Henrietta
  • Tim Whitnall as Jerome and Reg
  • Lucy Montgomery as Hannah and Carly
  • Joe Mills as a Passenger (uncredited)
  • Nigel Pilkington as Merlin in Percy's fantasy (uncredited)
  • Rachael Miller as Rebecca, Isla, Madeleine, The Teacher and Some Australian Passengers
  • Chipo Chung as Hong-Mei
  • Siu-see Hung as An An and Chinese Women
  • Windson Liong as Yin-Long, Lei, the Male Chinese Breakdown Crane, the Chinese Guard and Chinese Men
  • Su-Lin Looi as the Chinese Diesel
  • Sheena Bhattessa as Noor Jehan and Charubala
  • Sanjeev Bhaskar as Shankar and the Indian Actor
  • Rose Robinson as Tamika
  • Mark Moraghan as Dexter
  • Genevieve McCarthy as Aubrey
  • Tim Bain as Aiden and Madeleine's Father
  • Ian McCue as the Thin Tiger Hunter
  • Tariro Mavondo as Ranger Jill
  • Jass Patel as a Concessions Worker
  • Jessica Hann as a Child
  • Charlie Barnard as a Child
  • Mia Hope Gaywood as a Child
  • Holly Hazelton as a Child
  • Innis Robertson-Pinnell as a Child
  • Damon Denton-Snape as a Child

Trivia

  • This series marks the first of several things:
    • The first series to use the new intro, credits and Set Friendship in Motion as an intro song.
    • Yong Bao's first speaking role in the television series (not counting Big World! Big Adventures!)
    • The first series since the twelfth series to introduce more than one engine.
    • The first series to feature the newly updated Engine Roll Call.
    • The first series since the nineteenth series to have 26 episodes.
    • The first series since the fourteenth series dubbed in Swedish.
    • The first series since the fifteenth series dubbed in Finnish.
    • The first series since the eighteenth series dubbed in Danish.
    • The first series since the nineteenth series dubbed in Norwegian.
    • The first series to feature Thomas as the narrator.
    • The first series since the sixteenth series to have a different narrator in both the UK and US dubs, as well as the first since said series to not feature Mark Moraghan as the narrator.
    • The first series to feature the new Steam Team - Thomas, Gordon, James, Percy, Emily, Nia and Rebecca.
    • The first series where Rosie speaks in more than one of her appearances since the eleventh series.
    • The first series in which Dart appears, but without Den.
    • The first series in which Rasmus Hardiker and Matt Wilkinson voice Bill and Ben respectively, since Jonathan Broadbent's departure from the series.
    • The first series since the twelfth series to have seven-minute-long story segments.
    • The first series since the nineteenth series where Maron station does not appear.
    • Flying Scotsman's first appearance in an episode since the third series and his first full appearance and first and only speaking role in an episode.
    • Ashima, Rajiv, Shane, Yong Bao, Merlin, Nia, The Chinese Diesel, Shankar and Charubala's first appearances in an episode.
    • Rajiv, Shane, Shankar and Charubala's first speaking roles in the franchise.
    • Cyril the Fogman's first appearance in CGI.
    • Vicarstown Sheds' first appearance in CGI.
    • The first time the Aquarium Trucks appear in the CGI Series, as well as their first appearance in the TV series overall.
    • The first series to feature Learn with Thomas segments at the end of every episode.
    • The first series to have episodes written by Michael White and Tim Bain. It is also the first series to have episodes written by Becky Overton since the nineteenth series.
    • The first series not to receive any DVD releases in the United States.
    • The first series to use a fantasy sequence in every episode.
    • The first series in which Duncan does not speak since his return in the eighteenth series.
    • The first series in which MavisStaffordRexMike and Bert do not appear since their introductions.
    • The first series in which where Miranda Raison is not part of the voice cast since she joined in King of the Railway.
    • The first series in which Donald, DouglasOliverMax, Monty, and Terence do not appear since their returns in Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure or in Terence's case the previous series.
    • The first series in which where Stephen and Big Mickey do not speak since their introductions.
    • The first and currently only series in the television series to date, in which Bertie does not appear since his introduction in the first series, possibly due to him and Bulgy being remodelled for this series' successor.
    • The first series in which Big Mickey's face is permanent, as it was absent throughout Series 21, apart from the episode New Crane on the Dock.
    • The first series where the director's credit is shown after the episode title and writer's credit. In the next series, all three would be shown together, though in the subsequent series all credits would be shown like this series again with the ´´written by`` card shown in uppercase letters.
    • The first series since his debut in the nineteenth series where Philip speaks in all of his appearances.
    • The first series where the Troublesome Trucks appear, but do not speak.
  • This is the only series for a few things:
  • This is the final series of a couple of things:
    • The last series in which the remaining original members of the Steam Team - as well as Bulgy and Bertie - are seen without their added details which they gain in the next series.
    • The last series where the characters are not credited with the voice actors to show who voiced which character in the end credits and where the title "Voice Artists" is shown above the names.
    • The last series to have Lee Pressman on the writing team.
    • The last series to have Micaela Winter as a producer.
    • The last series to have Henry as part of the Steam Team, as he was briefly still a member and left in Forever and Ever.
    • The last series to have episodes written by Andrew Brenner before leaving his position as head writer.
  • On the 1st September 2018, two days before the UK broadcast, Number One Engine, Forever and Ever, What Rebecca Does and Banjo and the Bushfire was first shown at the Princess Anne Theatre (BAFTA) in London.
  • Rufus Jones, Tina Desai and Hugh Bonneville return to the voice cast.
  • Nikhil Parmar, Siu-see Hung, Windson Liong, Sheena Bhattessa, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Rose Robinson, Genevieve McCarthy, Tim Bain, Tariro Mavondo, Shane Jacobson, Jass Patel, Jessica Hann, Charlie Barnard, Mia Hope Gaywood, Holly Hazelton, Innis Robertson-Pinnell and Damon Denton-Snape join the voice cast.
  • This series introduced a new sequence used at least once in almost every episode, featuring an engine backing up to the selected rolling stock and a close-up of their couplings being hooked, followed by a close-up of their whistle being blown (horns for diesels and a bell if they have one) before the start of the main plot.
  • Davey Moore wrote the most episodes in the total of nine episodes written, whilst Andrew Brenner and Michael White wrote only two episodes, making both write only two episodes each this series.
  • The mist surrounding the frame in the fantasy sequences is very similar to classic cartoon thought bubbles. Depending on who is having the fantasy, it is white for steam engines (and rolling stock) and black for diesels.
  • Emily is the only current Steam Team member to not get a starring role in this series. Additionally, this is the second series since the twentieth series where she doesn't get a lead role.
  • Apart from Thomas reading the titles aloud and talking directly to the audience before and after the stories, Forever and Ever, What Rebecca Does and Apology Impossible are the only episodes in this series to not feature narration.
  • Many episodes from this series have been released in audio format on Amazon's US website and on Spotify. An unknown narrator explains what is happening during some scenes of each episode. The only episodes that have yet to have audio versions released are Forever and Ever, Thomas and the Dragon, Thomas' Animal Ark, Thomas and the Monkey Palace, Kangaroo Christmas and Banjo and the Bushfire.
  • The series was planned to be released on Netflix, Hulu and Prime Video, but this deal was ultimately cancelled, likely because of the Nickelodeon deal. However, Netflix later started streaming the series in the UK and Germany stating in 2020. While Netflix does not currently stream this season in the US, Series 23 and 24 are currently available to stream in the US and Canada, making this the only series of the Big World! Big Adventures! rebranding not on Netflix in the US and Canada. In November 2020, Amazon Prime Video started streaming this series in the US.
  • In early 2018, a clip was released along with other clips from this series featuring Thomas video calling the audience apologizing that he cannot be with them due to his big adventure, but hopes that they enjoy seeing his latest adventure before being cut out by an elephant spraying water on the smart phone. It is likely that this clip was originally going to be an alternate introduction sequence for the international episodes. What is interesting to note, however, is that Thomas himself seems to be the one holding and using the device, despite not having any hands to speak of.

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