Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
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The third series of Thomas & Friends was first released exclusively on VHS in the UK on 11 November 1991. Originally, only the first sixteen episodes were released on VHS, before all twenty-six episodes aired on UK television starting on 25 February 1992. In the US, the first sixteen episodes aired on Shining Time Station in November 1991 with final ten episodes airing in 1993. All twenty-six episodes were narrated by Michael Angelis in the UK and Australia and by George Carlin in the US and New Zealand.

Production

Before production of the third series, Clearwater Features closed down, with The Britt Allcroft Company becoming the sole producer of Thomas. Producer Robert D. Cardona departed before the third series, and Britt Allcroft took his place as co-producer alongside David Mitton.

The series was a mix of stories derived from the Railway Series, magazines stories (written by the series' future head writer, Andrew Brenner) and some original stories written by Allcroft and Mitton. One of the primary reasons for diverging from the original books was that many of the stories not yet adapted featured large numbers of new characters, which would be expensive to produce. Another reason was that the producers wanted more stories about Thomas, the nominal main character. According to Steve Asquith, it was felt that some of the original stories were repetitive and too 'storybook' orientated. The Rev. W. Awdry took umbrage with the looser adaptations of his stories, and publicly criticised the original episodes (particularly Henry's Forest) for their lack of realism and how Thomas was "forced" into some of these episodes.

Episodes

(Note: * means that an episode was reused for Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales).

(Note: ** means that an episode was seen on Mister Moose's Fun Time).

(Note: *** means that an episode was not released on Storytime with Thomas).

Screenshot UK/AUS title (top)
US/NZ title (bottom)
Original UK release date Episode number #
AScarfforPercy52.png A Scarf for Percy 25 February 1992 #01
Percy wishes he could wear a scarf, but he gets more than he bargained for when he runs into the Fat Controller's luggage.
Percy'sPromise55.png Percy's Promise 3 March 1992 #02
Percy promises Thomas that he will take the children in the Vicar's Sunday School home. In spite of heavy rain and a flooded track, he keeps his promise, with some help from Harold.
TimeforTrouble55.png Time for Trouble 17 March 1992 #03
Toby ends up stranded on the main line due to his small water tanks, causing trouble for James with the Express.
GordonandtheFamousVisitor5.png Gordon and the Famous Visitor 24 March 1992 #04
Gordon is jealous when a famous engine comes to visit the railway, who happens to have no dome. Gordon declares to Duck that domeless engines are not respectable, but the tables turn when his own dome blows off at the viaduct.
Donald'sDuck64.png Donald's Duck 31 March 1992 #05
Duck is given his own branch line for working hard and becomes conceited, which makes Donald tease him until Duck and his driver play a joke on him.
ThomasGetsBumped42.png Thomas Gets Bumped 7 April 1992 #06
Thomas' branch line is closed due to bent rails on the line. He begins to think he's lost his passengers to Bertie.
ThomasPercyandtheDragon71.png Thomas, Percy and the Dragon * 7 April 1992 #07
Percy teases Thomas about being frightened all the time, but when Thomas is delivering a Chinese dragon in the night, the tables turn.
DieselDoesItAgain57.png Diesel Does it Again 14 April 1992 #08
Diesel is brought back to help Percy and Duck with goods work at the harbour, but ends up causing more trouble.
Henry'sForest60.png Henry's Forest 14 April 1992 #09
Henry's favourite place on the Island of Sodor is the forest. He is very sad when a storm damages the trees. Terence and Trevor come to the rescue.
TheTroublewithMud26.png The Trouble with Mud *** 21 April 1992 #10
Gordon refuses to get a washdown, and winds up having to do goods work instead of pulling the express.
NoJokeforJames42.png No Joke for James ** 21 April 1992 #11
James plays a trick on Gordon, which gets him into trouble. He soon learns that an engine doesn't have to pull coaches to be useful.
Thomas,PercyandthePostTrain61.png Thomas, Percy and the Post Train
Thomas, Percy and the Mail Train
(* / ***)
28 April 1992 #12
Sometimes Thomas and Percy work right through the night pulling the post train. Harold thinks he can make a better job of it, but Thomas and Percy prove their worth.
TrustThomas49.png Trust Thomas *** 28 April 1992 #13
Bertie learns that he can trust engines like Thomas when he remembers a missing tar tanker after having an accident with some trucks.
Mavis43.png Mavis *** 5 May 1992 #14
A new quarry diesel named Mavis reorganizes things to her liking, making Toby cross.
Toby'sTightrope48.png Toby's Tightrope 5 May 1992 #15
Mavis makes a plan to go further down the Quarry line with the help of some trucks, but she ends up putting Toby in danger.
Edward,TrevorandtheReallyUsefulParty52.png Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party 12 May 1992 #16
Edward and Trevor help the Vicar with his garden party to fund a seaside trip for the children, and when Bertie becomes a "stick in the mud", Terence comes to his rescue.
Buzz,Buzz53.png Buzz, Buzz
James Goes Buzz Buzz
12 May 1992 #17
After James visits Trevor in the vicarage orchard and BoCo tells him to be careful with bees, he thinks that he can easily scare them off, but is proved wrong when an accident in the station sets loose a swarm of bees.
AllatSea66.png All at Sea *** 19 May 1992 #18
When the regatta comes, Duck wishes that he could travel the sea, but he later learns that he is happiest on the rails.
OneGoodTurn39.png One Good Turn 26 May 1992 #19
Bill and Ben end up in an argument at the turntable, so Edward and BoCo make a plan to make the twins friends again.
TenderEngines51.png Tender Engines 2nd June 1992 #20
When a new engine visits Sodor, Henry becomes jealous of his two tenders, so Duck plays a trick on him.
Escape34.png Escape 9 June 1992 #21
Douglas travels to a station where only the diesels work. He meets an engine called Oliver and his brake van, Toad - escaping from fate that all engines fear.
OliverOwnsUp57.png Oliver Owns Up 16 June 1992 #22
Oliver becomes conceited and thinks that he can manage trucks, but is soon proven wrong.
Bulgy(episode)41.png Bulgy *** 23 June 1992 #23
A large bus named Bulgy claims that railways should be closed. But after he steals Duck and Oliver's passengers, an accident puts an end to his lies.
Heroes67.png Heroes *** 30 June 1992 #24
Bill and Ben take advice from the Troublesome Trucks, causing a big muddle in the yard, but all is forgiven when they behave bravely at the Clay Pits.
Percy,JamesandtheFruitfulDay58.png Percy, James and the Fruitful Day 7 July 1992 #25
James and Percy learn that brakes are not the only thing that can get jammed.
ThomasandPercy'sChristmasAdventure64.png Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure
Thomas and Percy's Mountain Adventure
***
14 July 1992 #26
Thomas, Percy, Harold and Terence help some villagers after a severe snow storm, and the engines get a special holiday surprise.

Specials

Screenshot Title Original release date Episode number #
ThomasandtheU.K.Triptitlecard.png Thomas and the U.K. Trip 30-31 December 1991 (Japan only) n/a
Two children's television characters from Japan, Gachapin and Mukku, visit the United Kingdom. During their visit, they come to Sodor to meet Thomas, the Fat Controller and the other engines. During the second half, they visit real railways and learn how steam locomotives work.

Songs

Screenshot Title Composers Original release date
ThomasandPercy'sChristmasAdventure71.png Thomas' Anthem (US)
Thomas We Love You (UK)
Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell 30 December 1991 (JPN (TV))
It's Thomas the Tank Engine.
Hip, hip, hip, hip, hooray!...
ThomasandGordon1.png I'm Thomas the Tank Engine Seiji Katsu and Masayuki Iwata 30 December 1991 (Japan only)
Boku wa kikansha Tōmasu da
Tanku kikansha Tōmasu da...

Characters

Characters Introduced

Trivia

  • This series marks the first of several things for the television series:
    • The first series in which Daisy does not appear since her debut.
    • The first series narrated by Michael Angelis in the UK, as well as the first narrated by George Carlin which had not been previously released with Ringo Starr's narrations.
    • The first series made by Gullane Entertainment, as it was at time named The Britt Allcroft Company.
    • The first series to have episodes not based on stories by Wilbert or Christopher Awdry.
    • Britt Allcroft's first series as producer.
    • Angus Wright's first series as executive producer.
    • The first series to use Rockwell font.
    • TUGS models and props make their Thomas & Friends debut.
    • Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell used the EMU Proteus 2 Orchestral, Sequential Circuits Prophet 2000, Korg DSS-1, Roland Jupiter 6, Linn LM1 Drum Machine, the Yamaha Grand Piano, and the Yamaha RX5 drum module to create the score.
    • The first series where Thomas' shocked face gains a buck tooth.
    • The first series to feature a modified version of James' happy face where his bottom jaw is slightly more pointed.
    • The first and only series where Edward's angry face gains some teeth.
    • The first series where Terence's face gains teeth.
    • The first series which introduced music videos.
    • The first series to have slow motion effects.
    • The first series where Annie and Clarabel only speak in one episode.
    • The first series to feature Duck's unused second series tired face and grinning face, as well as Diesel's from the latter series also being used on this series.
    • From this series on, characters would say "be quiet" instead of "shut up," presumably to make the show's language gentler, since "shut up" was said in the second series only.
    • The first series to have episodes released on home video before their television broadcast in the UK.
    • In the US, the first series to not have a Christmas-themed series finale.
    • The first series released in the 1990s.
    • The first series that released completely on VHS in South Korea.
  • This was the last series with many things:
    • The last broadcast on CITV until 2003 when the sixth series was shown.
    • The last series to use the nameboards in the UK. However, the nameboards would last up to the fourth series for the US and Japan.
    • The last series to be mixed mono.
    • The last series dubbed in Japanese during Kōhei Miyauchi's lifetime. However, this was not the last season to have Miyauchi play as the Fat Controller in the original Japanese voice cast of the Japanese dub of the show, because he still played the Fat Controller in the fourth series, implying the fact he recorded his lines for Sir Topham Hatt in the Japanese dub of the fourth series before his death, three years later.
    • The last series video edited by Lee Myung-pil for JEI TV in South Korea.
    • The last ten episodes of this series were not re-dubbed in the UK.
      • The recording quality of Michael Angelis' narration also changes drastically, and it becomes noticeable.
  • This series was the only series of a couple of things:
    • The only series to feature Arlesburgh in the model era.
    • The only series dubbed by Gary Dixon and Gavin Beckwith.
    • The only series where Thames Television was involved in production.
    • The only series where Toad appears, but does not speak (not counting faceless cameos in the eighth series and Calling All Engines!, and a deleted scene from the sixth series).
    • This is the only series where George Carlin's dub was released on VHS in New Zealand. However, when the third series aired on television in New Zealand outside Shining Time Station, Michael Angelis' dub was used instead. This is also the case when third series episodes were released on DVD in New Zealand, including the Series Three DVD.
  • According to The Thomas the Tank Engine Man, it cost £1.3 million to produce all twenty-six episodes.
  • The second and third series have the largest time gap between any two series: six years. The second series first aired back in 1986 alongside subsequent re-runs of the first and second series which later ceased in 1991 and the airing of the third series in 1992.
  • This series was produced in association with Fuji Television Network, Inc. as indicated by a message at the end of each episode. At the end of the first sixteen episodes, the message is in white, while at the end of the last ten episodes, it is yellow.
  • It was during this series that footage of Tidmouth Sheds was shot uniquely for the Japanese-exclusive special Thomas and the U.K. Trip.
  • Only sixteen episodes were released in the USA in 1991 with Thomas, Percy and the Dragon airing first on November 18, 1991 - Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party on December 27, 1991. The last ten episodes aired in the UK in 1992 before they were released to American television through Shining Time Station a year later in 1993, from All at Sea airing on March 26, 1993 - One Good Turn airing on August 20, 1993. This marks the very first time a series aired on television in the US before airing on television in the UK.
  • In the Ukrainian dub, Michael Angelis and George Carlin' dubs can be heard in the background, as a dubbing track was not used. The first thirteen episodes have George Carlin's dub while the last thirteen episodes have Michael Angelis' dub. Michael Angelis is also credited as narrator in the first thirteen episodes despite George Carlin's dub in the background and the episodes being re-dubbed.
  • For much of the series, Tidmouth Sheds appears to be much larger on the inside than in the first two series. While all the exterior scenes depict the shed with the usual six berths, there are nine tracks seen in most interior views.
  • Model maker John Holmes did not receive credit for working on this series until 1992.
  • At the very end of Michael Angelis' original dubs, the credits were shown with a still of the final shot of each sixteen episodes; there were certain parts of dialogue exclusive to these home videos but they were cut out when the series aired in 1992. When shown on television and in future video and DVD releases, the credits were shown alongside a still of Thomas.
  • The series was not shown on 10 March 1992 due to Budget Day.
  • When this series was repeated on CITV from 8 January to 9 July 1993, the first few episodes were edited to fit the timeslot. The episode Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure was also left out.
  • All at Sea and Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure were the only episodes in this series not based on The Railway Series or a magazine story.
  • The Flying Scotsman makes an obscured appearance once in this series. He is not fully shown until 24 years later with the release of the special, The Great Race.
  • Tommy Boyd and Glenn Kinsey were the first presenters to introduce the series. For the 1993 repeats, Glenn Kinsey introduced the series until 12 February 1993 and from then on the series was fully announced by Steve Ryde as an offscreen voiceover until the end of the terrestrial broadcast on 9 July 1993.
  • The last ten episodes of this series, from Buzz, Buzz to Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure, were all filmed in a different period after the previous sixteen episodes. As such, some changes on the details on the models and sets have been made:
    • S.S. Vienna gained red smokestacks.
    • Thomas' red lining on the back of his cab was removed until the nineteenth series.
    • Henry's brake pipes were also removed.
    • James' former laughing face became a grinning face.
    • Duck's happy and jovial faces both gained some teeth.
    • Bill and Ben's happy and laughing faces gained some teeth.
    • The interior shots for Tidmouth Sheds featured nine berths instead of the usual six.
  • The third series has the most deleted scenes out of all songs from the model series.
  • Super Rescue is the only story from Enterprising Engines that was never adapted due to budget constraints.
  • Some concept art of this series features grid references, which indicates a Sodor map with locations from the television series was made during production of this series. The map itself was not seen in any way yet.

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