Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
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The fourth series of Thomas & Friends first aired on television in October 1995 in the UK. It aired between 1995 and 1996 on Shining Time Station and Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales in the US. All twenty-six episodes were narrated by Michael Angelis in the UK, and George Carlin in the US.

Production

Filming of this series began from June 1994-28th November 1994. The fourth series saw the introduction of the smaller narrow gauge engines. For ease of filming and reliability, the fifth series would introduce larger-scale versions of the characters and from the sixth-twelfth series, these larger models were used almost exclusively. For the narrow gauge episodes the production team used a 1992 publication called Little Trains of Britain for reference, this included locations, buildings, fuel tanks, coaches, liveries and even Smudger's face.

Half of the third series consisted of stories written by the show's staff, but only one original story, Rusty to the Rescue was written by Allcroft and Mitton 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 the fifth series onwards, all stories would be staff-written, without using the Awdrys' books as a source until the twentieth series which would later finally introduce the Arlesdale Railway. The characters would then be led by their television personas and no longer by their storybook roots.

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 fictionalised Bluebell Railway or as a visitor helping out on the Fat Controller's railway.

Episodes

(Note: * means that an episode was shown in the Shining Time Station Family Specials).

(Note: ** means that an episode was shown in the Shining Time Station spinoff, Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales).

(Note: *** means that an episode was shown on both).

(Note: **** means that an episode was not released on DVD in US).

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

(Note: ****** means that an episode with American title card only for a US release.)

Screenshot UK title (top)
US title (bottom)
Original UK release date Episode number #
Granpuff15.png Granpuff * 16th October 1995 #01
Thomas tells the story of Duke, a narrow gauge engine who worked with Stuart (also known as Peter Sam) and Falcon (also known as Sir Handel). However, when their railway closed, the young engines were sold and the old engine was left abandoned in a shed.
SleepingBeauty50.png Sleeping Beauty * 17th October 1995 #02
After many years had passed, some rescuers began a journey to find Duke and reunite him with his old friends.
Bulldog38.png Bulldog (** / *****) 18th October 1995 #03
Falcon was sent to take the Mountain Road with Duke. However, he was impatient and did not pay attention to Duke's advice. He eventually winded up dangling from a cliff.
YouCan'tWin54.png You Can't Win (** / *****) 19th October 1995 #04
One evening, Duke is too ill to manage by himself. Stuart teases him about this, but Duke gets his own back and he proves that he still has a lot of life left in him.
FourLittleEngines56.png Four Little Engines (** / ****) 20th October 1995 #05
Sir Handel is pushed off the rails by some angry coaches. A red narrow gauge engine named Skarloey is the only engine available and is determined to get his passengers home, even when one of his front springs breaks.
ABadDayForSirHandel29.png A Bad Day for Sir Handel (** / *****) 23rd October 1995 #06
Sir Handel and Peter Sam are brought in to help Skarloey and his best friend, Rheneas. Sir Handel is in a bad mood and deliberately derails himself on purpose to get out of work.
PeterSamandtheRefreshmentLady54.png Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady (** / *****) 24th October 1995 #07
One day, Henry threatens to leave without Peter Sam's passengers. In a haste to meet his connection, Peter Sam accidentally leaves the Refreshment Lady behind.
Trucks52.png Trucks
Rusty Helps Peter Sam
(** / ***** / ******)
25th October 1995 #08
Gordon advises Sir Handel to get out of work by pretending to be ill, leaving Peter Sam and a little narrow gauge diesel named Rusty to take over. However, some trucks mistake Peter Sam for Sir Handel and crash into him at the incline.
HomeAtLast33.png Home at Last (** / *****) 26th October 1995 #09
Peter Sam informs Skarloey of the newest arrival, a careless and bad-tempered engine named Duncan. Soon, Skarloey is sent to Duncan's aid when he is stuck under a decrepit tunnel.
Rock'n'Roll37.png Rock 'n' Roll (** / *****) 27th October 1995 #10
Rusty is concerned about Duncan, who ignores his warning about a broken section of track. After Duncan derails, Rusty grudgingly comes to the rescue.
SpecialFunnel44.png Special Funnel ** 30th October 1995 #11
Peter Sam's funnel is knocked off by an icicle and is temporarily replaced by a drainpipe. However, Peter Sam gives the other engines a run for their money once his new funnel arrives.
SteamRoller36.png Steam Roller (** / *****) 31st October 1995 #12
Skarloey tells Sir Handel of an anti-railway steamroller named George, whom Sir Handel vows to pay out, only to find that both he and George are too evenly hot-headed.
PassengersandPolish47.png Passengers and Polish ** 1st November 1995 #13
Duncan complains about not getting polished. His rudeness reaches its peak when he stops on the viaduct and refuses to move.
GallantOldEngine43.png Gallant Old Engine ** 2nd November 1995 #14
Duncan hears the story of how Rheneas saved the railway from closure, even after suffering a serious breakdown, and Rheneas returns to the railway.
RustytotheRescue40.png Rusty to the Rescue * 3rd November 1995 #15
When Rusty hears that an engine is needed to help run the Bluebell Railway, he ventures out to find one and meets a steam engine named Stepney.
ThomasAndStepney64.png Thomas and Stepney * 6th November 1995 #16
Stepney has been invited to visit Sir Topham Hatt's railway. Thomas is jealous when the visiting engine is talked about more than he is and is shunted for Stepney to pass with a special train that night.
TrainStopsPlay77.png Train Stops Play (** / ****) 8th November 1995 #17
Stepney does not realise that a cricket ball has landed in one of his trucks. Caroline the Car sets off with the players in pursuit of Stepney along the branch line.
BowledOut27.png Bowled Out (** / *****) 7th November 1995 #18
A stuck-up diesel insults the engines and makes a fool of himself when he sucks an inspector's bowler hat through his air-intake vent. Duck and Stepney volunteer in taking his train.
HenryandtheElephant60.png Henry and the Elephant (** / *****) 9th November 1995 #19
A circus comes to Sodor, but Henry and some workmen are called to investigate a blockage in a tunnel, where he unhappily comes across an elephant.
ToadStandsBy40.png Toad Stands By *** 10th November 1995 #20
Toad advises Oliver on how to regain the trucks' respect. Oliver struggles to pull a goods train, but he is so determined that he accidentally pulls S.C. Ruffey apart.
BullsEyes44.png Bulls Eyes (** / ****) 13th November 1995 #21
Daisy claims to Toby that she would simply have to "toot" to scare animals off. However, when she comes across a bull, she realises that it will need more than a command to move it away.
ThomasAndTheSpecialLetter70.png Thomas and the Special Letter *** 14th November 1995 #22
After the Fat Controller reads a letter inviting the engines to visit the Mainland, Thomas becomes very conceited and puts his big trip in jeopardy after crashing through a set of buffers and into a brick wall.
PaintPotsAndQueens62.png Paint Pots and Queens
Thomas Meets the Queen
(* / ******)
15th November 1995 #23
After the accidents about the ditch and the mine, the Queen comes to Sodor, giving Gordon and Thomas a special opportunity.
Fish62.png Fish ** 16th November 1995 #24
Extra vans are added to the Flying Kipper and as a result, Henry needs a back engine to help him up Gordon's Hill. Duck offers to help but a badly attached tail lamp causes a problem.
SpecialAttraction47.png Special Attraction * 17th November 1995 #25
After Toby’s missed opportunity to join a parade, Percy is called into the harbour to deal with Bulstrode, a highly disagreeable barge. Bulstrode makes the trucks more troublesome than usual, though he pays dearly for it.
MindthatBike60.png Mind that Bike (** / ****) 20th November 1995 #26
Tom Tipper, a postal worker, is unhappy when his post van is replaced by a bicycle. Percy manages to help him out, but not in the way he intended.

Songs

Screenshot Title Composers Original release date
GoneFishing3.png Gone Fishing Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
21st February 1995 (US; VHS)
Sometimes it's nice to take some time out
Do what you really want to do...
Thomas,TerenceandtheSnow3.png Don't Judge a Book By its Cover Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
15th August 1995 (US/CAN; VHS)
Thomas first saw Terence the Tractor
Ploughing in a field one day and he said, "My oh my, you do look funny."
ThomasandtheSpecialLetter32.png Really Useful Engine Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
20th November 1995 (UK; VHS)
He's a Really Useful Engine, you know
All the other engines they'll tell you so...
Henry'sForest58.png The Island Song Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
4th March 1996 (UK; VHS)
Picture a land where the sky is so blue
A storybook land of wonder, a magical island just waiting for you, Island of Sodor will make your dreams come true...
ThomasandBertie4.jpg Let's Have a Race Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
4th March 1996 (UK; VHS)
A lesson that's worth learning
One you never should forget...
BullsEyes2.png Toby Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
4th March 1996 (UK; VHS)
North of the Island, there lives a dear old train,
A little tram engine, Toby is his name...
Thomas'sChristmasSong.png Thomas' Christmas Song Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
11th November 1996 (UK; VHS)
Thomas the Tank Engine chuffing along
Annie and Clarabel singing their song...

Documentaries

Screenshot Title Composers Original release date
TheThomastheTankEngineMan(Bookmarkdocumentary)titlecard.png The Thomas the Tank Engine Man Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
25th February 1995
A television documentary produced by Nicholas Jones of Quanta Films Ltd for the BBC Bookmark series.
TheMakingofThomastheTankEngineTitlecard.png The Making of Thomas the Tank Engine Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
1995
A behind the scenes featurette released on Channel Nine Australia's 60 Minutes.

Characters

Characters Introduced

Trivia

  • This was the first series of several things:
    • The first series in which The Chinese Dragon does not appear since its debut.
    • The first series to feature the Skarloey and Mid Sodor Railways.
    • The first series to feature Callan and The Misty Valley Branch Line.
    • The first series to contain the credit "Adaptation by Britt Allcroft" during the opening.
    • The first series not to end with a Christmas-themed episode and the first not to feature a Christmas-themed episode.
    • The first series to add Proteus 1 Pop/Rock to compose the music. This was the acoustic guitar sample (Patch #5) when Daisy encounters Champion in the episode Bulls Eyes.
    • The first series to have episodes released on more than two VHS tapes before airing on television.
    • The first series where Bertie, Terence, Trevor and Bulgy do not speak in any of their appearances.
    • The first series to feature a television series-exclusive engine, with that being Smudger.
    • The first series to premiere on Cartoon Network in the UK.
    • The first series where Bill and Ben, Diesel, Harold, Terence, Trevor and Farmer Finney all appear in only one episode each.
    • The first series to have braking or hissing sound effects used for when diesel engines stop or start.
    • The first series to have a standard crashing sound for engines when they have an accident, which would be used almost in every accident scene until the sixth series.
    • The first series dubbed by Mike Erander.
    • The first series to introduce a modified smiling face for Gordon, with having smaller eyebrows compared to his third series face.
    • The first series to be dubbed in Japanese after Kohei Miyauchi's death despite all of his lines for the Fat Controller being redubbed into the Japanese language before his death on the 2nd of June 1995.
    • The first series entirely dubbed in Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.
    • The first series entirely released on VHS and DVD in Japan and South Korea.
    • The first series entirely released in Japan through VHS before all the episodes were released to television in the UK and the US, with the exceptions of Rusty to the Rescue and Thomas and Stepney.
    • The first series where an ITV franchise was not involved in production. Although the sixth and seventh series were later broadcast on CiTV in the early 2000s, they were co-produced between Gullane Entertainment and Nick Jr. UK.
    • The first series to feature realistic sounding steam whistle sounds as opposed to synthesized effects using the flute module on the Roland Jupiter 6.
    • The first series to feature stereo audio in the UK, US, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Hong Kong.
  • This series marks the only of a few things:
    • The only series where Terence is never referred to by name.
    • The only series to feature Duke physically, not counting his portrait cameos in the fifth series, his stock footage cameo in the seventh series and being dropped in the fifteenth series episode, Kevin the Steamie along with Sir Handel and Peter Sam.
    • The only series until the tenth series to feature Sir Handel.
    • The only series until the twenty-third series not to have an episode featuring James as the main character.
    • The only series to feature Crovan's Gate in the model era.
    • The only series dubbed by The Family Channel Studios.
    • The only series until the eighth series to feature Thomas' upset face mask.
  • This was also the final series of a few things:
    • The last production to feature stories based on The Railway Series until The Adventure Begins and therefore the last to have Wilbert Awdry as a technical consultant.
    • The last series up until the twentieth series to feature episodes based on the stories from The Railway Series.
    • George Carlin's last series as narrator due to him moving onto continue his comedy career before passing away a decade later in June 2008. Alec Baldwin would assume the role from the fifth - sixth series.
    • The last production to introduce characters from the Railway Series into the television series until Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure.
    • The last series to air during Wilbert Awdry's lifetime.
    • The last series shown on Shining Time Station.
    • The last series released completely on VHS in New Zealand.
    • The last series dubbed in Ukrainian until the seventeenth series.
    • The last series to have voice over English dubs in Ukraine.
    • The last series to feature Daisy in an episode until the nineteenth series.
    • The last series released on DVD in Finland until, the eighth series.
    • The last series to feature Kōhei Miyauchi as the Fat Controller (named Toppuhamu Hattokyo in the Japanese dub) in the original Japanese voice cast. Coincidentally, all of his lines for all of the Japanese dubbed episodes from the same series were recorded before his death on the 2nd, June 1995 due to abdominal varices. From the fifth series until the eighth series, Takeshi Aono would take over the role.
    • The last series aired by KBS 1 in South Korea.
    • The last series translated by Lee Eun-sook for JEI TV in South Korea.
    • The last series directed by Kim Yu-joon for JEI TV in South Korea.
    • The last series narrated by Jang Gwang for JEI TV in South Korea.
    • The last series recorded by Lee Hyun-min for JEI TV in South Korea.
    • The last series mixed by Park Kwang-ho for JEI TV in South Korea.
    • The last series video edited by Kang Hyun-gi for JEI TV in South Korea.
    • The last series to have three dubs in South Korea.
    • The last series to have mono audio in South Korea but television airings and VHSs also have mono audio in the fifth series as well.
    • The last series to have three dubs in South Korea.
    • The last series to have mono audio in Albania.
    • The last series aired by Kanal 5, Cartoon Network and Boomerang in Sweden.
    • The last series that aired the UK dub in Nordic countries, but on the Finnish language option.
    • The last series to release some of its episodes early in the United States until the eighth series. But this time, on VHS/DVD instead of American television.
    • The last series to reuse music from the Clearwater Features era with the Roland Jupiter 6 synthesizer. This only happens during Daisy's theme in the episode Bulls Eyes. Also this is the last series of the main show to use stock footage produced by Clearwater Features until the seventh series (not counting the Jack and the Sodor Construction Company series).
    • The last series dubbed at "Autoren-Synchron Hamburg" in Germany.
  • With a number of twenty-four out of twenty-six episodes, series four holds the most episodes released directly to home video before television, with the exceptions of Rusty to the Rescue and Thomas and Stepney as they aired on television in the US on 7th January 1995 on the Shining Time Station special Once Upon a Time before being released on VHS. The only two episodes that aired on television in the UK before they were released on VHS were Four Little Engines and Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady, hence they were only released with their Cartoon Network opening titles.
  • Two episodes of this series have aired in the United States before being released on VHS or broadcast in the United Kingdom later that year; Rusty to the Rescue and Thomas and Stepney.
  • The first eleven episodes of this series, from Granpuff to Special Funnel have Michael Angelis' dub recorded in Dobey.
  • The last fifteen episodes of this series, from Steam Roller to Mind that Bike have Michael Angelis' dub recorded back to normal.
  • This series contained the 100th episode of the television series, which was Thomas and the Special Letter.
  • This series introduced the most new characters out of any other series.
  • Thomas appears in twenty-three episodes in this series, more than any other series in the Classic Series, but still less than most of the series outside the Classic Series.
  • Oddly, a significant amount of sound effects are different and music cues are absent in the US dubs of the episodes featured in the Rusty to the Rescue home release, a notable example being Rusty Helps Peter Sam, which misses almost all the music in the first half of the episode. The episode also excludes most of Peter Sam's whistles and adds an unusually high pitched whistle when he cries for help after his accident. The audio quality of the dub is also different from the rest of the fourth series episodes.
  • This series is unique as the first fifteen episodes focused primarily on the Skarloey Railway engines.
  • In both Mandarin dubs from this series credit George Carlin as the narrator and all Norwegian, Hindi and Korean DVDs of C4U Media credit Michael Angelis as the narrator, even though they were re-dubbed in their respective languages.
  • The Korean DVDs of DVD Acadamy, credit George Carlin as the narrator, even thought they were re-dubbed in their respective language.
  • In the Serbian dub, out of twenty-six episodes only three episodes were dubbed and released in the DVD Volume 8.
  • In the Ukrainian and Vietnamese dubs, Michael Angelis' dub can be heard in the background as a dubbing track was not used.
  • In the Korean dub of DVD Acadamy, George Carlin' dub can be heard in the background as a dubbing track was not used.
  • The first three episodes, A Bad Day for Sir Handel, Trucks, Home at Last, Rock 'n' Roll and Special Funnel are the only episodes to have an original UK dub. These are all featured on the original UK VHS release of Rock 'n' Roll and other Stories.
  • A map of the east of Sodor featuring Crovan's Gate and all the locations from the Skarloey Railway was made (possibly by David Mitton or Robert Gauld-Galliers), and it is seen in the episode Sleeping Beauty, as well as the episodes Bye George!, Oliver's Find and Busy Going Backwards from the next series.
  • On all New Zealand VHS releases, special title cards were made due to the removal of intros and outros (apart from the beginning and end of the tapes).

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