Main Page

This article is about the television documentary. You may be looking for the biography book.

The Thomas the Tank Engine Man is a television documentary produced by Nicholas Jones of Quanta Films Ltd for the BBC Bookmark series.



  • This documentary was first broadcast on BBC 2 on 25 February 1995 to commemorate the fiftieth year of The Railway Series. The documentary was later repeated on 15 April 1997 to commemorate the passing of Wilbert Awdry.
  • Clips from Percy, James and the Fruitful Day (US version), Thomas Goes Fishing, Thomas and Gordon (Japanese version) and Henry's Forest are used throughout the documentary.
  • A clip from the Shining Time Station episode "Schemer's Alone" is used.
  • Behind the scenes clips of Thomas and the Special Letter and Paint Pots and Queens were shown before the episodes were released on VHS and TV.
  • Sections of John Gielgud's narration of the Railway Series stories were heard throughout the documentary.
  • The late Hilary Fortnam, one of Wilbert Awdry's daughters, tells the story of how her father brought Thomas and his friends to life.
  • It all began after Nicholas' first meeting with Wilbert Awdry at his home in Stroud, Gloucestershire on 26 April 1993.
  • Nicholas Jones managed to sell the documentary idea to both BBC and Channel 4 in Summer 1994.
  • Nicholas Jones and the BBC crew spent the entire day filming Wilbert Awdry's interview in September 1994, while cleverly disguising the fact that Wilbert himself was in bed all the time due to his deteriorated health. The crew also had a chance to film Wilbert's cluttered study room that contained his dismantled train set and a picture of his rowing team.


  1. Her name is "Mikiko", but it is erroneously written as "Mikoko".