- “Hmm. Look and listen. If he's a tuba player, he might be playing the tuba.”
Thomas and the Tuba is the first episode of the eighth series.
It is Lady Hatt's birthday and a big party is being held. A brass band is going to be playing and Sir Topham Hatt asks Thomas to collect them, much to the annoyance of James and Gordon. When Thomas arrives at Knapford with Annie and Clarabel, he is very excited; so excited that he accidentally leaves the tuba player behind and it is only when he arrives at Maithwaite that the band leader realises this. Thomas goes off to find the tuba player, unaware that the tuba player is at the bus stop under the railway bridge.
Bertie takes the tuba player as far as he can and then Elizabeth gives him a lift. Thomas is in such a rush looking for the tuba player that when he flies through the crossing, he does not see Elizabeth with the tuba player. Elizabeth takes the tuba player to the windmill where Trevor gives him a ride. Once again, Thomas is rushing about and does not see or hear the tuba player aboard Trevor when he passes them.
Thomas is looking around Knapford Yards between trucks and inside coaches when he crashes into Percy and his trucks of bunting. After Harvey arrives and Thomas tells him what happened, Harvey advises him to look and listen. So, taking Harvey's advice, Thomas searches more carefully until he hears the tuba player aboard Trevor and then takes him to Lady Hatt's birthday party.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Sodor Brass Band
- Gordon (does not speak)
- James (does not speak)
- Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)
- Trevor (does not speak)
- Lady Hatt (does not speak)
- George (cameo)
- Butch (cameo)
- Stephen Hatt (cameo)
- Bridget Hatt (cameo)
- Jem Cole (cameo)
- Refreshment Lady (cameo)
- The Storyteller (cameo)
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Bulgy's Bridge
- Road and Rail Runby and Road Bridge
- Tower Windmill
- Knapford Yards
- Going by production order, this is the twentieth episode of the eighth series.
- This was the first episode of several things:
- The first episode produced by HiT Entertainment.
- The first episode directed by Steve Asquith since the sixth series and Jack and the Sodor Construction Company.
- The first episode produced by Simon Spencer.
- The first episode to have Sam Barlow as a script executive.
- The first episode to have Paul Larson and Abi Grant as script editors.
- The first episode to only have music composed by Robert Hartshorne, as the seventh series episodes were scored by Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell before being re-scored by him.
- The first episode not to have Britt Allcroft, David Mitton, Robert Gauld-Galliers, Mike O'Donnell, Junior Campbell, Phil Fehrle, Peter Urie, Jan Page, Mike Erander, The Maidstone Studios and Gullane Entertainment involved in production after they stopped working on the series.
- The first episode filmed with BetaCam video.
- The first episode narrated by Sky du Mont in Germany, Daniel Vulcu in Romania, Ian MacAmhlaigh in Scotland, Giorgio Locuratolo in Italy, Salomé Larrucea in Spain, Ron Druyan in Israel, Claes Ljungmark in Sweden, Kim Seung-jun in South Korea, Muhammad Nur in Indonesia, Dário de Castro in Brazil since Thomas' Christmas Party and Kalle Øby in Norway. This is also the first episode narrated by Povl Dissing in Denmark and Tomislav Stojković in Croatia since the second series, as well as the first episode since the second series dubbed in Croatian.
- The first episode dubbed in Indonesian.
- The first episode in which the time length is increased to about seven minutes.
- The first episode with the new intro sequence and Welcome to the Island of Sodor opening.
- The first episode to have the Engine Roll Call at the end of the episode before the credits.
- The first episode to be written by Dave Ingham.
- The first episode after the Steam Team, and thus Emily's status as a main character, had been established.
- In the All Aboard with the Steam Team DVD release and the Nick Jr. broadcasts, Bertie's eye movements are animated differently and the background of the photograph of the Brass Band is different to the US version and the other UK versions.
- This episode has similarities to Lady Hatt's Birthday Party and Thomas, Percy and the Squeak.
- Trevor's large scale model made for Jack and the Sodor Construction Company is used in a close up shot.
- The tuba player's instrument is a euphonium.
- This is the second episode in which Thomas leaves somebody behind, with the first being Thomas and the Guard. It is also the third episode where Thomas leaves passengers behind, the first being Thomas' Train.
- The narrator calls Elizabeth's container a flatbed.
- The narrator says that Thomas and the trucks of bunting were derailed, but Thomas is still on the track.
- In some close-ups of Elizabeth, her eye mechanism is visible in her cab.
- Trevor's eyes are wonky when Thomas leaves for Maithwaite.
- Thomas travels through the same factory complex twice; once when he looks inside the Express Coaches, and once when he passes George.
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