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Thomas' Tall Friend (Thomas & Friends)

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Thomas' Tall Friend
Thomas' Tall Friend.png
Series: Thomas & Friends
Part of Season: 14
Episode Number: 1
Air Date: October 11, 2010 (UK)
November 14, 2010 (US)
Writer: Sharon Miller
Director: Greg Tiernan
Previous episode: "Hiro Helps Out"
Next episode: "James in the Dark"(broadcasting order)
"Henry's Magic Box (S14 production order)

"Thomas' Tall Friend" is the season premiere to Season 14 of Thomas & Friends. It aired on October 11, 2010 and was written by Sharon Miller.

Why It's Short

  1. This episode has clearly opened Season 14 to a VERY bad start for a number of reasons, in fact this season opener is worse than "Follow That Flour" from Season 10, but with different reasons to why that other episode sucks.
  2. This episode is a stupid filler episode that serves absolutely no purpose on the show at all, and has left no impact to an interesting concept whatsoever since after this episode, none of the events were mentioned ever again, even after keeping the Sodor Animal Park.
  3. Thomas is still acting like his usual idiot self from Season 12 once again, and it's really hard not to unsee what this episode has done this time:
    • Rather than listening to Cranky, Edward and Gordon who kept on telling him to listen to the giraffe keeper, Thomas is too overly eager to listen and does things his own way anyway.
  4. Some of the narration is pointlessly added in some scenes that either constantly point out the obvious or state things that are clearly shown onscreen like usual.
  5. Two awful lines:
    • "Mr. Giraffe". Can this blue tank engine stop referring things as "Mr. _______"? That would be like talking to a brick and calling that brick as Mr. Brick! We all know Toad the Brake Van calls Oliver as Mr. Oliver (or another engine as Mr. and Mrs.), but he never says Mr. or Mrs. _________ to anything that is a random object or animal.
    • "They have never seen a giraffe before". There have been circuses seen before in "Henry and the Elephant" and "Thomas and the Circus", surely the engines have encountered at least one giraffe during that time.
  6. The episode's pacing is frustratingly slow. Mainly from the part where Thomas comes to the tunnel and then goes onto a siding with buffers, the episode begins to go nowhere because of the situation where Thomas tries to get the giraffe to sit down when going under the tunnel. This drags on and takes up so much time space from the episode until when Percy stops by, we get to the last strike where after the giraffe plays with all the leaves on Percy's truck, the giraffe finally falls asleep, and both engines continue on their way. This is why you can never leave filler to drag on so unnecessarily long.
  7. Like most of the episodes in this era, the episode is very formulaic, repetitive and uses the three strikes formula.
  8. No clear moral at all because of this episode being a filler episode. Granted, this is not a bad thing for a Thomas episode to lack a moral, but does this excuse this episode's lack of common sense and really frustrating pacing?
  9. Unspeakably illogical: What makes the giraffe suitable in a zoo car with no ceiling on top in the whole episode?
    • Aside of that, none of the freight trains (or even the trains for the Sodor Animal Park) have brake vans, as usual for this era.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The concept is simple, but really interesting since the Sodor Animal Park was never in the TV series until now. Sadly this was executed badly due to poor writing and unnecessary filler.
  2. Stanley returns to make a one-scene cameo. While it's not much, it's nice for him to at least appear.
  3. The book at the end is a great surprise to see.
  4. Like most of the era, it has decent animation, voice acting, and great music.


"Thomas' Tall Friend" was heavily criticised and panned by fans and critics alike, and is considered to be one of the worst episodes of Season 14 and of the entire show for a variety of reasons. It received a 2.3 on IMDb as of 2021.


  • This episode is the only episode of the fourteenth season where the number in production order is the same as the number in air date order. This is due to the fact that the second episode of the fourteenth series production-wise was supposedly held back to air during the Christmas season.
  • The photo album at the end of the episode contains photos from the episodes, "Thomas and the Runaway Kite" and "Creaky Cranky" and one from the special, "Hero of the Rails".
  • This episode marks the debut of the Sodor Animal Park in the television series; even though it had previously appeared in several magazine stories.
  • This episode aired the same day "Misty Island Rescue" was released on DVD in the UK.


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