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Thomas & Friends (HiT model and Sharon Miller eras; Seasons 9-16)

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Thomas & Friends (HiT model and Sharon Miller eras; Series 9-16)
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🎵 They're 2, they're 4, they're 6, they're 8
These eras are not so great
This is what HiT and Sharon decided to do
They're the really useless crewǃ 🎵

Genre: Children's TV series
Running Time: 10 minutes (episode with the intro, Sodor Island intro (Seasons 9-12 only), "Engine Roll Call", and closing credits)
8 minutes and 45 seconds (Seasons 13-16)
7 minutes (Seasons 9-12)
Country: United Kingdom
Canada (CGI production)
Release Date: September 4, 2005 — December 25, 2012
Network(s): Nick Jr. (UK)
PBS (US)
Channel 5 (UK)
Created by: Britt Allcroft
Distributed by: HiT Entertainment (Series 8-19)
Starring: UK:
Michael Angelis
Ben Small
Keith Wickham
Teresa Gallagher
US:
Michael Brandon
Martin T. Sherman
Kerry Shale
Both:
Matt Wilkinson
Willian Hope
Rupert Degas
Togo Igawa
Jules de Jongh
Steve Kynman
Seasons: 8
Episodes: 66
Previous show: Classic era, Jack and the Pack and one HiT era season, (Series 1-8)
Next show: Andrew Brenner era, (Series 17-21)


"Do you see why so many people hate these seasons? This is the reason why! Well, one of the reasons why. The other reason is that the characters are atrociously written!"
James A. Williams, in his Thom-tober Season 10 video


Thomas & Friends (formerly Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends and also referred to as Thomas the Tank Engine) is a British children's television series. It had its first broadcast on the ITV network in 1984. It is based on The Railway Series of books by Reverend Wilbert Awdry and his son, Christopher Awdry.

It started airing in the United States through Shining Time Station in January 1989 and again as a stand-alone series in 2004. While Series 1-7 (1984-2007 [UK], 1989-2004 [US]), The Pack spin off (2006) and The Andrew Brenner era (17-21 [2013-2017]) were well-received and Season 8 (2004) garnered mixed-to-positive reception, Series 9-16 (2005-2012) garnered mixed-to-negative reception and caused the series to undergo a massive seasonal rot. However, reception for Series 9-11 and 16 are slightly better in comparison to the other seasons. Series 8-12 are commonly refered to as "New Series" or "HiT Model Era" by fans because of HiT Entertainment's involvement and series 12-16 was commonly refered to as "Sharon Miller Era" because of Sharon Miller's involvement as head writer in these series. The "Nitrogen Era" (alternatively called the "HiT CGI Era" by fans) will also be seen here.

Plot

The series follows the adventures of Thomas, an anthropomorphised train, on the fictional Island of Sodor with fellow engines Edward, Gordon, Henry, James, Percy and Toby, along with many other anthropomorphized engines and vehicles. Thomas usually gets into trouble by doing jobs best left to bigger and more sensible engines, but never gives up on being a "Really Useful Engine". Many of the stories from the first four seasons are based on real-life events from Wilbert Awdry's personal experiences.

Why These Eras Have Caused Confusion And Delay

Overall

  1. The main problem with these eras is that they often don't stay true to the source material and lack the charm of the first seven seasons, Jack and the Pack, and to a lesser extent, Season 8.
    • It didn't help that most of the original writers like Britt Allcroft and David Mitton had left the series after the seventh season and had been replaced by new writers, most notoriously Sharon Miller. All of the replacement writers barely had any experience working on Thomas & Friends which therefore explains the series' massive decline in quality during this era due to the various problems such as bad writing and character butchery as listed below.
    • Although the series began to go downhill somewhat in Season 8, these eras solidified the series' decline in quality.
      • Editor's Note: We're not saying Sharon Miller is an outright awful person or that she can't do anything right. She's a great voice director. It’s just that her and her team's writing needed some serious improvements and adjustments especially for her time as head writer. So please don't take this page as an evil propaganda page against Sharon Miller and her team so people can go hate on her, and please don't do that!
    • It also didn't help that Series 10, 12, 14 and 15 sped up the seven-year seasonal rot.
      • Series 10 worsened the problems of Series 9 with the rhyming and alliteration becoming more noticeable and has tons of bad episodes like "Edward Strikes Out", "Topped Off Thomas," "Follow That Flour!", and "Thomas' Frosty Friend" and is the weakest season of the whole model era.
      • Series 12 is even worse than Series 10 and is by far the worst season of the entire model era since it has a poor mixture of CGI with the model sets. Also, unlike previous seasons, this season does not have a single good Skarloey Railway episode. This season begun the Sharon Miller era as well as the CGI era in general on a terrible note.
      • Series 14 is the first season to include the infamous Logging Locos and Misty Island after being introduced in "Misty Island Rescue", and the writing got even worse than in Series 12 & 13 with more constant rhyming and alliteration, which was expected at this point, and that a few of the episodes are needless boring filler that is frustratingly boring to sit through, that a guy can only rage quit from watching some of these episodes after sitting through such needlessly slow pacing.
      • Series 15 is by far the worst season of not just these seasons, but possibly the whole series. It not only has some of the shoddiest and most abysmal writing ever but also showed so much flanderization. This is notable with Thomas in "Wonky Whistle". It’s also home to some of the worst episodes of the series like "Wonky Whistle" (as mentioned) and "Fiery Flynn".
  2. Several characters have gotten flanderized beyond recognition to the point of becoming unlikable and lacking the charm they previously had:
    • Thomas himself in the Sharon Miller era has gone from an optimistic, cheeky, fussy, smart and playful engine to a complete unintelligent engine who is always simple minded, hardly pays any attention to anything, mostly never listens to what Sir Topham Hatt or what another engine says, makes way too many mistakes and messes everything up constantly and comes off as a stuck-up smart aleck whom he thinks he knows everything. Worst of all, when he supposedly learns his lesson at the end of an episode, he completely forgets everything he's learned in the next episode, leading to character derailment.
      • He was at his absolute worst in "Wonky Whistle" since he's portrayed as a total moron with zero patience.
    • Henry in the Sharon Miller era has gone from an easily irritated, sometimes worried and superstitious, but kind and friendly gentle giant into a cowardly wimp who constantly worries too much about every little thing and is too stupid to do anything right. This persona continues into Series 17-19 though with slightly better execution.
      • For some unexplained reason in Series 10-16, he needs special Welsh coal again despite that problem being fixed back in Series 1 with "The Flying Kipper".
    • Gordon in the HiT Model and seasons 12 & 13 went from being an arrogant but kind, wise and good father figure to Thomas into an immature, self-centered, arrogant and egocentric engine who bullies smaller engines and decides what to think of new ones. Thankfully he reverted back to his original personality in Series 14.
    • Edward in Series 11 and the Sharon Miller era and Toby have gone from old and wise engines into weak paranoid engines who are too scared to do anything.
    • Emily has gotten flanderized twice. She was initially a kind and helpful engine in her debut in Series 7 but became a cranky, rude, bossy, selfish and misunderstood engine during the HiT Models era. She got flanderized again in the Sharon Miller era where she became just as dumb as Thomas. Her HiT Model era personality only returns in "Pingy Pongy Pick Up" however, except she doesn't boss anybody around.
    • Skarloey and Rheneas have gone from old and wise engines into reckless hyperactive children who like to race like daredevils and fight over taking special trains during Series 9-12. However, while Skarloey acted weakly in Series 10-11, he acts like a child in Series 9 and 12 as seen in "Push Me, Pull You!" and "Skarloey the Brave". Thankfully, when they were reintroduced in Season 16 and Blue Mountain Mystery, while they're not quite back to their original personas, they do act much more mature compared to Series 9-12.
    • Percy just dumbed down considerably in "Day of the Diesels" and Series 15 & 16 without a reason or rhyme.
    • Sir Topham Hatt (while still likable in the Sharon Miller era) has been reduced from a strict, but kindhearted ruler to a pointless comic relief who messes up (e.g. crashing his car three times after carelessly driving on liquid bubble puddles instead of going around them in "Slippy Sodor"). Him being a comic relief character was done much better after these seasons but here it seems like they treat him as a joke.
  3. Similar to Season 6-8 of SpongeBob SquarePants, these eras are filled to the brim with bad/awful episodes (See "Notable Bad Episodes From These Eras" section).
    • Most of them are repetitive, predictable and formulaic. Because of the show's unbelievably long run, reusing episode concepts occasionally isn't necessarily a bad thing as long as it's done right. But these eras, however, constantly reuse episode concepts with insignificant changes made.
      • A prime example is the infamous "three-strikes, you're out" formula, where one of the engines makes a mistake three times before realizing their error and setting things right.
      • Another example is where Sir Topham Hatt or Mr. Percival announces that there is a special event or train, one of the engines either gets assigned or volunteers to do the job, the engine screws up while doing their job either by getting scared or distracted by something, they forget what they were told to do or they think that they know a better way to get their job done, they realize what they’ve done wrong either on their own or after getting reprimanded by Sir Topham Hatt, Mr. Percival or another character, they go to fix their mistake, which they later get commended for and that’s the end of the episode. Sometimes, the three strikes formula is mixed in with this, which makes the episode even worse.
    • Some episodes may have bad morals, nonsensical ones, or teach kids nothing at all:
      • "Thomas and the Big Bang" shows Thomas and the narrow-gauge engines having fun causing accidents, which might make children think accidents are fun and games in real life and that you can't get seriously hurt or even killed by them.
      • "Thomas and the Statue" while having a good moral about not boasting, takes it to downright extreme levels by implying that if you boast even only a couple of times, you deserve to be ostracized by all of your friends and if you help them despite that, they will not be grateful at all and still show resentment to you unless you directly apologize.
      • "Wonky Whistle" clearly has no moral at all. It may not be a bad thing for a Thomas episode to have no moral since some episodes didn't have one before (like "Rusty and the Boulder"). Here, having the moral be nonexistent just makes the episode look half-baked especially to the human eye.
        • The way Thomas leaves in the middle of a whistle repair could also regard as an example of an episode showing everyone a bad moral which teaches that it's okay to be impatient, careless and stupid as long as you are in a good mood to get your job done.
        • In all honesty, those episodes with "bad morals" actually show kids and adults bad morals than tell them to their faces.
    • Several episodes are very stupid, effortlessly written, nonsensical and show how little the writers understood railway operations and logic.
      • In the above-mentioned "Fiery Flynn", Flynn is told a blue engine needs help. Instead of finding out who it is ahead of time, he races off and sprays any blue engine he finds when it later is revealed that the engine in need is Thomas whose "firebox was on fire." This makes no sense because as the name suggests, fireboxes are supposed to have fires in them, though it's was over-heated.
      • In "The Early Bird", Thomas is told that he can't make noise when delivering the mail in the morning. This also makes no sense since trains naturally make noise and need to make noise so their presence is known.
      • In "Duncan Drops a Clanger", Duncan carries a clock tower bell on a flatbed that isn't tied down at all. Duncan is just told to go slowly and carefully since the bell is heavy, but when he goes too fast, the bell falls off the flatbed. This is not entirely Duncan's fault since the bell wasn't secured properly in the first place. Of course, you could argue that Duncan was being irresponsible. While that was true, that doesn't change the issue that Sodor's workmen for some reason show little to no signs of being responsible for allowing the new clocktower bell to get tied down.
    • Some episodes have interesting concepts, but fall flat due to being executed badly:
      • "Pingy, Pongy, Pick Up" has Emily taking laundry out for Sodor's Football Team, but suffering through really poor execution despite showing a good moral that "you can't always get what you want".
      • "The Man in the Hills" has a great concept of adding a homage to The Long Man of Wilmington but suffers through poor execution because it provides no understanding as to what The Long Man of Wilmington is, and it is the typical "Thomas is an idiot" episode seen throughout much of the Sharon Miller era and even Seasons 9-11.
      • "Kevin the Steamie" has Kevin looking after the Steamworks but is poorly executed due to bad writing. But one good thing to come out of is Kevin learning his lesson, and that was it.
      • "Happy Hiro" has Thomas trying to cheer up Hiro, but only for the episode to fall flat as, again, it had to be an episode to rely on Misty Island for no other reason than just constant shoehorning.
    • Some episodes have stupid and nonsensical plots:
      • "Henry Gets it Wrong" has a plot where Henry tries to block the railway line with trucks so he can save the Wishing Tree, which is him making things worse and being selfish.
      • "Thomas' Frosty Friend" has a plot about a snowman balloon getting stuck to Thomas' buffers and Thomas not realizing it's a balloon, even though it's painfully obvious.
      • "Sodor Surprise Day" went wrong in so many areas that most of the episode's logic and concept is completely nonsensical.
      • "Let It Snow" makes no sense at all because singing the "Misty Island Snow Song" and doing work does not even make the snowfall down, snow can fall anyway, even when Thomas is doing work or not.
      • "Percy's New Friends" is about Percy not having anything to do and asking other engines to play with him, a premise completely unfit for railway engines and not only does it seem pointless because if Percy has no work to do, then the Fat Controller would have him at his shed until he gives Percy a job to do.
      • "Don't Go Back" has a plot about Thomas and Diesel racing backward in a dangerous environment (a quarry), which writes both Thomas and Diesel as the ones who are just morons playing around for no apparent reason.
      • "Push Me, Pull You" has a plot about Skarloey (who is supposed to be old and mature) refusing to share his train with Rheneas, leading to them having a tug of war resulting in Skarloey running loose and crashing 3 times.
      • "Thomas and the Big Bang" is about Thomas and the narrow-gauge engines playing practical jokes on everybody and causing crashes at the wharf. Even though Thomas wasn't officially flanderized yet, he is still extremely unlikeable in this episode.
      • "Wonky Whistle" (the most prominent example), while has a great idea of a wonky whistle (obviously), fell off the rails at the last minute with Thomas causing havoc with a wonky whistle, and the way it's handled is not only predictable to the point you'd be thinking guess, it's frustrating to put up with if you can watch the episode only once to see how bad it is.
    • Some episodes involve an engine ridiculously chasing down objects such as a kite ("Thomas and the Runaway Kite"), Sir Topham Hatt's hat ("Topped Off Thomas"), or birds ("Thomas Toots the Crows"), which absurdly follow the railway line for the engine's convenience.
    • Some episodes are boring and have unnecessary filler:
      • "Thomas' Tall Friend" is just Thomas trying to get a giraffe to sit down under his cage car so he can go under the tunnel.
      • "Henry's Magic Box" suffers through some of the worst amount of filler as (again) it relies on Henry looking for a "missing box" even though he would be smart enough to know the box full of Christmas trees doesn't matter anymore, and the other half results from him realizing he should go and tell the other engines about the field of Christmas trees.
      • "Jitters and Japes" is boring the whole way through that it barely gets to the point until the very last two minutes.
    • Some episodes rehash episodes from either previous seasons, Railway Series stories, or another episode from these eras:
      • "Thomas and the New Engine" is a mean-spirited and stupid rehash of "Thomas and the Rumors" from Series 5.
      • "Flour Power" is a mediocre rehash of "Ghost Train" ("Percy's Ghostly Trick" in the US) from season 2, which is far more watered down and has some of the same charm from the former, but doesn't have the same eerie atmosphere that "Ghost Train" delivered as it's just an episode of its own.
      • "Thomas and the Spaceship" is a bland rehash of "The Magic Lamp" from Series 9, which was already a boring episode, only Thomas is the main character instead of Peter Sam and he goes looking for a spaceship instead of a magic lamp, despite some good elements behind it.
      • "Thomas and the Big Bang" rehashes elements from "Percy's New Whistle" from Series 8, only Thomas isn't the only one in on the joke and the episode teaches way more bad morals than the episode it rehashed.
      • "Henry Gets it Wrong" rehashes some elements from "Henry and the Flagpole" from Series 9, only Henry is somehow even more stupid and reckless.
      • "Hiro Helps Out" is a boring rip-off of "Duck Takes Charge" from Series 2. Although Hiro was okay in this episode as it was kind of him to help the Fat Controller out despite giving the wrong orders to Thomas, Edward, and Percy, he would know by now that Sir Topham Hatt is the controller of the railway.
      • "Henry's Magic Box" almost feels like an even worse version of "Henry's Lucky Day" from Series 11, except with a mostly different story and a lot of ungodly padding and filler all over the place compared to the latter. It relies on Henry looking for a so-called "magic box" after the box was never seen again before the very first strike. While "Henry's Lucky Day" was flawed, it's average at best but at least more watchable and not completely aggravating or degrading enough to make you want to rage quit before you could ever finish. The same cannot be said with "Henry's Magic Box" however as this episode suffers through some of the worst amount of slow pacing in the entire series.
      • "Up, Up, and Away" is the standard gauge version of "Duncan and the Hot Air Balloon" from Series 12, except even more nonsensical, but just as bad as the former.
      • "Express Coming Through" is mostly a lazy rehash of "Thomas' Train" ("A Big Day for Thomas" in the US) from Series 1 and "Seeing the Sights" from Series 10, except Thomas already learned his lesson about stranding his passengers and not being impatient in both episodes, and that episode follows none of the same charm from those two episodes. Of course this was done to make Thomas and Gordon's rivalry stand out, but it failed every time because of Thomas' overused obliviousness personality.
  4. The writing has been downgraded from being charming, clever, and realistic to being extremely poor, effortless, nonsensical and illogical due to HiT Entertainment dumbing down the series to pander to very young audiences. Sure, the show was made for young audiences to begin with, but it's actually really sad since Thomas the Tank Engine was originally intended to appeal to all ages (just like SpongeBob, Looney Tunes, a lot of Disney movies, and other HiT shows like Bob the Builder ironically) but HiT (mostly with the writing on most of the stories sadly) threw it out the window and turned away any goodwill Thomas had with the general public until Season 17, when Andrew Brenner took over as head writer.
  5. Similarly to Series 8, many side characters from previous seasons are often ignored in these seasons.
    • Mavis, Annie and Clarabel, Henrietta (despite appearing every now and again), Donald and Douglas, and to a lesser extent, Bill and Ben don't appear very much in Series 9-12. And when they do show up, it's usually for a relatively minor role like the random cameos in Series 12.
  6. Some of the dialogue is very clumsy, laughable and/or nonsensical. There could be examples like: "But I'm wet through!" and most infamously, "His firebox was on fire!" Funnily enough, both lines come from the same episode ("Fiery Flynn").
  7. The map views of Sodor are very basic with the tracks very loosely following the routes of Awdry's map. The map lacks adjoining England as well as the Isle of Man, and in "Misty Island Rescue", Spencer has to take a ferry to the Mainland, despite the railway having a bridge connection linking Vicarstown on Sodor to the real-life city of Barrow-in-Furness on the British mainland in England. Also, the ferry trip seems to take much longer than it should have considering Sodor's proximity.
  8. The specials "Misty Island Rescue" and "Day of the Diesels" were poorly received, with MIR being even worse than DOTD. See their links for details.
  9. Continuity errors and plot holes:
    • In "Mighty Mac", when the coach derails it somehow swaps places with Mighty Mac in the evening having Mighty Mac face the rocks without any explanation of how it happened, which is weird context-wise.
    • In the original US dubs of "Tuneful Toots" and "Duncan and the Old Mine", Rusty is referred to as being female by the narrator, which is absolutely ridiculous since he is supposed to be male. Although early on in the series, he is not referred to any gender-specific term. Thankfully, this got fixed later on.
    • Throughout Series 10-12, Sir Handel is said to be one of the oldest engines on the Island, and Skarloey and Rheneas are portrayed as younger engines although they were the very first engines built. Also, there's an unexplained backstory between Sir Handel and Freddie in his debut episode although it was the first episode he was introduced in, the episode acts like he's an older engine even though he was a returning character.
    • In "Toby's Special Surprise", Toby claims he hasn't found anything "special" when in "Toby's Discovery" from Series 5, he discovered the old castle, mines, and Bertram.
    • For some reason, Henry needs special coal again in Seasons 10-16, despite no longer needing the coal as of "The Flying Kipper" from Series 1, due to his rebuild. Thankfully, this got fixed after these seasons.
    • Thomas is said to have never taken the mail train before in "The Early Bird" and is told to ask Percy how to do it, but he has taken the mail several times, including "Thomas, Percy, and the Post Train" ("Thomas, Percy, and the Mail Train" in the US) from Series 3.
    • In some of the episodes where a scene is set at the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre, how does Rocky know all the emergencies? Did his operator tell him after getting a phone call or something?
    • As mentioned above, "Fiery Flynn" has Flynn been called to put out the fire in Thomas' firebox, but by the time the former finds the latter, he has run out of water from spraying Edward and Gordon, so the engine drivers have to fetch buckets to put out the fire. Why didn't the drivers do that in the first place?
  10. During this era, cargo such as fish, produce, books and even birthday presents are carried in open wagons and freight cars as opposed to the enclosed van cars that would be appropriate for the given load. This is very unsanitary and this makes the engines prone to losing as well as spoiling the goods if they were to crash. The writers felt making the cargo visible to the viewer was more important than protecting them from the elements.
    • Episodes such as "Pop Goes Thomas", "Slippy Sodor", and "Time for a Story" are mostly guilty of this, and these episodes could have either been avoided entirely or at least have been done better if the cargo was carried in the properly enclosed van.
  11. There are kinds of special loads and trains that are illogical and nonsensical such as in "Up, Up and Away", where Thomas and Percy both transport a single wagon carrying a large fully inflated balloon that could easily be carried by a person.
  12. The drivers and firemen, who had often been a voice of reason for the engines, are rarely ever seen in the engine cabs in Series 8-11, and the engines often go places that a driver would not allow. The engine crews are seen more regularly from Series 12 onward but do little more than make the engines move. They never speak or even react to the engines' surroundings.
  13. The constant narration, rhyming, and alliteration are all grating and extremely annoying to listen to. They even go to the point where they never shut up or take a break most notably with the narration. In many of these seasons, it feels like the narrator is trying to replicate John Sparkes in Peppa Pig. They are only added to pad out the episode and give the narrator as well as the engines more to say, which just makes each episode predictable and repetitive. One example said by Thomas (from the Misty Island Rescue special) is: "I make good decisions, that's what I was told. I will not be fearful, I'll be brave and bold!"
  14. While the narrators for the US and UK dubs mostly do a good job, they have some flaws.
    • Despite being a legendary narrator, Michael Angelis' narration for the UK dub starts to decline in Series 10-16. Even the lack of energy to keep on going sounds like he was secretly getting tired of narrating the series, which we don't blame him. Series 11 is guilty of having Michael Angelis' worst fully voiced narration with bad line deliveries (Especially in "Hector The Horrid"), narration that sounds even more bored than the previous seasons and oddly he sounds more stuffy like he has a cold throughout the Season. In Series 12 he gave weird line deliveries due to having to match up with the lip sync of the characters and because they were originally animated with Pierce Brosnan's dub in mind so Michael Angelis had to try and match up with Pierce Brosnan's pace which seemed very difficult, especially for a man of his age.
    • While Michael Brandon does a good job with narrating the stories, he has some annoying and ridiculous voices for some of the characters at times in Series 9-12. In Series 9's case, he was okay, and he did sound like he was telling a story to the children, as well as the audience. Though some of his voice inconsistencies are still present, not as much with some characters as in Series 7 or 8. Series 12 especially has Michael Brandon seem like he's shouting even when he's narrating and meant to sound calm and when he shouts, it's grating and unlistenable. This could be because he was trying to match the lip sync for the engines which were originally dubbed with Pierce Brosnan in mind before he was replaced, so we can't fault him too hard on that.
  15. Series 10, 11 and 13-16 often put too much focus on Thomas. While he is supposed to be the titular character (understandably), earlier seasons focused on other engines as well. There are even a handful of episodes in the classic era where Thomas is absent. However, he practically appears in every episode in Series 13-16, whether he has a major or minor role (And he has no speaking roles in some of Series 16's episodes). Half of the episodes in Series 11 have Thomas as the lead character and there are only 3 episodes where he is either absent or doesn't speak. Series 9 had a similar problem though to a lesser extent than said seasons.
  16. Some poorly executed character chemistry in episodes like in "Big Belle". Belle comes off as too obsessed with Toby, whilst Toby acts like a grouchy old hermit who doesn't like doing anything remotely fun. Granted, both do have bells for one thing they have in common, but that doesn't make up for how badly presented it is.
  17. Dubbing error: Sir Topham Hatt's railway is depicted as a "railroad" in a few episodes which sounds inaccurate because the North Western Railway is called a "railway" and not a "railroad". Of course both terms mean the same thing, but one can't ignore geographic logic that easy.
    • The worst offending case is in Series 15's episodes in the case of the US version of said season whenever the term "railroad" is put in every script of the US dub of an episode from said season. It makes the US dub make most of its Sodor characters act as if they are from the United States over the United Kingdom.
  18. Christmas being called "Winter Holidays" is almost very common in every Christmas-themed episode. This was thankfully fixed in the UK dub but was left intact in the US until Series 17 for both English dubs.
  19. Some of the songs from Series 9-11, while they aren't terrible and are rather catchy as easy it is to admit, are kind of bland, mediocre and forgettable despite having such banger instrumental scores from Ed Welch respectively:
    • "Buffer Up and Share" (Also known as "Sharing")
    • "Day and Night"
    • "Pride"
    • "Brave" (Also known as "Be Brave")
    • "Every Day's A Special Day On Sodor" (Or simply known as "Every Day's A Special Day")
    • "H is for Harold" (Also known as "Harold's Song")
    • "There's Always Something New" (Also known as "Old and New")
    • "Favourite Place" ("Favorite Place" in the US)
  20. The Sodor's Special Places, Fun Times With Our Friends, and Thomas' Favorite Friends segments (which aired alongside episodes during 10-12) were pointless filler and just recapped episodes from Series 8-10 as well as some scenes from the 2005 special "Calling All Engines". (Some of them even made inaccurate assumptions.)
    • The Sodor's Special Places segments even spoiled the Series 10 episodes that didn't even air yet.
    • One of the segments says that the Coaling Plant is one of James' favorite places, when in actuality, that isn't true. He hates the Coaling Plant because of how much he hates getting his shiny red paint dirty. It was even said in "Calling All Engines!" that he fears that he'll "never stay shiny in there" from when he moved out of Tidmouth Sheds back when the Sheds were being reconstructed.
    • On a side note, these segments also replaced the Series 6 & 7 episodes that originally aired alongside episodes from Series 8-9, which meant you would get fewer episodes to watch and this decision doesn't make any sense since they hadn't run out of Classic Series episodes. They didn't even bother broadcast the "Jack and the Pack" episodes because of the much more cheaper option they were going for.

mid-late HiT Model Era (Series 9-11)

  1. Though most of the newcomers like Mighty Mac, Rosie, Molly, Freddie, Rocky, Whiff, Madge, and Hector are good characters, some characters like Neville, Jeremy and Billy were pointless. Speaking of Billy, Billy is the worst one out of all the HiT Model Era characters. The sad thing is that while most of these characters that are great were purely made to sell merchandise of as they were rarely ever used again after their debut appearances all except for Jeremy (If counting his cameo in "Letters to Santa" in Series 20), Rocky, Rosie, Stanley (who only debuted in "The Great Discovery") and Whiff.

Sharon Miller Era (Series 12-16)

  1. When Sharon Miller became head writer, it only sped up the series' decline due to the poor writing direction the show went. While having Miller as head writer is beyond her control, even so, it is quite easy to tell Miller had quite a hard time understanding the franchise.
  2. Unlike the classic era (Series 1-7), the Andrew Brenner era (Series 17-21) and even the HiT Model era (Series 8), the introduction of new characters in this era are mostly poorly handled.
    • Some of them have received backlash from fans for being unlikable, annoying and poorly written.
      • The Logging Locos, who are introduced in "Misty Island Rescue" are extremely unlikable, one-dimensional, obnoxious, badly developed and annoying characters. Bash and Dash simply continue each other's lines from start to finish, and Ferdinand says, "That's right!" almost all the time, which gets annoying within seconds. They are constantly shoehorned into Series 15 & 16 (to an extent) and never got any redemption or character development though they didn't have any real personalities to begin with.
        • Overall, they are the worst characters introduced in this era. The only time they were likable characters is in "Toby and Bash" and that's it. No other episode with them or having them as recurring characters had the earning title of being good.
      • Charlie, who is introduced in Series 13, has some of the corniest, lousiest, mediocre, and lamest jokes to come from any character. "Ho Ho Snowman" and "Play Time" showcase this. He is also heavily criticized for being a clone of Billy, whom was already a very unpopular character to Thomas fans. At least he has gotten some redemption since Series 17. He still isn't a great character either, but is still nowhere near as bad as the Logging Locos despite being written in a bad light.
    • Some characters who seemed to have potential were left to the shaft or never seen again after The Great Discovery or Series 12, which is sad because they are characters that have plenty of potential for the executives at HiT and the writers, but no one felt like they cared all that much.
      • Hank, Flora, Colin, and Billy are one-off characters introduced merely for the sake of merchandise, as they are never seen again after their debut episodes. Though it is worth noting that Colin was supposed to return in "King of the Railway", and HiT made the choice not to have him return since he's already been insufferable as he was in his introductory episode. Billy's removal shows that even the team at HiT themselves were not happy with this character anymore due to the negative reception Billy's episode got.
      • Paxton, Sidney, and Norman hardly got that much attention until "Blue Mountain Mystery" (Paxton's case), Series 17 and Series 20 (Sidney's case). After that, Norman has been left as a minor character ever since, making him a character who hardly does anything that much.
      • Molly has not been seen since Series 11.
      • Spencer was never seen in Series 12 and is the only character to not have a Hybrid CGI face.
      • Hector, Neville, Mighty Mac, and Fearless Freddie have not been seen or mentioned since Series 12.
  3. Characters like Duck, Donald, and Douglas, Oliver, Toad, Bill, Ben, Terence, Jack, Duncan (despite being mentioned in "Don't Bother Victor"; it should also be noted that he was originally going to return in "Blue Mountain Mystery" but was later dropped due to his basis undergoing an overhaul at the time of production), etc. are nowhere to be found during these CGI series. Their absence in Series 13 is understandable, given the change to full CGI and the work needed to remodel them accordingly, but Series 14-16 should have focused on reintroducing well-established characters rather than inventing new ones with less developed personalities.
  4. Although the animation in Series 13-16 is good, it has its share of hiccups:
    • Compared to the CGI animation used in Series 17-21 (and BWBA era), it hasn't aged the best, despite not aging badly either.
    • In "Spencer the Grand", the fog animation looks way too thick for the viewer to see the episode let alone Spencer trying to see anything.
    • With the exception of Sir Topham Hatt, most of the human designs look creepy and kind of uncanny, especially the children.
    • The lighting has taken a step down from previous seasons, with it being way too dark and making the colors look less saturated. It's understandable why the lighting looked like this just so the show would look more realistic, but it backfired.
  5. The last two seasons of this era were released in the UK, the US, Japan, and Australia, just before "Day of the Diesels" and "Blue Mountain Mystery" too early, let alone spoiling who the characters are and were. Mainly because Channel 5's block Milkshake had to rush HiT Entertainment with airing the episodes before the two specials were released.
  6. While not as bad as modern age Fireman Sam, the visuals in Series 12 have aged terribly when it comes to mixing CGI animation with the live-action models to the point where it looks uncanny or crooked in some points. This was done because HiT wanted to experiment with CGI animation before making the full transition in Series 13 due to budget cuts for the live-action models, but this idea backfired and has already become rather pointless in more modern times because they should've stuck with one or the other.
    • While some of the CGI faces are passable for Series 12 like the ones for Percy, Hector, Emily, Freddie, and Toby, while others range from looking off-model like Thomas' face, to some looking downright lifeless and unintentionally disturbing like Edward's face, or creepy like Skarloey's face because of how bulgy his eyes are.
      • An example is thisinfamous face Thomas makes in "Saved You!". Not only does it look creepy and crooked in terms of how it's edited, but it is also really unappealing to look at.
    • There are several instances of the CGI faces being off-center, undersized (which Duck especially suffered from in his appearances), or not angled properly with the engines.
    • Another issue with the animation is inconsistency. The original model faces are still used for some scenes as well as for background characters, and the CGI humans are poorly superimposed on the live-action sets. There are even some instances where the actual live-action figures for the humans can still be seen, which shows Series 12 didn't need to have both, to begin with.
  7. Duck, Stepney, Oliver, and a few other classic characters who had been largely absent from Series 8-11 reappeared in Series 12. However, their returns were poorly handled and are complete letdowns and insults to everyone growing up with the first seven seasons of the show:
    • They only made a handful of appearances at most. Some, such as Donald, Douglas, and Stepney had only appeared in one episode in the season.
    • They are placed randomly in areas that they wouldn't typically have any business in, with no explanation why. For example:
      • Ben is seen taking a load of logs in "Gordon Takes a Shortcut" and is not anywhere near Brendam Docks or the clay pits where he works with Bill. Speaking of Bill, he is nowhere to be seen throughout the episode as well as the season, which is odd because the two are seldom seen apart from each other. After this episode, neither he nor Ben would be seen in the show again until Series 17.
      • Stepney is seen on a siding waiting to go into the main line as Rosie passes him in "Rosie's Funfair Special/Rosie's Carnival Special", though he is not officially a Sodor engine, only occasionally visiting the North Western Railway for some unexplained reason. Speaking of Stepney, despite being one of the most important characters in both The Railway Series and TV Series his very last appearance in the entire series had him getting drenched with pink sugar. Talk about a humiliating, unfunny end for such a revered classic character.
    • They are not formally reintroduced since the narration just assumes that the audience knows who they are with no regard to those not familiar with the first seven seasons.
    • Their roles are typically minor, mostly telling the main character where to go or that the main character messed up. This could be fulfilled by practically any character like no one remembered the characters have existed or not. This comes off as very insulting and disrespectful because these characters have very distinct personalities that give them so much potential. While Murdoch was sent off on a good note in terms of the live-action model era, others were left to be forgotten about until Series 17 or seasons after the seventeenth season.
  8. "The Christmas Tree Express" was a sour way to end off the sixteenth season in UK broadcasting for a number of reasons. Thankfully, when Series 16 was released for a complete series DVD release in 2015, "Happy Birthday, Sir" gets to be the last episode of the season mainly because it was the last episode produced by Nitrogen Studios before shifting future episodes to Arc Productions at the time.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The CGI animation is good throughout much of Series 13-16 that is much better than the inconsistent CGI/model hybrid in Series 12 despite using the same angles in some shots, dimmer lighting, and errors.
  2. Some of the developments and/or improvements have been made for the show during these seasons.
    • The lighting and visuals in Series 9-12 are a huge step up from previous seasons in the model era.
    • Series 12 is the very first time the characters are given moving faces and lip-syncing. This allows them to be more expressive despite the visuals aging poorly.
    • Series 13 is the first time the characters are given individual voice actors (excluding Thomas and the Magic Railroad and the Japanese dub) instead of having the narrator provide the voices. And it is pretty good in both the US and UK dubs respectively. Some fans wish this was done before or after Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
  3. The theme song, which is the "Engine Roll Call" is still great, memorable and catchy. The CGI renditions in Series 13-16 are also nicely done, as they stay true to the live-action versions. These CGI renditions are still used during Series 17 and 18.
    • The CGI was provided by Nitrogen Studios, and its founders Greg Tiernan and Nicole Stinn are big fans of Thomas and the Railway Series. And of course, it definitely shows. Pity the writing couldn't have the same amount of dedication they wanted.
  4. As brief and pointless as their appearances may have been, it was nonetheless great to see Duck, Oliver, Toad, and Stepney return in Series 12, along with other characters mostly phased out like Donald and Douglas and Murdoch make notable appearances.
    • Murdoch only ever spoke in 3 episodes of the whole show. It was in "Excellent Emily" that he was featured the most and unlike other appearances of other engines, he served a purpose for the episode he was in as he was taking a very heavy train to Farmer McColls.
  5. Some characters finally got some redemption in the same era such as Skarloey and Rheneas, Thomas (starting with "Blue Mountain Mystery" and "Happy Birthday, Sir!"), Percy (since "Percy and the Calliope"), and a few others.
  6. Some genuinely good lines, like "Express coming through!", which continues after Series 16.
  7. After these seasons, Miller continued on the series as a voice director in Series 17 and "King of the Railway" after Andrew Brenner took over as head writer, which she does a great job at voice directing.
  8. Thankfully, not all episodes follow the awful three strikes formula or constant rhyming. "Bust My Buffers!" (while bad), is a story of its own, and "Happy Birthday Sir" comes up with out-of-the-box moments with Winston. Notably, Series 9-11 don't overuse the formula unlike Series 12-16, which used it in almost every episode. But this is rare since most episodes tend to have that.
  9. The PBS, Nick Jr., and Channel 5 airings of Series 8-12 begin by showing a book entitled Thomas the Tank Engine by the Rev. W. Awdry, which opens to Awdry's letter that was the foreword of the second Railway Series book (Thomas's original debut). This is a nice homage to the original books but at the same time a bit of a disservice to them given the poor quality of these seasons.
  10. Some character chemistry has been made well such as Thomas and Hank in "Heave Ho Thomas", Thomas and Butch in "Stuck on You", Thomas and Winston in "Happy Birthday, Sir", Diesel and Percy in "Percy and the Calliope" and Emily and Mavis in "A Blooming Mess".
  11. In some of the episodes from Series 12-16, the focus character usually has one or two good intentions while being tasked for the job, and there are some episodes that follow some true examples of those characters having said good intentions:
        • In "Hiro Helps Out", Hiro wanted to help the Fat Controller out by telling Edward, Percy, and Thomas what they should do with their respective jobs, even though they were the wrong orders.
        • In "Surprise, Surprise", Thomas thought what was best for Percy, Edward, and Stanley when they felt sad about missing the children's winter party somewhere on Sodor, and although he should've also asked the Fat Controller that same episode like he should have with Victor, he at the very least was not thinking about himself.
        • Henry was understandably cautious about the rolling stock that is blocking the railway lines in the episode, "Henry's Health and Safety", so it makes some sense why he used Rocky to move some of the rolling stock out of his way, even if he took his cautiousness a bit too far.
  12. There are still episodes with good morals:
    • Be yourself ("Dream On", "Edward the Hero", "Being Percy", and "Whiff's Wish").
    • You can't always get what you want ("James the Second Best", "Emily's Winter Party Special", and "Pingy, Pongy, Pick Up").
    • Face your fears ("Wharf and Peace", "Bold and Brave", and "Skarloey Storms Through").
    • Work together (numerous episodes).
    • The world doesn't revolve around you ("Thomas and the Statue").
    • You can't demand everything to go your way ("Respect for Gordon").
    • Safety first! ("Henry's Health and Safety").
    • The value of friendship ("Best Friends").
    • The best present you can give a friend is simply being with him/her ("The Biggest Present of All").
  13. There are a handful of good/decent episodes:
    • "Percy and the Oil Painting" (which started these seasons on a high note in airing order)
    • "Mighty Mac"
    • "Molly's Special Special"
    • "Respect for Gordon"
    • "Thomas and the Birthday Picnic"
    • "Thomas Tries His Best"
    • "Thomas' Day Off"
    • "Thomas' New Trucks"
    • "Duncan and the Old Mine"
    • "Bold and Brave"
    • "Thomas and the Golden Eagle" (which ended Series 9 on a high note in production order)
    • "Keeping Up with James" (despite using the Winter Holidays term)
    • "A Smooth Ride"
    • "Thomas and the Jet Plane" (which started Series 10 on a high note in production order)
    • "Toby's Afternoon Off"
    • "It's Good to be Gordon" (despite featuring the continuity error of Henry needing special coal)
    • "Toby's New Shed"
    • "Big Strong Henry"
    • "Wharf and Peace"
    • "Thomas and the Birthday Mail"
    • "Duncan's Bluff"
    • "Thomas and the Treasure"
    • "James the Second Best"
    • "Thomas and Skarloey's Big Day Out" (which ended Series 10 on a high note in both orders)
    • "Thomas and the Storyteller" (which started Series 11 on a high note in airing order)
    • "Emily's Rubbish" ("Emily and the Garbage" in the US)
    • "Dream On"
    • "Dirty Work" (not to be confused with the UK title of the Series 2 episode)
    • "Hector the Horrid!"
    • "Gordon and the Engineer" ("Gordon and the Mechanic" in the US)
    • "Hide and Peep"
    • "Thomas and the Stinky Cheese" (which ended the HiT Model era on a high note in production order)
    • "Cool Truckings"
    • "Wash Behind Your Buffers" (which ended the HiT Model era on a high note in US airing order)
    • "Duncan Does It All"
    • "Heave Ho Thomas!"
    • "James Works It Out"
    • "Percy and the Bandstand"
    • "Best Friends" (which ended Series 12 on a high note in UK airing order and started Series 12 and the Sharon Miller era on a high note in US airing order)
    • "Creaky Cranky" (to some, which started Series 13 on a high note)
    • "Tickled Pink"
    • "A Blooming Mess"
    • "The Biggest Present of All"
    • "Snow Tracks"
    • "Henry's Health and Safety"
    • "Victor Says Yes"
    • "Being Percy"
    • "Edward the Hero"
    • "Stuck on You"
    • "Percy and the Calliope"
    • "Thomas and the Sounds of Sodor"
    • "Salty's Surprise" (despite the US version keeping the Winter Holidays term in use.)
    • "Whiff's Wish" (which ended these seasons and the dark age on a high note in US airing order)
    • "Don't Bother Victor"
    • "Happy Birthday Sir!" (which ended these seasons and the Sharon Miller era on a high note in production order)
  14. There are some funny moments and lines such as the narrator saying "All the Hatts were hatless", Ferdinand calling Sir Topham Hatt "boss" and "You're not Fiery Flynn, you're Fumbling Flynn! Hahahahaha!".
  15. While repetitive, there are a few good rhymes such as: "Health and safety is the way, to keep the tracks clear every day" from "Henry's Health and Safety".
  16. Some of the characters are still likable and retain their original personalities:
    • Thomas the Tank Engine (except in the Sharon Miller era and some of the episodes that portray his character wrong in the HiT Model era)
    • Edward the Blue Engine (except in series 11 and the Sharon Miller era)
    • Henry the Green Engine (except in the Sharon Miller era)
    • Gordon the Big Engine (except in the HiT Model era & series 12 & 13)
    • James the Red Engine
    • Percy the Small Engine (except in "Day of the Diesels" and series 15 & 16)
    • Duck the Great Western Engine (despite only appearing in series 12)
    • Donald and Douglas the Scottish Twin Engines (despite not appearing in series 8-10, and series 13-19)
    • Oliver the Great Western Engine (despite the pointless cameos in series 12)
    • Toad the Great Western Break-van (despite also making pointless cameos in series 12)
    • Bill and Ben (despite not appearing in series 13-16)
    • Sir Topham Hatt (despite his flanderization in the Sharon Miller era)
    • Henrietta
    • Annie and Clarabel
    • Bertie the Bus
    • Salty
    • Spencer
    • Devious Diesel
    • Murdoch (despite only appearing in a speaking role in "Excellent Emily")
    • Mavis
    • Dowager Hatt
    • Skarloey & Rheneas (except in most of the episodes they star in Series 9-12 and despite not appearing in Series 13-15)
    • Sir Handel (who went through huge character development in this era ever since his absence after Series 5)
    • Peter Sam
    • Rusty
    • Duncan
    • Harold
    • Cranky
      • A few of the newer characters introduced in those seasons are also well-written and likable too, like Mr. Percival, Rosie, Whiff, Molly, Neville, Mighty Mac, Proteus, Freddie, Jeremy, Hiro, Den and Dart, Paxton, Stafford, Rocky, Victor, Kevin, Luke and so on.
      • In some episodes, the flanderized characters (Thomas, Emily, Percy, Gordon, Henry, Edward, Toby, Sir Topham Hatt, Skarloey and Rheneas) can still have their older personalities.
      • James is the only character from the Steam Team who was not been flanderized.
      • During most of seasons 13-16, Edward is clearly the least flanderized of the fleet compared to Thomas, Emily, Percy, Henry and Toby since he is likable in some of the episodes he is a recurring character or main character in. Though in Series 10-12, he is only likable when he is not given the main role. "Salty's Surprise" and "Edward the Hero" (despite the minor self-conscious side of him being present in some points) are good examples of this.
      • Speaking of Gordon, at least he is the only member on the Steam Team that didn't suffer from major flanderization since he hardly had any episodes that show him at his worst at all unless the episode's name is "Edward Strikes Out".
  17. The term 'Winter Holidays' is no longer used in later episodes after a complaint from Hilary Fortnam got HiT Entertainment's attention to change it back to Christmas, though this is in the case of the UK dub instead of the US dub.
  18. Series 9, 11, 13 (to an extent), and 16 are arguably the least bad out of all the seasons from this era.
    • Series 9 could be considered the best season of the era and is decent for its first ten episodes despite having some bad ones like "Thomas and the Rainbow" and "Tuneful Toots" since it was only the first season to have Sharon Miller on the writing staff. There wasn't as much alliteration and repetitive dialogue as Series 10-16. It wasn't until "Thomas and the New Engine" that the seasonal rot kicked in. Also, it thankfully doesn't put too much focus on Thomas unlike Series 10-11 and 13-16. While Thomas does still appear in every episode of Series 9 (either in a speaking role or non-speaking cameo/role), it makes some sense since this season was released to coincide with the 60th anniversary of The Railway Series and there's more hidden gems in this season compared to the later seasons which were some of the best of this era including "Respect for Gordon" and "Duncan and the Old Mine".
    • Series 11 is a slight improvement over Series 10 with only fewer average at best and bad episodes, some good character chemistry (example: Gordon pairing up with Donald and Douglas in "Gordon and the Engineer"), great newcomers (except for Billy), the characters acting mostly likable, some of the stories have been more interesting or enjoyable, there are some funnier bits here or there, the visuals improving greatly (though the lighting aged not that well), and overall like Series 9 this season is average at best but is not perfect by all means. It’s also another one of the best from this era. This season also had a great special to end off Series 11 in general, called "The Great Discovery". Though sadly after having a season and movie of some mostly high quality writing, the show officially went bad in Series 12.
    • Series 13, although pretty bad because of that season being let down with bad elements, is a step up from Series 12 as stated earlier. The show is now fully animated opposed to being filmed in live-action thanks to the migration from live-action to CGI, showcased some mostly good animation from Nitrogen Studios, had great narration from Michael Angelis (despite the constant use of narration), had some good episodes like "Tickled Pink", "The Biggest Surprise of All", "Creaky Cranky", "Snow Tracks", and "A Blooming Mess", and most of the voice acting sounding passable in both US and UK dubs.
    • Series 16 is a slight improvement over Series 12-15 (despite the Logging Locos being shoehorned in, the flanderization of the characters and Thomas still having too much focus) as it has slightly better writing, animation and character chemistry. But is one of the more mediocre seasons compared to the others.
  19. After years of being in a seasonal rot, the series finally redeemed itself during the Andrew Brenner era (Series 17-21), despite having a sour start in production order.
  20. Without these eras, we wouldn't have "The Great Discovery", "Hero of the Rails" and "Blue Mountain Mystery". All three are greatly written compared to "Calling All Engines", "Misty Island Rescue" and "Day of the Diesels".
  21. The "Down at the Station" learning segments from Series 13 are educational as they teach kids about how railways work.
  22. There are still some good songs with examples including:
    • "Busy"
    • "Trying"
    • "Together"
    • "Party Time"
    • "Togetherness" - (Not to be confused with the "Calling All Engines" song; a great song for Edward and Henry)
    • "The Work Song"
    • "One Friendly Family"
    • "Doing it Right"
    • "Navigation"
    • "Strength"
    • "The Narrow Gauge Engines"
    • "Thomas and James are Racing"
    • "There's a Job For Everyone" (Also known as "Jobs-a-Plenty")
    • "Thomas, You're The Leader"
    • "Go, Go, Thomas!"
    • "Roll Along"
    • "Sir Topham Hatt" (Not to be confused with the Series 5 song)
    • "Day of the Diesels" (Not to be confused with the special)
    • "Working Together"
    • "Blue Mountain Mystery" (Not to be confused with the special)
    • "Thomas and Percy"
  23. Despite both narrators' flaws, Michael Angelis and Michael Brandon still do a good job narrating the show for the most part.
  24. Despite Hiro and Charlie sharing a few episodic roles, the choice for HiT Entertainment to start small with the Steam Team in Series 13 is mostly forgivable because this was at this point the show was transitioning into the world of animation (CGI to be exact) than continued onto the world of live-action. If it were for the show to continue using live-action models and figurines, the original series would have been canceled after Series 12 since everything was getting too expensive to make something like this for the UK in this day and age.
  25. Despite being altered "Jack and the Sodor Construction Company" was released in-between Series 9 and 10 so even though the show went into seasonal rot it still managed to release content made in the classic era.

Notable Bad/Mediocre Episodes From These Eras

The episodes with links are those with their own pages.

Series 9

  1. "Thomas and the Rainbow" (which started these seasons and the dark age on a sour note in production order)
  2. "Thomas' Milkshake Muddle"
  3. "Tuneful Toots"
  4. "Thomas and the Toy Shop" ("Thomas and the Toy Workshop" on a US DVD)
  5. "Rheneas and the Dinosaur"
  6. "Thomas and the New Engine" (which started the second minor downfall of the series)
  7. "Toby Feels Left Out"
  8. "The Magic Lamp" (depending on your view)
  9. "Thomas and the Statue"
  10. "Henry and the Flagpole"
  11. "Emily Knows Best"
  12. "Skarloey the Brave"
  13. "Saving Edward"
  14. "Flour Power" (which ended this season on a lackluster note in airing order)

Series 10

  1. "Follow That Flour" (which started this season on a sour note in airing order)
  2. "Percy and the Funfair" ("Percy and the Carnival" in the US)
  3. "The Green Controller"
  4. "Duncan Drops a Clanger"
  5. "Thomas' Tricky Tree"
  6. "Seeing the Sights"
  7. "Fearless Freddie"
  8. "Sticky Toffee Thomas" ("Sticky Taffy Thomas" in the US)
  9. "Which Way Now?"
  10. "Thomas and the Shooting Star"
  11. "Edward Strikes Out" (the worst episode of Series 10 and one of the worst of this era)
  12. "Topped Off Thomas"
  13. "Thomas' Frosty Friend"
  14. "Emily and the Special Coaches" ("Emily and the Special Cars" in the US)
  15. "Thomas and the Colours" ("Thomas and the Colors" in the US)

Series 11

  1. "Thomas and the Spaceship"
  2. "Henry's Lucky Day"
  3. "Thomas and the Lighthouse"
  4. "Thomas and the Big Bang"
  5. "Smoke and Mirrors"
  6. "Thomas Sets Sail"
  7. "Don't Be Silly, Billy" (the worst episode of Series 11)
  8. "Edward and the Mail"
  9. "Toby's Triumph"
  10. "Thomas and the Runaway Car"
  11. "Thomas in Trouble" - (Not to be confused with the UK Title of the Series 1 episode)
  12. "Skarloey Storms Through"
  13. "Sir Handel in Charge" (depending on your view)
  14. "Ding-a-Ling" (which ended the HiT Model era on a mediocre note in UK airing order)

Series 12

  1. "Thomas and the Billboard" (which started the Sharon Miller era on a sour note in UK airing order)
  2. "Steady Eddie"
  3. "Rosie's Funfair Special" ("Rosie's Carnival Special" in the US)
  4. "Mountain Marvel" (depending on your view)
  5. "Henry Gets it Wrong"
  6. "Toby's Special Surprise"
  7. "Excellent Emily"
  8. "The Party Surprise" (which ended this season on a sour note in US airing order)
  9. "Saved You!" (which started the downfall of the series)
  10. "Duncan and the Hot Air Balloon"
  11. "Tram Trouble"
  12. "Don't Go Back"
  13. "Gordon Takes a Shortcut"
  14. "The Man in the Hills"
  15. "Thomas Puts the Brakes On"
  16. "Push Me, Pull You"

Series 13

  1. "The Lion of Sodor"
  2. "Double Trouble" - (Not to be confused with the US title of the Series 2 episode)
  3. "Slippy Sodor"
  4. "The Early Bird"
  5. "Play Time"
  6. "Thomas and the Pigs"
  7. "Time for a Story"
  8. "Percy's Parcel"
  9. "Toby's New Whistle"
  10. "Thomas and the Runaway Kite"
  11. "Steamy Sodor"
  12. "Splish Splash Splosh"
  13. "Henry's Good Deeds"
  14. "Buzzy Bees"
  15. "Hiro Helps Out" (which ended this season poorly)

Series 14

  1. "Thomas' Tall Friend" (which started this season on a sour note)
  2. "James in the Dark"
  3. "Pingy Pongy Pick Up"
  4. "Charlie and Eddie"
  5. "Toby and the Whistling Woods"
  6. "Diesel's Special Delivery" (depending on your view)
  7. "Pop Goes Thomas"
  8. "Thomas in Charge"
  9. "Merry Winter Wish" (which ended this season on a sour note in US airing order)
  10. "Thomas and the Snowman Party"
  11. "Thomas' Crazy Day"
  12. "Jumping Jobi Wood!"
  13. "Thomas and Scruff"
  14. "O the Indignity"
  15. "Jitters and Japes"
  16. "Merry Misty Island" (which ended this season on a sour note in production order)
  17. "Henry's Magic Box" (which ended this season on a sour note in UK airing order)

Series 15

  1. "Gordon and Ferdinand" (which started this season on a sour note)
  2. "Toby and Bash"
  3. "Emily and Dash"
  4. "Percy's New Friends"
  5. "James to the Rescue"
  6. "Happy Hiro"
  7. "Up, Up, and Away!"
  8. "Henry's Happy Coal"
  9. "Let it Snow''
  10. "Surprise, Surprise"
  11. "Spencer the Grand"
  12. "Stop That Bus!"
  13. "Big Belle"
  14. "Kevin the Steamie"
  15. "Wonky Whistle" (the most infamous episode of the series)
  16. "Percy the Snowman"
  17. "Tree Trouble"
  18. "Fiery Flynn" (which ended this season on a sour note)

Series 16

  1. "Race to the Rescue" (which started this season on a sour note)
  2. "Ol' Wheezy Wobbles"
  3. "Express Coming Through"
  4. "Percy and the Monster of Brendam"
  5. "Ho Ho Snowman"
  6. "Flash Bang Wallop!"
  7. "Thomas and the Rubbish Train" ("Thomas and the Garbage Train" in the US)
  8. "Thomas Toots the Crows"
  9. "Bust My Buffers!" (the Thomas equivalent of a really bad Squidward Torture episode)
  10. "Sodor Surprise Day"
  11. "Emily's Winter Party Special"
  12. "Muddy Matters"
  13. "Welcome Stafford!"
  14. "The Christmas Tree Express" (which ended these seasons and the Sharon Miller era on a sour note in UK airing order)

Reception

Although the HiT Model era (Series 8-11) received mixed repection, the Sharon Miller era (Series 12-16) received significant criticism from both Thomas And Friends fans and critics because of the severe flanderization of characters, bad storylines like "Wonky Whistle" and "Fiery Flynn," the switch from Models to CGI and the lack of some characters from the first seven seasons.

However, the reception for Series 8-11 was slightly better than the other five seasons. Reception for Series 12 on the other hand is divisive with some considering it to be on par with Series 8-11 while others consider it to be as awful as Series 13-16. Series 8-11 have been shown with great feedback by Thomas Cynic in his "In Defence of the HiT Era" video choosing a total of five episodes pointing out that there is some good stuff to come from the HiT model era and why those three live-action seasons were nostalgic to him though he did not include Series 12 and commented on "how hard to defend that season is" and later made a critique video reviewing all the episodes from Series 12.

Trivia

  • As of the writing, this article is the largest one on this wiki at 70,867 bytes as of September 2, 2022.
  • Pierce Brosnan was originally going to take over as the narrator in Series 12 after narrating The Great Discovery, but Michael Brandon and Michael Angelis continued narrating the US and UK dubs respectively for unknown reasons.
  • Series 12 is the first season for the following things:
    • The first season to have Sharon Miller as head writer.
    • Series 12 was the first season to use CGI animation though only for the characters' faces, humans and animals.
  • Series 12 is the final season for the following things:
    • The final season to use a model set since the show switches to CGI animation exclusively in Series 13-24.
    • The final season to have a single narrator voice the characters as they are voiced by individual voice actors in season 13 onwards.
  • Series 12 is the only season to use a model set, CGI animation, and a narrator to do the character voices of the engines, people, road vehicles, cranes and rolling stock.
  • Series 13 is the first season for the following things:
    • The first season to use CGI animation exclusively.
    • The first season to have individual voice actors voice the characters.
  • Series 16 is the final season for the following things:
    • The final season animated by Nitrogen Studios.
    • The final season to have Sharon Miller as a head writer since Andrew Brenner takes over in Series 17-23. That didn't mean Miller would leave the show, though. Sharon went on to become a voice director from "Blue Mountain Mystery" and then onward.
    • The final season is to be narrated by Michael Brandon for the US dub and Michael Angelis for the UK dub.
    • The final season to have separate narrators for the US and UK dubs until Series 22 where Thomas the Tank Engine would be the narrator.

Videos

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