Thomas & Friends (Seasons 9-10, 12-16)

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{{DISPLAYTITLE:Thomas & Friends (Seasons 9-10; 12-16)]]

Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends (Seasons 9-10, 12-16)

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These seasons have caused confusion and delay.
Genre: Children's TV series
Running Time: 10 minutes (episode with the intro, Sodor Island intro (Season 12 only), "Engine Roll Call", and closing credits)
8 minutes and 45 seconds (regular episode)
7 minutes (Season 12 only)
Country: United Kingdom
Canada (CGI production)
Release Date: September 4th, 2005 -
November 4, 2005 (Season 9)
October 2, 2006 -
October 15, 2006 (Season 10)
September 1st, 2008 -
September 26th, 2008 (Season 12)
January 25th, 2010 -
February 19th, 2010 (Season 13)
October 11th, 2010-
November 8th, 2010 (Season 14)
March 1st, 2011 -
March 28th, 2011 (Season 15)
February 20th, 2012 -
Christmas Day 2012/December 25th, 2012 (Season 16)
Network(s): Nick Jr. (UK)
PBS (US)
Channel 5 (UK)
Created by: Britt Allcroft
Distributed by: HiT Entertainment
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: 24
Episodes: 154


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 the Reverend Wilbert Awdry and his son, Christopher Awdry.

It started airing in the United States through Shining Time Station on January 1989. But during Seasons 9-10 and 12-16, the series underwent seasonal rot for a variety of reasons (see BQ section).

Bad Qualities

  1. The main problem with these seasons is Sharon Miller's involvement. She joined the writing team in Season 9 and became head writer for Seasons 12-16, thus she did not do a good job with the series. As a result, these seasons often don't stay true to the original source material and lack the charm of the first seven seasons and to a lesser extent, Season 8 and Season 11.
  2. Several characters have gotten flanderized beyond recognition.
    • Thomas himself in S12-16 has gone from a cheeky and fussy, yet optimistic and playful protagonist into a troublesome, irresponsible and unreliable engine who almost never listens to Sir Topham Hatt and frequently causes confusion and delay. 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.
    • Henry in S12-16 has gone from a kind and friendly gentle giant into a coward who constantly worries too much about every little thing and is too stupid to do anything right. This persona continues into Seasons 17-19, though with much better execution than it is here.
    • Edward in Season 11 and Toby in Season 9 have gone from old and wise engines into paranoid wimps who are too scared to do anything.
    • Emily has gotten flanderized twice. She started out as a kind and helpful engine in her debut in Season 7, but became a bossy, naggy and selfish engine during S8-10. She temporarily reverted back to her original personality in Season 11 before getting flanderized again in S12-16, where she's become an unintelligent Mary Sue. Her Seasons 8-10 persona returns in "Pingy Pongy Pick Up", however.
    • Skarloey and Rheneas have gone from old and wise engines into reckless hyperactive children who like to race and fight over taking special trains during Seasons 9-12. However, while Skarloey acted like a wimp in Seasons 9-11, he acts like a child in Season 12, as seen in "Push Me, Pull You". Thankfully after Season 12, both have returned to more mature personas.
    • Percy has gotten dumbed down considerably in Day of the Diesels and Seasons 15 and 16 without a reason or rhyme.
    • Sir Topham Hat/The Fat Controller, has been reduced from a strict, but kind hearted 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 "Slippery Sodor"). Him being a comic relief character was done much better after this era, but here it seems like they treat him as a joke.
    • In general, most of the characters have had their personalities dumbed down, going from having multiple traits to just one.
    • Other characters worsened as the series progressed.
      • Diesel became more and more of a rude and annoying character and acts like a generic bully and he became another victim of flanderization.
      • Gordon became more and more arrogant and acted a lot more childish at times. But he mostly remains unchanged and and he can be tolerable at times.
  3. Similarly to S6-8 of SpongeBob SquarePants, these seasons are filled to the brim with bad episodes, such as:
    • "Wonky Whistle" (the worst episode of these seasons and the entire series)
    • "Edward Strikes Out" (the worst episode of the model era)
    • "Up, Up, and Away"
    • All the Skarloey Railway episodes from Season 12
    • "Emily Knows Best"
    • "Sodor Surprise Day"
    • "Pingy, Pongy, Pick Up"
    • "Bust My Buffers!" (the Thomas equivalent of a really bad Squidward torture fest episode)
    • "Follow That Flour"
    • "Wharf and Peace"
    • "Ol' Wheezy Wobbles"
    • "Express Coming Through"
    • "Thomas' Frosty Friend"
    • "Henry Gets it Wrong"
    • "Percy and the Monster of Brendam"
    • "James to the Rescue"
    • "Thomas and the New Engine"
    • "Topped Off Thomas"
    • "Happy Hiro"
    • "Saved You!"
    • "The Magic Lamp"
    • "Let It Snow"
    • "Fiery Flynn"
    • "Race to the Rescue"
    • "Big Belle"
    • "O the Indignity"
    • "Thomas and the Birthday Mail"
    • "Henry's Magic Box"
    • "Thomas and the Snowman Party"
    • "Buzzy Bees"
    • "Thomas' Tall Friend"
    • "Slippery Sodor"
    • "Thomas and the Statue"
  4. The writing has downgraded from being clever and realistic to being nonsensical and illogical, which totally broke the promise of the show appealing to all ages, because HiT Entertainment wanted the show to only appeal to very young audiences. That is really sad because Thomas the Tank Engine was meant to appeal to all audiences (just like the Toy Story movies), but HiT just didn't seem to care.
  5. The infamous three strikes formula, where a character makes a mistake three times before admitting his/her mistake and setting things right. This type of formula is often overused in these seasons, making the episodes feel repetitive, formulaic and stale. Because of this, most of the episodes in these seasons are the same to one another, except with different characters and situations each time. But even with that, nothing really changes. Season 11 has similar issues, but to a lesser extent than these seasons.
    • In fact, S12-16 even have three-strike crashes and accidents, which is basically three crashes and three accidents at the same time along with the three strikes that go with. They tend to be very rushed and don't feel like the S1-11 crashes at all, so even the crashes feel somewhat ruined to the three strikes formula, as well as the unwanted narration that constantly points the obvious out).
  6. Some of the episodes either have bad morals or teach kids nothing at all:
    • The definition of an episode with a bad moral: "Push Me, Pull You"'s moral is that it's okay to refuse help from your friends. "Sodor Surprise Day" is another example of this as it shows you that playing with fireworks is okay, which it isn't because it is really dangerous to play with fireworks.
    • The definition of an episode that teaches kids nothing: "Wonky Whistle" clearly has no moral at all. It may not be a bad thing for a Thomas episode to have no moral, but it would be really grating if kids don't learn anything from an episode or two.
      • The way Thomas leaves in the middle of a whistle repair could also regard the episode as having a bad moral...
  7. Some episodes have really clumsy dialogue, such as: "But I'm wet through!" and most infamously, "his firebox was on fire." (funnily enough, those lines also come from the same episode)
  8. Most episodes can be really nonsensical, and show how little the writers understand railway operations and logic. "The Early Bird" is a prime example, because engines are supposed to make noise, even early in the morning and at night.
  9. 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", Thomas and Spencer have 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. Also, the ferry trip seems to take much longer than it should have considering Sodor's close proximity.
  10. "Calling All Engines", "Misty Island Rescue" and "Day of the Diesels" were not well received for a number of reasons.
  11. Characters like Bill, Ben, Donald, Douglas, Harvey, Oliver, Toad, Duck, 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 in Seasons 13-16. Their absence in Season 13 is understandable, given the change to full CGI and the work needed to remodel them accordingly, but Seasons 14-16 should have focused on reintroducing well established characters rather than inventing new ones with less developed personalities.
  12. Continuity errors and plot holes:
    • Gordon is introduced to Whiff in "Emily and the Garbage", which he and the other big engines laugh at and tease Emily for making friends with a rubbish engine. But in "O the Indignity", however, he hardly remembers Whiff at all.
    • Henry is said to have or need special coal in episodes such as "Henry's Happy Coal" and "Steamy Sodor" among others, despite having been rebuilt in the first season episode "The Flying Kipper", which eliminated the need for the special coal. Thankfully, this got fixed in the Andrew Brenner era.
    • Thomas is said to have never taken the mail before in "The Early Bird" and is told to ask Percy how to do it, but he has taken the mail several times in the classic series.
    • In some of the episodes where a scene is set at the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre, how does Rocky know all the emergencies?
  13. Starting in Season 8, 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. Apparently 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 for this, and these episodes could have either been avoided or done better entirely if the cargo was carried in the proper enclosed van or something.
  14. There are kinds of special loads and trains that make no sense, such as having two engines transporting a single wagon carrying a completely large balloon that could easily be carried in a person's pocket, and even the hot air balloon being fully inflated on a flatbed as examples of how illogical and overly nonsensical these train deliveries are.
  15. The drivers and firemen, who had often been a voice of reason for the engines, are rarely even seen in the engine cabs in Seasons 8-11, and the engines often go places that a driver would not allow. The engine crews are seen more regularly from Season 12 onward, but do little more than make the engines move. They never speak, or even react to the engines' surroundings.
  16. 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 follows the railway line for the engine's convenience.
  17. The constant narration, rhyming, and alliteration are all grating and extremely annoying to the point they never shut up or take a break. They are only added into the three strikes formula so they can make the episode progress its story more, which is a bad sign because it makes the episode look really predictable and repetitive. One example is: "I make good decisions, that's what i was told. I will not be fearful, I'll be brave and bold!"
    • On the subject of narration wise, the narration tends to narrate on things either the audience doesn't need to know, or that the audience would know by now, such as the narrator constantly stating the obvious.
  18. S13-16 get a bad reputation for introducing Charlie and the Logging Locos. These four characters were hated so much that they have thankfully have been ignored since Season 17 (though Charlie would have appearances in Seasons 17-18, and be left to the background until he was no longer seen in the series as time went on).
    • The Logging Locos are extremely unlikable, one-sided, obnoxious, and annoying characters. They first appeared in Season 14, following "Misty Island Rescue", then are constantly shoehorned in Seasons 15 and 16, and they also never got much redemption, not that they had any real personalities to begin with. Bash and Dash simply continue each other's lines from start to finish, and Ferdinand says "That's right!" all the time, which gets annoying within seconds, which shows they had very little personality whatsoever.
      • Overall, they are the worst characters from this era compared to the other characters introduced in the same era.
    • Charlie, who was just introduced in Season 13, has some of the corniest, lousiest, and lamest jokes from any character. "Ho Ho Snowman" and "Play Time" showcase this. At least he has gotten some redemption since Season 17. He was not a good character either, but the Logging Locos are much worse.
  19. Some of the episodes are rehashes/rip-offs of episodes either from previous seasons or from these seasons:
    • "Express Coming Through" is a rehash of "A Big Day for Thomas"/"Thomas' Train" and "Seeing the Sights", 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 as "A Big Day for Thomas"/"Thomas Train". Of course, this was done to make Thomas and Gordon's rivalry stand out, but it failed every time.
    • "Up, Up, and Away" is the standard gauge version of "Duncan and the Hot Air Balloon", except even worse.
    • "Time for a Story" is almost like a downgraded version of "Thomas and the Storyteller", except with a different plot.
    • "Hiro Helps Out" is a rip-off of "Duck Takes Charge", except more boring than said episode and Hiro feels poorly written.
    • "Henry's Magic Box" almost feels like a rehash of "Henry's Lucky Trucks", except with a mostly different story, it relies on Henry looking for a so-called "magic box" and the box was never seen again before the very first strike.
  20. 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 was starting to get more dull, grating and redundant after Season 12, even the lack of energy to keep on going sounds as he secretly doesn't want to narrate the series anymore, which we don't blame him.
    • Michael Brandon's narration for the US dub can be annoying and cringe inducing at times in S9-10 and 12. Thankfully, he improved a bit in S13-16
  21. Seasons 10 and 13-16 often put too much focus on Thomas. While he is supposed to be the titular character, earlier seasons focused on other engines as well. In fact, there are even a handful of episodes in the classic era where Thomas is absent. However, he practically appears in every episode in Seasons 13-16, whether he has a major or minor role (And he has no speaking roles in some of Season 16's episodes). Seasons 8 and 11 had a similar problem, though to a lesser extent than said seasons.
  22. Some of the recurring characters were left to the shaft or never seen again after these seasons:
    • Hank, Flora, Colin, and Billy have never appeared again after their debut episodes despite potential.
    • Paxton, Sidney, and Norman hardly got that much attention until "Blue Mountain Mystery" (Paxton's case), Season 17, and Season 20 (Sidney's case). After that, Norman has been left as a minor character.
    • Molly has not been seen since Season 11.
    • Neville only appeared once in Season 9, and one episode each in Seasons 11 and 12.
  23. The last two seasons were released in the UK, the US, Japan, and Australia, just before "Day of the Diesels" and "Blue Mountain Mystery" came out 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 actually released.
  24. Some episodes are really 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 filler as it's 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 him realising he should go and tell the other engines about the field of Christmas trees to the other engines.
    • "Jitters and Japes" really is slow-paced and boring the whole way through.
  25. "The Christmas Tree Express" isn't an episode to end off the sixteenth season in the UK broadcasting. Thankfully, when Season 16 was released for a complete series DVD release in 2015, "Happy Birthday, Sir" gets to be the last episode of Season 16, mainly because it was the last episode produced by Nitrogen Studios before shifting future episodes to Arc Productions at the time.
  26. The visuals in Season 12 have not aged well when it comes to mixing animation and live-action for the engines and humans. Some of the CGI faces are passable like Percy's face, while others range from looking off-model like Thomas' face, to some looking downright lifeless like Edward's face, and one looked rather creepy like Skarloey's face because of how bulgy his eyes are.
    • An example of Thomas' Season 12 CGI face is this. Not only does it look really creepy, but it also looks really cringeworthy.
    • 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 of 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 some proof Season 12 didn't need to have both to begin with, period.
  27. Although the animation in Seasons 13-16 is good, it has shown some signs of looking clunky in some areas:
    • 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.
  28. There are a lot of episodes with really interesting concepts, but fall flat due to poor and miserable executions:
    • "Pingy, Pongy, Pick Up" has a great concept of Emily taking laundry out for Sodor's Football Team, but suffered through poor executions.
    • "The Man in the Hills" has a great concept of adding in The Long Man of Wilmington, but suffers through poor execution because it has no understanding what The Long Man of Wilmington is, and it is the your typical "Thomas is an idiot" episode.
    • "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 a great idea of 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.
  29. Some episodes have proven to be bad from the start:
    • "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.
    • "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 snow fall down, snow can fall anyway, even when Thomas is doing work or not.
    • "Don't Go Back" has a plot about Thomas and Diesel racing backwards at a dangerous environment (a quarry), which writes both Thomas and Diesel as the ones who are a bunch of idiots screwing around for no apparent reason.
    • "Push Me, Pull You" has the plot about Skarloey refusing to share Rheneas' train, proving itself that it wants to throw in a bad message to the kids.
    • "Wonky Whistle" (ironically the big main example), while has a great idea of a wonky whistle (obviously), fell off the rails with Thomas causing havoc with a wonky whistle, and the way it's handled is not just predictable to the point you'd be thinking "Oh, I know what's going to happen", it's really frustrating if you can give the episode a watch to see how bad it is.
  30. 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.
  31. Dub 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 exact same thing, but one can't ignore geographic logic that easy.
    • The worst offending case is in Season 15's episodes in the case of the US version of said season whenever the term "railroad" is put in the script of the US dub of an episode of Season 15, it makes the US dub make most of its Sodor characters act as if they are from the United States.
  32. Duck, Stepney, Oliver, and a few other classic characters who had been largely absent from Seasons 8-11 reappeared in Season 12, however, their returns were poorly handled and are complete letdowns:
    • 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, which is odd because the two are seldom seen apart from each other. Bill is completely absent from the season, and after this episode, neither he nor Ben would be seen again until Season 17.
      • Stepney is seen casually waiting at the switch track waiting for Rosie to pass by 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, Even though he was 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. How disappointing is THAT?
    • They are not formally reintroduced, the narration just assumes everyone knows who they are, with no regard to those not familiar with the first 7 seasons, which comes off as a complete insult to those who grew up with those seasons.
    • Their roles are very minor, mostly telling the main character where to go or that the main character messed up, which could be fulfilled by practically anyone. This comes off as very insulting and disrespectful because these characters have very distinct personalities that give them so much potential.
  33. Out of these seasons, Season 15 is arguably the worst of the bunch as it not only has some of the laziest writing ever, but is also home to two of the worst episodes in the series, those being "Wonky Whistle" and "Fiery Flynn".
  34. Christmas being called "Winter Holidays" in almost every Christmas themed episode. This was thankfully fixed in the UK dub, but was left intact in the US until Season 17 for both English dubs.
  35. These seasons did not even have any impact on the Thomas & Friends franchise as a whole, as most of its events and new characters are ignored in Seasons 17-21. You can watch Seasons 1-8, 11 and 17-21 skipping these seasons, and anything too important would not be missed. Not even Seasons 22-24 are neutral to most of the events of those seasons either, no matter how problematic those seasons are at times too, but they are problematic on their own.

Good Qualities

  1. Good animation through much of Seasons 13-16 that is much better than the inconsistent CGI/model hybrid in Season 12, despite using the same angles in some shots and errors.
  2. Some developments and/or improvements have been made for the show during these seasons.
    • The lighting and visuals in S8-12 are a huge step up from previous seasons in the model era.
    • Season 12 is the very first time the characters are given moving faces and lip syncing, which allows them to be more expressive.
    • Season 13 is the very first time the characters are given actual voice acting (excluding Thomas and the Magic Railroad and the Japanese dub) 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 and "Engine Roll Call" are still great, memorable and catchy. The CGI renditions in Seasons 13-16 are also nicely done, as they stay true to the live-action versions. In fact, these CGI renditions are still used during Seasons 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 it shows. Pity the writing couldn't have the same amount of dedication.
  4. As stated earlier, Misty Island and the Logging Locos were thankfully written out since Season 17. Ferdinand appeared as an Easter egg in "Signals Crossed", while "The Way She Does It" mentioned it one time in Season 20, it was only indirectly mentioned in "Big World! Big Adventures!" as a joke.
  5. As brief and pointless as their appearances may have been, it was nonetheless great to see older characters like Duck, Oliver, Toad, Ben, Harvey, and a couple others return in Season 12.
  6. Some characters finally got some redemption in the same era such as the Skarloey engines, Thomas (starting with "Blue Mountain Mystery" and "Happy Birthday, Sir!"), Percy (since "Percy and the Calliope"), and a few others.
  7. Some genuinely good lines, like "Express coming through!", which continues after Season 16.
  8. After these seasons, Miller continued on the series as a voice director in Season 17 and "King of the Railway" after Andrew Brenner took over as head writer, which she does a great job at voice directing.
  9. Thankfully, not all episodes follow the stupid 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. But this is rare since most episodes tend to have that.
  10. The PBS airings of Seasons 8-12 begin by showing a book entitled Thomas the Tank Engine by the Rev. W. Awdry, that opens to Awdry's letter that was the foreword of the Railway Series book #2 (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 quality of the show itself.
  11. 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".
  12. There are still episodes with good morals:
    • Be yourself ("Edward the Hero", "Being Percy", and "Whiff's Wish"),
    • You don't always get what you want ("James the Second Best" and "Pingy, Pongy, Pick Up").
    • Work together (numerous episodes).
    • 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 episodes, such as:
    • "Toby's New Shed"
    • "Keeping Up With James"
    • "Tickled Pink"
    • "Best Friends" (which ended the model era and Season 12 on a high note)
    • "Respect for Gordon"
    • "James the Second Best"
    • "Henry's Health and Safety"
    • "Stuck on You" (depending on your view)
    • "Edward the Hero" (depending on your view)
    • "Duncan and the Old Mine"
    • "Toby's Afternoon Off"
    • "Percy and the Calliope"
    • "James Works It Out (300th episode; depending on your view)
    • "Thomas Tries His Best"
    • "Don't Bother Victor"
    • "Snow Tracks"
    • "Happy Birthday Sir!" (which ended these seasons and the dark age on a high note in production order)
    • "Heave Ho Thomas"
    • "Victor Says Yes"
    • "James in the Dark"
    • "The Biggest Present of All"
    • "A Blooming Mess" (depending on your view)
  14. There are some funny moments and lines such as the narrator saying "All the Hatts were hatless" 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".
  16. Some of the characters are still likable, such as Sir Topham Hatt, Thomas (except in Seasons 12-16), Edward (except in Seasons 11-16), Henry (except Seasons 12-16), Gordon (for the most part), James (except in "James to the Rescue" and "Diesel's Special Delivery"), Whiff, Percy (except in "Day of the Diesels" and Seasons 15-16), Mavis (except in "Bust My Buffers!"), Dowager Hatt (except in "Jitters and Japes"), Haroldm and Cranky. And a few of the new characters introduced in those seasons are also well-written and likeable too, like Hiro, Den, Dart, Paxton, Stafford, Victor, Kevin and so on.
  17. Speaking of James, at least he's an only engine on the Steam Team that didn't really suffer from Flanderization. And Gordon didn't suffer too much Flanderization.
  18. The term 'Winter Holidays' is no longer used in later episodes after a complaint from Hilary Fortman 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.
  19. Very young audiences might enjoy these seasons, and some fans still like these seasons.
  20. Seasons 9, 12 and 16 aren't quite as bad as Season 10 or Seasons 13-15.
    • Seasons 9 and 12 thankfully don't put too much focus on Thomas, unlike Seasons 10 and 13-16. Also, some fans still root for Season 12, as it is the final season of the model era.
    • Season 16 is considered to be a slight improvement by some fans (despite the Logging Locos being shoehorned in and Thomas still being flanderized and still having too much focus) as it has slightly better writing, animation and character chemistry.
  21. Season 11 is a huge improvement over Seasons 9-10 and Seasons 17-21 are a huge improvement over Seasons 12-16.
  22. Without these seasons, we wouldn't have "The Great Discovery", "Hero of the Rails" and "Blue Mountain Mystery", in which these three specials are greatly written compared to "Misty Island Rescue", "Day of the Diesels", and "Calling All Engines".
  23. The "Down at the Station" learning segments are educational, as they teach kids about how railways work.
  24. The crashes are still epic and fun to watch, mostly in Seasons 13-16, despite the unnecessary narration ruining the crashes.
  25. Depending on your view, the lighting is average in Seasons 13-16. Despite the lighting is kinda bad most of the time.

Reception

While Seasons 1-7 (1984-2003 [UK]; 1989-2004 [US]) and Seasons 17-21 (2013-2017) were mostly well received and Season 8 (2004) and Season 11 (2007) received mixed reception, Seasons 9-10 (2005-2006), 12-16 (2008-2012) and Seasons 22-24 (2018-2021) were critically panned by fans and critics and caused the series to undergo a massive seasonal rot for a variety of reasons (see Bad Qualities section). These seasons are also referred to as the "Sharon Miller Era" by many fans. It has gone down as some of the worst examples of Seasonal Rot and Flanderization.

Trivia

  • Pierce Brosnan was originally going to take over as narrator for the series in Season 12 after narrating "The Great Discovery", but Michael Brandon and Michael Angelis continued narrating the US and UK dubs respectively for unknown reasons.
  • Season 12 is the first season for the following things:
    • The first season to have Sharon Miller as head writer.
    • The first season to use CGI animation, though only for the characters faces, humans and animals.
  • Season 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 Seasons 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.
  • Season 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.
  • Season 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.
  • Season 16 is the final season for the following things:
    • The final season animated by Nitrogen Studios.
    • The final season to have Sharon Miller as head writer since Andrew Brenner takes over in Seasons 17-23.
    • The final season 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 Season 22 where Thomas the Tank Engine would be the narrator.

Comments


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206kid

2 months ago
Score 0

Wait a sec....

Why are preschool shows back once again?
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Isaiahrichmon367

2 months ago
Score 1
Thomas and Friends isn't a niche audience show
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Stomps

2 months ago
Score 1
It also appeals to locomotive buffs too.
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Mbad3

5 days ago
Score 0
Because preschool shows can be bad, too, and quite frankly, there really isn't any valid reason for them not to be here.
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Funny

2 months ago
Score 2
Unpopular opinion: I think only the really infamous niche shows (Caillou, Peppa, etc) should be allowed, and they should be created by admins since admins usually make awesome pages, And no episodes should be allowed. Although it will probably never happen since quality control.
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JigglypuffGuy04

2 months ago
Score 1
I somewhat agree with you.
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Master Chief

2 months ago
Score 3
Yeah, Peppa Pig episodes where really starting to clog up the wiki, and I think Trevor did make a pretty decent page about the Bob the Builder reboot, so that sounds like a good idea, however, there where also a few good pages not made by admins like the one for CGI Fireman Sam.
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Funny

2 months ago
Score 1
New Episode Idea: Only well-made pages for infamous episode (eg. Arthur’s Big Hit) would be allowed, along with infamous shows.
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Trashanimal

one month ago
Score 3

Every page on a Peppa Pig episode in a nutshell:

Rainy Day is the 26th episode of Season 8 of Peppa Pig.

Plot

Peppa tries to stay out of the rain.

Why It Sucks

  1. Peppa was being unlikable.
  2. One character has a cringy design and voice.
  3. Clunky animation as usual.
  4. It has a bad moral of disobeying rules.
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Mbad3

one month ago
Score 0
I agree, niche shows can be good or bad just like any other show, and there really isn't a valid reason why they shouldn't be allowed.
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LouBlu08

one month ago
Score 2
Trashanimal, you're missing "The narrator constantly states the obvious".
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Master Chief

2 months ago
Score 2
Can the Thomas & Friends (Big World! Big Adventures!) page be recreated as well?
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Sonicnewacount12

2 months ago
Score 2
Well until October wait until we get a season way worse than this.
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Master Chief

2 months ago
Score 3
Season 25 is gonna make this era look like a masterpiece, heck, it already does! I've been re-watching this era and now I really don't hate it now that I've seen so much worse!
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Zekeman1991

one month ago
Score 0
Seasons 22-24 should also be on here
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Zekeman1991

25 days ago
Score 0
oh right
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EdGuyYT

23 days ago
Score 0
Unpopular opinion: This page should be merged with BWBA (S22-24), so that means “Thomas & Friends (Seasons 12-16, 22-24)”.
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Master Chief

20 days ago
Score 0
I don't think it should, the two eras have very different reasons for why they're bad/average.
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Theguys384

11 days ago
Score 0
The BWBA era is honestly better. Mainly Because of Michael White and some other decent episodes, this era doesn't really have good episodes. I'd argue that even Percy and the Calliope isn't all that good.
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Mbad3

5 days ago
Score 0
Why is this "Thomas & Friends (Seasons 9-10, 12-16)"? It should just be "Thomas & Friends (Seasons 8-16)"
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Dls100

5 days ago
Score 0
Seasons 8 and 11 are considered good by most of the fans.
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Mbad3

one day 20 hours 31 minutes ago
Score 0
Season 8, I get, but 11 seems like it should be here as well...
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Master Chief

5 days ago
Score 0
I cannot believe that Seasons 9-10 are now included with this page! Season 9 was actually really good in my opinion, you had Respect for Gordon, Percy and the Oil Painting, Emily Knows Best, Thomas' Day Off, Mighty Mac, Bold and Brave, the list goes on! I will admit though that Season 10 I never really cared much for.
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Stomps

5 days ago
Score 0
I too liked Season 9 and i thought season 10 and 11 were okay
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Isaiahrichmon367

5 days ago
Score 0
Yeah, i adore seasons 9 and 10, i can't believe that they have been chosen to be labeled as bad.
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Gametoon

4 days ago
Score 0
Maybe 'cause they suck. And in my opinion, season 9 is worse than 10.
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AlfeProblemSolverz

one day 7 hours 52 minutes ago
Score 0
The main reason Seasons 9-10 are on here is that the writing became lazier in these seasons. Tons of Flanderization and more bad episodes. I should also mention that Season 10 is considered by many to be the worst season of the Model Era. (Hell, some people think it's worse than Season 12). That's why I moved it. I should mention that while I am nostalgic for those seasons, Nostalgia doesn't mean good every time. However, if you like these Seasons, good for you. I
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Master Chief

5 days ago
Score 0
what happened to this page?
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Master Chief

4 days ago
Score 0
never mind, it's fixed.

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