Thomas & Friends (Series 22) (Johnsonverse)

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The twenty-second series of Thomas & Friends aired in 2018.

This series abolished the concept of the Steam Team, with the Engine Roll Call no longer playing at the end of each episode (though an instrumental version is still used as the series' theme), and saw the introduction of Nia, an orange engine from Kenya, and Rebecca, a green engine from the Mainland, both of whom are recurring characters. Most of the episodes in this season were written by Tim Johnson, who applied his vast knowledge of British railway practices to educate children, and there was a push for more Awdry characters and stories.

Originally, the season was to see a complete retool called Big World! Big Adventures! that was vetoed by Tim on the grounds that "fake interactivity, globalism, and feminism have no place in the main series", the former referring to a plan that would have had Thomas narrate every episode, abolishing the use of an offscreen narrator, and the latter referring to a plan to remove Edward, Henry, and Toby from the Steam Team in favor of Nia and Rebecca, who was going to be yellow until Tim pointed out that engines in her basis were painted green rather than yellow; there were also plans to have Thomas narrate the stories, eliminating the offscreen narrator entirely (Tim also vetoed the "bouncing" movements that were going to be introduced in 2017's Journey Beyond Sodor, and even questioned, "Why turn Thomas into another Chuggington?").

Season 22 also saw the elimination of the US voice cast, as Tim thought the idea of British trains speaking with American accents was "too absurd". The US recordings for reruns of all prior episodes, including episodes from Seasons 13 to 16, were also replaced with the original British voices, though the narration was retroactively redubbed by current narrator Mark Moraghan, as Johnson felt that Michael Angeles "was just phoning it in and not caring after the 1990s".

Finally, starting in this season, the show moved from its longtime home of PBS to The Hub, airing in its Saturday morning block, for American airings, while reruns stopped airing on Sprout, moving over to The Hub as well.

Episodes

  1. The Green Engine (written by Davey Moore): Gordon becomes jealous of a new engine named Rebecca, fearing she'll replace him on the express.
  2. The Orange Engine (written by Andrew Brenner): Nia's first day on the Kirk Ronan Branchline doesn't go quite as she expected.
  3. An Engine of Many Colors (written by Michael White): James imagines himself in many colors.
  4. Super Rescue (written by the Rev. W. Awdry; adapted by Tim Johnson): Two diesels, D199 and D7101, come from The Other Railway on trial.
  5. Mountain Engine (written by the Rev. W. Awdry; adapted by Tim Johnson): Skarloey, Rheneas, and Sir Handel meet an unusual engine named Culdee.
  6. Bad Look-Out (written by the Rev. W. Awdry; adapted by Tim Johnson): After being told off by Mr. Percival, Duncan hears the story of Godred.
  7. Danger Points (written by the Rev. W. Awdry, adapted by Tim Johnson): Culdee returns to the Culdee Fell Railway, where he meets a pompous superheated engine named Lord Harry.
  8. Devil's Back (written by the Rev. W. Awdry; adapted by Tim Johnson): Stripped of his name, No. 6 has to brave a gale on the Devil's Back to help some injured climbers.
  9. Old Stuck-Up (written by Christopher Awdry; adapted by Tim Johnson): The engines have to put up with yet another rude diesel from The Other Railway.
  10. What Rebecca Does (written by Davey Moore): Rebecca is worried that, unlike the other engines, there is nothing special about her.
  11. School of Duck (written by Lee Pressman): When a storm destroys a classroom at Harwick School, Duck tries to find a coach to take the children in.
  12. Apology Impossible (written by Becky Overton): Philip learns that sometimes even the smallest engine's actions can make them the bigger engine.
  13. Oliver and the Autocoaches (written by Tim Johnson): Oliver is given a pair of GWR Autocoaches, one of whom is his old autocoach Isabel. However, Isabel and the other autocoach, Dulcie, refuse to cooperate, leading to a near-disaster with Bulgy.
  14. The Case of the Puzzling Parts (written by Davey Moore): Sidney is shunting a flatbed of engine parts, but he cannot remember what he is supposed to be doing with them. Paxton thinks this sounds like a kind of mystery that can only be solved by a Special Agent.
  15. Hunt the Truck (written by Michael White): Bill and Ben's latest game consists of hiding trucks and making other engines hunt for them.
  16. Stop Thief! (written by Christopher Awdry; adapted by Tim Johnson): Thomas and his crew pursue a band of thieves who stole the Ffarquhar stationmaster's gardening trophies and new car.
  17. Triple-Header (written by Christopher Awdry; adapted by Tim Johnson): When Gordon and Henry are put out of commission, it rests on Thomas, Percy, and Duck to pull the express to Crovan's Gate.
  18. High-Speed Engines (written by Tim Johnson): Gordon, Spencer, Rebecca, Conner, and Caitlin feel threatened when a shiny new InterCity 125 named Pip and Emma visits Sodor.
  19. Gordon Goes Foreign (written by the Rev. W. Awdry; adapted by Tim Johnson): After having an argument with Duck and a mainland engine over the station in London, Gordon plots to go there to prove that King's Cross is the London station. Originally, the story was going to be adapted for the Classic Series, but it proved too expensive.
  20. Seeing is Believing (written by Andrew Brenner): Thomas's friend Merlin comes to Sodor from the Mainland for the first time, and Percy wants to see him.
  21. Samson and the Fireworks (written by Lee Pressman): Samson is terrified of fireworks, and when he mistakes the sound of a warning detonator for fireworks, he is so frightened that he races off into the fog and gets lost.
  22. Forever and Ever (written by Andrew Brenner and Tim Johnson): Gordon has a tantrum about the rampant modernization, which comes to a head when his beloved express coaches are demoted to local trains and replaced on the express by BR Mark 1 coaches. But the new coaches show him that change isn't bad, especially if it benefits the passengers and goods clients.
  23. Counting on Nia (written by Lee Pressman): Nia is a really clever engine and knows about all sorts of things, but when the Fat Controller asks her to take a rake of Mark 1 coaches and pick up passengers from Knapford Station, Nia has great trouble finding the right platform.
  24. Bulgy's Judgement Day (written by Tim Johnson): After being severely scolded by the Fat Controller, Bulgy has a vivid nightmare which opens his eyes to the many, many disadvantages of road travel.
  25. Derek (written by Tim Johnson): Back from the works after a long repair job, Derek becomes the goods diesel on the Harwick Branchline while Ryan becomes the passenger engine and Daisy returns to Thomas' branch. But are Derek's teething troubles truly gone?
  26. The Animal Ark (written by Lee Pressman): It's Christmas and the boiler at the Animal Park breaks down, so Stanley and Rosie need to find a way to keep the animals warm.

Characters

  • Thomas
  • Edward
  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Percy
  • Toby
  • Duck
  • Donald and Douglas
  • Oliver
  • Emily
  • Bill and Ben
  • Mavis
  • Diesel
  • Spencer
  • Harvey
  • Salty
  • Porter
  • Rosie
  • Whiff
  • Stanley
  • Belle
  • Daisy
  • BoCo
  • Paxton
  • Philip
  • Sidney
  • Victor
  • Murdoch
  • Arthur
  • Molly
  • Neville
  • Ryan
  • Sampson
  • Dart
  • Marion
  • Derek
  • The Flying Scotsman
  • Merlin
  • Skarloey
  • Rheneas
  • Sir Handel
  • Duncan
  • Annie and Clarabel
  • Henrietta
  • Rocky
  • Hannah
  • Judy and Jerome
  • Bradford
  • Toad
  • Trevor
  • Cranky
  • Carly
  • Reg
  • Bertie
  • Bulgy
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • Lady Hatt
  • Stephen Hatt
  • Bridget Hatt
  • Dowager Hatt
  • Cyril the Fogman
  • The Foreman
  • The Duke and Duchess of Boxford
  • Mr. Bubbles (not named; does not speak)
  • Slip Coaches (do not speak)
  • Charlie (cameo)
  • Scruff (cameo)
  • Stephen (cameo)
  • Winston (cameo)
  • Peter Sam (cameo)
  • Luke (cameo)
  • Jack (cameo)
  • Caroline (cameo)
  • Merrick (cameo)
  • Owen (cameo)
  • Big Mickey (cameo)
  • Jem Cole (cameo)
  • The Thin Clergyman (cameo)
  • Farmer McColl (cameo)
  • The Mayor of Sodor (cameo)
  • Captain Joe (cameo)
  • The Tree Specialists (cameo)
  • The Bird Watcher (cameo
  • Two Schoolchildren (cameo)
  • The Ginger-haired Boy (cameo)
  • Sodor United Football Team (cameo)
  • One of Dowager Hatt's Friends (cameo)
  • Albert's Wife (cameo)
  • The Great Railway Show Judge (cameo)

Characters introduced

  • Nia
  • Rebecca
  • Bear
  • Spamcan
  • Godred
  • Ernest
  • Wilfred
  • Culdee
  • Shane Dooiney (mentioned)
  • Lord Harry/ No. 6/Patrick
  • Eric (does not speak)
  • Alaric (does not speak)
  • Dexter
  • Isabel
  • Dulcie
  • Pip and Emma
  • Old Stuck-Up
  • The Mark 1 Coaches