The world's most iconic blue engine, Thomas the Tank Engine, is gearing up for even bigger and better adventures in his brand-new series premiering from Monday 3rd September on ABC Kids. The revamped series, which sees Thomas traveling farther than ever before, takes kids on a journey of wonder and curiosity as he travels around the world to discover and learn about new countries and cultures and, of course, making lots of new friends along the way!
This is the first time that Thomas & Friends™ fans will be able to watch the eagerly anticipated, fully updated series featuring many exciting changes and additions to bring the onscreen action up-to-date for the 21st Century. This includes brilliant new engines and beautiful locations, giving the show a truly global feel for the first time ever – whilst ensuring all the favorite characters and storylines that fans around the world love, remain at the heart of the action.
The faster paced 26 x 11-minute episodes take Thomas to all four corners of the globe, with episodes set in China (5 episodes), India (4 episodes) and here in Australia (4 episodes), whilst the other half of the series is set on Island of Sodor.
Adding to the action and contemporary feel of the new show, episodes will include new music and more humour than previously seen on the show. There are also new international friends and animals to learn about as Thomas experiences them first-hand, whilst the exciting fantasy elements that are included will capture the imagination of preschoolers around the world.
A new Steam Team will also be unveiled in the series, with Thomas joined by two new strong female characters, Nia from Kenya and Rebecca from the mainland as well as familiar faces Percy, James, Gordon and Emily. Classic characters Henry and Edward will continue to be featured in many of the storylines whilst they move to new sheds and join other friends around Sodor.
Among the exciting changes is the brand-new theme tune – an energetic and catchy song that reflects the vibrant new content and Steam Team. And just to reassure fans; the classic "Roll Call" song will still be heard in more than half of episodes in this new series as part of the new sing-a-long element that will end each episode. Additionally, for the first time ever, Thomas will become the narrator himself, speaking directly to viewers and helping to propel them into the heart of the action where they can join Thomas in learning important life lessons as he travels around the globe. Jump aboard and take your seat as you are invited to join Thomas & Friends on their new whirlwind adventures! Catch Big World! Big Adventures!" from Tuesday 5th September exclusively on ABC kids.
Kieran Murphy, spokesperson for Thomas & Friends, says: "The new series will bring the world into a child's living room as Thomas take us with him on his epic adventures around the globe as he visits different countries and experiences the diverse cultures the world has to offer. The series is entertaining, fun and will help children discover and learn about the bigger world with a trusted friend."
As part of the redevelopment of Thomas & Friends content, Mattel collaborated with the United Nations to incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the new series content. Through a series of workshops held at the UN Headquarters, Thomas & Friends writers and producers worked with UN experts to select 5 SGDs to be incorporated in the new series that were the most appropriate for a preschool audience and natural to the Thomas & Friends brand values to inspire the next generation of global citizens.