The revamped ‘Thomas and Friends: Big World! Big Adventures!’ sees the iconic blue engine Thomas traveling farther than ever before.
Thomas is also a hit on the big-screen with more than ten feature films produced
The rebooted show will take kids on a journey of wonder and curiosity as Thomas the tank engine adventures around the world to discover and learn about new countries and cultures.
The programme will have a more contemporary feel, a brand-new theme tune and a refreshed Steam Team to include three girls and three boy engines, and Thomas, ensuring gender equality across the show, increasing global appeal for preschool viewers. This all-new format series will feature faster-paced action, increased humour and music, new international friends, animals and exciting fantasy elements.
Channel 5 note that key highlights from the forthcoming series include new locations which will see for the first time in the series’ history Thomas leave Sodor to travel further, experiencing and discovering new cultures and countries, including China, India and Australia. There will also be new characters with the introduction of the first African steam engine from Kenya called Nia – first seen in Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie, Rebecca, a new member of the Steam Team and other international characters from around the world, including Ashima from India, Yong Bao from China and Shane from Australia.
Henry and Edward will move out of the Tidmouth Sheds to live in other parts of Sodor, making way for the new girl engines. The producers’ latest research shows that in the top markets girls represents at least 40% of the viewership, so this key change will deepen their engagement and provide a purposeful message on gender inclusivity to Channel 5’s young audience. The new Steam Team will consist of: Thomas, Percy, James, Gordon, Emily, and new characters Nia and Rebecca.
Now iconic theme tunes are hard to find, many shows have changed them for inferior versions, and we all remember the Thomas and Friends theme from the days when Ringo Starr was the narrator and the show aired on ITV, sadly it was dropped a long while ago for the ‘roll call’ song. So its a brave move for bosses to introduce yet another a new theme tune to the revamped show. They however describe the tune as energetic, introduced to reflect the new content and Steam Team. However they also tell us that fans of the sung ‘roll call’ song will be pleased to hear that this tune will remain on track as it pops up during some of the musical segments within a number of episodes.
There is also a change to the pace of the programme. The eleven-minute episodes feature shorter-scenes with increased humour and fantasy sequences summarised with a “life lesson”, like Jerry Springer we assume, delivered directly by Thomas – this is the first time Thomas has spoken directly to the audience. Each episode will also contain one sing-along song.
Thomas & Friends™: Big World! Big Adventures!, 7am, daily on Milkshake, from 3rd September 2018 on Channel 5