The third season of the television series first premiered on VHS in 1991 in the UK before airing on TV. It first aired in the US in 1991 on Shining Time Station, with the last 10 episodes following in 1993. The whole season first aired in the UK from February to July 1992. All twenty-six episodes were narrated by Michael Angelis in the UK and by George Carlin in the US and New Zealand.

Production Edit

Before production of the third season, Clearwater Features closed down, with The Britt Allcroft Company becoming the sole producer. Producer Robert D. Cardona left before series 3, and Britt Allcroft took his place as co-producer alongside David Mitton. According to Robert Gauld-Galliers, "Gordon Goes Foreign" was originally planned to be filmed into an episode, but it wasn't because of high budgets.

The series was a combination of episodes derived from the Railway Series, magazines stories (written by the series' current head writer, Andrew Brenner), and a couple of original stories by Allcroft and Mitton. One of the primary reasons for diverging from the original books was that many of the stories not yet used featured large numbers of new characters, which would be expensive to produce. Another was that the producers wanted more stories about Thomas, the nominal main character. The Rev. W. Awdry noticed the more loose adaptions and disapproved of the new stories citing they were unrealistic.

Episodes Edit

Screenshot UK title (top)

US title (bottom)

Original UK release date Episode number #
"A Scarf for Percy" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

25th February 1992 (ITV)

Based on the story "Percy and the Trousers" from Henry the Green Engine.

To keep their mind off the cold, Thomas and Percy talk about scarves. Later, Percy sees workmen wearing scarves and he longs for one to keep his funnel warm. However, when Percy goes to play a trick on the coaches, he accidentally gets his wish in a way he didn't expect.

"Percy's Promise" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

3rd March 1992 (ITV)

Based on the story of the same name from Percy the Small Engine.

Percy makes a promise to Thomas, that he'll bring the Vicar's Sunday Class home safely. As he finishes his last job, he returns back to the station, where Annie and Clarabel are waiting. However, a heavy storm rages across the island and before long, Percy is in a flood so big that the water leaks in and douses his fire.

"Time for Trouble" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

17th March 1992 (ITV)

Based on the story "Double Header" from The Eight Famous Engines.

The Fat Controller decides to give Gordon a rest, and James takes over his work. Meanwhile, Toby goes to the works, but thanks to a neglectful signalman and a small water tank, he is left stranded on the Main Line. James is furious when he finds out that he has to push Toby and pull the Express to the works.

"Gordon and the Famous Visitor" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

24th March 1992 (ITV)

Based on the story "Domeless Engines" from Duck and the Diesel Engine.

City of Truro, the first engine to go more than 100 miles an hour, visits Sodor. He becomes the centre of attention and Duck quickly befriends him. Gordon is jealous of the visitor's high-speed record and wants to prove he's just as special. He attempts to go as fast as him, only to have his dome blown off.

"Donald's Duck" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

31st March 1992 (ITV)

Based on the story of the same name from Oliver the Western Engine.

Duck has been working hard and as a reward the Fat Controller gives him his own branch line. He is conceited about his responsibility, until Donald loses patience and starts teasing Duck. Thanks to his driver and fireman, Duck is able to get his own back, but it's Donald who has the last laugh.

"Thomas Gets Bumped" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

7th April 1992 (ITV)

Based on the magazine stories "Hello, Thomas!" and "A Bump on the Line".

Thomas is late after taking some children home when their school bus breaks down, and Thomas is afraid he will be replaced. He is very disappointed when the rails on his branch line buckle and he is sent to shunt in the yard while Bertie the bus takes his passengers until the bumpy track is repaired.

"Thomas, Percy and the Dragon" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

7th April 1992 (ITV)

Based on the magazine stories "Percy's Night Out" and "Percy and the Dragon".

Thomas and Percy are friends, but Percy thinks it is funny to tease Thomas about being frightened, remembering the time he pretended to be a ghost and scared Thomas. But the next night, Thomas has to take a paper Chinese Dragon and as Percy sees it, he gets frightened and realises it's no fun being scared.

"Diesel Does it Again" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

14th April 1992 (ITV)

Based on the magazine stories "Trouble in the Harbour Yard", "Bumps" and "Diesel's Race".

Percy and Duck are struggling to cope with their work at the harbour, so help is called in. They are horrified when Diesel returns. They're forced to give him a chance, but have to decide whether to speak up when he acts roughly and causes trouble. Diesel, thinking he can get away with anything, carelessly pushes several trucks into the sea.

"Henry's Forest" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

14th April 1992 (ITV)

Based on the magazine stories "Henry's Forest" and "Clearing Up".

Henry loves going to the forest to admire the scenery, but that is soon lost when the forest is decimated by a fierce storm. In order to make Henry feel happy again, the Fat Controller arranges for Toby, Terence, and Trevor to plant new trees and replace the damaged ones.

"The Trouble with Mud" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

21st April 1992 (ITV)

Based on the story "Leaves" from Gordon the Big Engine.

Gordon is given goods work after refusing to get a wash down and spraying James with mud. He is too muddy to pull the Express, making James very boastful about getting the job. He becomes so conceited he doesn't pay attention to Gordon's warning about the muddy leaves on the hill.

"No Joke for James" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

21st April 1992 (ITV)

Based on the magazine stories "The Express" and "A Passenger for James".

James gloats to Gordon that the Fat Controller has plans for him, but James is only bragging. One day, he lies to Thomas that he'll be pulling the Express while Gordon has to take his trucks, but is soon found out and banished to the shed. James is soon let out, and does his to best to redeem himself.

"Thomas, Percy and the Post Train"

"Thomas, Percy and the Mail Train"

11th November 1991 (VHS)

28th April 1992 (ITV)

Based on the magazine stories "The Post Train" and "After the Last Train".

At night, Thomas and Percy have the important job of transporting the mail, but they are afraid that Harold will start stealing their traffic. Their fears, however, are dispelled after Thomas takes an important visitor home and bad weather grounds Harold.

"Trust Thomas" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

28th April 1992 (ITV)

Based on the magazine story "Bertie's Bumpy Roads".

Bertie loses his trust in the railway's service after it failed to deliver tar to mend the roads. Meanwhile, Gordon convinces James to pretend being sick so he won't have to shunt. Thomas offers to pull James' trucks while trying to keep his promise to Bertie to get tar delivered, but trouble ensues.

"Mavis" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

5th May 1992 (ITV)

Based on the story of the same name from Tramway Engines.

The quarry has a new diesel named Mavis, who is full of her own ideas. Despite being inexperienced, she refuses to take wise old Toby's advice. Soon she gets stuck at the level crossing with the Troublesome Trucks, blocking the roadway. Toby comes to her rescue, and Mavis is left feeling very angry and embarrassed.

"Toby's Tightrope" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

5th May 1992 (ITV)

Based on the story of the same name from Tramway Engines.

Mavis has been confined to the quarry and is bitter about not being allowed on Toby's line, so she makes a plan with the Troublesome Trucks to go further down the line. However, things go wrong when Toby arrives instead. Toby is then put in grave danger when the trucks push him onto a unsafe bridge.

"Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party" 11th November 1991 (VHS)

12th May 1992 (ITV)

Based on the magazine stories "The Vicar's Fete" and "Edward and the Vicar".

The Vicar is hosting a garden party so all Sunday school children can go to the beach in the summer, and Edward is determined to help in the any way he can. Meanwhile Bertie teases Trevor about being old, but when he gets trapped in thick mud Trevor, with the help of Terence, comes to his rescue.

"Buzz, Buzz"

"James Goes Buzz Buzz"

12th May 1992 #17
Based on the story of the same name from Main Line Engines.

James boasts to Duck and BoCo about not being afraid of bees. But James' words don't come in handy when a beehive is broken by a porter and the bees cause havoc, forcing him to find a solution to get rid of the bees.

"All at Sea" 19th May 1992 #18
While watching the local regatta, Duck wishes to sail

across the horizon despite Percy's comments. But after helping Harold deliver an injured sailor to hospital, he is reminded of how being on rails is still useful. Nowadays, Duck still dreams about traveling to the horizon, but appreciates that engines need their rails.

"One Good Turn..." 26th May 1992 #19
Based on the magazine stories "Head On" and "Pulling Together".

As reward for their hard work, Bill and Ben are allowed to have a go on the turntable. Unfortunately, Bill is sent onto the same line as Ben and they end up buffer to buffer. Each badmouths the other for the incident, and they decide to give each other the silent treatment, which creates a poor atmosphere in the yard. BoCo formulates a plan to resolve their problems.

"Tender Engines" 2nd June 1992 #20
Based on the story "Tenders for Henry" from Enterprising Engines.

A double-tendered engine arrives, and Gordon becomes envious, especially when the others tease him against taking too many resources for himself. Although Gordon overcomes his problems, Henry boasts he deserves an extra tender for his hard work but Duck brings him back down to earth.

"Escape!" 9th June 1992 #21
Based on the stories "Escape" and "Little Western" from Enterprising Engines.

Edward points out to Douglas that and Trevor was spared from becoming scrap-metal and that help of another engine is needed. Douglas, who narrowly escaped the fate himself, is inspired that night to rescue Oliver, a Great Western engine and a brake van named Toad whom are stranded at the scrapyards.

"Oliver Owns Up" 16th June 1992 #22
Based on the story "Resource and Sagacity" from Oliver the Western Engine.

Oliver is new to the Island, and all the engines complimenting his courage makes him conceited. He pays no attention to Duck's warning about being careful with the Troublesome Trucks when he's asked to handle them for his next job and gets in a nasty accident in the turntable well. He pays dearly for it.

"Bulgy" 23rd June 1992 #23
Based on the story of the same name from Oliver the Western Engine.

Duck meets Bulgy, a double-decker bus who is very opposed to railways. Bulgy, and his friend steal Duck and Oliver's passengers by pretending to be a "railway bus" and taking them on an attempted shortcut. But what he doesn't realise is that a collapsing bridge has inadequate clearance.

"Heroes" 30th June 1992 #24
Based on the magazine stories "In a Muddle" and "Heroes".

Bill and Ben mistrust a group of trucks into telling them how to set up things at the harbor station causing confusion and delay. However, they become heroes after saving the workers when a rock-slide suddenly strikes the clay works.

"Percy, James and the Fruitful Day" 7th July 1992 #25
Based on the magazine story "Percy Gets Jammed".

James is rude towards Percy and doesn't care that Percy's freight-trucks are the reason he's late. So Percy is smug when James brakes down while collecting fruit-trucks and he pull the train instead. Trying to hurry himself to show off, Percy gets into an embarrassing accident with the cargo.

"Thomas and Percy's

Christmas Adventure"
"Thomas and Percy's Mountain Adventure"

14th July 1992 #26
Thomas and Percy aren't happy about dividing the jobs of

mail-delivery and visiting the Mountain Village for Christmas, but things are worse for everybody when they find out that the village is cut off by snow.

Cancelled episodes Edit

Screenshot UK title (top)

US title (bottom)

Original release date Episode number #

"Gordon Goes Foreign" n/a n/a
Based on the story of the same name from "The Eight Famous Engines".

After an argument with a big city engine over what the name of a station on the Other Railway is, Gordon is determined to find out.

Specials Edit

Screenshot UK title (top)

US title (bottom)

Original release date Episode number #
"Thomas and the U.K. Trip" 4th December 1992 (Japan only) n/a
Two children's television characters from Japan,

Gachapin and Mukku, visit the United Kingdom. During their visit, they come to Sodor to meet Thomas, Sir Topham Hatt, and the other engines. During the second half, they visit real railways and learn how steam locomotives work.

Music Videos Edit

  • Thomas' Anthem (with footage from Season 3 only)
  • I'm Thomas the Tank Engine (Japan only)

Characters Edit

  • Thomas
  • Edward
  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Percy
  • Toby
  • Duck
  • Donald and Douglas
  • Bill and Ben
  • Diesel
  • BoCo
  • Annie and Clarabel
  • Terence
  • Bertie
  • Trevor
  • Harold
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • The Vicar of Wellsworth
  • Jeremiah Jobling (not named)
  • Jem Cole (not named)
  • Henrietta (speaks only in Finnish dub; does not speak in English dubs)
  • Lady Hatt (not named; does not speak)
  • Stephen Hatt (cameo)
  • Bridget Hatt (cameo)
  • Mrs. Kyndley (cameo)
  • Farmer Finney (cameo)
  • The Märklin Engine (cameo; scrapped only)
  • The Ffarquhar Stationmaster's Wife (cameo)
  • Percy's Ghost Engine (mentioned)
  • The Firelighter (mentioned)
  • Father Christmas (mentioned in the UK version)
  • Daisy (mentioned in music video)

Characters introduced Edit

  • Oliver
  • Mavis
  • Bulgy
  • The Chinese Dragon
  • The New Signalman
  • The Railway Foreman
  • The Quarry-master
  • Toad (does not speak)
  • The Railway Society (do not speak)
  • The Injured Sailor (does not speak)
  • City of Truro (not named; does not speak)
  • Flying Scotsman (not named; tenders and cab only; does not speak)
  • Farmer Trotter (cameo)
  • Bulgy's Friend (mentioned)
  • Big City Engine (dropped)

Trivia Edit

  • This was the first season of several things:
    • The first season narrated by Michael Angelis in the UK and

George Carlin in the US, and the first narrated by the latter that had not been previously released with Ringo Starr's narrations.

    • The first season to have episodes not based on material by either Awdry.
    • Britt Allcroft's first season as producer.
    • Angus Wright's first season as executive producer.
    • The first season to use Rockwell font.
    • The first season to feature TUGS models.
    • This season was the first to use the EMU Proteus 2 Orchestral

to create the music. However, some of the music made with the Roland Jupiter 6 synthesizer for the first and second season was used.

    • The first season dubbed in Finnish.
    • The first season to introduce music videos.
    • The first season to have slow motion effects.
    • The first season to have material released on home video before it was broadcast on TV.
    • In the US, this is the first season to not have a Christmas themed season finale.
  • The biggest space of time between two seasons airing is

between Season 2 and Season 3. Season 2 first aired back in 1986, and Season 3 in 1992.

  • Gordon Goes Foreign was originally going to be an episode in

this season, but it was cancelled for being too high budget. It is unknown if any of the other episodes made for this season have replaced it.

  • In the Ukrainian version, Michael Angelis and George Carlin's

voices can be heard in the background, as a dubbing track wasn't used. The first thirteen episodes have George Carlin's voice while the last thirteen episodes have Michael Angelis' voice. Angelis is also credited as narrator in the first 13 Season 3 episodes despite Carlin's narration in the background and the episode being redubbed.

  • For much of the season, Tidmouth Sheds appears to be much

larger on the inside than usual. While all the exterior scenes depict the shed with the usual six berths, there are nine tracks seen in most interior views.

  • This is the only season that has George Carlin's narration on

VHS in New Zealand. However when the Season 3 episodes were aired in New Zealand, Michael Angelis' narration was used instead. This is also the case when The Complete Third Series was released on DVD in New Zealand.

  • Model maker John Holmes did not receive credit for working on this season until 1992.
  • At the very end of Michael Angelis' early narrations, the

credits were shown with a still of the final shot of each episode. When shown on TV and in future video and DVD releases, the credits were shown alongside a still of Thomas.

  • This was the last season to be shown on ITV until 2003 when Season 6 was shown.
  • From Thomas Gets Bumped to Buzz, Buzz,

each CiTV broadcast featured two episodes compiled into one 10 minute block. The difference here was that only the title card for the second episode was shown after the first episode.

  • This season was produced in association with Fuji Television Network, Inc.,

as indicated by a message at the end of each episode. In 1991 airings, the message is in white, while in 1992 airings, it is yellow.

  • According to The Thomas the Tank Engine Man, it cost £1.3 million to produce all 26 episodes.
  • It was during this season that footage of Tidmouth Sheds was shot uniquely for the Japanese-exclusive special Thomas and the U.K. Trip.