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EPISODE NOTES- SERIES 1

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The first series of Thomas & Friends started airing on 9th October 1984 in the UK. Ringo Starr narrated all twenty-six episodes in the UK, later re-narrating twenty-five in the US for Shining Time StationGeorge Carlin later re-narrated the entire series for the US. 

Every episode in Series 1 was based on a story by the Rev. W. Awdry, with the exception of an episode written by the staff, Thomas' Christmas Party, the book based on said episode being commissioned by the staff so as to have every episode in print form first. The stories were adapted for television by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton. The seven engines introduced in this series became the core of the cast in later series.

1. THOMAS AND GORDON

Denham: 6.5 / 10

Connor: 8 / 10

A good pilot with a lot of detail, but would be more appreciated with the fore-knowledge of the show and books.

2. EDWARD AND GORDON

Denham: 8 / 10

Connor: 7.5 / 10

A mature classic, lots of memorable and cheeky moments.

3. THE SAD STORY OF HENRY

Denham: 6 / 10

Connor: 8 / 10 

A very melancholy story with dark elements. Very uncomfortable for an outsider to watch on its own. 

4. edward, gordon and henry

Denham: 7.5 / 10

Connor: 8 / 10

A sweet conclusion to the first of the trilogy arc. 

Denham: 7 / 10

Connor: 8.5 / 10

Parry: 8 / 10

A picturesque episode that makes the Island of Sodor feel very big and bare at this point in time. 

There is a lot of growth in Thomas' character from here.

5. thomas' train

6. THOMAS AND THE TRUCKS

Denham: 6 / 10

Connor: 5 / 10

Parry: 6 / 10

The story isn't very insightful, lots of B-Roll footage with a climax that doesn't lead to much. 

7. THOMAS AND THE BREAKDOWN TRAIN

Denham: 8 / 10

Connor: 8.5 / 10

Parry: 8 / 10

What has happened so far in the series feels like it comes full circle here. 

Often a very highly regarded episode. 

8. James & the Coaches

Denham: 8 / 10

Connor: 7/ 10

Parry: 7 / 10

A good examination of James’ character and his vanity, but could use some greater detail.

9. TROUBLESOME TRUCKS

Denham: 8 / 10

Connor: 7.5 / 10

Parry: 7 / 10

Brilliantly develops James’ character. Great production values and detail in the visuals.

10. JAMES & THE EXPRESS

Denham: 8 / 10

Connor: 8 / 10

Parry:  8 / 10

A hidden gem of the first series, with fantastic character development and narration.

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11. THOMAS & THE GUARD

Denham:  7 / 10

Connor:  6.5 / 10

Parry:  9 / 10

Provides solid exposition for Thomas and his branch line, although it’s a little light on story. “Top tier”, says Parry. 

12. THOMAS GOES FISHING

Denham:  7.5  / 10

Connor:  8 / 10

Parry:  8 / 10

Really entertaining, with a wacky sense of humour. Brilliant use of music.

13. THOMAS, terence & the snow

Denham:  8  / 10

Connor:  8.5  / 10

Parry:  9 / 10

The snowy landscapes are the most appealing element here; Thomas’ crash is spectacular.

14. THOMAS & BERTIE

Denham:  7  / 10

Connor:  6  / 10

Parry:  7 / 10

Surprisingly political for a Thomas story. Dialogue heavy, a lot of exposition.

15. TENDERS & TURNTABLES

Denham:  9  / 10

Connor:  9.5  / 10

Parry:  9 / 10

Such a charmer, with delectable music, modelling, sound editing, and neat little touches here and there.

16. TROUBLE IN THE SHED

Denham:  8  / 10

Connor:  7.5  / 10

Parry:  7.5 / 10

Offers some interesting parallels and unexpectedly nuanced discussions, but the morals are rather vague.

Denham:  7  / 10

Connor:  7.5  / 10

Parry:  7 / 10

Overstuffed with story and somewhat haphazard, though still enjoyable.

17. PERCY RUNS AWAY

Denham:  6.5  / 10

Connor:  7 / 10

Parry:  6 / 10

Fantastic music and majestic visuals, albeit light on story.

18. coal

Denham:  10  / 10

Connor:  10 / 10

Parry:  10 / 10

The most epic episode of Series One. Exceptional music, effects, detail and pacing.

19. THE FLYING KIPPER

20. WHISTLES & SNEEZES

Denham:  6.5  / 10

Connor:  6.5 / 10

Parry:  8 / 10

Decently combines two Awdry stories. Great dialogue, utilises music and visuals effectively.​​

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21. TOBY & THE STOUT GENTLEMAN

Denham:  10  / 10

Connor:  5.5 / 10

Parry:  6 / 10

A somewhat grim tale, with great scenery and music.

22. thomas in trouble

Denham:  6.5  / 10

Connor:  5.5 / 10

Parry:  6 / 10

A low-key story with a hefty amount of human interaction. Needs more Toby.

23. dirty objects

Denham:  7.5  / 10

Connor:  7 / 10

Parry:  8 / 10

 A grand conclusion to the Toby Trilogy of stories, with a great crash.

24. OFF THE RAILS 

Denham:  6  / 10

Connor:  6.5 / 10

Parry:  8 / 10

Too little story and too much filler. The effects are great though.

25. down the mine

Denham:  7  / 10

Connor:  8 / 10

Parry:  8 / 10

The narrative comes full-circle. Remarkable set design and narration.

26. THOMAS & THE CHRISTMAS PARTY

Denham:  9  / 10

Connor:  9 / 10

Parry:  8 / 10

 A wonderful, wholesome end to the first series.