"Thomas is a tank engine, who lives at a big station on the Island Of Sodor." - Ringo Starr's opening narration in the series premiere, Thomas and Gordon.

Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends (also referred to as Thomas & Friends or Thomas the Tank Engine) is a British children's television series. It had its first broadcast on the ITV network in 1984. It is based on The Railway Series of books by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry and his son, Christopher Awdry.

These books follow the adventures of a group of anthropomorphised locomotives and road vehicles who live on the fictional Island of Sodor. The books were based on stories Wilbert told to entertain his son, Christopher, during his recovery from measles. Many of the stories from the first four series are based on events from Awdry's personal experiences.

Why It Rocks

  1. The earlier episodes adapt The Railway Series books well, and the original stories are also good to watch.
  2. The idea of talking trains is cool.
  3. A large variety trains such as Thomas (of course), Gordon, James, Percy, the list goes on...
  4. The models in the model series look well done.
  5. Well-done narration. Not to mention, in the model series, the first narrator was none other than the former drummer of The Beatles, Ringo Starr!
  6. Likable main protagonist (except for Seasons 13-16).
  7. All of the theme songs are catchy.
  8. The animation used since Season 13 looks nice (especially from Season 17 onward).
  9. It even spawned a theatrical movie and a ton of Direct-to-DVD movies (though some of them weren't well-received by both fans and critics).

Bad Qualities

  1. Seasons 13-16 weren't very well-received, despite the good CGI animation from Nitrogen Studios.
  2. Seasons 8-12 were not well-received either, as season eight was considered the season that started the seasonal rot as it went on to Calling All Engines!
  3. In the model series, the characters' mouths don't move (except for Season 12, where the models have CGI faces masked onto them).
  4. Some characters (those who never appeared in the Railway Series, the show's book origin series) have been receiving a lot of negative feedback, such as Billy, Charlie, Bash, Dash, Ferdinand, etc., for either being incredibly annoying or having unlikable personalities.