The new series is a term used for the HiT Entertainment produced seasons of Thomas and Friends. Season 8 introduced many new changes to the series: the new title sequence features a new theme tune based on the song Engine Rollcall; the series features newer models with different paintwork, new facial expressions and more dynamic camera work; the episodes are now longer, being seven and a half minutes long; and the series, when aired on television, is often split into thirty-minute blocks with three episodes, educational puzzles and songs and "Engine Rollcall" played at the end.
The new series is very different from the old series and often includes recycled plots, such as Henry again requiring "special coal", and the engines appearing to have the ability to move without a crew. The series also introduces more female characters, which the lack of in the "classic series" was criticised.
There is debate among fans of the old and new formats; but, as with many television series with different formats, there will always be differences of opinion.
Starting with season 12, CGI was added to the "new series" in the form of people, animals, and the character's faces. After that everything was animated in CGI, causing more debate. This time models vs. CGI.