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The twenty-second season (going under the name Big World! Big Adventures!) of Thomas & Friends started airing on 3 September 2018 in the UK and on 17 September 2018 in the US. It is expected to be released on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

Production

Season 22 marks the first major "reboot" of the franchise since the show switched to full CGI in the thirteenth season. The episodes keep their eleven minute-long runtime, but are now broken into seven minute-long stories, with an additional four minutes reserved for a variety of segments like sing-along karaoke songs, music videos or Thomas talking directly with the audience about lessons learned during a particular episode. Among many other changes, Edward and Henry were removed from the Steam Team to make room for Nia and Rebecca, and the narrator has been replaced with Thomas in a first person perspective, while introducing the episode plots at the beginning (however, Mark Moraghan has said that he will still work on the series).

Season 22 is set after Big World! Big Adventures!. The season is split into two halves; one half sees Thomas travelling around the world and visiting China, India and Australia, while the second half takes place back on the Island of Sodor. The season will also be released on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu in the fall of 2018.[1]

Episodes

Screenshot UK title (top)
US title (bottom)
Written by Original UK release date Episode number #
NumberOneEnginepromo2Number One EngineDavey Moore3rd September 2018#01
Thomas gets into trouble when racing with Hong-Mei, another blue, number one tank engine.
ForeverandEverpromoForever and EverAndrew Brenner4th September 2018#02
Gordon has a tantrum about all the changes being made to the railway.
ConfusionWithoutDelaypromoConfusion Without DelayDavey Moore5th September 2018#03
Rebecca, a big new tender engine, comes to the Island of Sodor, and works so hard not to be late, that she keeps leaving stations too early.
TrustyTrunkypromo2Trusty TrunkyBecky Overton6th September 2018#04
Thomas is very surprised when an elephant comes to his rescue.
WhatRebeccaDoespromoWhat Rebecca DoesDavey Moore7th September 2018#05
Rebecca is worried that, unlike the other engines, there is nothing special about her.
ThomasGoestoBollywoodpromoThomas Goes to BollywoodBecky Overton10th September 2018#06
When an action movie is filmed on the Indian railway, Thomas is desperate to be involved.
ThomasintheWildpromoThomas in the WildDavey Moore11th September 2018#07
Thomas is excited about taking a film crew to a nature reserve, but gets distracted in finding a giant panda in the wild.
ThomasandtheMonkeyPalacepromoThomas and the Monkey PalaceBecky Overton12th September 2018#08
Thomas is pulling a truckload of coconuts when he encounters some cheeky monkeys.
AnEngineofManyColorspromoAn Engine of Many ColoursMichael White13th September 2018#09
After a crash, James is waiting at the Steamworks to be repaired. He hears that there might not be enough red paint to repaint him and gets worried he will be repainted a different colour.
OutbackThomaspromoOutback ThomasTim Bain14th September 2018#10
Thomas sees Shane taking passengers on an outback adventure and is impressed by Shane's showmanship - and decides to do it himself.
SchoolofDuckpromoSchool of DuckLee Pressman17th September 2018#11
When a storm destroys a classroom at Harwick School, Duck tries to find a coach to take the children in.
TigerTroublepromoTiger TroubleBecky Overton18th September 2018#12
When Thomas learns that tourists come to India to try to see tigers, he wants to see tigers too.
SeeingisBelievingpromoSeeing is BelievingAndrew Brenner19th September 2018#13
Thomas's friend Merlin comes to Sodor from the Mainland for the first time, and Percy wants to see him.
ApologyImpossiblepromoApology ImpossibleBecky Overton20th September 2018#14
Philip learns that sometimes even the smallest engine's actions can make them the bigger engine.
TheWaterWheel(episode)promoThe Water WheelDavey Moore21st September 2018#15
Thomas thinks he has been given very silly cargo until Hong-Mei explains that it is a very important water wheel, made from bamboo.
SamsonandtheFireworkspromoSamson and the FireworksLee Pressman5th November 2018#16
Samson is terrified of fireworks, and when he mistakes the sound of a warning detonator for fireworks, he is so frightened that he races off into the fog and gets lost.
RunawayTruckpromoRunaway TruckDavey Moore3rd December 2018#17
Thomas tries to save an accident-prone truck who is racing down the tracks.
Thomas'AnimalArkpromoThomas' Animal ArkLee Pressman10th December 2018#18
It's Christmas and the boiler at the Animal Park breaks down, so Thomas needs to find a way to keep the animals warm.
CycloneThomasPromoCyclone ThomasTim Bain17th December 2018#19
Thomas wants to be just like Isla, a Flying Doctor's plane, who transports Dr Claire to remote places where it is hard for patients to get to hospitals or doctors for treatment.
KangarooChristmaspromoKangaroo ChristmasTim Bain22nd December 2018#20
Thomas is in Australia for Christmas, and is disappointed that it is different from Sodor. But in the meantime, he must help a little girl retrieve her toy kangaroo from a real one.
TheCaseofthePuzzlingPartspromoThe Case of the Puzzling PartsDavey Moore24th September 2018 (UK DVD)#21
Sidney is shunting a flatbed of engine parts, but he cannot remember what he is supposed to be doing with them. Paxton thinks this sounds like a kind of mystery that can only be solved by a Special Agent.
ThomasandtheDragonpromoThomas and the DragonDavey Moore5th September 2018 (AUS)#22
Thomas is terrified when he is given the honour of bringing a dragon to the Chinese New Year celebrations.
RosieisRedpromoRosie is RedDavey Moore12th September 2018 (AUS)#23
After the engines tease Thomas that Rosie is his "special friend", he acts rudely towards her.
HuntTheTruckPromoHunt The TruckMichael White23rd September 2018 (AUS)#24
Bill and Ben's latest game consists of hiding trucks and making other engines hunt for them.
BanjoandtheBushfireBanjo and the BushfireTim Bain26th September 2018 (AUS)#25
Thomas offers a lift to a ranger while working in the Australian Rain Forest. Thomas is excited to learn from her about all the animals that live there, but he is too loud and impatient to be very useful.
CountingonNiapromoCounting on NiaLee Pressman27th September 2018 (AUS)#26
Nia is a really clever engine and knows about all sorts of things, but when the Fat Controller asks her to take Annie and Clarabel and pick up passengers from Knapford Station, Nia has great trouble finding the right platform.

Songs

Characters

Characters Introduced

Cast

UK AUS and NZ

US and CAN

Trivia

  • This season marks the first of several things:
    • The first season to use the new intro, credits and Set Friendship in Motion as an intro song.
    • The first season to feature the newly updated Engine Roll Call.
    • The first season to feature Thomas as the narrator. Because of this:
      • This is the first season since the sixteenth to have a different narrator in both the UK and US dubs.
      • This is the first production since Thomas and the Magic Railroad to have a first-person narrative.
    • The first season to feature the new Steam Team - Thomas, Gordon, James, Percy, Emily, Nia and Rebecca.
    • The first season not to have Edward, Henry and Toby as part of the main cast. However despite this, Edward speaks in every episode he appears in this season (not counting a stock footage cameo in Kangaroo Christmas) and Toby is still retained in the new version of the Engine Roll Call.
    • The first season in which Stephen and Sir Robert Norramby appear, but do not speak since their introduction.
    • The first season in which Harold, Stephen Hatt and Bridget Hatt do not appear since their returns in the thirteenth and fourteenth seasons respectively. It is also the first season in which Rheneas and Sir Handel do not appear since the twentieth season.
    • The first season in which Glynn, Mavis, Norman, Stafford, Mike and Captain Joe do not appear since their debuts. It is also the first season of the television series in which Bertie does not make an appearance at all. However, Stafford still appears in the newly updated Engine Roll Call.
    • The first season since the eleventh season to have Rosie speak in more than one episode.
    • The first season in which Dart appears without Den.
    • The first season in which Rasmus Hardiker and Matt Wilkinson voice Bill and Ben since Jonathan Broadbent's departure from the series.
    • The first season since he joined the voice cast in King of the Railway not to have Mike Grady as part of the cast. It is also the first season since they joined the voice cast in the eighteenth season not to have Joe Mills and Tom Stourton as part of the cast.
    • The first season since the twelfth season to have seven minute long episode story segments.
    • Flying Scotsman's first appearance in an episode since the third season and first speaking role in an episode.
    • Ashima, Rajiv, Shane, Yong Bao, Merlin, Nia and Shankar's first appearances in an episode.
    • Rajiv, Shane and Shankar's first speaking roles in the franchise.
    • Cyril the Fogman's first appearance in full CGI.
    • The first series to feature Learn with Thomas segments at the end of every episode.
  • This is the final season of a couple of things:
  • Although they did not appear in the main episodes and only appeared in the end segments, Donald, Douglas, Oliver, Connor, Caitlin, Timothy, Ryan, Iron 'Arry, Iron Bert, Den, Hugo, Millie, Bert, Rex, Toad, Oliver the Excavator, Max and Monty all appear in stock footage of several episodes:
    • Hugo makes a stock footage appearance in Forever and Ever.
    • Oliver, Toad and Oliver the Excavator make stock footage appearances in Trusty Trunky.
    • Timothy makes a stock footage appearance in The Case of the Puzzling Parts.
    • Bert and Rex make stock footage cameos in Kangaroo Christmas.
    • Max and Monty make stock footage appearances in Hunt the Truck.
    • Caitlin makes a stock footage appearance in Cyclone Thomas.
    • Iron 'Arry, Iron Bert, and Farmer McColl make stock footage cameos in Banjo and the Bushfire.
    • Donald and Douglas make stock footage cameos in Counting on Nia.
  • Tina Desai and Hugh Bonneville return to the voice cast.
  • Nikhil Parmar, Siu-see Hung, Windson Liong, Sheena Bhattessa, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Rose Robinson, Genevieve McCarthy, Tim Bain, Tariro Mavondo, Shane Jacobson, Jass Patel, Jessica Hann, Charlie Barnard, Mia Hope Gaywood, Holly Hazelton, Innis Robertson-Pinnell and Damon Denton-Snape join the voice cast.
  • This season introduced a new sequence used at least once in almost every episode, featuring an engine backing up to the selected rolling stock, and a closeup of their couplings being hooked followed by a closeup of their whistle being blown (horns for diesels and a bell if they have one) before the start of the main plot.
  • The mist surrounding the frame in the fantasy sequences is very similar to classic cartoon thought bubbles. Depending on who is having the fantasy, it is white for steam engines (and rolling stock) and black for diesels.

References