TV for Tots: Thomas The Tank Engine Episodes
"Thomas the Tank Engine" episodes began airing in 1984 and continue to this day. If you have a kid under the age of ten, chances are you know all about Thomas, James, Percy, Gordon, and Sir Topham Hatt by now. "Thomas the Tank Engine" was later renamed "Thomas and Friends" after episodes began to include more stories about the supporting characters. The series is based off of "The Railway Stories" by Rev. Awdry and focuses on the adventures of Thomas and his engine friends as they work hard on the Sodor Island Railroad. It features good-hearted stories about becoming friends, working hard, and most of all "being really useful."
"Thomas and the Jet Engine" - Narrated by actor Alec Baldwin, this is one of the more amusing "Thomas the Tank Engine" episodes. In this story, Sir Topham Hatt assigns Thomas the job of transporting a new jet engine to the airfield. When Cranky the Crane takes too long loading up Thomas's special cargo, he accidentally hits the engine's switch and starts the motor. Thomas rockets down the track, shooting past Gordon, the proudest and fastest engine on Sodor.
"Come Out, Henry!" - Henry the engine is traveling down the railroad when it begins to rain outside. Afraid that the rain will ruin his bright green and red paint job, Henry chuffs into a tunnel and won't come out. Sir Topham Hatt, several bystanders, and Thomas all try to pull Henry out, but he won't budge. Sir Topham Hatt decides to remove his rails and brick him up in the tunnel until he decides to come out. Henry spends the rest of the episode behind a brick wall, while soot from the tunnel ruins his paint.
"Diesel's Devious Deed" - Diesel, one of the newer engines on the island of Sodor, is not getting along with Duck, a green steam engine. Diesel hatches a plot to get Duck sent away from the railroad. He spreads lies to the train cars by telling them that Duck made rude jokes about the other steam engines. When the cars start to laugh at the other engines, they complain to Sir Topham Hatt, who believes that Duck is behind it. Diesel gets his wish and Duck is exiled to another part of the island. This "Thomas the Tank Engine" episode was one of the more serious stories, but it made the point that sometimes bad things go unpunished.
"Percy's Chocolate Crunch" - In this "Thomas the Tank Engine" episode, Percy, a little green steam engine, is tired of getting dirty everyday at work. He requests a job hauling sugar to the chocolate factory, because he thinks it sounds like a clean job. But when his wheels hit oily tracks near the factory, he skids right into the building, getting covered with gooey chocolate from top to bottom. The other steam engines have a great time calling Percy names like "Bon Bon Percy", but Sir Topham Hatt says he's been really useful and says he can have a washdown and a new paint job.
"A Scarf for Percy" - On a bitterly cold winter day, Thomas and Percy are trying to keep each other warm in Tidmouth Sheds when Thomas suggests that Percy get a scarf for his funnel. Meanwhile, Sir Topham Hatt is getting ready to take some special visitors on a tour of the railroad and he's gotten his special trousers ready for the occasion. (They look just like his regular trousers, but oh well.) Percy decides to be a little silly and play a trick on the coach cars by sneaking into the station quietly. He doesn't see the porters who are pulling Sir Topham Hatt's luggage (with the special trousers inside) across the track and he crashes right into the bags, which also apparently contain jars of fresh jam. Jelly lands all over Sir Topham Hatt, the special visitors, and Percy. The special trousers end up wound around Percy's funnel just like a scarf.