Before production of the third series, of the smaller miniature engines. Clearwater Features closed down, with The Britt Allcroft Company becoming the sole producer of Thomas. Producer Robert D. Cardona departed the programme before the third series, and Britt Allcroft took his place as co-producer alongside David Mitton.
The series was a mix of episodes derived from the Railway Series, magazines stories (written by the series' former head writer, Andrew Brenner) and some original stories by Allcroft and Mitton. One of the primary reasons for diverging from the original books was that many of the stories not yet used featured large numbers of new characters, which would be expensive to produce. Another reason was that the producers wanted more stories about Thomas, the nominal main character. The Rev. W. Awdry took umbrage with the looser adaptations of his stories, and publicly criticized the original episodes for their lack of realism.
title Episode number #
⦁ Thomas Gets Bumped #1
Thomas' branch line is closed due to bent rails on the line. He begins to think he's lost his passengers to Bertie.
Edward and Trevor help the Vicar with his garden party to fund a seaside trip for the children.
Percy teases Thomas about being frightened all the time, but when Thomas is delivering a dragon in the night, Percy ends up getting a fright.
Diesel is sent to help Percy and Duck with goods work at the harbor, but ends up causing more trouble for the two engines.
⦁ Percy's Promise #5
Percy keeps a promise with Thomas to take the children going to the Vicar's Sunday School home. Along the way, he gets some help from Harold when he gets stuck in a flood.
⦁ No Joke for James #6
James gets comeuppance for his egotism after he tricks Thomas into pulling some smart new coaches, leaving Gordon to pull some freight cars.
When a mail ship ends up getting delayed, Thomas and Percy worry that Harold will replace the mail train.
⦁ Trust Thomas #8
Bertie learns that he can trust engines like Thomas when he remembers a missing tanker after having an accident with some cars.
⦁ Henry's Forest #9
When a storm comes, Henry's favourite forest experiences severe devastation. His friends soon team together to cheer him up.
⦁ Mud and Leaves #10
Gordon was is now put on goods work. As a replacement, James or Henry take the Express. But slippery weather soon prevents James from getting past a difficult part of the Mainline.
James thinks that he can easily scare off bees, but is proved wrong when he encounters a horde of wild bees.
⦁ All at Sea #12
Duck wishes that he could travel at sea, but he changes his mind when he learns that engines are happiest on the rails.
⦁ Ballast #13
Thomas and Duck visits Rex the Arlesdale green engine introduces him to two other engines, Bert and Mike. When Duck discovers that they do not have any passengers yet, he leaves, promising to bring some for them.
⦁ Tit for Tat #14
Bert is splashed by some visitors to the railway and is determined to get back at them.
⦁ Mike's Whistle #15
After teasing Duck about his whistle, Mike boasts about his own.
⦁ Useful Railway #16
Rex thinks pulling wool trains is an easy job, but he quickly discovers otherwise.
⦁ Tender Engines #17
When Gordon's brother Flying Scotsman visits Sodor, Henry becomes jealous him with his two tenders.
⦁ Super Rescue #18
D199 ironically failed with a train of fuel tankers at a signal box, blocking the crossing. Henry, whose regulator had already jammed, came to help. However, after D7101's ejector leaked, making him unable to pull his passenger train.
Douglas travels to the Mainland where only the diesels work. After Paxton helps him, he meets Oliver, Isabel and Toad, who are trying to escape from scrap.
⦁ Rescue and Redemption #20
N / A
⦁ Donald's Duck #21
Duck is given his own branch line for working hard and becomes conceited, which makes Donald cross until Duck and his driver play a joke on him.
⦁ Oliver Owns Up #22
Oliver becomes conceited and thinks that he can manage trucks, but is soon proven wrong.
⦁ Bulgy #23
A new bus named Bulgy wants railways to be scrapped, and attempts to steal Duck's passengers.
⦁ Emily's New Coaches #24
On her first day, Emily takes Annie and Clarabel, which makes Thomas cross. He eventually forgives her after saving him from hitting a broken down Bear.
⦁ Emily's New Route #25
Emily is scared of a monster in Black Loch.
⦁ One Good Turn #26
Bill and Ben end up in an argument at the turntable, so Edward and BoCo make a plan to make the twins friends again.
Thomas, Percy and Henry are sent to collect coal cars and take them to the harbor. Henry is feeling ill but Thomas and Percy do not believe him and leave him a long line of cars.
⦁ Heroes #28
The freight cars trick Bill and Ben into causing a big muddle in the yard, making them late to arrange Gordon's evening train.
James and Percy learn their brakes aren't the only thing that get jammed.
⦁ Thomas And The Twins #30
⦁ Mavis #31
The new quarry diesel Mavis reorganizes things to her liking, making Toby cross.
⦁ Toby's Tightrope #32
Mavis tries to make a plan to go further down the Quarry line, but she ends up putting Toby in danger.
Thomas is sent to collect a Christmas tree, but when he ends up getting lost along the way home, Donald and Douglas set off to rescue him in time for the Christmas celebrations.
⦁ Jeremiah Jobling (not named)
⦁ Jem Cole (not named)
⦁ Mrs. Kyndley (not named)
⦁ The Ffarquhar Stationmaster's Wife (not named)
⦁ Henrietta (does not speak)
⦁ Spikey (does not speak)
⦁ The Ffarquhar Stationmaster (does not speak)
⦁ Bridget Hatt (cameo)
⦁ Farmer Finney (cameo)
⦁ Harold's Pilots (cameo)
⦁ Märklin Engine (scrapped model cameo)
⦁ Percy's Ghost Engine (mentioned)
⦁ British Railways Diesels (mentioned)
⦁ The Mainland Diesels (mentioned)
⦁ Burdock (not named)
⦁ Farmer Trotter (not named)
⦁ Toad (does not speak)
⦁ The Railway Society (does not speak)
⦁ The Injured Sailor (does not speak)
⦁ Vulcan (cameo)
⦁ Gordon's Brothers and Sisters (mentioned)
⦁ Bulgy's Friend (mentioned)
⦁ Anopha Quarry Manager (mentioned)
⦁ Vicker (indirectly metioned)
⦁ BoCo's Siblings (indirectly metioned)
⦁ This was the first series to boast several new elements of Thomas & Friends:
⦁ The first series to have episodes not based on stories by either Awdry.
⦁ Britt Allcroft's first series as producer.
⦁ Angus Wright's first series as executive producer.
⦁ The first series to use Rockwell font.
⦁ Junior Campbell and Mike O'Donnell used the EMU Proteus 2 Orchestral to create the score. However, some of the music made with the Roland Jupiter 6 synthesiser for the first and second series was used.
⦁ The first series where Thomas' shocked face gains a buck tooth.
⦁ The first and only series where Edward's angry face gains some teeth.
⦁ The first series which introduced music videos.
⦁ The first series to have slow motion effects.
⦁ The first series to have a female engine (Emily).
⦁ From this series on, characters would say "be quiet" instead of "shut up," presumably to make the show's language gentler. Although "shut up" was just said in Series 2.
⦁ The first & final series to feature The Flying Scotsman until the tenth series.