Thomas and Friends (series 5)

Thomas and Friends (series 5)
Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Series 5
Thomas and Friends DVD Cover - Series 5.jpg
DVD cover art
Country of origin UK
Original run 1 September 1998 –
5 November 1998
Season chronology
← Previous
Series 4 (1995)
Next →
Series 6 (2002)

Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends is a children's television series about the engines and other characters working on the railways of the Island of Sodor, and is based on The Railway Series books written by the Rev. W. Awdry.

This article lists and details episodes from the fifth season of this series, which was first broadcast in 1998. This season is narrated by Michael Angelis, although Alec Baldwin narrates the episodes for American audiences. This was the first (and only) season of the show to use the Dolby Surround sound technique.




The show's staff had decided since Series 3 that most of the best stories of The Railway Series had been adapted, the rest involving too many new characters or closely resembling previous stories.[1] With Series 5, the decision was made to write a full series of original, staff-written stories. One reason for this was producer Britt Allcroft's desire to create a theatrical Thomas the Tank Engine movie, and requested that director David Mitton show off his modelling skills.[2] Series 5 aired in 1998, and the movie Thomas and the Magic Railroad was released two years later.

Some inspiration for the stories came from a former LMR manager named David Maidment. In 1997 Maidment met with Steven Wright about the possibility of supporting the Railway Children charity, and while Wright told him the show's staff commonly received such requests, they would consider. During their meeting, Maidment relayed stories about his railway experiences working in South Wales and as the manager at Crewe station. Days later Maidment received a call asking if he would allow some of his stories to be used as material – the stories from The Railway Series were frequently based on true events, and Allcroft and Mitton preferred this. Maidment agreed, and was also asked to review each story to make sure that the railway in the show operated realistically. £10,000 was donated to the Railway Children for his work.[2]

These stories are amongst those adapted:

  • "Baa!" – a ram invades a railway station and attacks some vandals; additionally, the idea of a "Best Kept Station" competition.
  • "James and the Trouble with Trees" – rain erodes an embankment, causing a tree to slide down and stand upright on the tracks.
  • "Double Teething Troubles" – a British Rail Class 17 diesel stalls while banking a train.
  • "Gordon and the Gremlins" – bathwater in a luxury coach splashes around the compartment.

Additionally, "A Better View for Gordon" was based on a famous incident at Gare Montparnasse in 1895.[2]

The design for each new character would be chosen by David Eves, and given to David Mitton for approval.[1]


Mitton shot 2,700 slates for Series 5, the most of any of the series he shot for Thomas.[2]

This series saw the introduction of new models of the narrow gauge engines, built on a larger scale. While Series 5 alternated between using the larger models and the originals, later episodes would see the large-scale versions being used almost exclusively. The change is most noticeable in "Rusty and the Boulder," where Rusty's smaller model is used for the first half of the episode, and then the updated model is used for the second half.


George Carlin had left the American dub of Thomas with the fourth series, and actor Alec Baldwin was brought in to take his place. Baldwin would later play a starring role in the Magic Railroad feature.


Previously Thomas had only aired in the US as a segment on the TV show Shining Time Station, but Series 5 aired in the US as part of the half-hour Storytime with Thomas block. Each episode would include a new Series 5 episode, an episode of Britt Allcroft's Magic Adventures of Mumfie, and a Series 4 episode narrated by Carlin, with music videos and footage of Day out with Thomas in between.


# Total Title (Top)
US Title (Bottom)
Original air date
1 105 "Cranky Bugs" 1 September 1998 (1998-09-01)
Cranky, the new crane, grumbles at Thomas and Percy and calls them "bugs". That night, a giant thunderstorm arrives on Sodor but something happens to Cranky that teaches him a lesson. 
2 106 "Horrid Lorry" 3 September 1998 (1998-09-03)
Three lorries arrive to help the engines with their duties. The lorries only taunt the engines and cause trouble, proving they aren't as good as they say. Thomas arrives and laughs at the three horrid lorries. 
3 107 "A Better View For Gordon" 5 September 1998 (1998-09-05)
Gordon is cross when he comes to a new station that does not have a view at all. When he takes the Fat Controller to its official opening, his brakes fail, and he crashes through the wall. After Gordon is repaired, he takes the Fat Controller for its second opening. Gordon arrives safely this time, and the Fat Controller rewards him with his own view. 
4 108 "Lady Hatt's Birthday Party" 9 September 1998 (1998-09-09)
On his way to his wife's birthday, the Fat Controller's car gets stuck. Caroline helps him but soon breaks down, so now he must ride in George, where he gets dirty. 
5 109 "James and the Trouble With Trees" 13 September 1998 (1998-09-13)
James is boastful about his new coat of paint. But his bragging keeps him from hearing Terence's warning about the trees that are too close to the line. 
6 110 "Gordon and the Gremlins" 16 September 1998 (1998-09-16)
A VIP is arriving soon, but problems continue and the others joke of gremlins here, too. Gordon disagrees until he has trouble with the VIP in his coach. 
7 111 "Bye George!" 20 September 1998 (1998-09-20)
George the Steamroller is once again up to no good to the railway. He goes as far as putting cement over the tracks, and causes Gordon to crash into a truck. The Fat Controller finally deals with him. 
8 112 "Baa!" 22 September 1998 (1998-09-22)
Thomas, Percy and Toby were talking about a competition for "The Best Dressed Station" that is being held across Sodor. But as Percy is helping decorate Maithwaite, a ram is found in the station as decorations are ruined. 
9 113 "Put Upon Percy" 24 September 1998 (1998-09-24)
Percy is upset about all his work. Next day, however, disaster strikes at the coal mines, and an avalanche erupts and Percy gets buried underneath, but not before he protects himself under a canvas barrier. 
10 114 "Toby and the Flood" 28 September 1998 (1998-09-28)
Heavy storms have been flooding the Island. Toby is sent to inspect the dam, and discovers a few leaks in it. On his next trip, it breaks underneath him. 
11 115 "Haunted Henry" 3 October 1998 (1998-10-03)
Henry refuses to believe in ghosts until he and his driver see that the gate is closed in front of them, and there's a moving light in the station. 
12 116 "Double Teething Troubles" 5 October 1998 (1998-10-05)
A new diesel arrives to help Bill and Ben, but they hear that he has "toothache". What they don't realize is that he's just has teething troubles from being new. 
13 117 "Stepney Gets Lost" 7 October 1998 (1998-10-07)
Stepney is sent to work at the Quarry, but stays too late. Being too dark, the engine unknowingly ends up in the Scrapyard, where Diesels want him back. 
14 118 "Toby's Discovery" 9 October 1998 (1998-10-09)
Toby is spooked when he stumbles across a disused quarry. Thomas' tale of the "Old Warrior" ghost doesn't help, but it might not be that scary after all. 
15 119 "Something in the Air" 11 October 1998 (1998-10-11)
Henry teases Thomas too much after fish fell on him to listen to his warning. Now, Henry has to pay by following faulty tracks that lead into the sea. 
16 120 "Thomas, Percy and Old Slow Coach" 13 October 1998 (1998-10-13)
Thomas and Percy want to help the old coach that's due for scrap. But after a fire burns down the engineer's depot, the engines might have a use for her. Episode includes use of some scrap models (at 4:13). 
17 121 "Thomas and the Rumours" 15 October 1998 (1998-10-15)
Thomas and the other engines jump to conclusions as Harold flies an important visitor around and they think he'll replace them. But Gordon tries to be better and gets in a muddle. 
18 122 "Oliver's Find" 17 October 1998 (1998-10-17)
After causing an accident, Oliver is sent to take the mail. To make matters worse, the signalman falls asleep, so Oliver has to take a much older track. 
19 123 "Happy Ever After" 20 October 1998 (1998-10-20)
Percy is to put together a good luck package for Mrs. Kyndley's daughter's wedding. It needs to have something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. 
20 124 "Sir Topham Hatt's Holiday" 22 October 1998 (1998-10-22)
The Fat Controller wants a break from the rails, but all doesn't go well. First, a rude biplane crashes, and then their boat, the Sodor Maid", gets stuck. 
21 125 "A Surprise for Percy"
"A Big Surprise for Percy"
24 October 1998 (1998-10-24)
Percy wants excitement, but Bertie tells him surprises only come when he doesn't expect it. Percy discovers that when, whilst hauling them up a steep hill, his trucks break away. 
22 126 "Make Someone Happy" 26 October 1998 (1998-10-26)
Thomas tells James to think of someone else for once. And when Mrs. Kyndley is upset when her sister can't visit, James gladly takes part in cheering her up. 
23 127 "Busy Going Backwards" 29 October 1998 (1998-10-29)
Toad is upset about always going backwards, wanting to see things the other way. But some naughty trucks decide to teach him about being careful what he wishes for. 
24 128 "Duncan Gets Spooked" 31 October 1998 (1998-10-31)
Duncan jokes that Peter Sam's trucks will haunt him, so Rusty tells him a ghost story about the ghost engine. Duncan doesn't believe it until he reaches the haunted bridge at night. 
25 129 "Snow" 2 November 1998 (1998-11-02)
Thomas doesn't think the snow could be any worse, so Rusty tells him about the worst winter, when some trucks caused an avalanche that fell right on top of Skarloey. 
26 130 "Rusty and the Boulder" 5 November 1998 (1998-11-05)
Rusty worries that the boulder in the new quarry is watching him and wants to leave. The next day, the boulder falls and chases him and the others down the track. 



  • Cranky (Cranky Bugs)
  • Horrid Lorries (Horrid Lorry)
  • Butch (Cranky Bugs, cameo) (Horrid Lorry, does not speak)
  • Derek (Double Teething Troubles, not named)
  • Arry and Bert (Stepney Gets Lost, Arry not named, Bert does not speak)
  • Bertram (Toby's Discovery, does not speak)
  • Tiger Moth (Sir Topham Hatt's Holiday, does not speak)
  • Thumper (Rusty and the Boulder, does not speak)
  • Old Slow Coach (Thomas, Percy and Old Slow Coach)
  • Old Bailey (Haunted Henry)
  • Boulder (Rusty and the Boulder, does not speak)
  • Dowager Hatt (Gordon and the Gremlins)



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