Thomas the Tank Engine
Thomas the Tank Engine is an animated character from “ The Railway Series” written by Rev. W. Awdry and Christopher Awdry, his son. He is considered to be the main character both of the books and TV series, “Thomas and friends”.
Thoams the tank engine is a locomotive on steam which transports its own water and fuel, without the use of a tender. They were first built in 1840 and they were used especially in industrial activities. The train which Thomas the train is supposed to portray is a prototype, designed by Lawson Billinton in 1913. He was first mentioned in 1946 and since then, his popularity has been soaring. His dominant colour is blue, accompanied by red accents and he has the number one written all over his body. As his writers mentioned, the present version on Thomas the train doesn’t look like the originally imagined toy: he used to carry the “NW” letters engraved on his body (“No Where”, as the adventures of the engine friends developed, they became to be known as “North Western Railway”), he was made of wood and he wasn’t based on a prototype.
His adventures occur in the Island of Sodor (an imaginary island in UK), on a steam railway, a place where The Fat Controller (Sir Topham Hatt) is always keeping an eye on.
He acts and speaks like a human being. Although he is quite nasty and nervy and always demands more respect from the others, he is the character which children enjoyed the most. He always goes on different road trips with his friends (Edward the Blue Engine, Percy the Small Engine, Emily, Henry the Green Engine and others) and in the end he usually wants to teach his viewers a lesson and does the right thing.
Thomas the Tank Engine didn’t appear in the first book of the classical series (“The Three Railway Engines”, namely Edward, Henry and Gordon). Instead, he was first mentioned in the second book, in “Thomas and Gordon”. He appeared as being loaned by the Fat Controller from a railway in the south of England and described as striving for important jobs, like pulling the express train, such as Gordon. Proving himself to be really useful, in the story “Thomas the tank engine and The Breakdown Train”, he is given a permanent spot on the island and his own branch line where he used to pull his two coaches, named Annie and Clarabel.
Thomas the tank engine is a character enjoyed by both children and grown-ups. A new DVD with the adventures of Thomas the tank engine and his friends will be released in 2010 and it is expected to have a huge success.