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The second season of Thomas & Friends premiered on September 24, 1986 in the UK. Ringo Starr narrated all twenty-six episodes in the UK as well as seventeen of them on Shining Time Station, with George Carlin later re-narrating all of the episodes for the US.

Production

The majority of the stories were originally written by the Rev. W. Awdry. However, Christopher Awdry was commissioned to write a new Railway Series book as source material for the second series. Three stories (originally only two) from More About Thomas the Tank Engine provided additional roles for Bertie the Bus, Terence the Tractor, and Harold the Helicopter. The episodes Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree and Thomas and Trevor were both one-off stories written by Christopher Awdry.

Early in production, a third episode called The Missing Coach based on a story from The Twin Engines was due to be filmed. The model crew had gone as far as filming scenes on the Tidmouth Station set with Thomas arriving at the station, before Britt Allcroft decided the episode had too little action and its storyline would be too difficult to understand by younger viewers. Therefore one of the episodes based on a story from More About Thomas the Tank Engine, Thomas, Percy and the Coal was filmed to replace it.

Episodes

(Note: * means that an episode was not narrated by Ringo Starr in the US and was only narrated by George Carlin in the US.)

Screenshot UK title (top)
US title (bottom)
Original UK release date Episode number #
Thomas,PercyandtheCoal13Thomas, Percy and the Coal
Double Trouble
24th September 1986#01
Thomas and Percy quarrel about proper colours/colors for an engine, but both engines end up getting in trouble with coal.
Cows30Cows
A Cow on the Line
24th September 1986#02
Gordon and Henry tease Edward after some cows break part of his train away, but in the end, Edward has the last laugh.
Bertie'sChase46Bertie's Chase*1st October 1986#03
Edward is impatient when Thomas' fireman is away and the passengers are angry, but Bertie races to the rescue.
SavedfromScrap12Saved from Scrap1st October 1986#04
Edward meets Trevor the Traction Engine at the scrapyards and tries to help make him become useful again.
OldIron52Old Iron8th October 1986#05
James is fed up with Edward for being so slow, but when two boys fiddle with James' controls, Edward comes to his rescue.
ThomasAndTrevor36Thomas and Trevor
A New Friend for Thomas
8th October 1986#06
Trevor does not have much work to do and proves to Thomas how useful he can be when he is sent to help at the harbour/harbor.
PercyandtheSignal36Percy and the Signal*15th October 1986#07
Percy enjoys playing tricks on the big engines, but Gordon and James make a plan to pay him back.
DuckTakesCharge51Duck Takes Charge15th October 1986#08
Duck arrives on the island to help Percy and stop the big engines from pushing smaller engines around.
PercyandHarold9Percy and Harold
Percy Proves a Point
22nd October 1986#09
Harold thinks that railways are slow and out of date, but Percy proves him wrong after winning a race.
TheRunaway42The Runaway22nd October 1986#10
After a visit to the works, Thomas' handbrake is very stiff and he soon becomes a runaway on the branch line.
PercyTakesthePlunge39Percy Takes the Plunge29th October 1986#11
Percy thinks that water is nothing to an engine with determination, but his mood soon changes when he passes a danger sign at the harbour/harbor.
PopGoestheDiesel28Pop Goes the Diesel29th October 1986#12
Diesel arrives on trial and thinks that diesel engines know everything and do not need to learn, until he tries to take some old trucks/cars from a siding.
DirtyWork6Dirty Work
Diesel's Devious Deed
5th November 1986#13
Diesel gets revenge on Duck by telling lies about the big engines to the trucks/cars, causing Sir Topham Hatt to send Duck away.
ACloseShave63A Close Shave
A Close Shave for Duck
5th November 1986#14
Duck helps Edward with some trucks/cars on Gordon's Hill, but the train breaks away and the trucks/cars chase Duck down the main line, until he ends up in a barber shop.
BetterLateThanNever14Better Late Than Never12th November 1986#15
The viaduct on the main line is causing delays on the railway making Thomas very cross, but he learns that there are times when being late is not such a bad thing after all.
BreakVan40Break Van
Donald and Douglas
*
12th November 1986#16
Donald and Douglas are twins whom the Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt had bought from Scotland to help out. Things do not go well for both twins due to a Spiteful Brake Van.
TheDeputation43The Deputation*19th November 1986#17
Donald and Douglas are worried that they will be sent away and be scrapped, but Percy and the other engines try to help the twins out with a Deputation.
ThomasComestoBreakfast30Thomas Comes to Breakfast19th November 1986#18
Thomas thinks that he can manage without his driver, until he makes an unexpected visit to the stationmaster's house one morning.
Daisy(episode)21Daisy*26th November 1986#19
Daisy comes to help on Thomas' branch line after Thomas' indisposal and causes trouble with rude remarks toward the coaches and refusing to pull a milk tanker.
Percy'sPredicament30Percy's Predicament*26th November 1986#20
Percy and Toby agree to switch jobs after Daisy refuses to take the milk again, which ends up putting the engines in an awkward predicament.
TheDiseasel46The Diseasel*3rd December 1986#21
Bill and Ben think that a Diseasel stole their trucks/freight cars of china clay, and they set off to find him and get their trucks/cars back.
WrongRoad25Wrong Road*3rd December 1986#22
A mix-up with Gordon and Edward ends up sending both engines on the wrong lines with their evening trains, with Gordon ending up being teased by Bill and Ben.
Edward'sExploit26Edward's Exploit*10th December 1986#23
Gordon, Henry and James think that Edward should give up and be preserved, but Edward proves how really useful he is when he takes visitors home during a storm.
GhostTrain32Ghost Train
Percy's Ghostly Trick
10th December 1986#24
Percy pretends to be a ghost and scare Thomas to teach him a lesson for calling him a silly little engine for his ghost story.
WoollyBear32Woolly Bear17th December 1986#25
Thomas thinks Percy crawls like a caterpillar due to him being late with collecting hay along the line, and when Percy ends up covered in treacle and hay, Thomas and Toby end up making jokes about him.
ThomasandtheMissingChristmasTree38Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree17th December 1986#26
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.

Cancelled episodes

Screenshot Title Original UK release date Episode number #
TheMissingCoachThe Missing Coachn/an/a
Based on the story of the same name from The Twin Engines.

Sir Topham Hatt orders an engine from Scotland to help out with goods work, but is surprised when two engines arrive instead of one. Douglas accidentally shunts a special coach into the carriage siding. To evade the angry complaints of the passengers, Donald and Douglas decide to swap tenders so as to fool Sir Topham Hatt.

Characters

Characters Introduced

Trivia

  • This was the first of a few things:
    • The first season filmed at Shepperton Studios.
    • The first season where trucks have resin faces.
    • The first season to use stories by Christopher Awdry.
    • The first season to have an episode not based off of a story from the Railway Series, with that being Thomas and Trevor.
    • The first season to have diesel locomotives.
    • The first season to have a female engine.
  • This was the final season of several things:
    • Ringo Starr's last season as narrator.
    • Robert D. Cardona's last season as producer.
    • Britt Allcroft's last season as executive producer until the sixth season.
    • The last season made by Clearwater Features.
    • The last season in which music was composed using the Roland Jupiter 6 synthesiser.
    • The last to use the nameboards in the UK. However, the nameboards would last up to Season 4 for the US and Japan.
    • The last season where the end credits would roll over the final shot of an episode.
    • The last season until the seventeenth season to feature the same narrator for both the UK and US for the majority of the season, excluding episodes selected for New Friends for Thomas and Other Adventures which were narrated by Michael Angelis and the original recordings for the twelfth season which were narrated by Pierce Brosnan.
  • The Missing Coach was originally going to be an episode in this season, but it was cancelled and replaced by Thomas, Percy and the Coal/Double Trouble. The Missing Coach was only halfway through production when the whole thing was cancelled. An interview in 2008 stated that David Mitton had the footage from The Missing Coach. The whereabouts of this footage is still unknown.
  • This is the only season where a character says "Shut Up!" This is likely due to broadcasting concerns after this season.
  • Starting from the episode, Pop Goes the Diesel, the laughing sound effect from the trucks was heard. That sound effect was later reused in the following seasons.
  • Henry regains his wheel arches, which were removed when he received his new shape after his accident with The Flying Kipper.
  • The biggest space of time between two seasons airing is between this season, which aired in 1986, and Season 3, which did not air until 1992, six years later.
  • When first broadcast on ITV, two episodes were compiled into one ten minute block with the nameboard sequence featured in between. For subsequent broadcasts, the stories were shown individually.
  • In the Ukrainian narration, Ringo Starr's voice can still be heard in the background.
  • The Norwegian and Finnish versions credit Ringo Starr as the narrator, even though they were re-dubbed in Norwegian and Finnish respectively.