<span style=“text-decoration: underline;”>BACKGROUND INFO</span>
For my next preservation, I’m working with a childhood classic and a personal favorite: Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends (now known as Thomas & Friends).
Thomas was adapted into a television show in 1984 by Britt Allcroft in conduction with Clearwater Features for ITV, as it was originally based off The Railway Series, a set of books by the Rev. W. Awdry. The show was to be shot on 35mm film at 25p (which would prove to be an issue later on) and aired in the UK only. With a former Beatle member, Ringo Starr, narrating the five minute stories, the show was a success.
In 1989, five years after Thomas’ debut in the UK, Allcroft brought the show into the US. The show had a new dub recorded by Ringo Starr to allow for American railway terminology to be used (most of which are ONLY available on VHS). After Starr’s departure from the show, the UK and US no longer shared the same narrator. For the UK, Michael Angelis took on the role as storyteller, and in the US, George Carlin became the new narrator. Throughout the years in the US, narrators came and went. From Carlin to Alec Baldwin to Michael Angelis (for six episodes) to Michael Brandon. The UK kept a consistent voice, unlike the US.
Season 1 to Season 7 was dubbed as the “Classic Series”. For the eighth season, the show was bought by HiT Entertainment and was rebooted.
<span style=“text-decoration: underline;”>GOAL</span>
Having grown up with the show, I’ve always preferred the US dub. Being that US releases of the show have always been inferior in video quality due to being sourced from dot-crawl ridden masters and being cropped to 4:3 (Series 6 and onwards), I’ve made it my goal to preserve the US dub with digital footage and proper aspect ratio footage.
*(courtesy of The Thomas Entertainment Station blog)
In the UK, each season is available completely on DVD, sourced from the 35mm film (as of 2012). For this preservation, I’ve taken the 576i footage and synced it up (and currently am still syncing up) to the US dub audio.
Being that the show was shot at 25p and the US dub is synced at the same frame rate, pulldown had to be applied to conform the footage to work with NTSC machines. In previous years, my conversions have been plagued by horizontal linear shaking. For this edition, I’ve learned a new method: upscale to 1080i. Through upscaling, little-to-no shaking is present.
Each season will have its own BD-25 and will be uploaded to the spleen, if anyone’s interested in having these.
As of today, only Seasons 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 are finished. 3, and 7 are still being synced and finished.
<span style=“text-decoration: underline;”>SOURCES</span>
**- VIDEO: **The Complete Series (1-7) UK DVDs
- AUDIO: Various US DVDs/VHS’/TV airings
<span style=“text-decoration: underline;”>THANKS TO:</span>
tug97, ttteepisodesus, Moosh, & SI3DFilms (non-OT members)
“That said, there is nothing wrong with mocking prequel lovers and belittling their bad taste.” - Alderaan, 2017
MGGA (Make GOUT Great Again):