THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE & FRIENDS - SERIES 1, 2 AND 3 VHS PRESERVATION
To restore the original UK VHS releases by replacing as much VHS footage with DVD footage as I can (plus a little bit of colour-correcting) and create the best quality versions of these releases possible. It will be as if DVD’s existed back in the 1980’s, this is what an officialy release will pretty much look like. These will include both Ringo Starr’s UK and US narrations for Series 1 and 2, and both Michael Angelis’ 1991 (Episodes 1-16) and 1992 narrations for Series 3. There will be no George Carlin or Alec Baldwin.
For Series 1, I’m aiming to restore the two original 1985 Guild Home Video releases which had 13 episodes on each. I was originally going to recreate the three Kaleidoscope/The Video Collection releases that replaced them but I changed my mind for a few reasons. I want the nameboard sequence between “Percy Runs Away” and “Coal”, which only ever appeared on the “Further Adventures of…” VHS/Betamax and this seemed like the best way to accomodate that rather than doing multiple versions of the the same Kaleidoscope tapes and would also reduce this series down to just 2 files. Secondly, the Guild Home Video releases are extremely rare now (I think they were withdrawn very quickly in favourite of the three Kaleidoscope tapes) and I liked the idea of preserving these instead. I would need a good copy of the Guild ident though.
For Series 2, I’m aiming to restore the 1987 Screen Legends versions with the ident and trailers for Series 2 and Henry’s Cat. Then for Series 3, it’ll be The Video Collection versions.
*Various UK PAL VHS releases of Series 1 and 2 released between 1985 and 1992, mainly for nameboards, episode titles, Series 2 Clearwater Features logos, TVC/Screen Legends/Pickwick Video idents and yellow-line transitions that are unavailable in higher quality.
*“Thomas & Friends: The Complete Series 1, 2 and 3” (2004 UK PAL DVDs) - Restore ‘episode’ footage and audio.
*“Thomas & Friends: Truckloads of Fun” (2005 Australian PAL DVD) - Restore Series 1 and 2 opening titles, nameboards and Series 1 Clearwater Features logos (where possible).
*“Thomas & Friends: Peep Peep Party” (2000 UK PAL DVD) - 1991 Britt Allcroft ident for Series 3
*“Thomas & Friends: Cranky Bugs & Other Thomas Stories” (2002 US NTSC DVD) - Series 2 nameboards.
*“Thomas Gets Tricked/Percy’s Ghostly Trick” (2010 US NTSC DVD Double Feature) - “Thomas & Gordon” opening titles as they’re slightly different to the rest of Series 1, Ringo Starr US narrations and more Series 1 nameboards.
*Alternate audio tracks - Ringo Starr US narration (Series 1 and 2) and Michael Angelis early 1991 narration (Series 3, episodes 1-16) and early 1994 narration (Series 4, 8 episodes) sourced from Youtube.
-Good quality versions of the Guild Home Video and Screen Legends idents.
-More Nameboard and Clearwater Features idents, ideally sourced from DVD’s. I have some already but more would be appreciated if possible.
-Any Scandinavian DVD releases of Series 1 and 2.
RELEASE DATE - When it’s done.
Series 1 - In production
Series 2 - Nearly done, still some VHS colour-correction to do
Series 3 - Complete (1991 & 1992 Narrations for Episodes 1-16 and freeze-frame credits)
Series 4 - Complete (1994 Narration synced with eight 2004 DVD episodes)
This is a labour of love for old-school Thomas fans and while I’m not going to be precious about sharing my work, all I ask is you legally own the official DVD’s/VHS’s and do not sell my work for profit.
I’d love to see a project like this. Tried attempting something like this with Sony Movie Studio Platinum a little while ago taking my VHS transfers and overlaying the episodes with the DVD footage but no luck. I did however remaster the audio by overlaying the VHS audio with that of the 2004 DVD’s which was something.
For the “episode” footage, might I suggest using the 2004 UK DVDs (which use the 1998 remasters) rather than the current Restored versions as they more closely reflect the broadcast/VHS versions.
Another good source for this project would be the 2005 Australian “Truckloads of Fun” DVD which oddly enough uses the original Clearwater masters Series 1 episodes, plus “Tenders and Turntables”, “Trouble in the Shed” and “Off the Rails” even use the CW logos and nameboards as they appears on the 1985-1992 VHS releases. The original masters for the other Series 1 and 2 episodes are also used but they are the singular TV rerun versions with no nameboards and CW logos replaced with the 1991/2 Britt Allcroft Company logos. The episodes from this DVD have been uploaded on YouTube but a couple of episodes have been blocked by HiT Entertainment;
Truckloads of Fun (AUS DVD)
Also on a side note, Series 3 had an “early narration” (by Michael Angelis) for the first 16 episodes which were only released on the original 1991 VHS tapes then later redone for TV broadcast and later VHS/DVD releases, as did 8 episodes from Series 4. I’ve already done a preservation of these myself but they’re also on YouTube;
Time for Trouble and other stories (Early Narration)
Trust Thomas and other stories (Early Narration)
Rock and Roll and other stories (Early Narration)
Back to your main goal, I really hope you pull this off and I’d love to help any way I can. I’ve already transferred my Series 1, 2 and 3 VHS tapes to DVD which I’m happy to share with you if they’ll be of any use. Also, Series 2 needs to have the “Screen Legends” ident included!