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The Railway Series
- The dedication at the start of book 42, Thomas and his Friends:
In memory of the Rev. W. Awdry (1911 - 1997), without whom none of Thomas' adventures would have been told.
Prince Charles: My parents read stories about your Railway to me as a child. There will never be anything like it anywhere.
- Prince Charles unveiling the bust of Wilbert Awdry at Tidmouth.
- The whole series in general, which was a way for Awdry to entertain young Christopher when he was ill with the measles.
- While Toby and Edward's Not So Above It All moments tend to earn the ire of many fans, they can be Heartwarming in Hindsight when you consider that most of the time it is Thomas and Percy, the two younger engines they previously mentored, that usually end up helping them out, and usually with the same level of patience and sympathy as they gave them, at least giving them an opportunity to return their kind treatment from before. This is especially evident in episodes the older engines are embarrassed about admitting their weaknesses to the younger idolizing ones (eg. Edward And The Mail, Toby And The Whistling Woods).
Winston: Early days, sir. Early days.
- Under a similar light, Winston's relationship with the Fat Controller. While Sir Topham is portrayed as being thoroughly wise, patient and competent in his treatment of the engines, Winston is left putting up with one of his few vices; his poor driving. Winston's personality however is that of a loyal, patient butler to his driver, only cracking once in Wayward Winston, where he quite willingly accepts his aesop about showing mutual patience as someone attempts to learn. Given how much Sir Topham has had to tolerate in 17 seasons and going, it seems fair someone is willing to show him the same amount of patience and compassion.
Edward, Gordon, and Henry / Henry to the Rescue
- There's the moment where Henry is let out of the tunnel after The Fat Controller asks him to pull the heavy express.
- In the ending, Edward and Henry take Gordon back to the sheds, thus cementing the three's friendship.
- Thomas' first meeting with the Fat Controller in the ending. After his mishap with some mischievous trucks, the Fat Controller bluntly asks what he's doing in the yard and why he was travelling so fast. An intimidated Thomas whimpers his problem. Instead of punishing Thomas, The Fat Controller decides Thomas needs experience and puts him to work with trucks for the next few days, assuring him that this will make him "a really useful engine".
- Following up from the previous episode, The Fat Controller is cheerfully encouraging Thomas, who is now much more confident and competent in handling trucks (which would come in handy later on).
- Then after saving James, the Fat Controller commends Thomas for his work and rewards him with two coaches Annie and Clarabel and his own branch line, making Thomas as happy as he can be. Even Gordon, who doesn't think too highly of anyone, whistles at Thomas as he passes by at the station, with Thomas whistling in return.
- There's James sincerely apologizing to the Fat Controller for causing trouble with the coaches, prompting the Fat Controller to forgive him and let him out of the sheds to pull some trucks. It gets better in the end of the episode where the Fat Controller reveals himself after James finishes the arduous job. James is worried he's in trouble again, but the Fat Controller smiles and commends James for dealing with the trucks and allows him to keep his red paint, signaling that James has already on good terms with him.
- After Gordon suffers a mishap, James is left to pull the Express in his place. Rather than the usual formula with the pompous engine humiliated and upset, Gordon is revealed to be impressed with James' work and encourages him to keep up the good work. The narration explains that James pulls the Express to give Gordon a rest every once in a while and the two cement their Vitriolic Best Buds relationship.
- Gordon comes to Percy's rescue and praises Percy for preventing a nasty accident. Considering that Percy had been cheeky to Gordon earlier and that Gordon was previously in disgrace following the strike, this resulted in both engines redeeming themselves and becoming friends.
- Henry returns from crewe and is greeted with a warm welcome back from the people at the station and is cheered for his new shape.
- Thomas and Gordon "forming an alliance" after Gordon helped Thomas from the mine accident. This is quite intriguing considering that the two had quarreled in the first episode.
- This is brought back up in "Paint Pots and Queens" (which takes place directly after "Down the Mine" chronologically) in which the two vouch for each other to the Fat Controller (Gordon asks if Thomas can run his branch line again, Thomas is cut off, but in the books he requests Gordon can pull coaches again).
Thomas, Percy, and the Coal / Double Trouble
- The ending has Thomas and Percy making up for their quarrel for their eventful coal incidents, which is unlike of how said episode ended in the novels where Percy vows to pay back Thomas for laughing at him. This actually proves that the two will continue to be friends through the good and the bad.
- After Duck stopped the freight cars from hurting passengers by crashing into a barber shop, the barber scolds Duck and lathers the engine's face in revenge without knowing the scenario. When the Fat Controller explains what happened, the barber is immediately sympathetic and quickly washes Duck's face.
Barber: I'm sorry. I didn't know you were being a brave engine.
Duck: That's alright, sir. I didn't know that either.
- Along with Duck being told that he can come home, he rolls into the shed, greeted by whistles of all the other engines.
- The ending definitely qualifies. The Fat Controller has been contemplating whether to send Donald or Douglas home.
- Fat Controller: Donald, Douglas, I heard your work in the snow was good. You shall have a new coat of paint.
Donald: Thank ye, sir!
Fat Controller: But your names will be painted on you, so there will be no more mistakes.
Douglas: Does this mean that the both of us...?
Fat Controller: It means -
Narrator: But the rest of his speech was drowned by a delighted chorus of cheers and whistles. The twins were here to stay.
- Before that, there's also the engines sticking up for Donald and Douglas after hearing that the Fat Controller was planning on sending both of them away.
- A short but memorable moment at the end was when Thomas returned from being mended. Annie and Clarabel are overjoyed to see him again.
- Edward, who's often mocked for being the oldest engine, uses everything in him to pull a train after a serious breakdown. He shows up late at the station, but the passengers are so proud of him that they give him a round of applause.
- The ending doubles as a Tear Jerker.
- The episode sets Thomas up for a Break the Cutie moment. After starting the day exceptionally cheerful, he gets grumbled at by Bertie due to his broken road, is tricked by James into taking his trucks, which then push him into a river. However following the crash, he discovers the missing tar wagon for the road. James is genuinely remorseful for getting Thomas in trouble, while a joyous Bertie takes back everything he said before, with Thomas' optimism paying off.
- The ending narration:
Narrator: Duck still wonders about the lands beyond the horizon, but he enjoys being with friends most of all, and I think he knows that sometimes, the best travels are those we can only dream about.
- All of this accompanied by heartwarming music and a beautiful shot of the engines looking out of the sunset (as seen on the image above).
- It doesn't outright say it in Escape, but dialogue implies that Douglas had been smuggled to Sodor thanks to Donald. Now he's planning to do the same with Oliver, and though motivated by Edward's story about Trevor as well, it could also double with him following in the footsteps of his twin bro. That has to count for something.
- Thomas' speech to the engines in the end of the episode:
Thomas: You know, there's more than one way to get jammed. We all learned that today. [...] What's more, we also learned that sometimes when engines help each other out of a jam, things can still go wrong. [...] So that means we've learned a lot today, and therefore...
Other engines: We're really useful engines after all!
- Duke reuniting with Sir Handel/Falcon and Peter Sam/Stuart, especially because their relationship hasn't changed at all.
Duke: You woke me up. In my young days, engines were...
Sir Handel: Seen and not heard, Granpuff. We know.
Peter Sam: We'll all be back to work tormmow. We're glad you've come back.
Sir Handel/Peter Sam: We can keep you in order now.
Duke: *playing along* Keep me in order? Be off with you!
(The tank engines leave)
Duke: (To self in a playful manner, sleepy) Impudence scallywags.
Narrator: But his old eyes twinkled and for the first time in years, he smiled as he dozed in the sun.
- Skarloey, who was long overdue for repairs at that point, pulled a passenger train for Sir Handel after he fails. But that's not all, one of his springs give way and he struggles on to the station, and makes it. He earns a respectful silence from James, and we get this nice exchange at the end of the episode.
Skarloey: Old engines can't pull trains like the young ones can...
Skarloey's driver: They can if they're mended, Old Faithful. You deserve it.
- Rheneas coming home at the end of the episode.
Harvey To The Rescue
- Thomas and the Fat Controller cheer up a dejected Harvey after he hears about his bad first impressions from the other engines. He later proves his worth and gets a much different reception:
- Harvey: The other engines don't like me. I'm too different.
Fat Controller: Different is what makes you special.
- After getting into an argument with Douglas, Donald has an accident. Compared to most instances where a bickering engine has to be goaded into resentfully helping the other, Duck barely has time to complete the sentence "Donald's in trouble" before Douglas frantically pulls off to help him.
- Gordon returns to the docks, ashamed and expecting the worst from the other engines after his accident. However Thomas and James are sympathetic and also inform him Salty apologized for teasing him. Cheered up, Gordon also apologizes for being pompous, leading all the engines to whistle happily.
Squeak, Rattle and Roll
- Gordon's gears start making unpleasant noises whenever he runs at full speed. Convinced it is a sign he is breaking down, he believes the Fat Controller will send him to the scrapyard the moment he finds out. However he is later given the job of taking some children to the docks in time for their boat journey home. Rather than risk leaving them stranded by going slow and quiet, he decides to make his last journey one to remember and rushes them over in time. The Fat Controller afterwards commends Gordon and tells him to go over...to the Works and get his gears tuned up.
Gordon: Does this mean you're not going to scrap me, Sir?
The Fat Controller: Scrap Gordon? The fastest engine on Sodor? Who would pull the Express?
- Despite adopting a bossy attitude towards Thomas earlier on, Emily felt sorry for Thomas after he was scolded by the Fat Controller for not listening to his orders of putting his snowplough. This led her to take the blame by telling the Fat Controller that she neglected to tell Thomas that it was him who ordered her to tell him about the snowplough. After this, Thomas thanks Emily for owning up and promises to listen to her in the near future.
Edward the Great
- While racing Spencer, Edward starts to get tired and considers stopping at a station. However, some workers, who had caught word of the race, start to cheer Edward on, giving Edward the strength to continue. Just goes to show you what a little encouragement can do.
- As does Gordon, despite his disgust at Edward being elected to race beforehand, taking pity on Edward while passing by and complimenting him.
Thomas In Trouble
- Thomas recklessly tries to take his train of choir boys to a concert despite not being fully repaired. Despite becoming increasingly ill, he refuses to stop. Each engine he passes shows increasing concern for Thomas' health, even if he spurns this. Eventually Thomas breaks down, leading James, despite some teasing, to take his train and Henry to take him back for repairs.
Edward The Hero
- The episode makes up for previous Character Derailment concerning Edward, and spotlights him delaying his time as Rescue Engine to help others while passing by (cheering up Charlie, retrieving Dowager Hatt's luggage and gently returning a lost Katie to Farmer Mc Coll).
Thomas and the Sounds of Sodor
- While it's not winning awards for railway realism, it's cute how every engine (even Gordon and James) instantly agree to help Thomas.
- The ending in which Thomas and Winston find and restore Sir Topham Hatt's old riding carriage from his younger days. His reaction is nearly overwhelmed.
Kevin's Cranky Friend
- Cranky standing up to the Fat Controller and praising Kevin. Kevin's reaction completes it.
- A minor one, but it's Gordon of all engines that snaps Scruff back to his senses and return to the waste dump. He may be grumpy, bossy and boastful, but he does look out for his fellow engines and helps them get back on track.
- Percy goes out of his way to make sure Sidney gets a set of new wheels, after he's been left alone at the Dieselworks for two years. The other engines are shocked Percy would give a diesel a gift, especially after the diesels stole and ruined their sheds' Christmas decorations, but Percy firmly believes Christmas is a time for being kind to others.
- Prior to that, Diesel 10 was firmly convinced the Fat Controller didn't care about his diesels and so gets Paxton to steal Tidmouth Shed's decorations. Eventually Paxton feels guilty and draws the line, instead setting about the order the Fat Controller gave him earlier. As the steamies confront Diesel 10 over his theft, Paxton enters with his special; trucks of Christmas decorations the Fat Controller ordered for the Dieselworks.
- Diesel decides to prank Paxton by having the other diesels at the Dieselworks hide from him. Paxton however, believes that they have all disappeared and goes out looking for them. The other diesels think that they've gone too far seeing this, but Diesel says that it was just a joke. Later, when Diesel's ruse is discovered, Paxton chases after him, confused as to what's going on. After a while of this, Diesel runs out of fuel, and despite everything that he put Paxton through, Paxton cheerfully helps Diesel to get refuelled without a second thought. After this, Diesel is confused as to why Paxton helped him, and at the end of the episode, manages "a friendly smile" in thanks.
- Thomas and Henrietta's encouragement for Toby.
- James confessing to his mistake and accepting his punishment. Though the Fat Controller disapproves his behavior, he commends him for taking responsibility for it, while Duck and Oliver give silent but clearly sympathetic exchanges, aware this was a lot for someone like James.
- Similarly Toad bailing out James after he almost has to go through this again. Later on they have a friendly exchange, with James helping Toad get in his own story through chatty Oliver.
- Duck reuniting with his old coaches near the end of .
- A fairly minor one, but the Fat Controller stops to ask the coaches if they're alright with going with Duck instead of James. It's evident that he cares about every member of his railway - not just his engines, but coaches too.
- In the end, Percy tells Salty that even if thinking about Gator makes him sad, it also makes him happy. Salty assures that Gator may come back to Sodor, and Percy hopes he's right.
- The troublesome trucks of all things gets themselves a CMOH. They became delighted that Percy came to rescue them from the mine. Just seeing them smile when they were coupled to Percy was surprisingly pleasant to see.
- Gator finally reuniting with Percy, and confirming he's back to stay.
- The episode features Duncan struggling to remain happy so he can get a new coat of paint, but when Luke struggles on an icy hill, he finally loses his temper and shouts. When he realizes what he's done, he immediately regrets it and helps Luke up the hill. This doesn't go unnoticed, and Duncan gets his new coat of paint anyway.
- Percy tries to find a gift for Reg, but can find nothing special that Reg would like. When he brings his usual load of scrap, though, Reg is delighted, and he takes some of the scrap to create a makeshift Christmas tree, before giving Percy a homemade Christmas star made out of a fan blade.
The Truth about Toby
- Though they might seem rather daft, it's nice how all the engines were worried about the rumor of Toby being scrapped . Even engines like Gordon and James, who sparsely have a nice thing to say about Toby.
- Diesel tricks Percy into going down a different route, which causes Percy to end up in the water and puts out his firebox. Usually Diesel would just hurl more insults, but in this case he moves in to pull Percy out...which promptly gets his generator damaged. However, even after he admits he pulled a trick, Percy comes to thank Diesel the next day for trying to save him.
- This gem particularly:
Thomas: That little box cab can be very cheeky sometimes!
Edward: Yes, reminds me of a little tank engine who wanted to see the world!
- In addition, a small riff of "Really Useful Engine" plays in return.
- Victor goes out into the snow to look for Kevin, even though he really hates the snow. And despite how many mistakes the crane has made onscreen, Victor tells Kevin that he considers him to be his best friend.
- Henry tries to protect Spencer from the "Abominable Snowman" they encounter. Even when Spencer constantly belittles everyone around him, Henry still moves to protect him when his valve bursts. (It turns out the "Abominable Snowman" was actually Sir Topham Hatt, but it was still a very nice gesture.
- The episode features the aforementioned pair working apart for what seems to be the first time. Having to take Mavis' place at the Ffarquhar Quarry, Den struggles with the trucks and clearly feels out of his element. At this point, Toby and Henrietta decide to give him some advice, and soon Den is shunting the trucks with ease, even protecting Toby from a truck that rolled loose. By the end of the episode, Den has sorted out the entire quarry, and as he rolls back to the Dieselworks, Mavis and Toby are very proud of him.
- When Den returns to the Dieselworks that night, he and Dart are glad to see each other again.
- At first, Salty repeatedly runs away because he's afraid of going on a ship for the first time. Thomas convinces him that he's just letting his imagination run away with him, and Salty works up enough courage to ride the ship the next day. In fact, he doesn't find the voyage to be as bad as he feared.
- Hiro calling Thomas a "Master of the Railway", just like him.
- Thomas goes out trying to find parts for Hiro when he causes the Master of the Railway to derail.
- When Emily feels depressed, the other engines are clearly concerned and try to cheer her up. They don't succeed, but it's nice to see they care. Even James.
- The episode pretty much epitomizes how loyal all the engines are to Sir Topham Hatt.
Engine of the Future
- Hugo gets shunned by the other engines, convinced he is another revolutionary engine trying to take over the railway. Percy however feels sorry for Hugo, offering his space in the shed and later convincing the others he is a friend. Cue to welcome party.
- In Love Me Tender, as a sort of reverse of what happened in season 6, when Thomas points out that Donald's got Douglas' tender as well as his own, Donald immediately starts looking the entire railway for Douglas in the snow, after a feud no less. Douglas' quote near the end sums it up.
- Douglas: Just knowin' that my brother came back for me, has already started warming me up.
Thomas And The Magic Railroad
- Lily and Burnett get Lady working again, and take a journey down the Magic Railroad. Especially seeing Burnett happy again and hugging his granddaughter.
Lily: Tasha would've loved this journey.
Burnett: And she'd love that you're with me now.
- And later, after Mr. Conductor and Junior get their gold dust back, Burnett and Lily share some between Lily's bluebird.
- After Thomas successfully crosses the viaduct, and indirectly defeats Diesel 10, Burnett lights up brighter than he has the entire film, yelling Thomas's praises at the top of his lungs and happily blowing Lady's whistle. Thomas even whistles back to them.
Hero of the Rails
- Hiro's friendship that forms between the Steam Team definitely counts. Especially when Thomas and Percy hear him laugh for the first time.
Spencer: You're both fine engines and fine friends.
- On top of that, when Thomas tells the rest of the engines about Hiro's situation, not one of them hesitates when it comes to helping Hiro.
- Spencer's sincere apology to Thomas and Hiro at the end.
Misty Island Rescue
- Arguably Thomas saving Diesel. Despite the recurring Fantastic Racism between the two rivals, Thomas is genuinely horrified when Diesel nearly falls over the unfinished bridge, and vehemently pulls him to safety. Diesel rather earnestly thanks him afterwards.
- Percy finding Thomas in the tunnel in Misty Island Rescue is nothing short of touching.
- Following that Thomas goes back to Misty Island after Sir Topham and the other engines have started a search party for him. Sir Topham is so overjoyed at finding Thomas he throws his top hat into the air. Thomas is horrified as his master's beloved hat disappears into the mist, however Sir Topham is unfazed:
Sir Topham: I can find another hat, but I can never find another Thomas.
Day of the Diesels
- Thomas and Percy standing up for the the diesels at the end of Day of the Diesels.
Tale of the Brave
- Just how exactly are you heartwarming? Let us count the ways...
Percy: I guess you have to be brave to say goodbye to someone too.
- Percy and Gator's friendship. Percy admires Gator so much, while Gator is willing to act as an emotional support while Percy struggles with his insecurities. Then, when Gator is afraid of crossing the suspension bridge, Percy coasts by him with a reassuring smile, and that alone gives Gator the courage to get across the bridge.
- Even though they've had issues with their friendship in the past, Thomas' attempts to reconcile with Percy, and his concern when the green engine goes missing, are felt even stronger than before. Most notable when he begs Cranky to stop the ship, thinking Percy is on board. His panic is so strong, it's even kind of heartbreaking.
- On top of that, Cranky doesn't hesitate a second when Thomas begs him to stop the ship, and holds on despite being damaged in the process. Of course, when he finds out why Thomas needed the ship stopped, he's furious.
- In her little amount of screentime, Emily is the only one who openly defends Percy from James' teasing. And after the Scrap Heap Monster scene, when James tries to make a joke about Percy in bad taste, he receives a glare from the other engines, who know he has gone much too far.
- Despite having to put up with a lot of trouble from James, during the landslide, Percy doesn't think twice about helping James escape.
- Percy immediately forgiving both Thomas and James later on.
- Last but not least, Gator's departure scene. Also doubles as a Tear Jerker, especially when Gator, who had been Percy's hero for most of the movie, says Percy's actions inspired him.
- Especially great with James and Percy's closing dialog.
James: That sounds very wise, Percy. Did Gator tell you that?
Percy: No...I thought of it all by myself.
The Adventure Begins
- An adaptation of some of the first few episodes with new life breathed into them. Its very existence is heartwarming, in a way.
Edward: Never mind Thomas. At least we're working together again.
- Classic themes return, in new styles, including "Really Useful Engine."
- A lot of Edward and Thomas' interactions are very sweet to watch. Even though it would be unsurprising if Edward lost his temper with Thomas' inexperience, he teaches Thomas everything he knows.
- And when Thomas finally does get Edward into trouble, leaving them both restricted to work in the yard, his reaction:
- Thomas helping Henry get over his phobia of rain. Even though it might feel a bit strange that Henry's afraid of it, it's still charming to watch.
- Keep in mind that Thomas was strictly told to work in the yard when he went to help both Henry and James. He risked getting in big trouble again because he wanted to help his friends with their problems.
- Gordon finally expressing silent approval of Thomas with a small visible smile.
- James, spending most of the special with an Inferiority Superiority Complex over his flawed build, comes back from the Steamworks spruced up into the splendid red engine of present day.
- The ending scene. After picking up his passengers and leaving Ffarquhar Station, Thomas runs along the line, with the camera focusing on him...before a picture fades in over it, depicting the same scene in Reginald Dalby's original style.
Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure
- The Small Railway Engines immediately start trying to cheer Thomas up when he arrives at their junction feeling dejected over being sent away from his branch line.
- Though the former appears hostile at first, Sailor John and Skiff are actually very friendly with Thomas, and they conveniently arrive whenever Thomas is at an emotional low point in the story. Unfortunately, Sailor John wasn't actually that kind...
- Most of Ryan's interactions with Thomas are really warming to look at, and it's clear he just wants to be friends with the blue engine. Unfortunately, Thomas thinks Ryan arrived to replace him, and remains cold most of the movie.
- When they finally start talking on happier terms, though, the first thing Ryan after when Thomas admits to knowing about the bad coal that nearly caused a disaster? All he does is invite Thomas into the shed. Later that night, his concern for Thomas causes him to be at Arlesdale Junction just in time to help stop the Pirate Ship.
- Skiff allowing Thomas to derail and potentially destroy him. He's willing to put everything he can into stopping the chase, and his friendship with Thomas really shows in these scenes.
- Though he spent most of the movie being unusually strict and sometimes even losing his temper, Sir Topham Hatt's words after the treasure chase are quite possibly the most warming things we've heard from him in the entire show.
Thomas: But...I wasn't quick enough to save the treasure, Sir.
Sir Topham Hatt: Please don't worry about the treasure, Thomas. My engines are much more important to me than any treasure. And you, Thomas, are my number one!
- Seeing Thomas' number 1 on his side feels so much more wonderful after the climax. It was covered in grime for most of the movie, and Thomas even thought he had been replaced completely by Ryan, even going as far as to say he was no longer number one.
- Sir Topham Hatt allows Thomas to cut the ribbon and open up the new branch line.
- The lyrics to "We Make a Team Together" are really warming in themselves.
We make a team together (One, two, three)
We go full steam together (Him, you, me)
Best of friends forever will be (Yeah, yeah!)
The Great Race
- Thomas and Ashima's duet "You Can Only Be You".
- Percy was too scared to compete in the shunting race, so he lets Thomas step in.
- Just the fact that the entire franchise was kick started by a father cheering his ill stricken son up with tales of talking trains with similar problems is enough to brighten you day.
- The song "That's What Friends are For", one of the most emotional pieces of music made for the series.
- The most recent Mr. Perkins segments on the DVD releases of the new episodes, mainly in that they feature the titular character reading a slightly abridged version of the Railway Series Stories, even featuring most of the original illustrations as well as a few new ones, showing that the show is starting to acknowledge its roots for the first time since Series 2.
- For the 70th anniversary of the Railway Series, Mattel is releasing a limited edition Wooden Railway model of Thomas, modeled after the very first Thomas toy: a wooden train Rev. W. Awdry made for his son Christopher.
- A deleted scene from the last episode of the first season, "Thomas' Christmas Party".
- The opening to "Tit for Tat" becomes Heart Warming In Hindsight once you learn the Thin Clergyman is The Reverend W. Awdry's Author Avatar. Thomas gets to speak to the man who created him.
- When YouTube personality The Unlucky Tug and two friends watched two Season 15 episodes (Up, Up and Away and Wonky Whistle), and then a Season 20 episode (Cautious Conner), he noted how good it was to see how much the writing had improved since the incredibly dumbed down Season 15. Especially touching when he says "They're actually having a conversation! It's so natural!"
- George Carlin actually spoke fondly of his time narrating the series, saying that he was happy that it allowed people to see a different side of him.