Thomas the Tank Engine (Sharon Miller era, seasons 12-16)

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Thomas The Tank Engine (Seasons 12-16)
Thomas the Tank Engine.png
"Cinders and ashes! My character came off the rails!" - The real Thomas' reaction to his badly written version of himself in Seasons 12-16
Gender: Male
Type: Idiotic Tank Engine
Species: Steam Locomotive
Portrayed by: Martin T. Sherman (US) Ben Small (UK)
Media of Origin: Thomas & Friends


Thomas the Tank Engine is an anthropomorphised fictional tank locomotive in the British Railway Series books by Wilbert Awdry and his son, Christopher, published from 1945. He became the most popular and famous character in the series, and is the titular protagonist in the accompanying television adaptation series Thomas & Friends.

During the Sharon Miller era (Seasons 12-16), due to the poor writing of episodes, he became badly butchered to the point he is excessively unlikable and useless, especially in most of the episodes from those same seasons. During seasons 13 - 16, he was voiced by Ben Small and Martin Sherman in the UK and US respectively.

Why He Caused Confusion and Delay

NOTE: This will only focus on how he was butchered badly in Seasons 12-16.

  1. He has lost all of the original personality and charm he had in the first eight seasons, and it wasn't until Season 17 when he finally got his original personality back, though it varies whether he is in character or not in Seasons 9-11, depending on the episode and portrayal. He went from an optimistic, cheeky, fussy, smart, and playful engine to a complete idiot who is always simple minded, hardly pays any attention to anything, mostly never listens to what the Fat Controller or what another engine says, makes way too many mistakes and screws everything up constantly than usual, and comes off as a stuck-up smart aleck whom he thinks he knows everything.
    • However, after Season 24, he has been flanderized again, but this time he is now portrayed as a child compared to his original personality traits starting with the Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go! reboot in 2021. Which is a real shame because Mattel and Nelvana began picking up from where the writing at HiT Entertainment left off, turning the franchise into a franchise for small children.
  2. The mistakes he makes in these five seasons show how he is portrayed as a bad tank engine in the following:
    • In "Splish, Splash, Splosh!", he got too carried away about playing with muddy water to the extent he sprays James, Emily, and Charlie for no reason other than just him screwing around (though the latter deserves it). Therefore, his wheels would've rusted. Which proves the point his mischievous in it's complete worst in that episode.
    • In "Misty Island Rescue" aside from being a know-it-all who he thinks he is in the right. He makes bad decisions despite saying he makes good ones, ignores the Logging Locos when they need oil to build up steam, does not care about the common sense he is given, and says a lot of awful rhymes.
      • He even told Diesel that he's not useful because he's a Diesel which is not only rude but also caused the reason why this film happened in the first place.
    • In "Saved You!" (the episode that started his flanderization), Thomas wants to make himself a "hero" after being given the opportunity to take a fireman that rescued Lady Hatt's cat from a tree to Maithwaite for his own medal ceremony, when yet he completely messes everything up and has wasted everyone's time for his own idiocy.
    • In "Wonky Whistle", he causes havoc with a wonky whistle by leaving the Sodor Steamworks by nearly injuring (or killing) a workman who was trying to fit the whistle on him by his ladder, does nothing about the animals that are escaping out of his van due to his wonky whistle until the very last minute, and before leaving with the van at the station, he nearly grabbed a man's hand off the handle while he was trying to close the trailer van's door! Thomas can be impatient sometimes, but he is not this impatient!
    • In "Sodor Surprise Day", he was the one who caused Cranky to drop a crate of fireworks that Gordon was supposed to take to the castle! Of course, he didn't mean that to happen, but it was still irresponsible REGARDLESS!
    • In "Day of the Diesels" aside from giving Belle a racist, but negative impression on diesels in general, he ignores Percy for no reason, even when Thomas himself is doing nothing. Not even him getting trapped at the Diesel works by Den and Dart is easy enough to make you sympathize with him because of how unlikable he is in this film and hasn't even learned anything in the events of the special at all. He doesn't apologize to Percy for unreasonably ignoring him, and he doesn't apologize to Belle or the diesels for his racist statement.
      • Before flanderization, he had his moments where he would be careless and would occasionally mess things up or get himself into trouble. But in these seasons, he does it on a regular basis.
  3. The most notably worst offender about him during those five seasons is where in some episodes, he acts like a stuck-up smart aleck who thinks he knows all about everything. "Misty Island Rescue" showcases this as he thinks he is in the right all the time.
  4. Like Son Goku in Dragon Ball Super he becomes a spotlight hog during Seasons 13-16.
  5. He comes across as prejudicial against diesels. In "Misty Island Rescue", he told Diesel he wasn't very useful because he was... well, a diesel. And he never gets called out for that. In "Day of the Diesels", he gives Belle a highly negative impression on diesels by saying all of them are devious.
  6. Speaking of racism, he is a hypocrite.
    • His bias against diesels is completely hypocritical because he thinks diesels would never be useful, yet he has been good friends with Salty, Rusty, Paxton and Mavis, all of which are diesels.
  7. In some instances, he doesn’t get any comeuppance, making himself a Karma Houdini.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. He was a much better character in Seasons 1-11 and redeemed himself during Seasons 17-24 and "Blue Mountain Mystery", until his flanderization came back again, except he is now portrayed as a child for the sake of the Nelvana reboot.
  2. There are some episodes in these seasons where he is at his best. Not to mention he has his original personality on occasion.
  3. He still cares about his friends and his branch line.
  4. Martin T. Sherman and Ben Small do fantastic jobs voicing him until Season 19.
  5. Depending on your view, he was a decent character in the first 9 episodes of Season 12 until "Saved You!".

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