Prince Harry agreed with pleasure to help to mark 75th anniversary of “Thomas and Friends”, TV spin-off show about legendary Thomas the Tank Engine. The royal is introducing a special episode which features the cartoon trains as well as some members of the royal family.
Prince Harry introduces the episode “Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine” saying: “It all began when a young boy lay ill in bed. His loving father entertained him with stories of a special railway on the magical island of Sodor.”
The royal is sitting in an armchair and holding one of the brand’s books. In fact, the fictional train Thomas the Tank Engine came to life in 1945 as a character in “The Railway Series” books by Reverend Wilbert Awdry. Later, his son Christopher successfully continued the series.
It led to a children’s TV spin-off show now called “Thomas and Friends”, which began in 1984 and is still running, Reuters reported.
“Those stories would go on to become the tales of the most iconic tank engine the world has ever known, Thomas the Tank Engine… ‘Thomas & Friends’ is celebrating 75 years of friendship and teamwork,” Prince Harry introduced.
For the royal family, “The Royal Engine” is very important. It features Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and her eldest child Prince Charles as a boy awaiting the arrival of Sir Topham Hatt, also known as the Fat Controller. He has been invited to London by the queen to collect an award and it is Thomas’ job to get him there safely.
“It’s about Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt embarking on a journey to London and on the way they come across lots of pitfalls and perils,” said producer Ian McCue.
The episode features a new train character, The Duchess of Loughborough, whose role is to transport the royal family. The actress Rosamund Pike was picked up to voice the duchess.
“It’s got all the key characters and some new ones and some unexpected ones, and I think it puts Thomas front and centre, giving him a very noble and important challenge and he emerges from it triumphant,” Pike said.
The work on the new episode’s voiceover has started in January when Harry was a part of the royal family. In February, he and his wife announced they give up his royal duties and move to Canada.
The new episode “Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine” is set to be screened on various channels around the world starting on May 1 in the US on Netflix.