The Thomas the Tank Engine TV series has just had a long-promised shake-up, with a firm eye better representing little viewers and their families. But another significant shift in the updated version of the show is making people very, very, VERY upset.
It’s a gender-balanced Thomas team!
The newly launched incarnation of Thomas sees a bunch of brilliant new characters join the cast (as announced late last year) to reflect the show’s global audience, put female characters in more powerful positions and balance out some very bloke-y gender bias.
“The new female characters include Isla, an Australian flying doctor; Hong-mei, a number 1 blue tank engine from China; and Churubala, a female railway controller from India,” The Independent reports.
“The Steam Team is now gender-balanced, with three male and three female characters: Percy, James, Gordon, Emily and new members Nia and Rebecca, as well as Thomas.”
⚠️ Thomas the Tank Engine has a NEW theme song! ⚠️
Posted by Daily Mirror on Monday, 3 September 2018
Thomas will now “encounter characters from around the world, many of which are female, such as a new African steam engine from Kenya called Nia, Ashima from India, Yong Bao from China and Shane from Australia.”
The United Nations helped tweak the new Thomas as part of its sustainable development programme. It’s hoped that this diversity push will help all little viewers – of which girls comprise around 40 percent – better identify with the show.
“Are they for real?!”
But not all the new Thomas twists are being met with open arms. The iconic theme song that has had millions of kids running towards to the telly to watch their favourite trains – and millions of parents across the globe breathing a sigh of relief at the minutes of peace the show offered them – has been officially ditched in favour of a very wordy, fast-paced all new theme.
The new theme song (above)
The old theme song (below)
“Thomas and Friends has always been known for its catchy theme tune, but to really launch the new series, we really thought we had to go in there with a brand new theme song,” a Thomas rep said gently as he announced the shake-up.
People are very upset
Needless to say, many Thomas fans were excited the show would be more inclusive, but some were very, VERY cross they’d updated the show’s much-loved theme. They took to social media in their hundreds to express their grief and shock. They were not happy campers, perhaps rightly so …
“Are they for real? New theme tune? That is sacrilege!” one upset fan wrote on Facebook.
“OMG. I don’t mind the new characters but why change the theme tune!!!!” another posted, quite rightly outraged.
“I can understand why there are new trains but changing the iconic theme song, that’s going way too far,” a grief-stricken theme-tune lover commented.
Some branded the shift “change for changes sake” or PC lefty nonsense, while others said it was their children that were paying the price.
“My little boy was very sad, he told me to turn it off, why change the theme tune, he loves singing along to it, I understand new characters are good but don’t mess with the theme tune,” one mum posted emotionally.
Sob! Won’t somebody think of the kids?
It’s clear that the old theme had a special place in people’s hearts, but this musical makeover signals a new era – and ushers in a brand new contingent of fans. The old guard might have to stick with old DVD copies of their favourite very useful engine, instead.