The announcement of another series for next year was revealed this week via Hit's corporate website, with 26 episodes confirmed to appear in the now upcoming Season 18 in 2014.
The press release states; Hit Entertainment [have] greenlit a new 26 x 11’ CGI series of Thomas & Friends.
This will be the eighteenth series of Thomas & Friends, which remains one of the world’s premiere preschool lifestyle brands and currently broadcasts in 200 territories to over 1.1 billion households.
Coinciding with next year's run of episodes is the eighth feature-length special, Tale of the Brave. The ninth movie in the franchise, counting Thomas and the Magic Railroad, is so far confirmed as a direct-to-DVD release.
Thomas & Friends: Tale of the Brave, which will premiere in 2014, explores the theme of bravery. When Thomas spots some giant footprints his friend Percy quickly becomes convinced that there is a monster on the island.
When an unusual engine, with sloping boilers, first appears, Percy believes he must be the monster but the new engine proves to be a good friend and ally. He even helps Percy discover what it really means to be brave.
News of the special, originally titled, Monster of Sodor, was leaked across the internet and the Thomas fandom in the summer, within hours after a page was made before Hit removed the information completely.
Storyteller Mark Moraghan revealed earlier this year on BBC Radio Merseyside that he had recorded narration for over 100 episodes.
Tale of the Brave and the 18th Series of Thomas & Friends are coming soon in 2014.