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Sunday, 19 January 2014

Hit Entertainment readies Thomas' 70th anniversary

Hit Entertainment have begun plans to prepare for the 70th anniversary of the Thomas & Friends brand. 

2015 will mark 70 years since the birth of The Railway Series by the Rev. W. Awdry and the release of its first book, The Three Railway Engines.

On crowdsourcing website Tongal, Hit are involved in the creation of a celebratory video directed at what Thomas & Friends means to fans, with Tongal members open to submit their own entries through a Wildcard round.
The project has surpassed its $45,000 target, with its objective detailing a brief with a winner to be announced on January 27th.

How does the magic of Thomas’ world break through the screen and into your everyday lives? Focus on how the wonder and adventure are relevant in today’s world, for today’s children and families. 

On January 13th, Veronica Chambers, the Rev. Awdry's daughter, paid tribute to her father and his legacy on BBC One's magazine show, The One Show, with Veronica revisiting The Old Vicarage home in Emneth, UK.

Previous milestones celebrated have included 50 years in 1995 with the broadcast of the Fifth Series and 2000's theatrical film Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
2005 brought the first feature-length special Calling All Engines!, with the first CGI made series and the fourth special Misty Island Rescue following in 2010, Thomas' 65th anniversary.

With a Thomas exhibition for the US, the TV series' 30th anniversary this year will bring the Tale of the Brave special and the 18th Series to screens.

In an interview with SiF in October 2012 however, head writer Andrew Brenner downplayed the focus on the show's own milestone.

The focus has always been on celebrating the landmark anniversaries of the first book rather than the TV anniversaries. Hit are not intending to mark this date, but looking forward to the 70th anniversary of the books.

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