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Shining Time Station

Shining Time Station was an American television sequel of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends series co-created by Britt Allcroft and Rick Siggelkow. The series was produced by The Britt Allcroft Company and Quality Family Entertainment in New York, but was shot in Toronto. The series aired on PBS from January 1989 to June 1993. It aired on Fox Family for 1998 and 1999, and also on Nick Jr. in 2000 for the film Thomas and the Magic Railroad.

Background

Once Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends had become a critical and commercial success in the UK, Allcroft and her production company teamed up with PBS to create an American version of the show. Every episode of the show would include a couple episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine within the framework of a live-action story that would take place in the United States. Thus, Shining Time Station was born. Ringo Starr, who had already been providing the voice of the narrator for the British series, agreed to extend the role to include the on-screen character Mr. Conductor in Shining Time Station. He later left the show and was replaced by George Carlin.

In a review for Entertainment Weekly, Ken Tucker states that, compared to the faster paced Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, "Shining Time Station wants to slow things down; it's an old- fashioned show that creates a gentle, lulling atmosphere to convince children that life is fun and that trains are the way to travel.

Also, before the executive producer Rick Siggelkow went to work at the BBC, he was planning a Shining Time Station movie. For reasons unexplained, the movie was canceled.

Overview

Shining Time Station is a train station that resides on the Indian Valley Railroad and is located in the fictional town of Shining Time. The station is managed by Stacy Jones, the station master whose grandmother Gracie ran the station when she was Stacy's age. The station's workshop is run by railroad engineer and mechanic Harry Cupper. In the second season, Harry is transferred to a new station in Fort Farley and is replaced by Billy Twofeathers.

A local named Horace Schemer (simply called Schemer by his friends) runs the station's arcade and is always finding new ways to make more money or to protect his arcade. He serves as the series' comic relief. Schemer thinks that strange goings-on in the station happen because the station is haunted. His catch phrases include "Genius time" (for when he has an idea), "Schemer's system of success" (for when he wants to impress his friends) and "This place is haunted". Starting in the second season, Schemer would sometimes be aided in his schemes by his nephew, Schemee.

Harry's granddaughter, Tanya, and Stacy's nephew, Matt, also visit the station occasionally. In the second season, three new children visit the station: Harry's granddaughter, Kara; Stacy's nephew, Dan; and a new girl named Becky.

Other visitors to the station include various townspeople, such as socialite and gossip Midge Smoot, farmer Ginny Johnson, general store proprietor Barton Winslow, bus driver Felix Perez, Shining Time's mayor Osgood Bob Flopdinger (referred to as the mayor of East Shemp in his initial appearance), and J.B. King, Esq., the superintendent of the Indian Valley Railroad.

There is a jukebox inside the arcade that houses a band that perform for the nickels that are dropped inside. The band consists of Didi the drummer, cowboy twin brothers Tex and Rex who together play between them one guitar larger than them, Grace who plays bass guitar, and Tito the leader who plays the piano and collects the nickels they accumulate.

Mr. Conductor is a tiny man who lives in a switch house inside the station's mural and tells the stories of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends to the kids. He can teleport in a cloud of his magic gold dust.

Cast

Series Regulars

Season 1 Regulars

Christmas Special Characters

Seasons 2-3 Regulars

Recurring Characters (Full Series)

Recurring Characters (Season 2-3)

  • Barbara Hamilton - Ginny
  • Jonathan Shapiro - Schemee
  • Gerard Parkes - Barton Winslow
  • Aurelio Padrón - Felix Perez

The Jukebox Puppet Band

  • Olga Marin - Didi
  • Alan Semok/ Rory Dodd - Tex
  • Craig Marin - Rex
  • Jonathan Freeman - Tito Swing
  • Peter Baird/ Kenny Miele/ Vanesse Thomas - Grace the Bass

The Jukebox Band Songs

Song Episode(s)
I've Been Working on the Railroad A Place Unlike Any Other
Camptown Races Does It Bite?
Railroad Corral Pitching in And Helping Out
Abilene Agree to Disagree
Pop Goes the Weasel Whistle While You Work
A Railroaders Bride I'll Be Two Old Hands
The Wreck of Old '97 Happy Accidents
The Train Is A Comin' Ring In The Old
The Desperado Finders Keepers
Union Train Just Wild About Harry's Workshop
Oh! Susanna Promises, Promises
Jesse James Word's Out
Casey Jones Too Many Cooks
Red River Valley Mapping It Out
Clementine Things That Go Ga-Hooga! in the Night
Little Black Train Is This the End?
Midnight Special Scare Dares
Mama Don't Allow Oh, What a Tangled Web
Nine Hundred Miles The Magic is Believing
Arkansas Traveler Win, Lose or Draw
Erie Canal Sweet and Sour
Cosher Bailey's Engine Achoo!
Home on the Range A Dog's Life
Take Me Out to the Ballgame Field Day & Second Chances
Sweet Betsy from Pike Wrong Track
Cumberland Gap Washout
John Henry Crackpot
My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean Nickle in a Pickle
She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain Stop the Press
I Dream of Jeanie He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
This Train Double Trouble
Chattanooga Choo Choo Is Anybody There?
The Railroad Cars Are Coming All's Fair
Celito Lindo Becky Makes a Wish
Polly Wolly Doodle Schemer Alone
Jamaican Farewell Bully for Mr. Conductor
Five Hundred Miles Stacy Cleans Up
Strollin' Through the Park Schemer's Robot
Get on Board Billy Saves the Day
We Gather Together Billy's Party
Turkey in the Straw Fortune Teller Schemer
Crawdad Schemer Goes Camping
Danny Boy Mr. Conductor's Evil Twin
Patriotic Medley Mr. Conductor's 4th of July
Lullaby Medley Stacy Forgets Her Name
Old Joe Clark Schemer's Special Club
No Business Like Show Business Mr. Conductor's Movie
Waltzing Matilda Mysterious Stranger
Michael Row Your Boat Ashore Dan's Big Race
Beautiful Dreamer Mr. Conductor's Big Sleepwalk
Cowboy Medley How The Station Got Its Name
Freight Train Blues Mr. Conductor Gets Left Out
Cannonball Blues The Mayor Run For Re-Election
Engine 143 Bad Luck Day At Shining Time Station
Riddle Song Dance Crazy
This Old Man The Joke's On Schemer
Old Dan Tucker ''Stacy Says No!
Lonestar Trail Medley Once Upon A Time
Buffalo Gals Medley Once Upon A Time
What's New Pussycat? Once Upon A Time
Christmas Time At The Railway Station Tis A Gift
Jingle Bells Tis A Gift
Over The River And Through The Woods Tis A Gift
If My Friends Could See Me Now One Of The Family
Long, Long Ago One Of The Family
This Land Is Your Land One Of The Family
Down in the Valley Second Chances
Skip To My Lou Medley Second Chances
The Lovely Ohio Queen For A Day
Greensleeves/Scarbarough Fair Queen For A Day
Mrs. Murphy's Chowder Queen For A Day

Series' segments

  • Flexitoons Puppets & Marionettes - Jukebox Band Concert
  • Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends - narrated by Ringo Starr & George Carlin
  • Occasionally an episode might have a cartoon/video (usually accompanied by a song) from the picture machine (an old-fashioned arcade film machine), the Anything Tunnel (a tunnel in the station mural), a magic bubble, or if any adult told a story besides Mr. Conductor

Episodes

Season One (1989-1990)

# Title Thomas story 1 Thomas story 2
1 A Place Unlike Any Other Thomas Gets Tricked Edward Helps Out
2 Does it Bite? Come Out, Henry! Henry to the Rescue
3 And the Band Played Off A Big Day for Thomas Trouble for Thomas
4 Pitching In and Helping Out Thomas Saves the Day James Learns a Lesson
5 Show and Yell Foolish Freight Cars A Proud Day for James
6 Faith, Hope and Anxiety Thomas and the Conductor Thomas Goes Fishing
7 Agree to Disagree Terence the Tractor Thomas and Bertie's Great Race
8 Whistle While You Work Tenders and Turntables Trouble in the Shed
9 Two Old Hands Percy Runs Away Thomas Comes to Breakfast
10 Happy Accidents Henry's Special Coal The Flying Kipper
11 Ring in the Old Toby the Tram Engine Thomas Breaks the Rules
12 Impractical Jokes A Cow on the Line Old Iron
13 Finders Keepers Double Trouble James in a Mess
14 Just Wild About Harry's Workshop Duck Takes Charge Percy Proves a Point
15 Promises, Promises Better Late Than Never Pop Goes the Diesel
16 Words Out Diesel's Devious Deed A Close Shave for Duck
17 Too Many Cooks Gordon Takes a Dip Down the Mine
18 Mapping it Out The Runaway Percy Takes a Plunge
19 Things That Go Gahooga in the Night Percy's Ghostly Trick Woolly Bear
20 Is This the End? Saved from Scrap A New Friend for Thomas

Christmas Special (1990-1991)

# Title Thomas story 1 Thomas story 2
21 'Tis a Gift TV: Terence the Tractor VHS: Thomas' Christmas Party TV: Thomas' Christmas Party VHS: Thomas & The Missing Christmas Tree

Season Two (1991-1992)

# Title Thomas story 1 Thomas story 2
22 Scare Dares Percy's Ghostly Trick Thomas, Percy and the Dragon
23 Oh, What a Tangled Web Diesel's Devious Deed No Joke For James
24 The Magic is Believing Old Iron Edward's Exploit
25 Win, Lose or Draw Double Trouble Gordon and the Famous Visitor
26 Sweet and Sour Donald and Douglas The Deputation
27 Achoo! Trust Thomas Whistles and Sneezes
28 A Dog's Life James in a Mess The Trouble with Mud
29 Field Day Percy Proves a Point Thomas and Bertie's Great Race
30 Wrong Track Thomas Saves the Day Down the Mine
31 Washout Bertie's Chase Percy's Promise
32 Crackpot Woolly Bear Henry's Forest
33 Yabba, Yabba, Yabba Pop Goes the Diesel Diesel Does It Again
34 Nickel in a Pickle Thomas Comes to Breakfast Thomas Gets Bumped
35 Stop the Press Percy and the Signal A Big Day for Thomas
36 He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not Thomas, Percy and the Mail Train
37 Double Trouble The Diseasel Donald's Duck
38 Is Anybody There? Thomas Goes Fishing A Scarf for Percy
39 Do I Hear? Mavis Toby's Tightrope
40 Jingle, Jingle, Jingle Time for Trouble Trouble for Thomas
41 All's Fair Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party

Season Three (1993-1994)

# Title Thomas story 1 Thomas story 2
42 Becky Makes a Wish All at Sea
43 Schemer Alone Percy, James and the Fruitful Day
44 Bully for Mr. Conductor Bulgy
45 Stacy Cleans Up James Goes Buzz Buzz
46 Schemer's Robot Tenders and Turntables Trouble in the Shed
47 Billy Saves the Day A New Friend for Thomas
48 Billy's Party Thomas and Percy's Mountain Adventure
49 Fortune Teller Schemer Thomas and the Conductor A Cow on the Line
50 Billy's Runaway Train A Close Shave for Duck The Runaway
51 Schemer Goes Camping Percy Takes the Plunge
52 Mr. Conductor's Evil Twin Heroes
53 Bad Luck Day at Shining Time Station Gordon Takes a Dip
54 Mr. Conductor's 4th of July Escape
55 Stacy Forgets Her Name Thomas Gets Tricked
56 Schemer's Special Club Oliver Owns Up
57 Mr. Conductor's Movie Tender Engines
58 The Joke's on Schemer Daisy Wrong Road
59 Dance Crazy Percy Runs Away Percy's Predicament
60 Mysterious Stranger Come Out, Henry! Henry to the Rescue
61 Dan's Big Race Henry's Special Coal The Flying Kipper
62 Mr. Conductor Gets Left Out One Good Turn A Proud Day for James
63 Mr. Conductor's Big Sleepwalk Saved from Scrap Better Late Than Never
64 The Mayor Runs for Re-Election James Learns a Lesson Foolish Freight Cars
65 Stacy Says No! Edward Helps Out Duck Takes Charge
66 How the Station Got Its Name Toby the Tram Engine Thomas Breaks the Rules

TV specials (1995-1996)

# Title Thomas story 1 Thomas story 2
1 Once Upon a Time Rusty to the Rescue Thomas & Stepney
2 Second Chances Granpuff Sleeping Beauty
3 One of the Family Toad Stands By Thomas & the Special Letter
4 Queen For a Day Thomas Meets the Queen Special Attraction

Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales (1997-1998)

# Title Story 1 Story 2 Story 3 Story 4 Story 5 Song
1 Paint the Town Red Come Out, Henry! Fish Whistles and Sneezes Henry & the Elephant Bulldog Let's Have a Race
2 Splish, Splash, Splosh Passengers and Polish Gallant Old Engine Bertie's Chase Peter Sam & the Refreshment Lady You Can't Win Gone Fishing
3 Missing Whistles Bulls' Eyes Train Stops Play Percy's Ghostly Trick Thomas, Percy & the Dragon Special Funnel Really Useful Engine
4 Wildlife Four Little Engines Daisy Saved From Scrap Rusty Helps Peter Sam Percy's Predicament Toby
5 For the Birds A Bad Day for Sir Handel Percy Proves a Point Bowled Out The Diseasel Steamroller Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover
6 Wish You Were Here Thomas, Percy & The Mail Train Mind That Bike Rock N Roll Home at Last Thomas & The Special Letter Island Song

Merchandising

  • Stacy Cleans Up Volume 1
  • Schemer Alone Volume 2
  • Bully for Mr. Conductor Volume 3
  • Becky Makes a Wish Volume 4
  • Sweet and Sour Volume 5
  • Billy's Party Volume 6
  • Mr. Conductor's Evil Twin Volume 7
  • Schemer's Special Club Volume 8

Thomas & Friends Ertl Trains

1989-1990

  • Thomas
  • Edward
  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Percy
  • Toby
  • Annie and Clarabel
  • Henrietta
  • Duck
  • Diesel
  • The Express Coaches
  • The Old Coaches
  • Troublesome Trucks
  • Milk and Tar Tankers
  • The Breakdown Train

1991-1992

  • Bill
  • Ben
  • Donald
  • Douglas
  • Daisy
  • Boco
  • Mavis
  • Oliver
  • City Of Truro
  • Sodor Mail Coaches
  • Toad

1993-1994

  • Sodor Fuel Wagons

Thomas & Friends Trains

In 1989 when Shining Time Station was to begin, Thomas was a success in USA and The Lionel Train Company who made big scale 1 trains made several sets. These trains are 43mm gauge which is the closest commercially available to the ones used for filming (When the TV shows started Gauge 1 (37mm) models based on Marklin mechanisms were used) The original Gauge 1 (G scale) sets are becoming collectable particullarly original 1993 sets with the play mat and yellow track. In 1994 James the Red Engine with Troublesome Trucks followed in G scale. A re-release of Thomas in G followed in 2000, using sets made outwith the US. These later sets are distinguishable by the brown railway sleepers and interchangeable couplings (bachmann style included).

G Scale

  • Thomas with Annie and Clarabel
  • James with the Troublesome Trucks
  • Separate Sale Troublesome Truck
  • Accessory Pack-Set included the Sound System, a 4 1/2' by 7 1/2' Playmat, Sir Topham Hatt and Railway Staff figures, and three Thomas facial expressions
  • Yellow track was also made for the Thomas G scale line, and packs of track was sold separately with 4 Straight or Curved Track.
  • A Track Kit was made, which included four straight track, four curved track, and a Left and Right Switch Track.
  • Also, a model of Wellsworth, the windmill, and a watertower was made, and sold all together in a pack.

O Scale

  • Thomas the Tank Engine with Annie and Clarabel
  • Percy the Small Engine
  • James the Red Engine
  • Thomas Expansion Pack
  • Sodor Freight Expansion Pack
  • Devious Diesel
  • Sir Topham Hatt Gateman
  • Iron Arry and Bert

HO Scale

  • Orriginally produced by Hornby, the Thomas line is now available in the US from Bachmann Industries. The current lineup includes figures, structures, locomotives, and rolling stock. Most of the locomotives have eyes that will look side to side as the train moves. Most of the popular trains are available and are part of the "Standard" series.

Books

  • A book was written by Britt Allcroft and Rick Siggelkow, featuring the Juke Box Band, entitled, "This Old Band," published by Quality Family Entertainment in 1994.

Syndication

United States

Canada

  • YTV (1990-1998/99)
  • TVO (1999-2000)
  • APTN (2000-01)
  • Both TVO and APTN aired only the last two series of STS. The main reason that STS aired on APTN was due to the fact that Tom Jackson (Billy Twofeathers) stared on the show.

Ireland

  • TV3 (1999-2003)

Trivia

  • Shining Time is seen in the movie Thomas and the Magic Railroad. Didi Conn plays Stacy again, but Tom Jackson's role as Billy was handed over to Russell Means. The new Mr. Conductor is played by Alec Baldwin.
  • All of the Shining Time Station episodes only ever have three sets: the main room of the station, the workshop, and the interior of the station's jukebox, where the Jukebox Band resided. This changed in the specials, in which scenes took place outside, in the signal house, and in a large basement-type room that may or may not be part of the station building.
  • The train seen in both the opening and closing credits is the real locomotive, the Union Pacific 844.
  • The "Rainbow Sun" mentioned in the theme song is the name of Billy Twofeathers' train.
  • Every episode of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends from seasons 1 through 4 was told by Mr. Conductor, at least once, over the course of all 3 seasons as well as the family specials and Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales.
  • For reasons unexplained, in the episode "Washout" when Mr. Conductor tells the story "Bertie's Chase" the beginning (Edward waiting for Thomas) was omitted. This scene was also omitted from the James In A Mess picture book for unexplained reasons, but in the Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales episode, "Splish, Splash, Splosh", and in all VHS and DVD releases, the episode is in its entirety.
  • When Shining Time Station was aired on Nickelodeon it was aired to promote Thomas And The Magic Railroad.
  • When the show aired on Fox Family, it used the credits from the TV Specials but episodes were edited significantly so they could fit the time slot.
  • In the Station is a huge wall painting, which resembles WPA paintings of the 1930s.

Funding

Funding for the show was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the financial support of the viewers/stations of PBS

References

External links

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