In 1979, the Reverend Awdry was interviewed for a feature on steam trains. The producer, Britt Allcroft, had read some of the books before the interview. She had became fascinated with the characters and after getting funding from her local bank, acquired the series so she could adapt it for television. Allcroft rounded up a production crew, which included model director David Mitton, narrator Ringo Starr, and composers Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell. The first season premiered in 1987 and, after its success, was followed by a second season in 1988.
- Series One: 6 April - 28 December 1987
- Series Two: 18 April - 26 December 1988