Thomas & Friends "Season 7" (partially found original music of American dub of children’s TV series; mid 2000s)

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ThomastheTrainseason7.jpg

Season 7 DVD cover.

Status: Partially Found

Thomas & Friends Season 7 was the last season in what fans refer to as the "classic era" of the TV series as it was last season feature many of the original crew such as producer Britt Alcroft, series director David Mitton, and composers Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell. The next season would feature new crew and would be produced by HiT Entertainment who acquired the brand shortly after season 7 finished production. The season would be narrated by Michael Angelis in the UK and by Michael Brandon in the US. In the UK, Season 7 would first air in October 2003 with 26 episodes and original music by Mike and Junior.

For US audiences however, season 7 aired on TV another year later in 2004. It was also aired in-between episodes from season 8 on PBS Kids. For this, the season 7 episodes would have revised music by new series composer Robert Hartshorne -- most likely to keep consistent with the season 8 episodes that aired with the new music from Hartshorne. The UK would do a similar thing to some of the episodes in re-airings the following year.

Only three episodes of the US dub have ever been released with the original music intact. The three episodes would be on the "Thomas and the Jet Engine" DVD released on July 20, 2004, two months before season 8 would start airing in the US. The episodes would be "Harold and the Flying Horse", "Bulgy Rides Again", and "Salty's Stormy Tale." All releases of season 7 episodes since then featured Brandon's narration with Hartshorne's music.

It seems unlikely that season 7 will see light in the US with the original music aside from the three episodes mentioned above. Fans of the older series have tried editing the original music back into Michael Brandon's narration -- however, these are generally poor quality due to the noise removal drowning the narration and vocal removal from stereo sources. Some have also produced instrumentals of season 7 music from both the UK and US dubs to varying degrees of success.

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