The classic children’s series, “Thomas the Tank Engine,” is relaunching next week with an updated set of characters and a commitment to being more “inclusive, gender-balanced,” and “multicultural.” . . .
According to The Independent, Thomas’s “Stem Team” — the core group of anthropomorphic railroad cars that make up the show’s cast — will now be “gender balanced,” with three “male” trains and three “female” trains taking center stage, rather than the male-heavy team that held down Sir Toppem Hat’s rail yard in the original series. . .
“The new female characters include Isla, an Australian flying doctor; Hong-mei, a number 1 blue tank engine from China; and Churubala, a female railway controller from India,” The Independent reports. “The Steam Team is now gender-balanced, with three male and three female characters: Percy, James, Gordon, Emily and new members Nia and Rebecca, as well as Thomas.”
The team behind “Thomas” hopes that’ll boost the show among female viewers, and satisfy viewers across the world.
“The show has undergone an evolution to remain relevant for the next generation of parents and children by opening up the world of Thomas & Friends so children can discover the world around them while being entertained,” the show’s senior producer, Ian McCue, said in a statement. (Read more from “TRANS TRAINS? ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ Goes ‘Gender-Balanced,’ ‘Multicultural'” HERE)