Young fans of Thomas the Tank Engine will hear the blue cartoon character speak for the first time in a special feature-length version of the TV show.
The show will also introduce some new racially diverse characters, including Japanese engine Hiro and Hispanic locomotive Victor.
The animated adventures of Thomas and friends are usually told by a narrator, but in Hero of the Rails, a 60-minute special, the characters are given their own voices.
Actor Ben Small (no, we’ve never heard of him either) is providing the voice of Thomas. “The responsibility is immense. Thomas is so popular and so well loved. Previous narrators have done such great jobs, but it’s such a pleasure and a privilege to be involved in this new era for Thomas.”
Past narrators of the show include Pierce Brosnan and Ringo Starr. Hero of the Rails will be available on DVD from October.