Although this subject will mean absolutely nothing to many, millions in The UK will immediately recognise the importance of this life defining issue. It’s a debate that on the surface seems pointless but stands for something much more important than an infantile programming choice.
Thomas the Tank Engine is an institution, that has influenced and entertained generations. As I look up and down my crowded underground train I am confident that most would instantly recognise that happy theme tune. If I were to ask the man to my right to identify “The Fat Controller” I’m sure he could give me a detailed description (although I haven’t actually put this to the test). TTTE holds legendary status – it was even narrated by a Beatle!
But Thomas has a pretender to his crown…
Chuggington is modern, colourful, exciting and already starting to muscle into the train related children’s TV niche. It doesn’t focus on old, dated, slow, steam trains, with aged upper class voiceovers – it introduces fun, relevant, electric, young engines, training to take over the railway network. Chuggington is educational, relevant and already a favourite of the new generation.
Thomas definitely feels threatened.
In fact he has been completely revamped in the face of the Chuggington threat. That famous theme tune is no more, and Ringo has been sent to the scrap heap, replaced with a new younger model.
I find it desperately sad to see the demise of Thomas, but I have to be honest, as a bored father I would rather turn over to CBeebies and watch the new train generation. Thomas will always hold a place in my heart, but I am now a Chuggington man.
And as my little boy is still too young to operate the remote, I tend to switch to CBeebies and leave it running (although this is mainly because the mums proclaim it as educational) – so the chances are Chuggington will now be his train show of choice.
But whether it’s Chuggs or Thomas showing on my 32inch plasma, at least I can watch still watch the sport on my laptop….thank goodness for SkyGO.