Producer, director, scriptwriter and model-maker David Mitton was best known for his work with the children’s TV shows Tugs and Thomas the Tank Engine, the latter for which he wrote and directed 180 episodes.
Mitton had also worked with Gerry and Sylvia Anderson as a special effects technician on shows such as Thunderbirds Are Go.
David Nelson Mitton was born on February 27, 1939 in Edinburgh, the son of a consultant engineer. He began writing scripts as a teenager and on leaving Strathallan School, joined the RAF. In the early sixties he embarked on a career in children’s films.
In 1980 he formed his own company Clearwater Features with Robert Cardona, which later became part of the Britt Allcroft Company in 1991 and HIT Entertainment in 2002.
Mitton also worked on the American film Thomas and the Magic Railroad, starring Alec Baldwin and Peter Fonda.
In 2005 he formed the independent production company Pineapple Squared Entertainment. More recently, he had devised another children’s TV series, Orsum Island.
He retired after the last episode of the seventh season of Thomas the Tank Engine.
Mitton died on May 16, aged 69.