Monday, 31 December 2012

What To Expect In 2013...

Since that Australia are only three hours away to welcome 2013, I thought it'll be good to post something to end 2012 and that is what to expect in the new year.



BLOG
During the past 12 months this blog was in its first steps to the Thomas fandom and over those months I've seen many users having a background for their blog to make it more eye catching for the reader. So starting on Jan 1st, a new background will be added. The background will feature the little blue engine from the RWS - the sixteenth series, thanks to the TTTE Wikia. 

REVIEWS
The reviews will be their usual selves like 2012, but when it comes to DVDs and Books, I will add links onto them to shops that if they like to purchase a copy. S6-12 reviews will be up soon and their'll be more DVD reviews coming soon during the course of 2013. The first DVD will be in the middle of January with the US release of 'Muddy Matters

FINAL WORDS
Once again, I like to give thanks to all fellow readers, watchers and friends for a great year and we'll be looking forward to be giving you more reviews in many years to come. 


Enjoy 2013 everyone!!



A Retrospective of Thomas & Friends DVDs of 2012

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

As 2012 is drawing to a close, we will now take a look back at all the DVD releases of 2012 of Thomas & Friends:



きかんしゃトーマス ようこそソドー島へ たのしいなかま初登場編
(Hen first appearance fun companion to the island Sodor Welcome Thomas the Tank Engine)
(English translation by Google)
REVIEW DATE: 23/03/12
I believe every Thomas DVD from Japan have great content, this is one of the first DVDs that I've owned that has remastered episodes from the 1st - 3rd season of the show. The DVD gives us six episodes, one from S2 being remastered and a nice documentary showing us all the engines on Sodor that first arrived, though strangely they put 'City of Truro' in, when really its a preserved engine from the UK. But the DVD has great content. 
Rating: 5/5





きかんしゃトーマス じょうきはディーゼルにまけないぞ!!
(Thomas the Tank Engine above'll not lose to Diesel!)
(English translation by Google)
REVIEW DATE: 25/05/12


Once again, another great DVD for the Japanese audience. The classic episodes are all remastered and its good value with many episodes of the steam vs. diesel rivalry from the classic era of the show remastered.

Rating: 5/5



はじめましてトーマスシリーズ
いつもなかよし ふたごのきかんし
(???)
REVIEW DATE: 29/05/12


Another great DVD from the country of Japan. Much like the Australian compilation DVD series, 'My First Thomas' but with remastered episodes. Their is an English/Japanese audio selection with the UK narration and the episodes are once again remastered. 
Rating: 5/5



The Best of Thomas & Friends Vol. 1
REVIEW DATE: 25/03/12

Even though this was known for release in 2011 and strangely in 2010 in Australia, but was never advertised, I bought the DVD this year at Toys 'R' Us. All 26 episodes and a few of the classic ones being restored. The DVD has great entertainment for kids of all the classic selected stories 
between S1-6 
Rating: 5/5



Up, Up and Away!
REVIEW DATE: 28/03/12

The UK's third DVD release with 'The Birthday Express' being delayed and 'Thomas In Charge'. The DVD to me considered one of the worst that the UK has released with four poorly written episodes, especially 'Wonky Whistle' from the dreaded fifteenth season, I'm pretty sure every Thomas fan knows by now that many people don't like that episode or any episode on this DVD. However the special features are OK and Mr. Perkins is always enjoyable to watch. But with the episodes it is really not an entertaining DVD. 
Rating: 1/5



Rescue on The Rails
REVIEW DATE: 1/06/12

It's not better then the previous. I'm not much of a fan of 'Stop That Bus' really, minus Bertie's full CGI appearance. Not many of the episodes have a moral issue to deal with minus 'Edward The Hero'. The DVD is OK with the special features and Mr. Perkins. 
Rating: 3/5



Blue Mountain Mystery
REVIEW DATE: 8/09/12

Out of all the CGI specials, this one has to be the best since 'Hero of The Rails'. Andrew Brenner really made the script more entertaining then Sharon Miller's 'Day of The Diesels', even though I find it OK, and the dreadful 'Misty Island Rescue' special. Characters like Skarloey, Annie and Clarabel were in perfect character. Shame that this was Nitrogen Studios' last contribution to the Thomas world, but I wish them all the best in their other projects and that the Thomas fans who've supported them for nearly five years would never forget them. 
Rating: 5/5



The Classic Collection (S1 -3)
REVIEW DATE: 23/10/12
I thought these were re-releases of the classic collection from the 65th anniversary box set, but thanks to Chris Tomson on Twitter, the first three seasons were remastered. Many other copies such as promotional DVDs or compilation themed DVDs, like 'The Best Of' series that were released in the UK in 2010 and '12, have the remastered episodes but not as a series collection. With the classic story lines by Rev.W.Awdry and Christopher Awdry from the books, Britt Allcroft, David Mitton and Andrew Brenner and the nostalgic narration of Ringo Starr and Michael Angelis, they are worth the money. The DVDs between 4-7 are no different minus the logo change, but they will be a great addition to introduce the classic Thomas to a new generation. I believe that throughout the course of 2012, these DVDs were the best release in the Thomas franchise for the UK, along with 'Blue Mountain Mystery'.
Rating: 5/5



Merry Winter Wish
REVIEW DATE: 02/11/12 

I thought the DVD was OK and it tried its best. The DVD was suppose to be released in 2011, however due to the Christmas/Winter Holiday PC issue by British Newspapers, Church groups, older fans and Hilary Awdry from the 2006 DVD 'Little Engines, Big Days Out' learning segment about a Christmas tree not being mentioned and Christmas being called 'Winter Holiday'. So this release was postponed until October 2012 with two additional episodes from 'Merry Christmas Thomas' and having an audio change by saying 'Christmas'. But HIT should at least make more episodes that have other celebrations from different religions. 
Rating: 3/5



A Very Thomas Christmas 
REVIEW DATE: 5/11/12
I find 'Emily's Winter Party Special' and 'Salty's Surprise' the most decent episodes and 'Ho Ho Snowman' and 'The Christmas Tree Express' the not worth watching episodes in this DVD from the US. The special features were fun, especially 'Thomas' Christmas Journey Game' which I find more fun then any other game on US releases, to be honest. Like 'Merry Winter Wish', it tried its best and I find it OK. 
Rating: 3/5


Curious Cargo
REVIEW DATE: 7/11/12

I bought the UK version of the DVD at HMV while I was in Liverpool, England, home to the first narrator of 'Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends' and the drummer of The Beatles, during my european trip between August/September. The UK version has no entertaining episodes and are from the dreadful S14 & S15. But the only episode I find decent is in this version, Australia, is 'Pingy Pongy Pick Up' even though the episode is unrealistic. But it was strange how ABC and EzyDVD have said that three episodes of 'Mike The Knight' are on the DVD and it turns out it wasn't.  
Rating: 2/5

Engine Friends
REVIEW DATE: 8/11/12
I find this a great DVD, it had some great episodes with the remastered classics but I also find the special features dull and the only thing I find entertaining is 'Sir Topham Hatt's Scrap Book'. But it gives a younger Thomas fan's introduction to the classic era Thomas. I find this one of the US' greatest release for 2012.
Rating: 5/5


きかんしゃトーマスに挑戦! きみはどれだけ知っているかな? ~ソドー島の謎をあばけ!~

(Thomas the Tank Engine Challenge! Do you know how much you? Uncover the mystery of the island - Sodor! ~)
REVIEW DATE: 19/11/12
Probably one of the best creative DVDs I've seen this year from Japan. The DVD shows the many routes on the Island of Sodor with remastered clips from the first three seasons and rare pictures by Terry Permane. The best DVD for Japan for 2012, if only HIT does DVDs like this for its Australian, American and UK audiences despite that a different company in Japan does its own DVDs alone. The DVD also features 'Thomas and The Treasure' narrated by Jon Kabria along with various voice actors.
Rating: 5/5




Sticky Situations
REVIEW DATE: 14/12/12
I had doubts when the DVD was announced. Some episodes were written in a poor state, though I find 'Sticky Situations' OK and a few others. But what really impressed me is the 2012 version of 'Go Go Thomas'. At first I thought it was a rehash of the one from the 2009 special, but it turns out the lyrics had changed and added new scenes from the sixteenth season. The 'Biff Bash Bosh' game was OK but it got really boring and annoying quickly. I think the DVD had tried its best to be good again and it's an OK release. 

Rating: 3/5

There were other DVDs I bought this year but had no time or interest to review them. But as of now, it's nearing 2013 and so I'll be reviewing more new DVDs during the course of the new year and as well as others such as the S6-12 episode reviews and the new written episodes of the 17th series by Andrew Brenner as well. But now I like to wish everyone a happy and safe new year and be looking forward to be making more reviews in the new year. 

NWR1991

'MUDDY MATTERS' DVD REVIEW
COMING SOON 

JANUARY 2013!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays and New Years

In the words of The Beatles, 'Christmas Time is Here Again!'. Yes it's December and that means the Christmas holidays or Winter Holidays whatever you can choose, is here once again. Anyway, I like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year be with your friends and or family and celebrate the day to be together. Don't forget that on December 31st I have a special post about all the Thomas DVDs that I reviewed during the course of 2012, that'll be my final post of the year too.

Make sure you visit again in the new year of 2013. My S6-12 reviews will be up on January 1st starting with 'Salty's Secret'. 

So what we'll we expect in 2013? Well as of course Thomas fans will be expecting the new writing style in the 17th season by writer of the Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Marvel Comic series between 1987 - 1992, Andrew Brenner and his new special for the brand; 'King of The Railway'. 

In May we will be celebrating the life of David Mitton as he passed away five years ago next year, the man created the show 'Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends' and 'TUGS'. 

According to the TUGS wikia, it'll be 25 years since the airing of the late David Mitton and (not late) Robert D. Cardona's first episode 'Sunshine' in November. 

So see you all next year have a 



MERRY CHRISTMAS 
AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 
FROM NWR1991




Friday, 14 December 2012

DVD Review: Sticky Situations

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

STICKY SITUATIONS

Written by
Sharon Miller and Jessica Sandys Clarke

Directed by
Greg Tiernan 

Produced by
Nicole Stinn 

Episodes:
- Stuck on You
- Spencer the Grand 
- Gordon and Ferdinand 
- Charlie and Eddie 

Special Features:
- Go Go Thomas Karaoke Music Video 
- 'Biff, Bash Bosh' game 
- Guess Who? Puzzle
- Bonus Episode: 'Buzzy Bees' (Digital Download, for US only) 

 Distributed by
HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate

Welcome to the final Thomas DVD release for the US for 2012. With Christmas coming up this month, could this be a reccomended DVD for the US audience to give for Christmas this year? So let's take a look at 'Sticky Situations'. This will also be the final Thomas DVD review for the year and on New Years Eve, here in Australia, I will have a special recap blog post of all the DVDs that I've reviewed this year.

EPISODES
Well to be honest, I find 'Stuck on You' in the decent category. I know it has its flaws and mainly many people like it because Butch made his first speaking appearance. With 'Stuck On You', although it has its flaws, it has its two strikes and that's a rarity in some of the recent Thomas episodes, especially in the CGI era of the show and the episode seems to try its best. Even though you have Thomas being his stupid-self in the episode thinking he 'knows' everything. Despite that Butch made his first appearance in CGI and his first speaking role for the very first time, character returns don't make the episode great. The story is more important when it comes to episodes.  

'Spencer The Grand', I have no idea why I like this episode in the first place to be honest :P To me the episode is poor. Fog is a hazard, but not to a railway. Despite that there has been many accidents when it comes to railways and fogs, engines still have to work through fog thick or thin. Plus if the fog is too dangerous for the engines in this episode, then how come on Misty Island they get to work in the fog? 

'Gordon and Ferdinand', I have some ups and downs with this episode. It was decent and its great to hear Ferdinand saying more then the annoying 'That's Right!' all the time. But despite that this is a kids show, I find the episode to be unrealistic towards railways, like every other modern Thomas episode. 

'Charlie and Eddie', Edward has been regarded as a wise engine, he maybe old but can be really useful towards the other engines. Here he's been accused for not being fun according to Charlie. Many people might know this by now that I hate Charlie, the character. The basis he was chosen for was spot on by Nitrogen Studios. But Charlie is a poor example for kids saying, 'having fun is more better then working'. He goes off wanting to play, but never get punished, really a 'great' character for kids to look up too. Yet Edward, who's suppose to be wise, shows off to Charlie that he's fun. The Edward that many people knew and loved in the beginning should know that Edward wouldn't care about not being fun and doing his work is more important. Plus, the Fat Controller should never accuse Edward for being late with his car and should punish Charlie for it or the air-headed workmen considering that they put the funnel on the top of his car. In the end, the episode feels like a rehash of 'Play Time'. 

So, I see two episodes that are decent. 'Spencer The Grand' and 'Charlie and Eddie' are bad. 

SPECIAL FEATURES

On the DVD they have 'Go Go Thomas', you might think its just a re-release of the song from 2009, but it turns out that this was changed with different lyrics. So that is one of the things that leaves me impressed.

The 'Biff Bash Bosh' game is OK, but it gotten really boring with the repetivness of Michael Brandon's narration.

Even though I'm not from the US, the bonus episode 'Buzzy Bees' has been used for digital download for a year when it comes to their US DVDs up for download. The episode is full of tripe and I rather a different episode each release aside from that being a bonus download. The question is 'Why do we need 'Buzzy Bees' from every digital download?' 'The Thomas Entertainment Station' has a full report on the same issue in September 2012.  
OVERALL
Despite the story writing from the 14th and 15th season of the series, the DVD is OK and I believe it is recommendable to the target audience for Christmas. They'll like the episodes and the special features and I still think that 'Blue Mountain Mystery' is a reccomendable Christmas gift this year for a young Thomas fan. The UK will have the same release in the new year. But one thing for sure, I hope HIT replaces 'Buzzy Bees' with something different, I'm sure the US audience who download the episode are sick of getting the same free episode every release.

Rating: 3/5

And thus concludes the 2012 DVD releases of Thomas & Friends. Don't forget on December 31st, a year in review post will be made of all the DVDs reviewed during the course of 2012.

COMING SOON ON 
'THE THOMAS AND FRIENDS REVIEW STATION'
IN 2013...

- Muddy Matters - The second US DVD featuring S16 episodes
- Go Go Thomas - Australia's first S16 DVD and earliest Thomas DVD release 
- King of The Railway - The new special by new head writer, Andrew Brenner.

Monday, 10 December 2012

S5 Ep.26: Rusty and The Boulder + Overall

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

RUSTY AND THE BOULDER 
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
5/11/98

Plot:
Rusty worries that the boulder in the new quarry is watching him and wants to leave. The next day, the boulder falls and chases him and the others down the track. 

PRO:
N/A

CON:
- Thumper = Pointless one-off
- How did 'Boulder' get behind Rusty?
- How can boulder roll at such speed across the narrow gauge railway?
- How did Skarloey and Rheneas get to the sidings without a signalman?
- What made the shed go on fire and blow up?


This would have to be the most unrealistic episode in the history of the show. First off is Thumper, yes I know he was there to help the workmen, but still he is just a pointless character and I know he was their for the merchandise as Steve Asquith pointed it out during an interview with SiF. There are so many unanswered questions from this episode, especially the sheds blowing up. What made it blow up? Was their dynamite? A boiler being tested? Anything? honestly, I didn't watch the episode but I know by heart what happens. 

Rating: 1/5

OVERALL 

Season 5 is just overused with crash, after crash, after crash, after crash, which ended up to this. Crashes does make things exciting, but when you use them over and over again it would end up scaring kids for life and some stories like 'Haunted Henry' and 'Toby's Discovery' does tend to have a dark feeling towards the target audience. To be honest, their were some episodes that scared me as a kid like 'A Better View For Gordon', yes, one of my personal favourite did scared me a little as a child. Trains have accidents, but nowadays they do have safety regulations on speed limits etc. and can be rare. Kids at the young target audience may not want to watch these episodes. When you look at the Awdry's Railway Series books, they do have crashes all the time, but their stories are very different towards these episodes. The Awdry's have written simple stories. There are crashes, but a simple story about an engine's tyres are broken or a steam engine helping two 'dead' diesels are much better. I'm not hating on the fifth series, but honestly, Season 5 is just not for kids at the target range that is now.


The narration, this is Alec Baldwin's first season as narrator and to be honest, I do like his voice for the Fat Controller and Oliver and Toad. But he sounds boring when he narrates. He got a great voice, but it just wasn't the best, but then again nobody is perfect at anything. Michael Angelis still provide great enthusiasm and is still a great underrated actor. Though he uses his usual voice that can confuse a young audience member.



The setting is good, some new features like Maithwate station. It looks good as a branch line station unlike what it is today. It's a shame that the Skarloey Railway has no Crovans Gate anymore and we won't see a main line engine meeting up with them until Season nine.  

OVERALL RATING:

85.4/100



SEASON 6 - 12 REVIEWS WILL START IN THE NEW YEAR.

WATCH OUT FOR MY THE DVD REVIEW OF 'STICKY
 SITUATIONS' AROUND LATE DECEMBER.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

S5 Ep.25: Snow

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

SNOW
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton

Air Date:
2/11/98

Plot:
Thomas doesn't think the snow could be any worse, so Rusty tells him about the worst winter, when some trucks caused an avalanche that fell right on top of Skarloey. 

PRO:
N/A

CON:
- 'What's the funny part about an avalanche?' Nothing, people can actually die from one.
- Heat melts the snow not making an ice sculpture.
- How on earth did Skarloey's crew survive avalanche and having the ice over them?

To be honest, this episode is bad, first off the avalanche sentence. There is nothing funny about it. People can actually die from one and there are many stories from the people who survive from it. Plus how on earth would heat from Skarloey's 'engine', even though he is one, would ice him up? Snow melts when heat is about. Despite that a human being can survive an avalanche, how on earth did Skarloey's crew survive, even with ice around them, their is no room for air! 

The episode is bad and I don't watch it that often. 

Rating: 1/5



Saturday, 8 December 2012

S5 Ep.24 Duncan Gets Spooked

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

DUNCAN GETS SPOOKED
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
31/10/98

Plot:
Duncan thought Rusty's ghost story about the old iron bridge is rubbish. His driver and fireman decided to play a trick on him. 

PRO:
- I have to give credit about the fog effect near the bridge.

CON:
- Shame that Crovans Gate is gone from existence.
- How on earth did the trucks derail themselves from the bridge?
- Why are fireflies part of the plan to spook Duncan?

This episode is meh but its dark story line, but it can frighten young children. It's a shame that Crovans Gate is gone from existence now that the Skarloey engines live in the mountains. It's also unrealistic of how the trucks derailed themselves on the bridge, had they hit something? And yet Peter Sam is safe. Plus, why are fireflies part of the whole plan? It just seem strange? But I have to give credit of the effects near the old iron bridge, gives it such a spooky atmosphere. The story is meh, but as I said before it can scare kids at a young age.

Rating: 3/5

Thursday, 6 December 2012

S5 Ep.23 Busy Going Backwards

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS AND FRIENDS FAN BASE

BUSY GOING BACKWARDS
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
29/10/98

Plot:
Toad is sad that he never goes forward like the engines, but then his wish came true. 

PRO:
- Despite the unrealistic measures, its nice to see Toad having an episode to himself.

CON:
- The near miss from James is just unrealistic, in no way in reality that can happen.
- How the way Toad glide down the hill at that speed on the main line is unrealistic.

This episode is just unrealistic, how can Toad go at such speed? and that near miss from James, even when he goes past the trucks, he would've been derailed from the switch of the points. However it was nice seeing Toad having an episode to himself, we never get to see episodes nowadays of people, rolling stock and even the vehicles of Sodor. 

 Rating: 2.5/5

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

S5 Ep.22: Make Someone Happy

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
26/10/98

Plot:
Mrs. Kyndley's sister cannot make it to her place and it made her upset. So the Fat Controller decided to send Harold to take Mrs. Kyndley around Sodor on a 'mystery tour'. Later that day, James was asked to take Mrs. Kyndley to the fair at Tidmouth bay. James learned that making someone happy does cheer them up. 

PRO:
- The rendition of the Thomas theme during the carnival scene.
- A fairground not focused to children.
- How the way they aged Mrs. Kyndley. 

CON:
- N/A

This episode is nice, it does have a great moral background of making others happy and it can cheer you up. In recent Thomas episodes, you see the engines having parties and all for the children, good thing this episode is not focused on that and I do love how the way they aged the characters (eg. Mrs. Kyndley). The episode is nice and I do enjoy watching it from time to time. 

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

S5 Ep.21: A Surprise For Percy

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

A SURPRISE FOR PERCY
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
24/10/98

Plot:
Percy is bored of shunting trucks here there and everywhere at the coal yards. But he was given a surprise from them. 

PRO:
- 'You'll never know a surprise might happen' a great moral .

CON:
- The trucks would never go at that speed down a hill.
- Two planks of wood would not stop the trucks going down the hill again.


The beginning of the coupling snapping, I use to like these when I was a kid as it adds a bit of drama, but to be honest, in real life, the trucks would never run about around the line at such dangerous speed that and the two planks of wood. The moral of the story is good though, the moral I wrote on my pro list and it can almost go with this 'You'll never know'. 

Rating: 3/5

Monday, 3 December 2012

S5 Ep.20: Sir Topham Hatt's Holiday

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS AND FRIENDS FAN BASE

SIR TOPHAM HATT'S HOLIDAY
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
22/10/98

Plot:
The Fat Controller, Sir Topham Hatt is on holiday with his family. However, trouble gets in the way.

PRO:
- Percy pushing the river boat on a flatbed was funny.
- The mention of Lady Hatt being 'Wife' should be in today's episodes.

CON:
N/A

Another episode focused on the humans of Sodor. There should be more episodes like them and this is a firm favourite. The story is great, it focused on the Fat Controller and his family and I do like how they mention Lady Hatt as 'wife' as many of the recent Thomas episodes don't mention that anymore. I do like how Annie and Clarabel were turned out in the end, they look smart and good looking as coaches. The episode is great and is a favourite of mine. 

Rating: 5/5

S5 Ep.19 Happy Ever After

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

HAPPY EVER AFTER
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
20/10/98

Plot:
Percy is to find things for a good luck package for Mrs. Kyndley's daughter's wedding. 

PRO:
- N/A

CON:
- Why take the buffers? Maybe a foreman is waiting for them at a rail yard?
- Shouldn't 'Slow Coach' be a workmen hut?
- Wouldn't Mrs. Kyndley's daughter's lips would get burnt after kissing Percy.

The episode is not bad, but certainly mature for a Thomas episode. The story is OK, but it lack some railway realisim, sorry to be a nitpicker here on my con list. 

Rating: 2.5/5

Sunday, 2 December 2012

S5 Ep.18: Oliver's Find

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

OLIVER'S FIND
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
17/10/98

Plot:
Oliver is longing for a nice run and after his accident with some trucks, the Fat Controller put him on the mail run. However, Oliver was late due to Harold having trouble and a lazy signalman. Oliver ran down an old branch line and crashed into a shed. Oliver was found and so was some old homes. 

PRO:
- N/A

CON:
- Since when Oliver became a shunter? He should be working on 'The Little Western'.
- Toad not used as his brake van during the mail run. 
- Their is no explanation of the two old homes, the station and the shed that the Fat Controller and Oliver found. 

This is just a bad episode, since when did Oliver become a shunter? He should be running 'The Little Western' with Duck. Plus, there was no explanation about the branch line? Did something happen their, those two homes? What are they, the Fat Controller's childhood home? The writing is OK, but how the way they treated Oliver is not OK. 

Rating: 2/5

Friday, 30 November 2012

S5 Ep.17 Thomas and The Rumours

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

THOMAS AND THE RUMOURS
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
15/10/98

Plot:
The engines were jumping to conclusions about Harold taking a special visitor instead of an engine. But it turns out it was something different. 

PRO:
- A great moral about jumping to conclusions.
- The crash was excellent. 

CON:
N/A


Although you can now see the engines going to a different line by themselves, here you see Gordon and his driver missing a signal, something that can really happen to an engine in real life. Like TUGS, the story has a great moral for children and that is 'jumping to conclusions', like the episode 'Sunshine' when the star fleet thought Sunshine was out of control and was blaming him for the trouble, but it turns out Zorran did it all to try and snag the ocean liner contract. Here, you have the engines thinking that Harold wanting to get rid of them, but it turns out that the gentlemen was finding a suitable ground from the air for the children's playground. 

 The episode is good and I do enjoy watching it.

Rating: 4/5


Thursday, 29 November 2012

S5 Ep.16: Thomas, Percy and Old Slow Coach

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE 

THOMAS, PERCY AND OLD SLOW COACH
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
13/10/98

Plot:
Thomas and Percy found an old coach at the scrap yard. She was to be broken up. Meanwhile a workmen's hut was on fire and was destroyed. Thomas and Percy suggested the idea of using Old Slow Coach and the Fat Controller agreed. In the end, Slow coach enjoys her new life as a hut for the workmen.

PRO:
- Another episode with a perfect teaching moral about restoration.

CON:
- It can't take a day to restore an old coach.

As I was thinking about other episode with an engine saving something from scrap, I completely forgot about this episode. Haha, old age can get the better of you. But anyway, like 'Saved from Scrap', 'Escape' and 'Percy and The Calliope', this episode has a great teaching moral about restoration. You have Old Slow Coach who is to be broken up soon and is then used as a workmen's hut, though I do wonder why it took one day to restore a carriage? The episode is great and is certainly one of the best. 

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

S5 Ep.14 Toby's Discovery

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

TOBY'S DISCOVERY
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
9/10/98

Plot:
Toby meets up an old engine dubbed as 'The Old Warrior'

PRO:
- The spooky atmosphere of the mine was fantastic

CON:
- Toby being a wimp
- Bertram using Duke's basis. 

Despite that I said many time that Toby was being the usual wimp in HIT's recent series, this is where I believe it first started. Compare this episode towards 'Ghost Train'. Sure in that episode, Toby is being a 'wimp', but he was only pretending so to fool Thomas. Here Toby is just plain scared when really he should be wise about not being scared. Plus there is Bertram, a pointless merchandising character, according to Britt Allcroft he was going to be a tank engine. But due to financing, the model was not made and so the character's model was a used Duke with Smudger's face. When I saw this episode when it was first aired in Australia many years ago, I was not fooled by the difference, my brother and I knew that it was Duke's model. It would be nice to see the original plans of the character, but I believe even that won't make him a great character. 

However, I do give credit to the scene when the mine was at night, it created a spooky atmosphere. The episode can scare little kids, it did to me though. But it's certainly not one of my favourites, the story is good, but Toby's personality was bad and possibly like any other fan of the show, Bertram is just a pointless character to have. 

Rating: 2/5

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

S5 Ep.15: Something In The Air

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

SOMETHING IN THE AIR
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date
11/10/98

Plot:
Henry ignores Thomas' warning about a dangerous line.

PRO:
- The fog effect 

CON:
- Henry derailing himself and still moves into the water

The episode is one of the bests, but like every other fan, I think 'The Flying Kipper' is jinxed. Every time in the RWS and TV series, there is always an accident with the train. Though I do have to say why on earth when Henry is derailed, he still travels through the water? That is just unrealistic. But I do have to say the fog effect is great as always when it comes to stories that are dark and I do like how Henry spits out the water at the end of his accident. I think after this, they stopped 'Flying Kipper' episodes because it can get to repetitive and the audience knows what will happen if a train called 'The Flying Kipper' is being used. Yes I know it was mentioned in 'Whiff's Wish' but there was no accident and maybe one day they should have an episode were Henry successfully took the train without any problem. The episode is good and it's certainly one of the season's best. 

 Rating: 4/5

Monday, 26 November 2012

S5 Ep.13: Stepney Gets Lost

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

STEPNEY GETS LOST
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
7/10/98

Plot:
Stepney is to help with Mavis and Toby at the Quarry. Later that night, Stepney got lost in fog and ended up being at the scrapyard run by two diesels, 'Arry and Bert. But thanks to the Fat Controller, Stepney was saved. 

PRO:
- The scrap yard does have some spooky atmosphere

CON:
- Stepney being treated like he is from the Fat Controller's railway.
- How does the Fat Controller know that Stepney was at the scrap yard?


I'm not amused by how the way Stepney is treated in Season 5, 6 and 12. This is why I'm glad that Flying Scotsman is not in the series. Here, it seems that Stepney is now treated like one of the Fat Controller's engine since there was no mention of 'The Bluebell Railway', when really we all know he's a preserved steam locomotive and should be treated like that. However, the scrapyard has a terrific spooky atmosphere and looks like the bounds of hell for the steam engines. Though 'Arry and Bert do look great in weathered condition, they would've been Allcroft's one-off's. The story is OK, but it would've gone better with another engine aside from Stepney. Even though the scrap yard has a terrific spooky atmosphere, kids from the target range will get scared by the visual detail of that scene.

Rating: 2.5/5

S5 Ep.12: Double Teething Troubles

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

DOUBLE TEETHING TROUBLES
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
5/10/98

Plot:
A new diesel came to the Island to help with Bill and Ben. However he has teething troubles with his cooling system due to him being new. The next day he arrived and was helping with a line of trucks with the two tank engine, however he overheated again. But the twins puffed away with the trucks along with the diesel. In the end, the twins, along with BoCo and Duck talked about teething troubles all night long.

PRO:
- Derek's basis has actually have teething troubles.
- Bill and Ben bashing into each other provided some comedic atmosphere.

CON:
- Derek being a one-off character.

The episode is OK, but the episode would be more better for Diesel himself, which by the way was never in the season. Here Derek is their for the merchandise, with Cranky and 'Arry and Bert, at the time if they were Allcroft's one-offs. But unlike HIT's pointless one-off's, there is some background towards this character. Derek's basis has teething troubles with their cooling systems when they were new, the BR Class 17. But it's just a shame that Derek is never mentioned until the merchandising came out with his name and yet we never see him again, I guess he wasn't that popular? 

But I do think a scene with BoCo at Gordon's Hill would be great as he would be telling Derek that he had teething troubles before and that the Fat Controller fixed the problem. The story is OK, but it would be more better to have a character like BoCo or Diesel to help out. 

Rating: 3/5