Friday, 31 August 2012

S2 Ep.6: Thomas and Trevor

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

THOMAS & TREVOR
Originally Written by
Christopher Awdry


Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Plot:
Trevor the traction engine enjoys his life in the vicarage, but he feels lonely. Edward told him great news that he's going to take Trevor to help out with the Fat Controller's new harbour on Thomas' branch line. This made Trevor very happy. When Thomas was to pick him up, he was surprised to know what a traction engine is. Thomas didn't like the thought at first, but as he saw Trevor hard at work he understands how useful he was. But everyone was sad that it was time for Trevor to go and Trevor was sad too, but Thomas says that they may need him at the harbour one day. 

PRO:
- The new location, Dryaw Harbour looks great
- The friendship between Thomas and Trevor was acceptable 

CON:
- How did Trevor get loaded and unloaded from Thomas and Edward's flatbed?
- Why did Trevor go across the level crossing before Thomas came into the station a few seconds later?

This is by far the only Thomas story by an Awdry that is not from any Railway Series book, but the strange thing is, why was this adapted in 1986 when the story came out in 1988? I don't know? But I do have the original annual story and it pretty much sticks to the original. The new location of the harbour was very nice, I especially love the station and would've been nice to see the big engines going past on top of the bridge. I do like the developing friendship between Thomas and Trevor earlier in the episode, Thomas didn't like Trevor at first because he's not a steam engine, but now he understands how useful a traction must be. Something that the recent Thomas episodes are missing with the whole Steamie vs. Diesel racism kind of plot as they accept Diesels and then forget about it in other episodes.

But there are two minor errors, like how did Trevor get loaded and unloaded from Edward and Thomas' train? And why did Trevor just go over the level crossing before Thomas came a few seconds later? But it's still great, the settings are great, the story is great and its one of those simple stories that are always enjoyable.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, 30 August 2012

S2 Ep.5: Old Iron

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

OLD IRON
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry


Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Air Date:
11/9/86

Plot:
James was annoyed by Edward being late, but Edward didn't care. Thomas and Percy were annoyed by James' remark about Edward as he called him 'Slow' and 'Old Iron'. One day, James' driver was ill and as he did so, the signalman saw James trundling away all on his own. James was a runaway. Edward then came with an inspector with a noose of rope and a shunter's pole and they chased after James. As he saved him, James felt bad for what he called Edward and thanked him for saving him. And as a reward, Edward was sent to the works to have his worn parts mended. 

PRO:
- One example of Edward's true heroic personality 
- Brilliant film work

CON:
N/A

Nothing wrong with this episode, it's one of the best episodes in the entire Thomas world. This is one of Edward's true heroic personality not like in Season 15's 'Edward the Hero'. You don't see him saving an animal, an engine needing a joke or getting someone's lost luggage. No, you see him saving another engine from an unexpected disaster with a rope. In the words of BoCo, 'Edward's old, but he'll surprise us all.' The camera work by David Mitton was just superb, great panning, great wheel shots etc. The music gives that suspense feeling of what's happening. It didn't stick with much of the original story with the boys being punished. But as I said, this is one of the best episodes and I do enjoy it again and again. 

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

S2 Ep.4: Saved From Scrap

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

SAVED FROM SCRAP
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona 

Air Date:
9/9/86

Plot:
One day Edward spotted an old traction engine at the scrap yard. His name was Trevor and he's going to be broken up. Trevor enjoyed doing his work and seeing the children who are fond of him. Edward wanted to save Trevor and the very person was the Vicar of Wellsworth. Trevor was all geared up ready to impress the vicar and in the end bought him cheap and now Trevor enjoys his new lease of life.

PRO:
- Showing the moral of recycling and preserving our past
- The rust on Trevor was spot on 

CON:
- N/A

I want to get this off my chest first, this could not be appropriate to young children. Just because Trevor likes to be with children who are fond of him doesn't mean he's a peadophile. He's a traction engine! But aside from that the story stuck close with the RWS story and it shows the moral support of what many steam enthusiasts are doing even to this day. Restoring our industries' past for a younger generation. In the Railway Series, Trevor was painted black  when he was at the scrap yard but the rust in the TV series is really spot on. This episode does go in comparison to 'Percy and The Calliope' but not that much. Trevor's theme music was a nice feature too, very catchy. I enjoy this episode and I will watch it again and again. 

Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

S2 Ep.3: Bertie's Chase

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

BERTIE'S CHASE
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Air Date:
7/09/86

Plot:
Edward was unaware that Bertie was coming with Thomas' passengers, as his fireman was not at work today. So Bertie was chasing after Edward with Thomas' passengers.

PRO:
- The panning shot of Edward's coaches at the beginning.
- The story is well connected to the original story.

CON:
- The guard's whistle was never heard at Wellsworth.
- Thomas' appearance was never made in the story from 'Edward the Blue Engine'.


The panning shot of the episode's opening scene was fantastic, some David Mitton magic and the story was connected towards the original, but the scene with Thomas was not really needed as it was never seen in the books and the guard not giving the whistle at Wellsworth can be unsafe for an engine. But it's a brilliant adaptation and I do enjoy the episode. 

Rating: 4/5

Monday, 27 August 2012

S2 Ep.2 Cows

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

COWS
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry


Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona


Air Date:
5/09/86


Plot:
One day, Edward was taking some empty cattle trucks from Brendam, on his branch line to a market. As he was making his way to his destination, he passed a field where cows are eating their food. They were not used to the engines and the steam made them scared. Just then a coupling broke and Edward left his trucks behind due to the cows. Gordon and Henry heard the news and laughed. But the two big engines got their own back.


PRO:
- New locations are seen, Brendam, Edward's branch line and Crosby station.


CON:
- Gordon's wheels were still moving while he stopped.
- The middle part of the story never happened in the book. 


Another episode that didn't focus on its original story. Henry and Percy's scene were never seen nor mentioned in the RWS book. Henry didn't back his train to the last station and Percy didn't go and collect Bluebell. In the RWS book, Henry stayed on the bridge and the guard went back to the station. However I don't hate this episode. This episode is worth a watch again and again and I love the new locations that they made.

Rating: 4/5

S2 Ep.1 Thomas, Percy and The Coal

After the success of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends in 1984, a second season was in the works during 1985 and in 1986 it aired on UK television. The second season had a different edge then the first. There was more accidents, more thrills and spills and even Ringo Starr's narration had improved. There are more characters introduced like Donald and Douglas, Bill and Ben, Duck, Diesel, BoCo, Daisy etc. And even though more stories by the Rev.W.Awdry, there were some stories by Christopher Awdry, Rev.W.Awdry's oldest son and with that, this season had gone down as the best season in the entire show by fans and its my personal favourite season ever. Well, let's take a look now at the entire second season. But, the usual:

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

THOMAS, PERCY AND THE COAL
Originally Written by
Christopher Awdry

Adapted For Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona 

Air Date:
2/09/86

Plot:
Thomas is boasting that being blue is a proper colour for a really useful engine. But one day at the coal hopper in Tidmouth, Percy was loading up some coal trucks and later on, coal poured down on Thomas. Thomas thought that Percy had done it on purpose and was very cross. The next day, Percy was shunting some trucks at Tidmouth and was about to get some water, but the siding had some unsafe buffers and Percy fell down into the coal pit. That night, the two friends made up.

PRO:
- Seeing Tidmouth station for the first time.
- Ringo's narration sounds more enthusiastic then in the first season

CON:
- Why the hopper going on and off when Thomas was their?
- Tidmouth station is suppose to be the main station. 

This is one of the episodes that is being speculated as the replacement for the 'lost episode' of 'The Missing Coach'. Plus this episode is from 'More About Thomas the Tank Engine' by Christopher Awdry, a book requested by Britt Allcroft so the stories could be adapted for the show and yet a story like 'Drip Tank' didn't make it to the screens, would be more better if they made this in a four parter episode because the two engines didn't make up their quarrel in one story. Plus, how the way the coal was poured down, did not even happen in the book. What happened was that a door on one of Percy's coal trucks was opened and coal dust flew down on Thomas. There was no coal hopper ever seen nor mentioned in that story. 

But we get to see some new faces for the main characters and even some new locations. First off Tidmouth station. Even though its the actual main station in the Railway Series, it was still great to see it and the coal hopper, despite a painted building in the background, the coal hopper is built well and I do love how the way it was operated, it's nice seeing some industry in the background of Sodor. The narration of Ringo Starr was entertaining to hear. He sounds more enthusiastic and well into the stories of the second series. This episode has its flaws, it didn't really stick to the original, but it shows the meaning of friendship and not having the overused words of 'Thomas and Percy are best friends' going over and over and over and over again, which you'll never hear in an Awdry classic and its worth a watch. 

Rating: 3/5

Sunday, 26 August 2012

S1 Ep. 26: Thomas' Christmas Party + Overall of S1

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

THOMAS' CHRISTMAS PARTY

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
25/12/84

Plot:
After saving Thomas from a landslide last Christmas, Thomas and his friends wanted to throw Mrs Kyndley a special Christmas party to say thank you to her. But the weather changed and Mrs. Kyndley was snowed up at her house and so Thomas and Toby had gone and rescue her. After the rescue operation, Thomas and Toby took Mrs Kyndley to the sheds, but the yard was dark, but the lights were turned on and the sheds were all decorated with Christmas decorations.

PRO:
- The Christmas hats were nice feature on the characters.

CON:
- Why did the weather changed in one day?

I sometime watch this episode on Christmas and this is one of my favourites from my childhood. The snow looked real, the decorations were great, something that gives that great Christmas feeling. But sometimes I have a feeling that this episode was a little rushed where was the book by the Rev.W.Awdry, which was published so this episode could be made due to a contradiction agreement by the publishers of the Railway Series books, shows that it happens on Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day. They could've kept the story as an extended TV special at the time. In the book, a snow storm was made and on Boxing Day, Thomas and Toby have to save the Kyndley's, heck, it even made it to the Ladybird book. But in the episode, the engines were making plans and then the Fat Controller says, the weather had changed badly, yet we see no snowstorm or anything. 

Though at least Thomas had matured about wearing his snowplough and even though he hated snow, he still knew that rescuing the Kyndley's is more important. I do love the Christmas decoration setting at the sheds and even though the hats could be unsafe due to the fact a steam engine can burn it, its a nice feature. But its a shame that they left out Mr. Kyndley, the husband. 

I know that this episode is set after 'Mrs Kyndley's Christmas', but I believe that was never adapted due to the fact that there was never any snow or trees or anything to set at Christmas. As much as I like to see those around the Christmas period, I do understand that you don't really need them to fit a Christmas story, but it would be nice to see an episode of the story. 

With this episode, I enjoy, despite the feeling that it was a little rushed. I love watching it, when I have a chance, to get into the Christmas spirit and what you know this post was made on the 25th, exactly four months to the day. 

Rating: 4/5

OVERALL 

And so we now come to the Overall. I have to say, the series is very different towards the second series. The stories are simple and sweet, their are less crashes and more character development and some of the models do look like their RWS counterpart, minus a few. Henry's model, like I said, is like his old shape, but upside down. Annie and Clarabel look nothing like their RWS counterparts, they're bogey coaches and in the show we see them as small coaches, but I do understand the show was in its early days. But despite the errors, the early model series will be the ones that I cherished. Memories of old would flood back to the time I was watching these episodes all the time when I buy or rent the videos and even seeing them on TV. I wish the TV stations would play these episodes to show a young generation the glory years of Thomas. 

Now on with the music, I'm saying this, but I believe Britt Allcroft had chosen the right people to play the music. Whenever you mention the show, people will remember the theme song. It's catchy and memorable. Mike O' Donnell and Junior Campbell had made catchy themes for the show and its characters and I love hearing them more. It's a shame that with shows like 'Postman Pat', 'Bertha' and 'Fireman Sam', all had records out with the show's music, yet, Thomas never even got one. But at least we have the extended theme song.

Now we come towards the narration of the show. When you hear a question on a show or trivia night or even mention about Thomas the Tank Engine, the first person that comes to mind is Ringo Starr, who was part of the greatest rock 'n' roll band of all time, which I'm a fan of, 'The Beatles'. Although, I do love his narration in Series 2. Here, its more of a bed time kind of storytelling, a format that Britt Allcroft wanted, according to her in the Australian radio interview on ABC in 2009. Ringo has gone down as one of my favourite narrators for the show as when you're watching him nowadays, he brings a charm towards the story. 

The stories, some were good and some were not too perfect, but that doesn't mean I hate them. Their are episodes that are focused on the Railway Series stories and their are some that were not in the books or some that Britt Allcroft and David Mitton put something in themselves. But without the episodes, the books would never be sold to entertain a new generation of fans, I haven't read the books until I was seven in 1998 as my first book was 'Oliver the Western Engine'.

Now on with the filming, the late David Mitton had gone down as one of my favourite film makers after seeing this series. He may not be well known as Martian Scorsese, but he will always go down as a legend to the Thomas fan base. I love his camera work and if it weren't for him and the late Angus Wright, Awdry's Railway Series stories would never be seen on the small screen. 

RATING:
100

Be sure to check out my reviews on Season 2 episodes. I hope you've enjoy the Series 1 reviews.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

S1 Ep.25: Down The Mine

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

DOWN THE MINE

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
23/11/84

Plot:
At the Junction, Thomas was teasing Gordon about falling into a ditch, but later on he got his own back when he fell down a mine and guess who got him out?

PRO:
- The rescue scene and the music is just fantastic
- The episode did stick with the original text

CON:
- Thomas and Gordon met at the junction, not Lower Tidmouth, even though such a place never existed in the Railway Series books.
- The mines are located on Thomas' branch line not behind Knapford station.
- Why was there a hole when Thomas fell down when really the earth crumbled.

According to Series 1's editor Michael Dixon on SiF in 2011 and Britt Allcroft on an Australian radio interview via phone in 2009, 'Down the Mine' was the pilot episode. Although such a thing exist in this world it was never seen to the public, but fans are speculating whether this episode has scenes from the pilot episode such things like Thomas' running board to be a bit lower then his original and that Gordon has a different face, which can be seen on the Christopher Noulton interview on SiF. 

Despite my cons for this episode, I have no problem with it. They are just a few nitpicks I have. First 'Lower Tidmouth', a place like that never existed in the Railway Series books. Where Thomas and Gordon really met is the junction in 'Gordon the Big Engine'. Second, why was Thomas going to the mines at the rear of Knapford station? The mines are located on his branch line, heck its even on the Reverend's maps. Which brings me to my final point about the mine. I know effects weren't that great in the 80's, but there was never a large gaping hole in the book. The earth crumbled due to Thomas' weight and then he fell down. But despite my nitpicking this episode is stuck with its Railway Series counterpart and the rescue, despite that it was only a second, with the music it was fantastic. Mike O' Donnell and Junior Campbell's music are just flawless. 

Rating: 4.5/5


Friday, 24 August 2012

S1 Ep.24: Off The Rails

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

OFF THE RAILS

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
19/11/84

Plot:
As Gordon was resting, he was given a special train which is unfortunate to him as it was trucks. As Gordon's fire was slow to start, Edward had to push him to the turntable to get ready with the train, but as he was about the jam the turntable he slithered into a ditch. That night Henry and James rescued him and Gordon crawled home all sad but wise.

 PRO:
- Great camera work, especially the ending when Gordon is seen backing towards the sheds with the brakevan.

CON:
- The turntable stopped at the ditch.
- If James and Henry were pulling Gordon out of the ditch, where was Henry?
- Why did the Fat Controller's office move to Vicarstown?

I have no problems with this episode, those two were just little nitpicks. But the episode stuck close with the original story's text and the camera work was superb. But here are the reasons why there are the nitpicks. First off its the accident. The turntable just stopped at the exact spot where as in the Railway Series story, Gordon moved while the turntable moved and he slithered down into a ditch. When the Fat Controller heard the news, why has he moved office? That was also in the Railway Series book as well and with James rescuing Gordon, the narrator says 'And James and Henry pulling hard..', Henry was nowhere to be seen. I know the turntable could be small to fit both of them, but they could've say James or Henry pulling hard to bring him to safety. 

The episode turned out great though despite the nitpicks.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, 23 August 2012

S1 Ep.23: Dirty Object

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

DIRTY OBJECT
Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
12/11/84

Plot:
With Toby and Henrietta enjoying their new life on Sodor, James came along at Elsbridge station and was disgusted by how the way they look and called them 'dirty objects' thanks to vanity and conceited attitude. But all that was soon backfired when James became one himself.

 PRO:
- James' tar wagon accident.

CON:
- How does Toby know about James' incident with the brake pipe and a bootlace?

One of Christopher Awdry's favourite Railway Series stories being adapted and with this episode and its story is a favorable one. The accident is just fantastic and how the way James ran down the hill in top speed is better then Thomas' fast pace in 'Thomas and the Trucks', all it was in that episode was Thomas running at normal speed. But there is one nitpick, why does Toby know about the Bootlace incident he had in the earlier part of the series? Unless Thomas told him about it since he works on Thomas' branch line. Its a great and thrilling episode and its worth watching again. 

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

S1 Ep.22: Thomas In Trouble

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

THOMAS IN TROUBLE

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
9/11/84

Plot:
On Thomas' branch line there is a quarry line and it runs along with road. Thomas always take great care when he goes on that part of the line. But one morning, a policeman was telling off Thomas that he doesn't have any cow catchers and side plates and that he is dangerous. This lead to the idea of Toby, the tram engine that the Fat Controller met on his holiday. This is the mark of Toby's new life on Sodor.

PRO:
- The interior of the Fat Controller's house

CON:
N/A

The setting towards this episode is a bit close towards the book's illustrations. The Quarry line when Thomas met the policeman was a bit like the hill side, though in the RWS picture it was filled with grass and a direction sign. I love the interior of the Fat Controller's house and the picture of the moustached steam engine who, to me, looks like the L&MR 'Lion'. I was a bit surprised that the phone conversation was actually the conversation that the Fat Controller was having with the policeman at Elsbridge station. And this is the full happy ending for Toby, his new lease of life on the Fat Controller's railway and plus this episode stucks well with the original story. I enjoy the episode, though when I was a kid I was scared to death when the policeman says 'Oi you!' to Toby and never want to see the episode again, but as I got older it's funny hearing him say that. 

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

S1 Ep.21: Toby and The Stout Gentlemen

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

TOBY AND THE STOUT GENTLEMEN

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
6/11/84

Plot:
The Fat Controller was spending some time away from the railway with his family. They went to a tram line were they met a quaint and old fashioned tram engine named Toby. His line is located at Arlesdale End. Toby had fewer passengers and trucks as many people preferred to be transported by lorry. Then one day, Toby's driver told them that the line is closing down. Toby thought no one wants him until the next day he received a letter from a certain person. 

PRO:
- Giving the backstory of Toby before he arrived on the island.

CON:
- Why in the deleted scene there is a turntable at his shed?

Along with 'The Sad Story of Henry', this is another sad story, but with a semi-happy ending, by semi-happy ending, I mean that Toby's happy ending happens in the next episode. Here you have Toby a quaint and old fashioned tram engine who is careful and wise working hard on his tram line that is loosing business due to the passengers and good being taken by road to places. Now that shows Toby determination as the picture was telling the story instead of the narrator telling you. Despite that the writing was great in this episode, the Railway Series story that its based upon in 'Toby the Tram Engine' has the story a bit expanded, you have the reason why so many people don't ride on Toby that often, but the episode does stick towards the original story. 

But I don't see why Toby needs a turntable at his shed. I know that was not in the episode, but in a behind the scenes picture and the deleted scene (above), clearly shows a turntable. We just had an episode of saying why little engines don't need a turntable as they can go backwards and forwards easily. But it was an OK feature and this episode I would watch again and again.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, 19 August 2012

S1 Ep.20: Whistles and Sneezes

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

WHISTLES AND SNEEZES

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
3/11/84

Plot:
With Henry back on Sodor with his new shape, Gordon was jealous. Henry was sad that Gordon was criticising due to his (Gordon) envy. Later at Wellsworth, Edward and Henry heard an unfamiliar whistle and it turns out it was Gordon, his whistle valve was out of place and made an awful noise. Next day, as Henry was making his with the express, two little boys spotted him on a bridge and threw stones at him. As an act of payback, Henry blew ashes at them and in the end, Henry taught the two little boys and Gordon a lesson, with a Whistle and a Sneeze.

PRO:
- The steam effect coming out of Gordon's Whistle
- The stop-motion of Henry's face to blow out the soot
- The broken glass on the carriages look real.
- Perfect moral in the Sneeze part of the story about 'Respect other people's property.' 

CON:
- Why was Thomas shoehorned at the sheds? He's suppose to be on his branch line?

Another episode with two Railway Series merged together and I love it. This is the episode were the effects turn out great at the time. The steam effect when Gordon was getting his whistle valve in place was great, how did they do that? The broken glass on the carriages were great too and it looked so real when you see the cracks, the stop motion of Henry's face when he's about to blow soot while still moving was great too. The sneeze part of the story does have a moral about 'Respecting other people's property.' The owner (Henry) would get mad and wanted to get something back at them for not treating it right. Most people who have kids who grew up with the new Thomas might say the episode shows meanness and not being a positive influence on kids, well they should look at the morals of today's Thomas episodes, like not treating Diesels equally, a certain engine not being a rescue engine and did save the rescue engine but with no apology at the end etc. 

If a child damaged stuff, you will give them a punishment, but not like what Henry did. Plus this is just entertainment for kids too. But this episode is still great it has great effects, story and even a great moral.

Rating: 5/5  

S1 Ep.19: The Flying Kipper

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

THE FLYING KIPPER

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
31/10/84

Plot:
One winter evening, Henry was told by his driver that they have to haul 'The Flying Kipper', a fish train. But with the snow and frost, the snow had forced the home signal down when it should've been set at danger due to frozen points. A goods train was waiting in a siding to let the Kipper past and the crew were enjoying a nice cup of coca in the brake van. They got out in time as the train is due, but Henry smashed into the brake van and damaged. The Fat Controller sent him to Crewe in the mainland were they will give him a new shape and large firebox and he won't need special coal anymore. 

PRO:
- The harbour at night with the snow and steam, brilliant effects.
- The music when Henry was departing was just brilliant.
- The crash scene.

CON:
- Henry's new shape is just like his old shape but upside down.
- Why is one of Henry's trucks a flatbed with a tarpaulin on it?

According to SiF's 'Best of Thomas' poll in January 2011, this episode is voted as the fan favourite and this is another favourite of mine from this season. The music of when Henry left with his train was just fantastic so epic when you hear it, the snow was great, but the harbour at night is favourite of mine, the early morning setting, the ships, crew everything. Shame that the dockside is not like that anymore in the recent series. And yes, the crash scene was the best thing, despite the hand incident. 

But there a couple of nitpicks. First off, its Henry's new shape. It looks just like his old shape only upside down. in the Railway Series, Henry was given the shape of a Black 5MT:


See the total difference and yes I know the show is in its early stages. And one of the trucks on Henry's train is a flatbed with a tarpaulin on it? How come there were vent vans and only one with a flatbed? But anyway, the episode is great and I can see why it's a fan favourite and would watch this episode again and again.

Rating: 5/5

Saturday, 18 August 2012

S1 Ep.18: Coal

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

COAL
Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
28/10/84

Plot:
Due to the coal that the Fat Controller gives to his bigger engines, Henry can't make enough heat which creates his steam as his firebox is smaller then the other engines. So Henry was given special welsh coal and felt much better.

PRO:
- You actually feel sorry for Henry here. 

CON:
- We can see Henry in his new shape.

This episode is personally one of my favourites. It short and simple but great. Here you actually feel sorry for Henry because the coal he was given could not make the heat and he suffers badly. It's also great to hear 'Welsh coal' instead of 'Special coal', like in the recent series, it makes Sodor more part of the British isles rather then being a universal place, I understand that Sodor is trying be more magical nowadays. Despite how the episode's like, there is one nitpick, why was Henry in his new shape? I'm sure that was editing problem, but wouldn't the editors know that? Well at that time it was hard work editing episodes. 

But this episode is great by its story and how you feel for Henry. 

Rating: 5/5

Friday, 17 August 2012

S1 Ep.17: Percy Runs Away

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

PERCY RUNS AWAY

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
26/10/84

Plot:
After several days for being naughty, the Fat Controller allows his big engines to come out of the shed, if they are good. They promised and Thomas, Percy and Edward go about on the branch line for a few days. Percy was shunting trucks at Wellsworth, but being careless and eager forgot Edward's advice to whistle to the signalman that he's there. Then, in his horror was Gordon with the express and he was so frightened that Percy ran away until he arrives at Lower Suddery. After Gordon rescuing him, Percy learns to be extra careful on the main line, but he is still a cheeky engine. 

  PRO:
- Gordon stopping an inch towards Percy's buffers was heart pounding.

CON:
There is no such thing as Lower Suddery. 

First off Lower Suddery is nowhere in existence. Suddery, that's its real name, is located on Edward's branch line, get that con out of the way and now onto the pro, I love the music when Gordon screeched on his brakes and stopped right close to Percy. It's so dramatic and heart pounding thinking what would happen to Percy. This episode also shows another example of Awdry's characters acting like children. 

They've been shut up in the sheds because they don't want to fetch their own coaches - like a child not wanting to leave his room to go to school or something else and realise they are not very important at later on in life. The episode is great and it had great music by Mike O' Donnell and Junior Campbell.

Rating: 4/5


Thursday, 16 August 2012

S1 Ep.16: Trouble In The Shed

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

TROUBLE IN THE SHED

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
30/10/84

Plot:
While the big engines were on strike because they don't want to shunt like common tank engines like Thomas. So the Fat Controller arranged Edward, but the big engines were not getting along with him. So he went to the workshops and saw Percy. Thomas came and the Fat Controller put them in charge while Gordon, Henry and James are busy sulking. 

PRO:
- Percy's character is just perfect. Shame it has been dumbed down these days.
- It was great to see Thomas hauling the old coaches and Percy with Annie and Clarabel

CON:
- The Fat Controller's office in the RWS is right on the platform. But in this episode it's all raised up near the sky. 
- Why were the engines all covered up in the workshop?

Why on earth would the engines at the workshops be covered? In the Railway Series picture you see all sorts of engines, but in this episode, its just unsafe. You see Percy releasing steam from his cylinders and that could set off some fire to the tarpaulins. But looking at the engines wheels, they're Gordon, Edward etc. Plus, there's the Fat Controller office. In the RWS he's right on the platform, but in this episode, it looked raised up, is it up stairs or anything because I don't see passengers looking up at the windows. 

This is the first time we see Percy and in this episode his personality is just gold! Much more better then any episode that you see of him today. Here Percy is cheeky where as in the later episodes he's a naive engine and it was also great to see Thomas with the old coaches and Percy with Annie and Clarabel. 

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

S1 Ep.15: Tenders and Turntables

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

TENDERS AND TURNTABLES

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
21/10/84

Plot:
With Thomas running his branch line, life is harder in the yards on the main line. The big engines have to fetch their own coaches. One day, it was windy and Gordon was placed out of balance on the turntable and it won't move. So Gordon has to take his next train backwards and James and Thomas teased him. At the yards, James was on the turntable and he spun round like a top. Afterwards the big engines decided to go on strike. 

PRO:
- Educating kids about the differences between a tender and tank engine for a turntable.

CON:
N/A


I remember back when I was young, I never knew what Ringo meant about tank engines not needing turntables. But as I got older and watching this episode many time I realised what he meant. Tenders block the view for the driver and the engine needed a turntable so they can see for the return journey. With Thomas being a tank engine, the driver and fireman can see clearly as there is no tender blocking the view. 

For the episode, it was not bad really, but I just think, why can't Britt Allcroft keep the series in Railway Series order. I understand, as I said a million times, the TV series were in the early stages due to the budget, but it would be nice to see it RWS order as it will make sense. What I'm referring to is that with the strike the big engines were having, there was never a reason why Henry was part of this as in the book 'Troublesome Engines', Henry had an embarrassing moment with an elephant and that's where the three big engines had gone on strike. It's a shame, but I do think the reason why is because of budget issues, maybe they can't afford material to make an elephant. But at least we get the episode in the next two seasons. 

The episode is good, I enjoy watching it many times. 

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

S1 Ep.14: Thomas and Bertie

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

THOMAS AND BERTIE

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
20/10/84

Plot:
Thomas met a bus named Bertie who remembers taking Thomas' passengers as he (Thomas) got stuck in the snow. Thomas claims that he can go faster then Bertie and so they race begins.

PRO:
- The episode kept close with the original Railway Series story.
- The plane in the background at Dryaw was a nice touch.

CON:

- 'After that the road left the railway.' The road is right next to Thomas.
- What was Thomas doing at Toby's station? 

I have no problems against this episode, but just a little nitpick, when Ringo Starr mentioned, 'After that the road left the railway'. You can see a bit of road right next to him and what was Thomas doing at Toby's station anyway? Early years in the show or not too much room? OK. But this episode stuck close to the original story from the Railway Series and the little bi-plane at Dryaw was a great touch too as it shows more activity around the village. This episode is great, its worth watching again and again no matter what. 

Rating: 5/5

Monday, 13 August 2012

S1 Ep. 13: Thomas, Terence and the Snow

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

THOMAS, TERENCE AND THE SNOW
Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona


Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
25/10/84

Plot:
As the Autumn season arrived on the Island of Sodor, Thomas met a tractor named Terence who was ploughing in a field close by. Thomas notice that the tractor has caterpillar wheels and called them ugly. One day Thomas was fitted with a snowplough as Winter came. It was cumbersome and ended up being damaged. The next day, Thomas got stuck! And who else to save him but Terence. 

PRO:
- The opening shot at the beginning of the episode.

CON:
- Thomas should be sent to his shed on his branch line not Tidmouth. 

This episode almost stuck visually with the book and this another episode where Thomas learns his lesson instead of learning his lesson and forgetting about it in the next episode. This is also another episode where Awdry's characters act like children, they get punished and learn their lesson. Though there are two nitpicks with the episode like Thomas being sent to Tidmouth sheds instead of his branch line shed, I know the show were in the early stages and that Thomas was not seen pulling his train backwards and forwards as there's no turntable at either station, only passing loops. 

I always love the opening shot of the episode when you look at it, it gives you a nice nostalgic autumn feeling. This episode is another great episode. 

Rating: 5/5


Sunday, 12 August 2012

S1 Ep.12: Thomas Goes Fishing

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

THOMAS GOES FISHING

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
12/10/84

Plot:
While running his branch line, Thomas looked over the bridge see people fishing and wished he could go fishing. But one day, the water tower at Elsbridge was out of order and so went to water at the river. But Thomas' safety valve went off in an alarming way and it turns out Thomas' wish came true.

PRO:
- The holes in the bucket were a nice touch

CON:
- N/A

Yeah, I know you're thinking. This is episode that this YouTube meme was born:

If this was in a new series kind of storytelling you'll hate this episode if Thomas was acting like an air-headed idiot. But thankfully it's not and its more entertaining. Thomas actually learn his lesson in this episode instead of learning his lesson and later on forgetting about it in the next episode. There was nothing wrong with this episode it was perfectly adapted and the work on the holes in the buckets was top notch. This episode I could watch again and again. But there is one flaw and that is safety valve. All engines have a safety valve on top near the whistle, if release a safety valve inside the cab if would be a problem for the crew in the cab. I didn't put that in my cons because I've put that up already in the 'Edward, Gordon and Henry' review.

This episode is worth watching again and I remembered last year or two years back I went to Dymocks and this episode was on as I was looking around the shop, two kids were watching it and I can tell they love the episode, goes to show you that classic Thomas is worth watching. 

Rating: 5/5

Saturday, 11 August 2012

S1 Ep.11: Thomas and The Guard

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

THOMAS AND THE GUARD

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Originally written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Air Date:
9/10/84

Plot:
Thomas enjoys his new life on his branch line and he thought it was the most 'important' part of the whole railway. One day, Thomas and his two faithful coaches, Annie and Clarabel had to wait for Henry's train. When he arrived, Thomas left the station to make up lost time and with that he left his guard behind!

PRO:
- The relationship that Thomas has with Annie and Clarabel
- We're given a tour of the Ffarquhar branch line.

CON:
- Elsbridge is not the junction in the RWS, that is Knapford Junction.


The censors in this episode weren't as up tight as it was back in those days. No there was no swearing in this episode, this is to people who are new to Thomas. The one con I have with this episode is why is Elsbridge the junction for Thomas' branch line? In the Railway Series its Knapford Junction. Elsbridge would have to be a country station in the Railway Series as there are no main line tracks leading to the station. However, the Ffarquhar branch line is a really good set, shame that we never get to see this branch line again in the newer episodes as many engines don't have a specific line or job to do. 

But what I also like is Thomas' relationship with Annie and Clarabel, even in many other episodes of the classic era like 'Emily's New Coaches' and even in 'The Great Discovery' in the new series era or any episode, you can see the affection he has with the coaches. When Emily took the coaches, Thomas was mad and when Stanley took the coaches, Thomas was sad that Annie and Clarabel like him and didn't notice Thomas. The episode also shows the connection between a crew member and carriage with Clarabel was sad that Thomas left her guard behind. 

Rating: 4/5