Tuesday, 23 October 2012

DVD Review: Series 1 - 3 Classic Collection


Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry
Christopher Awry 
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton 
Andrew Brenner

Directed by
David Mitton 

Narrated by
Ringo Starr
Michael Angelis 

All 78 episodes (in total) with stories based off the classic Railway Series books by the Rev.W.Awdry and his son, Christopher Awdry. With episodes by David Mitton and Britt Allcroft and 'Henry's Forest' uncredited by the recent head writer of Thomas & Friends for S17 - onwards, Andrew Brenner

Special Features:

After many years of waiting, fans of 'Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends' have awaited home entertainment releases of the classic series, digitally remastered. At first, many thought these will be re-releases of the VHS transfer DVDs from the 2010 65th anniversary box set due to the spinal cover code. But thanks to Chris Tomson on Twitter, the first three seasons are now remastered. Many DVD releases over the years before the 2012 series compilations have released the episodes in their remastered state and these are the following, excluding Japan and other countries: 

- The Early Years (2004)
- Thomas' Halloween Adventures (2006)
- The Greatest Stories (2010)
- Engine Friends (2012)

- The Complete 1st Series 
(Digital Download, minus 'Down The Mine' and 'Thomas' Christmas Party')
- 'Children's Christmas Favourites' (DVD Promo, 2009)
- Thomas Saves The Day/James and The Express (2011)
- Thomas and Gordon/Percy's Promise (2011)
- Edward, Trevor and The Really Useful Party/Thomas and The Rumour (2011)
- The Best of Thomas (2010)
- The Best of James (2012)
- The Best of Percy (2012)

- The Complete 1st Series (Digital Download)
- My Frist Thomas With: The Twin Engines (Digital Download)
- My First Thomas With: Diesel (Digital Download)
- My First Thomas With: The Fat Controller (Digital Download)
- The Best of Thomas & Friends Vol.1 (DVD) - (2009)

Now on with the review, 
Why did I buy only the first three seasons you say? Well as I said before, its because of the remastered episodes. Series 4 -7 aren't remastered and are in their usual state like in 2010. The colour and scene look much more cyrsticl clear and you can see the many lights and props that you can't see in the video transfers as they're cropped up, plus you can see some goofs as well, most notably in 'Coal' when Henry is seen at Wellsworth station with Edward. Here is an example of the remastred footage from S2's 'Thomas and The Missing Christmas Tree':

Comparing the remastered footage towards the original, you can tell that these DVDs are worth buying. With Christmas coming up, these could become a great present for a new Thomas fan with the wonderful and nostalgic narration of Ringo Starr and Michael Angelis. These can also be a great nostalgic item for people who grew up with the blue engine and his friends since the beginnnig. I don't know much of a Blu-Ray release of these episodes, but I doubt that it can happen, but I could be wrong.

So thank you to HIT Entertainment for finally releasing the remastered versions of the classic series as a whole, these will become a great Christmas present for any child if they're being introduced to Thomas for the first time. For people who are interested in purchasing these DVDs from other countries, you must check your DVD region code before purchasing. My recommendation is to watch them on your computer screen, but they'll ask you to change the region code more then five. Now let's hope the US and Australia get the same treatment as well. The US really needs them as they only have the first season with the UK narration, as I heard it from some sources.

Rating: 5/5