Sunday, 23 June 2013

NWR Editorial: The Three Strikes Formula



With the airing of the ten episodes in S17 in the early parts of June, many Thomas fans have praised the  writing of the series for being different towards its predecessors since 2005. But some fans have been given their thoughts that there is still the three strikes formula in the new episodes and that it must be banished from the series all together since a certain head writer used in almost every episode. But there are some thoughts I have about the writing formula. 

Let's go all the way back to 1984 when Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends debuted on British television and see the episode, 'The Sad Story of Henry'. While the passengers were cross, they used these:

1. Pulling him out 

2. Pushing him out

3. Getting an engine (Thomas) to push him out

Compare how that to the ones between S9-16, seeing how the series under the head writer Sharon Miller made the three strikes so painfully obvious with so much repetition and rhyming. Now we'll go to 1986 when Season 2 began airing on UK TV with the episode, 'Bertie's Chase'. While Edward left, Bertie did these three times:

1. Missed Edward at the level crossing

2. Missed Edward at the next station 

3. Bertie finally made it to Edward

I don't think Rev.W.Awdry did these intentionally in his books and I know the classic series doesn't do it all the time. But sometimes a three strikes formula can work if the story is executed perfectly and not in an annoying, repetitive and dreadful written way. I understand that people may find the three strikes annoying in the new episodes but they're not as annoying as the ones from S9-16 some of the strikes like Gordon and the water towers or Hiro collecting some stone trucks which they reminds me of these ones, minus 'Not Now, Charlie' as it does have that feeling on an 'edited' Sharon Miller script, even though I find the episode likeable then his other episodes. I'm not having a personal grudge against some fans opinions, as they are allowed to have an opinion, about the formula. But I'm writing to let some fans know that even the classic series can have some three strikes as well and it can well if the story is good.