Monday, 3 June 2013

S17 Ep.1: Kevin's Cranky Friend

2013 has brought some exciting changes to the Thomas & Friends franchise. In 2010, Sharon Miller had stepped down as head writer, after years of criticism, from the fans and parents, of the writing of the CGI series from S13-16, for the series and was replaced by Andrew Brenner, who has written his own series 'Humf' and was writer for other series such as 'Tractor Tom', the CGI version of 'Fireman Sam' and 'Angelina Ballerina' and 'The Cramp Twins'. Andrew Brenner is familiar with the Thomas series as he adapted episodes of the first two seasons of the series for Marvel comic (1987 - 1992) and had written his own stories which were turned into eleven episodes for the third season, which one of them was the infamous 'Henry's Forest' which was despised by the Rev.W.Awdry due to ignoring railway logic. In 2011, Nitrogen Studios, who had weened in the hearts of many Thomas fans young and old, had finished their contribution to the series and the animation has been transferred to Arc Productions who had produced films such as 'Gnomeo and Juliet' and '9' and also contributed to television like 'The Simpsons'. This also lead to a very big surprise back in April when 'Wal*Mart' released an exclusive DVD 'Railway Mischief' of the five S17 episodes. A new narrator! The new narrator is Mark Moraghan, in the line of other fellow famous Liverpudllian narrators such as Ringo Starr and Michael Angelis. Mark had been in the UK drama shows such as 'Brookside' and reality shows like 'Celebrity Masterchef UK'. This meant that Michael Angelis and Brandon's last contribution was S16 and 'Blue Mountain Mystery' for both the UK and US audience respectfully. The new series will bring new characters which will make their debut in the upcoming DVD special 'King of The Railway' which will make its worldwide debut in Australia in July.

So let's take a look at the first week of the new and improved series of the Thomas & Friends series with the episodes that made its debut to the American audiences on the exclusive DVD. 




Written by
Lee Pressman 

Directed by
David Baas

Produced by
Kallan Kagan (Arc)
Ian McCue & Halim Jabbour (HIT)

Air Date:
3/06/13 (UK)

The Fat Controller enlists Kevin to help Cranky at the docks. But Cranky refuses help and so loads are everywhere! 

- Kevin's persona 
- The little crab
Moral: Deep down someone there's a heart of gold.

- Kevin being way overexcited at the end

I can really see some improvement from Kevin in this episode, like Luke, you can feel sorry for him. For Kevin you can feel how small and useless he thinks he is. Plus there was not even a bit where he caused a huge mess, he's just overexcited to do be doing something special and wants to help. Plus I like how after when Kevin was lifted out from the water, the little crab was crawling around, some nice little comedic thing there from the animators. The moral was actually good too, deep down anyone there is a heart of gold in some people or things when it comes to Thomas. But to be honest, despite that Kevin has a good persona in this episode , I think he was way too over excited at the end with his cheeriness, that would be my opinion on the US version at the time this review was made. But in the end, it's an OK episode and it's enjoyable. 

Rating: 4/5