Friday, 4 September 2015

DVD Review: 1st Class Stories


Written by
Rev.W.Awdry (original)
Britt Allcroft (Adaptation)
David Mitton (Adaptation)
Ross Hastings
Alan Hescott 
Jessica Sandys Clarke
Max Allen
Paul Larson & Laura Beaumont
Davey Moore
Andrew Brenner
Mark Huckerby & Nick Olster

Directed by
David Mitton
Greg Tiernan
David Baas
David Stoten

Produced by
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona
Phil Fehrle
Nicole Stinn
Robert Anderson
Ian McCue
Hali Jabbour

Thomas and Gordon
The Flying Kipper
Gallant Old Engine
Thomas the Jet Engine
Snow Tracks
Henry's Good Deeds
Charlie and Eddie
Jitters and Japes
Happy Hiro
Stop that Bus!
Flash Bang Wallop!
Bust My Buffers!
Percy and the Calliope
Steamie Stafford
The Switch
Bill or Ben?
Not So Slow Coaches
Toad's Adventure
Duck and the Slip Coaches

Release Date

Distributed by
HIT Entertainment (UK)

With celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Railway Series books, Thomas the Tank Engine, HIT Entertainment released another compilation DVD set featuring 20 episodes over the years with a little help from SiF and Sam Wilkinson, the Railway Consultant of the show - both big fans. The title of the DVD though was drawn from a competition on the official UK Thomas & Friends Facebook page back in early 2015. 


The DVD contains 20 selected episodes from the television series over the years since 1984. With help from SiF and Sam Wilkinson, the Railway Consultant. Comparing this to 'The Best of Thomas', it's not the best line of episodes as the 2010 DVD, for the 65th anniversary, they manage to release all episodes from all seasons. Whereas this DVD showcases many episodes mostly ranging from the 13th - 16th series which older fans like myself don't really enjoy due to its redundant narration lines and dumbed down writing. 

But I believe kids who grew up with those stories would love these episodes because they grew up with them, being honest. The only episode from the S13-16 list that I consider a good choice was 'Henry's Good Deed' as it was a three strikes episode done right. It's a repetitive amount of problems over and over again as it's just one problem leading to the other. But it still suffers the typical S13-16 storytelling and writing. The worst choice for me was 'Stop that Bus' and 'Percy and the Calliope'. 'Stop that Bus', although it was the first time we see Bertie up close in CGI and voiced by Rupert Degas, who had left the series since S16, it was still a terrible story with such stupidity. 'Percy and the Calliope', although I loved it that Robert Hartshorne did a rendition of the original Thomas theme, its just overrated because of that moment now that I look back at it. It suffers such stupidity from Percy's side, come on he pushed a calliope up the hill despite pushing it the whole episode. It's overrated but not bad. Plus I find Nitrogen's episodes to be dated when it comes to their episodes. They're not terrible at their job and they had improved around S16. But Arc Productions I think is better, but I still like both compaines.

But they might look back at them and realise the bad writing but that'll be a long while. Looking at the selected classic series episodes, these kind of DVDs are a great idea to introduce the classic series era to young kids today and with the mentions in the series 18 episodes, past specials and with 'The Adventure Begins' being released at Wal*Mart in the US, ASDA in the UK and soon at ABC Shops in Australia this November, this could lead them to those episodes:

-Thomas and Gordon: would bring a different interpretation to Thomas' introduction towards TAB
- The Flying Kipper: would bring the conclusion of the 'special coal' joke as mention in KOTR
- Escape: would lead kids to the reference that was mentioned in the beginning of 'Toad's Adventure'
- Gallant Old Engine: would show the start of Duncan's grumpiness
- Thomas the Jet Engine: would bring the conclusion of the reference made in 'Emily Saves the World'.

This is what I believe in as I've mentioned earlier, it's good for kids to be introduced to the classical era of the show. Although I prefer if you get 'Escape' and 'Thomas the Jet Engine' from iTunes, 'Escape' on the DVD was unrestored and the film looks bad and bland while iTunes has the restored episode from the 2012 classic series collection and 'Thomas the Jet Engine' on DVD is in its fullscreen format while iTunes had the widescreen version. With the S17-18 episodes, I think would be better if they've released episodes that weren't seen on DVD yet but they're still better then S13-16 episodes.


I don't consider this release to be perfect or bad, just OK. I think there are more better episodes to be chosen such as 'The Deputation' or even 'Edward's Exploit'. The CGI episodes between S13-16 overtook the list that I don't consider as '1st Classics' but there can be some decent ones. The trailers in the release are the new Bob the Builder reboot and the trailer for 'Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure'. I prefer Amazon's price which is $9.00 AUD.