Sunday, 3 January 2016

S19 Ep.13: Helping Hiro


Written by
Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler

Directed by
Don Spencer

Produced by
Ian McCue (HIT)
Jennifer Hill (Arc)

When Thomas' load was accidentally spilt on the tracks, Hiro derailed himself and has to go to the Steamworks for repairs. Thomas ventures to the woods to find some spare parts but he ended up broken down! 

Air Date:
3/1/16 - AUS

- Moral: Helping a friend out
- The friendship between Thomas & Hiro
- Thomas caring for Hiro

- The whole plot could've been replaced with Percy
- The crew could've been added for getting help
- Thomas should know that there aren't spare parts at the hideout
- Why does Thomas need to ask Hiro why is he called master of the railway

I think what could've made this episode better if they've replaced Hiro with Percy, it's obvious with the best friend storyline. The plot can be like this, Thomas and Percy play and joke around while they were working and in the end, Percy has an accident and a nasty crash and Thomas made it as a heavy burden. It's an easy plot line that could work the Thomas and Percy dynamic friendship.

I do understand that crews aren't really that important as they are nowadays as the show is more about the engines. But I think it would be nice to add crew members doing important things like calling for help after all we do see Thomas' crew when he was stuck at Hiro's hideout. I honestly don't mind if the crews aren't in the series, they weren't seen much around the latter years of the classic series either. But it would be nice to see them do important things to give that railway reality theme back to the show.

As of the episode I don't consider this to be the best of season 19, but not a terrible episode as well. I always think Hiro is one of the best characters coming out of the new series era under Sam Barlow and Sharon Miller. 'Hero of The Rails' doesn't much hold up as a great special nowadays in comparison to the ones now, but it did bring some new things to the world of Thomas, heck the villain was another steam engine that's rare! But I digress. I love the friendship between Thomas and Hiro and Thomas acting young here is not all that bad. He looks up to Hiro like a wise old engine and asks questions like why he was called 'Master of the Railway' despite that Hiro didn't know why, it was explained to Thomas when he first found him in the 2009 special. I think there is a hole in the plot when it comes to Thomas and the spare parts at Hiro's hideout. In the special there weren't any parts scattered around the field that would be left as spares and all the old parts that were once on Hiro would've been old and not in working order. Whereas here in the episode, he thinks that there are. I think it'll be better if say the Fat Controller told him that there aren't any parts for Hiro at the hideout and Thomas would feel bad for him that his parts would take weeks but then Hiro told him about the back up parts the Fat Controller ordered. It would've been a good little twist.

But aside from the nitpicks I will say I love that Thomas shows a lot of care for Hiro, heck even in the Sam Barlow era there are times when he shows the caring side even 'The Biggest Present of All', one of my favourite, S13 episodes shows it. This definitely shows the moral help a friend in need and it's one of those episodes where Thomas is not shoe-horned in. This may have some flaws but most of the cons that I put were as I said before were me giving out nitpicks.

Rating: 6/10

Episode Ratings:
Lost Property - 9/10
Helping Hiro - 6/10

Series Rating (So far):

This'll be my last S19 episode review until March 2nd when 
'Start Your Engines' is out in Australia. Sure the episodes were released in Japan but I'm saving them for the DVD and episode review like I did with 'Dinos & Discoveries' last year. So watch this space!