Friday, 9 September 2016

S20 Ep.5: Bradford the Brake Van


Written by
Lee Pressman

Directed by
Dianna Basso

Produced by
Ian McCue (HIT)
Tracy Blagdon (Arc)

Air Date:

When Bradford the Brake Van arrives from the mainland, Thomas is delighted to work with him as he is excellent at keeping the Troublesome Trucks under control. He is also a real stickler for the rules, which keeps making Thomas late, but when Thomas decides to go off without him, he gets into trouble.

- Bradford 
- Moral: Safety comes first
- Rob Rackshaw's acting
- Chris Renshaw's composition
- Samson and Bradford could make a great dynamic

- Maybe Bradford could've been scolded at for his overzealous behaviour
- Samson could've been the star
- Bradford's reason to stay on Sodor.

I think out of all the episodes we've seen this week, this one is the best one of them all. First off there's Bradford a stickler for rules. You might say it's Fergus repeating 'Do it right!' a thousand times but Bradford never repeats a sentence over and over again like the logging looneys he has an army type character and Rob Rackshaw just nails his performance. His voice acting is a lot like Windsor Davies from 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum' a British comedy show by the same people who did 'Are You Being Served?' Windsor Davies played as Battery Sargent Major. I guess Rob is a fan of the show? 

The story had provided a good moral that safety comes first before being on time and once again Chris Renshaw did another great composition for the episode and the music sounds almost like something out from 'The Great Escape' a very army band style sort of music. Brilliant!  

The crash though can be kind of disappointing to fans who look forward to it but I'm alright with that. In the end this was a great episode.

Even though Samson can be annoying he is a good character too in the end and with him being stubborn and headstrong I guess him and Bradford would make a great dynamic together based on their personalities. Please writers bring Bradford back again, he's already a favourite of mine!

But although this is a great episode it does have its flaws. I do understand that fans think it's kind of weird that the Fat Controller told Thomas that safety is more important than being delayed. But if you look at it in context he may have scolded an engine for being delayed but a railway can be very expensive when it comes to accidents along the way when it comes to being on time. 

I can also see why the Fat Controller could've scolded Bradford for his overzealous behavior and while yes Bradford is passionate about railway safety I think he could've been given a word to by the Fat Controller or Thomas or the other engines for his behaviour and tell him that he should do only if it's urgent. I also think Samson could've easily worked as the main character, as I mentioned earlier, with his stubborn and headstrong attitude, hopefully for a future episode. Plus Bradford didn't really had a reason to stay on the Island he was just there with Samson. Could've been better if it was about Samson doing things on the Island while Bradford looks after his or anyone else's trains. 

But despite these flaws I still considered this is a great episode and probably of the best of all time. Oh yeah and there faced box wagons, it's a small thing but it's great to see that again.

Episode Ratings:
Sidney Sings - 8/10
Toby's New Friend - 7/10
Henry Gets the Express - 10/10
Diesel and the Ducklings - 8/10
Bradford the Brake Van - 10/10

Overall Rating:

And like last year, Channel 5 had shown a small portion of new episodes from the recent season and will be going back to repeats of S16 and to me it is no surprise considering that it all happened last year with Season 19. Who knows when they will air more episodes within the UK, hopefully they air the new Christmas episodes in December rather than January, however three Christmas episodes from the 20th season will be on the UK's 'Thomas' Christmas Carol' DVD which is great and hopefully HIT and Mattel keep up with it. 

So who knows when more of Season 20 will air? Maybe we should await Japan's schedule like last year or Australia's? Well we'll just have to wait and see.

S20 so far is very good and I look forward to more in the coming months, hope they don't leave it for too long. Anyway on with September 27th with the Christmas episodes.