THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND ARE NOT INFLUENCED FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS
Plot With Glynn now working for the Earl of Sodor, Sir Robert showed him around the castle. But poor Stephen felt jealous and thought the earl liked Glynn better than him. So Stephen challenges him to a race.
- I love that the Rainhill trails were mentioned
- \'Would you like a cup of tea with that? Young Gordon!\'
I think out of all the Christmas episodes, this one has to be my absolute favourite. The dynamic between Stephen and Glynn was very interesting to see. They do remind me of two old men talking about how great everything was in there day and how everything today was taken for granted. I do love that the Earl has a role too and I wonder with all the expansion work he\'s cashing in on, I wonder more about his character. What does he do for money? What is his work? Aside from the castle is he the Donald Trump of Sodor but more kinder and loveable?, haha(!), We don\'t know much about him and I like to know more and I also love it how his next project is a railway museum.
The race that Stephen and Glynn had was pretty funny too with the \'Eye of the Tiger\' theme playing ready for a thrilling start then some old time music of \'Jingle Bells\'. It remind me of a Family Guy joke, yeah I\'m not much of a fan of the show as I once was and if you have kids I suggest you don\'t show them the show if you\'re not a fan of their humour, but the scene of those two reminds me of Hebert and a German person having a punch up but because of their old age the fight isn\'t epic as it was them withering.
I also like how they have Stephen mentioning the Rainhill trials. It makes Stephen more real to kids. If you don\'t know what the Rainhill trials are. The Rainhill trials was formed in October 1829, nearly 200 years ago. It was made to decide that either stationary engines for locomotive can pull trains on the nearly built Liverpool to Manchester Railway. Ten engines entered, five engines competed and the Rocket was the winner of the five engines. More of the famous trial runs can be seen here.
Probably one of the strangest changes for this episode was in the UK dub when Glynn said to Gordon \'Would like a cup of tea with that? Young Gordon!\' whereas in the US dub he said \'Would you like a glass of milk with that?\' to be honest the latter makes more total sense when it comes to Glynn\'s jab as he mimicked Gordon for being young (a baby) I don\'t know if the jab in the UK dub is a British saying thing or there way of saying burn but the way the writers change it, it seems so surreal As it didn\'t make any total sense to me. But even with a one line change, it did leave a great impression on me.
One thing though that puzzled me about these two episode is this, why aren\'t they on TV during S20\'s run when they were released on DVD in the US and UK last year with some S20 episodes? Are these episodes part of S21 and they were placed on the DVD to make up more than three episodes? Were they to hype up the upcoming special \'Journey Beyond Sodor\'? With the Earl and his Railway museum idea and the possibilities that maybe the experimental engines might make it as there new home? If that was the idea then I\'m happy they did that as that how it should work with the season before special formula. However these are just questions and whatever the answers will be, will be the answers in the end and I hope we soon find out why these episodes aren\'t part S20\'s TV run.
Plot: Marion believes there\'s a talking Christmas tree, but it turns out it was something else.
I thought that Channel 5 in the UK would air this during Christmas 2016 along with the other three episodes focused on Christmas/Winter along with its sequel, \'Over the Hill\'. But they didn\'t which is a shame. Any who, Japan had aired this in 2017 despite now it\'s been three months since Christmas and so here is my views on this episode.
Out of all the Christmas episodes that were out on the DVD in the US last October, I was looking forward to this one the most, sadly though it wasn\'t the best in terms of story but I was looking forward to be seeing Glynn again and him getting more focus. When Glynn was first seen in the 2015 mini special \'The Adventure Begins\' some were complaining that he was pointless, used for merchandising, being a one off etc. the kind of stuff you hear about many of the new modern day Thomas character, especially around the Barlow/Miller era, although the criticism of that era is fair as there was little to no effort in their newbies. Heck some people doubted Philip and he\'s been getting some appearances lately. But I digress here.
The discovery of Glynn after the trees fell down to reveal himself was...underwhelming especially with the dialogue coming from Thomas in the US dub. It sounds like Thomas wasn\'t too surprised when he saw Glynn he just said \'Oh you\'re the coffee pot engine! How are you?\' no surprise, no gasp, just seem like they knew he was there the entire time. I do think it was better in the UK dub, when Thomas discovered Glynn he sounds way more surprised then his US counterpart. In previous years he sound more excited about Gator\'s return in \'Long Lost Friend\' and meeting up with Hiro in \'Helping Hiro\'. I have no hate for Joseph May in the end, he is a good voice actor in the show as Thomas and there are people who do like his acting. I think he just needs to improve a bit better as he does deliver some of his line awkwardly in some episodes.
Originally I was hoping that the writers aren\'t making Marion into an idiot. But thinking back to the episode, I think her portrayal was actually good with her jumping to conclusions that can be very peculiar, \'Sodor\'s Legend of The Lost Treasure\' is a clear example of that. She thought the small engines were magic because of their sizes and that there\'s only one Oliver on Sodor. That\'s because she never saw them in her life and that her imagination can go wild, watch \'Marion and The Pipe\' when she thought a pipe was part of a viking ship. So her conclusion of a talking tree fits in well with her character and persona.
But I felt that Marion\'s role in this episode could\'ve been replaced by somebody else as she didn\'t really do anything other than telling everyone about a \'talking\' tree. For her role, I think Thomas is more suitable to the lead role after all Glynn was on his branch line. But rather than him believing that tree could talk, make him wonder who the voice belonged too. Be like a little investigation episode. Marion\'s lead role felt forced in my opinion and like I said before, she could\'ve been replaced by Thomas for the lead role as the focus kept switching on certain characters, at least the latter makes sense or have Marion thinking it was Bill and Ben playing tricks on her until she discovered that it was Glynn.
There are things I do like, especially that it\'s great to see Glynn again and looks as though he has more purpose than being part of the Fat Controller\'s railway considering that they were foreshadowing \'Over the Hill\' at the end with Stephen not looking pleased and of course I do love how they acknowledge that the Fat Controller had built Glynn. Something that the Rev.W.Awdry had stated in his fictional history book. Although you do have to question his age, the Fat Controller\'s. I believe the Reverend would be happy that the series is at least acknowledging his work despite he might not like it with characters like Thomas being placed there whether it was in mind or not. The episode is not bad but I think there could\'ve been better options than what it is but the heart of it was right there.
THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT INFLUENCED FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE
After an encounter with a flock of sheep, Mike calls them silly and can\'t understand why Rex calls them useful. The Small Controller arrives and tells them they are now arranging to take wool trains for the local farmers. Rex is chosen to take the first train. Rex is over-confident, but gets his comeuppance when, by accident, a tractor\'s load spills onto the line, derailing him. Bert and Mike tease him, but say sorry when they come to take him home, and the Small Controller tells them their railway is more popular than ever.
Of course we have our third RWS adaptation and what a great way to conclude a brilliant season. I will get this nitpick out of the way and yes it\'s about Thomas\' shoehorning in this episode, he just felt like a pointless choice. OK so there might be a focus group that said they want to see more Thomas in the show and that\'s fine but there were episodes that are fine without Thomas and he doesn\'t need to be there all the time. They could at least chose Duck or Donald or Douglas in the episode, since the small engines are situated the Little Western or even or Ryan or Daisy since the 20th season is set after \'Sodor\'s Legend of The Lost Treasure\' and the extension to Harwick goes through their branch line or just have the episode open on them without the need of a standard gauge engine interacting them.
There\'s not really any enough reason for Thomas now whenever he\'s anywhere in the series it\'s rather the local train or just because he\'s there. Why cannot be him taking a school excursion from his branch line to the small railway? They never done that before in the series. I don\'t mind if Thomas makes an appearance to please younger fans but Thomas\' constant appearance kind of overshadowing the other characters.
With that out of the way, I still think this is another good adaptation that followed closely to the original story and despite Thomas\' forced appearance, the expanded intro was nice to see as well with the small engines not taken seriously as serious engines until the end with them working hard while Rex was off the rails. The slow motion scene though, I don\'t mind it. It reminds me of the later years of the classic series when they made the crash all slow-motion. In the end though it was nice adaptation and a brilliant way to close off probably the best seasons so far from the Brenner/McCue era. I hope we see more of the Railway Series stories being adapted in future.
When S19 came to a conclusion, I said that I wouldn\'t get too hyped up for this season and after seeing this. I put it down as the best season of this era. The stories are fun and interesting. Some were mundane, some were funny and some were brilliant. I especially love the idea of adapting the Railway Series stories of the small railway engines and I hope the current production team keep on doing that as there are many stories that are still unadapted and deserve treatment now that the show has been converted to CGI.
I see stories like \'Super Rescue\', \'Stop Thief\' and \'Triple Header\' work as CGI stories.
One of the best things I see from the production team is how Davey Moore had handled the Daisy episodes. Her persona was the most consistent out of all the characters and I think maybe the writers should focus on one character rather than have a bunch of writers focusing on some of the characters (e.g - Thomas) That way they could keep some of them in continuity rather than being all over the place.
For example, Thomas was cross about the idea of Hugo replacing him and the other engines and said \'You\'re fast and modern\' and yet he wants to be streamlined to go fast. I understand that the writers had a limit of time to write these episodes to meet deadlines but they should at least try and be a bit more consistent with the characters so they can keep with one personality making Thomas going from his bland good guy side and his old cheeky side just doesn\'t work well. This is by no means saying that the writing team are bad, they had done great things to keep with continuity (e.g - The boarded up tunnel from KOTR in \'Missing Gator\' was mentioned that it was re-boarded up)
This season had brought some goodness like Henry not being flanderized in his sacred persona and switch it around. While I\'m not a huge fan of it, I think it was handled well in S19 and \'The Adventure Begins\'. There were some interesting new characters such as Bradford, Hugo despite the unique choice of his basis his character felt a bit flat and disappointing. However SiF said that there are plans for the rail zeppelin by the production team and hopefully they do better with him. Bradford on the other hand was probably one of the best newbies we\'ve seen this season and I hope we see more of him in the future with Samson as I think the two characters would work well together.
I did say expect some flaws and there had been some this season unfortunately. Nothing is perfect but there needs to be a bit more effort into the show. You might say I\'m complaining but I do that because I care about the show and I would like to see things improve for the better. I\'ve already mentioned about Hugo earlier but one of my gripes is the fact that this season is somewhat before \'The Great Race\' and the problem I see with that idea of episodes set before special is that there\'s clearly not any build up towards the 2016 special. No hints, no mentions nor anything related to the special. I understand that yes the episodes could\'ve been in production when TGR was finishing its production stages or before the episodes were written, but I don\'t know much of the production stages that happened over at the now former Arc Productions and now Jam Filled Productions.
It could\'ve been good to see Gordon mentioning about brothers to Douglas and despite how much they annoy you or anger you that you should care about them still as they are your brother who looks out for you. He doesn\'t have to mention Flying Scotsman as many kids might have bought or seen the movie. I liked this idea in S19, season before special, because I think it would flesh out the characters more, especially the ones that were on the sidelines, but with how the way the season turned out looking back, it didn\'t add much considering that there wasn\'t a special to work off from to bring the characters from that to the show. I also think the distribution of the show should\'ve been delivered more properly as well. If you read the reviews on Amazon, especially in the US, from parents, no matter how dumb they can be they do bring out some good points such as characters that there kids don\'t even recognised since this is set after the 2015 special and I think HIT and Mattel should go back to what they did in the first that was series set after special.
I think ARC Productions had gone out with a bang, there animation was so detailed and amazing to look at and to be honest out of no disrespect, it made the 2010 Nitrogen animation look very dated. It was great at its time but it doesn\'t hold up anymore to me at least.
But looking back at S20, I still enjoyed it more than I did with S18, despite the flaws. What am I looking forward to S21? It\'s sad to see though, from the people on Twitter, that \'The Great Race\' will have no impact on the upcoming series, I don\'t know though if that\'s true or not, with the exception of Vicarstown station and Flying Scotsman, which I\'m thankful for. But it\'s no big surprise, given as how Ian McCue had stated in a interview with \'The Guardian\' last year that the international engines are one-off\'s. Which make sense considering that they are there for the Great Railway Show. Which is also a shame too considering that there are engines like Yong Bao and Freida who have great potential for stories in my opinion, maybe there should be more of that \'Great Race Friends Near and Far\' mini series on the official YouTube channel.
Although I think Thomas\' last two appearance were a bit forced in however, I didn\'t mind his constant appearance this season. Thomas is there but he wasn\'t given too much dialogue and he was at places where I see he\'s suppose to be at (e.g - Knapford station) however I think when it comes to roles any other character could\'ve been suited more better (e.g - replace him with the scottish twins in \'Mike\'s Whistle\') I hope the writers continue on with this in the future.
I hope for S21 we see characters that get enough focus such as the Skarloey Railway engines or Oliver. For the latter I wish since his return to screen in S18 he barely had any episode to himself and more of it was focused on Toad. Not that I hate Toad but I think there be focus on the engine that pulls him around. You could perhaps make an episode where he learns something new as the wikia stated \'Oliver is an engine who is willing to admit that everyday is a learning curve\'. Maybe he could learn about the slip coaches from Duck as he can be conceited about learning the practice itself, he was conceited about his escape from the scrapyard and use his \'Resource and Sagacity\' as he a way to do things and wisdom too. Sure it could work with engines like Samson or James, but no one in the current generation that are just starting to watch Thomas had seen who Oliver is and I hope he won\'t be the next Rosie, an engine lurking in the background with little to no dialogue at all.
Speaking of Rosie, I\'m looking forward to her screen time this year in S21. Looking back, Rosie was handled poorly by the previous team with her persona. She was considered as a tomboy but we never saw that coming from her. A tomboy is suppose to be a girl that has the same characteristic and behaviour of a boy, a bit like Misty or Zoey from Pokemon. Although the former did have some girly traits but only little. Rosie in Season 10 had none of that we never saw this tomboy persona she was given. How the way she was handled was a bit more like a bland girl.
She would also get a new coat of cherry paint and the NWR logo, which is nice but it might stick out like a sore thumb since the other engines don\'t have one as well. I think the paintwork that she would be given now would expose more of her tomboy persona as the pink didn\'t reflect that. Not at all and it was more of a stereotypical way to say she\'s a girl because that\'s what it is. I\'m glad that the production team had listened to fans and I\'m looking forward to see how they handle Rosie in S21. She would also be given a NWR logo, I hope one day the production team would do that to all of the engines. You can have them located other than their side tanks or boilers. Like the sides underneath the coal bunkers on the tank engines or on the sides underneath the cabs of the tender engines or on the buffer beams on engines like Percy, Duck, Oliver etc. It adds a bit of realism towards the show.
However in the end there could be quite a few surprises for next season. I also would like to give thanks to Ian McCue, the now former producer of Thomas. As he is now senior producer for all of HIT\'s brands, including Thomas. Thanks to him for bringing Thomas back to his roots and expressing the great history that the brand has and good luck to his replacement, Micaela Winter.
I will be releasing the two episode reviews for Glynn as for some reason they weren\'t shown during the UK\'s run of S20 during Christmas 2016 and they weren\'t shown through Japan\'s screening of S20 as well. It is indeed strange about those two episodes and I hope we will get word about them.
So now, I\'m looking forward to see what the production team would bring for S21 and \'Journey Beyond Sodor\'. Thank you to everyone who had read my views on these episodes between 2016-17. More reviews will be coming soon.
THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND ARE NOT INFLUENCED FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE EPISODE LINE UP AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE WAS BASED UPON FROM THE TV AIRINGS IN JAPAN AND FROM THE EXTRAORDINARY ENGINES RELEASE.
Special Features \'Let\'s Go\' - Sing-Along Music Video
\'Spring Is Here\' - Sing Along Music Video
Like every other year, we are given another themed DVD with episodes from the 20th season featuring a new character named Hugo. However these episode had aired over in Japan back in December 2016 and some of these episodes were given some praise already. So do these episodes live up against the previous selected ones from the other themed DVDs? Let\'s find out!
So we are given our new character of the tentpole release and this year it\'s Hugo, a rail zeppelin. I will talk more about his character later on but his episode was not very good. The episode felt rather cliched with the fear of replacement trope I get that it\'s trying to tell the moral \'don\'t jump to conclusions\' and that\'s fine and that the engines are old machines but it\'s been done before. Plus I felt like there should\'ve been more added to this episodes. The engines all don\'t like him because they fear, in a cliche manner, they\'re going to be replaced by him, Hugo is sad and Percy wants to put things right and the engines like him again with no explanation. Also the focus was more on Hugo being more modern and futuristic rather than being a character.
You might say that the same can be applied for Harvey in his debut episode from 2002. That though is entirely different. Harvey proved his worth at the end of the episode, him saving engines with his crane arm and the engines found him useful. Hugo\'s worth was never even stated since he never had a reason to be on the Island. Sure he took Franz, nice touch of naming after the Rail Zeppelin\'s designer, to see the Earl, but what for? What could\'ve been better if say, it was Daisy who feared of being replaced by Hugo because he\'s more modern, fast and futuristic. Then Daisy was very negative about him and Hugo was cross with her for creating such nonsense and stood up to her and her words. Next day, Daisy broke down while taking passengers to Harwick and Hugo came and saved the day and he proved his worth that he can help Daisy along the Harwick line.
There are a few things that I do like about this episode. Sure Franz being named after by the designer was a nice touch but another nice touch is Hugo pointing out his flaws such as him lacking a coupling hook and his propeller can be considered as dangerous in crowded station platforms, which his basis has actually suffered, except they didn\'t mention hills, I\'ll get to that later. But there was some good researching there by Andrew Brenner. Plus I like it that Percy was the engine wanting to make Hugo feel better rather than Thomas. But in the end the episode didn\'t really make me like it and I do wish it was added with more development from the steam team.
I wish Mattel had released a glow in the dark Henry instead of a wooden railway rolling stock toy of the glow in the dark paint. You got the Adventures range with the glow-in-the dark Thomas, Percy and Rosie, they could\'ve added Henry in for promoting the DVD. But aside from toys, this episode I feel was fresh when it comes to Henry. Over the years he was seen as the worrier engine and while I do think that trait was done better in \'The Adventure Begins\' with his fear of the rain done in a different context and Season 19 with some relatability of fearing Chicken pox, I think Henry had better episodes in the 20th season.
In this episode the tables had turned, instead of Henry being scared it was the other engines that were scared of him and while Cranky showed Henry in the mirror what he looks like, we never see Henry just running away in a coward sort of way. Although I wish that was done to Edward. Maybe it would be better if it were Edward calming down to everyone that it\'s Henry at the sheds nearing the end of the episode rather then him running away into his shed with the others. I mean he looks out for engines and the episode showed him glaring at Gordon and James with their teasing towards Henry. But other than that, this episode was good, interesting and fresh and there were some funny moments with the Fat Controller at the end.
It was nice to see that Judy and Jerome have a major role but the episode feels average. Not much happens in the episode except for Daisy\'s crash. All we see throughout most part of the episode are the two cranes going to Arlesbrugh, the countryside and the Blue Mountain Quarry. There was a funny moment of a seagull, lack of a better word, pooping on top of Jerome and it gave me a nice chuckle even though I\'m not a fan of that type of humour but at least it wasn\'t hammered down to be funny. It\'s a nice episode and I think it proves that you can have more than one crane in the show. The episode was simple but it\'s not bad but also not great either.
This episode has an \'All at Sea\' feeling towards it. Hugo\'s ambition to fly is a lot like Duck\'s ambition to travel by sea. Although the moral about \'Being yourself\' was done before plenty of times and I think the moral was handled well in \'Best Engine Ever\' with Emily and her insecurities rather than trying to copy someone, which this episode went with instead.
However the way the episode was written around the first few minutes was a bit poor. The scene gave the idea of the airship\'s presence felt more like a mystery tale. If they want the story to be about Hugo and his insecurities why not make him sad that the engines thought he was flying because he looks so similar rather then him wondering about the airship because how the way they transition from that to his ambition for flying looks like it came out of nowhere and felt more jarring and made no amount of sense. The scene of him trying to fly like the airship felt strange too with the lack of sound effects and all we hear is the music and voices that it makes the episode feel a bit lazy or rushed. Even though I like it that Brenner had pointed out the flaws of his basis, his hill climbing with his propeller is one that they haven\'t pointed out. If his basis climbs hills with its propeller on, the flow would separate if full power is applied. I know they bend some rules to tell a story, but it was a bit of a missed opportunity for that to showcase a needed crash, yeah a cliche but if its a way for Hugo to learn that he is for who he is that would be better way rather then him trying hard to fly.
Another flaw too is Hugo\'s purpose working on the Fat Controller\'s railway. What is his role? Sure it\'s taking passengers but on what designated track? Since the current team had brought back designated tracks, although not used too much. It\'s important for him to have a reason and I hope we see more about it in the future.
I get the episode\'s message but I think if you want an episode about Hugo and his insecurities, make him sad and doubtful rather than making it look like a mystery story. Yeah some fans don\'t like to see a character being all mopey but I think it is the only way to develop him.
I think this is one of Brenner\'s weakest scripts in the 20th season. One of the problems about this episode was Toby. We had an episode written by the same writer who made Toby almost in his original persona in \'Toby\'s New Friend\' and suddenly he was reverted back into his worrying persona like in S13-16 in this episode. Toby is not a worrier, he can be temperamental, a bit of a joker, savvy about trucks more than Thomas and Percy despite his old age and he can be wise as well. Sure he did get nervous in S5 later on but he wasn\'t flanderised for it, and this is coming from a person who\'s not a fan of S5. Heck the three traits he holds could have story potential in fact some of those traits were in previous episodes for a second, Toby teaching Den about trucks in \'Den and Dart\'.
Some fans have compare this to \'Cows\' because the engines were scared of one. But there is a major difference between them. With \'Cows\', Henry and Gordon were \'scared\' because they never had any experience dealing with cows despite that earlier they were boastful about how easy it would be dealing with some, it made sense. They weren\'t scared by one because it was a monster or because it was an obscure sound. Sure Edward said they were afraid of it but he was just teasing. Gordon and Henry didn\'t carry on like wimps and run away, they just stood their ground and deal with it. Here the three small engines were scared by a sound and assumed it was a monster until Annie & Clarabel pointed it out.
Thomas\' role, despite being the bland good guy, does remind me of him in \'Ghost Train\' where he doesn\'t really believe in the stories until he got scared but without the cheekiness and more generic.
Percy\'s role was quite disappointing too. We saw him being developed in \'Tale of The Brave\' about being brave despite being scared and throughout S19 we never saw him in his sacred persona until this episode and \'The Great Race\'.
Now this is not the worst episode of all time to me at least. I like the concept of it all and I got a bit nostalgic looking at Thomas, Percy and Toby the Ffarquhar branch line trio and it was nice seeing the comeback of Trevor with dialogue for the first time since 2005, although his US voice wasn\'t great though in my opinion. The moral was nice about overcoming your obstacles and that we shouldn\'t jump to conclusions before knowing the truth. But it could\'ve been better if maybe the episode developed Toby\'s character!
The fairy tale, which this episode had referenced, is about three goats and the oldest one is the one that defeats the troll and threw him into the river, in the original version. You could\'ve had Toby being the third one and him \'confronting\' the \'troll\' which was the cow and Toby could\'ve at least learn that he shouldn\'t have a wild imagination and that could begin to readjust his original character...again. Kids might as well look towards him for his bravery or maybe give him the lead role and let him be in Thomas\' place but make Toby more interesting. Honestly the personas in the classic series can work here. You can have Thomas being cheeky like he did in \'Ghost Train\', Percy being scared like he did in \'Thomas, Percy and The Dragon\' and a wise Toby but sassy tram engine like he had in various episodes at that time \'Dirty Objects\' is a prime example.
Andrew Brenner is a good writer in the end though, far from the worst. But this is sadly one of my least favourites he wrote and probably one of the weakest episodes. It was a good idea but the classic personas of Thomas, Percy and Toby could\'ve worked much more better here than what they are now.
I found this episode hilarious! The story was nice and simple but when the Skiff and the Fat Controller went out to sea this is where it gets funny. I love the scene of the Fat Controller thinking he was stranded on a deserted island when really it was *spoilers* Bluff\'s Cove, although I wish they made the Fat Controller realise that he was there the whole time and should\'ve telephoned for help. I like Skiff\'s character here he feels more like a sweet and naive child that gets overexcited, such as looking for the mermaid, it was nice. One sad thing I do find in this episode is definitely how little use of Oliver we\'ve seen in this era. He barely had any episodes focusing towards him and he feels underused and more like a device to pull or push Toad around. I think the production team should try and focus more on Oliver in future, regardless of his render. It\'s not perfect but I don\'\'t mind it and Arc Productions had fixed Duck\'s render this season. But in the end, it was a funny episode and I do hope we see more episodes focusing on Skiff.
Hugo\'s persona had come about his insecurities of him being different and while yes that was fine I felt like more should\'ve been done on him. SiF had said on twitter when these episodes were out in Japan back in Feb 2017 that the writers have plans for him. I hope we see more of him being fleshed out in future episodes soon.
I do love the fact that the writers had given him the basis of the Rail Zeppelin with its futuristic and sci-fi look but in reality his basis wouldn\'t have been futuristic considering that the series takes place possibly around 1967, due to the small railway engines\' stories being adapted and Reverend Awdry setting them in that period, according to \'
Sodor: Its People, History and Railways\' book. But who knows about the reaction if the people of England had seen the real rail zeppelin back in the 60\'s?
I think HIT Entertainment are treating the intervals now as a special features as they are part of this pack on the DVD known as \'
Railway Fun With Thomas\', the same is done for the UK\'s first DVD release for 2017. The first interval is \'Really Useful Engine\' and the two characters that are focus are Belle and Harvey and it\'s the same as all the others. What\'s their purpose on Sodor and a bit of a recap.
However it\'s nice to see some new ones instead of recapping old ones.
Of course we have the Earl\'s Quiz and in this one we see him asking the target audience questions towards moments such as \'
The Afternoon Tea Express\', \'Toad and The Whale\' and what carriage that Toby pulls. Again, these are nice segments for the young audience to get them to memorise things from a particular moment.
We are given another \'\'Landmarks of Sodor\' segment and this time we take a look at the Search and Rescue centre and of course it\'s the same as the others, we are given a insight on what it does and who works there and these are fun to watch with Rob Rackshaw\'s voice, who thankfully doesn\'t feel like he\'s shouting.
And we are given another \'The Fat Controller\'s Tales\' this time featuring Toad and his events of \'Toad and The Whale\'. This segment though made me feel sad that he gets as much focus than Oliver and Oliver didn\'t even have a single episode given to him yet. But I digress, I\'m kind of starting to warm up to be this segment, although I still do feel like they are just rehashing the idea of \'
Who\'s That Engine\' and \'Really Useful Engine\'. The one thing that is missing is the \'Guess Who?\' puzzles and to be honest while they are good for the young audience, they are pretty much easy to guess and are becoming redundant.
And this year we are given not one but two songs from Eggplant LF! The songs are \'
Spring Is Here\' and \'Let\'s Go\' which were shown on the PBS broadcast in the United States in 2015 and 2016. To be honest the first video \'Spring Is Here\' is not bad but not great, it had nice music although the lyrics are bit bland. \'Let\'s Go\' however, looking back at it, felt generic with the lyrics as the song was mostly about Thomas going on an adventure however I do like the music as it sound very railway folklore. So as always Eggplant LF are always a hit and miss but these are better than \'Race With You\'.
So is this DVD worth it? I think it was a good release but it doesn\'t beat the likes of \'Spills and Thrills\' or \'Start Your Engines\'. The episodes could\'ve been better but there were a couple of good ones. It\'s good to see that the US had finally got the updated \'Engine Roll Call\' song and credits now all they need is the updated intro and better text. The special features are good too especially the songs. If you\'re a fan of S20 or a fan of Hugo then this release will be for you.
Labels: 2017, DVD, Extraordinary Engines, Thomas and Friends
Duck\'s whistle is making a funny noise, causing the other engines to laugh.
- I think Thomas\' role should\'ve been given to either Donald or Douglas or even Duck.
- Kind of distracting that Mike\'s driver is seen sitting while Mike moved off himself.
Okay, yeah Thomas is in the story despite that he was not in the original story. But although we have to admit that yes people outside of the fandom want their kids to see more of Thomas, I think his role could\'ve been given by Donald or Douglas or even Duck. The Scottish twins have some wit although intellectual than Bill and Ben or even have Duck interacting while he was collecting Ballast, expand his time. You could say that Duck should\'ve had a more bigger role but in the original story he didn\'t have much of one as he was there for a short second. Plus it was kind of distracting to see Mike moving by himself while his driver was just sitting there when he was trying to get the cow out of the way. The animators could\'ve had him at least holding a lever. However those are just nitpicks that I want to get out of the way as those two flaws didn\'t dim my enjoyment of this episode.
I will say the story had kept close to the original. Mike\'s grumpy personality, especially his preference of trucks over passerngers was kept in great tact and it was really enjoyable to see him like that with some character development too. I also find it funny that one of the passengers wolf whistled, it was just funny to hear that especially in a children\'s show. In short, it was indeed another great adaptation of Reverend Awdry\'s stories.
LOOK OUT FOR MY VIEWS ON \'EXTRAORDINARY ENGINES\' AND THE EPISODES ALONG WITH IT COMING SOON!
One day two visitors come to the Island of Sodor to take pictures of interesting engines; At first Bert finds them very polite; They drive their little purple car along the line, racing ahead of him and stop to take pictures as they go past.
- Seeing Skarloey having a cameo just shows how underused they are.
If anyone is wonder what \'Tit for Tat\' means, it means \'t
he infliction of an injury or insult in return for one that one has suffered.\' Like a comeback which happens in this story. I never thought I see the day when an unadapted Railway Series story had become an episode as part of the TV series. This hasn\'t happened since \'Mind That Bake\' in season 4 which was 22 years ago! Sure there was \'The Adventure Begins\' but that\'s a mini DVD special not a TV series episode.
Usually the Railway Series stories are five minutes long but as time moved on the show had expand a more longer running which is about 9mins long and how the way they dragged the story out, it did pretty well. We are given an introduction to the small railway engines and the two vicars, whom are the late Reverend Wilbert Awdry (1911-1997) and the late Teddy Boston (1924-1986) and I will say they have given them most respect as characters. However Teddy Boston\'s render, the fat clergyman as he was called in the books, looks a bit off to be honest but it doesn\'t look too bad. Maybe if they use him again for a cameo perhaps they should fix his face up a bit.
However the Reverend Awdry\'s render is almost accurate towards the real person himself so well done to the animators at Arc Productions now Jam Filled Productions.
Thomas was in character even if it was for a few seconds. He doesn\'t act like a beastly goody two shoes that is bland and uninteresting like we see in \'Three Steam Engines Gruff\'. Here we see him whinging that the two vicars weren\'t taking his photograph as of course he brags about his superiority and it feels very childlike when it comes to kids and their boasting. It was also very nice to see Thomas and the Reverend Wilbert Awdry interacting to each other. Thomas speaking to his creator!
I also love how we see more interactions of engine and crew this needs to happen more and not just for a few seconds like that they did in \'Long Lost Friend\' in S18. It just feels nice to see that throughout the episode, especially the \'Come on, give us a smile!\' scene which was funny and adorable at the same time and I do love in the ending that we see the vicars apologised to Bert about their mishaps rather than happen off screen and of course I do like how Bert mention that he would be on television a possible meta reference about the TV series, like they did in the Railway Series books.
I was going to talk about how the Reverend wasn\'t credited in the title card but thanks to SamtheTrainFan for pointing it out, his name can be seen on the intro credits so they know.
However there are some cons for this episode. I don\'t know if it\'s a nitpick but seeing Skarloey just shows how underused they are, the narrow gauge engines. They have been seen this season but come on can we at least see an episode focused on them? Perhaps the settings for the Skarloey railway hadn\'t been finished yet, which I can understand.
However in the end, the episode was a great and respectable adaptation that had kept close to the original story and I hope we see more of these in future! Perhaps for Bear we see his story \'Super Rescue\' being adapted, please!!!
It\'s the hottest day of the year on Sodor and the sun is causing the tracks to buckle and bend; Dowager Hatt arrives with a present for the Fat Controller.
- A good message about what reflects and absorb heat
- Flynn and Belle\'s role don\'t feel forced
I think what makes the episode strange is its title. In Japan it was called \'Really Useful Hat\' and with a title like that it makes sense given that the whole episode was pretty much focused on the Fat Controller and his white safari hat. The episode does have a good educational message about what reflects and absorb heat and with the tracks being painted white, which can happen in real life so very good piece of realism there.
However the title here in the western world just seems odd. Of course their were buckled tracks but they weren\'t really the main focus as it felt like it was here and there and it felt more like the focus was just on the summer season, another title that might\'ve worked could\'ve been \'Heat Wave\'? Although the whole episode just felt awkward and clunky in places with the focus on that hat, then the tracks. However I feel that Belle and Flynn weren\'t really forced into the story as they did have their use when it comes to fire and there were some funny moments with the Fat Controller and his hat.
But as I said before, the story felt clunky and awkward in places that I don\'t consider it as bad but not the best episode I\'ve seen this season.
First Thoughts on the First Tale of The Brave Trailer
Thomas The Sexist, Racist, Communist Tank Engine?