Sunday, 30 September 2012

S3 Ep.9: Henry's Forest

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

HENRY'S FOREST
Written by 
Andrew Brenner

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
17/10/91

Plot:
Henry loves the forest and trees as it always make him feel peaceful. But one night a storm came and ripped up the forest. Henry was very upset by the looks of the forest. Toby felt sorry for him and wanted to make Henry feel better. The Fat Controller noticed this and gave Toby a special job by taking some baby trees to the forest so they can be replanted and as the trees grew strong, the forest came back to life and Henry was happy again. 

PRO:
- I love the little piece of music at the end.

CON:
- Rule 55 has been broken.

So we come to the episode that has been criticised by the Rev.W.Awdry himself panning that the episode has no reality as Rule 55, a rule on British Railways, has been broken that an engine driver has to alert the signalman that they're standing on the main line so that other engines can't crash into each other, and that the trees are close to the line that it can cause a spark to the trees. This episode is also written by current head writer of the show and former magazine writer, Andrew Brenner, who wrote this for a magazine back in the 1990's. 

I do understand the negativity of this episode from the Reverend himself, but this episode is so depressing, the episode shows Henry's love of nature and was sad to see broken down with the animals not living there anymore. The music set the emotion and I nearly had a tear in my eye. It was also nostalgic as I haven't seen the episode for a while. I do understand the negative reaction that the episode had gotten by the author of the Railway Series, but this episode is good, despite that it has some unrealistic backdrop towards it. 

I'm looking forward to Andrew Brenner's current episodes next year, as he stated three months ago that he researched on 'Thomas & Friends Wikia', click here to see what I mean.

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, 29 September 2012

S3 Ep.8: Diesel Does It Again

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

DIESEL DOES IT AGAIN
Written by 
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
10/10/91

Plot:
The harbour was busier then ever and it made Duck and Percy very tired. The Fat Controller had hired Diesel once again from the Other Railway as he was the only engine available. Diesel was a pain towards the two green tank engines until one day, Diesel shunted some trucks filled with china clay and the loads had sunk. The Fat Controller was annoyed and sent Diesel away...again. 

 PRO:
- The harbour setting looks great!

CON:
- Why did Diesel come back, he was sent away in disgrace, yes the harbour was busy, but there are other engines.
- Why did Diesel stop when his brakes are not on properly?
- No brake vans on Percy, Duck or James' trains.
- China clay is being uncovered

This episode could've be made due to the popularity of Diesel, I believe. To be honest, this episode is not perfect. Diesel was never seen in the Railway Series again until Christopher Awdry's one-off book 'Thomas and The Evil Diesel', which I think would be a much better story to adapt from then this. In the book, we have Diesel being his devious self and was being sent away in disgrace until he has to help Thomas due to Daisy's oil spill and Clarabel being derailed because of it. In the end, the carriages and the engines felt sorry that Diesel was sent away, but the Fat Controller welcomes him to his railway any time.

There are many nitpicks, if Diesel's brakes are not secured properly, he would've pushed Percy right up a pair of buffers or the end of the quay rather then bashing into Percy and then stop. The china clay is being uncovered and there are no brake vans in the episodes on Percy, Duck and James' trains. 

The only thing I do like about this episode is the harbour, it has a much more wider industrial approach in the series and some props came from David Mitton's and Robert D. Cardona's old show 'TUGS'. But the episode is just pointless to have since Diesel was sent away in disgrace and that Christopher Awdry's book would be a better replacement. 

Rating: 2.5/5 

Friday, 28 September 2012

S3 Ep.7: Thomas, Percy and The Dragon

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

THOMAS, PERCY AND THE DRAGON
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
7/10/91

Plot:
Thomas and Percy are good friends, but sometimes Percy likes to tease Thomas about being frightened and that made Thomas cross. One day, Thomas was given a special job from the harbour by taking a chinese dragon to a carnival. Thomas thought he would like to scare Percy, who was stuck in a siding due to jammed points. Percy was shocked and told all the other engines. But they laughed until Thomas pushed it into Elsbridge. Thomas told him all about and the two tank engines made up for their teasing.

PRO:
- The chinese dragon looked amazing with the lights.
- The chinese music added some nice culture.

CON:
- There was no brake van at the end of Thomas' train.
- Would it be better if the paper dragon have its lights off and a tarpaulin over it?

I like this episode, it was nice adding some culture towards the show like the chinese dragon, even though they say carnival, it would better if they've mentioned, 'Chinese New Years' that would bring more cultural diversity towards the show without being an engine from another country. The music for the dragon was spot on by Mike O' Donnell and Junior Campbell and it also bring some culture as well. But there are two downsides towards the episode. First there is no brake van at the back of Thomas' train, minus a flatbed with a tarpaulin over it with a red light, but not at the end and wouldn't it be better if a tarpaulin would be over the dragon or its lights off? What would happen if Thomas' cinders and ashes landed on the paper dragon? Or a light bulb burst. 

Though there are some cons towards the episode, I still enjoy it. The story is great, the music is great and it brings some culture towards the series. 

Rating: 4.5/5



S3 Ep.6 Thomas Gets Bumped

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

THOMAS GETS BUMPED
Written by
Britt Allcroft & David Mitton

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
1/10/91

Plot:
Thomas is running late as he had to take some school children along his branch line as their bus had broken down. When he arrived at the big station, Thomas feared that he could be replaced. The next day, Thomas was making his way on his branch line, but just ahead the sun had buckled the line, which led him to derail. While his branch line is under repairs, Thomas was to shunt trucks in the yards and Bertie has to take his passengers. Thomas was sad, but the Fat Controller told him that his line is repaired and that he and Bertie would work together more with the passengers. 

PRO:
- Many people think the title is misleading, but I think it was called 'Gets Bumped' because Thomas bumped off the rails.

- I like the 'Sorry No Trains' sign.

CON:
- Where are Toby, Percy and Daisy, they should be helping out with the branch line too.
- Wouldn't the passenger need to be checked if they're not hurt.

The first Thomas episode in history not be written by an Awdry, instead it was written by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton. I see many people thinking the title is misleading, but I think it was called with the episode title because Thomas did bump himself off the line. But I believe they could've chosen a better title, but there's no turning back the clock now, but I'm not saying I hate the current title. I like the 'Sorry No Trains' sign too. But there are two cons I have with the episode. Why is Thomas is the only one running on his branch line, Toby, Percy and Daisy are suppose to help him out too. It could've done better if Bertie is to help out with Toby and Daisy half way along the branch line while Thomas is away to some shunting as the line is being repaired and Percy is taking the goods. That is, if Daisy were in the series.

Plus after the accident, wouldn't the crew or the guard go and see if the passengers aren't injured or worse? But anyway its an alright episode.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, 27 September 2012

S3 Ep.5: Donald's Duck

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

DONALD'S DUCK
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
29/09/91

Plot:
Duck has been working hard in the yard at the big station and the Fat Controller rewarded him with a branch line that runs along the coast of sandy beaches. One day, the Fat Controller is to build a new station at the port, with a little help from Donald, Douglas and Toby. Duck talked endlessly about his responsibilities that Donald started quack at him saying he sounds like a Duck. Duck felt hurt and so he and his crew decided to play a trick on Donald. Next morning, Donald had an unexpected passenger aboard on his tender.

PRO:
N/A

CON:
- Why is Duck going to the quarry on Thomas' branch line?
- Why build a new station when really there is a station?
- Why was Toby there?
- No brake vans being added on Toby and Duck's trucks.


Despite the nitpicks I found in this episode, again, I have no problems with the episode. For the reason why, look at my 'Percy's Promise' review. This episode is OK, but it has it flaws. First, why is Duck going to the quarry on Thomas' line, they should've asked for permission to go up there due to the earth not being strong enough. Second, why build a new station when really there is an existing station right next to it. In the RWS story, there was not even a mention of a new station. Thirdly, why was Toby helping out with the construction? He should be working on the Ffarquhar branch line and also there are no brake vans at the back of Toby and Duck's trains. 

As I said, I have no problem with the episode, it's OK. I still watch it anyway on my iPhone. 

Rating: 3.5/5

S3 Ep.4: Gordon and The Famous Vistor

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

GORDON AND THE FAMOUS VISITOR
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Air Date:
24/09/91

Plot:
One of the world's most famous steam locomotives, 'City of Truro' had come to visit the Island of Sodor. The engines were so startled by his appearance that Gordon became jealous. The next day, Gordon wanted to go 100mph, but unfortunately, lost his dome due to a teasing wind. The trucks laughed and later that night one of the engines says, 'Never trust domeless engines, they aren't respectable.'

  PRO:
- I love the 'City of Truro' model, they kept it close the real locomotive

CON:
- Why was Thomas talking about 'City of Truro' to Gordon when really it was Duck.
- Why was Diesel there at the event, he hates steam engines and he was sent away. 

This episode is actually good and I do like how it almost kept to the original story, but its a shame that the episode wasn't made in the second season. It's also a shame that 'City of Truro' wasn't moveable as according to Steve Asquith it wasn't affordable at the time, which I can tell why they have to adapt the story at the beginning a different way. Instead of 'City of Truro' being a centre of attention, he came to the island on a rail tour with some enthusiasts to meet the engines. But they could've kept the coaling stage part.

But what I don't like is how the way Thomas was telling Gordon about him instead of Duck. Duck is the one who's suppose to tell him since he has Great Western pride and he became really good friends with him in the end. But I still I don't see why the episode is called in this title instead of its RWS title. 

But in the end, I love the model of 'City of Truro', the model makers do stick close with the actual engine and I do enjoy the episode.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

S3 Ep.3: Time For Trouble

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

TIME FOR TROUBLE
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
20/9/91

Plot:
The Fat Controller decided to give Gordon a rest and asked James to do his work. James began boasting about himself taking the express and being vain about his red paint. He met up with Toby at the water tower boasting about his new job. Toby dosen't care, but then the Fat Controller arrived and told Toby to go to the works to be mended. Toby wanted to take Henrietta, but the Fat Controller said no and Percy offered to look after her. As Toby was making his way, he ran out of water, due to a new signalman, wanting the platform to move out of the way for James. Percy took Toby's driver back to the station for help and James had to push him towards the works station. 

PRO:
- I love how Toby is connected to Henrietta.

CON:
- Such a shame that Gordon's London trip was not even mentioned nor even made, I'll mention that later. 
- Why is Toby's driver heading back to Lower Tidmouth on Henrietta? 

Again, I have no problems with the episode with the same reason as mentioned in my 'Percy's Promise' review. To start off here is the reason why 'Gordon Goes Foreign' was not even made. There was going to be an episode focusing on that, according to Bob-Gauld Galliers, who was art director of the show at the time, on an SiF interview, but due to the story being to high budget, the idea was dropped. Such a shame that a story like that was dropped and I know because the budget was tight at the time of production. But it's a shame that Gordon's trip to London was not even mentioned in the episode and that his usual express journey tires him out when his trip to London would be even more tiring when running from Barrow to London's Kings Cross would take about 4hrs non-stop. 

And also, why was Toby's driver heading back to Lower Tidmouth by Henrietta. Percy would have to be on Thomas' branch line, not the main line and in the book 'The Eight Famous Engines', his driver put detonators on the track to warn James that Toby is ahead, here it's not even seen, mentioned and not even heard of. 

But I do have one praise for this episode and that is how Toby feels sad that he can't take Henrietta with him. It goes to show you that Toby is connected to his loveable coach like a husband would do to his wife and that's the one thing I like about the engines having a firm relationship with their carriages, they love them and don't want to leave them.

But again, I don't have any problem with the episode overall. It's just the visuals I nitpick. The episode itself is OK.

Rating: 3.5/5

Monday, 24 September 2012

S3 Ep.2 Percy's Promise

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

PERCY'S PROMISE
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
14/09/91

Plot:
Thomas is busy during the evening and asked Percy to take the Vicar's Sunday School for him. Rain came to the island and as Percy was fighting his way home, he was stuck in flood! His crew covered his firebox so water won't flow and Harold soon came and brought down hot drinks for Percy's crew. In the end, tired but triumph, Percy brought the train home.

PRO:
- N/A

CON:
- I don't know why they used Tidmouth Halt? When there is a seaside at Knapford Harbour.
- Why is there a brake van behind Clarabel?
- Thomas' appearance was really unnecessary.


I have no problems with this episode. Just its visual flaws. First off, why is the seaside set at Tidmouth Halt? I know this was set before Duck got his branch line, but in the Railway Series, the line was closed before Duck got it because he knows the small railway engines. Have they forgotten about the 'new harbour' at Knapford? Second, why is there a brake van at the back of Clarabel when really she's a brake coach herself, there is no need of a brake van, unless her brakes have failed. But in the story from 'Percy the Small Engine', she didn't. 

And in the end, Percy didn't meet up with Thomas. In the book, the vicar, the children and even the Fat Controller along with Harold are the only ones there as Thomas was actually busy. Would be better if its has one of the main line engines like Gordon, Henry or James since the scene is focused at Elsbridge. 

Again, I have no problems with the episode with its writing. It did stick with the original story, but it was also a continuity error. In 'Percy Takes The Plunge', he mentioned it to Bill and Ben in the second season as the actual story took place in 'The Eight Famous Railway Engines' in the Railway Series. 

Again, I have no problems with the episode's writing, just the visuals errors. The episode is OK despite a few flaws.

Rating: 3.5/5  

Sunday, 23 September 2012

S3 Ep.1: A Scarf for Percy

1991 saw some different changes towards the series. First off is the leaving of Bluebird themes, one of the people who composed the music for the first two series, which led to Mike O' Donnell and Junior Campbell to do the music alone. Thomas started his debut in America in the show 'Shining Time Station', which lead to hire George Carlin as the narrator for the US dub to suit for the American audience. This also meant a new narrator for the UK as Ringo Starr left the show to go back to his music career and around that time, was in production of his critically acclaimed album 'Time Takes Time'. He was also the US narrator during 1989 - 1990. The narrator that replaced him for the UK/AUS is Michael Angelis, now the series long standing narrator. This is also the time when Robert D. Cardona left the show, as he moved to Canada to work on 'Theodore Tugboat', he and David Mitton were working on their own show 'TUGS' at the time when Britt Allcroft and Ringo Starr went to America in production of 'Shining Time Station'. But TVS was bankrupt, TUGS' second season was cancelled, Clearwater closed down and David moved back to Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends with the Britt Allcroft company. 

Series 3 was also a controversial series for the Awdry family as some of the stories are not actually based on the Reverend's or his son's books and were written by Britt Allcroft or David Mitton and even the episode 'Henry's Forest' gave the Rev.W.Awdry a spark, but we'll get to that later. Right now, let's take a look at the new and improved Series 3. But first:

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

A SCARF FOR PERCY
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Air Date:
12/09/91

Plot:
A snow storm swept across the island and the fire lighter was late for Thomas and Percy. While they were waiting, Thomas and Percy were thinking about warm things like Sunshine. But the one thing that crossed to Percy's mind was scarfs. The next day, Percy saw scarfs everywhere. As he was boasting about to Henry, Percy teased him for having a small funnel. But as Percy was about to shunt some coaches, he bashed into a luggage trolley. Jam, clothes and even a pair of trousers coiled lovingly around his funnel, which belong to the Fat Controller. Percy had a nice wash down and learned his lesson about scarfs.

PRO:
- I like the extended parts of the episode.

CON:
- Why on earth did Percy flew up for a short minute when he smashed into the trolley?
- A crash like that would not make the stuff fly in the air.

Comparing the episode's story towards the Railway Series, it does make it look better as the story in the book, 'Henry the Green Engine'. In the book it was short and its for the wrong engine at the time. Though I don't know why CiTV in the UK shortened up just for the time slot? The episode runs for 5 minutes. Though I do like how the episode is extended with Britt and David's own words at the start and the end, there are two things wrong with this episode and that is when Percy arrived at the station. He bashed into the trolley which made fly up for a little while. Percy is a steam locomotive. Steam locomotives are heavy so why on earth was lifted up in the air and with a crash like that, why did the top hat, trousers etc. fly up in the air like a bird? The box will be crushed, but the clothes and jam would scatter everywhere but not up in the air. 

But those are just nitpicks, the episode is good and I do enjoy it and I love how they extended the story despite that the Railway Series story was short.

Rating: 3.5/5

Saturday, 22 September 2012

S2 Ep.26 Thomas and The Missing Christmas Tree + Overall

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

THOMAS & THE MISSING CHRISTMAS TREE
Originally Written by
Christopher Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton and Robert Cardona

Air Date:
23/12/86

Plot:
It was December 23rd and the Fat Controller is getting ready for the Christmas carol party. The Fat Controller gave the special job to Thomas to collect the Christmas tree. However Thomas got stuck in snow and the snow drift snowed him under. The Fat Controller called out Donald and Douglas to rescue him as he assumed he is stranded. They found him and took him back to Tidmouth and in the end, the party was a success and Harold brought in a special guest, Father Christmas! 

PRO:
- All the characters together at Tidmouth station

CON:
- Why were Gordon and Henry smiling about Thomas being late?

I have many fond nostalgic memories when I first saw a classic Thomas episode. I remember watching 'The Sad Story of Henry' when I was young, but this episode will always be forever my first Thomas episode, as I remembered my first viewing perfectly. I loved all the characters being together for Christmas. I love the hats that they wore and I love how they decorate the station. But it was a confusion why Diesel was there and not Daisy? And why Gordon and Henry were smiling when they were cross for Thomas being late.

This is my favourite, I also have the original book and the story is more longer but it almost stuck close with the original, this episode.

Rating: 5/5

OVERALL RATING:
112


OVERALL

Season 2 has gone down as the best season in the entire Thomas franchise and I can see why. The stories are far more different then the ones in the first and this also my favourite series to watch. The stories are dramatic and memorable and some stories got adapted by Christopher Awdry, shame this was his only season. I have more favourable episodes then the last this season. 

The narration, top notch from the legend himself, Ringo Starr. He brought so much energy towards the stories. Shame that this was his last season but at least he gone out on a high note. His scottish accent is good, but the best voice he gives is Diesel's. 

The music, once again, flawless, Mike O' Donnell and Junior Campbell provided so much catchy music that it deserves a CD release. 

The models, the new faces look great and the characters that were introduced are like their RWS counterparts despite their errors. 

Well, now that Season 2 is done and over with. Time for Series 3! 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 21 September 2012

S2 Ep.25 Wooly Bear

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

WOOLY BEAR
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton and Robert Cardona

Air Date:
19/12/86

Plot:
It was summer and the gangers were cutting up long hay and dry them up in the sun. Percy takes them to the station to Toby who takes them to the farm to let the farmers feed the animals. Percy was teasing Thomas about the time he scared him for being a ghost. Thomas retorted that Percy is like 'A green caterpillar with red stripes'. As Percy set off for the harbour, a crate of treacle smeared all over him. It was stuck fast and on the way home, wind came and blew all the dry hay onto him. As he arrived back the junction, everyone laughed at Percy. In the end, Thomas told Toby about Percy and they laughed, minus Percy.

PRO:
- The hay stuck up nicely on Percy.

CON:
- Trucks left in the middle of the main line.

There's nothing wrong with the episode. The adaptation was great and I enjoy it. I do love how the treacle landed on Percy and how the way the hay was all over him. That's craft man ship. 

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, 20 September 2012

S2 Ep.24 Ghost Train

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

GHOST TRAIN
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton and Robert Cardona

Air Date:
16/12/86

Plot:
Percy was telling a ghost train story from his driver to Thomas and Toby. However it turns out it was a ghost on television. One night, Percy was coming back from the harbour and he crashed into a cart full of lime. When he met up with Toby, Percy decided to scare Thomas for calling him a silly little engine. Thomas was getting ready for his evening train but Toby says Percy had an accident. Percy arrived at the sheds and scared Thomas. The next morning, Thomas was still scared. But Percy thought it was a great joke.

PRO:
- The Ghost music, simply amazing.
- The fog effect, top notch.

CON:
- Percy being covered in white with streamers at the beginning of the episode.

This episode is perfectly suited for Halloween and it scared me as a kid. Mainly the ghost streamer Percy did with the music and the setting. But looking at it now, it's just lazily designed. But Mike O' Donnell and Junior Campbell have made brilliant music for the ghost. Feels like something you find out of Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho'. The fog effect, brilliant, though there seem to be too much at the quarry, but great scene. The episode is great and I do enjoy it. 

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

S2 Ep.23 Edward's Exploit

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

EDWARD'S EXPLOIT
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted For Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton and Robert Cardona

Air Date:
8/11/86

Plot:
Edward was taking some enthusiasts from the big station to the china clay works on his branch line. But the train was heavy and the big engines like Gordon, Henry and James were boasting about it. After Bill and Ben showed the enthusiasts around the china clay works, the weather changed. Wind and rain buffered Edward, his sanding gear failed which lead to his driver dropping sand for grip on the rails by hand. But Edward's crankpins broke and they have taken his side rods off. Edward tried hard, but the train was still heavy. But the driver, fireman and guard made adjustments between the coaches by letting Edward pulling them one by one. Edward did it and he arrived at the station tired, broken but happy. The passengers were pleased and claimed Edward a hero.

PRO:
- The true heroism of Edward seen once again.

CON:
- Why are three coaches heavy?
- Why were the engines suppose to be at the big station? They were the sheds in the book.

When you mention Season 2, the first thing that comes to a Thomas fan's mind is this episode. The episode goes down as the Season's best. Unlike 'Edward The Hero', you see Edward caring about one thing, his passengers. Though I do have to admit there are a few flaws. One thing, why is are three coaches that heavy? Sure Edward's old, but he's repaired and should take that kind of weight and why are the engines saying the words from the book when Edward is leaving the station? They suppose to be at the sheds, or if not, they should've said those things when Edward left the station. It's also a shame we never get to see Edward's splashers to be broken, but still this episode is one of the seasons best, my personal favourite and one of the best episode in the entire 'Thomas & Friends' franchise. 

Rating: 5/5.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

S2 Ep. 22 Wrong Road

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

WRONG ROAD
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton and Robert Cardona

Air Date:
1/7/86

Plot:
Thomas and Edward's branch line are different then the tracks and bridges on the main line. The bigger engines like Gordon and Henry can't run on them as they are not strong enough. One day, Gordon was boasting about that branch line diesels are pulling main line trains. One night, Gordon and Edward were taking their trains, but Gordon's driver accidentally thought the guard waved his green flag when really it was a lady's green floppy hat as she was saying goodbye to a friend on Gordon's train and he left passengers, luggage and the guard behind. By the time Gordon arrived back, Edward was already late, but the signalman wasn't notified about the change and Edward was sent on the main and Gordon was sent on the branch. Next day, Bill and Ben were teasing him by calling him a pile of scrap and they should dump him in the sea. Thankfully BoCo came to save the day.

 PRO:
- It's great to hear the differences of the branch and main line
- Headlamp codes of Gordon and Edward

CONS:
- Despite that Edward has lamp codes, he has the wrong ones
- Gordon can't go on the branch lines and yet he manages to be at Brendam, which is on Edward's branch line.

The episode is another personal favourite, but I point out one error. The narrator says that 'The Fat Controller does not allow the heavier main line engines like Gordon to run on them.' and yet, he manages to go to Brendam which is part of Edward's branch line, bit of a flaw there, but mistakes are made and I'm not hating on it. I do like the fact that Gordon and Edward were wearing actual head codes, Gordon's one is right, but Edward's isn't. Edward's one is the same's as Gordon. He's either taking express passengers, breakdown train or that if there's snow, a snowplough en route to their job.

What Edward really needs to wear is either, one on top near his funnel for 'stopping'. To find out more about signal codes, please click here

This RWS story shows Gordon's hatred against Diesels, but he found out that BoCo is the most beautiful site he had ever seen. Much more better then HIT's recent episode were they say that Diesels are not useful because they don't run on steam, make a mistake, realised it, have a laugh and then forget about in the next episode or season. Here we see Gordon accepting Diesels and in the RWS he still respect them, though he has some grudge against the boastful ones. I enjoy the episode, despite the errors.

Rating: 4/5 

Monday, 17 September 2012

S2 Ep.21 The Diseasel

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

THE DISEASEL
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton and Robert Cardona

Air Date:
28/7/86

Plot:
Bill and Ben are owned by the Sodor China Clay Company at Brendam Bay. One day they arranged some trucks of china clay that is used for paper, paint, pottery and many other things. They found out that there trucks were taken away by a diesel. The twins decided to tease him by taking their names and numbers. The twins played about and caused the Diesel's eyes nearly to pop out. Edward came and saw that the twins were teasing a Metropolitan Vickers Diesel Electric Type II. The twins were abashed and as they were trying to say his name, the Diesel decided to call him 'BoCo' and he was sorry about taking the trucks. Edward told them that they're not harm, but madding and BoCo agreed.

  PRO:
- First appearance of BoCo, Bill and Ben
- The oil patch on the sleepers
- Bill and Ben puffing up and down the line was funny

CON:
- The china clay trucks being transported without hoods.

I love the design of BoCo, I do hope Bachmann would make a model of him someday in future. Sure he may not be like his RWS counterpart, but many people like the Journalist from 'The Guardian' back in July, would say with false research, that BoCo's yellow face could consider racism, but I think his TV face is quite suiting, since that its lazily Daisy's face without the 80's make up. The oil patch on the sleepers was a great effect too and Bill and Ben puffing up and down the line was funny. It could be unrealistic to puff fast backwards and forwards, but looking at the Railway Series' story I found it more confusing and here's the explanation why. If people don't like how the way the scene is made, that's fine by me and its there own opinions.

But I don't like how the way the trucks of china clay were being transported. The books they were covered up in hoods, while wet clay is in tankers. Here the china clay is seen in open wagons. But the episode is still fun to watch and I think BoCo is the best design of a diesel in the show.

Rating: 4.5/5

Sunday, 16 September 2012

S2 Ep.20 Percy's Predicament

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OWN OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

PERCY'S PREDICAMENT
Originally Written by
the Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton and Robert Cardona

Air Date:
19/10/86

Plot:
Daisy's time on the island is bad, she was frightened of cows and is also lazy and stubborn, much to Percy and Toby's dismay. One day, Percy was shunting trucks crossly in the yards and Toby knew that Daisy left the milk again. Percy was cross about it and thinks he has nothing better to do. Toby asked him to take his trucks from the quarry while he takes the milk. As Percy was shunting trucks at the Quarry, the trucks were cross that Percy came instead of Toby and were bossing them around. As they reached the sign saying 'All Trains Must Stop To Pin Down Brakes' the trucks surged him on down the steep hill. Percy whistled in the yard and crashed into a brake van. The Fat Controller was cross that with Percy broken down, the line has to be run by two of his engines and that caused him a predicament. Then the Fat Controller told Daisy off saying that his engines work hard and send lazy ones away. Later Thomas came back and Percy was sent away to be mended. Now Daisy works hard and became a member of the Fat Controller's railway. 

  PRO:
- The accident and the music are superb

CON:
- 'Brought Henrietta to the station' its Elsbridge yards.
- 'Percy never been to the quarry before' and yet he did in 'Percy and Harold'. 

There two errors with this episode, the first being Percy at the Quarry. The narrator says 'Percy never been to the quarry' and yet he did in 'Percy and Harold' showing this can confuse kids with the continuity error and the other being Toby at Elsbridge yard when the narrator says 'Toby brought Henrietta to the station'. But I have to say the accident and the music were done superbly. The filming was great too. 

Rating: 4/5

S2 Ep.19 Daisy

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

DAISY
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton and Robert Cardona

Air Date:
14/10/86

Plot:
With Thomas away at the works, the Fat Controller had brought in Daisy the Diesel Railcar. The Fat Controller asked Toby and Percy to show her the shed. When they did, Daisy acted snobbish and boastful, she was rude to the two engines about the sheds and was also rude to Annie and Clarabel and Henrietta by calling them rubbish, they were most offended. One day, Daisy was to take a tanker of milk with her passengers, but she refused to do it. She was cross that she shook and blew a fuse. Daisy soon told them that her fitter says 'pulling is bad for her swerves.' So they uncoupled the tanker and Daisy laughed at her own fib. 

PRO:
- Daisy being the show's first female engine.
- Daisy's face looks really 1980's.

CON:
- Why was the milk predicament take place at Elsbridge? 
- 'So they uncoupled the van'. It's a tanker.

Most people would say that Emily or Lady are the first female engines, but really it was Daisy. Emily would count as the island's first steam engine in the TV series. Lady, she would be if she was a recurring TV character and not in the movie. In the books, her face is green from the livery of the DMU Railcars, but in the TV series she has make up and it looks really 1980's and it does look good as well.

But there was one visual errors in the episode. The milk predicament was taken place at Ffarquhar in the RWS book, it would be good if they based the station with Rev.W.Awdry's map of his Ffarquhar layout and bit of a minor goof, but I think you'll know by now. The episode is good and I do enjoy it.

Rating: 4/5 

Saturday, 15 September 2012

S2 Ep.18 Thomas Comes To Breakfast

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OWN OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

THOMAS COMES TO BREAKFAST
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry


Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Air Date:
11/10/86

Plot:
Thomas is boasting that he doesn't need his driver, even though his driver was joking. With Percy and Toby thinking its a daft idea, Thomas ignored them. The fire lighter came next day and cleaned and fired up Thomas. While Percy and Toby were asleep, Thomas decided to play a trick on them by stopping and wheesh, which will make them jump. Thomas moved because of a careless fire lighter and in the end Thomas crashed into the stationmaster's house. He and his family were furious and so was the Fat Controller after the twins, Donald and Douglas rescued him. The Fat Controller sent Thomas to the works with a new diesel rail car in order to replace him while he's away. 

PRO:
- I liked Toby and Percy's sleep faces

CON:
- Although it was in the Railway Series book 'Branch Line Engines', why was Thomas punished? It was the careless fire lighter.

Again, I have no problems with this episode or its story, but here are two I find wrong with the RWS story and the TV adaptation. First off, why was the Fat Controller punishing Thomas for crashing into the house? He should've punish the careless fire lighter after all Thomas can't control himself you know and many people are saying, like myself, are saying that the Fat Controller should've blamed Charlie and the Workmen for messing up his car in 'Charlie and Eddie' as I mentioned here. 

I was going to say Donald and Douglas are not painted blue, but after seeing in the counterpart of this episode, 'Branch Line Engines', Donald and Douglas were still black. But I think the episode is OK, despite a little problem in the story. 

Rating: 3/5

Friday, 14 September 2012

S2 Ep.17 The Deputation

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

THE DEPUTATION
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry


Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Air Date:
9/10/86

Plot:
Snow came early on Sodor and Donald and Douglas were on the job to clear the lines on the main line. They manage to save Henry from a snowdrift. But the twins were still worried that the Fat Controller will send one of them back, but the others think that its unfair and praise about their work in the snow. Edward told Percy about having a 'Deputation', which means a mission. Percy mistaken the word when he returns to the sheds as 'depotstation'. Gordon then later decided to let Percy talk to the Fat Controller, much to his horror. The Fat Controller heard from Percy and had given great news to the twins in the end.

PRO:
- The steam wheeshing at the end is always my favourite.

CON:
N/A

This is a personal favourite and best episode for Donald and Douglas. It was stuck with the original story and I will always love the scene when the engines heard the news that the twins will be staying that there steam wheeshed from their cylinders. 

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, 13 September 2012

S2 Ep.16: Break Van

The reason for the delay was in honor of respect of the victims of 9/11.

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

BREAK VAN

Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry


Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Air Date:
7/10/86

Plot:
Donald and Douglas arrived from Scotland to help with the Fat Controller and his engines, but only one has been expected. The twins meant well but did caused confusion. Donald and Douglas were given their respected numbers, but the Fat Controller is still in thoughts of which engine to send home.
One day a brake van was in the yard and has taken a dislike to Douglas. His trains were late and he was blamed which made Donald cross. The Spiteful brake van behaved, but Donald crashed into a signal box and made the Fat Controller cross, so James has to take over with the goods work and made him very cross. The trucks were troublesome with James and Douglas was offered the job to help James up Gordon's Hill. James was losing steam and with the weight of the train, the spiteful brake van was crushed! The Fat Controller was cross, but Edward praised him that Douglas was grand and he can work hard enough for three. But the Fat Controller wasn't sure to make up his mind. But that's another story.

PRO:
- This is one of the Thomas episode that you actually see break apart.
- Ringo's scottish accent was great, despite that his normal voice gets in the way.

CON:
- The opening was rushed.

The episode that started the speculation of 'The Missing Coach' as according to Britt Allcroft the episode is 'too confusing for the young audience'. I've read the story multiple times and it didn't confuse me. But on her Facebook page she stated that there were production deadlines and story problems but she couldn't get more money and time. It also stated by the late David Mitton himself from an SiF interview that he's still in possession of the 1500 colour reversal shots of the episode as the photographs were taken by Clearwater's Terry Permane who does outstanding photographs for Thomas and TUGS. Though some of the pictures made their way through annuals and magazines and I remember I had this picture, that started the discovery in 2004, as a magnet from a model railway exhibition back in the 1990's:


Such a shame that the planned episode got replaced by this one. The story would be a great way to introduce the twins more properly. But thanks to Bachmann for making the twins in their accurate designs, there are always fan-made episodes. Some are great, but this one I think nails it. If only Ringo's narration was found, that if they've recorded the lines first before filming:

 

Now on with the episode, the opening seems rushed, I believe they did film the entire episode of 'The Missing Coach' and since it was cancelled, they used some of the footage for the episode with some new narration from Ringo Starr. But this is one of the Thomas episodes that you actually get to see something break apart. These days it would be scary for kids, it didn't to me and neither did S.Cruffey's. Ringo Starr does a good scottish accent, but sometimes he brings his normal voice towards them, but hey not everyone is perfect at something. The episode is OK, but I believe 'The Missing Coach' would've been a better choice for Donald and Douglas' introduction towards the series.

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

S2 Ep.15: Better Late Than Never

THESE ARE SOLEY MY OWN OPINION AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Originally Written by
Christopher Awdry


Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton & Robert Cardona

Air Date:
4/10/86

Plot:
Workmen were mending the viaduct on the main line as the arches need strengthening. The main line engines have to take care, but this made Thomas late for his own trains and Bertie the bus teased him about it. James told Thomas at Elsbridge that he was held up at the station and he was later then ever when it comes to the viaduct. But as Thomas was making up time, Bertie was broken down as his radiator was steaming. Bertie asked Thomas to take his passengers and Thomas accepted it. Thomas learns that being late can be quite useful. 

PRO:
- This episode shows Thomas' passion to run his branch line to time.
- 'The Viaduct' theme was a great piece of music

CON:
- When James arrived at Elsbridge, he was seen with a goods train.

This is another personal favourite, there are many when it comes to Season 2, this episode shows the passion Thomas has about his branch line and how he cares about his passengers and thinking that the big engines were lazy, when really its the Viaduct's repairs. Mike O' Donnell and Junior Campbell's music was outstanding at the beginning and I do enjoy listen to it, its even quite catchy. But there is a con side, when James arrived at Elsbridge, in the book, 'More About Thomas the Tank Engine', James is seen taking passengers. In the episode, he is seen with a goods train, bit of a visual error.

But this episode does go down as a speculation of a 'Missing Coach Replacement'. The scene when Thomas was telling off Bertie about him being late because of the main line engines, which according to him, are lazy and compare it with the scene from 'Brake Van', in this distances behind Donald you can see the tan coaches, which are presumably Annie and Clarabel. 

I do enjoy this episode and it is a personal favourite with the theme at the beginning of the episode and the story. 

Rating: 5/5