Wednesday, 31 October 2012

S4 Ep.13: Passengers and Polish

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

PASSENGERS AND POLISH
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Air Date:
30/1/95

Plot:
Nancy, the guard's daughter, was cleaning Skarloey. Duncan like to have a polish too, but Nancy is to help the Refreshment Lady that afternoon. This made Duncan cross. One of Skarloey's coaches have been derailed and Duncan is to take them home. But he was still cross. Duncan stop on a causeway and then on a viaduct. Skarloey had to pull him back to the station and the passengers were cross and told them what a bad railway it was. 

PRO:
- The adaptation did stick with the story.

CON:
- I don't see what's wrong with stopping at a station? What's the point of the causeway?

The adaptation did stick with the original story minus one visual flaw. I don't see why stopping at the cause way? I know many engines stop in the middle of a heritage railway line to build up steam, I seem to recall a video of LNER V2 'Green Arrow' stopping somewhere to build up steam during her last year in service, 2007. But what is wrong with Duncan stopping at a station? They've built many sets of the SKR so why not any of the stations? But anyway, it's an OK adaptation and I do enjoy watching it.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

S4 Ep.12: Steamroller

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

STEAMROLLER
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Air Date:
14/1/95

Plot:
Sir Handel was boasting about his new 'steamroller' wheels. Skarloey decided to let Sir Handel learn his lesson by boasting to George, a new steamroller to help with the road works. George boasted about ripping up rails and turning them into road. Sir Handel and George met up with each other and the next day, George smashed into Sir Handel's train. So a fence was made and George and the construction set for home, but Sir Handel thought he made George sent away. He boasted about, but some boys teased him about. 

PRO:
- The crash was filmed perfectly.

CON:
- Looking at the RWS book, it would've been more better if they met George at the road and not at their sheds. 

The episode is average, but it really did stick close to the book's visuals, like George's introduction. But the crash was filmed perfectly. 

Rating: 4/5


Monday, 29 October 2012

S4 Ep.11 Special Funnel

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

SPECIAL FUNNEL
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Air Date:
9/1/95

Plot:
Winter arrived and Peter Sam was having trouble with his old funnel, ever since his accident with the trucks it wobbles about. Manager says that Peter Sam will be giving a 'special' funnel. A bridge was broken down one windy day and as the bridge was finished, Peter Sam was making his passenger runs. But as he was making his way through a tunnel a thick icicle knocked his old funnel off and later found an old drain pipe. Back at the sheds, everyone teased him. Until at last, his new special funnel arrived, it was Giesl funnel and it made Peter Sam more stronger and the engine stopped their and wished they have one like it.

PRO:
- Peter Sam without his funnel was good

CON:
- The giesl funnel looks like pieces of cardboard glue together and painted it black.
- How the way the funnel was wobbling about, looks dangerous for an engine to run with.
- How can it snow in one scene and then rain without any?
- Why did Peter Sam puffed into the sheds with his passengers? Shouldn't they be at the station?

Again, don't hate it, just found a new nitpicks. One, how on earth did snow one day and then rain the next without snow? It just seems highly illogical and confusing and how the way the funnel was wobbling about, it looks dangerous for an engine even to run with and I know it happened in the RWS book too, but it I think its more better to keep Peter Sam out of service, but then we would have no plot. But my big complaint is the giesl funnel, that looks nothing like a giesl, heck, it looks cardboard glued together and made a smoke stack kind of thing. The real funnel is now on display at the Talyllyn Railway, I saw it and here's a picture:


Even in Australia, one of the 36 class has one and still has it even to this day. The Rev.W.Awdry shows the real size and even Nitrogen Studios showed the actual funnel. Although the story is focused towards the original, but it could've been done better.

Rating: 4.5/5

Sunday, 28 October 2012

S4 Ep.10: Rock 'N' Roll

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

ROCK 'N' ROLL
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date
14/10/94

Plot:
There's a dodgy bit of line on the Skarloey Railway. The engines like Peter Sam, Sir Handel and even Skarloey take care on that bad bit of line, but not Duncan. Rusty warned him, but Duncan didn't care and called Rusty a 'smelly diesel'. Duncan later took some coaches to the station where James was waiting. Duncan told him about Rusty, but James was boastful and lied that he sent a diesel packing which made Duncan filled with admiration. As Duncan was rocking and rolling, he derailed himself on the bad bit of line. Rusty was sent to rescue him as Skarloey told him about the passengers. The workmen and passengers lifted Duncan back onto the line and in the end, Duncan and Rusty made amends. 

PRO:
- The accident was brilliantly made.

CON:
- N/A

Nothing bad about this episode, but the story didn't take place in one day. Despite that, the episode is not that bad, sure it didn't stay too close with the original and I do love the accident scene, it was made and filmed brilliantly. 

Rating: 4.9/5

Saturday, 27 October 2012

S4 Ep.9 Home at Last

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

HOME AT LAST
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
10/10/94

Plot:
Skarloey came back from the works, Rusty took him home back to Crovans Gate and surprised the injured Peter Sam. He told him about Duncan who rock and roll's. One day, Duncan was stuck in a tunnel and Skarloey got the works train and headed towards the tunnel. Duncan was free and Skarloey  pushed him all the way home. Much to the Fat Controller's anger he threat Duncan that he'll be cut down to size and that made Duncan silent for the rest of the night.

PRO:
- The tunnel scene was filmed well.

CON:
- Shame they haven't made the new coaches like in the RWS book.

Despite that most scenes aren't what they're like in the book, it was a nice adaptation. It's a shame they haven't made the new coaches who are Ada, Jane and Mabel and Cora, it would've been nice to see some saloon carriages as well. But I love how the tunnel was made all broken it looked a bit realistic. The adaptation is OK, despite that the Fat Controller is running the Skarloey Railway.

Rating: 4.5/5

Friday, 26 October 2012

S4 Ep.8: Trucks

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

TRUCKS
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Air Date:
7/10/94

Plot:
Rusty was a new diesel engine who was sent to the Skarloey Railway to help out with the other engines. As Peter Sam and Sir Handel were glad to see Rusty, Sir Handel wouldn't stop grumbling and started to bash the trucks around. Gordon saw this and told Sir Handel he could get out of the work if he's ill. So Sir Handel did. There was no time to explain, so Peter Sam, along with his coaches, took the trucks and so did Rusty. One day, Peter Sam was at the slate mines, but there was a problem. The loaded slate trucks thought he was Sir Handel and as the cable broke, the truck violently smashed into him causing him to be battered and broken. The Fat Controller knew Sir Handel pretended to be ill and wanted to give Gordon a piece of his mind. Rusty cleared the mess and purred home meeting up with Harold.

PRO:
- The accident was spot on!

CON:
- Why would the trucks mistaken him as Sir Handel? 
- Shame they didn't explain the whole reason of the incline.

The story did compare with the original story, but not the Harold and Rusty scenes. Plus, how would the trucks mistaken Peter Sam as Sir Handel? In the RWS they're all red and in the TVS, they are all different colours. Plus it was also a shame that their was not even more facts about the incline, sure they have a time limit, but it would be nice to give some info on the incline. Despite those two flaws, the accident was really spot on, shame Peter Sam was not pushed violently as mentioned in the story.

Rating: 3/5



Thursday, 25 October 2012

S4 Ep.7 Peter Sam and The Refreshment Lady

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

PETER SAM AND THE REFRESHMENT LADY
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
3/10/94

Plot:
As Sir Handel was shut up in his shed, Peter Sam was doing all the work. One day, he met up with Henry. The big green engine told him that if he's late again, he would go off and leave his passengers behind. Peter Sam was worried. At the lakes station, Peter Sam was impatient and then he started off without the guard's whistle and leaving the refreshment lady behind! When they reached the station, Henry was already waiting. But the refreshment lady was still cross, Peter Sam explained the whole story and in the end, the refreshment lady told him that Henry's teasing him and that he's a 'guaranteed connection'. 

PRO:
- Some TUGS easter eggs at the lakeside station
- The lakeside station looks wonderful.

CON:
Why was Henry wearing one of Gordon's faces?

This episode is a really good adaptation, it did stick with the Reverend's story, but not too much of it. There are some easter eggs with the refurbished model of O.J and the shrimpers and the Lakeside station looks fantastic, kudos to the model makers. But the only con is Henry with Gordon's face, I don't why they put that on there, maybe they lost one of his face masks? I don't know. But the episode is great and a fine adaptation. 

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

S4 Ep.6 A Bad Day For Sir Handel

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

A BAD DAY FOR SIR HANDEL
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Air Date:
30/10/94

Plot:
Peter Sam and Sir Handel arrived on the Skarloey Railway. Peter Sam was nice and kind, but Sir Handel was cross and bothered and he insulted Skarloey and the sheds. Later that day, Sir Handel was to take passengers, he insulted the coaches by calling them 'cattle trucks', the coaches were obviously cross with him. Later that day, Gordon came with the express and he left speechless when Sir Handel told him the knowledge of coaches. Later that day, Sir Handel was to take trucks, but he caused an accident on purpose that caused him to de-rail. But in the end, he was sent to the sheds by the Fat Controller. 

PRO:
- The interaction with Gordon and Sir Handel was a nice touch
- The accident was done nicely, but not as it was mentioned in the RWS book.

CON:
- What was the point of this episode if Sir Handel and Peter Sam were already introduced?

This episode is alright, but I'm always wondering, what was the point of this episode anyway? They've already introduced Sir Handel and Peter Sam twice. This left a big continuity error. But I do have to say I love the interaction with Gordon and Sir Handel, as it was in the original story, shame we never get to see that again in the model era until the new series era. The accident was OK, but if you want to see the RWS accident, I suggest buy the book 'Four Little Engines'. 

Rating: 3.9/5

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

DVD Review: Series 1 - 3 Classic Collection

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

THE CLASSIC COLLECTION
 
Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry
Christopher Awry 
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton 
Andrew Brenner

Directed by
David Mitton 

Narrated by
Ringo Starr
Michael Angelis 

Episodes:
All 78 episodes (in total) with stories based off the classic Railway Series books by the Rev.W.Awdry and his son, Christopher Awdry. With episodes by David Mitton and Britt Allcroft and 'Henry's Forest' uncredited by the recent head writer of Thomas & Friends for S17 - onwards, Andrew Brenner

Special Features:
N/A

After many years of waiting, fans of 'Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends' have awaited home entertainment releases of the classic series, digitally remastered. At first, many thought these will be re-releases of the VHS transfer DVDs from the 2010 65th anniversary box set due to the spinal cover code. But thanks to Chris Tomson on Twitter, the first three seasons are now remastered. Many DVD releases over the years before the 2012 series compilations have released the episodes in their remastered state and these are the following, excluding Japan and other countries: 

US:
- The Early Years (2004)
- Thomas' Halloween Adventures (2006)
- The Greatest Stories (2010)
- Engine Friends (2012)

UK:
- The Complete 1st Series 
(Digital Download, minus 'Down The Mine' and 'Thomas' Christmas Party')
- 'Children's Christmas Favourites' (DVD Promo, 2009)
- Thomas Saves The Day/James and The Express (2011)
- Thomas and Gordon/Percy's Promise (2011)
- Edward, Trevor and The Really Useful Party/Thomas and The Rumour (2011)
- The Best of Thomas (2010)
- The Best of James (2012)
- The Best of Percy (2012)

AUSTRALIA:
- The Complete 1st Series (Digital Download)
- My Frist Thomas With: The Twin Engines (Digital Download)
- My First Thomas With: Diesel (Digital Download)
- My First Thomas With: The Fat Controller (Digital Download)
- The Best of Thomas & Friends Vol.1 (DVD) - (2009)


Now on with the review, 
 
Why did I buy only the first three seasons you say? Well as I said before, its because of the remastered episodes. Series 4 -7 aren't remastered and are in their usual state like in 2010. The colour and scene look much more cyrsticl clear and you can see the many lights and props that you can't see in the video transfers as they're cropped up, plus you can see some goofs as well, most notably in 'Coal' when Henry is seen at Wellsworth station with Edward. Here is an example of the remastred footage from S2's 'Thomas and The Missing Christmas Tree':
 

Comparing the remastered footage towards the original, you can tell that these DVDs are worth buying. With Christmas coming up, these could become a great present for a new Thomas fan with the wonderful and nostalgic narration of Ringo Starr and Michael Angelis. These can also be a great nostalgic item for people who grew up with the blue engine and his friends since the beginnnig. I don't know much of a Blu-Ray release of these episodes, but I doubt that it can happen, but I could be wrong.

So thank you to HIT Entertainment for finally releasing the remastered versions of the classic series as a whole, these will become a great Christmas present for any child if they're being introduced to Thomas for the first time. For people who are interested in purchasing these DVDs from other countries, you must check your DVD region code before purchasing. My recommendation is to watch them on your computer screen, but they'll ask you to change the region code more then five. Now let's hope the US and Australia get the same treatment as well. The US really needs them as they only have the first season with the UK narration, as I heard it from some sources.

Rating: 5/5

S4 Ep.5: Four Little Engines

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

FOUR LITTLE ENGINES
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
25/09/94

Plot:
Edward is being sent to the works to be mended and as a surprise, he saw Skarloey. The old engine was pleased to see Edward. He's been sent to the sheds for a rest. The two had a chat and Edward was taken to the works. Meanwhile Sir Handel was trying to be kind with some coaches, but they were awkward and rude and with careless sheep on the line, Sir Handel bumped them accidentally and caused him to be pushed off the rails. Skarloey offered to help with the train and was tilted over due to a spring giving way. Skarloey made it to Crovans Gate and in the end was being mended. 

 PRO:
- The tilted Skarloey was very much like his RWS counterpart.

CON:
- What's the point of Peter Sam and Sir Handel's introduction?
- They could've kept 'Skarloey Remembers' and 'Old Faithful' as two single episodes.

Another episode merged with two RWS stories. But to be honest its a shame that they didn't kept 'Skarloey Remembers' and 'Old Faithful' as two single episodes. The first story of the book 'Four Little Engines', would've been a perfect introduction to Skarloey himself and as well as the railway. 'Old Faithful' is also good as the ending of the four stories. And what was the point of Peter Sam and Sir Handel's introduction? They were introduced in the next story and they were mentioned in the last three episodes.

But however, despite the flaws the tilted Skarloey looked very accurate towards the original picture so kudos to the model makers. 

Rating: 3.5/5

Monday, 22 October 2012

S4 Ep.4 You Can't Win

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

YOU CAN'T WIN
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
12/09/94

Plot:
Duke was short of steam and Stuart (Peter Sam) was to take the train back to the main station. Falcon (Sir Handel), took Duke's passengers to their boat. While Stuart is taking Duke, the old engine had plenty of steam and pulled the whole train himself . Duke laughed and said 'You Can't Win'. 

PRO:
- Thomas not telling the story this time.
- A good moral from the episode's title.

CON:
- Why did they use the Skarloey Railway? 
- Why was Thomas at the Mid-Sodor Railway?
- How did Duke puff alongside to Stuart?

The episode is decent, it stuck almost with the original, but there were a couple of visual errors, first off, why was the Skarloey Railway used as the Mid-Sodor line? And why was Thomas there? As it was set at Crovans Gate, which is really suppose to be Arlesdale. In the Railway Series picture, Stuart was coupled to the other engine of the train which would make more perfect sense. But I'm glad they stopped Thomas from telling the story and letting the narrator tell us the story, plus there is a good moral from episode's title.

Rating: 4.5/5

Sunday, 21 October 2012

S4 Ep.3 Bulldog

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

BULLDOG
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
12/09/94

Plot:
Thomas once again told another story about the Mid-Sodor Railway and this time about Falcon and Duke taking some visitors up in the mountains. Falcon had an accident and was hang dangerously over a cliff. As Duke was saving the little blue engine, he was low on water. Luckily there was a workers hut nearby and with so many pans and buckets filled with water, Duke manage to pull the Falcon back on the line. Falcon was pleased. 

PRO:
- The accident was filmed well

CON:
- Why was Toby scared about Duke?
- No guard's van on Peter Sam's (Stuart's) train

Just why? Why have these stories out of Railway Series order? It would be better if they stuck with the original book's following order. Plus why can't Sir Handel and Peter Sam tell the story, they've been their before, not Thomas. Plus, why was Toby scared of Duke? There was no explanation about that, it was just put there. But the one praise I like to give is the accident, it was filmed well, kudos to David Mitton.

Rating: 3.5/5

Saturday, 20 October 2012

S4 Ep.2 Sleeping Beauty

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

SLEEPING BEAUTY
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
20/09/94

Plot:
Thomas told the rest of the story about Duke and the Mid-Sodor line so far. As years came by, some people heard the story of Duke and want to find him. As they looked around, one explorer found by accident by falling down from the shed roof. Sir Handel and Peter Sam still remembered the old engine and Duke was taken back to the Skarloey Railway via lorry and then rail. Duke now lives happily at his new home. 

PRO:
- Interesting to see a lorry carrying an engine.

CON:
- The Fat Controller owns the Skarloey Railway
- What's with Thomas telling the story, why can't Sir Handel and Peter Sam?
- The Skarloey engines weren't part of the rescue operations, it was the small railway engines.
- What's wrong with Douglas taking home Duke, like in the original?

Again, another episode out of Railway Series order and is filled with many flaws that didn't focus on the original. But it was interesting to see a lorry taking Duke halfway, shame that is rare in the show's history. But why did they make the Fat Controller the owner of the Skarloey Railway? Heck, HIT Entertainment even made a model of the Thin Controller, despite that the name was Mr. Percival. Also why did they shoe-horn the NWR engines in the episode? Would it be better if the story was told by Sir Handel and Peter Sam? They remembered the old engine more than Thomas. But it was also a shame that the Small Railway Engines were never featured in the series as they were never built and there railway is built over the Mid-Sodor Railway and they made Skarloey do the rescue instead on the Mid-Sodor line when really it would've been all teared up and bushes scrambled around it. 

But what's wrong with Douglas taking Duke home. They did so in the original. The episode itself is OK, but there were many visual flaws that I prefer the original story. 

Rating: 3.5/5

Friday, 19 October 2012

S4 Ep.1: Granpuff

1994 - 1995 saw two years of celebrations. In 1994, 'Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends' celebrated their tenth anniversary of being on UK television and in 1995, it was the golden anniversary of the Railway Series and several things have been made to celebrate the golden anniversary. Heinemann Publishers, the new owners of the Railway Series, along with Christopher Awdry, have published a special book commemorating the 50th anniversary entitled 'Thomas and The Fat Controller's Engines', despite that another book was suppose to be 'Barry the Rescue Engine'. Also, Railway Series fan, Nicholas Jones had produced a documentary called 'The Thomas the Tank Engine Man' featuring the Rev.W.Awdry and his son, Britt Allcroft, David Mitton, many heritage railway workers and even some behind the scenes footage of Series four episode, 'Thomas and The Special Letter'. Even a book, by the same name of the documentary, by Brian Sibley was published as well. A special exhibition was made at the 'National Railway Museum' and even an InterCity 125 electric multiple unit was named after him as well. Series four also marks the end of Awdry's material as from Series five - onwards, many episodes were written by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton and then some writers.

So we start off with the first half of the fourth series that aired in 1994. And the series have introduce us to a brand new line of engines on a completely different set of gauges and that is the Skarloey Railway. The episode we see is set on the former Mid-Sodor Railway, with the oldest engine, Duke, in, but first:

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

 GRANPUFF
Originally Written by 
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Air Date:
14/09/94

Plot:
Thomas told the other engines a story about Duke, an engine who works on the Mid-Sodor Railway, along with Stuart (Peter Sam) and Falcon (Sir Handel). They work on their railway happily, but then dark times came. The mines were closed and the railway had closed too. People came to buy the engines, but no one wanted Duke, they thought he was too old. Stuart told Duke that they will find him a nice railway one day. Duke was left in the sheds and all was silent. Years passed and the winter rain came flooded the railway. Trees grew all around the shed and no one knew about the sleeping little engine. Would he be saved? 

PRO:
- The episode leaves a depressing emotion.

CON:
- Why was Rheneas on the railway?
- Smudger is just lazy repaint of Rheneas. 
- Stuart and Falcon should have no buffers.
- What was the point of the NWR engines? 

OK, I have no problem with the episode, the episode is great. It was really emotional and with the music and the story of Duke. It's shame that most kids shows today won't show some sad moments to teach us about the hard times of life and that's what this episode shows. But there are many visual errors when it comes to the adaptations. First, why was Rheneas on the railway? He's suppose to be working on the Skarloey Railway at the time. Second, Smudger, he's the first character to be a non-Railway Series engine. But he's just a poorly repaint of Rheneas, were was the real engine is named Stanley, based on a Baldwin Locomotive works 590 4-6-0T for the Welsh Highland Railway. He has the same character, arrogant and pompous and doesn't care about going off the rails, but turn him into a pumping engine, but was scrapped when the railway closed since there was no use to him.

Plus its a shame that Stuart and Falcon are seen with their buffers on, it would be better if they leave the buffers off and put them on by the time they came to the Skarloey Railway. And what was the point of having the NWR engines in the episode? I don't know. 

But despite the flaws, the episode is depressing and shows the hard times of life. 

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, 18 October 2012

S3 Ep.26 Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure + Overall

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

THOMAS AND PERCY'S CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Directed by
David Mitton

Air Date:
25/11/92

Plot:
The village was snowed under due to a snow storm the other night. Thomas and Percy were to help along with Harold, Terence and the workmen. As a thank you for saving them, the villagers board Toby and Henrietta and headed off to Tidmouth sheds. The next morning, the engines were surprised to see a lot of Christmas decorations from the villagers.

PRO:
- The snow storm was great and was well filmed
- The Christmas decorations in the sheds was great too.

CON:
- Percy should know who Santa Claus is as he saw him in the Season 2 Christmas special
- A brake van should be added to Percy's mail train and Thomas' works train
- Where is the village and what's its name?


I have to say, I enjoy watching this on Christmas as well, but, there are a few flaws with the episode. One, why would Percy not know who Santa Claus is? He was at the Christmas party in the second season and where and what is the village? There's no name, no location, its somewhere in the heart of Sodor. But the snow storm was filmed well and the Christmas decorations were a nice touch at the shed. No offence to the Americans, but why does this episode have to mention Thanksgiving? I know it was for the 'Shining Time Station' episode 'Billy's Party', but, what's wrong with leaving this for another Shining Time Station Christmas special? In all honesty, it was unrealistic as Sodor is part of the British Isles and they don't celebrate Thanksgiving there.

Rating: 3.5/5

OVERALL:
Personally, I like this season, but the reason of Britt Allcroft and David Mitton making their own stories for the show is simple because the publishers, Kaye and Ward, were outsold by Heinemann Books and the rules were relaxed and were given the rights to create their own episodes. Some were fine and some weren't perfect. Some of the adaptations weren't close to the original story by the Reverend himself and we all know the infamous 'Henry Forest' episode. But, this is the series I'm the most nostalgic to, I watched these episodes first when they were released on VHS. I didn't get to watch the Ringo Starr versions until I was about six years old when I hired the videos at my local library (S1 and S2). Michael Angelis' narration is top notch, he was in full enthusiasm towards this series. I'm not too fond of the US narrations, but I have seen a few episodes with George Carlin, his narration is great and I do love his Scottish accent as well as Angelis' one too. All in all, I give this series a rating of:

96/100

The series to me is OK, despite that the adaptations can't always be perfect. But hey, anything's better then the writing from Series 13 - 16. OK now that the third series out of the way, it's now time for Series 4!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

S3 Ep.25 Percy, James and The Fruitful Day

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

PERCY, JAMES & THE FRUITFUL DAY
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
10/11/92

Plot:
It was market day and the harbour was filled with fresh fruit and vegetables and James is to take them. Meanwhile, Percy was shunting trucks in the yard and was given the news that James jammed his brakes and so Percy has to take the fruit trucks. But Percy was directed into a siding as the points have jammed. The driver applied the brakes, but it was too late, Percy was covered in fruit and vegetables and was very embarrassed. The sheds were silence until Thomas mentioned that all the engines are really useful after all!

PRO:
- An episode that is focused on Percy with another engine aside from Thomas.


CON:
- Wouldn't Percy's driver stop the train anyway due to points failure?

Personally, I believe we should see more episode that aren't Thomas and Percy and be like this. You don't need an episode were two engines take a helium balloon on a flatbed or anything else, but an episode focused on two characters with their own little plot and that's what this episode is. But there are the cons sides, as usual. Percy's driver would've stopped the train anyway due to points failure and wouldn't the signalman flag him down too? This episode has some flaws, but I enjoy it.

Rating: 4.5/5 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

S3 Ep.24: Heroes

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

HEROES 
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
10/09/92

Plot:
Bill and Ben were bored at the china clay works. The Fat Controller told them at the harbour that they have to look after trucks while Edward is taking some children on a special trip. However, unwisely, the twins have been told by the trucks on where to put them and it caused a huge mess while Gordon is to take the evening train. The next day, the twins were working at the quarry. But there was a rock slide and rubble laid all around. Despite that they don't know too much about trucks, they acted bravely in an emergency and were hailed heroes.

PRO:
- The rock slide was filmed fantastically.
- Gordon's headlamp codes are spot on. 

CON:
- Bill and Ben not know much about trucks? I read 'Thomas and The Twins' by Christopher Awdry and in the story 'Down The Drain' and they knew all about the China Clay trucks. 

- Why are they referring that the twins work at the quarry? when really they were owned by the China Clay works.

- Since Bill and Ben are sorting things out, they could at least get help from Edward or Boco with the shunting since its nearing dusk.

I do enjoy the episode, but their are three faults. I hate the fact that in the episode it stated that Bill and Ben knew nothing about trucks. They work in the china clay pits, they are built to shunt trucks and they have a clear knowledge about the china clay trucks, read 'Down the Drain' in 'Thomas and The Twins' they have clear knowledge. And I hate how the way they are referring that the china clay pits is the quarry when really the only quarry is the Anopha Quarry on Thomas' branch line.

And since that Bill and Ben are sorting the trucks about which made Gordon late with his evening train, why can't Edward or BoCo help, they wouldn't have anything else to do. But despite the three flaws, there are some good sides towards the episode. The rock slide was filmed fantastically, kudos to David Mitton for the dramatic shots and scenes and I do like how the signal codes match Gordon's job. It add some realism towards the model. 

The episode is OK, but there are the flaws. 

Rating: 3/5

Monday, 15 October 2012

S3 Ep.23 Bulgy


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

BULGY
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
25/09/92

Plot:
Duck met a large red double decker bus, but he's not friendly like Bertie. His name is Bulgy and he grumbled that the railway will be ripped up and the roads will take over. Oliver knew about it too and told Duck that Bulgy's friend came and took the passengers to the big station via a shortcut. Bulgy stole the two Great Westerners passengers as a 'Railway Bus'. Duck was following Bulgy to see where he was going. It turns out that the shortcut was a small bridge and Bulgy was wedged firmly under it. 
The passengers decided to climb aboard Duck's train and made it to the station on time as the passengers caught their trains. In the end, Bulgy was turned into a hen house.

PRO:
- Road vs. Rail rivalry, something that the recent series is missing out on.

CON:
- 'It was a special holiday on the Island of Sodor...' exactly what is it?

This is another story that the journalist from 'The Guardian' was bashing about back in July, thinking that the Fat Controller had dumped him in a field and that his red paint makes him a soviet. Well I've watched this episode many times and read the story too and I've turned out OK, plus why would she think the Fat Controllers owns every vehicle? He owns a railway, Bulgy is owned by a bus company. Back to the episode, What special holiday are they celebrating? In the RWS they celebrate the summer bank holidays, why can't they mention that in the episode? I don't know. But this episode is good and I do love the road vs. rail rival, that is something that the recent series is currently is missing out on. The episode also remind me of the movie 'The Titfield Thunderbolt', which was made in 1953 and the story that was in the Railway Series book was published in 1969. If you haven't seen the movie, I recommend watching it, it's a really enjoyable movie.

The episode is great, it stuck with the original and I enjoy it again and again. 

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, 14 October 2012

S3 Ep.22 Oliver Owns Up

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

OLIVER OWNS UP
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Air Date:
12/04/92

Plot:
Oliver is enjoying his new lease of life on the Island of Sodor and Duck was very grateful that Douglas had saved him and Toad from scrap. But as the engines were praising him, he became to puffed up in the smoke box. One day, Oliver was taking some trucks to a chute. The trucks don't like him and began to play a trick on him by pushing him towards the turntable well. As the trucks grew tired, Oliver fell in the well. Oliver was then sent to the works and after he returned, he was wise about trucks.

PRO:
- The crash was filmed excellently

CON:
- Coal? 'The Little Western' transport weed killing ballast.
- Oliver didn't get the scottish yell from Donald and Douglas.
- The turntable was made for the scottish twins, not the two tank engines.
- Oliver had no driver or fireman with him on the flatbed, how can he whistle? 
- The ending seems rushed.

Such a shame that the Small Railway was not made and shows the lacking of it through the adaptation. I understand that the budget at the time was not perfect, but the could make them like the narrow gauge.  But with or without the mini engines, they could at least have a ballast hopper instead of a coal hopper. As of the scottish yell, since Oliver crashed in the turntable well. The table was broken and they were cross with Oliver about that they were yelling at him in their native tongue. But why was Duck on it? I don't know. 

Plus, Oliver whistled when he passed Duck when he was taken to the works and the ending of the episode, it was rushed. It's a shame that they didn't adapted 'Toad Stands By' for the third season as it left it with a continual error for the fourth season, I'll mention that later. It stayed a little bit with the story and the crash was excellently filmed. But to be fair, it's a shame the miniature railway is left out.

Rating: 3.5/5 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

S3 Ep.21 Escape

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

ESCAPE
Originally Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry


Adapted for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 


Air Date:
12/04/92


Plot:
Late one night, Douglas took a midnight goods trains to the other side of the island where only Diesels work. As he was about make for his return journey, he could hear an engine in desperate need. The engine's name was Oliver and he and his brake van Toad are running away from scrap, but they have run out of coal and have no more steam. Douglas gladly offered to help and as they were making Oliver look like he's ready for scrap, they set off towards the Island of Sodor. Daylight came when they've finished their journey and Douglas told the other engines about Oliver. The Fat Controller heard about too and is proud of Douglas to save another engine. Oliver was restored and repainted and so was his brake van in GWR colours and now works on Duck's branch line, which is now called 'The Little Western'. 


PRO:
- Another engine saving something from scrap, with a perfect moral about restoration.
- Oliver's theme music when he was being saved
- It almost stuck close with the story


CON:
- Shame that we never get to see Oliver's back story on his escape.
- Where are the auto-coaches?


This episode is just awesome! This is one of the fan's favourites that it went third on SiF 'Best of Thomas' poll last year and I can see why. It was filmed well, the music was just epic, brave and heroic, the story has a perfect moral about restoration, the same way that its shown in 'Saved From Scrap' and 'Percy and The Calliope' and the story almost stuck close with the original RWS story. But its a shame that we never got to see Oliver's backstory, like the one shown in 'Enterprising Engines', it will give kids the reason why he's escaping. But its also a shame that the auto-coaches were not in the series, they would be perfect and not just the two GWR tank engines running up and down the line with the express coaches. And also when the narrator said, 'Painted in full Great Western' colours, its NWR green. This GWR green:


But all in all, its a fantastic episode and I do enjoying watching it and it has to be the third season's highlight. 

Rating: 5/5

Friday, 12 October 2012

S3 Ep.20: Tender Engines

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

TENDER ENGINES
Originally written by
The Rev.W.Awdry

Adapated for Television by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Air Date:
17/02/92

Plot:
Gordon was annoyed that Duck and James were annoying him and later on, he saw two tenders sticking out from the harbour yard, belonging to the world's most famous steam locomotive, 4472 Flying Scotsman. Diesel came and told Gordon that the diesels are taking over the railway. Next day Gordon was cross and as he backed down on the express, the Fat Controller told him that Diesels taking over the railway will never happen on his railway. And with the visitor, he has two tenders because of long distances between coaling depots which made Gordon a lot better. But Henry was jealous of the visitor and wanted his own, Duck played a trick on Henry that he has six tenders, which are grimy, old and filled with boiler sludge. 

PRO:
- Thankfully 'Flying Scotsman's' model was not made, I'll tell you all later.

CON:
- Why can't Gordon recognises his own brother? They were both built in Doncaster.
- Flying Scotsman does not have two coal tenders.
- The story is not focused on the original.

Out of all the episode in this series, this one is my absolute favourite. Here is the reason why I'm glad that Flying Scotsman is not in the episode, despite not getting any recognition with a mention, its nice to see Scotsman getting an appearance with his tenders, but its a shame that the model was too expensive to make, according to Steve Asquith's interview on SiF. Yes the model being 'dropped' or 'damaged' at the studio is all a rumour. Here is the reason why I'm glad that 'Flying Scotsman' is not in the series at all. No, I'm not one of the Anti-Scotsman people, heck, I respect the engine with a passion since I saw a video of the real engine making her epic trip to Alice Springs in Australia in 1989.

But here is the reason, there is Stepney, who is really preserved at the Bluebell Railway in season four and later on when Britt Allcroft and HIT bought the rights to the Railway Series, in full ownership his railway is not on the mainland, its somewhere far away, he's been treated as one of the Fat Controller's engines around (5, 6 and 12, despite a cameo) and as a fictional character and think might what happens if HIT's writing staff used him (Flying Scotsman) in the series today? They would completely disgrace the engine's history and legacy. 

As much as I would love to see Flying Scotsman in TTTE, I believe the tenders were a good choice to show, despite that they're filled with coal as the real two tenders are for coal and water since British Railways took down the water towers during the end of steam. And its also a shame that the famous engine was not mentioned as well. But to be fair, it's an enjoyable episode and I will watch it again and again.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, 11 October 2012

S3 Ep.19: One Good Turn

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

ONE GOOD TURN
Written by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton

Directed by
David Mitton 

Air Date:
4/09/92

Plot:
Bill and Ben are sent to the yards on Edward's branch line by the Fat Controller to help out with BoCo with the trucks and coaches. As a reward, they get to go on the turntable for the first time, but the foreman had accidentally left Bill at the wrong place and Ben was puffing directly to him. The two engines were cross and gave themselves the silent treatment. They caused a fuss in the yard to BoCo and Edward and the big green diesel had a plan, which was approved by the Fat Controller. Bill and Ben are to take the regular goods train. Ben coupled to the train himself, but can't. Then the twins laughed and decided to pull together. 

PRO:
- It's nice to see Bill and Ben working in other places then the china clay works.

CON:
- 'Mischievous engines on the Fat Controller's Railway' they are privately owned engines, so the Fat Controller never owns them as his own. 
- Wouldn't it be better if the twins were coupled up to each other rather then being uncoupled?
- Why shoe-horn Thomas in the end?

This is one of my favourite Bill and Ben episodes as it was good episode to see them working in other places rather then just the china clay works, but what I don't like is that they claimed to be on the Fat Controller's railway, when really in the RWS, they are privately owned engines of the china clay works. Other then that and my other two cons, this is another personal favourite, its great to see BoCo and the twins again.

Rating: 4/5