Tuesday, 30 April 2013

S10 Ep.14: Topped Off Thomas

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

TOPPED OFF THOMAS
Written by
Sharon Miller

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
10/10/06

Plot:
The Fat Controller lost his top hat and so Thomas has to find it. 

PRO:
- N/A

CON:
- Three strikes 
- Thomas' steam would be blocked when the hat landed on his funnel
- 'Mr. Wind'

Another poor episode. Their is the typical three strikes and these were annoying to watch and I also hate the fact that they made Thomas calling everything, 'Mr.' like 'Mr. Wind' for example. The episode was poor and not worth the watch. 

Rating: 1/5

Monday, 29 April 2013

S10 Ep.13: Edward Strikes Out

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

EDWARD STRIKES OUT
Written by
Sharon Miller

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
10/10/06

Plot:
A new crane called Rocky arrived on the Island of Sodor. But Edward and Gordon thinks he's 'new fangled nonsense'. But in the end, Edward needs Rocky's help. 

PRO:
- Rocky lifting up Gordon.

CON:
- Edward was out of character.

I find this episode to be the worst in the season and the worst in the series. One major problem is Edward, I said this a lot but, he's suppose to be a kind and wise engine and looks out for others if they're been teased. But no, Edward's persona was butchered up in his episode. However, Rocky is not a bad character and I am impressed by how the way he was lifting Gordon. But I hate this episode because of Edward's new persona. The episode would be more suiting for Henry or James but not an engine like Edward. To me this is one of the worst episode in the brand's history. 

Rating: 1/5

Sunday, 28 April 2013

S10 Ep.12: Toby's New Shed

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

TOBY'S NEW SHED
Written by
Simon Nicholsan 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
7/10/06

Plot:
Toby's shed roof is leaking and so the Fat Controller decided to build a new roof. But the old tram engine doesn't like his new shed because he loved the bird chirping in the holes and in the end, Thomas decided to have the old wood to be turned into a birdhouse.

PRO:
- N/A

CON:
- The title's misleading

The episode is decent but my only complaint is the title. It should be called 'Toby's New Roof' but all in all, it's an OK episode. 

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Do You Consider Good Signs For King Of The Railway After Seeing The Five S17 Episodes?


With 'Railway Mischief' making its official release at Wal-Mart in America on April 9th. Many Thomas fans have been positive on the five episodes that shows much effort. With that, is their consideration that maybe the upcoming DVD special 'King of The Railway' would have good signs due to the writing of the episodes from the DVD? You've all voted and now here are the answers:

55% of people (10 votes) had considered yes, there is good signs for the movie after the written stories. I do think there'll be good signs too after seeing the S17 episodes, especially 'Gordon Runs Dry' as it was written by Andrew Brenner, who'll be writing the 2013 special. The episode has some potential for the older fans, with the reference to 'Trouble In The Shed' when Gordon says that tender engines don't fetch their own coaches, the mention of 'The local' and so on. So with Andrew Brenner on the helm, I think 'King Of The Railway' will be good, but not a masterpiece. 

33% (6 votes) had considered a maybe for the DVD special, which I can understand. Not much people have strong hopes but I think they'll wait and see when the movie is out later this year.

It was a bit of a surprise that there are no votes for the consideration of no. Before 'Railway Mischeif' came out, the two trailers for KOTR came out respectively. There was not much explanation of the plot and the choice of basis for Connor and Caitlin and some of the nay sayers think this is going to be another Sharon Miller script for how the way special would turn out to be. But after seeing the S17 episodes, I think they might've changed their minds

While 11% (2 votes) had said that they've not seen the episodes yet. My guess they could be waiting until the whole of S17 comes out later this year.

Well it looks like 10 people are confident that 'King of The Railway' will be good after seeing the five S17 episodes on YouTube and I for one am as well. We're all getting over the era of the bad writing thats been seen between S9-16 and S17 is taking little steps so far. It looks like we have to wait until September to see this year's special.

NEW POLL QUESTION WILL BE OUT SOON 

S10 Ep.11: Fearless Freddie

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

FEARLESS FREDDIE
Written by
Simon Nicholsan

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
7/10/06

PRO:
- N/A

CON:
- Duke would've easily been used for this episode
- Skarloey and Rheneas' persona

Plot:
An old friend of Sir Handel's is returning home. He met up with Skarloey and Rheneas who were racing along the line. Freddie decided to race with them too and took shortcuts along the railway line. 

This episode could easily bring back Duke, even though I can live without him. Freddie is OK, but I still find Duke to be the oldest engine and not him. What I really hate from this episode is Skarloey and Rheneas' persona's that were given, they're not young and stupid when really they're to be wise and determined. It's pathetic for what they were given as great characters. Thanks to 'Blue Mountain Mystery' for restoring the persona's of the two engines, mainly Skarloey. 

Rating: 1/5

Friday, 26 April 2013

S10 Ep.10: Seeing The Sites

This was held back for respect to the ANZAC's for ANZAC Day

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

SEEING THE SITES
Written by
Wayne Jackman 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
6/10/06

Plot:
Gordon was jealous of Thomas for taking important visitors around the Island and that it should be his job. Thomas was cross and so he decided to take his visitors in one day, but Thomas rushes his important job. 

PRO:
- Thomas and Gordon rivalry
- The plot has a bit of 'Bertie's Chase' towards it
- Moral: Slow and steady and don't rush

CON:
- Three strikes

Once again, the slow and steady and don't rush moral is used once again. The episode is OK and its plot does have a bit of a 'Bertie's Chase' story towards it. I love how the young children today has a Thomas and Gordon rivalry like the ones who saw it back in the day of the golden era of the show. But the three strikes was used and it's not as annoying as the one from the CGI era of the series but it does get a bit annoying. 

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

S10 Ep.9: It's Good To Be Gordon

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

IT'S GOOD TO BE GORDON
Written by
Abi Grant

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
6/10/06

Plot:
Gordon is breaking the record of hauling the express and so he was proud to be himself. But on the day of his record braking, he took Henry's special coal but Gordon thinks that it'll make him better at his record. But when Henry took the normal coal, his boiler did not accept it well. In the end, Gordon decided to switch tenders so Henry can have his special coal. 

PRO:
- I liked the tender switch
- Despite that Henry doesn't need his special coal, they did make a RWS reference

CON:
- Henry's special coal

I like the episode, the story is good and it certainly is entertaining. Though a good episode can have some flaws and that is really the special coal thing. As of course Thomas fans who remembered reading in the RWS book 'Henry the Green Engine' in 1951 or who watched the adapted story, 'The Flying Kipper' in 1984 would know that when Henry went to Crewe he was given a new shape and larger firebox and he doesn't need his special coal anymore. Despite this flaw it was great to acknowledge the RWS, even though it was used again in S15. 

The tender switch may seem odd, but it was great seeing what the engines are like with different coloured tenders. Though in my opinion, I think the plot will work better if the coal was in bad quality like it was in 'Out of Puff' that way it would make perfect sense and will leave out the continuity error. But I think the episode is good.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

S10 Ep.8: Toby's Afternoon Off

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

TOBY'S AFTERNOON OFF
Written by
Marc Seal 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
5/10/06

Plot:
Toby was looking forward to be visiting the farm but the Fat Controller told him to do odd jobs. Toby asked his friends, Mavis, Salty and Thomas to help, but they were busy. However it turns out the engines were helping Henry as he was broken down. 

PRO:
- Toby hauling the express

CON:
- Toby should know that his work is more important then having a day off


I found the episode to be on the OK list. Despite that Toby is not capable of hauling express coaches, it was interesting to see him pulling it. But despite that, what was the writer thinking? Toby should care more about his work then having an afternoon off to visit the farm.

Rating: 3/5


Monday, 22 April 2013

S10 Ep.7: Thomas' Tricky Tree

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

THOMAS' TRICKY TREE
Written by
Sharon Miller

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
5/10/06

Plot:
Thomas is to take the 'Winter Holiday' (Christmas) tree from the wharf. But he can't find and Duncan and Peter Sam were teasing him about it. But Thomas was annoyed and so he accidentally shunted the flatbed of pipes, which he mistaken it as the tree. In the end, Sir Handel showed him the tree and Thomas delivered the tree in time. 

PRO:
- N/A

CON:
- The 'Winter Holiday' tree, although I respect every other religion, it's called a Christmas tree
- What was the point of calling it 'Winter Holiday Tree' when the engines called a Christmas tree?

Despite the no pro's on the list, this episode is OK, but what was the point of calling a 'Winter Holiday' tree when the engines were calling a Christmas tree and so was the narrator as well? If it's focused on winter, just show winter if it's focused on Christmas, just show Christmas, it's really not hard. As I said in my other posts about this term, I don't want to go all religious on this, as reports of it went around back in 2011 by the Daily Mail in the UK. The episode is OK, but as I said before, if it shows winter show winter or if it's focused on Christmas, show Christmas. 

Rating: 3/5


Sunday, 21 April 2013

S10 Ep.6: Duncan Drops A Clanger

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

DUNCAN DROPS A CLANGER
Written by
Paul Larson 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
4/10/06

Plot:
It's the mountain village county fair and Duncan is to take the bell which was to be polished. But with a bumpy track, the bell fell off the flatbed and Duncan has to catch it!

PRO:
- No three strikes
- The town square set looks amazing
- Moral: Slow and steady and don't rush

CON:
- You think if Duncan has his crew they would slow him down?

It's an OK episode, I like how there was no three strikes at all in this episode and I do have to admire the sets that the SRW engines were on, like the town square, they're amazing! The episode does have a good moral as well about being slow and steady and don't rush things. 

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, 20 April 2013

S10 Ep.5: The Green Controller

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

THE GREEN CONTROLLER
Written by
Sharon Miller

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
4/10/06

Plot:
The Fat Controller lost his voice and so Lady Hatt, his wife, put Percy in charge of the day. But things turned into a muddle when he gave the engines the wrong orders. 

PRO:
- James' 'Busy Bee' Livery

CON:
- A steam locomotive cannot be in charge of a railway in real life


Horrible episode. The writer should've learned from the older episode, 'Duck Takes Charge': 'This is my railway and I give the orders!' from the words of the Fat Controller written by the Rev.W.Awdry. A locomotive cannot be in charge of a railway and also Gordon and James wouldn't believe such a thing from Percy saying he's in charge. But I do have to say, I admire how that way the bee livery looked on James, no wonder it got popular in the merchandising range, obviously was made for marketing :P

But in my opinion it is a weak episode and I don't know why I thought this was Sharon Miller's best?

Rating: 1/5 



Friday, 19 April 2013

S10 Ep.4: Percy and The Funfair

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

PERCY AND THE FUNFAIR
Written by
Abi Grant

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
3/10/06

Plot:
A funfair was coming to the Island of Sodor and all the engines were assigned with special jobs, minus Percy. He has to take coal trucks to all the coal bunkers around the Island. Percy didn't want to do the job and want to help the engines, but the other engines didn't need help. But with all the coal not in the bunkers around the railway, the engines can't deliver their loads on time and so Percy races to the rescue.

PRO:
- The chinese dragon return

CON:
- Percy leaving his coal trucks behind on the main line.

I find the episode decent. It may not be great but it was nice to see the chinese dragon again since season three, though I wish they put the reference in from S3 episode just for fun. But dreamers can dream. 

Rating: 4.5/5 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

S10 Ep.3: Thomas and The Jet Plane

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

THOMAS AND THE JET PLANE
Written by
Abi Grant

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
3/10/06

Plot:
Thomas met a jet plane named Jeremy. The plane boasted about how much flying means to him and Thomas decided not to talk to him in future. But in the end, the summer rain came and the children's picnic was ruined and thanks to Thomas, the children enjoyed their picnic in the aircraft hanger.

PRO:
- An engine vs. vehicle rivalry 

CON:
- Where are the parents of the children?
- Thomas' whinging about planes

This episode would've gone better as the season's opener. I think this is better then the last two and the rivalry was never used a lot in the series, an engine vs. vehicle rivalry, we haven't seen that since Season 5. Plus I like Jeremy's design, its very sleek and modern. But with the rest of the episode, where are the parents of the children? Should the kids need parental guidance for their picnic? Plus Thomas' whinging got annoying. But this episode is better then the other two of this season. 

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

S10 Ep.2: A Smooth Ride

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

A SMOOTH RIDE
Written by
Simon Nicholson 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
2/10/06

Plot:
Sir Handel had come back from the quarry but however was shaking a lot when he was taking apples. Sir Handel was worried that Mr. Percival might send him away. 

PRO:
- Their's a reasoning for Sir Handel's absence then just putting him in the picture and pretend his absence never happened.

CON:
- Sir Handel is not 'one of the oldest engine' on Sodor.
- Repetitive lines from the narrator

Didn't like this episode at all. It's not horrendous but it certainly wasn't entertaining to watch. Their were repetitive lines from the narrator about Sir Handel's problem and also I didn't like how they portrayed Sir Handel as 'the oldest' as he arrived on Sodor in 1904 when Skarloey arrived in 1865, I know the writers don't have the knowledge of the Thomas history but the newer episodes does leave continuity errors for the young audience. 

Rating: 1/5  

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

S10 Ep.1: Follow That Flour

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

A year after the 60th anniversary of the Railway Series and Thomas the tank engine has been given a tenth series in 2006. '06 was a quiet year for the brand and the new series was the only thing that happened that year. The episodes features another bunch of new characters and some episodes are quite critical to fans, especially Edward, which I will explain later on. Now on with the review of the first episode: 

FLOUR POWER
Written by 
Sharon Miller

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
2/10/06

Plot:
It was the Sodor Harvest Festival and James is to take the flour to the festival and it made Thomas jealous so he hid the truck but left a trail of flour behind!

PRO:
- The wharf

CON:
- Thomas and James' large scale model, mainly their faces
- What was the point of James leaving Thomas to shunt his truck? 


The episode is decent and this was written by Sharon Miller without any rhyming, but still there are the three strikes formula. I remember seeing the setting for the wharf and think that it was fantastic that they've built a much more industrial site for the engines from both different gauges. Though the downside is the large scale models, to be honest James' model makes him look chunky and look a bit like his horrid lionel model, apologies to the fans of Lionel trains and look at his lamp irons, one looks like its poking his chin. Still this episode is OK and it's not a bad opener.

Rating: 3/5


Monday, 15 April 2013

S9 Ep.26: Flour Power + Overall

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

FLOUR POWER
Written by
Abi Grant

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
25/11/05

Plot:
It was the end of halloween and the Fat Controller had given Thomas a job to take flour to the bakery with Diesel. Since it was halloween night, Diesel thought it would be fun to tease Thomas. Thomas was cross and so he payed back Diesel by turning himself into a ghost with flour all over him which actually frighten him. In the end Thomas delivered all the flour to the bakery on his own. 

PRO:
- The ERTL Percy and the 2001 poster

CON:
-N/A

There was nothing bad with the episode and it was an OK closer. The plot does seem similar to 'Ghost Train' for a reason and I do like the flour covered Thomas. Plus I do like the use of the ERTL Percy and the '01 poster seen in the boys' room, which was great work by the model makers. The episode is OK in general, but it doesn't feel like a strong storyline. But I like it. 

Rating: 3/5

OVERALL
The second season under the HIT banner and unlike S8 being underrated in my opinion, I think S9 felt weak. It was the start of the awful three strikes formula, though some episode don't seem to have it a lot unlike the CGI series. There were episodes like the Skarloey Railway or Narrow Gauge engines, which ever you prefer, that I find dull and boring and an episode that made me ending up losing respect towards Skarloey and Rheneas until 'Blue Mountain Mystery', which I have to say is the best comeback for the NG engines then the two awful S16 episodes. 

Michael Angelis sound a little bit good and bad with his storytelling but he's getting old. I haven't seen the Michael Brandon version but to be honest, him doing the voices sound nasally and to be honest I remember him doing Skarloey's voice and it was horrible, he almost sound like a clown. I like the man, but he's not a great voice actor, I think he's great as Diesel and its great how they kept him for the role since 'Misty Island Rescue' in the CGI series. 

The music, sounds the same, nice and catchy, but will never be as great as the original composers. The settings were nice and I do like it how they named some locations after the Railway Series, despite that the books were never seen in print at the time, you can see HIT has respect for the classics. In the end, I still find S9 to be weak with its stories. Now that S9 has ended, we'll now move too, Season 10!

OVERALL RATING
54.5/100

Sunday, 14 April 2013

S9 Ep.25: Keeping Up With James

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

KEEPING UP WITH JAMES
Written by
Abi Grant

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
25/11/05

Plot:
It was winter and snow lay all around the tracks, the Fat Controller said that the engine who completed first will pull the 'presents train' to all the children on Sodor. James wanted to pull it but he thinks that with Edward being old he would not pull the train. But in the end, James learn that he must go slow and steady when it comes the frozen weather. 

PRO:
- Moral: Slow and steady

CON:
- They should put sanding gear in the series more often.


HIT had mentioned that some of the Thomas episode that they've produced between 2004-today have the mention of 'Winter Holidays', which caused the controversy of taking the word 'Christmas' out of the series in 2011 because of the DVD 'Little Engine Big Day Out' from 2007, which has this episode on it by the way. I remember, as I heard, that most people blamed this episode because of it, but giving it a watch, I don't see any harm. Sure there is the appearance of the Christmas tree at Knapford, but it didn't get a mention. It turns out it was the learning segment that caused it, when Thomas was delivering the tree to Peel Station and that Michael Angelis says 'You always see a tree during the winter holidays.' Anyway, I'm not going through a religious debate about it. 

As of this episode in my views, its not bad but certainly not my cup of tea. I do like how the episode was given a moral about being 'slow and steady', which was the ending of this episode. But to add some railway realism, they should put sanding gears on the engines. I don't really watch this episode that much when it comes close to Christmas, it is more of a winter themed episode, with Christmas trees around it, but hey shops all over the word put trees up since October so maybe the people behind the sets decided to put it there to make it accurate? I don't know.

Rating: 2.5/5

  

Saturday, 13 April 2013

S9 Ep.24: Thomas and The Golden Eagle

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

THOMAS AND THE GOLDEN EAGLE
Written by
Abi Grant

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
18/11/05

Plot:
A golden eagle has been spotted at Bluff's Cove and Emily was taking the bird watchers. While Thomas and Percy were busy taking milk and stone. Thomas wanted to see the eagle and so he left Percy to take his trucks. Thomas was unsuccessful in the end and forgotten about Percy and was sorry. But in the end, the two got a surprise.  

PRO:
- The two eagles were crafted well 

CON:
- Thomas not caring that his job is more important then a bird.

Not a great episode. I don't know why the writers just let Thomas gallivant off looking for something then doing their work, which in this episode, Thomas did realise his mistake, as in other episodes, despite that he doesn't learn them again. But the only thing good about this episode is the two eagles, you have to admire the model makers making the animals life like. 

 Rating: 1/5

Friday, 12 April 2013

S9 Ep.23: Saving Edward

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

SAVING EDWARD
Written by
James Mason 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
18/11/05

Plot:
Edward was feeling old once again and has a fear of getting scrapped because he doesn't feel useful anymore. When he was given the task of hauling fruits and vegetables, he asked Thomas to take for him after his shunting. But the Fat Controller was cross and Thomas told him that Edward has 'the wrong sort of coal' in the end, the Fat Controller told Edward he has no plans to scrap the old blue engine. 

PRO:
N/A

CON:
- This episode of Edward proving useful are getting tired to watch.

The episode is just a drag and didn't even bother watching it. We all know since the first season that Edward is an old engine but can prove to be useful to the other engines. These are really getting to be a bore and I rather watch 'Edward's Exploit' as it shows Edward's usefulness as a whole.

Rating: 1/5

Thursday, 11 April 2013

S9 Ep.22: Skarloey The Brave

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

SKARLOEY THE BRAVE
Written by
Paul Larson 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
11/11/05

Plot:
Skarloey was embarrassed after running away from some trucks and wants to prove he is brave


 PRO:
- N/A

CON:
- Skarloey acting young
- Why was the incline used for coal? 

The episode that made ending up hating Skarloey and the narrow gauge engines in the new series before his (Skarloey's) persona was repaired in 'Blue Mountain Mystery'. The writing for the episodes tarnished the older engines in the series. Skarloey is one of the examples of why fans are demanding for the writing to be changed. Skarloey is well over 100 years old and he should at least know that he is brave enough. I'm happy that 'Blue Mountain Mystery' restored Skarloey's true persona thanks to Andrew Brenner. As on the incline using coal, I don't know why they used that instead of slate. 

Rating: 1/5


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Should The Original Thomas Theme Deserve A Comeback?

With the new changes in term of writing for Thomas & Friends by Andrew Brenner and producer Ian McCue coming soon to television screens in Autumn (fall) 2013, I believe its time for one big question that has been in the minds of Thomas fans everywhere, does the original theme composed by Mike 'O Donnell and Junior Campbell, between 1984 - 2003, deserve a comeback? You made the vote and here are the answers. 



Many Thomas fans, who grew up at the time when Britt Allcroft was the owner of the Thomas franchise, remember the classic theme song that introduce us to the imaginative Island of Sodor that many people have been familiar with. Now that the theme song has been off for nearly ten years, many fans at the time thought it was a shame. 86% (19 votes) show that yes it does deserve a comeback and it's not much of a surprise really when you think about it. The music created by the original composers of the theme song has been known worldwide for many years, it's been remade by recent composer of the series since 2004, Robert Hartshrone, in the Season 16 episode 'Percy and The Calliope' last year, even the people who grew out of Thomas still remember the theme music and if you've seen many older fans' fan made projects on YouTube whether it be Trainz, Hornby, Bachmann, Trackmaster, Wooden Railway, Take 'N' Play, use the classic theme song for their opening intro and closure, but in my opinion it has been overused a lot lately, in videos, but I am one of the people who grew up with the theme song and love to see it making a comeback.

However 4% (1 vote) think that they're not quite sure if it deserves a comeback. Maybe because kids of the new generation of Thomas fans enjoy listening to the recent theme song and it may cause bad reception to the parents today if new changes are made. But from former yellow Wiggle, Greg Page, says that children understand the concept of change.

9% (2 votes) of fans show that 'Engine Roll Call' is fine. When the series was revamped by HIT Entertainment in 2004, many fans, between 1984 - 2003, were outraged by the new changes since the departure of the original composers of the series and that even to this day, many older fans still don't like the theme music, which is now sung by a choir between the 11th - 16th series of the show. In my opinion, I think the children choir had their day and that their singing of new series song is rather bland and boring since S9. The only song from the model era of the show I find entertaining was 'Thomas You're The Leader' sung by Chris Madin. The song was fun, catchy and even though it has the mention of the 'Steam Team', it had a wider expansion of other characters of the show. With Sam Blewitt singing songs from the CGI series as well as the DVD specials, it's nice to know that Robert Hartshrone wants songs focusing for children and parents so they can enjoy it too, as stated by himself, with genre's rock, hillbilly and Irish gaelic music, the songs these days are very entertaining and fun to listen too.

In my final thoughts, it's an obvious choice of who the winner is and that is of course the people who think that the original theme deserve a comeback. As I said before, many fans who grew up during the classic era of the show and people who watched the show when they were kids and grew out of it remembered the theme song to this day. Many kids today of this generation are watching the old Thomas episodes, thanks to DVD releases over the years.


NEXT POLL QUESTION 
'DO YOU CONSIDER GOOD SIGNS FOR KING OF THE RAILWAY AFTER SEEING THE FIVE S17 EPISODES?'




A Tribute To Two Long Running Narrators...

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

As many may be aware that the new exclusive DVD 'Railway Mischief' in the US had received a new narrator named Mark Moraghan and since now he'll be narrator for both the UK and US audiences, that means last year, season sixteen and 'Blue Mountain Mystery', was both Angelis and Brandon's last year of service with Thomas & Friends. Both had stand long then any narrator, mainly Michael Angelis. Today I will give you my thoughts on these two narrators and how I like them through out the years with the show.

MICHAEL ANGELIS (1991 - 2012)

After Ringo Starr left the show in favor of his All Starr Band in 1989, the same year 'Shining Time Station' aired in American television, a third season was in production without a narrator and stepped in was the long time running narrator, Michael Angelis. I've enjoyed watching the series with MA's narration from the third season, he brought some enthusiasm and great voices for the engines around the classic era of the show. He gone down to be slow and uninteresting around S9 - 16 but I must give him credit that he still narrated even at the worse of times when the show had its bad writing around S13 - 15. He brought entertainment for two decades and its sad to see him go. But I wish all the best of luck in his other work and that he'll never be forgotten as one of the great Thomas storytellers of all time. 

MICHAEL BRANDON (2004 - 2012)

After Michael Angelis breifly did 'New Friends For Thomas' on DVD in the US, HIT Entertainment approached Brandon on a play called 'Jerry Springer, The Opera' and asked to be narrator of the series from season eight. Although Brandon has a good voice, his character voices were not great, particularly Donald and Douglas, Skarloey, Duncan etc. But he has that friendly voice and his voice work for Diesel was good too, who knows he might still be the voice of the character in S17. Even outside of the show I see how much of a good actor he's been. He has been in past British shows like 'The Bill' and I thought he was well acted. Brandon may not be loved by older fans, but was definitely by the target range of the show. But he also must be given credit, like Angelis, he still narrated the show even during the bad times for the series. 

  
It's sad to see these two great people go but I think it's time for a change with the narration. But they'll always be remembered for what they've contributed for the show no matter how good or bad they were during the best of time and worse of times. I like to thank them for what they've been doing for Thomas fans both young and old and now I like to wish Mark Moraghan good luck for his narration, so far he sounds good and energetic.  

S9 Ep.21: Bold and Brave

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

BOLD AND BRAVE
Written by
James Mason 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
11/11/05

Plot:
Thomas was frightened by Diesel because of 'The curse of the cliffs'. However, Thomas noticed that Diesel was lying to him in the end. 

PRO:
- It was nice to see Bill having a role

CON:
- Thomas should've known not to be fooled by Diesel

This episode I believe tries its best to be good. It was nice to see Bill having a role again, even if its short. I know he should be working at the China Clay mine or the quarry but they had other jobs away from the mines before. However there is one con, Thomas has known Diesel for years, so he should know now that he should not be fooled by him. But in the end, the episode is OK, despite the three strikes. 

Rating: 3/5


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

S9 Ep.20: Duncan and The Old Mine

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

DUNCAN AND THE OLD MINE
Written by
Paul Larson 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
4/11/05

Plot:
Duncan was hoping to take some holiday makers to Culdee mine. But the job was given to Bertie and Duncan is to bring coal trucks to the transfer yards with Rusty. On his way, Duncan spotted an old disused mine and wanted to go in their. But he was trapped and had to find his way out again until he spotted some coal trucks. 

PRO:
- Despite being a fictional name its nice to hear 'Culdee' a RWS reference 

CON:
- It would take more then a barrier to block a tunnel.
- Duncan's driver would have some common sense.
- The episode should've been called 'Duncan and The Old Tunnel'

An episode that is not worth the watch, its alright, but not worth it. It would take more of barrier to stop an engine from heading into a mine. They could've built gates around it. Plus the mine shaft is nothing like a mine, they should've called the episode 'Duncan and The Old Tunnel'. Though despite the bad things about this episode, it was nice to hear another RWS reference. Even though it was a location that is made up and didn't exist in the books, its nice to hear that 'Culdee' got a mention. Even though its not the engine. The episode is OK, but it needed some work. 

Rating: 2.5/5



Monday, 8 April 2013

S9 Ep.19: Thomas' New Trucks

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

THOMAS' NEW TRUCKS
Written by
Paul Larson 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
4/11/05

Plot:
Thomas wanted new trucks like James, but they were troublesome and rude and they want to get dirty.

PRO:
- The trucks are really colourful
- The return of Bill and Ben 

CON:
- Why would Thomas and James have their own trucks? 
- Why would they bother having them clean?

Another bad episode, sure Thomas, Toby, Duck and Oliver have their own coaches, but why would an engine have their own trucks? Many engines use the same kind of trucks all the time no matter who owns them and why would Thomas and James be bothered about getting them clean? Trucks get dirty all the time. But I have to say the trucks were really colourful and it was great seeing Bill and Ben again, despite being their for a short period. 

Rating: 2/5



Sunday, 7 April 2013

S9 Ep.18: Thomas' Day Off

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

THOMAS' DAY OFF
Written by
Sharon Miller

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
28/10/05

Plot:
A new engine named Dennis was lazy and wanted Thomas to do his jobs for him on his day off. 

PRO:
- N/A

CON:
- Why would an engine have a day off and goes off on the railway? 
- Toby would've been more suitable for Thomas' role. 

Even though I find Sharon Miller's 'Thomas and The Birthday Picnic' decent, I have to say that this episode is bad! Thomas having a day off and yet goes to places around the railways. If an engine is to have a day off, it should stay in the shed not going about to do things. Plus I don't know why the episode has to have Thomas in it? Sure he's the main character but Toby is more suitable in this role. For Dennis, many people think Daisy is more suitable, I don't think so as she promised never to be lazy again at the end of 'Percy's Predicament'. I find Diesel or D261 more suitable for Dennis' role. 

Rating: 1/5

Saturday, 6 April 2013

S9 Ep.17: Emily Knows Best

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

EMILY KNOWS BEST
Written by
Marc Seal

Directed by
Steve Asquith

Air Date:
28/10/05

Plot: 
Emily was playing as 'The Queen' while she was visiting the castle with some holiday makers. However things were a muddle for her in the end. 

PRO:
- Toby's true persona
- The camera shaking 

CON:
- The laugh of the trucks was awful
- A derailment from telegraph would never swoop Toby off the track

The episode is average. I do like how they put Toby's real persona in about being wise and I do like the effect of the camera shaking. But I hate the new laugh track they give to the trucks it makes them sound creepy and the derailment for Toby was quite unrealistic. 

Rating: 2/5

Friday, 5 April 2013

S9 Ep.16: Henry and The Flagpole

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

HENRY AND THE FLAGPOLE
Written by
Paul Larson 

Directed by 
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
21/10/05

Plot:
Henry had accidentally bump into the flatbed with the new flagpole for the scottish castle and Salty accidentally crushing it. Henry felt down and even the tall pine tree, his favourite, couldn't help him to cheer up. Toby said that sometimes pine trees can be made into flagpoles. But Henry didn't agree and so he tried to stop the workmen for 'cutting it down', but the Fat Controller has other plans for the tree.  

PRO:
- Henry's love for trees is still around.

CON:
- Toby should know that the tree is Henry's favourite.
- This episode should be for Donald and Douglas. 

To be honest, this episode is weak, it has the usual three strikes formula and this episode should be perfect for Donald and Douglas, those two characters take pride in their scottish heritage and they love the castle as it remind them of their home, Scotland. But with HIT's 'Steam Team' we see Henry having the role. But I like it how Henry still has love for the trees and forest with him, despite some of his persona changes and I do like it how they added Trevor for scene even if it is only for one second, but as I stated many times, character returns does not make an episode great nor does it make the series great. It's only the story that can do good. But despite those good points, this episode is not great. 

Rating: 2/5

Thursday, 4 April 2013

S9 Ep.15: Thomas and The Statue

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

THOMAS AND THE STATUE 
Written by
Marc Seal 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
21/10/05

Plot:
Thomas was chosen for the job to take a statue to the. However, he was boasting to the others that the statue was of him and all the engines don't want to take to him about it. But it turns out it was all different. 

PRO:
- The classic persona of Thomas about 'his statue'. 
- Thomas being mature about his snowplough.

CON:
- Why was the statue covered in snow? 

The episode is OK to me, I like how Thomas was being boastful about his statue as it shows a bit of classic persona like from the early years and I do like it how Thomas is being mature about his snowplough, despite the persona changes over the years during the HIT era of the series, some persona changes can work well such as Gordon being OK pulling trucks. But I don't know why the statue has to be covered in snow? 

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

DVD Review: Bust My Buffers Vol.40

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

BUST MY BUFFERS VOL.40
Written by
Jessica Sandys-Clarke
Andrew Viner
Dan and Nuria Wicksman
Sharon Miller
Max Allen

Episodes

Special Features
N/A

Distributed by
HIT Entertainment/Deltamac

Only three episodes made it on two DVDs in the US and the UK, while the last three weren't. This DVD came from China's Deltamac, who released these in mid-2012 when S16 broadcasted for the US, UK and Australian audiences. This DVD shows a good collection of episodes, including the ones that many fans loved since its debut on television last year. So let's us take a look at 'Bust My Buffers Vol.40'. 

EPISODES

The episodes contain, like 'Go Go Thomas' the UK and US version of the DVD, three good episodes. 'Flash Bang Wallop!', 'Percy and The Calliope' and in my opinion, 'Bust My Buffers!' the other two are not complete favourites. The middle two are just poorly written and not worth the watch.

What makes the three episodes special, especially 'Percy and The Calliope' is how the way it turned out to be. With the first episode, 'Flash, Bang Wallop!' mainly because of the photographs of real engines from the mainland, including the famous 'City of Truro'. 'Percy and The Calliope', simple, because of the rendition theme music of the original Thomas theme that played from series 1 - 7. But also it's plot reminded everyone of 'Saved From Scrap', Diesel's vendetta with steam, as the calliope runs by steam to make music and of course its moral about restoration. It's a favourite to fans and to me its an all time favourite, but not close towards a classic series episode. 

To me, with 'Bust My Buffers!', it shows Gordon knowing that he should trust diesels and knew that they're different but really useful (that's getting tiring) but some fans say it has the kind of form of racism and it does show in all honesty with Gordon saying 'You're all yellow and stripy. Yellow and stripy is not grand!', as that happened since 'Misty Island Rescue' were Diesels can't be useful because they're not steam engines, I do know steam and diesel both have a rivalry, but how the way Awdry made it was because of the how the way Diesel behaved on the island in RWS and TVS. The three big engines thought Diesel was nice and good mannered, but with his nicknames of the big three,  just so Duck get into trouble, cost Diesel the respect the three big engines have and they thought all Diesels are bad and troublesome until the likes of BoCo, Mavis, Daisy and Rusty came along. In the series during the HIT era, they're diesels and they both hate each other. 

However, they're all narrated by Michael Angelis, they're in 16:9 widescreen and is region free, despite the use of the region three logo on the DVD's back cover. 

There are no special features unfortunately, but most of these episodes' respective DVDs are all in the order of the sixteenth series so there are, of course, no Mr. Perkins segments. 

Rating: 3/5

BUY A COPY