Thursday, 30 May 2013

S11 Ep.16: Toby's Triumph

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

TOBY'S TRIUMPH
Written by
Abi Grant

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
10/09/07

Plot:
Toby is worried about taking Alicia Botti 

PRO:
- N/A

CON:
- Toby being worried
- Alicia Botti annoyed about Toby's appearance 

There can be good persona changes but also some horrible ones and this one is one of them. Toby was out of character in this episode, he never takes important passengers, that is true, but he should know by now how to slow down and not to worry about taking important passengers. Plus I hate how Alicia Botti's annoyed about Toby's appearance. If you watch 'Thomas, Percy and The Squeak', she thought Percy being dirty is a proper steam engine and yet we see her being annoyed about Toby's appearance. I know that the writer might not researched the series, but there were some veterans, around the time of the new series, from the beginning of the show that can help the writers out? 

All in all, the episode is horrible and they've chosen the wrong character too.

Rating: 1/5  

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

S11 Ep.15: Hide and Peep

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

HIDE AND PEEP
Written by
Simon Spencer

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
10/09/07

Plot:
A ship was delayed and so Thomas and Percy decided to play 'Hide and Peep'

PRO:
- Cranky having a good use to look out for ships and looking out for the two tank engines
- Rocky holding Percy

CON:
- Why can't they find other work then just playing about?

I'm not into the episode, but its OK. I do like how they used Cranky to look out for ships and how his persona has changed with him looking out for the two tank engines. I know that the series around S8-16 are focused to younger children and I respect that, minus S15 due to bad writing, but since that Thomas the Tank Engine is focused on realism since the beginning, it would be better if Thomas and Percy do other work before the ship comes in. But the episode is not bad it's OK. 

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

DVD Review: 65th Anniversary of Thomas the Tank Engine!!

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

65TH ANNIVERSARY OF 
THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE
Episodes

Written by
The Rev.W.Awdry (original)
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton (Adaptation)

Directed by
David Mitton 

Produced by
Britt Allcroft, David Mitton and Robert D.Cardona 

Distributed by
Sony Creative Products Inc. 

Release Date
29/10/10

In 2010, the world celebrated the 65th Anniversary of the Railway Series, or in the eyes of HIT Entertainment, Thomas the Tank Engine. While the UK, Australia and America witness the second CGI special 'Misty Island Rescue', despite it being a rhyming flop, with the wonderful and stunning animation from Nitrogen Studios, Japan celebrated the 65th anniversary with this DVD.

Looking back at the 65th anniversary, it was better then what the 60th anniversary had offered in 2005, especially in the UK with the infamous 60th anniversary celebrations at the Hatfield House. 'Calling All Engines', despite it being good with a fantastic moral about being different, was more of an extended Thomas episode with a waste of learning segments and the Railway Series books were lesser known at the time, without them being republished for the anniversary and the Awdry's battling on with Egmont and HIT, minus the 60th annivesary edition of 'Thomas the Tank Engine', albeit being published in 1946 and not 1945. Five years later, the 65th Anniversary actually showed a lot more marketing and merchandising for the show, a second republished Railway Series book of the second RWS book of the famous blue engine, an attempt at Hamleys toy shop in the UK for the longest cake train and the RWS books being slowly getting to be recognised to the world again through the promotional items. 

In Japan, a special DVD came out in October that year, 2010. It contains four episodes from the first and second season of the series with some RWS stories in it to compare the differences between the RWS story and the TV episode, albeit in Japanese. There is a little snippet on the engines that didn't make it to the TV series such as the Culdee fell mountain engines and the Arelsdale Miniature Railway engines. The DVD is recommendable to older fans of the series who love both the books and TV series and to people who understand Japanese. It's also good for younger fans too to show them the original Thomas. Tis a shame that HIT Entertainment hadn't come up with a DVD like this three years ago instead of releasing 'The Best of Thomas', which was just a DVD containing every episode that's not focus to Thomas. Though you never know, maybe they might make a DVD like this in time for the 70th anniversary of the Railway Series.

 Rating: 4/5

S11 Ep.14: Edward and the Mail

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

EDWARD AND THE MAIL
Written by
Paul Larson 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
9/09/07

Plot:
Percy is at the repair yards and so Edward is to take the mail. But Edward had never taken the mail before and he didn't know who to deliver too.

PRO:
- Edward hasn't taken the mail before and that's half the good thing of the story.


CON:
- Edward should know how to take the mail
- The driver could easily help out with Edward's delivery problem. 

The episode is OK, though I didn't bother watching the episode, but I know about the episode off by heart. I do like it how they chose Edward in the first part of the story. In the books and TV series, we never see him pulling the mail once, but despite that, it was stupid that they said Edward doesn't know where to deliver the mail. You think that being on the railway for many years, Edward should know about the mail route by now and even though that the writers at the time are more focus on fantasy then reality, since that Thomas the Tank Engine in the books and the early TV series focus on realism on the railways, the driver could easily help out with Edward's delivery problem. 

I don't mind the episode, it is not horrible, but it needed some tweaking. 

Rating: 3/5

Monday, 27 May 2013

DVD Review: Thomas the Tank Engine Character Encyclopaedia

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

THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE
CHARACTER ENCYCLOPAEDIA


Episodes:

Written and Produced by
Britt Allcroft and David Mitton 

Directed by
David Mitton 

Special Features:
N/A

Distributed by
Sony Creative Products Inc. 

Release Date:
17/02/2010

Thomas the Tank Engine is no stranger to the people of Japan. With its success with its marketing in that country, the show has a big following and has its own fan site called 'Puff Puff Thomas', which is on the links box on the right side of the page. I've reviewed many of their DVDs and they're very different comparing to other countries like Australia, America and even the United Kingdom. They have their DVDs containing episodes, with four coming out in July this year from both the classic series and CGI series. But they also have DVDs containing special programmes such as like the popularity of Thomas in Japan and as well as Hiro's popularity in Japan and one DVD containing about the engines and routes of the Island of Sodor. In this review, I take a look at, one of my favourites so far, the 'Thomas the Tank Engine Character Encyclopaedia':


The DVD opens up with Harold the Helicopter, using footage from the classic and new series of the show, flying around the Island of Sodor telling us the many different things and facts about the characters of the show. The one thing that amazed me about the DVD is the use of pictures showing us the differences of a tank engine and tender engine and for the narrow gauge engines, the differences of gauges of the NG engines, TFC's engines and the railway gauge in Japan. In some scenes of the classic episodes, you can still hear some of the sound effects that were put in the episode, even though the new series music was over it, so you can't use it for video projects on YouTube unfortunately. 

To end the DVD, we're given a bonus episode which was 'Rusty and The Boulder' which is 'Boulder Rock', the Japanese title of the show. I still find that episode to be unrealistic with the boulder running around on flat surface, on a viaduct that can easily break with its weight, going up a hill towards a shed that was blown up for no reason whatsoever. But there are some ditties in the episode that can be only heard on the American and Japanese version of the episode that didn't make it to the final cut of the UK version. 

All I can say is that the DVD is interesting to watch, it teaches kids about the differences about tank engines and tender engines as well diesels, vehicles, rolling stock and people. If you speak or understand the Japanese language, I recommend watching it.  I still find the Japanese releases to be the most creative and so far, the DVD is certainly a favourite of mine. 

Rating: 5/5



S11 Ep.13: Don't Be Silly Billy

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

DON'T BE SILLY BILLY
Written by
Sharon Miller

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
9/11/07

Plot:
A new engine named Billy arrived on the Island but is impatient and would not listen to Thomas' orders thinking he's bossy. But in the end, he learn't his lesson.

PRO:
- N/A

CON:
- Billy, A character not respecting other's orders is a bad influence with no moral lesson 

A bad episode for kids with a bad moral of not respecting orders, the three awful strikes once again and even though he learned his lesson, there is no discipline for Billy in the end of the episode. I wouldn't want to see a kid acting like Billy in front of their parents or older brothers or sisters saying that they are 'bossy'. In my own personal opinion, Billy is one of the worse characters in the series period. He's the Charlie of the model era, despite the basis he was chosen, which does look more toyetic then real in my perspective. Where as Charlie has much detail that of course is the CGI doing the work.

Billy is one of the worse marketable characters, I don't see any future role for him, he has no potential and no personality. He's only there for the toys.  

Rating: 1/5

Sunday, 26 May 2013

S11 Ep.12: Thomas Sets Sail

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

THOMAS SETS SAIL
Written by
Sharon Miller

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
8/09/07

Plot:
Thomas collected the mayor's yacht and to take to the fishing village. Though the wind caused Thomas to set sail fast. 

PRO:
- N/A

CON:
-  Three strikes


The episode is bad and that's it. It has got bland three strikes, as usual when it comes to a Sharon Miller script. But despite that it was nice to see Molly, Elizabeth and Rosie again, but as I said it before and I will say it again, character returns can't make the episode great only the story. 

Rating: 1/5

Saturday, 25 May 2013

S11 Ep.11: Smoke and Mirrors

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

SMOKE AND MIRRORS
Written by
Neil Richards

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
8/09/07

Plot:
A famous magician is coming to Sodor for the mid-summer picnic for the children and Thomas is promised, that if he collects the things for magician, he will join in for the grand finale of the show. 

PRO:
- Michael Angelis' Italian accent was humours 

CON:
- Elizabeth's face when she met Thomas at Maithwate was ugly to be honest
- Three strikes

Though despite the italian accent from MA, the episode was poor. Despite Elizabeth's second appearance in this season, her face when she said 'How wonderful' was pretty ugly to be honest and also there is the three repetitive strikes. Don't really like this episode that much. 

Rating: 1/5 

Friday, 24 May 2013

S11 Ep.10: Thomas and The Big Bang

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

THOMAS AND THE BIG BANG
Written by
Abi Grant

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
7/09/07

Plot:
Thomas was given a new whistle and he has to go the wharf  to take a delivery and decided to play a trick on the narrow gauge engines

PRO:
- Moral: Working is more important then goofing off.

CON:
- Skarloey and Rheneas being part of the goofing off.


A bad episode with a surprisingly good moral about goofing off is not a good. But I hate it how they treated Skarloey and Rheneas in this episode for them wanting to have fun instead of telling the other engines that there work is important. It's bad episode but with a good moral but I still don't like it

Rating: 1/5

Thursday, 23 May 2013

S11 Ep.9: Thomas and The Lighthouse

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

THOMAS AND THE LIGHTHOUSE
Written by
Simon Spencer

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
7/09/07

Plot:
The engines are getting ready for the fair and Thomas is to take a new lightbulb to the lighthouse. However, Thomas wanted to get to the festival on time and it caused the lightbulb to break. So Thomas was forced to miss the fair and deliver the bulb. But in the end, Thomas was saw one of the most beautiful things then the fireworks at the fair, the lighthouse.

PRO:
- Thomas understanding that the lightbulb is more important then the fair
- It was nice seeing Cyril's model

CON:
- How the way the lightbulb was transported.
- 'Thomas 'speeded' up', what's wrong with sped up?

The episode is half and half for me. It was not bad, despite the two strikes and the grammar from the sentence 'Thomas 'Speeded Up', when really what's wrong with 'Sped Up'? I know realism is not the main focus of the new series of the show, but the lightbulb should've been carried in a vent van, James had the fireworks in vent vans so what's the matter for the lightbulb to have a van? But the ending was good with Thomas understanding that his job is more important then the fair and it was great seeing the model of Cyril since Season 6, even though he's known as 'The lighthouse keeper'. The episode is not bad and it's in the OK category. 

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

S11 Ep.8: Henry's Lucky Day

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

HENRY'S LUCKY DAY
Written by
Paul Larson 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
6/09/07

Plot:
Henry felt lucky because all the tracks he was on were cleared, he thought his trucks gave him the luck and so he was going to use them again. But his trucks were gone as Edward took them and Henry had no luck at all! While he was looking for his trucks, he has to take the presents train for the children. 

PRO:
- Moral: You can't always be lucky

CON:
- Thomas' appearance was not really needed.

Despite the Christmas presents being in the picture of the episode in Henry's trucks, at least with the words 'Winter Holidays' they showed no Christmas material on the station or anywhere else, not that I'm saying I hate Christmas and I never will be hating it. That this episode is simply showing the term 'Winter Holidays' visually. 

Aside from that, the episode was OK and I do think the moral of the story is telling us that we can't always be lucky all the time. Though I do have to say Thomas' appearances at the start of the episode were not really needed. Be better if were the driver telling him about his day at Tidmouth and a workmen telling him about Edward taking Henry's trucks. It's not bad just in the OK category. 

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

S11 Ep.7: Thomas and The Spaceship

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

THOMAS AND THE SPACESHIP
Written by
Sharon Miller

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
6/09/07

Plot:
Percy had a loose valve in his cylinder and so Thomas takes him to Tidmouth sheds. In the night sky he saw, what he presumed to be, a spaceship! But it turns out it was someone else.

PRO:
- Realistic moment: Thomas haul six mail vans
- Gordon hauling the mail
- The airport at night

CON:
- Three strikes


The episode is not as bad as what I thought, though I don't find it as a favourite. But I do like it how Thomas was hauling about six mail vans, that is amazing! Along with Gordon hauling the mail trucks too. Some fans might find this bad for Gordon as he doesn't like pulling trucks, but the Flying Scotsman, a locomotive that Awdry had based off for Gordon, even though in fiction an A0, has pulled a parcel train after the second world war, I remember seeing an archival picture of the locomotive in a booklet from the National Railway Museum. Many other express locomotives hauling parcel trains too, like the Peppercorn A1's and the A4's as well. 

Aside from that, I also love the airport at night with the fog, the lights made it look wonderful. But, their is the usual three strikes though not as boring and cringe worthy as the CGI stories. But there a few repetitive lines from the narrator.

Rating: 3/5

Monday, 20 May 2013

DVD Review: Big Panic Island of Sodor

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

BIG PANIC ISLAND OF SODOR
Episodes

Written by
Abi Grant

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Produced by
Simon Spencer

Release Date
27/03/13

Distributor
Sony Creative Products Inc. 

Once again another creative DVD from Japan this time all about the accidents of the characters of the show through the classic series, new series and the DVD specials before the CGI switchover. I got to say I love the DVD cover they've made, not only for the rare pictures, but for how they're using characters that have accidents and with shock faces. While in America, Australia and the UK, most of the DVD covers nowadays show a smile face from the characters, I remember having 'Rescues on the Railway' and 'Spook and Surprises' on VHS as a kid and they have smile and shock face characters on the cover. Shame that they don't do that anymore, minus 'Muddy Matters' and 'Thomas in Charge' on some DVDs.

The DVD opens up with the S8-12 (if you live in the UK/AUS) intro and then a clip from 'Thomas and the Rainbow' of the little blue engine running over a telegraph pole. The music at the beginning, of Thomas' crash, kind of reminds me of Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell mixed with Robert Hartshorne and Ed Welch together. The DVD is opened up into sections, we first see a montage of crashes caused by the troublesome trucks, runaway engines is the second and a couple more related panics of the series, I can't recall what they're representing. 

It then finishes with an episode, from season nine, 'The Power of Wheat and Thomas', which is the Japanese title for 'Flour Power'. The episode's OK in my opinion but the story is not a strong one from a weak season of course. Overall I like this DVD and I think it's good to show us all the panics of the Island of Sodor. If only HIT Entertainment see this kind of DVD and create their own one for the english audience. It's entertaining for kids and I do know a few Thomas fans who enjoy the crash scenes of the show, the late David Mitton was the best of them all.

Rating: 4/5 

S11 Ep.6: Gordon and The Engineer

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

GORDON AND THE ENGINEER
Written by
Paul Larson

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
5/09/07

Plot:
All the points were broken and Gordon was the only engine running as he has to take the engineer to the signal box. But trouble came when Gordon took the wrong passenger!

PRO:
- Railway smart material
- No three strikes

CON:
- N/A

I will say this. This episode to me is one of my all time favourites. This episode has no three strikes and railway smart material, though are a few flaws here and there but without that there can't be a story. The story also reminds me of the annual story 'A Problem For The Twins', which you can see an adaptation of that, this episode, on jivio's YouTube channel. It was also nice seeing Donald and Douglas back into the series for this episode as well and not using any other engine from the 'Steam Team' or any of the pointless merchandising characters. But I do know that character returns don't make the episode great, but they aren't my main focus here of why I like this episode.

The main focus is that this episode has some railway realism and that's what makes Thomas the Tank Engine a popular show, the books (The Railway Series) was found of railway realism. I'm glad to call this episode a favourite and it's certainly worth a watch. 

Rating: 5/5

Sunday, 19 May 2013

S11 Ep.5: Hector The Horrid

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

HECTOR THE HORRID
Written by
Simon Spencer

Directed by
Steve Asquith

Air Date:
5/09/07

Plot:
Bill and Ben delivered a new truck named Hector, he was aggresive and mean towards Thomas, Bill, Ben and Rosie. But in the end, Thomas realised why Hector is horrid.

PRO:
- Bill and Ben having a minor role
- Moral: Stand up to bullies and confront your fears

CON:
- N/A


The episode is good, despite that character returns can't make any episode stand out great, but it was nice that Bill and Ben had got a small role in the episode and the episode does stand out well with two good morals for Thomas and Hector, for Thomas it was standing up to bullies and for Hector is confronting your fears, as he was scared about being filled with coal. I find the episode good in my opinion. 

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, 18 May 2013

DVD Review: Fellow Hiro Special Care

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

FELLOW HIRO SPECIAL CARE
Episodes:

Written by 
Sharon Miller

Directed by
Greg Tiernan

Produced by
Nicole Stinn

Release Date
11/04/12

Hiro has always been a likeable character, minus him moping about how he missed his home Island in S15. But he is wise and helpful that I see him as one of Sharon Miller's best characters along with Luke, Stanley, Victor and Kevin. It's no surprise that Japan has become a popular character in Japan as of course his basis in the show is the JNR D51 locomotive. With that, a DVD was made by Sony telling us all about Hiro.

PLOT
The DVD opens us with Thomas introducing us about Hiro and how he was found and so we start off at Edward's branch line which is, as mentioned by Sony, were Hiro's hiding place is situated:
The whole backstory of Hiro's discovery is of course shown through the 2009 DVD special 'Hero of The Rails'. While that we're given a special demonstration about how a steam engine works:

Then we're seen were the accident with Spencer falling down the muddy marsh was outside Wellsworth station:
After that we're shown the Sodor Steamworks and the works in Japan and then after that a tour of Hiro's popularity in Japan, here is the inside of the Thomas Land 3D theatre:

And then a Thomas themed hotel room at the theme park with pictures of Hiro, you can really see the popularity he has for his basis being from Japan:



OVERALL

The DVD is of course excellent and recommendable to any fan. I don't really speak or understand Japanese but you'll be visually amazed. The two episodes are still poor, but I believe the Japanese version might be a little better. With Hiro being the centric character in this DVD, you can see why he's popular, because of his basis being used in the series. I also love how that despite the inaccurate route in the series today, the Railway Series continuity is still strong in the country of Japan and you can see how they stick close to the books. With much amazement of how the Japanese fans have DVDs like this, I wonder if HIT Entertainment would ever do DVDs like this one day.

Rating: 5/5






S11 Ep.4: Dirty Work

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

DIRTY WORK
Written by
Wayne Jackman 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
4/09/07

Plot:
James is to take the mayor to the festival of lights at scottish castle. While that, Thomas, Percy and Emily were to do goods work. While he was clean and decorated, James avoided being dirty and didn't help out with his friends with their heavy loads. But James realised that in the end.

PRO:
- James' persona does actually have some improvements

CON:

- N/A

Meh, the episode wasn't bad but not strong, James' persona does have some improvements of it and is acting more mature about helping the other three engines. But despite that, the story was uninteresting and not worth the entertainment

Rating: 2/5

Friday, 17 May 2013

S11 Ep.3: Dream On

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

DREAM ON
 Written by
Neil Richards

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
4/09/07

Plot:
Spencer arrived back on the Island once again with the Duke and Duchess and as usual, he began boasting about himself being fast, strong and looking splendid, which made Thomas cross. The next day, Thomas tries to be like Spencer, but three times he failed but after taking the Duke to the airport for important business, as Spencer was having boiler problems, Thomas learns to be himself.

PRO:
- Moral: Be yourself
- The coat of arms

CON:
-N/A

This is a favourite of mine, I loved this episode when I first saw it six years ago. The episode is entertaining and despite the three strikes, they are entertaining too. The moral of the episode has been used before about 'Being yourself' but it can work in a few episodes. I especially liked the coat of arms, though I wish they put it on Spencer's tender, it does look realistic, or on his running board, after all Princess Elizabeth wore the royal coat of arms on her's for the Queen's Diamond Jubliee last year. But like I said before, a man can dream. The episode is good and its worth the watch. 

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, 16 May 2013

S11 Ep.2: Emily's Rubbish

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

EMILY'S RUBBISH
Written by
Wayne Jackman 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
3/09/07

Plot:
Emily is to help a new engine named Whiff, who's smelly. The other engine teased Emily for working with another engine that is the smell of rubbish. Emily tried to get away from Whiff before any other engine would tease her, but there were trucks blocking the line that Spencer is travelling on and so Emily asked Whiff for help. 

PRO:
- Moral: It doesn't matter about appearances. 

CON:
- N/A

This episode had stirred up some fans of the Thomas fan base with the use of Aerolite's basis for Whiff. I understand why Aerolite is such a respectable engine to the Thomas fans who were turned to railway enthusiasts after watching the show since the start. Aerolite is well-known for hauling chief engineer trains during her working life. During her rebuild, the originality of the locomotive was destroyed with its side tanks and other parts removed. The locomotive is now preserved at the National Railway Museum in York, UK and yours truly got to see it last year, she is an elegant locomotive. I understand that such a beautiful locomotive was used for Whiff's basis, but I have no interest in argument but I do think they should've chosen another basis from the LNER who is of course a shunter, most preferably, one of my favourite LNER tank engines, the J50's. 

Aside from that, the episode is OK. I believe the moral is expressed through Whiff visually stating us it doesn't matter about his appearance and that it doesn't make him ashamed for who is. The episode could've worked better with Whiff himself and not with Emily. Despite that I say that character returns don't make an episode great, well, I still think of that for this episode, but it was nice to see the four making a brief return.

I don't watch this sometimes though but it's OK.

Rating: 3/5




Wednesday, 15 May 2013

S11 Ep.1: Thomas and The Storyteller

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

While fans were enjoying the new eleventh season, HIT Entertainment were in debt at the time and so discussions were made about the future of their brands and that includes Thomas the Tank Engine. It was then decided that Greg Tiernan, now former director of the show as the animation was transferred to Arc Productions in late 2011, to take over as director and turn the show from traditional models to CGI, which is broadcasted a year later. But for now, let's focus on the eleventh series, which now has a total of 20 episodes and is filmed in HD and was given new footage for its opening intro, the first episode is:

THOMAS AND THE STORYTELLER
Written by
Abi Grant

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
3/09/07

Plot:
A famous storyteller is coming to the Island of Sodor to open the new library. While Thomas was chosen to collect her and showing her the inspiration of Sodor, he was helping his friends Emily, James and Percy and after feeling bad for her biscuits getting wet, the storyteller was smiling and told Thomas he was her inspiration to write a new story.  

PRO:
- Thomas being helpful and not stupid

CON:
- The episode does get, as usual, repetitive 


It was decent. It was nice seeing Thomas being helpful to the storyteller and the other engines then his usual stupid self. But the episodes does get repetitive with Thomas' dialogue 'I'm sorry, I can't take you there I have to help my friend'. But it would be better if were an homage to the Rev.W.Awdry, the creator of Thomas the tank engine and his friends, but a man can dream can he?

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

S10 Ep.28: Thomas and Skarloey's Big Day Out + Overall

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

THOMAS AND SKARLOEY'S BIG DAY OUT
Written by
Paul Larson 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
15/10/06

Plot:
Skarloey was in need of repairs and so Thomas took him to the works. Along the way Thomas showed the narrow gauge engine the sites of the island. 

PRO:
- Nice to see the S4 models again

CON:
- The route to the 'Fitter's yards' is inaccurate. 

This episode is alright, but I don't find great or anything. It was nice to the see the S4 model of Skarloey again. But the story was in three strikes, there were repetiviness lines from Skarloey saying 'It's really nice but we have _______ in the mountains', which gets annoying. Plus, if you know the RWS, the route to the fitters yards is wrong. Skarloey actually lives near by the works so why can't Thomas just transfer him there from the wharf. I know the series don't reflect from the RWS anymore, but it would be nice to see the show following its accurate route of the island. In the end, I don't find this to be the best, but it's alright in the end. 

Rating: 3.5/5

OVERALL

Despite the downgraded episodes, this season is just a tiny improvement towards its last season. There were the good ones and the bad ones. I haven't seen the US narration for this season but Michael Angelis does sound like he'll make you go to sleep, not that I'm hating it, I find him a very underrated british actor and a great storyteller, but he seems less enthused from this season, but he is getting old of course. 

The sets were amazing, the Wharf and the Maritime museum especially. The wharf shows some industry of the Island instead of repeat after repeat of trees and fields. In the end S10 may not be perfect, it was an OK season. Stay tuned for S11 reviews.

OVERALL RATING:
75/100

Monday, 13 May 2013

S10 Ep.27: James The Second Best

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

JAMES THE SECOND BEST
Written by
Paul Larson 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
15/10/06

Plot:
James was shocked that Edward was to be on a poster for the railway. So James tries his best to make him the best engine, but things went wrong in the end. 

PRO:
- Nice to see Ffarquhar again since season eight 

CON:
- You think James should learn his lesson from the past about Edward?
- The three strikes

Didn't enjoyed it, it was boring, repetitive lines from the engines and despite that the writer don't follow the series chronologically, you think James should be wise enough to know how important Edward is to the railway? But give this episode's credit, it was nice to Ffarquhar again since eighth season, despite being called 'the station' in this episode. But that didn't save the episode from being bad, I didn't like it and its not worth the watch.

Rating: 1/5

Sunday, 12 May 2013

S10 Ep.26: Thomas and The Treasure

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

THOMAS AND THE TREASURE
Written by
Marc Seal 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
14/10/06

Plot:
An Admiral is coming to the Island to open the new Maritime Museum. After hearing a tale about lost treasure buried under a skull and cross bones from Salty, Thomas wants to bring the admiral and the treasure, to make the opening more special. 

PRO:
- The maritime museum 
- The vocabulary in the episode

CON:
- N/A

Nothing bad about this episode, I've enjoyed it. Like 'Percy and The Calliope', this episode has two great vocabularies that a child can learn from, 'Maritime' and 'Admiral'. Much like the word 'Calliope' in the S16 episode. I especially love the building of the maritime museum, when its close up with the large scale models of the Fat Controller and the admiral. Sure there were three strikes, but they were not as boring or annoying as the CGI stories. I've enjoyed this episode very much and I'm happy to call this a favourite. 

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, 11 May 2013

S10 Ep.25: Missing Trucks

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

MISSING TRUCKS
Written by
Wayne Jackman 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
14/10/06

Plot:
Rheneas lost all of Skarloey's trucks when he tries to help him 

PRO:
- Rheneas was in character.

CON:
- Skarloey whinging that he was tired. 


The episode's OK, but not at its best, I don't have full on concern that Rheneas was in his character, being a helpful and wise engine. But I hate Skarloey, whinging that he is tired. I know he's an old engine, but, he should know that however hard the work is he need to please the thin controller for his work. 

Rating: 2.5/5

Friday, 10 May 2013

S10 Ep.24: Duncan's Bluff

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

DUNCAN'S BLUFF
Written by
Paul Larson 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
13/10/06

Plot:
Duncan was teasing James for being late. James was not in the best of moods for a joke; he has to take the children to a concert. So Duncan and James challenge themselves for coal race to see who is fastest. But in the end, James was all out of coal as Duncan shunted some coal trucks in a siding without telling James. Duncan learn his mistake in the end. 

PRO:
- N/A

CON:
- One NG coal truck would never fill up a SG tender


Nothing bad about the episode I found it OK. But my main complaint is the coal loading from one NG truck. It would take more trucks then one to fill up a tender in real life.

Rating: 3/5

Thursday, 9 May 2013

S10 Ep.23: Thomas and The Birthday Mail

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

THOMAS AND THE BIRTHDAY MAIL
Written by
James Mason 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
13/10/06

Plot:
It was Alice's Birthday and Thomas is to take her presents to Hill Farm but a storm was in the way and Thomas was determined to bring the presents in time. Meanwhile a new engine called Rosie was trying to be like Thomas and in the end, helped him out with the mail. 

PRO:
- Rosie

CON:
- N/A

I have to say, this was a nice episode and I certainly like Rosie. Her persona is what Emily should be; kind hearted and caring. Though it was mean of Thomas to avoid her, but its like a child wanting another person away from them because when they're copying them they get annoying. But in the end, it's a nice episode and I do like the basis they chose for Rosie, the SR USA Dock tank engine. 

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

S10 Ep.22: Thomas and The Colours

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

THOMAS AND THE COLOURS
Written by
Marc Seal 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
12/10/06

Plot:
Thomas is jealous that James is to take the Sodor football team to the mainland for a match. Thomas tries to get James' vanity against him but ignored and Thomas was running out of ideas until James was switched into a siding filled with trees growing over the tracks. 

PRO:
- N/A

CON:
- The line James was on is more like a passing loop then a siding.


The episode really has an unusual title, sounds more of a drug reference here, even though the episode is not focused on that. But the episode is not worth the watch and does make Thomas look selfish wanting to do the special job. 

  Rating: 1/5

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

S10 Ep.21: Emily and The Special Coaches

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

EMILY AND THE SPECIAL COACHES
Written by
James Mason 

Directed by
Steve Asquith 

Air Date:
12/10/06

Plot:
Gordon had broken the record for pulling the express and so Emily was to bring some new coaches for him as a reward for his hard work. But Diesel was jealous and he made a record too, but Emily didn't listen as she hasn't have time for him. In the end, Diesel took the coaches and hid them in a siding and his engine was burning hot. It turns out in the end that Diesel shunted the most trucks and so in the end, Emily gave Diesel his reward for his shunting. 

PRO:
- The coaches

CON:
- Diesel can not go too fast in real life.

The episode is OK and I can get through with it. I have to say the coaches look splendid in that colour and I wished they were used in other episodes. But as a railway enthusiast, Diesel would never go at such speed in real life, as his basis, the 08 class shunter, can only travel at least 15 or 23mph. But to be fair, Diesel was still his devious self and I do enjoy that, as it is his persona. 

Rating: 3/5