Thursday, 8 September 2016

S20 Ep.4: Diesel and the Ducklings


Written by
Lee Pressman

Directed by
Dianna Basso

Produced by
Ian McCue (HIT)
Tracy Blagdon (Arc)

Air Date:


Diesel always likes to appear rough and tough in front of Arry and Bert, but Thomas discovers that he is a big softie when it comes to baby ducklings. Diesel promises to be nice to everyone in exchange for Thomas's silence. How long can he keep it up?

- Diesel's theme from Chris Renshaw
Diesel's driver being the rough and tough guy
- Moral: It's OK to show your soft side
- Diesel's characterisation

- I think Thomas' role should've been given to Duck
- Thomas was kind of hard on Diesel

This was...a rather strange episode but not in a bad way. Lee Pressman's stories can be considered as 'Miller-esque' at times and that is the same person who wrote 'Gordon and Spencer' back in S7, a personal favourite of mine. But his episodes so far are not that bad. I like 'Diesel's Christmas Carol' but that episode makes it feel like Diesel will be good for good and then he reverts back to his devious ways. But how the way they handled his character here is works much better here. He tries to be nice but his old habits often comes back, a bit like 'Duncan the Humbug' from S18. However while Thomas' role doesn't seem, as how the Reverend Wilbert Awdry would put it, 'crane shunted' here. I think Thomas was kind of hard on Diesel, yes he doesn't like that Diesel was being rough and tough but it really doesn't fit for a character like him considering he's the voice of reason character.

I think maybe Duck would've fit in that role as of course he and Diesel had a history together and it would've been better if both engines have a lesson to learn. Duck could've learnt that revenge can't be sweet and Diesel with the same moral as shown in this episode. 

I love the small moments from Arc Productions and probably one of the best small things they added was Diesel's driver grabbing the brush from Percy's driver. It was a just a hilarious moment to look at and once Chris Renshaw did another great composition for the show and it sounds thematic. While I always love the Hartshorne's music and no offence if they are reading this but I never really liked how their themes were just there in the previous episodes and specials. There were times when there music were at that moment but when it comes to a certain character it really felt like random. 

The moral is something good as well and never had been shown through a Thomas episode before about that it's OK to show your soft side. Something that I think anyone can relate to. In the end it's a strange but rather enjoyable episode and yes it was nice to see 'Arry and Bert having some dialogue but they were just there being Diesel's mates and that's it.

Oh yeah and there was some rhyming in this episode. To me I don't see as something from the Miller/Barlow era but more of a football chant. Yes the rhyming does remind everyone of that era but let's be honest the rhyming here is more bearable rather than hearing three times too much that you want to bang your head on a wall. The chant, as I call it, in this episode was just here and there. 

Episode Ratings:
Sidney Sings - 8/10
Toby's New Friend - 7/10
Henry Gets the Express - 10/10
Diesel and the Ducklings - 7/10

Overall Rating: