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Author Topic: Season 20  (Read 54401 times)
MeganekkoFury1126


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« Reply #90 on: December 12, 2016, 10:32:52 PM »

In all honesty, Three Steam Engines Gruff is the worst episode of the season in my opinion. Yes, Trevor did get a crucial and speaking role in the episode, but other than that the episode fell flat. I'm not sure why Andrew Brenner is being so wishy washy. Toby's cowardice is one thing, but it feels like a 9 minute rehash of Tale of the Brave, which the latter was done a lot better by the same writer. The ending felt so predictable and Percy went backwards in character as well. I honestly wish we got a Small Railway episode in place of this. 1/10

On the other side of the coin, Mucking About is going to be another definite favorite this season. I loved everything about it - the Pack getting another episode after so long, Max and Monty's antics, the Free inspired rock music, Edward's role, and Thomas' accident. I must commend Davey Moore for being so consistent in his high quality of writing. 10/10

And I probably should talk about the Missing Breakdown Train. Much like the Glynn episodes, the attention to detail on why they've been absent all those years is to be praised, and I liked, again, how the Little Western and the Arlesburgh branch line engines were involved in the story. Those two groups have been crucial to some of the best episodes this season. Plus, I do like how the two cranes were able to interact with each other in an entertaining way. Although, I'm not sure how I feel about 'bird dropping' gags in the show.

This one and Cautious Connor I would give an 8. The latter did really good on expanding Connor's character, and makes me like him even more. I would criticize though that they could've made Connor's accident even worse to make the emotional scarring more impactful, but the way Stephen was handled to interact with him was excellent. The fact they mentioned locomotive explosions was pretty bold on Brenner's part. Of course, once again, I don't like Thomas being here, as it again feels forced, but it's still a far better episode than Three Steam Engines Gruff.
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SeanrailAnimations


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« Reply #91 on: December 13, 2016, 05:23:44 AM »

In all honesty, Three Steam Engines Gruff is the worst episode of the season in my opinion. Yes, Trevor did get a crucial and speaking role in the episode, but other than that the episode fell flat. I'm not sure why Andrew Brenner is being so wishy washy. Toby's cowardice is one thing, but it feels like a 9 minute rehash of Tale of the Brave, which the latter was done a lot better by the same writer. The ending felt so predictable and Percy went backwards in character as well. I honestly wish we got a Small Railway episode in place of this. 1/10

On the other side of the coin, Mucking About is going to be another definite favorite this season. I loved everything about it - the Pack getting another episode after so long, Max and Monty's antics, the Free inspired rock music, Edward's role, and Thomas' accident. I must commend Davey Moore for being so consistent in his high quality of writing. 10/10

And I probably should talk about the Missing Breakdown Train. Much like the Glynn episodes, the attention to detail on why they've been absent all those years is to be praised, and I liked, again, how the Little Western and the Arlesburgh branch line engines were involved in the story. Those two groups have been crucial to some of the best episodes this season. Plus, I do like how the two cranes were able to interact with each other in an entertaining way. Although, I'm not sure how I feel about 'bird dropping' gags in the show.

This one and Cautious Connor I would give an 8. The latter did really good on expanding Connor's character, and makes me like him even more. I would criticize though that they could've made Connor's accident even worse to make the emotional scarring more impactful, but the way Stephen was handled to interact with him was excellent. The fact they mentioned locomotive explosions was pretty bold on Brenner's part. Of course, once again, I don't like Thomas being here, as it again feels forced, but it's still a far better episode than Three Steam Engines Gruff.
I thought Mavis would be better in Toby's role since so far in Season 20, she only had a cameo in Toby's New Friend.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 12:09:16 PM by sean1994rail » Logged
SeanrailAnimations


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« Reply #92 on: January 17, 2017, 05:28:13 PM »

My reviews for All in Vain

Pros
Edward getting a role instead of the always shoehorned Thomas
Character Development in James
Mention of Sodor's Capital City, Suddery and the fact it is also on Edward's Branch Line
Clever close up of James as his plan to keep clean backfires by the wind off-screen.
Dramatic zoom in to James' face after hearing about his "SCRATCH!"


Cons
N/A


Final Episode Rating: 10/10

And now for Buckled Tracks and Bumpy Trucks
Pros
Tracks buckling on-screen for the first time
Nice animation of Dowager Hatt's Portrait! Totally unexpected, but well animated
The Hat Controller's white hat subplot was well written and a Edward, Gordon and Henry reference with the goat eating his hat was a bonus, in addition to his sweat effect
Nice montage of various seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, at the beginning


Cons
Although Whiff was the main star of the episode, his role was ironically minor, despite the bottle falling from his trucks because of the buckled tracks and causing a fire by reflecting near the sun and hitting the dry grass.
Toby out of character laughing at The Fat Controller's White hat, believing he is going on safari
Thomas was a bit shoehorned


Final Episode Rating: 7/10
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MeganekkoFury1126


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« Reply #93 on: January 23, 2017, 10:11:48 PM »

And now we get another pair of season 20 episodes, but this time, since 1994, we got episodes based off the Rev. W. Awdry's original Railway Series stories! Let me just say that I am very happy with all the new things season 20 has done, especially to get so deep into the original routes of the series in general. Plus, I've been waiting for decades since my youth to see TV adaptations of the Arlesdale Railway stories. Finally I can die happy!

Tit for Tat
First of all, the human interaction in both of these episodes gets huge points. They show just how crucial they are to completing Thomas' world - it isn't just about the talking machines to appreciate the Island of Sodor environment. I really like the voice they chose for the Reverend. Having watched the 90's interviews of him, his voice sounds like he would when he was younger when these stories were taken place. Now, I for one don't particularly like Bert's voice, unlike the other two's. Not that it's because Keith Wickham is running out of distinctive voices, but I just don't think it suits his character. I would've preferred a deeper, lower voice. Nonetheless, I think Andrew Brenner got his character right - naïve and somewhat petty, but otherwise friendly. I have to point out that the shots along the Arlesdale Railway, especially the woods, look absolutely beautiful. The episode pretty much follows the story to a T, but the opening scene of the visitors I felt would've been better if Thomas wasn't involved. If you took it out, the episode would've ended exactly the same. Otherwise, I would have no complaints about it. It's a fun adaptation with a good moral, and that ending scene was the icing on the delicious cake. 9.5/10

Mike's Whistle
Personally, Mike is probably my favorite of the Arlesdale Railway, so naturally I was really looking forward to this one. Now, yes, Thomas' role does feel shoehorned AGAIN, but I will give a slight pass that the episode actually took place before Oliver was around. Still, given that Donald and Douglas haven't been around much this season, I still would've preferred either of them instead. Plus, I did kind of wish the slip coaches would get some speaking roles again. Those nitpicks aside, what I love is how entertaining Mike constantly getting ticked off and being a complete grouch. I loved it with Duncan in season 18, and I really love it here. Andrew Brenner got his character perfectly, and I absolutely love how he captures the chemistry between the three. Much like Blown Away, Duck's character feels quite strong in this episode and he feels like he truly belongs here like he should. Also, huge points for acknowledging the small controller's actual name - that is the dedication I love that this season is really going for. I also love the comedy that Brenner is amazing at - the old man losing his dentures was hilarious, as was Duck's clogged whistle sound. While the ending is noticeably different from the story, I actually like it better since the episode felt like it came full circle with all the characters involved. Needless to say, I love this episode, and I can't wait for the last of the three adaptations to appear. 10/10
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SeanrailAnimations


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« Reply #94 on: January 24, 2017, 05:37:22 AM »

And now we get another pair of season 20 episodes, but this time, since 1994, we got episodes based off the Rev. W. Awdry's original Railway Series stories! Let me just say that I am very happy with all the new things season 20 has done, especially to get so deep into the original routes of the series in general. Plus, I've been waiting for decades since my youth to see TV adaptations of the Arlesdale Railway stories. Finally I can die happy!

Tit for Tat
First of all, the human interaction in both of these episodes gets huge points. They show just how crucial they are to completing Thomas' world - it isn't just about the talking machines to appreciate the Island of Sodor environment. I really like the voice they chose for the Reverend. Having watched the 90's interviews of him, his voice sounds like he would when he was younger when these stories were taken place. Now, I for one don't particularly like Bert's voice, unlike the other two's. Not that it's because Keith Wickham is running out of distinctive voices, but I just don't think it suits his character. I would've preferred a deeper, lower voice. Nonetheless, I think Andrew Brenner got his character right - naïve and somewhat petty, but otherwise friendly. I have to point out that the shots along the Arlesdale Railway, especially the woods, look absolutely beautiful. The episode pretty much follows the story to a T, but the opening scene of the visitors I felt would've been better if Thomas wasn't involved. If you took it out, the episode would've ended exactly the same. Otherwise, I would have no complaints about it. It's a fun adaptation with a good moral, and that ending scene was the icing on the delicious cake. 9.5/10

Mike's Whistle
Personally, Mike is probably my favorite of the Arlesdale Railway, so naturally I was really looking forward to this one. Now, yes, Thomas' role does feel shoehorned AGAIN, but I will give a slight pass that the episode actually took place before Oliver was around. Still, given that Donald and Douglas haven't been around much this season, I still would've preferred either of them instead. Plus, I did kind of wish the slip coaches would get some speaking roles again. Those nitpicks aside, what I love is how entertaining Mike constantly getting ticked off and being a complete grouch. I loved it with Duncan in season 18, and I really love it here. Andrew Brenner got his character perfectly, and I absolutely love how he captures the chemistry between the three. Much like Blown Away, Duck's character feels quite strong in this episode and he feels like he truly belongs here like he should. Also, huge points for acknowledging the small controller's actual name - that is the dedication I love that this season is really going for. I also love the comedy that Brenner is amazing at - the old man losing his dentures was hilarious, as was Duck's clogged whistle sound. While the ending is noticeably different from the story, I actually like it better since the episode felt like it came full circle with all the characters involved. Needless to say, I love this episode, and I can't wait for the last of the three adaptations to appear. 10/10
both episodes get a 10/10 from me.
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TrainFan97


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« Reply #95 on: January 26, 2017, 12:44:00 AM »

I'm happy to see Railway Series adaptations for the first time in over two decades, but Thomas REALLY didn't need to be there.

I'm going to try to sound calm about this. I have a bad feeling Thomas has been shoehorned in every episode again. Unlike Season 19, he at least doesn't SPEAK in every episode this time, but it's still getting out of hand. Most of the time, his roles could've easily been given to other engines, and his appearances usually feel extremely forced, especially in episodes written by Lee Pressman. Even Brenner is guilty of it.

Like I said, it is starting to get out of hand. I just hope they finally stop shoehorning him in Season 21. It's seriously getting old. Thomas wasn't shoehorned in every episode of Seasons 17 and 18, but now, it's getting worse than ever. When a much more deserving character gets dropped in favor of Thomas, it's so annoying, I can't even describe it.
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SeanrailAnimations


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« Reply #96 on: January 29, 2017, 07:31:33 AM »

Engine of the future and Hugo and the Airship are now up on youtube.

Engine of the Future: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQp3uLuN-ak&feature=em-uploademail

Hugo and the Airship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2bCox-Epqc&feature=em-uploademail

First, here's my review of Engine of the Future:

Pros
Stephen mentioning the time of evolution on the railways from horse and rail carts to Steam Locomotives to Diesels and Electrics.

Hugo being different to other DVD released characters like Porter, Samson and Philip being confident, stubborn and energetic respectively in that even the most modern engines have his doubts and in Hugo's propellor.

Great comedic scene with TFC's Hat landing on a cow after Hugo thundered by, along with the Knapford Stationmaster being blown away on the platform.

Sir Handel and Duncan, the two grumpy and stubborn Narrow Gauge Engines being together.


Cons
Edward being rude to Hugo, like he was to Harvey and Rocky in Harvey to the Rescue and the Season 10-episode-whose-title-we-already-know-and-despise-so-much respectively. SERIOUSLY! You should have made Edward be the kind, wise and sympathetic engine he really is, and put him on Percy's wheels sort of speak; in other words, give him Percy's role.


Episode Rating: 8/10

And now for Hugo and the Airship.

Pros

The Railway Inspectors showing concern for Hugo's propellor, but Hugo confidently reassuring them that his propellor is turned off by his driver before entering the platform and and not switched on again until he is clear of the platform.

The airship and Hugo having similar colour schemes makes the 'Hugo the flying zeppelin' story gag very well thought out, as well as the gag of Hugo's propellor blowing Skiff away.

Interaction between Skiff and Hugo. Hopefully, we'll see more of that in the future, and maybe we might see an episode with Hugo and Jeremy and/or Harold.


Cons

Nothing of Note


Episode Rating: 10/10
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HLC Railroad

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« Reply #97 on: January 30, 2017, 09:13:52 PM »

Useful Railway is out! Take a look! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GUvuzY83Q6w
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With all these people building their own replica Thomas characters, soon we may have no choice but to have 4K Thomas and Friends remakes.

Thomas:Done | James:Recently Complete | Sir Handel:Finished | Gordon: Needs Paint and Eye Mechanism | Henry: Cad and Chassis

Need I say more?
TheBlueSnowplow (Griffin)


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« Reply #98 on: January 30, 2017, 09:53:45 PM »

- SPOILERS -

Rex's crash was amazing. The slow-mo made me laugh out loud. A lovely end to the "Arlesdale Trifecta."
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MeganekkoFury1126


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« Reply #99 on: January 30, 2017, 10:47:59 PM »

It should've been called the Mat-REX.  Tongue
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MeganekkoFury1126


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« Reply #100 on: January 31, 2017, 02:35:37 PM »

I think everyone's talked about how great Useful Railway was, especially with that hilariously over the top slow mo crash, and I can whole heartedly agree. Aside from wanting Thomas' role to go to Duck, the episode was pretty much perfect, much like the other two Arlesdale episodes. 10/10

Now for the last of season 20, Skiff and the Mermaid, this one was a rather unexpected treat. The focus of the episode isn't really much the railway at all - it's all coming down to the humans, especially Sir Topham Hatt, and Skiff. It was a particularly hilarious event of Sir Topham Hatt going 'Castaway' on us, and Skiff still manages to be a very entertaining character on his own, which is something I was a bit cautious over since Lost Treasure, but it proved to be very fruitful. Captain Joe feels a bit more distinguished in this episode, though I still think the writers could still do more with him. Even though Thomas does appear, it's only for like 4 seconds, and it was so satisfying seeing Duck, Oliver and Toad being the episode's core of the railway cast. All feel in character, and contribute greatly to the story. I think it might've been a bit more fulfilling to have all the cast at the end of the dock much like All At Sea, but the ending is still pretty clever. It's a great episode, and once again shows high quality consistency from Helen Farall. 9/10

So, how does season 20 fare overall? In my opinion, it gives season 18 a run for its money. I'm still annoyed by Thomas showing up in every episode, but compared to season 19, he doesn't speak in every episode fortunately. Other than that, the direction the team went with this season was particularly outstanding.

They adapted Railway Series stories for the first time in 16 seasons, they made an episode focusing on the Pack since the last of the unsuccessful spin off series, they brought back so many favorites and DIDN'T make them feel shoehorned whatsoever, and they made some great pairings of characters that we never could imagine, worked out beyond our expectations, or we haven't seen in years from Ryan and Daisy to Edward and James. Unlike last season, the older characters definitely dominated most of the episodes, but the newer ones like Sidney and Glynn who were kind of ignored before still got a great chance to shine in episodes of their own. Daisy got more use than she did in the classic era, and we even got the old fashioned breakdown train to be used frequently again.

The season isn't perfect, though. My biggest complaint with the season, other than Thomas appearing when he didn't need to, was Andrew Brenner's rather inconsistent quality in his writing. Don't get me wrong, the Arlesdale Railway adaptations were borderline perfect, but ones like Saving Time and Three Steam Engines Gruff feel like continuingly huge step downs that started last season to his previous season 17 and 18 writing. I do give credit Brenner for taking charge and pretty much saving Thomas from abysmal writing prior to season 17, but he needs to keep the quality consistent if he deserves remaining as head writer.

As for Hugo, he doesn't annoy me as much as Phillip, but I wish that they could've made him more than frequently feeling sorry for himself. It doesn't make him a particularly strong character. His basis does look cool, but he needed a lot more purpose and characterization to feel like a good character. As of now, he's just kind of...alright. I honestly wish they made more episodes with Bradford, because he was a much stronger and enjoyable new season character. Why they didn't sort of bewilders me.

If they smooth out these problems in season 21, it could make it even better than season 20. As it stands, despite its faults, I honestly think season 20 is the best Thomas CGI season to date, making it just a smidge better than 18, and that's really saying something.

Top 5 Favorites (some have changed overtime):
1) Love Me Tender
2) All of the Arlesdale Railway Episodes (Yeah, cheating... Tongue)
3) Mucking About
4) Ryan and Daisy
5) Henry Gets the Express

Top 5 Least Favorites:
5) Diesel and the Ducklings
4) Hugo and the Airship
3) Engine of the Future
2) Saving Time
1) Three Steam Engines Gruff

Guys, what are your opinions on season 20 now that it's over? What are you excited or expecting come season 21? Cheesy
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SeanrailAnimations


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« Reply #101 on: January 31, 2017, 05:57:52 PM »

Love how they give us a bit about TFCs grandchildren, Stephen and Bridget. Maybe will get a story about them.
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TheBlueSnowplow (Griffin)


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« Reply #102 on: January 31, 2017, 07:27:08 PM »

Firstly, Useful Railway was amazing. The slow mo crash did it for me, I was laughing out loud. All of the Arlesdale episodes were flawless, and I'm excited to see more.

Now Skiff and the Mermaid was probably the best episode of S20, easily. It wasn't because of a crash or a complex plot, but instead of the use of humor and how everyone was perfectly in character and how everything about it just worked. Sir Topham Hatt's descent into madness absolutely killed me, and I don't know if anyone noticed but behind the rocks on the island he and Skiff were "stranded" on were railway tracks. Topham literally just had to walk to 50 feet and been fine, which makes the scene that much better. Skiff is adorable and soft-spoken, which I really like about him. Of course, I loved seeing Oliver and Toad, but Oliver more than deserves his own episode after 3 years of waiting. Man, Oliver really just can't catch a break! His Bachmann model still isn't out, he's playing second-fiddle to Toad, Duck, and just about everyone else...but I can't complain. He'll get his chance...I hope! Tongue Helen Farall once again champions Andrew Brenner for the title of best writer on the show. 9.5/10

There was obviously a distinction between this season and last. There was obviously a lot more creative control on the part of the writers shown here, which had a huge impact. Like MeganekkoFury1126 said, this season really challenges S!8 for the best CGI series of the show. There's just so much I love here. The team adapted Railway Series stories and we got to see all the miniature engines shine (Mike's Whistle is the best episode though!). Another positive was that this felt largely a SLOTLT follow-up season. Daisy, Arlesburgh Harbor, and Ryan all starred numerous times, which I really loved.

James having two episodes this season made me really happy. He's my favorite character so seeing him so much was awesome. I just wish we could see some character development and see him learn from his mistakes... :/

Also, I might be in the minority here, but I LOVED Hugo. His awesome basis, his awkward disposition because of his design, and his self-esteem problems are all easily-identified and make him into a character that I want to see way, way more of!

I want to say more, but I'm too lazy. So here are my ratings for the episodes.

Sidney Sings 8/10
Toby's New Friend 8/10
Henry Gets the Express 9/10
Diesel and the Ducklings 8.5/10
Bradford the Brake Van 8.5/10
Saving Time 8.5/10
Ryan and Daisy 8/10
Pouty James 9/10
Blown Away 9.5/10
The Way She Does It 8/10
Letters to Santa 8/10
Love Me Tender 9/10
The Railcar and the Coaches 9/10
The Christmas Coffeepot 8/10
Over the Hill 9/10
Henry in the Dark 9.5/10
The Missing Breakdown Train 9/10
Three Steam Engines Gruff 8/10
Mucking About 8/10
Cautious Connor 8/10
All in Vain 9/10
Buckled Tracks and Bumpy Trucks 8.5/10
Hugo and the Airship 9.5/10
Engine of the Future 9.5/10
Skiff and the Mermaid 9.5/10
Mike's Whistle 10/10
Tit for Tat 9.9/10
Useful Railway 9.9/10

Thoughts?
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Cheeky_ULP


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« Reply #103 on: January 31, 2017, 07:42:52 PM »

9/10 it was the first thomas show i could watch again with my child without cringing so hard my wrinkles turn into a political cartoon - IGN
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TrainFan97


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« Reply #104 on: February 03, 2017, 07:46:16 PM »

Everyone laughing at the end is cliché.
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My wishlist for HO Scale: Stepney, BoCo, Ryan, Sidney, and Norman.
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