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Author Topic: Season 20  (Read 60074 times)
MeganekkoFury1126


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« Reply #60 on: October 05, 2016, 11:10:32 AM »

Well, we now have the 5 Christmas episodes out thanks to Amazon. And boy, were they well worth the wait.

SPOILERS BELOW:

Letters to Santa
First off, I really enjoy that this episode calls back to the Percy vs. Harold rivalry of the classic era, something we really haven't seen since season 6, and that's probably the best aspect of this episode. It's definitely nice to see that cheeky, headstrong side of Percy's personality again since Tale of the Brave. That flashback to Percy Proves a Point was a great touch. The episode doesn't quite have the same sense of tension that season 18's Last Train to Christmas had, yet it feels like Helen Farrell was trying to. Though, I feel the Percy and Harold aspect ended too quickly, whereas the part with Harold getting to Hiro went on a little longer than need be. The ending was very sweet, and felt like a nice callback to A Bad Day for Harold. In all honesty, it's a pretty straightforward episode, but still has some good aspects to make it stand on its own. 8/10

The Railcar and the Coaches
After 16 seasons, Daisy once again takes center stage in an episode, and she really feels true to her original personality. Of all the classic Awdry characters, I feel she got the least amount of attention she deserved, so I'm more than enthusiastic to see the new team use her. I like the voice Tracy Ann Oberman gives her. She really gives that sass and swagger we know of her. To see her play off Annie and Clarabel felt like an expansion of her actions in her debut episode, and in turn it was a great episode to flesh out the two coaches. Though, it also feels a bit ironic that they learn the same lesson from Thomas and the Emergency Cable from season 18. I can happily say that this is an episode Thomas wasn't shoehorned in, but at the same time the ending with Diesel felt a bit forced. I guess one could say it was the best form of catharsis, but I would've been a bit happier seeing Ryan in his place instead. Plus, I kind of felt the apology between the two and Daisy was necessary. Still, it's a very great episode and I look forward to seeing Daisy pop up in a starring role again. 9/10

The Christmas Coffeepot
This one was a bit of a disappointment. I do like that Glynn hasn't been forgotten by the team (at least not anymore), but it does feel a bit too much like Hero of the Rails. Thomas and Percy find him, he thinks he's going to be scrapped, they hide him, and then get him restored. We've seen this already, and made it kinda dull. What did make it unique and alright for me was Marion and Sir Robert Norramby. Those two are some of the best Arc characters they make any scene they're in entertaining. The tree gag though with Marion I feel should've been wrapped up at the end, like with her subplot in Legend of the Lost Treasure. Probably my least favorite episode of the season so far, but still passable. 6/10

Over the Hill
This episode did a lot of good things. First off, having Glynn playing off Stephen benefited both characters to a degree. One of the problems I had with Glynn in the previous episode was that he was kind of bland. Here, while that problem still surfaces, they did make him a bit more like Stephen with his old, wise nature, which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on perspective. In my opinion, it's like two elderly friends hanging out together like they were young again. Their bit with James and Gordon was probably my favorite scene, though I think the slowing down trains up front gag is wearing out its welcome. For me, it was especially nice to see Stephen show some jealousy as well as his competitive side again. The music referencing Eye of the Tiger was definitely unexpected, but was definitely funny. The humor in general was quite fresh for the episode. Also, more points for Thomas not being more than a cameo when he didn't need to be. Plus, with the Earl mentioning of building a railway museum...I see next year's special on the horizon...8/10

Love Me Tender
And now we come to Donald and Douglas' first episode in the CGI era - the episode everyone was waiting for. I'm not going to say this is my favorite episode of season 20 so far just because Donald and Douglas are in it. I will say it IS my favorite episode of season 20 so far because of how it was written. It definitely takes notes (and dialogue) from Twin Trouble, which is one of my favorite episodes of season 6. The Twins' headstrong personalities butting with each other feel very true to their original characters. This episode works great because it definitely puts the twins in a light that anyone with siblings can relate to, and I, in all honesty, feel they do this aspect better than Bill and Ben: brothers may argue, but they always stick together. The way it was handled as well didn't really make you side with one twin more than the other - they both have pros and cons in their decisions. But in the end, when Donald realizes he was wrong, you're really rooting for him to save Douglas. The dialogue during then is particularly sweet and satisfying. I have to admit, when I heard the title for this episode, I thought the twins were going to swap tenders like in the Missing Coach, and while it didn't really do that, I still feel the episode did that point of Douglas losing his tender quite well. The callbacks to the Deputation and the cocoa bit from the Flying Kipper were nice touches. I guess my only nitpick would be, once again, Thomas appearing. It's not as blatant a shoehorning as some other episodes, but again it's still a nagging thing. Nonetheless, this is definitely a huge highlight of season 20 and definitely worth the hype of seeing Donald and Douglas again in a starring role. 10/10
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 06:19:00 PM by MeganekkoFury1126 » Logged
Captain Crutch

Historic Vehicle Preservationist


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« Reply #61 on: October 05, 2016, 04:00:45 PM »

The US versions are on YouTube. Posted by TTTESeasonsUS. In case you want to watch them before you read the review. Or after to see if you agree. Either way they're there.
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donaldthescottishtwin


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« Reply #62 on: October 05, 2016, 04:57:52 PM »

That was an amazing episode all those references to the classic series worked well and brought out the nostalgia and the brotherly love was shown really well also I can even look past the Thomas shoehorning because after all the twins saved him after he was buried in snow. Of course I'm going to be biased because it's my favourite characters but it's the best episode of the season for me.
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TrainFan97


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« Reply #63 on: October 05, 2016, 06:24:30 PM »

On Wikia, this should go to Trivia:

Love Me Tender marks Donald and Douglas' first starring roles since Season 7, Bad Day at Castle Loch.

The Railcar and the Coaches marks the first time Daisy was seen pulling rolling stock.
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My wishlist for HO Scale: Stepney, BoCo, Sidney, Norman, and Ryan.
JLK2707

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« Reply #64 on: October 06, 2016, 03:42:18 AM »

Yeah, and I just hope we get a cgi flashback of dirty objects where James crashes into the tar tanker wagons in the future!
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sean1994rail
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« Reply #65 on: October 14, 2016, 05:56:05 PM »

Well, with the first week of season 20 over (and unfortunately going into hiatus again until who knows when...), here are my condensed thoughts on all 5 of them:

Sidney Sings: This was an episode that was hinted at far before the episode came out, and I was curious to see how it would be handled. Fortunately, it turned out pretty good. After awhile of being kind of a blank slate, I really enjoyed how they wrote Sidney as forgetful, but can still be very helpful and not being another antagonistic diesel. Continuity between this and The Missing Christmas Decorations was very satisfying, and I particularly loved the turn of how Sidney's forgetfulness proved to be useful after all, plus the reintroduction of the red Express coaches. It's got a few pacing issues, Thomas being shoehorned slightly in, and some other things that aren't explained (seriously, who WAS supposed to take those passengers???), but still a very strong season opener. Also, I will not be able to get that jingle out of my head... 8/10

Phillip's New Friend: While I'm still not a fan of Phillip for his behavior, here Brenner executed it a lot better than either his season 19 episodes or the Great Race. First off, he's toned down a tad bit than any of those 3 instances, though I will say he still can get pretty tedious. Having him play off Toby provided much more entertainment than either Gordon or James, and how Toby was handled was very much in character. While some may say Thomas was shoehorned in, here it makes sense because it is his branch line, he's Phillip's closest friend, and was the right one to teach Phillip the lesson which he actually does take to heart. Though it doesn't make sense to me why Phillip and Thomas ended up on the same track. Eh, maybe Phillip was supposed to be trailing behind Toby, I don't know. 7/10

Henry Gets the Express: This is by far my favorite of the first batch of season 20 episodes, and I'm sure many fans will agree. Like Old Reliable Edward and Thomas' Shortcut, this is a modern classic. First off, this is Henry's best written role in awhile in the Arc era. He's snide, crafty and teasing like most older fans remember. All the characters mesh together sublimely that it screams classic Awdry, and nobody feels shoehorned in at all, and neither do any of the callbacks to previous episodes. A thing that some may overlook is Sir Topham Hatt's portrayal, which is equally great and feels exactly how he should be - as the father figure over the other engines and punishing them when they act out of line. Some may criticize Gordon's behavior being too immature, but I disagree. He got pompous over his importance, and was punished until he did what he was supposed to. Plus, I feel after pulling the Kipper, Sir Topham Hatt felt Gordon learned his lesson. 10/10

Diesel and the Ducklings: This episode is quite odd for me. As a whole, it is pretty good. I do like the concept of Diesel showing a soft side here and there rather than having a jarring turn of feelings like in season 14, and I didn't mind him acting all troublesome wherever he found opportunity (though at times it did become a bit confusing). 'Arry and Bert getting a role was a nice chance of pace, and yes, the moral is a very good one delivered extremely nicely. The sticking thing that bugs me is how Thomas' role feels incredibly miscast. Lee Pressman has a bad habit for shoehorning Thomas into episodes that really shouldn't have had him - look at last season's Salty All at Sea. I know some people complain that Duck was too shoehorned in season 18, but if there was any episode that would've benefited from Duck in the starring role it would be this one - it would've called back to season 2, and it would've been even funnier to hear Duck quacking himself. I feel this episode just kind of dropped the ball in that regard, and it bugs me how much better it would've been had they gone that route. 6/10

Bradford the Brake Van: New characters that aren't engines are kind of rare in the Arc era, so I was quite interested to see how Bradford would turn out. Fortunately, he turned out very well! Bradford definitely adds something unique and interesting to the Thomas world. His paint scheme looks much like soldier camouflage, and he delivers the drill sergeant attitude with a lot of entertaining enthusiasm. While some of his instructions, yes, can be extremely nitpicky and as a result kind of annoying (which is my only major issue with the episode), he does have merit to his actions, especially in Thomas' case - safety is more important in the long run, which is an excellent moral for kids. Plus, you gotta admire all those railway specific regulations. The crash was, as expected season 19 onward, great to see, and it was quite nice seeing Samson again after so long. Though Bradford may not be appearing very soon, he sure left a lasting impression, and I can tell he and Samson were made for each other. 9/10

All in all, I think season 20 is off to a pretty bang up start, and feels, at least so far, an improvement over its predecessor. Though, I'm really hoping that the team does have some focus on characters that Lost Treasure introduced or brought back for a change, and most importantly, that they don't put Thomas in EVERY single episode.
i agree with Duck being in Thomas's place in Diesel and the Ducklings, my only nitpick is in Bradford the Brake Van where Bradford didn't get scolded by The Fat Controller about his overzealous sticklers to the rules causing confusion and delay on his railway, which would have made Fergus more tolerable.
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sean1994rail
Guest
« Reply #66 on: October 19, 2016, 07:59:10 AM »

Well, we now have the 5 Christmas episodes out thanks to Amazon. And boy, were they well worth the wait.

SPOILERS BELOW:

Letters to Santa
First off, I really enjoy that this episode calls back to the Percy vs. Harold rivalry of the classic era, something we really haven't seen since season 6, and that's probably the best aspect of this episode. It's definitely nice to see that cheeky, headstrong side of Percy's personality again since Tale of the Brave. That flashback to Percy Proves a Point was a great touch. The episode doesn't quite have the same sense of tension that season 18's Last Train to Christmas had, yet it feels like Helen Farrell was trying to. Though, I feel the Percy and Harold aspect ended too quickly, whereas the part with Harold getting to Hiro went on a little longer than need be. The ending was very sweet, and felt like a nice callback to A Bad Day for Harold. In all honesty, it's a pretty straightforward episode, but still has some good aspects to make it stand on its own. 8/10

The Railcar and the Coaches
After 16 seasons, Daisy once again takes center stage in an episode, and she really feels true to her original personality. Of all the classic Awdry characters, I feel she got the least amount of attention she deserved, so I'm more than enthusiastic to see the new team use her. I like the voice Tracy Ann Oberman gives her. She really gives that sass and swagger we know of her. To see her play off Annie and Clarabel felt like an expansion of her actions in her debut episode, and in turn it was a great episode to flesh out the two coaches. Though, it also feels a bit ironic that they learn the same lesson from Thomas and the Emergency Cable from season 18. I can happily say that this is an episode Thomas wasn't shoehorned in, but at the same time the ending with Diesel felt a bit forced. I guess one could say it was the best form of catharsis, but I would've been a bit happier seeing Ryan in his place instead. Plus, I kind of felt the apology between the two and Daisy was necessary. Still, it's a very great episode and I look forward to seeing Daisy pop up in a starring role again. 9/10

The Christmas Coffeepot
This one was a bit of a disappointment. I do like that Glynn hasn't been forgotten by the team (at least not anymore), but it does feel a bit too much like Hero of the Rails. Thomas and Percy find him, he thinks he's going to be scrapped, they hide him, and then get him restored. We've seen this already, and made it kinda dull. What did make it unique and alright for me was Marion and Sir Robert Norramby. Those two are some of the best Arc characters they make any scene they're in entertaining. The tree gag though with Marion I feel should've been wrapped up at the end, like with her subplot in Legend of the Lost Treasure. Probably my least favorite episode of the season so far, but still passable. 6/10

Over the Hill
This episode did a lot of good things. First off, having Glynn playing off Stephen benefited both characters to a degree. One of the problems I had with Glynn in the previous episode was that he was kind of bland. Here, while that problem still surfaces, they did make him a bit more like Stephen with his old, wise nature, which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on perspective. In my opinion, it's like two elderly friends hanging out together like they were young again. Their bit with James and Gordon was probably my favorite scene, though I think the slowing down trains up front gag is wearing out its welcome. For me, it was especially nice to see Stephen show some jealousy as well as his competitive side again. The music referencing Eye of the Tiger was definitely unexpected, but was definitely funny. The humor in general was quite fresh for the episode. Also, more points for Thomas not being more than a cameo when he didn't need to be. Plus, with the Earl mentioning of building a railway museum...I see next year's special on the horizon...8/10

Love Me Tender
And now we come to Donald and Douglas' first episode in the CGI era - the episode everyone was waiting for. I'm not going to say this is my favorite episode of season 20 so far just because Donald and Douglas are in it. I will say it IS my favorite episode of season 20 so far because of how it was written. It definitely takes notes (and dialogue) from Twin Trouble, which is one of my favorite episodes of season 6. The Twins' headstrong personalities butting with each other feel very true to their original characters. This episode works great because it definitely puts the twins in a light that anyone with siblings can relate to, and I, in all honesty, feel they do this aspect better than Bill and Ben: brothers may argue, but they always stick together. The way it was handled as well didn't really make you side with one twin more than the other - they both have pros and cons in their decisions. But in the end, when Donald realizes he was wrong, you're really rooting for him to save Douglas. The dialogue during then is particularly sweet and satisfying. I have to admit, when I heard the title for this episode, I thought the twins were going to swap tenders like in the Missing Coach, and while it didn't really do that, I still feel the episode did that point of Douglas losing his tender quite well. The callbacks to the Deputation and the cocoa bit from the Flying Kipper were nice touches. I guess my only nitpick would be, once again, Thomas appearing. It's not as blatant a shoehorning as some other episodes, but again it's still a nagging thing. Nonetheless, this is definitely a huge highlight of season 20 and definitely worth the hype of seeing Donald and Douglas again in a starring role. 10/10
I disagree about Diesel's role being forced in The Railcar and the Coaches. It was the suitable punishment for Annie and Clarabel and would make them feel lucky to be having a rude diesel railcar pulling them than a rough and tough diesel shunter.
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sean1994rail
Guest
« Reply #67 on: October 28, 2016, 06:44:24 AM »

Saving Time episode is on youtube now! I will do a brief review on it. Spoiler alert if you have not yet watch it.

Pros:
Sir Handel having a speaking role.
Duncan also working at the BMQ.
Good Plot.
Great comedy in the signal changing scene.


Cons:
Thomas shoehorned in certain scenes
Missed opportunity for Bradford the Brakevan, would have been nice to see the relationship between Samson and Bradford.


Final Rating:
9/10
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MeganekkoFury1126


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« Reply #68 on: October 28, 2016, 12:18:40 PM »

Thinking things through, I now feel Oliver might've been better suited for Diesel in the Ducklings than either Thomas or Duck. If there's one combination that I feel the writers haven't done before that could mix well it's Oliver and Diesel.

But back to Saving Time, it's a pretty solid episode. Not the best, but still pretty solid. Again, Thomas doesn't feel like the most needed character for the story. If I had to choose, it would be more interesting to have Paxton in the role. Now, although Paxton does appear for a couple of funny moments, if you took his role out of the episode, it would've ended the exact same way. If Thomas tried to help Samson up the hill by himself and that didn't succeed, Paxton's inclusion would've felt more necessary. I did like that Samson owned up to his mistake, which shows some development and maturity after his previous batch of episodes in season 18. Sure, he's still clueless, but maybe that's what's so endearing about him. I did like seeing Sir Handel and Peter Sam in prominent speaking roles, particularly the former. Sure, Sir Handel's still not the jerkish one we remember from season 4, but one must do with what one has I suppose. Not Brenner's best episode, but still a good one. 7/10
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sean1994rail
Guest
« Reply #69 on: October 28, 2016, 12:24:43 PM »

Thinking things through, I now feel Oliver might've been better suited for Diesel in the Ducklings than either Thomas or Duck. If there's one combination that I feel the writers haven't done before that could mix well it's Oliver and Diesel.

But back to Saving Time, it's a pretty solid episode. Not the best, but still pretty solid. Again, Thomas doesn't feel like the most needed character for the story. If I had to choose, it would be more interesting to have Paxton in the role. Now, although Paxton does appear for a couple of funny moments, if you took his role out of the episode, it would've ended the exact same way. If Thomas tried to help Samson up the hill by himself and that didn't succeed, Paxton's inclusion would've felt more necessary. I did like that Samson owned up to his mistake, which shows some development and maturity after his previous batch of episodes in season 18. Sure, he's still clueless, but maybe that's what's so endearing about him. I did like seeing Sir Handel and Peter Sam in prominent speaking roles, particularly the former. Sure, Sir Handel's still not the jerkish one we remember from season 4, but one must do with what one has I suppose. Not Brenner's best episode, but still a good one. 7/10
I felt Bradford's appearance was also required. And as for Diesel and the ducklings, I still think Duck was be a better choice than Thomas, and I never gave Oliver a thought. Don't you agree?
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TrainFan97


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« Reply #70 on: October 28, 2016, 04:46:59 PM »

Seriously, they need to STOP SHOEHORNING THOMAS IN EVERY DARN EPISODE!!!!!!! I mean, ever since Season 8, they started giving him unnecessary screen time. Season 19 was the first time since Season 15 where Thomas not only appears in every episode, but SPEAKS in every episode. Some episodes didn't need him at all. Lots of his roles could've easily gone to other engines.

They need to realize that Thomas is not an interesting character anymore. He's BORING now. Thomas was NOT the first character, Edward was! Thomas was the FOURTH character created.

For the love of Pete, there hasn't been an episode without Thomas since Season 18 so far. They need to tone it down already.
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My wishlist for HO Scale: Stepney, BoCo, Sidney, Norman, and Ryan.
ClrwtrMK2
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« Reply #71 on: October 29, 2016, 10:27:14 AM »

How's about they stop shoehorning any member of the Steam Team period!
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Chaz


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« Reply #72 on: October 29, 2016, 05:26:48 PM »

How's about they stop shoehorning any member of the Steam Team period!

They're the main characters of the show, so naturally they will be used more often than minor characters.  Even then, I'd argue that some of the steam team members could benefit from a little more screentime.  Edward and Toby in particular.
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AJW98Productions


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« Reply #73 on: October 29, 2016, 07:56:12 PM »

Chaz is very much correct, in my opinion.

Whilst I do think Thomas shouldn't be shoehorned in every episode, I can understand if they want to do it with members of the "steam team". Even in the past, unless the episode focused almost entirely on the Narrow Gauge Engines, there was almost always a member of the steam team present to at least say a line or two. I can't immediately remember an episode which focused solely on secondary characters without a single member of the steam team present. I'm assuming it's very likely that there's a handful, but the fact that they probably didn't happen too much to begin with, is my point.

Finally, can we please state our opinions without so much hostility? I'm sensing a bit of it around at the moment and I think it's not going to do any good. I believe we should state our opinions in a calm manner, that promotes good discussion. The comments section on a lot of YouTube videos is a great example of why it's mutually beneficial to all parties involved to "keep a cool head" when stating an opinion. As I'm sure you're all well aware. So how about we all try to stay a bit calmer and bring up our opinions in...less overtly hostile ways?

Just my thoughts,

~Alex
« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 07:57:44 PM by AJW98Productions » Logged
thomasj219

Thomas Will Be Coming Down Our Track Forever!!


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« Reply #74 on: October 29, 2016, 11:17:52 PM »

Here here. 
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All I want is, Stepney, Boco, Harvey.
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