The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
I am now 17 years old, but I do still love watching the odd Thomas The Tank Engine story very ocassionly. I grew up watching it and I had, and still do have, most of the videos and story books. I was pleased to discover that the programmes and concept is still going strong. They are continuing to make new stories and introduce more characters, both of which have some positive and negative costs. I will write everything that I know about Thomas The Tank Engine and try and gives those of you who haven't seen it before, a good idea of what it all involves.
Thomas The Tank Engine (and Friends), is a childrens programme about the trains that operate on the island of Sodor. It follows them through their ups and downs and also their funny moods and strops that they get into. Each story tends to have a message at the end of it and it can be quite informative for the young children who watch. There are number of engines and other things that operate around around the railway, all featured in the stories. Over time new engines and more adventurous 'machines' have been added.
The original engines and others are as follows -
Thomas - He is the little blue engine with the stumpy funnel and boiler. He is the centre of many of the stories and is the most popular of all of the engines. He has some very exciting adventures and some very humiliating moments, but he always learns from his mistakes. He started off shunting trucks and preparing the trains for the bigger engines, before getting his own passenger train. He had two coaches, name Annie and Clarabell.
Gordon - The large blue and most mature of the engines. He is the only engine strong enough to pull the mighty express train and he is very proud of that fact. He is very reluctant to join in with games that the other engines play because he is so protective of his reputation.
Henry - The other big engine on the line who often operates the busy passenger lines. He stars in my favourite Thomas episode of all. As the rain falls, Henry thinks that it will destroy his beautiful coat of paint so he stops in a tunnel and refuses to move. As a result, the Fat Controller blocks the tunnel and he is left a lonely, sad an unused engine. He learns the errors of his ways and comes to the rescue when Gordon breaks down.
James - A medium sized red painted engine who has a number of different jobs on the railway. He doesn't appear in too many stories but he does often seem to be the engine who sorts out problems between others.
Edward - Much similar to James, although he is painted blue instead. He seems to be one of the more unlucky engines out of the lot as he often has a lot of problems such as break downs. He has the most hillarious facial expressions of the engines, only the 'startled' look on the face of Percy can beat any of his.
Percy - The little green engine that is much the same size as Thomas. He tends to shunt trucks around, he hasn't been given a branch line by the Fat Controller. He tends to get into an awful lot of funny situations, primarily down to him to crashing into things and also things like treacle getting splattered all over him.
Toby - A rather bizarre brown engine who started his work on the line by pulling trucks and goods trains. Like Thomas, he was given a little line of his own and a carriage called Henrietta to help him operate it. He is never involved in any unhappy stories, tending to stay well clear of any trouble. Probably the most sensible engine of all.
Harold - The white helicopter who tends to transport the Fat Controller around and has come to the rescue of a horse rather strangely.
Bertie - The little red bus who has a route along Thomas's branch line so that he can help out if Thomas breaks down or has another problem.
The engines are all taken charge of by the Fat Controller. He makes sure that they are behaving and doing the jobs that they have been told to do. He often has to solve problems that crop up and make sure that the railway is running smoothly. All of the engines have their own driver and also a fireman, who is responsible for shovelling the coal. The drivers don't seem to have much control over the engines sometimes, which is a bit strange really.
The orignal narrator of the stories, used to be the ex-Beatle Ringo Starr. He did a really good job at playing each different engine and the Fat Controller. He really gave each different engine a character and a personality that reflected in their individual voices. The narrator has since changed but they do seem to have found a very good replacement who does a more than adequate job. The vocabulary that is used can be quite complex for young children, but that is all a part of the educational experience that Thomas The Tank Engine gives youngsters.
There have been a number of new engines and other machines added to the programme in recent years. There are really too many to list and talk about. I do think that to keep the children interested in watching the programme some changes need to be made from time to time. The new engines create new possibilities and situations that can occur. However, I do think a bit too much change has gone on. The focus has gone away from Thomas and the other original engines. The emphasis on the programme being about the railway has also been slightly changed. Their isn't enough attention given to the engines and the other activities that actually occur on the lines.
If this railway was to be real, it would be even worse than the network that we have today. The amount of times that the engines seem to be late and break down is rather a lot. I don't how the islanders on Sodor put up with the rail service!
The new episodes and stories can be seen on ITV1, mainly during CITV at around 3:20 in the afternoons. It is also on the Nickelodeon channels on Sky, ntl and also digital Freeview. It is on at different times so you really need to chech the listings for when it is on, if you want to watch it. The length of each story tends to be around five minutes in total, as it has been since the very first episode was broadcast. When on the television they tend to have two episodes at a time.
I think that the newer episodes are obviously aimed at a different type of young person that those of around 15 years ago. However, I think that the older stories still give a very powerful message to any of the children that may watch it today. Overall, it is still a very good programme and concept but I think that the orignal epsisodes are the ones to be chersihed and watched over and over again. If you have children that may like this sort of thing I would reccomend that you introduce it to them, because the boys should definetly like it.