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Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends/The Railway Series

Discussion in 'Audio/Video/Books' started by Leon K Fox, 18 March 2012.

  1. Leon K Fox

    Leon K Fox Your resident horse!

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    TUGS was alright from what I saw of it, but I couldn't disagree with you more about it being better than Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, Series 8 and onwards perhaps but certainly not Series 1-7. It's all subjective mind you, but that's just my take on it. TUGS never grabbed me in nearly the same way Thomas did in its prime and now the Railway Series books as well from what I've read since they inspired the show's glory days. The stories are timeless in a way that few other children's stories are.

    TUGS would never have seen the light of day without The Railway Series etc, so I guess that alone makes me appreciate the original show of David Mitton's all the more.

    I honestly enjoyed most of Series 5, 6 and 7. It wasn't as good as Series 1-4 and there were some incredibly stupid episodes in those series (Rusty and the Boulder from Series 5 and Thomas and the Jet Engine from Series 6 spring to mind) but I would still say there was enough of the original show's spirit there for it to be enjoyable.

    Then Series 8 came and they told the narrators to speak patronizingly slow even for children's show standards (as far as I'm concerned) and whatever Awdry elements remained in Series 5-7 were stripped away and we got generic poorly written children's show 101 in its place, masquerading as Thomas the Tank Engine as HiT take Awdry's creations and disrespect them in every regard.

    If I get a chance to rant about HiT Entertainment I'll take it, especially since they had the gall to put their logo on the original books in a box set I have of Wilbert's entries in the series. The show needs a complete overhaul but the chances of that happening are slim to non existent. :(

    On a more positive note, I may hate the film this song comes from, but since I heard the full version of the song in this music video I've been utterly addicted to it. :p The extended version flows better than the Magic Railroad's version too in my opinion.

     
    #121 Leon K Fox, 19 April 2013
    Last edited: 3 October 2013
  2. Little Emerald

    Little Emerald Currently addicted to: Monster Hunter

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    OH MY GOD TUGS WAS AMAZING. The theme tune is stellar, and the storytelling was so dramatic!

    I wish it came back one day - no wait, that'd be a bad idea. It would probably get butchered like Thomas has.

    However, I started out with Thomas, so I'll agree with Leon. S1-4 of Thomas > TUGS > S5-whatever of Thomas.
     
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  3. Leon K Fox

    Leon K Fox Your resident horse!

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    As I mentioned a while back in the thread, I recently picked up the most recent re-releases of Series 1-3 on DVD, I already had the 60th Anniversary Boxset from 2004 but these had digitally restored footage on them, i.e they've been optimized for DVD and they look a lot better now. Selected episodes were restored for DVD's like The Best of Thomas etc (which I personally never bothered buying) they look absolutley fantastic for their age and about as good as they're going to look.

    There is however, one downside to it...Britt Allcroft and co. obviously had a more tight budget with Series 1 than future Series', and in the higher resolution it unfortunately shows in ways that were once concealed in the lower resolutions on the older DVD's, VHS's etc.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is but one of a number of shots where in one scene an engine (in the above case Gordon in Edward and Gordon) is pulling a train, but a few seconds later the camera cuts and he isn't pulling a train at all, a set of buffers I think can be faintly seen as well if you watch the scene in question properly. I don't hold it against them due to said limited budget and how much work was put into it, it's just unfortunate that I can now see things like this as clear as day.

    Still highly worth having the new DVD's though, in spite of this evident niggle with them!
     
    #123 Leon K Fox, 19 April 2013
    Last edited: 19 April 2013
  4. Little Emerald

    Little Emerald Currently addicted to: Monster Hunter

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    Heh, I always found these little things were like easter eggs to find. Imagine if they were deliberate mistakes for the fans to find?

    I always like spotting the derped eyes, which was much more common in the earlier series.
     
  5. Leon K Fox

    Leon K Fox Your resident horse!

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    I could understand things like that in Series 1 where Britt was struggling to get the money to make it for about 4 years, but beyond that some of those mistakes just seem flat out odd to me.

    Like in Series 4, there was wrong faced Henry in Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady...that looks FREAKY to me o_O
     

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  6. Little Emerald

    Little Emerald Currently addicted to: Monster Hunter

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    Don't forget the time Edward had James's face! That's a personal favourite of mine.
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Leon K Fox

    Leon K Fox Your resident horse!

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    Went in TK Maxx during the Bristol meet today, the same shop I got the Rev W Awdry's Railway Series Boxset of books in, and I got this. Micheal Angelis narrating Railway Series stories, same shop and another Thomas related impulse buy occurs. :D

    [​IMG]


    Haha, I remember that one. :p But again, it was Series 1 so it's more understandable and again, not nearly as freaky as Henry with Gordon's saggy looking face ._. Funny in an odd way though. :p
     
  8. Little Emerald

    Little Emerald Currently addicted to: Monster Hunter

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    I've seen that recently too. I'm very tempted myself...
     
  9. F.I.N.E.

    F.I.N.E. Less than 50 characters.

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    There's a fan-made CGI version coming out set during or after WWII. I loved both TUGS and Thomas as a kid. Both shows are great, but thanks to my lifelong obsession with maritime history, I think the former wins by a nose.
     
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  10. Leon K Fox

    Leon K Fox Your resident horse!

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    Micheal Angelis' narration is as expected brilliant, the only downside to these CD's is the obnonxious children singing during the stories. I listened and read along with it to The Three Railway Engines last night and had to keep skipping over them <_< I'm tempted to rip them to my PC and edit out the songs at some point, unless someone else in the community hasn't done that already.

    On the subject of Angelis though, if there's any person associated with the whole franchise that doesn't get the credit he deserves it's him. I don't know if I've said that in this thread or not yet, but for how long he's served as the UK narrator even with the writing going down the drain nearly a decade back almost no one directly outside the community seems to know who he is. :(

    I mean he obviously got paid for all of it but he doesn't get nearly the same amount of recognition Ringo Starr or George Carlin do and they only did 2 and 4 Series' respectivley, Micheal Angelis has narrated the show since Series 3 in 1991, 22 years or so.

    Series 3 was my main exposure to the show growing up (of course I had a number of episodes from Series 1 and 2 on VHS etc as well) so his voice instills a lot of nostalgia in me for that alone.
     
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  11. Solar Wind

    Solar Wind Bring back Robot Wars

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    Hey, I'm here now. Time for Thomas.
     
  12. Leon K Fox

    Leon K Fox Your resident horse!

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    Someone mentioned the Sodor Island forum a few pages back, and I've actually had an account there since 2006 (I was 15 when I made my account...honest to god does not feel like that long, I'm getting old :S) I've not posted all that much over the years and am trying to do so now. Here's a link to it again if any one is curious. :)

    Had to contact the official Twitter account of theirs to get back into it though, fortunately it wasn't a bother to do so.

    http://sodor.proboards.com/
     
  13. Leon K Fox

    Leon K Fox Your resident horse!

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    Guess who's double posting in this thread again? Yep, yours truly, got quite a lot to say and I'm not sure when this thread is going to get posted in next. :p

    Series 17 has had a DVD release in the US. And...well, I've watched the five episodes from that DVD on YouTube, and the remainder of my post is going to be spoiler tagged due to how long it is and spoilers being involved, of course!

    I watched the batch of five episodes over yesterday and today. I honestly didn't think I was going to bother, but a random browse through the Thomas Wiki were what made me aware that there was even a new narrator and head writer.

    I respect Micheal Angelis immensely but I felt his narration vastly deteriorated in quality as of Series 8 and I've never liked Micheal Brandon at all (but I may be a bit biased, seeing as I'm a Brit and all) so I was curious to see how the new writer/narration combination would play out despite having not watched new material from the show since Series 12, and even that I only watched out of curiosity for the CGI Faces with traditional models combination.

    I've just never had sufficient interest in HiT's take on Thomas to really bother watching many of the episodes, but I was keen to see Series 17 would change my mind.

    My two favourite episodes of the five we've seen so far are easily Gordon Runs Dry and Wayward Winston. I really loved the emphasis both placed on the running of a railway rather than children's parties, fixating on collecting brass bands or whatever else it was HiT managed to waste entire episodes on, so that was a huge bonus in of itself.

    I especially loved the little touches in Gordon Runs Dry such as Percy being a station pilot, the engines teasing each other at times, the difference between local and express trains...I don't speak as a railway expert by any means but even I can appreciate details like this greatly!

    Wayward Winston reminded me of The Runaway and Thomas comes to Breakfast with Winston becoming a runaway and wanting to operate without a driver, the chase that The Fat Controller gets into in Thomas was very entertaining to watch as well.

    Only thing that bothered me in both episodes was the seemingly vacant drivers. It's especially prominent in Wayward Winston, it seems a bit odd that every other engine can apply their breaks at will and stop when they need to yet Winston can't...yes he's an inspection car and not a steam engine, but Bertie seems to be stopping on his own accord so why not Winston?

    Plus during the chase, you can see the crew inside of Thomas and yet Sir Topham Hat (I like calling him by both names) and yet he is only yelling at Thomas "No Thomas, not this way!" and the crew just stand there like nothing is happening. The shift towards emphasizing railway work is much appreciated but the issue of inconsistenty with the drivers seems to be very much intact.

    Also, how would an entire Express Train's worth of passengers fit inside of Annie and Clarabel? o_O

    Still, improvement is improvement and I can safely say I enjoyed these two episodes more than any from Series 8 to 16 (from the ones I saw across these various seasons) and I'm happy to see changes are being made in the right areas, even if only bit by bit!

    I do also love the new narrator, Mark Moraghan. He doesn't sound as monotone as Angelis ended up becoming in his later years which is much appreciated, and if there are more stories like these two I think I could get used to the engines having individual voices...though I would still much prefer the narrator to be saying all the lines, it gave it a very much bedtime story like feeling which was appropriate given the series' origins with The Railway Series books. But again, with episodes as enjoyable as this I could adjust to it.

    I didn't enjoy the other three all that much though, I find Kevin far too cartoonish and incredibly irritating, anything related to Whiff is an automatic turnoff for me, and the plot with Thomas and Percy trying to teach an electric engine to make steam engine sounds or "Steamie" sounds (Words can not express the sheer CONTEMPT I have for that word, makes me cringe every time I hear it) was hard for me to sit through, personally.

    Still, the fact that I even enjoyed two of the episodes with how much I've disliked the episodes to come out of HiT for years is most certainly something! Will be checking out the rest of the Series when it airs for certain! Never thought I would say that again!
     
  14. Leon K Fox

    Leon K Fox Your resident horse!

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    This thread has been dead for almost two years, arguably longer since the last two posts are attempted revivals by myself. Another suitable subject has arisen that may possibly breed new life into it, and that subject is The Adventure Begins, a new special that retells the story of the first two Railway Series books to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the series starting.

    I will confess to having watched it online via YouTube. I dearly want to support it to show my support for acknowledging The Railway Series and the way it so brilliantly writes the first two books into one ongoing narrative and makes the ending incredibly touching even though we know it's going to happen, but it isn't being released in the UK until the summer and I simply couldn't hold out until then. I intend to buy it both on iTunes (even with my dislike of Apple) to have it in HD and also on DVD to own a physical copy.

    I can't say I'm particularly happy about Britain being shafted so much with regards to the release date seeing as though the series is of British origin but oh well, at least I was able to watch it online, even if I would rather have watched the British version with accurate accents. (Plus being able to buy it of course)

    My inner child doesn't want to admit it but some nitpicks aside I think it's even better than the adaptations from Series One. I am well aware of the grave I may be digging myself here but I have strong nostalgia for the old episodes and this may be a phase feeling here, but if not then I'll simply have to admit that for the first time in years, new Thomas has done a story better than classic Thomas. (Series 17 and 18 were of course a return to form, even if not on the level of the classic series)

    I admit Henry having his new shape even before the Flying Kipper accident is a bit of an annoyance and I could have done without a children's choir over the Thomas and the Trucks segment, but the rest of the special was so fantastic that I can easily look past these little niggles.

    The music was also fantastic, it took a song I never really liked as a child in the form of "Really Useful Engine" (did love the instrumental in TMR though) and made me absolutely adore it, and hearing Mike O' Donnel and Junior Campbell's classic music remixed bought so much joy to my ears.

    Definitely a special I'll be watching time and time again.
     
  15. WelshPony

    WelshPony Habitual Pony

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    I want to watch it as well, can it be found easily on YouTube?
     
  16. Leon K Fox

    Leon K Fox Your resident horse!

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    It would appear that the upload I watched it from has been deleted by HiT, however I took the liberty of downloading it in case such a thing happened, because I know I'm going to want to re-watch it before the official UK release is a thing.

    I must stress the importance of actually buying it when the chance comes our way though, it will show HiT that this is what we as longtime and of the series want to see and a follow up may possibly be made if sales are good from what I've heard! I want this to happen so much :D

    I'll upload it as an Unlisted video for those who want to see it, but if you could not spread it around it would be grealty appreciated. I'll also remove it when the special is officially released here.

    Watch this space.
     
  17. Dax

    Dax The Great and Powerful Daxie

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    Just a reminder you absolutely must not link to any pirated full length shows/ films, downloaded or not, on this site. Any such links will be removed.
     
  18. Leon K Fox

    Leon K Fox Your resident horse!

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    Well...there goes that plan then, I thought it just applied to FiM episodes, sorry. If you want it you'll have to contact me through some other means outside of UKofE.
     
  19. WelshPony

    WelshPony Habitual Pony

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    Well anyway, I found it myself, and I'm watching it right now. And it is very good so far. I'm loving it!
     
  20. Dax

    Dax The Great and Powerful Daxie

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    Okay, well just to confirm that for everyone, the rule applies to all infringement of IP, not just MLP, so no links please - we don't want to get fined and shut down.
     

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