A new day, a new episode! Here are my thoughts on Not So Slow Coaches!
I have to be honest, I'm a bit conflicted about this episode. There are quite a few things I liked, but there are also a few things I didn't.
For example, I really like the fact that the writers seemed to adapt this episode from the magazine story First Class Carriage, replacing Henrietta with Annie and Clarabel and Gordon with Caitlin. I like the idea, and if they'd adapted that story fully, this episode probably would have been better.
I also really like that they've made Charlie a shunter. It seems to suit him really well, and his jokey nature would make sense in a yard as he'd be able to liven the place up a bit while he works. Speaking of his jokes, they are getting better. They still feel like they came out of a really cheap joke book, but at least they're not as cringeworthy as earlier series, and his joking wasn't as overbearing as it was in Not Now, Charlie!.
And then there's Thomas pushing Annie and Clarabel into the yard. While it was great, it really did highlight how the dip at the front of Thomas' running board really affects how "off centre" his buffers are. It's a shame too, as they could probably fix that by altering his model, which they won't do as they probably don't want to make the main cast look too different now so as not to change things too much for the kids which is understandable, I suppose.
But the main thing I really like is that they gave rolling stock a starring role, which is a breath of fresh air. And to give it to Annie and Clarabel (the females) was a bonus. They had some great line, and it was a fantastic performance by Teresa Gallagher. Hopefully that will keep the "journalists" who cry "sexist" quiet for a bit.
Speaking of that, out of the 8 characters that appeared, the male/female head count was 50/50. A real step in the right direction to proving the critics wrong!
Unfortunately, there are a few more negatives. I'll start with the smaller ones (nitpicks) first, then the bigger ones. Firstly, if Caitlin's loosened some bolts, wouldn't it be better if someone took her to the Works rather than taking herself? If one of those loose bolts came off, there'd be severe delays while they were cleared up and she was taken away.
Another nitpick: how did the whole of Caitlin's train turn around? I can just put this down to "TV series logic" but it still really bugs me, especially since Caitlin would probably have seen Annie and Clarabel long before the end and possibly cutting the episode short.
Which actually leads on to my biggest problem: the second half feels really stupid. Why couldn't they have done the ending at Ulfstead Castle with Thomas actually catching Caitlin and telling her about Annie and Clarabel? Or maybe do a First Class Carriage and have Annie's coupling snap on the way up to the castle, meaning Thomas would have to catch them. Caitlin could then see how tired Thomas was and try and explain the situation. The way it was written, no one is brought to account for what happened, and no one apologises to Thomas for sending him on a wild goose chase solely to get his own coaches back. Yes, Thomas, Annie and Clarabel learn the lesson they needed to, but it could have been handled a lot better.
@crovansgate7698 between the characters, particularly Annie and Clarabel, were funny and felt natural. #ThomasSeries18
— Tom (@crovansgate7698) August 26, 2014
#ThomasSeries18 Not So Slow Coaches is great because of the way Annie and Clarabelwere portrayed! Excellent Episode!
— Dan (Dalekslayer1) (@Dalekslayer1) August 26, 2014
Not So Slow Coaches is fantastic. Funny, exciting and thrilling. Annie and Clarabeldeserve this episode of their own. #ThomasSeries18
— Alex (@SodorSteamworks) August 26, 2014
I still loved NSSC since April and the preferred the UK dub over the US. It's great to see A&Cwith a role and fun climax #ThomasSeries18
— Thomas Stansfield(@TommyStans1991) August 26, 2014
not so slow coaches I'll give it a 9/10 brilliant ! #ThomasSeries18
— BillandBenFan14 (@thomasfan14) August 26, 2014