Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Series 19: Snow Place Like Home

There's been a heavy focus on the Steam Team so far this series, but this episode puts the focus on Victor and Kevin, which is not only a nice change of pace, but also a very interesting dynamic to focus on. But how did it play out?

As it turns out, it's probably the most sweet, genuine episode so far this series, and it gives us more of an understanding as to why Victor keeps Kevin around: they both care a lot about each other, in a similar way as a father and son care about each other.

The plot itself is fairly humdrum: a character does something they shouldn't and gets into trouble. It's one that's been done a lot, by this show especially, but it works brilliantly here as it's reliant on the strength of the characters.

And the characters are written really well. It's nice that they acknowledged Victor's old home again as it gave his hatred for snow more of a reason in the same way Donald and Douglas' liking of the stuff was back in the day. And, as a childlike character, it made a lot of sense that Kevin would like snow, and be carefree as far as not taking the threat of the conditions seriously.

Victor's hatred for the snow also made his actions when Kevin disappeared all the more brave and admirable as you knew that he didn't want to be out there, but he knew he had to be as he didn't know what had happened or where Kevin really was.

The only real problem is that Emily feels more like a plot device than a character here. I feel that, if Victor had been a bit more anxious to head out and Emily reminded him how much Kevin meant to him, she would've played her own part rather than just being there waiting for her piston rods.

Also, Thomas' role could be called into question here. For one, why isn't he on his branch line? But beyond that, wouldn't Thomas have a bit of a rough journey trying to clear those drifts from hills? Wouldn't it have made more sense to send a bigger engine in snowy conditions similar to those depicted here?

Fan Reaction

The Mad Controller's Corner

Final Thoughts
After a small blip, this episode is a return to form for the series. It's an excellent character driven episode that shows both Victor and Kevin at their best. Sure, it has its problems and, if I had to be nitpicky, it would've been nice to see a narrow gauge engine or two at the depot either as a cameo or saying a line or two about how strange it was seeing Victor out in the snowy weather, but they're all minor quibbles with a real heart-warmer.

Episode Ratings
Who's Geoffrey?: 8/10
The Truth About Toby: 7/10
Lost Property: 9/10
Henry Spots Trouble: 8/10
A Cranky Christmas: 4/10
Snow Place Like Home: 8/10

Series Rating (so far)

1 comment:

  1. I think Emily works fine but besides that I pretty much agree with everything said, though my rating would be a nine instead of an eight. Maybe I'm more generous, I don't know. :P