I've been holding off talking about this. The whole thing was announced a few months ago, and was the source of fans saying the show "deserved to die" or "it's going to die". But now that a bit more has been revealed, I feel more confident in making a post about it.
Can people grow the f**k up?
I'm being serious about this. The complaints about this are completely baseless and ridiculous. It says a lot when there's more credence to the complaints about the engine movements (another thing that hasn't negatively impacted the show whatsoever. Hell, you could barely tell they were there in this week's episodes, even though there were instances) than there is about this.
The long and short of it is this: it's yet another theme that Mattel are going to market the hell out of. These themed years are nothing new; they've been doing this since they bought HiT out and took over the show. This year's theme is friendship, last year's was racing, 2015 was teamwork, I could go on.
The only difference is that Mattel are actually making a big deal out of this one like they did in 2016 for the racing theme (since it coincided with the Rio Olympics). The story quality should remain exactly the same... with regard to the main show at least.
My concern is that the special won't be that great. Weirdly, the title of it, Big World! Big Adventures!, is enough of a reason for that. Remember when King of the Railway was released and felt like a huge cluster of story ideas revolving around Stephen and Ulfstead Castle? I'm getting a fairly similar vibe about this special already, only they'll be their own separate stories that don't fit together whatsoever, only that they'll feature Thomas, Ace and Nia and they could possibly bump into the international engines from The Great Race.
Now, to be fair to fans, I can't exactly blame them for being as angry as they were back when this was first announced. The press release was so vague that it could've meant that anything was going to happen; a TV spin off, an online series rivalling Great Race Friends Near and Far, etc. That is on Mattel Creations for keeping cards close to their chest for as long as they did.
What fans should be criticised for is stirring up bulls**t about it and saying the show "deserved to die". Fact is the show doesn't revolve around you or I, as much as your fragile psyches would lead you to believe. The franchise is aimed at preschoolers primarily, and is only liked by adults because the writing doesn't treat them like idiots. Calling for the death of a show solely because you don't like the theme, or direction, it will take for one year and a special says more about your intolerance to try something new than it does Mattel. Then again, quite a few fans admitted they were Conservatives, so that's no surprise to me.
Oh, and as for those rumours that Edward and Henry will be replaced in the main cast next year, shove them up your arse. Anyone can say they know a guy from Mattel, that doesn't validate anything! Hell, why anyone is believing s**t stirring s**t stains after that bollocks with the counterfeit Wood toy is anyone's guess. But the fact is this behaviour needs to stop.
If you're that sick of being a fan of this show, go and find something else to watch. Go and find something to do that you'll actually enjoy. Because the fact of the matter is that your bitching, rumour mongering and amateur tabloid journalism (also making money from a criminal offence, Carson!) is making this fanbase look atrocious. And it's high time other fans actually stood up to this behaviour rather than sweep it under the carpet and say "nothing to do with me".
I'll probably devote more time to that in a separate blog post. But as far as this new theme goes, I'm interested to see where it goes. Because if more characters than just Thomas are going to get in on the action, next year could be a really fun one. There's a lot you could do with the theme too. Just... don't leave Sodor high and dry. Please. That's my only caveat about this.