Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Series 21: Hasty Hannah

I'd have been more excited about this episode had entitled, impatient brats that call themselves "fans" not harassed Lee Pressman for information about it around a year ago. It would've been a nice surprise (like Bradford was). But no. Thomas fans, being Thomas fans, have to suck the life out of everything in the franchise in so many insidious, pathetic ways. Anyway, here are my thoughts on Hasty Hannah.

So we have another episode where Toby is more timid than he once was. And... it honestly works well here. It's not ideal, and I think that it probably would've worked better if he was as stubborn as Henrietta is (constantly fighting against Hannah's desires). But with Henrietta being reupholstered and Hannah so loud and overbearing, it makes sense that he'd be more reserved.

Speaking of which, I loved Hannah. She's so charismatic and self assured that it leads to some really entertaining scenes. It also makes sense as to why she looks so much like Henrietta. And it's not laziness like fans seemed it would be (because they'd rather see the negatives in anything new these days).

James' involvement was great... but also kind of disappointing and weird. Think about it: why would he want to pull such an old coach when he'd rather pull smarter looking ones? If that part of him is dead, fair enough. But it's still rather odd.

The disappointment comes when you realise that he barely got any lines. It would've been great if he and Toby had interacted at least once. They had such a brilliant dynamic in the books and classic era. And while it probably wouldn't have been as it once was, since Toby isn't as quick witted and cheeky as he was, it still would've been pretty fun.

The biggest issue though is that Sodor's mapping is completely inaccurate for story purposes. While Toby's response to Thomas was pretty funny, it also implied that he got from Crovan's Gate to Knapford in that time. I can imagine that would be unlikely for even Gordon, but for an engine that went at a snail's pace, it would've been impossible.

Also, Toby goes from Dryaw to Gordon's Hill seamlessly. If you're going to put Toby on the main line for an episode, fair enough. But at least make sure all the stops and locations belong there! It's probably nitpicky as hell, I get that. But I love the fact that Sodor feels real, and ignoring its mapping for... whatever reason takes away from that a little bit.

Back to the positives though, and this was yet another entertaining episode. It was really thrilling seeing Toby and Hannah speed along, but it was also rather dramatic when you realise that James could've destroyed (or killed in this world) Hannah.

Which leads me to the theme. I really like how it played out. It was really effective and it got the message across well. But... I'm unsure what to make of it not sticking with Hannah. I get that she can be an adrenaline junkie, and this could probably be a case of old habits dying hard. But, and I'll say it again, she could have been killed! It feels weird that that wouldn't affect her even a tiny bit. Unless this is a common occurrence for her..!

Final Thoughts
Can Hannah be Toby's second coach? I know that Victoria is in the books, but Hannah feels much more charismatic and entertaining. Not only that, there's more of a chemistry there than Victoria who, although she could be great, was still a coach they found behind a station that was used because she was the only available option. Then again, she was only in one of the last books published..!

Anyway, the story is great (even if there are mapping inconsistencies), the theme worked brilliantly (even if it didn't stick with her) and it was really entertaining. But again, please don't let Hannah be a one off!

Episode Ratings

Cumulative Total (So Far)

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