Thursday, 28 August 2014

Series 18: Disappearing Diesels

The fourth episode has arrived in the UK, so here are my thoughts on Disappearing Diesels!

Oh, Andrew Brenner, you deliver yet again!

Yes, I adore watching this episode. I personally believe that Paxton has never had a bad speaking role in the series. And pairing him with Diesel was a a recipe for delight. It's really amusing to see Diesel's grouchy nature clash with Paxton's naivety and happy-go-lucky nature.

I also really enjoyed the humour here. There were quite a few funny moments, especially when Thomas and Reg got involved. That said, I do think that Reg needs a bit more screen time. With a combined total of a minute on screen and very few lines, it's just not enough. And it's a shame, too, as he has a really strong personality. His sarcasm is something that's fresh and interesting.

I also think the story had a lot of heart in it which (spoilers) I love about a recent movie that I'll be reviewing when it comes out on DVD next week. Paxton's persistence shows how much he cares about Diesel, no matter how he's treated in return, which could actually be a great moral (kill cruelty with kindness).

I also thought it was rather interesting how the other diesels reacted after Paxton left to try and find them. Diesel's response was fine, but it could have been better had more been done with it. Well, maybe more "intriguing" to see what could have been done. But I'm still pretty happy with what we got on that front.

But there are, again, some issues. Some parts feel really... convoluted. For example, during the scrapyard scene, everyone knows each others' names, despite the fact this the first time they've spoken to each other. There was also the scene where Salty knew that Paxton needed fuel. This could have been the perfect scenario to actually have the driver tell Paxton that they need fuel, but nope.

And then... this. I'm not going to go on another rant about this as I've already discussed it in another blog post. All I'll say here is this: please stop it, Arc! Shots like this tarnish your excellent work, and really don't send kids the right messages. I hope this is sorted by series 19.

It's a real shame they did that, as the rest of the animation is fantastic. The music is great too, while the voice acting is pretty spot on again. I must admit, Diesel's voice when he tried to imitate Reg was much more convincing here than in the American version.

Fan Reaction

And, for a laugh, an appearance from SteamTeam's Mad Controller:

Final Thoughts

Despite... that shot, I love this episode. It's full of heart and the character interactions are brilliant. One thing I would say though is that there needs to be a bit more development to Paxton. Yes, he's an endearing, relatable character, but continuing to use his naivete for every episode he stars in could run the risk of getting boring at best and annoying at worst.

Episode Ratings
Old Reliable Edward: 9/10
Not So Slow Coaches: 7/10
Flatbeds of Fear: 6/10
Disappearing Diesels: 9/10

Series Rating (so far)

1 comment:

  1. Paxton is a character of whom I can relate to, as being Autistic, I've always had a thing with playing/hanging with the wrong children at my schools.