Thursday, 5 October 2017

Series 21: Terence Breaks the Ice

Channel 5's run may have ended, but a new DVD has been released in the US. Five of the episodes featured are this year's Christmas episodes. And since (at the time of writing) I'm due in for surgery very soon, I thought I'd get these out of the way now while I have the energy to talk about them. So here are my thoughts on Terence Breaks the Ice!

Terence was never the most dynamic character in the early Railway Series books and the TV series in general. Some (myself especially) would say he had no character whatsoever. It was only in Toby, Trucks and Trouble where he actually gained a more cocky personality... and this episode has adopted that beautifully.

Also, I quite like Thomas and Terence's dynamic. Thomas trying to pass on the lesson he'd learned back in the day to help Terence now when the tractor was in trouble was a nice bit of development for him. Speaking of which...

The theme here was fantastic. Granted, "better safe than sorry" has been taught before. And it did feel rather hammered in at points. But it was a lesson that Terence really needed to learn.

I also thought the story that was told was really good. It did have pacing problems, with the flashback taking up nearly a quarter of the episode. It's not a bad flashback, and I'll get to that in a second. But it did take up a lot of time, which says there wasn't enough new story to fill the near 9 minute time frame.

Onto the flashback. I really like it. Is it fan service? Yes. But it's also a good way to introduce kids who don't know Thomas and Terence's past to their dynamic. Like I said though, it does take up a bit of time, disrupting the pacing.

The other is a bit more nitpicky, but it needs to be said. Thomas said he always wore his snowplough after the incident in Thomas, Terence & the Snow, but series 17's No Snow for Thomas (and Thomas, Emily and the Snowplough from series 8) was all about not wearing his snowplough! Trying to follow the continuity of this era is near impossible at times. Do they only care about following the classic era? Are they mentioning every era? It's hard to tell at times.

Final Thoughts
Before this episode was released, I wouldn't have been that bothered if Terence was never seen again. Ever. There was nothing about him to gravitate towards, and I really didn't miss him that much. Now though, I'm glad they did bring him back. And I'm glad that his first episode was really great.

Yes, the pacing is an issue due to the fact they spent so long on the flashback. But it's not like it destroys the episode completely. The characters (Terence especially) are fantastic and the theme is great, even if it's a bit heavy handed.

Episode Ratings

Cumulative Total (So Far)

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