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Sunday, 15 May 2011

Ben Small defends Sharon Miller criticism

The UK voice of Thomas the Tank Engine, Ben Small has defended criticism centering around former Head Writer to Thomas & Friends, Sharon Miller.

Speaking on his YouTube Channel voicing his opinion on the decline of Season Fifteen, Small spoke out; You guys seem to have a problem with Season 15? I don't at all, so I guess I don't differentiate between any of the seasons I've done.
Probably the one thing that sticks out for me is Misty Island Rescue, so if called to choose a favourite, then I guess I'll go for that. I only ever see the parts of episodes I am featuring in when we are recording, so it's all quite disjointed for me.

Small went on to defend his fellow Crew Member, Sharon Miller; Can't agree with anyone that Sharon Miller leaving the project will be anything but detrimental to Thomas, as I work with her and as an actor.

Highly rate her as both a fantastic writer and an awesome voice director, so we'll all have to agree to disagree there.

Small then praised Miller's writing and voice directing; Sharon is awesome. Remember that she has been writing Thomas for years, and you can't always please everyone.
I am speaking from someone who has to perform what she has put on the page, and having someone direct you who has written what you are performing gives them such an inside track into the whole core of the episode.

As reported previously, Andrew Brenner will take over Sharon Miller's position as Head Writer while she will remain in her role as the Voice Director.

Day of the Diesels premieres on September 17th 2011 at the Vue Cinema premiere in Leicester Square.

Season Sixteen is expected to air in Autumn/Winter along with the second half of the season that will witness Brenner's changes to the series.


  1. I agree with him. I think she's a fantastic writer who did her best to write the best episodes she could. We didn't like most of them, but I bet the target audience loved them.

    And I like the fact Ben's sticking up for a colleague. Respect to him.

    1. Sharon is horrible. You are not a Thomasfan if you like her writing.

  2. I do agree, although we hated most of the episodes she wrote, after writing what I did I've re-thought my views and accepted that what she wrote was perfect for the target audience. Many children I know love them, more so in some cases than the classic series, so what can you say?

  3. I agree with Ben, I think Sharon Miller did her best for the writing. We may not like it because of its rhyming and all, but maybe the younger audiences, the target audiences I may add for the n00bs, would have love it. Despite the rhyming in MIR, I enjoyed it, the special had some epic music and great storyline.

    Respect for Ben for standing up to a colleague.

  4. He's right. When it Comes to the Target Audience, Sharon Miller nails it.

  5. He's really just doing what anybody does when criticism is thrown in. He's not going to say on a public website that she's a terrible writer. He's going to defend her because he'll get in trouble if he doesn't, and it just isn't professional to say anything harsh about somebody like that.

  6. Sharon probably would have been a much better writer if she left the rhymes alone. That's just my opinion.

  7. I personally disagree with everyone above me. Sharon Miller can definitely write good stories if she wasn;t stuck with the '3 Strike' template, as displayed in 'HOTR' and 'TGD', but even so her morals at times are twisted, eg. 'The Shake, Shake Bridge' scene in 'MIR' and her lack of railway knowledge is face-palmingly bad at times (Firebox on fire? WTF) even a four year old can see the flaws in that, even I know that's wrong and I'm pretty much clueless on the subject of railways. To finish up, I'm pretty sure not even the target audience liked season 15, I wouldn't have. It's boring as shit.

  8. To the comment above me,

    Not everyone can be perfect at anything, like Ben said, she can't please everyone.

  9. Ok lets see it how it is here. Thomas is a children's show, so Sharon Miller is gonna write the kind of stories she did for series 15 because it is a children's show. A long time ago when we used to watch the classic series there was definately one person out there who thought Thomas is the dumbiest thing to be put on tv. We're doing the same thing over one bad season. How many times in the past have we loved Ms. Miller's stories?? i know ive enjoyed a hand full of them. I really she can continue writing specials because thats what i always look forward to from thomas and friends year after year. but i suppose i should wait to get a taste of what Mr. Brenner has to show first.

  10. Sorry chaps, but there's bad - and then there's dangerous.

    Tell me that the broken morals in Misty Island are suitable for Children. I dare you. What about Flynn's debut this year - was that an acceptable story involving fire safety, for children?

    It's not about pleasing everyone. It is about the suitability of the episodes for the audience it is aimed at.

    There's means and ways of writing for children, and sometimes you get it wrong. I respect Mr Small - and as I have said elsewhere, "you don't bite the hand that feeds you".

    But I think we all know that Seasons 13-15, and the last special, had problems beyond that of their entertainment.

    There were/are significant problems with the stories at the base level, broken morals, dangerous (and imitable) stunts practiced, and some extremely poor decisions on the part of the head writer with regards the portrayal of the fire engine character, amongst others.

    The axe has to fall somewhere, and I for one am looking forward to seeing what Mr Brenner comes up with.

    It cannot be worse than the worst of the lot - "Fiery Flynn" - after all.

  11. to be fair, she is good at writing movies,but when it comes to epiosdes, she just use the same writing material such as the "three strikes and your out method" over and over and over XP

  12. I think that Ben is a brave man to post what he thought about Sharon on a public website. I don't think he would've cared if he upset one of us by his opinion. Which is a good thing. Because he taught me (or us) that not everyone agrees with the same thing. Even if they work on the show. Respect to you Ben Small! Respect to you!