Welcome Stafford saw Spencer in a big role showing electric engine Stafford to explore Sodor. Ignoring Victor's advice, Spencer, thinking he knows all about the type of engine, leaves Stafford running out of power on the line.
Written by Sharon Miller, all three engines starred alongside The Logging Locos, Thomas, Flynn, The Fat Controller and The Duke and Duchess of Boxford.
Sightings of various characters involved Percy, Toby, Henrietta and Annie and Clarabel. Harold, Captain, Butch, Rocky, Ol' Wheezy and Hee Haw also cameod.
The episode succumbed to mixed reviews bringing the main negative of having Spencer showing the new engine round, even though Spencer is a visiting engine and not a Sodor locomotive resident.
Suggestions emerged of giving the role to James but nevertheless, some fans felt that Spencer's role seemed to have fitted in. The double repeat writing structure didn't make a good impression in viewing responses.
Another myth cropped up whenever Stafford broke down on the rails, he would next be seen charging up his battery in an unexplained move. Thomas once more found himself in a shoe horned in appearance.
Back to the story, the script got labelled bland and overly predictable. This however adds up to the good points with the dialogue being strong. But a part of the Boxford's opening a carriage door on the wrong side proved a danger.
An attack on the current series nature was hinted when Stafford broke for the second time and calling for Spencer, he muttered; Oh, here we go again!
The Stafford character recieved a lot of positives, signalling him by fans as the best newcomer introduced in the animation era. The move of an electric engine, provided more variety on the island, which was well responded.
Along with this, Keith Wickham donated the incumbent a Yorkshire accent. Wickham was praised for yet another creative performance, for more or less a new character.
The ending left Spencer in a state of shame owing to his mistakes for not listening to the Yorkshire steamer. It became a highlight leading to dedicaters to the series calling it an Awdry-esque ending.
TheTopHatts gives Welcome Stafford...
Season Sixteen of Thomas & Friends will return for one more day in Australia on ABC2 during Christmas 2012 with the episode, The Christmas Express.
Channel 5 in the UK airs the final episode on their milkshake! slot on Thursday March 15th 2012 at 7:35am with Happy Birthday, Sir!. The Christmas Express will also air in Britain in Christmas 2012.
For a full list of the scheduling, visit the Dieselworks Turntable Roundhouse on the right hand sidebar for more details.
Thanks to Thomas & Friends Wikia for information and images.
What did you think of this episode? Send your reaction in the comments section just under this post for your verdict.