Luring in more positives to the latest season was Percy and the Calliope. The plot saw Percy and Diesel taking scrap to the Smelters Yard where a Calliope is one of them. Percy attempts to save the Calliope from its demise.
Despite a big cast, only four characters spoke which involved both mentioned engines, the Duchess of Boxford and The Fat Controller.
The rest participated as cameos starting with Scruff, Rocky, Thomas, Henry and Cranky joined afterwards by The Troublesome Trucks, Rosie, Whiff and James. The Duke of Boxford, Victor and Kevin followed later.
The Max Allen controlled episode was rewarded with great numbers of positive reviews. Criticising the negatives first found that while the rhymes were absent, alliteration, repetition and triple strikers remained.
Percy's intelligence of himself dropped at some points such as reversing whilst one of his crew watered his tank. This was felt to be dangerous to a human being and idiotic for Percy to try and power up the Calliope, the wrong way.
Another scene presenting Percy's Calliope breaking away and running down a hill did not bode well with viewers saying that the plot hole had been used many times to an extent.
Those aside, major positives connected with the audience, approving the recycled theme of the episode, with some even linking it back to Season Two's Saved from Scrap from 1986.
Percy and Diesel's formation seemed to have worked where whilst the devious engine laughed and thought Percy was pathetic in his ability to work the steam organ, Percy's confidence and goal boosted the story's likeability.
Fans were left disappointed when despite the build up to the end, the Smelters Yard never returned, even in CGI.
Prior to the episode being aired, many fans admitted to not knowing what a Calliope was, leading to a number venturing forth to Wikipedia to research the word.
This was explained in the show by the Duchess of Boxford, proving to be a worthy educational lesson. A Calliope is an organ that played music at summer fairs years ago.
Even so, pronounciation also proved a problem with some using the wrong; Cal-li-ope. This would then surprise the latters when the audio dialogue gave the correct saying of Ca-ly-o-pee.
Thomas did not take on a role and instead served as a very brief cameo in the second shot at the start. It proved a breath of fresh air to reactions.
One scene saw The Fat Controller having trouble in moving his car on the road. His accomplices were referred to as his helpers. Although a minor, the scene was approved over the rare human activity from Sir Topham's two.
The biggest surprise of the whole episode came the reappearance of part of the original Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends full title theme under a new arrangement by Robert Hartshorne, played twice by the Calliope.
This won critical acclaim from fans who became overjoyed by the discovery, even treating the older and maturer fanbase aswell for revisiting the golden classic years of the TV Series.
It went far to being referenced in the script twice with The Fat Controller directing to Percy; You have saved an important piece of Sodor's history. Narrator Michael Angelis took it another level; It was the sweetest on Sodor.
Because of the theme's inclusion, original series composers Mike O' Donnell and Junior Campbell were credited in the episode's end credits. Current musician Hartshorne was praised for his work in the celebrated tale.
TheTopHatts gives Percy and the Calliope...
Season Sixteen of Thomas & Friends continues its run in Australia on ABC2 on Saturday March 3rd 2012 at 2:55pm with the episode, Welcome Stafford.
Channel 5 in the UK airs the next episode on their milkshake! slot on Monday March 5th 2012 at 7:35am with Thomas and the Sounds of Sodor.
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.