Bringing in new script writers Jessica Kedward and Kirsty Peart, the duo were responsible for Sodor Surprise Day where Thomas tried several ways to surprise Gordon on the title day.
Both blue engines who starred shared speaking roles with Rosie, Whiff, The Fat Controller, Charlie and Cranky.
Harold in a silent role appeared alongside flybys from Hiro and Mavis, who were seen in a full spacious shot at Callan Castle. The location itself featured at the end of the story.
Also cameoing were the returning Spencer, Percy, Edward, James, Henry, Salty and The Troublesome Trucks.
The idea of engines like Thomas zooming out to surprise another, more or less, the Surprise Day theme took in large amounts of criticism for being unnecessary, at times random and for being out of touch from railway realism.
One scene involving Cranky dropping a crate full of fireworks before hitting the ground did add entertainment value, but however was found to be very dangerous when the objects came live.
Despite no one getting injured and managing to dodge the fireworks, the script proved to have an absence of health and safety regulations towards the humans or the engines if one or more ended up getting hit.
To a main starting point of the story, a green signal routing to Maithwaite became ignored by Thomas in order to plan his surprising to Gordon. This factor was lamented for the script's idiotic sense of railway research.
Despite all the aboves, Rosie and Whiff's subsidiary roles achieved positive responses for allowing the two to shine more in appearances.
The recurrence of Callan Castle recieved praise, partly thanks to Nitrogen Studios' animation. A wink by a colourfully lit Harold at the end proved to be another visual treat.
TheTopHatts gives Sodor Surprise Day...
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 next episode on their milkshake! slot on Thursday March 8th 2012 at 7:35am with Emily's Winter Party Special. 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.