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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Feature: Recap on Episode Thirteen of Season Sixteen

Channel 5 milkshake! in the United Kingdom aired the thirteenth episode of the Sixteenth Series from Thomas & Friends.

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 episode's public response led to negative reviewing, mainly criticising the storyline's dimness, where fans later felt that a line delivered by Gordon said it all; I told you that Sodor Surprise Day was silly, now I don't like it at all!

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.


  1. I think the engines are seen more as children so that it relates to the target audience's lives. Preschoolers and Thomas learnt not to play surprises in dangerous or busy work environments. That's more important than railway realism.

    Harold covered in lights was cool! :)

    1. Maybe so, but the Reverend Awdry showed that loads of life lessons could be learned by treating the engines like the machines they are and when they're doing their usual work. I seriously don't know why the writing team during Series 13-16 didn't try that a few times. It would've worked wonders if you ask me.

      Hopefully the new writers will be more Awdry-esque with their episodes.

    2. "Preschoolers and Thomas learnt not to play surprises in dangerous or busy work environments"

      I doubt it. The scene with the fireworks going off was played mostly for laughs - the dangerous element wasn't put across at all.

    3. Railway realism is important as well! You can have realism and have good morals, and that's how the Rev. W. Awdry worte it, so it should stay the same, and not be changed beyond belief

  2. I quite liked this episode glad Lord Callan's castle appears again for 2nd time since Express Coming through this series, 0:00 I can see Hiro but which engine is that with him at start with him? Mavis or Diesel? No smoke so must be a diesel and not that colourful so must be one of them, also glad Whiff and Rosie got good parts Rosie only seems to speak once a series nowadays shame as I like her, Sodor Surprise day seems like an April's fools day or 29th Feb judging by the man giving flowers.0:19 93DOL Youtube

  3. I found this episode to be weak. Would it be obvious that Gordon could see Thomas in the sidings and at the back of the trucks. But it was good seeing Whiff and Rosie having a role and Harold covered in fairy lights was amazing too and the layout of Callan Castle giving that Scottish Highland look.

    But this episode is weak: 2/5