After not having a story to himself since Season Seven's Salty's Stormy Tale, Salty returned to the forefront in Salty's Surprise.
Sharon Miller's script focused on Edward's journey to go and find a present for Salty after the eponymous Diesel Engine notes that he doesn't have time for any Christmas surprises.
Heard vocally were the duo, Victor, Kevin, Thomas and The Fat Controller. Sighted were Cranky, Stanley, Rosie, Gordon, Emily and Percy.
Although James, Toby, Henry, Rocky, Annie and Clarabel appeared in the opening, they were all reperesented via stock footage.
The episode ranked with mediocre reviews primarily mentioning the three strike formulaic structure taking centre stage, albeit, slowing down the flow of time duration.
It came under more criticism of not being a creative and constructive story, leading to some fans calling it a remake of The Biggest Present of All. Thomas' appearance again, annoyed several over his forced in minimal role.
Even so, it managed to achieve some good responses, especially the removal of the Winter holidays being replaced with, Christmas holidays. Though holidays staying in, it took positives, sometime after the public furore.
Salty was praised to have been given the leading role but also staying in character and having his kind interactions with Edward.
Despite Edward's supporting role was felt to be in the wrong episode, his character remained and managed consistency throughout. The Fat Controller's Father Christmas outfit at the end provided laughs.
Some continuity made its way into the show such as Thomas' bubble funnel from Slippy Sodor making a comeback aswell as Salty's tell tales even though fake, were agreed to be reminiscent of No Sleep for Cranky.
TheTopHatts gives Salty's Surprise...
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 Wednesday March 7th 2012 at 7:35am with Sodor Surprise Day. 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.