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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Feature: Recap on Episode Nineteen of Season Sixteen

The last regular episode of the Sharon Miller/Nitrogen Studios era of Thomas & Friends broadcasted of Channel 5 milkshake!, England.

Fittingly enough came the nineteenth story of Season Sixteen with the somehow appropriately named, Happy Birthday, Sir!.
After being told a story by Salty about a young Fat Controller riding in an open top carriage hauled by Edward, newbie Winston sets off to find a present for Topham's latest birthday. Thomas decides that work should be done instead.

All five characters were given sizeable roles alongside bit parts by Farmer Trotter and a Tree Specialist. Henry, Rosie, Gordon, James, Emily, Lady Hatt, Dowager Hatt and Cranky participated by cameoing.

The episode concluded with mixed reviews with many commenting that the first and last few minutes were worth watching rather than the centre part of the show.
The flashback featuring Edward, the young Fat Controller and an L&MR 2nd Class Railway Carriage became the highlight, providing continuity to the past and even perhaps The Railway Series.

Robert Hartshorne's slow harmonious music in the tidbit felt fitting according to fan reactions to the scene. The flashback would then be reprised to present day when Topham was reunited with the carriage, again pulled by Edward.

Salty and Edward's appearances led to praise for keeping completely in line with their characters.
However Winston's arrival proved critical as his introduction was not explained enough, nor his character being properly explored and instead focusing on the story. Winston and the episode had the bland label attached in reviews.

Despite Thomas wanting to get on with the day, his ignorance and selfishness returned. A shot of Thomas bumping into the back of Winston whilst a driver occupied him was branded a dangerous act.

Even the three strikes add on stayed in Sharon Miller's script, but the rhyming was absent. The result of finding the lost carriage in a part of the Whispering Woods got called a lazy end to the search, attributing to the formulaic writing.
With some viewers commending the episode for its research and continuity, responses felt it was an abysmal and terrible finish to the Miller controlled tenure.

TheTopHatts gives Happy Birthday, Sir!...

Thomas & Friends will return in...
Blue Mountain Mystery
In Cinemas and on DVD/Blu Ray, September 2012.

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 will also air The Christmas Express in Britain circa 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 really liked this episode, but Winston is too tiny in my opinion and sodor has a terrible habit of losing things e.g Hiro, Great Waterton and The Tram sign found in Toby's special surprise series 12 all before they were found and now an old carrigage! How on earth do they lose them all? But Love Winston though and good plot all nicely made together 10/10 for me also nice to see Farmer Trotter Speak and The Lion of Sodor and Salty getting bigger better parts this series.And I'm sure the place coach found was place in Hero of the Rails where Percy hid his mail trucks

  2. This episode is flat out boring, Winston was not introduced well, maybe in Blue Mountain Mystery he will, the typical three strikes your out formula and Thomas bashing into the back of Winston would've caused serious damage to Winston and his driver. But there are a few positive things I have about this episode is the carriage and a bit of interaction with the Railway Series with Edward being the first engine and The Fat Controller being a young man. The carriage also made an appearance in RWS No. 35 'Thomas and The Great Railway Show'.

    My rating for this episode is: 2/5

    Well here's hoping that Season 17 is great. But first, the DVD, 'Blue Mountain Mystery' and the S16 episode 'The Christmas Express'.