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A Really Useful Thread
This is the consolidated thread for the entire Sudrian franchise. Discussion here encompasses, but is not limited to:
The most recent developments have been the franchise's 75th Anniversary (with contributions by The House of Windsor) the leaked trailer for the upcoming reboot (and corresponding backlash from just about everybody), an untitled film by Marc Foster for which few details are yet available, and the upcoming release on the documentary "An Unlikely Fandom" by Brannon Carty.
Full steam ahead!
This link to the franchise wiki should be useful, and if you scroll down it will in turn give links to a large number of official accounts plus a couple of significant fan ones.
Edited by TommyR01D on Feb 16th 2021 at 3:17:43 AM
Why not call this the Thomas The Tank Engine thread?
Yeah. This is really confusing.
I believe we had a Thomas thread but it's not been commented on for years.
Thomas does hold a special place in my heart though.
I searched around the forums to see if there was already a thread on the topic, but could only find scattered mentions in more general discussions.
I went for the catchphrase rather than the character name to emphasise that the thread is meant to encompass more than just that one character - indeed more than any one specific iteration of the franchise.
I get the rationale, though the catchphrase comes off as deceptively generic to use as a franchise thread name. Assuming this thread gets buried, it might be just as hard to find it again through a forum search as a result. I would have gone with "Thomas and Friends", since that's been the current title of the franchise for more than 3 decades and doesn't solely focus on Thomas.
It would probably make more sense to call it "Thomas and Friends Thread", since that is the branding associated with nearly all Western Animation interpretations (and even The Railway Series is sometimes referred to by the Thomas moniker).
But yeah, from the look of things, the series has definitely had its ups and downs, though the CGI series was at least still trying to be a continuation of what the model series was beforehand, and even tried to revert back to the narrative style of the original books and episodes for a while. They even had a "transitional" season mixing CGI onto model footage, as awkward looking as it sometimes was.
The new cartoony reboot however, looks like it may as well be its own separate spin off (in fact, they probably should have done that). It's a loose adaptation at best of both the books and the previous series. The Thomas series that started in the 80s is essentially over now and replaced with a new show.
Edited by Psi001 on Feb 16th 2021 at 8:33:27 PM
I think it is a separate spin-off/reboot, based on what This Very Wiki and That Other Wiki are both saying. Some are referring to it as season 25, implying it's a continuation of the existing show, but others are describing it as a new creation.
Glad this franchise has an active thread again.
It's a ray of light in the darkness that is the era of the upcoming reboot.
To get a real glimpse of all the detail and care they put into the show and books, I suggest watching The Unlucky Tug's analysis videos, they offer some impressive insight:
Edited by Psi001 on Feb 17th 2021 at 2:02:01 PM
The thread now is called Thomas The Tank Engine. Is it conventional to unilaterally rename a thread without consulting the thread-starter?
No idea. I thought you changed it.
x2: Someone probably informed a mod, or one of them saw it themselves and made the change after reading the second post by Jessica.
I wonder if they read post #5.
On the subject of nomenclature, do we have an established metonym for this fandom? Carty in this video recalls three possibilities, all of which sound ghastly to me:
Edited by TommyR01D on Feb 18th 2021 at 5:21:20 AM
I'm so going to post so many dank memes in this topic. :P
I think it was thanks to this show that I started liking Ringo Starr. ^_^;;
Yeah, Ringo, along with George and Alec as narrators, were probably some of the biggest parental bonuses of the franchise.
I probably should have reposted this here, but WarnerMedia's recent upfront push into the preschool department with Cartoonito unveiled some small glimpses of Thomas And Friends All Engines Go.
Brief glimpses around: 0:09, 1:30, 3:38
Wow, that somehow looks even worse than what was leaked!
Toby had so much wasted storytelling potential, now all I can do is wait for Arcane Merchant.
Daisy was kinda wasted too, Brenner brought her back but she only really got two seasons to shine. Toby at least always got his token episode per season.
I found it amusing she interacted way more with Thomas after she left his branch line though.
Edited by Psi001 on Feb 20th 2021 at 2:10:24 PM
I read a recent post on Twitter that showed how the main cast aside from Thomas was pretty much wasted potential during each CGI special.
Your guys thoughts on the matter?
Because honestly, I bloody well agree with that post and that sort of storytelling could've done wonders for spotlight-sharing and Character Development rather than what we actually got.
(I really dig Duck as the protagonist of SLOTLT instead of Thomas — that way Thomas' character development into a more mature Big Brother Mentor for newer engines isn't metaphorically smashed to bits with a sledgehammer. And Duck's egotism in the CGI series could've been taken down a peg if this had happened. Yeah, I really hate the canonical version of SLOTLT that we got. It was like Season 3 of Ben 10: Alien Force all over again.)
I too concur with the sentiment. Indeed, one of the reasons I didn't want to call this the Thomas The Tank Engine Thread is precisely that the franchise wasn't originally called that - The Railway Series was an ensemble piece, and no one character got the spotlight in the majority of stories. There's a strong case to be made that if you want to single out any one character as the literary protagonist then it's actually Gordon not Thomas:
Indeed, I remember even four/five years ago that The Great Race was criticised for giving too much focus to a derivative Thomas story - fans preferring to see the Gordon/Scotsman rivalry as the main story.
For whatever reason, Thomas immediately proved to be the Breakout Character for the series, so much that Wilbert Awdry was pressured to write Tank Engine Thomas Again as only the fourth book and Christopher Awdry was made to write "More About Thomas the Tank Engine" in 1986 specifically so that there would be more Thomas-centric stories for Allcroft to adapt in season 2. It gets really absurd in 1992's ''Thomas Comes Home" in which he only appears in the final illustration and does not speak.
Once they had diverged from the books, the television stories increasingly focused on Thomas as the main character to the detriment of everybody else, even finding desperate ways to shove him into the few episodes that weren't about him. A lot of potential is wasted as a consequence.
In fairness it seemed to be only the specials that were that Thomas centric in the Andrew Brenner era (and they seemed to really stretch his personality as well, he was always in "dick to the new engine" formula). The series actually had Brenner try and revert back to the ensemble cast format with Thomas only getting his equal share of episodes.
I do agree that having other engine focused specials would have likely been more fun though, only Percy got a couple that were clearly designed to be his story and not Thomas'.
One of many reasons the reboot is concerning is because they stated Thomas will now be the main character in every episode. I don't really get this approach, even as a kid who had Thomas as his favourite character and wasn't any the wiser that The Railway Series had no real protagonist, a big appeal of the show to me was that the whole cast seemed to matter and got loads of development and episodes. The world didn't stop turning without Thomas, which I think only made it more significant for him to stand out. Hell if they wanna sell all those toys, surely they'd want the other engines to be appealing and likeable enough that kids will wanna buy them.
Edited by Psi001 on Feb 21st 2021 at 2:13:27 PM
Readers of this thread will hopefully appreciate further video inserts:
Edited by TommyR01D on Feb 22nd 2021 at 4:39:00 AM
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