21 Times the Brenner Team Aced an Episode (by ThomasFan3000)

June 29, 2017

It almost feels strange to be writing this - after such a long time, I'm back on this familiar blog post page. "Posting as ThomasNATION." With the series on break, there's hardly any reviews or things to write about. The last major development was the Journey Beyond Sodor Trailer (To read post, click here.) There's mainly nothing else that's been happening (for continuous updates, follow us on Twitter!) and we haven't posted in quite a while.

But, since we *might* be getting season 21 soon, [Almost all the new seasons in the last four years have started in June-July-August], here's 21 times the Brenner Team nailed an episode to the core!

Arguably the most excellent team of writers for Thomas, the Brenner Team has given us some exceptional episodes. Brilliant plots, outstanding character personas - most of their episodes have been fantastic. True, they have had their downs (cough, "Steamie Stafford" cough) but some of their episodes have made it to the Top 5 of most of fans' lists, maybe even the #1 spot! So, Let's go..!

Here's Twenty-One times, the Brenner Team Aced an episode!
(This is my list, do you agree? Or is yours different? Comment below!)

21. Duncan & The Grumpy Passenger
Season 18 | Davey Moore

One of the best episodes of this era, kicks off our list! Some may believe this should've been further down, but for me, #21 is just right. A shining star, and a wonderful debut for Duncan in the (proper) CGI era. Duncan's character was portrayed marvelously...

20. Calm Down Caitlin
Season 17 | Davey Moore

Another fantastic episode by Davey Moore, one of my personal favorites! A nice little comedic adventure, with quite quality - this episode will always remain one of my favorites from the whole series. Caitlin's character was out-of-the-world awesome here, and Moore's writing capabilities and character understanding was used to the fullest in this episode.

19. Diesel's Ghostly Christmas (Pt.1, 2)
Season 19 | Becky Overton

Diesel's Ghostly Christmas was one of the best executions of a story in the Thomas history. The wonderful tale was weaved with the Sodor, so well! Its such a joyous, warm and heartfelt episode, always leaves you smiling.

18. Toad's Adventure
Season 18 | Mark Huckerby & Nick Ostler

The writers captured Toad and Oliver so gloriously, and their return was perfect! This episode made all the characters shine, including the amazing portrayal of James (true to the core), and with a nice little cheeky and clever story, this episode became one of the season's bests.

17. Thomas' Shortcut
Season 17 | Andrew Brenner

Yet another personal favorite, Andrew Brenner's writing skills were on point in this episode. The simple storyline, the RWS-era feel, it was a simple, yet brilliant episode. Another episode that always leaves a smile on your face! This is also one of my favorite Thomas episodes!

16. The Thomas Way
Season 17 | Paul Larson & Laura Beaumont

Another Season 17 episode, another Thomas episode! This episode officially re-introduced Duck, and with the introduction, the wonderful (again, simple yet brilliant) storyline, and the characters - everything was almost perfect in this episode. One of my (and many of the fans') favorites..!

15. Henry Gets The Express
Season 20 | Helen Farrall

Many of you might think this should be further down the list, but I think its position is justified here. This episode was a nice little package, a basic yet powerful plot, with the use of one of the best characters in the Thomas universe: Herny & Gordon. Yet, in retrospect, Gordon's parts could've been executed a tad bit better, but all in all, this episode was a fantastic watch - one of the series' best. And oh, all the references - brilliant job there by the team!

14. Mucking About
Season 20 | Davey Moore

Jack & The Pack have always been a treat to watch - their antics always the funniest and the most exciting! With this episode, the team confirmed that they could handle them perfectly. The first Pack episode in ages - it was perfect. For the first time, Max and Monty's characters were explored, and this episode had such a dynamic story as well. The characters are on top of their game. Amazing episode! (Read our review!)

12. The Switch
Season 17 | Davey Moore

Since the day this episode came out, it has been one of my biggest favorites! The dynamic of Luke and Millie, the settings, the unique and clever story and all-in-all the whole feel of the episode, from the moment it begins till the engines part their way - its all super! I absoloutely love this episode. 

11. Blown Away
Season 20 | Helen Farrall

This episode literally blew me away. The characters, oh my god - they were ACED. Especially Skiff! The setting, the story, and the whole plot and its marvelous execution - there's hardly any low points in this episode! (Read our review!)

10. Mike's Whistle
Season 20 | Andrew Brenner

The Top 10. Beginning with Mike's Whistle. My second favorite from the Small Railway Engines episodes - of course, there's no question of the story! Originally adapted from the RWS, the team 100% aced this adaptation. With every detail they added, and every detail they took from the original - it was a perfect combination! Excellent episode. (Read our review!)

9. Away From The Sea
Season 17 | Andrew Brenner

Andrew Brenner entirely slayed this episode! The story, the characters, the flashbacks and the heavenly portrayal of Salty's persona - all were excellent in this episode. Plus, the excitement, the emotion and the heart of the story. This episode fell short nowhere.

8. Two Wheels Good
Season 19 | Lee Pressman

Hands down, one of the best episodes of the nineteenth season, Two Wheels Good is one of my biggest personal favorites. The story has such a natural flow, yet a comedic hint to it. All the characters were on point, and the whole plot somehow felt nostalgic - a true gem of the series.

7. Love Me Tender
Season 20 | Davey Moore

This episode proved in all ways how excellent of a writer Davey Moore is. Officially bringing back Donald & Douglas to our screens, this episode completely made it. The story so heartfelt, and so bold, important and resonating, it almost felt like it was straight out of the RWS. This episode left me with the biggest smile on my face, and maybe a small tear of nostalgia when I first saw it. 

6. Lost Property
Season 19 | Helen Farrall

This episode stands out - for its simplicity and its excellent execution. A simple story, yet so powerful, and a treat to watch. The nostalgic feel of it, back to those Season 2 days... It was simply a nice little wonderful episode, - its feel to hard to put in words. Also, the character handling was again so on point..!

5. Thomas The Babysitter
Season 17 | Helen Farrall

A shining gem for the series, the heart of this episode - that's all. That's all. Arguably one of the most heartwarming stories of the whole show.

4. Henry's Hero
Season 17 | Paul Larson & Laura Beaumont

This episode showed how well this team could handle Henry. This episode showed how many more layers his personality had than just the scaredy engine. This episode - with its excellent plot & story, and amazing execution, adding to its RWS feel - and most of all, how well the characters were handled. The best of the season, and a gem for the series.

3. Last Train For Christmas
Season 18 | Andrew Brenner

This episode had everything. Literally everything. A heartwarming plot, railway realism (to some extent, of course), wonderful characters, suspense and excitement, and its a complete treat to watch. If the next two hadn't existed, this would be the best episode of this whole era. There's no two ways about it. Every second of this episode is wonderful, from the start to the end. And while his character doesn't have much role, Connor is portrayed so well, that this episode makes you love him!

2. Tit for Tat
Season 20 | Andrew Brenner

This was truly the hardest decision to make on this list. It took hours for me to decide if this or the next one would be #1. But it was the next one (wait for it...). This episode was in one simple word, ultimate. A spot-on adaptation, not one thing bad about it. The best episode of Season 20, the best episode from Andrew Brenner nonetheless. This episode was full of charm, and never have the Small engines been portrayed better (in any of the other episodes / specials.) 10/10. (Read our whole review!)

1. Duck & The Slip Coaches
Season 18 | Mark Huckerby & Nick Ostler

No. Its not because of Duck. Its because of everything in this episode. And by everything, I mean "Excellence." Every single aspect you judge an episode with: characters, storyline, plot, execution, animation, realism - everything. (Why did #2 fall short? I don't know, it lacked something - maybe character execution? No-one can top James, after all!) But, all in all, Duck & The Slip Coaches, was hands down - for me - the best episode of the Brenner era. The episode where they aced it. Aced it all. And I sure hope this brilliant pair of writers, this whole team in fact, do come back.

And so, that's it. The top 21 episodes of the Brenner era - one of the, if not the best era of the whole show. It is but obvious that your list will differ, so leave your opinions in the comments below or tell us at @TheThomasNATION on Twitter (click here!) 

Thanks for reading!

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ThomasFan3000 - Jainil Devani
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