Dirty Objects (Thomas & Friends)
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"Dirty Objects", retitled "James in a Mess" in American releases, is the twenty-third episode of the first season of Thomas & Friends. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Toby the Tram Engine.
James called Toby and Henrietta "dirty objects" because of their paintwork and old-fashioned appearances, but when he speeds out of control, he crashes into some tar tanker wagons, making himself a dirty object!
- The main problem with this episode is that James, Percy and Toby are all very unlikable here.
- In the case of James, it's for calling Toby and Henrietta "dirty objects" because of their paintwork and old-fashioned appearances, and later thinks about other bad things to say next time he sees them.
- In the case of Percy and Toby though, it's because before they could clean up the mess made from the destruction of the tar tanker wagons, they both tease James, pretending not to recognize him due to his dirty paint. Granted, they are merely using James' own words against him, from what he said about Toby and Henrietta and bragging that he'd never be seen dirty, but it's still not very nice.
- The original British narration was so weak.
- "Dirty trucks/cars from dirty sidings! BLECH!"
- Watching James crash into tar tanker wagons by the Troublesome Trucks was so dramatic and even the Troublesome Trucks don't care about the accident but instead they just laugh.
- Medicore Ending: James, still dirty from destroying the tar wagons, simply watches Toby happily running off to tell Henrietta the good news that the Fat Controller has rewarded him and Henrietta with a new coat of paint.
- The episode was very faithful to the original story it was based on by Rev. W. Awdry.
- The Fat Controller (referred to as Sir Topham Hatt in the US version) is the only likable character in this episode.
- The beginning of the episode was decent.
- The narration is well done as usual.
- In addition, George Carlin's version of the line "Dirty cars from dirty sidings! Yech!" is hilarious.
- Sends a moral to children that you should not be rude to others because they are dirty, nor think that you will never be as dirty as them.
- At least James gets to be cleaned, even though it's not seen.
- The very famous crash scene where James crashes into some tar wagons, causing tar to spill all over him.
Upon broadcast, this episode was met with extremely negative reception from critics, audiences, and even fans of the Railway Series, due to Percy and Toby teasing James about being dirty. This episode eventually became the worst episode of the first season of Thomas & Friends. Despite this, it has an 8.6/10 rating on IMDb.