Postman Pat: Special Delivery Service
"What the actual hell am I looking at right now? Oh, I know what it is! A formulaic piece of shit with no thought or effort put into it and only thinks about merchandising and not about storytelling or improving the problems from the three seasons before it. Yeah, unfortunately, Postman Pat has gone done the roads as shows like Fireman Sam or Peppa Pig."— James A. Williams
Postman Pat is a British stop-motion animated children's television series first produced by Woodland Animations. It first premiered in 1981 and ended in 2006. After that, a show called Postman Pat: Special Delivery Service was produced in 2008, which serves as a spin-off to the original. It had three seasons up until 2017, when the show went out of production, no signs of a fourth season is currently happening.
- One of the main flaws with this spin-off is that it is not very faithful to the original series, as it doesn't capture the same, relaxing, slice of life feel that the original show had, and instead, it tries to go for a fast-paced, action-packed tone, which is the complete opposite for what the show was originally intended to be and doesn't suit Postman Pat at all. Because of this, it lacks the charm from the first two seasons of the show and, to a lesser extent, the 2004 series (seasons 3-5).
- While the idea of having a fast-paced action-packed Postman Pat spin-off relating to special delivery sounds good on paper, it's not well-executed.
- Much like Bob the Builder (2015), Fireman Sam since Season 6, Shimajiro no Wow!, Noddy, Toyland Detective, the Netflix era of VeggieTales, Monster High (2016), The Powerpuff Girls (2016), Bananas in Pyjamas (2011), Caillou's New Adventures and Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! & All Engines Go!, this spin-off tries way too hard to modernize Postman Pat, but it's done very poorly to the point it doesn't feel like the same show anymore.
- Most of the flaws that this spin-off has carries the same problems that the 2004 series (Seasons 3-5) had:
- While the animation is great and is a huge step up from the first two seasons, at the same time, the animation doesn't suit the series very well as it is faster-paced.
- Many of the characters who were missing in the 2004 series such as Sam Waldron, Peter Fogg, Granny Dryden, Miss Hubbard, and many other characters are still not in this reboot.
- Certain characters like Katie, Tom, Mrs. Pottage, and Mr. Pringle were all removed for no reason whatsoever.
- Subsequently, Mr. Pringle was replaced by Mrs. Tailor, which suffers as a major plot hole as there is no explanation as to why he isn't around anymore.
- The show is incredibly formulaic to the point where it is completely predictable of what is going to happen in every episode:
- Pat does his job in Greendale.
- He gets a call from Ben about a special delivery.
- Pat does the special delivery.
- And in the end, boom, mission accomplished!
- For the most part, the show feels more like an advertisement for random vehicles and locations just so that the people behind the show could sell toys and milk out on a popular show, it has even got to the point where it became a cash cow for the BBC and it pretty suffered the same flaw as other shows like PAW Patrol, Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam since Season 6.
- Continuing with the previous pointer, Pat owns way too many vehicles in the show, with them ranging from questionable to unfitting. It doesn't help by the fact that he gets more vehicles each season with them getting more and more ridiculous as it progresses, such as a helicopter, a 4x4, and even a jet plane. Again, they were most likely created to cash in on the series.
- Although Jess is not completely unbearable, he retains his usual annoying status from the 2004 series.
- The spin-off also suffers from many plot holes that can make both parents and kids scratch their heads:
- How is the postal service able to afford all of these vehicles, and how is Pat able to use all of them when he would need a license for most of them?
- Why is Pat the one who needs to do these special deliveries? Why not a postman from Pencaster?
- When Pat does his Special Delivery job in Pencaster, who is going to deliver the post that Pat was delivering in Greendale?
- Why isn't Mr. Pringle a teacher anymore and what happened to him?
- Why do many of the Greendale villagers have jobs in Pencaster when they still have jobs in Greendale?
- If Pat didn't like a bumpy ride on a tractor or have difficulty using roller skates, why would he be just perfectly fine with riding in a loud helicopter or a bumpy 4x4?
- The CGI used for certain areas of the Greendale Village and Pencaster sets, such as when Pat is driving a Helicopter in the sky, or when the ducks are floating on the river, looks incredibly cheap with poor rendering, bad lighting and just poorly clashes with the stop-motion environment of the rest of the show itself.
- The Special Delivery Service theme song, while catchy and enjoyable, is pretty easy to forget and is rather repetitively short when to the music from the first two seasons and even the 2004 series itself.
- It recycles a lot of material from past seasons and doesn't give them a fresh coat of paint to spice things up a notch, as it instead repeats the same structure of the older material of previous season but makes them a lot more worse by default due to the rather flat writing and repetitive episode formula that the SDS series suffers from, making the series feel very samey and generic despite having a different tone and feel than the first two seasons and the 2004 series.
- The theme song remix (despite being upbeat and energizing tone behind it being out of place for Postman Pat) is pretty catchy and fun to listen to.
- It at least tries to stay true to the original show's continuity, and unlike certain other reboots, seasons and/or revivals, the main characters weren't flanderized and still contain their same personas.
- Speaking of which, Pat, despite it being somewhat out of character for him to do these special deliveries, is still the same likable protagonist as he was in the original two seasons and the 2004 series (Seasons 3-5).
- The stop-motion animation, while fast-paced, is still absolutely brilliant and the sets are well-done and beautifully animated.
- In fact, the show still used stop-motion animation throughout all of the seasons of this spin-off, which is quite impressive, because most shows that initially were in stop-motion had already switched to CGI before and after this spin-off was created.
- Unlike the 2004 series (Seasons 3-5), the show focuses more on the titular character as opposed to the children characters.
- The voice acting is very good and many of the replacement voices for the characters that Ken Barrie played do excellent jobs at filling his role.
- Admittedly, Lewis MacLeod does a pretty good job with his role for Postman Pat, as he manages to do an excellent impersonation as Ken Barrie's voice for the character.
- Some of the newer characters introduced in the series are actually rather likable and entertaining with a lot of charm to them that makes him easy to relate with, such as Ben who is Pat's boss and instructor for the Special Deliveries that he has to make and does a great job at mentoring him to do so for the rest of the series.
- The fast and action packed pacing for this spin-off did get majorly toned down a bit with Series 3 when Dreamworks Animation took over and started producing the series for the BBC, which could be seen as an improvement for the series but still.
Postman Pat (Special Delivery Service) received a mixed reception from parents, television critics, and fans of Postman Pat, it received some praise for the stop-motion animation and Pat still being a likable protagonist, but most of the criticisms go to the fact that it goes for a more fast-paced, action-packed tone rather than a laid-back, relaxing and calming tone like the original series was.
James A. Williams in particular was very critical when it came to this spin-off, claiming that it's more an advertisement for random toys rather than a show with clever writing and a timeless feel to it.