Topped Off Thomas (Thomas & Friends)
"I can go faster than you, Mr. Wind!"— Thomas
"Topped Off Thomas" is the eighteenth episode of the tenth season of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, it first aired on October 10th, 2006 in the UK.
Thomas and Spencer have a race through Kellstorphe Station with a gust of wind so strong it blows the Fat Controller's top hat off.
Why It Can't Top Off
- The episode's premise itself is really pointless and stupid. Sir Topham Hatt sends Thomas on a wild goose chase to look for his top hat after Thomas and Spencer had a race against one another. Sir Topham Hatt had every right to tell Thomas off for making him lose his hat, but why do we need him to find his top hat if Sir Topham Hatt can just get another top hat? Yes, he is the Controller of the Railway. But what excuse does this episode have if there is no making any logical sense of it?
- Sir Topham Hatt is unlikable as he tells Thomas off for going too fast at the station, but doesn't even bother to reprehend Spencer, even though he was right there next to Thomas and neither Sir Topham Hatt or the Duke and Duchess tell both of them off. Thomas did, however, deserve to get scolded by Sir Topham Hatt for two things, but that doesn't mean Spencer is the opposite of being any better than him.
- It's a real chore to sit through as you can't enjoy it for how stupid, nonsensical and boring it is. The Wind flies Sir Topham Hatt's hat everywhere it goes. It lands on Bertie and later the hat gets blown away by Gordon's speed. Next, it lands on one of Farmer McColl's scarecrows and Harold's blades blow the hat into the Wind again. Then finally, we see it land on the Windmill Sails and it gets blown away to the wind once more. It's one of those episodes that is dull visually while being completely nonsensical.
- Speaking of Harold, he was only there so the second strike of the episode can happen. That's it. We never see him again after that. He could have just helped Thomas with the hat problem. Of course, the episode would still be stupid, but it would be nice if he played a major part and did not get 10 seconds of random pointless screen time just because plot convenience has to happen at a really unnecessary rate.
- This is one of the fee episodes where Thomas calls everything 'Mr.' on miscellaneous things. But only with this one, he calls the wind as Mr. Wind. Sure, Toad the Brakevan calls others Mr. or Mrs. every now and again (for example: Mr. Oliver), but he never calls anything like a gust of wind or even animals as "Mr." or "Mrs." He could have just said "I can race faster than the wind!" and nothing would be a major problem. But no, we had to have him call the wind as Mr. Wind, because the episode can write itself.
- Of course, this is the first instance of this.
- The episode itself goes into the most nonsensical territory the show has ever went into. Thomas talks to the wind when he finally sees Sir Topham Hatt's top hat high up in the sky, wishing it to give back Sir Topham Hatt's hat. The wind (obviously not a character) gives Thomas back Sir Topham Hatt's hat, and it lands on Thomas' funnel. The hat could have landed on the ground so that Thomas' crew can pick it up and take it to Sir Topham Hatt to Kellstorphe Station on the way back. If anything, Thomas' steam from his funnel would rather be blocked from carrying Sir Topham Hatt's top hat on his funnel.
- The Autumn setting and sets look really nice to look at as you can see the whole episode is set in such a nice Autumn portion of Sodor. The scenery and cinematography in this one shot of the episode looks really nice to look at.
- It's kind of interesting for a Season 10 episode to use one of Thomas' Season 3 faces. outraged faces from Season 3.
- This is the same episode that introduced the audience to Thomas and Spencer's rivalry for the very first time, which would be used for the first half of this episode and again in "Dream On" and in the movie, "Hero of the Rails" before the two engines do become good friends. The concept idea of a tank engine having a visiting engine from the Mainland is a great concept from the very start.
- This episode may have been inspired by the magazine story, "Thomas and the Windy Day".
- The US dub of the episode was never released on home media.
- This episode marks the last of two things:
- Kellsthorpe Road final appearance until the seventeenth series episode. "Wayward Winston".
- The original tired face for Thomas used in Season 1.
- In a Chinese book and a behind the scene preview, a deleted scene of Thomas and Bertie at a different level crossing shows that Bertie was intended to have a larger role before Thomas' race with Spencer.
- Thomas and Spencer each gained a new face that only appeared in this episode. However, the face that Thomas had was his unused outraged expression that was originally made for the third series.
- Thomas' large scale model from Jack and the Sodor Construction Company is used for when the hat lands on his funnel.
- The scarecrow is the same one seen in "Gordon Takes a Tumble".
- The music of the engines fighting in "Calling All Engines!" is reused when Thomas and Spencer race to Kellsthorpe station.