Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends

Season 5 Episode 18

Oliver's Find

Aired Weekdays 3:30 PM Oct 17, 1998 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
23 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Oliver's Find
Oliver has to take the Post Train for the first time, and he gets lost on the way home. But what is it that he has found?

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  • An interesting find by our beloved Oliver brings more business to the Island of Sodor.

    We first see Oliver kind of depressed in the beginning of the episode, and then he is introduced to a new job by Sir Topham Hatt. Its delivering and carrying mail on freight cars, etc. He liked the job, and one night though, he had to travle through the dark, and got lost. Well who doesn't get a little confused in the dark on a new job? So anyways, like any other engine would do, he got lost. Well, I already told you that. Sorry, so anyways again: Oliver then crashes and in the middle of "nowhere" I guess you could call it. Then Sir Topham Hatt and the others wonder where Oliver has been because he has not returned, and once they find him, he has crashed near an old building. Sir Topham Hatt soon decides to turn that building into a tea house, bringing more jobs and buisness to the Island of Sodor. The End. Well wait, I need to put my thoughts out on this episode. I thought the episode was okay, not too great, or exciting, but okay. Now, we have come to the end.moreless
  • Another great hit

    Oliver is feeling rather down and though Toad tries to up his spirit, it doesn't work. The trucks make things worse, and Oliver gives them a push into a turntable! That night, The Fat Controller comes and scolds Oliver and puts him on the night mail run, though his driver tells him it is good. So on their first trip, everything goes well until Harold holds them up. Angry, Oliver rushes so they aren't late. But a sleeping signalman causes more trouble and Oliver ends up crashing into a shed! The Fat Controller boards Harold the new morning and the find Oliver and his crew. But an old house attracts The Fat Controller's attention, and says they have found a new attraction, making Oliver feel very happy.

    The Great Western engine has once again glided through lots of misery and chaos to wrap everything up smoothly. One of the best things about this episode is he gets revenge to the trucks for the turntable incident in Oliver Owns Up back in Season Three! I thought that Toad could have played a large role in this episode, like he did in Toad Stands By, but at least we got to see him. Harold also got to play an role, and at least go to speak unlike in the previous episode. Oliver has always been one of my favourite charecters, so this episode appealed to me greatly. All the misfortunes help illustrate the troubles Oliver has had over his life. The accident was very good and rather realistic, though the goof with S.C.Ruffey was very dumb and nearly ruined the episode. It is good to see an engine other than Thomas and Percy taking the mail, so this change is quite good. The ending was very good as it wrapped things up smoothly and gave this great episode an extra sazzmoreless
  • For some reason, I really like this episode.

    Oliver appears to be suffering from Stepney Syndrome, because he is longing for a good long run. The Fat Controller sends him to work the mail train, but poor Oliver gets lost along the way. When the Fat Controller and Harold find Oliver, they also find an old house. They decide it will be a new tourist attraction on the island.

    I don't understand how you can't like this episode, I thought it was a very nice story. Oliver is one of my favorite characters, and I thought this was a great way to bring him back for this season. I also liked his new theme music too. Anyway, I thought this was great episode, and it is in my top ten list of Thomas episodes.moreless
  • Okay, maybe for die-hard Oliver fans.

    In this episode, Oliver is unhappy with pulls trucks all the time and has little patience with them, leading to an accident where he destroys the terminus(again!). So the Fat Controller has him do the mail run instead. But Oliver soon gets lost and the Fat Controller must find him.
  • ‘Oh, the railroad comes through the middle of the house…’


    Written by Britt Allcroft & David Mitton

    Episode Commentary by PeterSam

    Oliver and his companion Toad the brake van work in the big goods yard on the main line. Oliver arranges the trucks onto the turntable and Toad keeps them in order, but as we begin this phase in the life of the Great Western pair, all does not appear to be well. Toad questions his friend’s glum face. Oliver explains that he needs a change of scenery from the heavy commotion of the yard. The wise brake van suggests that he puts his problem to the Fat Controller, but Oliver appears reluctant. Instead, he goes about his duties in the yard, his heart sinking deeper and deeper…

    In his frustration, Oliver bangs the trucks aggressively about the sidings. They don’t like this at all, and complain that they want Percy instead. Oliver grunts that Percy is far too busy to waste his time with trucks. In a moment of unconscious fury, he sends a train of screaming trucks flying – straight into the turntable well. The foreman scolds Oliver, as the table will now need to be fixed – consequently causing (you got it!) ‘confusion and delay!’

    That night, the Fat Controller comes to see Oliver at his shed. As a punishment for causing the spillage, he decides to put the Great Westerner onto the mail-run for a while so that the night air will clear his smoke box of any negative energy. Oliver feels his position deeply, but his driver cheers him up - the mail-run is ideal for such a splendid engine. The following night Oliver is steaming swiftly along the coastal route with the post train, headlamps swaying and making excellent time. He has never felt better, until he is made to wait for Harold at the next station.

    Oliver waits impatiently, and when Harold finally does arrive (due to some technical difficulties), they are dangerously behind schedule. Oliver sets off again determined to make up for lost time, but as they enter out into the moonlit countryside, they come to a signal set at ‘danger’. The driver is certain that this is a mistake, and they blast the whistle loudly – unaware that the signalman on duty has fallen asleep whilst waiting for them. The crew decide to go ahead and find the signal box, but they never do! Oliver and his train swerve onto a siding, on course for disaster. Oliver’s brakes scream as he rolls helplessly past an aged station, but it is too late. He slides over a crossing and ploughs straight through the double-doors of an old barn – leaving him dazed and surprised in the darkness.

    Meanwhile, the Fat Controller is concerned that Oliver has still not returned from the mail-run. The next morning, he takes a ride in Harold and together they fly up over the countryside. Before long, they find their missing engine at the old station. By now, they have managed to haul Oliver out of the barn. Harold touches down to find the Great Western hero happier then he has ever been before, and the driver explains that the accident wasn’t Oliver’s fault. The Fat Controller, however, is distracted by something beside the line - an old Victorian house complete with servant quarters. He stares at it spellbound for a moment before turning back to Oliver and his crew with a broad smile – announcing that they have discovered a five-star attraction for the island’s ever-growing tourist industry. Now, visitors will be able to come to this little station and enjoy tea and crumpets at the house – an example of true Sudurian heritage. Oliver feels very proud, and agrees that it is best to found – especially when it makes an engine feel really useful.

    Critics’s Comments: This episode combined two elements of storyline and drama that could have made this the best story of the season – the fact that a whole half of the story was set at night, and the fact that Oliver, my favourite character, was the central star.

    It is interesting to note that the accident that sets the story in motion is an example of irony and a reversal of roles. Previously in Oliver Owns Up (Series 3), the trucks had pushed Oliver into the turntable well. But in this incident, it is Oliver who does the pushing. In a way, this could be seen as Oliver settling the scores – whether this was Allcroft and Mitton’s intention, or just laziness (associating Oliver with turntables) remains unknown.

    One minor let down was that the concluding accident and the build-up before hand seemed a little rushed, but this was made-up for through the beautiful scenery, natural effects and camera-work. One particular highlight was the effective camera-stunt used to simulate the ‘engine-eye-view’ of the barn approaching around the corner moments before the crash, a similar trick that was used in Haunted Henry to create spooky tension. Also on camera-angles, had the same angle used to shoot Duck crashing into the barbershop in A Close Shave been used for the crash…well, that’s another story!

    But I must be a little critical of one particular aspect. As I said previously, the only letdown of the episode was that the action seemed rushed. Had more time been spent building up tension and suspense, the episode would have been twice as good as it already is.

    Overall Rating: 7 ½ /10 – Great Western drama with a happy ending - what could be better?moreless

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