I wanted to do the most Christmassy Christmas story I could possibly achieve. And so, riffing on my favourite aspects of the classic winter episodes, I wrote about special trains, fallen trees, angry engines and a little blue optimist who wants to make sure everyone has a happy Christmas Party. In this ridiculously long, and indeed ridiculous, episode, and I'll be honest, it is far FAR too long for the average viewer - I know this because I'm not looking forward to the post-upload watchthrough - I realised afterwards that there were about four different ideas that could have been 5 minute stories interwoven and tied together in such a way that you hopefully won't notice the joins - though I do appear to have failed in the sky department. It's literally a drinking game keeping an eye out for masking tape! This was filmed in about a week so while rushed and quite rough around the edges - I'll be honest, headcodes continuity goes out of the window, but hey, it's Christmas and 20 minutes of usable footage doesn't appear out of thin air. And I'll be honest, some of the stuff here isn't my finest hour. That said, some is and I'm very proud of it! Story 1 - THOMAS AND THE BIG ENGINES The 'Scrooge' plot, with Thomas trying to prove his worth. Jake inspired this one really, and I found it really fun writing for the 'Big Three'. They're a lot of fun to cover, and I look forward to doing it again in the new year. Story 2 - THOMAS AND THE SPECIAL TRAIN The plot where Thomas gets to pull the inevitable Special train. Edward was chosen specifically so that the scene where he gives Thomas a pep-talk pushes him quietly down. It's not as clear as I hoped it would be, but it's a minor thing really. Only Edward could get away with pulling that train and deserving help at the end in any case! Story 3 - THOMAS AND RORY The one where Rory breaks the tree and has to save the day by himself. This wasn't part of the first few drafts and I think George suggested it as a subplot. Certainly, this could easily be standalone, but it takes away from the tension and adds an element of humour I think! Story 4 - THOMAS AND THE VISITING DIESEL The one where I repeat the 'scrooge' plot, but in reverse. He loves Christmas, but never gets to celebrate! The visitor wasn't actually meant to speak. Then while writing, he found a voice. And then when Edward crashed, he spoke up again and pushed his way into the finale. Which was unexpected. Then Sean gave him a voice all over again, not pompous, just really grumpy and fed up.