Season 23, Episode 21: Deep Trouble
Written By Michael White
Directed By Dianna Basso
Despite being as hardworking as the rest of their colleagues in The Pack, Max and Monty are usually devious and manipulative trucks who cause trouble for everyone they come into contact with until they are sternly scolded by Miss Jenny or any other form of authority when they are found out...and it seems like they may have gotten themselves into deep trouble when working at the lead mines on Thomas' branch line. Let's go go go on a big adventure with Max and Monty as we get into some 'Deep Trouble'!
DEEP TROUBLE: Careless Monty ignores the warning flags and gets himself into very deep trouble
- 'The Rise And Fall Of The Lead Mines'-with The Pack's newest construction site being at the old lead mines on Thomas' branch lines where they are being turned into a visitors' park, naturally it made sense for Thomas to be the one that takes Jack and Alfie to the site like he did during the days of the 'Jack And The Pack' spinoff series...and while we end up getting yet another reference to Season 1's "Down The Mine" for the umpteenth time, Thomas is actually using common sense and brings up a good logical reason as to why he doesn't want to make the same mistakes twice in how the ground may not be strong enough to hold his weight-in fact, this could very well be considered as a Jack And The Pack themed version of 'Down The Mine' considering the events that happen within this episode in terms of Max and Monty thinking that they know better than others with more experience like Darcy when they think the grounds of the lead mines are strong enough to hold their weight only to be proven wrong and make things right with those that they wronged at the start of the episode!
- The return of Jack And The Pack-I don't know how many fans in the community really wanted to see Jack And The Pack again in the series especially ever since the Big World Big Adventures revamp first started, but I am probably in the minority when I say that I loved Jack And The Pack during the model era of the series as well as in Season 20's "Mucking About" since they were a very cool concept albeit only having one or two episodes in the series every so often...also if you really think about it, Jack And The Pack will be having more appearances and screen time in this one season than they've had in the entirety of the series prior to this unless you count the half-completed spin-off series that happened between Seasons 7 and 8 of the television series! Also, there have been quite a few changes to the construction crew from Nathan Clarke no longer voicing Alfie The Excavator after Season 20's "Mucking About" as well as seeing more characters other than Thomas and Percy interacting with The Pack like they did during the model era days of the series on top of there being a couple of new recruits to join the team and balance out the genders...but we'll get to her in a moment!
- The return of Miss Jenny-the marketing may say that Jack The Frontloader is the leader of The Pack, but the real credit goes to the manager of the company and that is none other than the stern but friendly Miss Jenny Packard making her highly anticipated return to the series after a decade since Season 12's "Percy And The Bandstand" albeit in a non-speaking role since her last official role in the series was actually in the Jack And The Pack spinoff episode 'Mud Glorious Mud'...but regardless of when she last appeared, it is so great to see Miss Jenny again after so long and what's also great is that writer Michael White who has closely worked with Andrew Brenner kept her personality intact when entering into the newly CG-environment of the Thomas & Friends universe from her stern but friendly personality to her Irish accent supplied by newcomer to the voice cast Harriet Kershaw who will also supply the voice of Darcy The Tunnel Boring Machine. What else can you except...Miss Jenny, you'd make a mother proud!
- The fantasy sequences-with this now being one of the major selling points for the series, this sequence fueled by Max fearing the worst of leaving Monty in the deep hole he got himself into by ignoring the warning flags was actually pretty damn funny with Monty constantly falling and landing on ledges going the classic route of cartoony slapstick to match the fantasy sequences concept perfectly before crashing right through a hole into the heart of Australia of all places where we see Shane make a return since earlier in the season with 'Laid Back Shane'...it seems like the fantasy sequences that writer Michael White incorporates into the series are usually the funniest while also being the most creative!
Overall for what was basically a Jack And The Pack-themed version of Season 1's "Down The Mine", 'Deep Trouble' hardly caused any trouble at all in bringing our adventures with Jack And The Pack for Season 23 as a whole to a close...from discovering in Italy to digging on Sodor, there is nothing that this team of construction vehicles can't do and that is why I'm giving 'Deep Trouble' a rating of a 9 out of 10.
The Other Big Engine-9.5/10
Gordon Gets The Giggles-8.5/10
Laid Back Shane-8.5/10
Free The Roads-10/10
Heart Of Gold-10/10
Wish You Were Here-9/10
Diesel Glows Away-7.5/10
SEASON 23 OVERALL RATING: 8.72/10