Toby – Rev. W. Awdry

More in the Series – The Railway Series
“More in the Series” scores the other books in a series where one (or more) of the books have made it into the 1001 Books list. Mostly because I’m a bit of a completionist. 

POINTS: 2 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 points
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story:  2 points.
Discretionary ideological points: 0 points.

Well this one still has no Bechdel pass, but at least now we have two female characters who have names AND dialogue, albeit not with each other. Which is pretty progressive for this series.

Snark aside, Toby is one of the better Railway Series stories in my opinion. Toby is a tram who is getting less and less use and is rescued by the Fat Controller for his railway. Toby is one of the better characters – way less whiny, childish and arrogant than the Gordons and Jameses of the series. Toby is a genuinely good hearted character who works hard and stays cheerful.

The Mrs Kyndley plotline is pretty solid too – in that old “one good turn deserves another” trope. Mrs Kyndley saves the trains from crashing into an avalanche and in return they send her on holiday to get better. I mean, her role in the story is right there in the name, really – she’s the kindly old woman who helps them. So it’s not subtle, exactly, but at least the underlying ideologies of this one are a bit more palatable than some of the others in the series.

Definitely my favourite so far in this series. Which isn’t saying much, admittedly, but if you must fall down the “Thomas” rabbithole, this is one of the better options.




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