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Recap / Thomas The Tank Engine S 2 E 23 Edward's Exploit

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Air date: December 10th, 1986

Bertie has been taking several visitors to the Island of Sodor on a tour and on their last afternoon, Edward is to take them to visit Bill and Ben at the China clay works. But Edward has trouble starting due to the packed coaches. James and Henry make snide remarks, while Gordon grumbles that it's time for Edward to be retired. Duck and BoCo take exception to this, knowing Edward is capable of far more than he seems. Finally Edward manages to start and leaves the station.

Edwards arrives at the junction where the passengers meet Bill and Ben, who enjoy the attention and getting their photos taken. The passengers then board the twins' brakevans and travel to the China clay works. The visitors have a wonderful day, being very impressed with the clay works and Bill and Ben. Afterwards, the passengers return to board Edward's coaches.


On the way back, the weather takes a bad turn and it begins to rain hard. As Edward fights the elements, his sanding gear fails, which forces his fireman to ride out front to drop the sand onto the rails. But there's worse to come and Edward's wheels slip fiercely, causing him to stop with a nasty cracking noise.

Edward's crew examines him and finds that a crank pin broke and they're forced to remove the siderods that keep Edward's driving wheels synchronised. Edward's driver reminds him that they must get the visitors back to the station as soon as possible since they must leave tonight. Edward promises to try.

Edward tries to start, but the heavy coaches and slippery rails prevent him from leaving. Edward's crew makes adjustments to the coaches. Now, Edward will pull them as he does trucks, instead of pulling them all together; Edward will start the first, which will help pull the second and then the third. Edward makes another attempt to start and this time it works. Edward is forced to go slowly, but keeps steady and finally makes it back to the station.


By the time Edward returns, it's quite late, but the passengers have made it back in time. They're very grateful and thank Edward and his crew for all their hard work. Afterwards, Edward wearily returns to the shed. Duck and BoCo make sure Edward is left in peace as Gordon and James remain silent out of respect.

Tropes featured in the episode (YMMV here):

  • Alliterative Title
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Duck says this to Gordon, James and Henry who were mocking Edward.
  • Compressed Adaptation: From the book Main Line Engines. A few things were not added such as Edward scolding Bill and Ben for teasing Gordon in "Wrong Road", the reduced number of coaches Edward pulls, Edward being sent to the works to be mended, and BoCo doing Edward's work while he's away as well as being accepted by Donald and Douglas.
  • Cool Old Guy: Edward.
  • Dark Reprise: A dark version of Edward's leitmotif plays as he goes down the line with the stormy weather approaching, which leads to him breaking his crank pin.
  • Death Glare: Knowing that Edward was very late, the Fat Controller gives this to him while pointing at the clock. Despite this, the passengers applauded Edward for getting them to their destination despite a broken crank pin.
  • Determinator: Despite a broken crank pin, Edward still pulls the train to the station, although he was late.
  • Disneyfication: While it's likely more due to special effects limitations, Edward's breakdown is less severe than in the book, where without the crank pin to control it, Edward's siderod whirls out of control and tears up and impales his frame (with Edward's contorted expression showing it's giving him a lot of pain).
  • It Belongs in a Museum: Gordon scoffs that Edward should give up and be preserved before it's too late. Duck tells him off for this.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In the end, Gordon and James, who teased Edward for struggling with the coaches, were respectfully silent after hearing about his ordeal.


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