Thursday, 27 April 2017


It's no great secret that one of my favourite shows to this day is "Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends", especially the first two seasons. Episodes like "Coal" from the first season where the Fat Controller gives Henry a fair go make my heart sing, and while Henry is special to me in his own way, he's just not Edward.

Seriously, how can you NOT love this wise old engine? Not only is this bright blue "Larger Seagull" a gorgeous example of a Furness Railway K2 engine, but he's also the kindest, most helpful soul on the Island of Sodor.

Before I go on though, let's make one thing clear: Edward and James are two completely different models of train - in fact, James is a L&YR Class 28 variant (a failed experiment) with a 2-6-0 config. Edward is a 4-4-0 config, and is much better-looking in my very honest opinion!

While I can relate to Henry the most sometimes (especially in the aforementioned "Coal" episode) he still has his moments where he's easily led by the other engines who might not be the best examples, like Gordon or James. Edward on the other hand, while being timid like Henry, has enough sense of self to not buy into their nonsense and do his own thing. Instead of being worried about being seen with the shiniest of new coaches, he's happy to go and play with trucks. Instead of being vain and silly, he's wise and helpful, always willing to lend a hand (or wheel...whatever) to whomever might be in trouble (for example, pushing Gordon up the hill when he gets stuck or saving Trevor from scrap).

These things, along with Edwards sunny nature and strong work ethic, make me love the little engine so much. I would LOVE to see episodes on Edwards backstory, as he's so old he was actually one of the engines who helped build the Fat Controllers railway. It would be so interesting to see the way he became the wise old man that he is today. I imagine that when he first started, he was a lot like Thomas, although perhaps not so impulsive or arrogant.

He's not perfect of course, and sometimes the words of the bigger, younger, stronger engines get to him and make him sad (and we won't talk about the complete character retcon they did to him in later seasons - it makes my blood boil), but that's what makes me love him so much - even though he's upset, he still keeps on going and doing his own thing, which is whatever the Fat Controller needs him to do. This is a quality that not many people seem to have. Many people either get sad or angry and either look to pay their tormentor out or just give up and go with the flow. We could all learn a lot from Edward, who is easily one of my favourite characters of all time.

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