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Henry's Special Coal
Coal, retitled Henry's Special Coal for American releases, is the eighteenth episode of the first season. In the US, this episode aired on Shining Time Station episodes Happy Accidents and Dan's Big Race.
One morning, Henry wakes up feeling very ill. He complains about it to James, who simply shrugs it off as Henry being lazy. The Fat Controller is also unhappy about this, given this is the latest in a long line of problems with Henry, and not even new parts or paint seem to help. The Fat Controller warns Henry that a lot of money has been spent on trying to get him better which has not worked, and unless something changes he will forced to replace Henry, which greatly upsets the green engine and his crew.
Later, as Henry prepares to take his first train, the Fat Controller, determined to get to the bottom of Henry's problems, decides to ride along in the cab (changing out of his trademark suit and top hat and into overalls). Henry manages to start but the fireman is not pleased and notes that Henry's fire does not give enough heat. As a result, Henry quickly loses steam and has to rest when he reaches Edward's station. Henry feebly runs into a siding, certain he's going to be sent away as Edward takes control of the train.
Henry's crew and the Fat Controller continue to discuss what the problem is. The fireman discovers the root of the problem; the coal provided is unsuitable for him. While the other engines have nice big fireboxes, Henry's is too small. But if Henry had Welsh coal, he would easily improve. The Fat Controller thinks about it, and although welsh coal is expensive, he wants to give Henry a fair chance and decides to send for some.
When the coal arrives, the fireman carefully stokes up Henry's fire to give the best possible results. Henry has his doubts but his mood changes as he comes into the platform... the coal is now burning very nicely and Henry is full of steam. The Fat Controller is happy to see that Henry is feeling well and warns the driver not to push him. The driver assures him not to worry... if anything, he will have to hold Henry back.
Henry has a wonderful day, having never felt better and enjoying being full of steam, running as fast along the line as his driver will let him. For the first time, Henry makes it to the junction before Thomas. When Thomas arrives, Henry calls him "lazybones" before quickly running off. Thomas, too surprised to be cross, reacts with disbelief and Annie and Clarabel agree they've never seen anything like it.
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Henry the Green Engine.
- Stock footage from Edward, Gordon and Henry and Troublesome Trucks is used.
- A rare picture implies that James may have been intended to have a larger role in this episode.
- Because stock footage is used, the Fat Controller is smiling when he tells Henry that he might have to be replaced.
- The track bumps as Henry passes the Wellsworth signalbox.
- As Edward backs onto the train, his eyes repeatedly bounce up and down.
- In the close-up of Henry's driver holding a piece of coal, a big piece of blu-tak is visible sticking the coal and his hand together.
- When Henry's fireman says "We'll have a roaring fire", blu-tak is visible below his left arm. In that same scene, a part of Henry's paintwork is blue (this is because the large scale tender is really Gordon's modified, you can tell from the shape of the tender).
- In the close-up scene of Henry after he had his new coal, he is in his new shape.
- As Henry leaves Knapford, the truck at the top of the platform changes to a van. To add to that, his brake coach is at the front of his train until he passes the goods train. Also, when Henry leaves the station, steam rises in between his coaches.
- When the narrator says "he wanted to go fast", the bush beside the track shakes.
- Henry's brake coach constantly changes position throughout his journey.
- In the restored version, when Henry backs into the siding, his tender hits the station building, a few chuffs are heard even after he stopped, and Henry backs into the siding, only to leave it again.
- When Henry passes the goods yard, blu-tak can be seen under a workman's shoes.
- In the final scene, during the close up of Thomas' face, it is clear that it hadn't been fixed properly, as viewers can see behind his eye.
In Other Languages
|Spanish||Un Carbón Especial para Henry||Special Coal for Henry|
|Danish||Henry og kul||Henry and the Coal|
|Finnish||Huono Hiili||Bad Coal|
|Italian||La Locomotiva Malata||The Sick Locomotive|