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- “Did you see him straining?"
"Just pathetic. He should give up and be preserved before it's too late."
"Shut up! You're all jealous. Edward's better than any of you."
"You're right, Duck. Edward's old but he'll surprise us all.”
- ―Henry, James, Gordon, Duck, and BoCo arguing about Edward
Edward's Exploit is the twenty-third episode of the second season.
Bertie has been taking several visitors to the Island of Sodor on a tour. On their last afternoon, Edward is taking them to visit Bill and Ben at the China Clay Works, but now has trouble starting due to the packed coaches. Henry asks if Edward has been seen struggling. James remarks it to be painful, while Gordon grumbles that it is time for Edward to retire. Duck and BoCo take exception to this and defend him, knowing that Edward is capable of far more than he seems. Finally, Edward manages to start and leaves the station.
When Edward arrives at the junction, the passengers meet Bill and Ben, who enjoy the attention and having their photos taken. The passengers then board the twins' brake vans and travel to the China Clay Works. The visitors have a wonderful day, being very impressed with the clay works as well as Bill and Ben. Afterwards, the passengers return to the junction and board Edward's coaches to head home.
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 manually sand the rails. Then there is worse to come, and as Edward's wheels slip fiercely, something breaks and causes him to stop with a nasty cracking noise. Edward's crew examine him and find that a crank pin broke, forcing them to remove the side rods that keep Edward's drive 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 finds that the heavy coaches and slippery rails prevent him from moving. The passengers become anxious, so Edward's crew make adjustments to the coaches so that Edward will cautiously pull them one by one as he does with trucks. 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, where Henry is waiting for him.
The Fat Controller is cross with Edward for how late he arrived, but the passengers are very grateful they made it 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.
- Bill and Ben (do not speak)
- Bertie (does not speak)
- Sir Topham Hatt (does not speak)
- The Enthusiasts (do not speak)
- Jeremiah Jobling (cameo)
- Jem Cole (cameo)
- The Ffarquhar Stationmaster's Wife (cameo)
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Lower Suddery
- Knapford Harbour
- Sodor China Clay Company
- C&B Barber
- The Drain
- Hackenbeck Tunnel (stock footage)
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Main Line Engines.
- Stock footage from Thomas and Bertie and Bertie's Chase is used.
- A deleted scene shows Henry in the sheds instead of James.
- When this episode appeared on the Thomas, Percy and the Dragon and Other Stories DVD, the last scene of the episode was cut. Instead, as this episode was the last one featured, the scene is used as a still image while the credits play.
- In the US, this episode aired before The Diseasel; this means that American viewers would not have known who Bill, Ben, and BoCo were.
- In the television adaptation, James is smiling when he sees Edward struggling, but in the original book, he is cross.
- This episode marks the last of a few things:
- The last appearance of the orange branch line coaches that are not Annie and Clarabel to date.
- The last time a character angrilly says "Shut up!" in an episode. From the third season on (starting off with Percy, James and the Fruitful Day), characters would angrilly say "Be quiet!" instead possibly because the script writers and production teams were accused of using a vulgar/offensive phrase. However, Diesel 10 can quietly be heard saying "Shut up" in Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
- The last second season episode not narrated by Ringo Starr in the US.
- When the engines watch Edward struggle, Edward, Gordon, and BoCo's eyebrows are missing. Edward's eyebrows are also missing when he pulls into the station and whistles. Also, the back roof of Knapford is missing.
- In the close-up of Gordon, the man next to him has blu-tack under his feet.
- When BoCo says "You're right, Duck!" his face mask moves a little.
- In a close-up of Edward struggling to pull his train, his second front wheel is derailed.
- When Edward leaves Knapford, the last coach's paint is peeling up.
- When Duck says, "Edward's better than any of you," a steam platform is visible underneath Edward.
- The first coach of Edward's train has a loose running board.
- In one shot, BoCo's angry face is missing the eyebrows.
- Fingerprints are visible in the dust on top of Bill and Ben's brake vans.
- When Bill and Ben arrive at the quarry, someone on the back of Bill's brake van wobbles.
- In the close-up of Edward's driving wheels without the siderods, some of the stickers used for Edward's lining are badly torn up.
- In the shot of inside Edward's cab after his driver says "Steady, boy," you can see the reflection of a crew member's beard in the window.
- When Edward enters his berth at Tidmouth Sheds, BoCo's shed doors are hanging off. In the same shot, Gordon's eyes are wonky.
- When Edward arrives at Knapford at night, blue wires are visible on his and Henry's running board, near their headlamps. Also, blu-tack is visible under Sir Topham Hatt.
- Edward mysteriously gains headlamps when he reaches Knapford.
- In the close-up of Edward's fireman sanding the track, Edward is not moving.
- BoCo and Duck confront the bigger engines for mocking Edward, but earlier, they looked just as amused as the others.
- When Edward says "I'll try, sir," the end of the set can be seen behind him.
- [Edward struggles to pull his train]
- Henry: Did you see him straining?
- James: Positively painful.
- Gordon: Just pathetic! He should give up and be preserved before it's too late!
- Duck: Shut up! You're all jealous. Edward's better than any of you!
- BoCo: You're right, Duck. Edward's old but he'll surprise us all.
- Edward: [finally puffs out of Knapford] I've done it! We're off! I've done it! We're off!
- (after hearing a nasty cracking noise, Edward's crew inspect and repair the suspected damage)
- Driver: One of your crankpins broke, Edward. We've taken your siderods off. Now you're like an old-fashioned engine. Can you get these people home? They must start back tonight?
- Edward: I'll try, sir.
- (Edward tries to start but his wheels slip and the train does not move; the passengers get anxious so Edward's crew adjust the coaches' couplings)
- Driver: We've loosened the couplings, Edward. Now you can pick up your coaches one by one, just as you do with trucks/freight cars.
- Edward: That'll be much easier. (starts moving slowly) Come on!
- (he moves cautiously forward, with the first coach moving helped to start the second, and then the third)
- Edward: (finally resumes at his regular speed) I've done it, I've done it!
- Driver: Steady boy! Well done, boy! You've got them, you've got them!
- Narrator: And he listened happily to Edward's steady beat, as he forced slowly but surely ahead.
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