With a long, long wait for new content from the show, I think it's time to review another old episode. And the episode I've chosen is one of the most divisive of the classic era, possibly one of the most divisive ever. That being Henry's Forest.
I reviewed this episode back in 2011 as part of a series 3 overview and... wow, was it terrible. My early reviews were criticised for being incredibly nitpicky. Looking back, the detractors were absolutely right. The episode that suffered the most nitpicky review was this one. It was a shameful piece of work that only focused on Rule 55 and agreed with everything the Rev. Awdry said. And while I do still agree that ignoring railway regulations was bad (in the context of how grounded and faithful episodes were to regulations back then), that's not what makes the episode bad. At all.
The Flying Kipper.
Edward's Exploit. The reason Edward's act of heroism stands out is because everything else before it is so... normal. The music is peppy, the sun's out, everything seems fine. Yet with one sentence, a change in conditions and a musical cue, you know something's wrong. And after Edward sets off, the narration and music become more triumphant. And while you do get musical changes with Henry's Forest... they're not strong enough to distinguish them from the supposed "uplifting" ditties we hear when we first enter the forest and when the episode ends.
Episode Rating: Bad