Henry's Forest (Thomas & Friends)
"Henry's Forest" is the ninth episode of the third season of Thomas and Friends. It is based on the magazine story of the same name and "Clearing Up", both originally written by Andrew Brenner. It aired on December 16th, 1991 on PBS in the US as part of Shining Time Station before airing on April 14th, 1992 in the UK on ITV a year later, despite being produced the same year.
Why it Rocks
- The episode's message always shows that sometimes, things that were once destroyed can be built and brought back together.
- The music by both Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell is both music composers at their best.
- The overall plot is emotionally sad as you see Henry seeing his favorite forest being torn down by the strong nighttime storm.
- Excellent narration from both Michael Angelis and George Carlin likewise.
- The sets of the forest are spot on and they really do look like what a real forest would look like.
- Great story adapting with the help of both Britt Allcroft and David Mitton.
- Heartwarming ending: After Toby had delivered the new trees to be planted for Henry's Forest, Henry returns to see Terence and Trevor beginning the forest all over again, as we get the last lines of the episode from the narrator on such a touching note (The last lines can be seen captioned).
- Wilbert Awdry hated this episode (see Trivia below).
- Henry only has two lines despite being the main character. This could be due to the original four minute and thirty second time limit.
- A photograph from this episode was released as a Royal Mail stamp in 2011 to mark the Reverend Awdry's Centenary.
- This episode marks the last appearance of the Country Line to date, not counting a deleted scene in the third season episode, "No Joke for James".
- On the week when both this episode and "Diesel Does it Again" made their television debut, TV Times held a competition with the deadline on May 1st, 1992. Fans had to write the correct names of three engines as pictured in a scene from "Woolly Bear" and send in their answers. Seven winners would receive various assorted Thomas goods as their prize.
- From this episode onwards, Trevor's eyes move with a motor.
- The Reverend W. Awdry is known for criticizing this episode for its lack of realism. The major flaws he found were Henry's driver letting him stop in the forest without alerting a signalman (Rule 55), paving the way for a severe crash with an unaware locomotive and the number of trees so close to the line that could catch fire from a spark from an engine's funnel. He also stated that engines should not be interested in scenery. Britt Allcroft, the episode's adapter, countered the second flaw by claiming to have seen many other railways do the same thing.