Edward and the Mail (Thomas & Friends)
"Edward and the Mail" is the 14th episode of Season 11 of Thomas & Friends, it aired on September 9, 2007, in the UK and was written by Paul Larson.
- While some feel that "Edward Strikes Out" started Edward's flanderization, compared to that episode, it was actually this episode that started his flanderization as he is a nervous wimp who is too scared to ask for help with pulling the mail train.
- This episode tries to make Edward feel relatable when it comes to him taking the mail train for Percy, but it fails because this episode could have been the right one for Molly instead of Edward.
- The narrator saying, "Edward is a very wise engine" is inaccurate since later in the episode, he is portrayed as an engine who is somehow nervous to ask for help, even though he would know how to do that by now. This line from the beginning of the episode itself makes the episode ironic given by the fact this episode doesn't remember what Edward is supposed to be, making him feel miscast.
- This episode is where HiT really remained inconsistent with Edward in terms of Edward-solo episodes from when "Edward Strikes Out" came along and portrayed him as an idiot jerk who sides up with Gordon on his prejudice of brakedown cranes, and in this episode, he is written as a self-conscious wimp who is somewhat afraid of asking for help. Then the next Edward focused episode after that, in Season 12's "Steady Eddie", he is written as a very irresponsible show-off. This episode, along with the other two episodes that are already mentioned, are not the Edward we all know and love.
- Plot hole: How did Percy break down in the first place? It is never explained why or how that happened.
- Like most episodes in the HiT live-action model era (except for Season 8), this is one of those episodes that follows the same stupid three strikes formula.
- By Season 11, the writing team (or HiT Entertainment themselves) should have known that fans and critics were getting tired of this formula. Of course, this episode was made in 2007, but that doesn't excuse the fact they have used the formula poorly in some of their scripts, and that doesn't matter if the episode was made in 2007 either.
- Edward should know how to deliver the mail by now. He clearly listened to what The Fat Controller told him to do, so why is he acting so stupid to the point he couldn't remember all the stations he is supposed to deliver the mail?
- Unlike the majority of the crashes in the series, the crash in the episode feels blatantly forced, unnecessary, and was just there so the third strike could happen.
- Edward's crew could at least help him with Edward's delivery problem. But in true HiT Entertainment fashion, their speaking roles are taken away by them, even though they still operate the engines.
- This episode also comes off as disrespectful to the original source material given by the fact the decision to rewrite Edward from his normal personality as a wise engine to an incompetent wimp who can't do anything.
- It failed last time in the infamous, "Edward Strikes Out" and look at how that worked.
- Out of all the Edward focused episodes, this episode is definitely one of Edward's worst episodes of all-time, even worse than "Edward Strikes Out".
- Henry's Western American accent for the US dub is excruciating and weird like usual. What's even more jarring and distracting is that this is consistently given to Henry for all of Season 11 in general.
- Great narration from both US/UK dubs like always.
- We do get to acknowledge that Edward has never taken the mail before, and the episode itself is proud to show this concept. Sadly, it was wasted to really bad execution.
- The episode does have a good message about why you should always ask for help.
- Edward is at the very least not miscast as a jerkish idiot engine in this episode, unlike in "Edward Strikes Out", or the irresponsible show-off like in "Steady Eddie".
- Beautiful visuals like always in this season and in the model era, despite the yellow lighting not aging well.
- The ending, while a bit predictable, is great. Edward asks Percy for his help, and Percy helps Edward out with his mail problem, and he finally remembers how to manage the train delivery correctly.
"Edward and the Mail" received negative reviews from fans. It received a 3.7/10 on iMDB.com for Edward's flanderization.