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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story.

“An honest steamie can beat a pouty puffer any day!”

Edward the Great is the fourteenth episode of the eighth series.


Edward enjoys being useful and helpful, but he feels left out when he is not as strong as the other engines. The Duke and Duchess of Boxford are visiting along with their engine, Spencer to see their new summerhouse. When Spencer arrives at Knapford, his driver tells him that he beat Gordon's record. Spencer boasts that he is faster and finer than all the engines on Sodor put together, which makes the Fat Controller's engines very cross. The Fat Controller arrives and tells them that whilst Spencer is taking the Duke and Duchess to their new summerhouse, another engine will take their furniture. Thomas, Percy, James and Gordon want the chance to pull it to show Spencer that they are faster than him, but the Fat Controller lets Edward take the furniture, as the others have other work to do. James and Gordon believe that Edward will lose the race, but Thomas and Percy stand up for Edward and that he can beat Spencer. Edward takes off, but Spencer speeds past Edward until he is out of sight.

Edward struggles up Gordon's hill with the heavy furniture, but makes it to the top and races down the hill to catch up to Spencer. Later, Spencer stops at Wellsworth for the Duke and Duchess to have tea and cakes. Edward catches up and is very tired and wishing for a rest, but continues on when the stationmaster and the porters cheer for him after hearing about the race. The Duke and Duchess finish their tea and cakes and Spencer goes off in a flash speeding past Edward, once again leaving him to struggle with the heavy furniture.

Later, Spencer stops once again for the Duke and Duchess to take some photographs of the countryside, and Spencer goes to sleep to pass the time, not worrying that he will lose. When Gordon is puffing by and sees Spencer, he believes Edward is losing the race and says that Edward is a waste of steam. But when he sees Edward trying so hard to catch up, he feels bad about what he said and congratulates Edward and that he is a credit to the railway. Edward is so happy that he picks up speed and finds puff he never knew he had.

When the Duke and Duchess finish taking the photographs and get back on board, Spencer's driver rings the bell for him to go. However, Spencer does not hear the bell as he is still asleep dreaming of victory, and so he also does not hear Edward puff past him. When Spencer's driver rings the bell again, Spencer wakes up shocked to see that Edward is heading towards the summerhouse and tries to catch up with him, but his driver tells him to slow down because of the old tracks. Spencer slows down and knows he is going to lose the race. Edward makes it to the summerhouse and is happy that he had won the race against Spencer and he feels like the pride of the Sodor Railway.




  • Going by production order, this is the eighth episode of the eighth series.
  • The title of the episode is a reference to an Achaemenid-Persian military king from Iran, Cyrus the Great.
  • Donald and Douglas were going to appear in the episode, but they were cut for unknown reasons. This would have been their only full appearance in the eighth series, as they are otherwise only mentioned in You Can Do it, Toby! Donald and Douglas' deleted scene appeared in the My Thomas Story Library book of Spencer with the twins cheering Edward on and telling him he is a first rate engine and the shot where they appeared in would be featured in the music video for A World Around You.
  • This episode marks the first to feature Edward's unused fourth series deadpanned face. This is also one of the only two episodes to feature the said face, the other being the ninth series episode, Thomas and the Birthday Picnic.
  • Edited stock footage from Gordon and Spencer is used. It is edited because there is a shiny star that twinkles when Spencer leaves the tunnel.
  • This episode marks the last of a few things:
    • The last episode where Spencer is seen in his blue grey livery as starting from his next appearance onwards, his paint changes to metallic silver. This could be the reason why he did not appear in the ninth series.
    • The last appearance of the flour mill.
  • This episode marks the only time with a few things:
  • While the Duke and Duchess have refreshments, posters advertising the White Star Line and the London, Midland and Scottish Railway are visible in the top left corner. A picture of City of Truro can also be seen inside Spencer's coach.
  • The concept of Spencer falling asleep and unintentionally allowing Edward to overtake him by having him win the race is extremely similar to Aesop's fable, The Tortoise and the Hare. The story and title are used for another episode.
  • A poster at Knapford reads "Allicia Botti Flower Show Grand Opening!" in the close-up of Spencer's driver.
  • From this episode throughout the rest of the series, Salty's horn sound is Derek's in two half steps higher in pitch.
  • In the individual version of the episode, the last bit of music is omitted at the end.
  • Abi Grant stated on her website that this was one of her favourite episodes centred around Edward.


  • Edward's whistle is bent in the opening shot.
  • When Edward stops to rest on a siding, Henry has Gordon's whistle sound.
  • The narrator and Gordon mentioned that Spencer is silver, even though the latter was painted blue-grey.
  • Due to the use of stock footage, Spencer has bronze buffers, and the bores of Henry's Tunnel have one track each.
  • Spencer has the sound of an aeroplane jet engine, but he is a steam engine.
  • In the first overhead shot of Edward and Spencer racing, Spencer's steam platform is visible.
  • When Spencer stops, the Duke and Duchess are already out of the coach taking pictures. Also, Spencer's puffing is out of sync with his speed.
  • When Edward sneaks past Spencer sleeping, his eyes were misaligned.
  • As the episode starts with an introductory of Edward, Michael Brandon's voice cracks during the opening scene while narrating about who Edward is and what he does.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Arabic إدوارد العظيم
Brazilian Portuguese Edward, o Grande
Chinese Mandarin 伟大的爱德华
Croatian Edo veliki
Czech Edvard veliký
Danish Edward den store
Dutch Edward de Grote
Finnish Edvard Suuri
French Edouard est un Champion!
German Edward, der Große
Hungarian A Verseny
Italian Edward il grande
Japanese いだいなエドワード
Korean 에드워드의 승리
Latin American Spanish El Gran Edward
Norwegian Edward den store
Polish Edek Wielki
Romanian Edward cel Mare
Russian Эдвард великий
Spanish Edward el Grande
Swedish Edvard den store

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  • The Complete Series 8

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