The Sad Story of Henry (lost live BBC broadcast adaptation of "The Railway Series" books; 1953)
Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends is a children’s show adapted from the Reverend Wilbert Awdry and his son Christopher Awdry’s The Railway Series stories. While this is certainly the most famous adaption of Awdry’s stories, it was not the first. The first attempt was a live broadcast in 1953 by the BBC; however, the broadcast didn’t fare well and caused a full series never to be produced.
Background[edit | edit source]
In 1953, the BBC approached The Railway Series editor Eric Marriott and inquired about the possibility of adapting at least two stories from The Railway Series to television in June of that same year. The proposition was agreed to by the author. The broadcast was to be done using 00 Gauge Hornby Models, while the sets were reminiscent of the illustrations of the book. This was to ensure that authenticity to the author and publishers' requests. The episode was broadcast live from Lime Grove Studios on Sunday, June 14th, 1953.
Live Broadcast[edit | edit source]
The story that the BBC chose to adopt was Wilbert's third story "The Sad Story of Henry". However, the director had to deal with the 00 Gauge Models, superimposed rain, effects, music and narration by Julia Lang. The script was "freely adapted" to ensure that the broadcasts met the ten-minute broadcast limit. The models were reported to jerk around as they moved. Other than that, the broadcast went fine until the engine derailed. This was caused by the mistake of not switching the points before the engine arrived at them. But to the surprise of the viewers, a hand picked up the engine and put it back on the rails.
Aftermath/Preservation[edit | edit source]
The incident made the front of several newspapers a week later. This caused the June 28th broadcast to be put on hold and later cancelled and although numerous attempts were made to revive the series, all were unsuccessful.
As the show was broadcast live and knowing the BBC's track record for preserving old content, it is no surprise that the broadcast is lost. It is highly unlikely that anyone recorded the single broadcast, however, a Sodor Island Forums user named OJ said that he might have seen a clip of it while watching an episode of "It'll Be Alright on the Night" somewhere in the 1990s. Sadly, the clip was later found to be something completely unrelated.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Images[edit | edit source]
Videos[edit | edit source]
See Also[edit | edit source]
Thomas & Friends[edit | edit source]
- Thomas & Friends "Jack Jumps In" (found Alec Baldwin narration of British children's TV series episode; 2002)
- Thomas & Friends: Day of the Diesels (lost original cut of direct-to-DVD film; existence unconfirmed; 2011)
- Thomas & Friends "Series 7" (partially found original music of American dub of British children's TV series; mid 2000s)
- Thomas & Friends "Series 12" (partially found Pierce Brosnan narrations of British children's animated series; 2008)
Thomas the Tank Engine[edit | edit source]
- Thomas the Tank Engine "Season 3" (found Michael Angelis narriation of British children's TV series episodes; 1991)
- Thomas the Tank Engine "Season 4" (found pre-recorded version of British children's TV series episodes; 1994)
- Thomas the Tank Engine "Down the Mine" (partially found unaired pitch pilot version of children's TV series; 1983)
- Thomas the Tank Engine "The Missing Coach" (partially found footage from unfinished episode of children's TV series; 1986)
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad (found deleted scenes of children's fantasy adventure film; 2000)
- Thomas the Tank Engine (lost pilot episode of unproduced 2D animated adaptation on "The Railway Series" books; 1976)
Other[edit | edit source]
- Thomas the Tank Engine (found original illustrated edition of book; 1946)
- Thomas and the U.K. Trip & Thomas Number 1 (found Japanese "Thomas the Tank Engine" crossover TV special and music video; 1993)
- Jack and the Sodor Construction Company (miscellaneous lost media of spinoff series; existence unconfirmed; 2002)
- The Three Railway Engines (found original edition of book; 1945)
- Barry the Rescue Engine (lost production material on cancelled "The Railway Series" book; 1980s)
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad (lost test footage of 3.5" character models for British children's TV series; 1995)