As the landmark twentieth
TV series for Thomas
& Friends, this batch of episodes needed a special touch; much like with
Series 10, first broadcast over a decade ago, Series 20 contains 28 episodes -
including the first adaptations of Railway Series material made since the end
of Series 4 - discounting The Adventure
Begins in 2015.
Chronologically taking place after Series 19 and Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, but
preceding The Great Race, Series 20 shows the further development of characters
introduced in 2015 - including Philip, Ryan, Skiff, Glynn, Judy and Jerome (the latter
of whom debuted in The Adventure
Begins) - tying up any loose threads left dangling after the 70th
Anniversary series and specials.
The Railway Series adaptations featured all derive
from the three latter stories in 1967's 'Small Railway Engines', including 'Tit
for Tat', 'Mike's Whistle' and 'Useful Railway' (as elements of 'Ballast were already
covered in 'Lost Treasure'),
seeing the characters of Rex, Bert, Mike and the Small Controller brought to
the small-screen for the first time ever - with all respective adaptations
written for the screen by Andrew Brenner, reprising his role as Head Writer
Series 20 also gave several returning characters
more (and much needed for some)
screentime, such as Daisy the Diesel Rail-Car, who had previously appeared in
only three episodes of the TV Series, and one special (Calling All Engines!) before
returning in 2015 as a surprise for
the final scene of 'Legend of the Lost Treasure' - with four episodes, all
penned by the talented Davey Moore, giving her the limelight she deserves!
Donald and Douglas, the Scottish Twins, also take
centrestage in 'Love Me Tender' (also written by Moore), with Rob Rackstraw
taking over the role of the latter twin from Joe Mills.
In recognition of the advent of The Great
Race, Series 20 also
incorporated elements of the latter special that would appear to set it up
chronologically, such as a musical episode ('Sidney Sings'),
international/foreign engines, (i.e. Hugo
the Rail-Zeppelin) and the Fat Controller's engines travelling to the Other
Railway on the Mainland (as in 'Letters
Series 20 - much like 17 and
18 before it - seemed
to return to further development of new/returning characters, as well as a
variety of loose story-threads that are contained within the series, or appear
to carry on from prior episodes.
Ryan the Big Tank Engine
Glynn the Coffee-Pot Engine
Hugo the Rail Zeppelin
Rex the Small Green Engine
Mike the Small Red Engine
Bert the Small Blue Engine
Jerome & Judy the Breakdown Crane
Bradford the Brake Van
Skiff the Rail-Sail Boat
Glynn's Christmas Wish
VOICE ARTISTS (USA ONLY)
In 2017 we
ran a poll on Series 20 to determine what the best episodes of the Series were
as well as what else fans enjoyed about it.Best episodes, songs, new friends and aspects of production are included and
broken down in our poll results blog!
some fan-content, remakes and reviews – and Series 20 content from the Official
Thomas & Friends YouTube Channel!
20.1 - Sidney Sings
Written by Lee
Sidney, the Blue Diesel Shunter,
forgetful in his nature; even more so when left around in the Dieselworks
waiting for his new wheels to eventually arrive - all thanks to help from
One day, more recently, Percy comes off the rails
and is in need of new wheels at the Steamworks. The Fat Controller orders
Sidney to collect them from Brendam Docks, but Sidney - nervous about such as
prestigious job, because of his forgetful nature - is unsure to start with,
until Thomas helps out by recommending that Sidney sing to himself about his
work, in order to remember it properly.
Everything starts out well at first, until a
pompous remark from Gordon throws Sidney off - and he ends up at Whiff's Waste
Dump, convinced that he's picking up an old boiler, before getting himself
mixed up again when Whiff tells him that "an elephant never forgets!"
Eventually, poor Sidney returns to Knapford feeling
upset with himself; but the tables turn when some passengers are waiting for an
engine to take their train...to Brendam Docks.
Upon arrival, Sidney's passengers
sing his praises
to the Fat Controller - who is frustrated by Sidney forgetting about Percy's
wheels in the first place. However, Sidney - now more confident again, and
still singing! - delivers the wheels to the Steamworks in Crovan's Gate, even
though evening has drawn in and everyone else has gone home, leaving Percy and
Sidney laughing together over the day's events.
20.2 - Toby's New Friend
Written by Andrew Brenner
Philip has settled in at Knapford
to know his fellow engines - but he has yet to meet Toby the Tram Engine, whom
he is fascinated by in shape and size; however, when the two eventually meet,
it appears that Philip's excitable nature is too much for Toby, even though
Henrietta warms to the Diesel Box-Cab a little!
Soon, Toby and Henrietta are out along the Branch
Line taking workmen to the Quarry; Philip eventually catches up to them, and
challenges Toby to a race. Despite his initial hesitance at the idea, Toby is
chanted on by the workmen, and the race is on!
...only to soon be over when Philip goes ahead,
nearly crashing into Thomas, Annie and Clarabel!
Toby arrives at the Quarry feeling glum, but Philip
feels glummer - assuming that Toby doesn't like him; he later says so to Thomas
back at Knapford, who explains that Toby isn't a Diesel Box-Cab as Philip first
thought - but a Steam Tram, and that they don't have to like the same things to
be friends; this point is backed up further by Toby himself when he and Philip
see each other again at the water tower.
From then on, Toby and Philip
have since been
friends, and while he tries his best to be a little quieter, Philip only does
so a little too loudly!!
- Henry Gets The Express
Written by Helen Farrall
Gordon wakes up one morning,
to pull the Express! His reason being that his firebox hasn't been cleaned out
yet, due to tiredness the day before. Thomas suggests that Henry take it
instead, but Gordon only shrugs this idea off - worrying Henry with his remarks
on how difficult it is to pull such a prestigious train.
Eventually, Thomas brings Gordon's coaches to the
platform at Knapford - telling the Fat Controller the situation, and that he
thought of Henry as the Express engine in Gordon's place. The Fat Controller
approves, making Henry happy - despite his worries, at first, finally being
assured when the Guard at Kellsthorpe Road comments that he wishes Henry
"could pull the Express all the time!".
Meanwhile, Gordon finally arrives, and is ordered
to take goods trains in Henry's place; at first, he pulls some trucks to
Brendam Docks, before collecting another train of coal to deliver back to
Knapford Station - enviously watching a proud Henry passing by along the way.
After declining Gordon's request at pulling the Express again, the Fat
Controller sends the big blue engine to the Blue Mountain Quarry - to collect
some stone trucks. Skarloey and a surprised Rheneas all watch as Gordon's
trucks give him a hard time, until he eventually concedes not to pull them,
before going back to Tidmouth.
That night, Gordon is berated
for shirking his
goods train by the Fat Controller, who orders him to take 'The Flying Kipper' -
otherwise, Henry would pull the Express "forever." At last, following
some clever wordplay from Henry regarding whether he'd be up to the task -
Gordon leaves the shed to pull the Fish Train. He returns next morning, elated
to be given back the Express...as soon as he's had a washdown first, to remove
the scent of smelly fish.
20.4 – Diesel & The
Written by Lee Pressman
It doesn't take much for Diesel
to upset anyone;
but after Thomas gets a nasty surprise from him at the Docks, and Percy at the
washdown, Thomas has had enough of his "rough and tough" behaviour -
which is only egged on more by 'Arry & Bert.
However, upon witnessing a group of ducklings being
gently cooed by Diesel, Thomas is highly amused! He does, however, agree to
take a vow of silence if Diesel agrees to be nicer to the other engines. At
first, this goes well - as Diesel passes on kind (albeit rather forced) greetings
on to Gordon, Henry and Edward; but
to avoid 'Arry and Bert seeing this at the Big Station, Diesel goes back to
being rude to poor Emily - only to turn nice again, confusing the other
engines, as soon as Thomas spots him and utters a small,
Unfortunately, Diesel continues to act out against
everyone - even going so far as to hold up Gordon and James on the same line,
coming down Gordon's Hill, and bumping the trucks wide awake in the Yard - but
in both instances, Thomas quacks again, frightening Diesel into behaving;
eventually, 'Arry & Bert catch on to this obscure attitude adopted by
Diesel, so Thomas resorts to showing the pair the very same ducklings
befriended by Diesel earlier on.
But as they rush to the siding
by the ducklings'
lake, Thomas nearly runs into them on the line!! He stops just in time however,
thanks to Diesel crying out in horror; Diesel also berates Thomas for going so
far, before insisting on his "rough and tough" behaviour again...only
to find 'Arry and Bert cooing the ducklings as well, and for Thomas to call
them all "softies at heart!"
20.5 – Bradford the Brake Van
Written by Lee Pressman
When Samson arrives from the
Mainland with his
Brakevan, Bradford, the latter takes notice of Thomas struggling with the
Troublesome Trucks - offering to help and keep them in order; Bradford does so
instantly with a no-nonsense attitude that quickly shuts the trucks up, much to
the surprise (and satisfaction) of Thomas and the other engines.
However, Bradford delays Thomas' departure from the
Blue Mountain Quarry by pointing out that the stone in the trucks is just a
millimetre too high! The Fat Controller hurries Thomas along when he finally
gets to the Docks, leaving Whiff to take charge of Bradford on his rubbish
train, and then with Henry and 'The Flying Kipper' later still; both times, the
engines are delayed due to the most minor of infractions - and before long,
everyone is annoyed with Bradford.
The next morning, Thomas sidles quietly away with
his trucks again - doing his utmost to avoid being noticed by the haughty
brakevan; however, Bradford does so, calling out to Thomas that he needs to
speak with him. However, when Thomas and the trucks arrive at Gordon's Hill,
the train goes much too fast upon going down - crashing into the back of
Luckily, however, the damage
isn't too serious, and
Harvey clears up the mess instantly - but the Fat Controller is upset that
Thomas went without a brakevan this time. Returning to the Yards, Thomas
apologises to Bradford for ignoring him; but Bradford merely explains that he
was trying to say "goodbye" to everyone - as Samson is taking him
back to the Other Railway. Everyone whistles to note Bradford's departure (albeit
with an abrupt halt from the latter
at first), as he leaves....while the Troublesome Trucks prepare to make
20.6 – Saving Time
Written by Andrew Brenner
One day, Samson arrives in
the Yard, declaring to
Thomas, Stanley and (a blatantly oblivious) Diesel that he's needed by the Fat
Controller for an important job at the Blue Mountain Quarry...only for Thomas to
correct him on the fact that he's not "the only engine for the job",
and they set off together.
Determined to prove himself, Samson is coupled up
to a tremendous number of stone trucks to pull at his own instance; however, he
ignores some light-ribbing from Sir Handel and Peter Sam - deciding to carry on
regardless. Eventually, after a near miss with a red signal, Samson comes to
Gordon's Hill - struggling more than once with the trucks, even with Thomas's
help; until eventually, when Paxton appears behind them on the same line, the
two engines enlist his help as they finally make it across - nearly ending up
going too fast!
The Fat Controller waits for
them at the Docks,
reprimanding both engines for their lateness; Samson apologises, before
returning with Thomas to the Quarry - only this time, instead of taking so many
trucks in one go....he pulls just a single truck with a brakevan back to
20.7 – Ryan
Written by Davey Moore
Daisy and Ryan are doing such
a good job of running
the new Branch Line to Harwick, that the Fat Controller decides that they
should both be given new additional duties.However, whilst Ryan is hardworking and eager to please the Fat
Controller, Daisy remains as lazy and stubborn as ever.
The Fat Controller now wants Ryan to help Toby
deliver stone from the Ffarquhar Quarry to Harwick, whilst Daisy collects a
mail truck first thing in the morning before she begins her passenger run and work
later into the evening.Daisy is
horrified when she learns of the plans, and tells Ryan she can’t pull the
mail truck – “it’s Fitter’s orders!” She then tells
Ryan he’d look great pulling the mail truck... and he agrees to take it in her
place.But the additional work makes him
late to meet Toby at the Quarry.
Later that day, Ryan meets Daisy in the yard at
Arlesburgh West.Instead of working
late, she’s going back to the shed to rest.She then tells Ryan doing her later passenger run would be really useful
and doing her a huge favour.Eager to
please, Ryan runs the evening passenger service – to the bewilderment of the
Fat Controller, who wanted to tell Daisy her passenger run was being extended
to Knapford Station.But when he returns
to the shed, Daisy is asleep – so he couldn’t tell her, and doesn’t wake her
next morning when he leaves to start work.
Instead, he decides to run the passenger service
himself, whilst taking the mail truck and preparing to take the stone trucks
from the Quarry.All the extra work
causes a lot of upset – Ryan’s view is obscured by the mail truck as he puffs
through Alresburgh Junction, narrowly avoiding a collision with Duck, and when
he discovers he’s late to meet Toby again, he takes the passenger train to the
Quarry with him.
The Fat Controller, who saw
Ryan puff through
Arlesburgh West, scolds Daisy for not doing the run from Knapford, and for
letting Ryan do all her other extra jobs.Daisy tries to justify herself by claiming that Ryan wanted to be really
useful by helping out, but the Fat Controller is disappointed in both engines –
they haven’t been working together.Daisy recognises the error of her ways and apologises to Ryan, and the
Fat Controller tells her that tomorrow, she will be collecting Ryan’s stone
trucks instead of taking the mail truck! Daisy is reluctant, but agrees, and
morning, sets off to the Quarry, shuddering at the prospect, but grateful to
have a friend like Ryan!
20.8 – Henry In The Dark
by Lee Pressman
Luminous, glow-in-the-dark paint is
used at the steamworks to paint signs so the engines can see them more easily
at night. One day, when Henry’s sent to be repainted, Kevin accidentally gets
luminous green paint to repaint him with instead of his usual green; but no-one
realises. As Henry travels along the line it gets dark and his paint starts
glowing. His glowing paint scares first Thomas, then James and then Gordon who
all rush off in a fright but Henry doesn’t know how he’s managed to scare them.
At Brendam Docks Salty, Porter and
Cranky are all scared of Henry too until Cranky realises it’s just Henry with
glowing paint. Cranky shows Henry what he looks like in a mirror and Henry
suddenly understands why everyone was scared of him; they all thought he was a
Henry returns to Tidmouth sheds the
next morning when it’s light again and his paint is no longer glowing. The
other engines are still talking about the “ghost train” and ask Henry if he saw
it. Henry tries to explain but the other engines talk over him, and Gordon and
James start joking about how scared he must have been. Upset by their teasing,
Henry hides himself away in his shed and refuses to speak to any of them.
The next night all the engines except
Henry refuse to leave Tidmouth Sheds. The Fat Controller comes to talk some
sense into them and discovers they’re all too scared of the ghost train. When
the Fat Controller points out that Henry has already left to take the Flying
Kipper, and so clearly isn’t scared of the ghost train, the others all start to
wonder if Henry’s braver than they are.
Suddenly Henry arrives with bright
glowing paint and gives everyone a fright. The Fat Controller runs off and the
the other engines all hide themselves in their sheds. Henry announces that it’s
only him and the other engines emerge and ask him why he didn’t tell them
earlier that he was the ghost train. Henry explains that he tried to but they
didn’t listen. Suddenly all the engines are scared by a figure emerging from
the coal heap- the Fat Controller covered in coal dust. The Fat Controller
realises what’s happened to Henry and sends him back to the steamworks to be
repainted into his usual, non-glowing, green paint with red stripes.
20.9 – The Missing Breakdown Train
by Davey Moore
Judy and Jerome are the Island's
train, who are used in cases of emergencies where engines, coaches or trucks
come off the rails. They stay in Knapford Yard and, one day while resting, the
two are spooked by Ryan, simply wanting to say "hello" to them.
Jerome tells Ryan that Rocky receives all the jobs that they used to have,
while Judy says they are left in the yard. After hearing this, Ryan takes them
up the line to Arlesburgh to give them a change of pace. They are left along the
seaside catching sight of Skiff, a lighthouse, ships in the harbor, and
seagulls flying above. Evening dawns and, after seeing Skiff repeatedly and
developing a dislike of seagulls, the two find themselves bored enough to the
point of falling asleep.
After waking up weary of the birds and salty sea
air corroding their gears, Judy and Jerome decide to ask an engine to move them
somewhere else. Oliver, being the first to pass by, gets roped into taking them
to a siding by a field of sheep. Quickly finding themselves bored, Duck becomes
the next engine to move them. Meanwhile Daisy is returning home from her day's
work when a bull strays onto her line, prompting a nearby signalman to quickly
reroute her on a siding, where she derails. Thomas is first to respond and
searches for the breakdown train and Knapford to no avail, and Ryan tells him
that he knows where they are. He heads back to Arlesburgh expecting to find
Judy and Jerome still on their siding only to find them gone. Skiff tells Ryan
that Oliver took them down Duck's branch line, while Oliver tells him that Duck
took them elsewhere yet again.
Judy and Jerome have been
relocated all the way to
the Blue Mountain Quarry, which Jerome finds too noisy for his preferences.
Ryan finally finds them and quickly takes them to Daisy, the breakdown pair
delighted to have a job again. That night, Sir Topham Hatt visits Arlesburgh
goods yard after Daisy and Ryan have returned and speaks to Jerome and Judy. He
praises them for a job well done, but tells them how important it is that their
location is known in case of emergencies. They apologize and tell him that they
hadn't been used properly in a long time, and decides they may stay at
Arlesburgh to handle accidents on the western side of the island, while Rocky can
stay at the Search and Rescue center to handle cases on the eastern side.
Everyone is happy about this and Jerome and Judy are pleased with their new
assignment, that is until a seagull once again interrupts them.
20.10 – Three Steam Engines Gruff
by Andrew Brenner
One autumn day on the Ffarquhar
line, Thomas and
Toby meet during passing trains at Dryaw Airfield. Toby tells Thomas that the
trees at this time of year look spooky without any leaves, as if they might
reach over the tracks and pick him up like giant hands. Henrietta and Thomas
both think Toby is being silly, and Thomas heads off. Farther up the line a
fence has broken, leaving Thomas, Annie and Clarabel to wonder if an animal has
broken it and run loose. Trevor, working nearby, says he'll notify Farmer McColl
of the broken fence. Later that night, Thomas tells Percy and the others about
it, leaving Percy frightened as he's due to pull the mail train and suspects
something is going to come for him. Soon after leaving, Percy is scared by a
noise and rushes back to the sheds, running into Henry in the process. He tells
Gordon of the noise, who is unsympathetic and tells him off.
In the morning, Percy tells Thomas of the moaning
he heard, while Thomas assures both him and Toby that whatever made the sound
can't hurt them in the daylight. He isn't worried until he comes to the bridge
and slows down, telling Annie and Clarabel about the noise Percy heard, which
makes itself known and prompts Thomas to speed up out of fear. At the next
station, they tell the others about the moaning, and Percy thinks it may be a
troll. Toby agrees and recants the story of the three billy goats gruff, where
one goat survived an encounter with a troll by telling it to eat his brother!
Out of fright, Toby and Percy rush off to be the first and second to cross the
bridge where the sound came from, leaving Thomas to be the third, final
Over the bridge, Toby and
Percy speed quickly
across to avoid being "eaten". Thomas, however, has to "make the
troll go away" as in the story. Rain begins to fall, and Annie and
Clarabel realize the sound they all heard wasn't a troll, but a cow. One of
Farmer McColl's cattle had broken loose the day before and gotten stuck below
the bridge in the mud, and Jem Cole later brings Trevor to help winch the
animal up to safety. Jem Cole repairs the fence, but the others only laugh at
the Ffarquhar trio's plight when they tell them what had happened. Finally,
Thomas breaks the ice by laughing at his own situation and all enjoy a good
20.11 – Letters To Santa
by Helen Farrall
It’s right before Christmas
on Sodor and it’s the
last chance for letters to get from the children on the island to Santa. Percy
takes the post to Vicarstown and Hiro takes over the train on the mainland.
Percy is struggling to get through the snow so
Harold offers to help. Percy flashes back to his classic race with the
whirlybird. Even though he won that race Percy still feels Harold looks down on
him in more ways than one. Percy spares just enough time to tell Thomas how he
feels. He hurries out of the station to make sure the children’s letters reach
the north pole in time. In his hurry, he leaves a sack of precious letters
behind. Harold is on hand to fly after Percy with the sack filled with letters
he left. Percy thinks this is another race and is determined to prove he
doesn’t need help. Percy’s determination lands him in a snow drift blocking a
The responsibility to deliver all the letters
quickly becomes Harold’s. Percy feels like Harold is rubbing it in flying is
better than rails. But, flying in a blizzard proves harder than Harold thinks
and he is so late to meet Hiro, the hero of the rails has to leave. Harold
still manages to catch up to Hiro with the letters but goes missing in action
the next day.
Percy finds Harold grounded
in a field without
fuel. Not one to leave a friend stuck in a field for Christmas, Percy brings
the whirlybird fuel. Working together they had made sure the children had a
good Christmas morning.
20.12 – Love Me Tender
by Davey Moore
Donald and Douglas are the
practical, peppy, and
proud Scottish twins. Like all brothers, they sometimes go through bouts of
sibling rivalry. In this case, they disagree about which lines to clear of snow
first and it causes a literal strain.
Soon they are faced with more choices of which
lines to clear of snow. There is trouble when Douglas refuses to take part in
deciding. He feels his brother ignores him and does as he pleases. When Douglas
in the leading Donald feels the same way. They have a spirited discussion about
it until something gives.
That something is Douglas’s tender coupling.
Douglas is left stranded when his tender comes off and Donald pulls away
without him. Donald is happy to go off on his own. Douglas is fine to be on his
own as well and tells Toby so. Neither realizes they have been separated until
Thomas points it out. Donald feels terrible for leaving him and races to rescue
his brother from the freezing cold.
Toby thought they wanted time apart but Donald
tells him that doesn’t matter when his brother is in trouble.
Finally, Donald finds him
but searches so hard and
long he runs out of water. He borrows Douglas’ water and helps him to the
Steamworks. Even though the brothers sometimes fall out, they are close and
come through for each other in the end.
20.13 – The Railcar & The Coaches
by Davey Moore
Daisy the diesel railcar is the only
one like her on Sodor. She doesn’t need coaches and works on the Harwick
When her branchline’s passenger traffic
slows down because the seaside becomes out of season. Daisy is moved to Thomas’
branchline while he goes off to run quarry trains. The arrangement includes
having to pull his coaches Annie and Clarabel. But, Daisy boasts she doesn’t
need the coaches and rudely leaves them behind.
Soon there are more passengers wanting
to ride with Daisy than she has room for. She has to suck it up and pull
Thomas’s coaches with her. Annie and Clarabel feeling slighted by Daisy's rude
comments decide to get back at her.
They decide to play a trick on Daisy
and tell her they hear rusty, creaking springs. Daisy is so horrified such a
noise might be coming from her. She leaves the coaches and her passengers
stranded rushing to look for a professional to mend her highly sprung springs.
Thomas is fed up with this and tells Sir Topham Hat who checks Daisy out and
decides there is nothing wrong with her. Still, Daisy rushes off to the Diesel
Works more worried something is wrong with her hearing.
Meanwhile, because of their trick
Thomas’s coaches have been left out in the cold. When Thomas and The Fat
Controller show up seemingly to rescue them. The Fat Controller reprimands them
for playing their trick on Daisy. The next day they are free of Daisy and more
horrified the devious Diesel will pull them instead.
20.14 – Engine of the Future
by Andrew Brenner
A loud rush and a blast of
wind is all the engines
and residents of Sodor experience on day as a new engine blasts by on the
tracks. Sir Handel thinks it's a plane without wings; it's faster than Gordon,
faster than Caitlin, and even the Fat Controller doesn't know what's going on.
At Ulfstead Castle the great engine slows to a stop... he's long, he's fast,
he's a German rail zeppelin named Hugo, and his owner is a friend of Sir Robert
Norramby. Hugo tells the Earl that he's a diesel engine driven by an air propeller,
and they decide to go for a ride. News of the new engine spreads fast and
leaves everyone perplexed, so James, Percy, Philip, Thomas and the Fat
Controller head up to Ulfstead to see him. The Fat Controller is impressed and
Hugo takes him for a ride as well, while the other engines talk about Hugo.
Stephen calls him an "Engine of the Future", and says that Hugo will
replace them all soon just as newer engines once replaced Stephen.
Later that night the other engines discuss Hugo
replacing them, leaving them all bitter to the idea of befriending him. Hugo
rolls in asking if there is space at the sheds for him, and an angry Gordon and
James tell him to stay away despite Percy opening up his stall. Hugo instead
stays at the shunting yard, sad that the steam engines don't want to be friends
with him. Things don't go much better in the morning until Hugo explains to
Thomas and Percy that he isn't out to replace them, and that he can't even pull
trucks or coaches due to not having any coupling hooks. They realize their
error and set out to find the others in order to help make Hugo feel better.
At Knapford, Hugo is recruited
to take sightseers
to Vicarstown and back. Percy comes into the station looking to apologize, but
is too late as Hugo is heading out for the journey. His passengers delight in
the experience, but Hugo remains sad all day until he returns to Knapford. The
steam engines have gathered for a surprise party in his honor and apologize for
their meanness, which Hugo gladly accepts. That night, they welcome him into
Tidmouth Sheds and he is at last content to be on Sodor.
20.15 – Hugo & The Airship
by Andrew Brenner
Hugo, the newest engine on
Sodor, is quickly
becoming a popular face with everyone he meets. He's sleek and elegant, looking
very different from anyone else around him, and is receiving widespread praise.
However the Fat Controller as well as representatives from the railway board
have concerns, namely that his propeller will be dangerous to use in and near
stations. The Fat Controller tells him to be careful, and Hugo explains the
safety features he has in place. Thomas, arriving at Knapford, tells the representatives
that Hugo is the fastest engine in the world. He heads out to the main line,
forgetting to keep his propeller off until clearing the station, causing the
Fat Controller to lose his hat and the railway board to have doubts on his safe
Henry, coming back from the mainland, sees a vessel
floating in the sky wearing Hugo's colors, and believes it to be him flying. He
tells this to Emily and James, and when Hugo hears about his
"flight", he is only confused. Percy also becomes perplexed when he
sees Hugo both on the rails and in the sky, losing focus and running into some
trucks. Hugo later asks Thomas if he has seen whatever it is that the others
were talking about, which leaves Thomas wondering as well. Thomas later
encounters the vessel in the air, and Hugo, having seen it by now, rolls by and
calls it a "zeppelin", believing he should be able to fly as it does.
Hugo follows the zeppelin all the way to Arlesburgh
before losing it at the ocean. Hugo, longing to fly just like the airship, talks
to Skiff. He tells Hugo how he can work on both rails and in the water, and
Thomas rolls in, noting his own aspirations but also being content to stay on
the rails. Hugo heads back out to the main line and attempts to fly, picking up
speed at Gordon's Hill in hope of launching himself into the air. After
multiple tries he finally gives up, realizing he is indeed too heavy.
At Knapford, Hugo tells Thomas
of his plight and
forgets to turn his propeller off once again while entering the station. The
Fat Controller assures him that he's still very special despite not being able
to fly, and to be proud of the things he can do. Skiff, having been blown out
of the station as Hugo rolled in, is eager for another blast from his propeller
and asks Hugo for a second round. Hugo backs out, having learned from his
mistake and enjoys sending Skiff down the tracks, happy with who he is and what
he can do.
20.16 - Skiff & The Mermaid
Written by Helen
Skiff the railboat overhears the Fat
Controller telling the museum manager that the mermaid will be arriving the
next day. Skiff is very excited to see a real life mermaid and starts looking
out to sea, eager to see the mermaid arrive. He gets up early the next morning
to carry on looking but when she hasn’t arrived by lunchtime he starts to feel
The Fat Controller arrives with his
grandchildren, Stephen and Bridget, for Captain Joe to take them out on a tour
of the harbour in Skiff. The Fat Controller climbs into Skiff while Stephen and
Bridget wait for Captain Joe to fetch life jackets for them before boarding.
While they’re waiting Skiff sees a flash of a tail in the sea and quickly tells
the Fat Controller to lift his anchor so they can chase after it. The Fat Controller
does so and Captain Joe arrives back with the life jackets just in time to see
Skiff plunge into the sea with the Fat Controller onboard.
Skiff starts giving the Fat Controller
directions to try and chase after the mermaid, but quickly discovers that the
Fat Controller doesn’t know how to sail a sailing boat, and after losing the
oars they drift out to sea. Back on dry land Captain Joe calls the Sodor Search
and Rescue Centre, and Harold the Helicopter and Captain the Lifeboat are sent
off to rescue them.
Meanwhile Skiff and the Fat Controller
have washed ashore on a sandy beach. The Fat Controller starts worrying about
how he’ll find food and shelter to survive the days or weeks before they’re
rescued, but when Skiff suggests they could sail back to Sodor the Fat
Controller refuses to consider it. He starts to lose his grip on the situation
and is drawing a face on a rock when they’re discovered by Harold and Captain;
it turns out they’re not on a desert island at all but have actually washed up
on Sodor, not far from Duck’s branch line.
They return to Arlesburgh Harbour where
Stephen and Bridget are delighted to see their grandfather again. Skiff
explains about the mermaid and the Fat Controller explains that he was just
talking about a statue Thomas is delivering for the front of the pirate ship.
That night Skiff and Toad spend some
time on the pier together. Skiff admits he was disappointed that the mermaid
wasn’t real, but at least he now knows there’s no such thing as mermaids. As
Toad departs a gap in the clouds opens up and in the light of the moon on the
sea Skiff sees a tail in the water. Maybe there are such things as mermaids
20.17 – Pouty James
Written by Andrew Brenner
James is a mixed traffic engine who can pull both coaches and
trucks. But he really likes showing off pulling coaches.
He feels so sharp pulling some freshly washed coaches he overruns
and undershoots platforms showing off. Even excitable Phillip is quick to call
him out. He finally gets in trouble with the Fat Controller and it’s no more
coaches for the red engine.
After that James sits and pouts in the shed and has to deal with
the other engines teasing him about it. They even makes faces at him! Percy
tries to comfort James and tells him everything will be alright in the morning
but come the breaking dawn nothing has changed. The Fat Controller points this
out to him and grounds him further to the shed. More pouty faces from James and
more Silly faces at James.
Later that day The Fat Controller comes back and James convinces
him let him go back to work. James goes back to work and finds himself stuck
pulling a smelly rubbish train. Edward has his coaches. James drags his wheels
unhappy with this arrangement and earns more trouble for his attitude. He also
earns more silly faces from his friends. The Face Controller challenges him to
change his attitude.
With help from his friends, James lightens up and starts having
fun doing jobs he doesn’t like. Before long he even enjoys it.
– Blown Away
Written by Helen Farrall
Everyone on Sodor is preparing
for an oncoming
storm, and Skiff the railboat and Captain Joe are patrolling Arlesburgh Harbour
making sure that everyone is safe and everything is secure. Duck and Oliver
chide Skiff for still being out before the storm and warn him to get himself
safely secured before the storm hits, leaving Skiff somewhat hurt by their
Captain Joe comforts Skiff, but before he can secure
Skiff properly he’s called away by the museum manager to inspect the pirate
ship. When the storm hits Skiff’s sail unfurls and Captain Joe can’t hear
Skiff’s cries for help. His anchor rope snaps and he’s blown away down the line
until he hits a tree that’s been blown over in the storm.
Skiff hears the whistles of Duck and Oliver heading
towards him in opposite directions and realises he has to warn them or they’ll
run into the tree- and into him! He manages to prise his mast out from under
the branch of the tree and hold it up high, unfurling his sail so that Duck and
Oliver can see it. They do, and manage to brake just in time to avoid a
Duck tells Skiff that if he
hadn’t managed to warn
them in time he and Oliver would have crashed straight into the tree, and
Oliver calls Skiff the bravest little railboat he knows. The next morning
Harvey comes to clear the fallen tree and the Fat Controller arrives in
Winston. The Fat Controller calls Skiff a hero and tells him that Duck, Oliver
and Toad all believe he deserves an award for his bravery, while Duck leads
everyone in a rousing three cheers for Skiff.
20.19 – The Way She Does It
by Davey Moore
One morning The Fat Controller
visits Daisy to give
her a very important job. He asks Daisy to be at her best because she has to
pull a group of entertainers to Harwick to put on a show.
Daisy brags to silly Thomas only she could give
these entertainers the smooth ride they deserve. Then Daisy brags the same
thing to laid back Ryan who doesn’t seem bothered dirty old steam engines
aren’t good enough to pull these entertainers’ train in her opinion. Next, she
brags to Duck using language so fancy him and Oliver are left wondering what
she was even going on about. Lastly, the only railcar on Sodor brags to a steer
by the line.
The next morning Daisy concerned about being her
best refuses to carry fleabitten dogs. She refuses to let her passengers bring
ice cream aboard or sit their sandy bottoms in her seats after a day at the
beach. Thus, she leaves the entertainers’ audience behind.
Daisy was not impressed when she realized her
imagination got the best of her. Her special passengers turned out to be puppet
entertainers and she was even less impressed when they coupled their old van
loaded with their puppet stage behind her. And then there was trouble when she
left that van behind.
The Fat Controller had to
charter a bus for the
audience she left behind. Daisy feeling silly for her mistakes decides to lend
her well sprung diesel railcar self as the puppet stage.
20.20 – Mucking About
by Davey Moore
Max and Monty the dump trucks
love to race Thomas
the tank engine. Most of the time Thomas enjoys racing them but other times
they are too devious and downright dangerous crossing back and forth right in
front of Thomas rolling down the tracks.
The dump trucks work with Alfie, Oliver, and Jack
on a digging site line side to Thomas’ Branchline. They take the dug-up earth
away from the site to the dump. Edward says the best way to deal with devious
construction vehicles is to ignore them but it proves too hard to ignore their
In their games, Max and Monty break Oliver the
excavator. They don’t stop their either. Instead of jumping loads where they
are supposed to, they decide to dump earth over a wall. Turns out they are
dumping mounds of earth onto the rails.
Thomas is on his way back after Oliver has been
repaired when this pile of earth on the rails causes him to have an accident.
Luckily his friends come to help and put him back on rails.
How the earth got there is
a mystery until Max and
Monty are caught in the act. The policeman punishes them with taking the earth
away by morning and warns them not to muck around anymore. But, they are soon
back up to their mischief.
20.21 – Cautious Connor
by Andrew Brenner
Connor and Caitlin come from
the mainland. They are
even faster than Spencer and Gordon. Stephan is reminded of his heyday when
they meet and compliments Connor for being “Bang on time”. One day Connor is
slowed down waiting for a ship to pass through the channel at Vicarstown Bridge.
Connor rushes to make up time and a coupling rod pops off his driving wheels
nearly derailing him.
Connor worried he was going too fast putting
himself and his passengers at risk. Victor tries to comfort Connor by telling
him the assembly just got loose and these things happen. But when Millie sees
him and asks about the accident Connor is still worrying about it. He has
decided to be much more careful pulling his trains very slow.
Thomas wonders why he is going so slow and Connor
tells him is he’s worried about his couple rods popping off again. Thomas
suggests he should return to the Steam Works to have himself checked out again.
Victor tells him again it’s all right to run at high speed like he’s meant to
but Connor continues to crawl down the line.
When Thomas overtakes him again he feels bad about
how slow Connor is going and decides to help just in time to prevent him from
having more disgruntled passengers. He sets up a race with Stephen.
Connor reminds Stephen there
is no way he can beat
him but while he’s worrying about his coupling rods coming off again it's
Connor who will get lapped by Stephen. Stephen give’s Connor a pep talk about
the kinds of worries engines of his day had. They even had to worry about
exploding and putting themselves back together. Or did they? Stephen’s pep talk
convinces Connor he can pick himself up and be bang on time again. Stephen’s
story may have been embellished but it got Connor moving and happy again.
Sometimes that’s all someone needs to get moving again.
20.22 – All In Vain
by Helen Farrall
James is excited to be given the job of
taking the Mayor of Sodor to a ball at Callan Castle, but he has to complete
all of his regular jobs first. James thinks this will be easy, but things soon
start to go wrong. A bag of sugar is dropped all over him at the docks and
later he’s covered in mud and coal dust. James grits his teeth and doesn’t
complain, focussing instead on completing his work on time.
Seeing James both very dirty and very
busy Edward offers to help so he can finish earlier, but James refuses the
offer. Edward looks doubtful but lets James proceed without help.
James does indeed finish all his jobs
in time for the mayor, but while being cleaned one of the cleaners notices a
tiny scratch on his paintwork. Horrified at looking anything less than his best
for the mayor James panics, rushes off to the steamworks and demands that he’s
repainted from top to bottom before pulling the mayor’s train. Victor doesn’t
think there’ll be time for the paint to dry, but James replies that being a
windy evening, the wind will blow his paint dry on the way to pick up the
mayor. Victor acquiesces, and after leaving the steamworks with wet paint James
rushes into the wind. The wind swirls up lots of dust and dirt and when James
meets Edward he’s horrified to discover that lots of dust, dirt, leaves, and
twigs have all got stuck to his paint.
James realises he can’t pull the
mayor’s train and asks Edward if he’d be prepared to do it instead. Edward is
surprised, but is happy to help. The next day the Fat Controller comes to see
James. He says Edward told him how hard James had worked all day and he tells
James that if he hadn’t been so worried about a tiny scratch he could have
taken the mayor’s train too.
The Fat Controller sends James to be
repainted again and while his paint is drying the mayor comes to see him. Edward
had told the mayor how sorry James was not to have taken him to the ball and
the mayor asks James if he’d like to take him in another special train to a
dinner at Vicarstown. James does so and this time there isn’t a spot on him.
Throughout the year the engines
have to deal with
leaves on the line in autumn, snow in winter and baby ducklings on the track in
spring, but in summer the dry weather leads to fires breaking out by the
lineside. Flynn and Belle are returning from putting out one such fire when
they discover a section of track where the hot sun has made the rails buckle.
They consider spraying the tracks with water to cool them down but Flynn has
run out of water and Belle wants to save what little water she has left.
At Knapford station the Fat Controller receives a
white safari hat as a present from his mother to keep him cool in the hot sun.
Despite him thinking it makes him look ridiculous Dowager Hatt insists he wear
it as the white colour will reflect the sun’s heat.
Meanwhile a glass bottle falls out of one of
Whiff’s rubbish trucks as he passes over the buckled tracks and the sun shining
through the bottle slowly starts to set the grass on fire.
The Fat Controller leaves his office to deal with
the buckled tracks, but when he considers leaving his new hat behind he starts
to imagine the photo of his mother on his desk telling him to wear it! With
passengers laughing at him he attempts to “accidentally” leave it on a baggage
trolley only to be thwarted by a “helpful” porter returning it.
The fire started by the glass bottle has grown and
Belle and Flynn are dispatched to put it out. While driving to the same section
of track the Fat Controller throws his hat away out of the window, but it flies
back into his car again.
Flynn and Belle arrive at
the fire where Belle is
derailed by the bumpy tracks, but Flynn is able to extinguish the fire using
his road wheels. Thomas brings Rocky to re-rail Belle but the Fat Controller
wishes there were some way to prevent the tracks from buckling in the first
place. Thomas suggests painting the rails white so they reflect the sun- just
like the Fat Controller’s safari hat. The Fat Controller thinks this is an
excellent idea and is very pleased by the results once it’s put into practice.
Despite having his mother to thank (indirectly) for the idea he decides to have
one more go at getting rid of his safari hat and gives it to a goat in a nearby
field, but the goat, after taking a bite out of it, throws it back at him.
20.24 – Tit For Tat
by The Rev. W. Awdry
Adapted by Andrew Brenner
On Sodor's smallest railway
are three miniature
engines who work the line: Bert, Rex and Mike. They take passengers on tours,
run ballast trains for the larger engines to pick up, and carry wool loads from
local farmers. One day, two clergymen arrive to take pictures of engines from
all over the Island: they take photographs of Skarloey on the narrow-gauge
railway, James and Toby on the larger lines, and finish up their day
photographing Thomas at Ffarquhar Station. Before they visit the miniature
Arlesdale Railway, rain begins to fall and the visitors postpone their efforts
until the next day.
The following morning, Bert's driver tell the
Arlesdale engines that the visitors have arrived and that they'd like to put
them in both "moving pictures" and a book. Bert meets the clergymen
at the station before departing with his first train, and invites them to ride
in his cab which they agree to do later on. Bert is first smitten with their
kindness to engines, but is perplexed when they don't wave back while
photographing him. As he continues on his journey, the men stop at different
points continuing to see him, but at one point accidentally splash Bert with
mud from a puddle without realizing it. Bert is furious when they once again
photograph him complete with mud on his face and boiler.
At the end of the line, Bert's driver cleans his
face of mud and coaxes him to "forgive and forget" the mishap. One of
the clergymen asks for the offer of a tender ride, to which Bert's driver
agrees despite his reluctant engine. The train takes off back down the line and
into a forested glade, still teeming with dripping water from the previous
day's rainfall. Bert concocts a plan to pay the clergyman back, and while climbing
a steep hill, he slows down in order to build a full head of steam. He blows a
cloud of vapor straight into a moist tree, causing it to spill water all over
the clergyman and his driver. Bert laughs to himself throughout the remainder
of the journey, having pleased no one else.
At Arlesburgh West, the Small
Bert for his actions and sends him to the shed for the remainder of the day.
The two clergymen see this and, feeling bad for their mistake, apologize to
Bert and offer to clean the remaining mud off of him. When Rex and Mike finish
their jobs for the day, they return to see Bert cleaner than they'd heard, and
he explains what happened. He also tells them that he'll be in a book and on
the television in the "moving pictures" as his driver promised, which
the others find incredulous. But we do know that "it did happen, didn't
20.25 – Mike's Whistle
by the Rev. W. Awdry
Adapted by Andrew Brenner
Rex and Bert are relatively
peaceful in their
duties on the Arlesdale Railway, but Mike is prone to being short-tempered and
grumpy. When Thomas arrives one morning to collect Mike's load of ballast, he
tells the three little engines that Duck's whistle has jammed after his driver
cooked an egg on it. When Duck passes through the station, the others laugh at
him but Mike instead tells them that Duck making such a noise is
"shocking". Bert and Rex goad him on, laughing at him instead of Duck
as Mike begins boasting about his whistle. Their teasing causes Mike to build
excess steam pressure and break his safety valve. Mr. Fergus Duncan, the Small
Controller, hears this and reschedules Mike to carry passengers instead of his
usual ballast train once his safety valve is in order, much to Mike's chagrin.
Mike continues to be grumpy when preparing to take
out his first train. Passengers annoy him also by calling him a "cute
little steam engine", and his driver reminds him to behave as they head
out. Mike dwells on the other engines' laughing and begins blowing his whistle
excessively at everything he sees. At the end of the line, Mike's driver
inspects him for faults and the little red engine tells him there's nothing
wrong. On the way back, the driver hears something rattling on his boiler
shortly before they are stopped by a stray cow on the line. Mike attempts to
scare her away by whistling loudly and bumping at her, but the cow refuses to
move. He becomes so angry that his whistle breaks loose, and the steam pressure
causes it to fly into a field, far out of sight.
The train's crew search the field for the whistle
to no avail, and the passengers become cross at being delayed. Mike explains
that he has to whistle at certain places in order to follow the rules, and the
passengers decide to remedy this by whistling for him instead. Everyone thinks
this is a grand idea except for Mike, and the cow even moves off the line,
forcing him to accept their help. The passengers whistle at designated stops
throughout the remainder of the journey, enjoying themselves immensely. Despite
their fun, Mike feels ashamed at losing his whistle, thinking himself an
At Arlesburgh West, Duck questions
him on his
lateness and Mike confesses what happened, prompting Duck to sympathize with
his plight. Thomas arrives for another load of ballast, so Rex and Bert use the
opportunity to have fun at Mike's expense once again, telling Thomas the whole
story. Even Thomas begins to laugh, but instead of being cross again, Mike
reflects on how he could have done things differently. He leaves the station
willing to laugh at his own case, finally seeing the humor in a faulty whistle.
20.26 – Useful Railway
by The Rev. W. Awdry
by Andrew Brenner
In addition to taking away
ballast trains from the
Arlesdale line, Thomas sometimes takes passengers there to visit the little
railway. When he does, he is always polite to Rex, Mike and Bert, but his
passengers don't take them as seriously as he does, calling them
"tiny", "cute", and "a toy railway". This irritates
Mike, who continues having instances of animals blocking his track. That night,
he complains to his friends about sheep making his job difficult, but Rex tells
him that they are also good for other things including making clothes. Mr.
Duncan arrives to outline their jobs for the next day and, upon hearing Rex's
knowledge on sheep and wool, assigns him the wool train. Rex gladly accepts,
believing it to be easy work.
Rex is in a good mood the next day as farmers
prepare his wool train to be taken down the line. He stops at several farms,
never losing confidence in the easiness of his job. The last truck to be loaded
has wool coming from Willy, who is late with his bales. As he speeds up to
cover for time, Willy's trailer loses balance and tips on a corner, sending
bales down a hill onto the track dead ahead of Rex. Willy calls to warn the
train, but he is too late and Rex can't stop in time. He crashes into the wool
and loses traction, jumping the rails and sliding to a stop on an embankment.
The Small Controller comes to inspect the crash.
Willy apologizes both to him and to Rex for causing the accident, but poor Rex
has to remain on the embankment until that evening after all other trains have
finished. Bert and Mike make fun of his predicament every time they see him,
and Rex has to endure their taunts in silence all day until they can come to
his rescue. As they are returning home, Rex feels bad, having believed he
brought the accident on himself for his conceit. The others assure him it
wasn't his fault at all.
Back at Arlesburgh West, the
Small Controller is
waiting for them with a group of customers who praise them all for how they
handled the accident. The customers agree that, far from being a toy railway,
they are really useful and hard-working and assure the engines of extra traffic
in the days ahead. The engines agree that the incoming work will be "easy
peasy, lemon-squeezy", and that they are a Really Useful Railway indeed.
20.27 - The Christmas Coffee-Pot
Written by Helen
Marion finds a talking Christmas
tree by one of the
sidings on Thomas’s branch line, but no-one believes her. Thomas is
sufficiently intrigued to investigate and discovers that the “talking Christmas
tree” is none other than Glynn, the old “coffee pot” engine who used to work on
the branch line many years ago, his appearance having been obscured by the
trees that have grown up over the years.
Glynn laments that when the Fat Controller
discovers him he’ll probably have him scrapped, but unfortunately for him
Marion has already told the Fat Controller about her talking Christmas tree and
he’s coming to see it for himself. When the Fat Controller and Marion arrive
Marion is baffled that the tree is no longer there. The Fat Controller suggests
the tree must have walked away, but sighs with exasperation when Marion thinks
this is quite likely.
Thomas has taken Glynn to Knapford yards for safety
and agrees to keep Glynn a secret from the Fat Controller. Instead he tells Sir
Robert Norramby, the Earl of Sodor, who agrees straight away that Glynn must be
The Earl arranges for Glynn to be restored at the
steamworks but partway through his restoration the Fat Controller arrives and
sees him. Glynn is worried about what’s going to happen, but the Fat Controller
is delighted to see Glynn and thinks it’s a splendid idea for Glynn to be
restored. He asks Glynn to take him to the Earl’s Christmas party once he’s
back to working order.
Glynn does so and on the way there the Fat
Controller remarks that Glynn is once again looking as splendid as he did on
the day he built him. On their way in they see Marion, but when Glynn says
hello to her Marion thinks it’s the Christmas tree on the platform that’s
talking to her and tries to talk back to it…
The Earl welcomes Glynn to
his new home of Ulfstead
Castle, and thanks Thomas for rescuing him, although Stephen looks a little
concerned at the Earl’s enthusiasm for the new arrival. The Earl then wishes
everyone a Merry Christmas.
20.28 - Over The Hill
Written by Helen
Glynn is settling in at Ulfstead
Castle, and the
Earl decides to take advantage of the castle’s closure to the public over
Christmas to show Glynn around the estate. He shows Glynn the castle grounds
and the Dinosaur Park, but they’re followed around by Stephen who’s feeling
jealous of the attention being lavished on Glynn and feels that his place has been
usurped. Stephen makes snide remarks about Glynn, telling him that he can do
the teas and coffees for visitors, and saying that the coffee pots quickly went
out of use. He also boasts about his own exploits as the Rocket, and recovering
King Godred’s crown. The Earl sticks up for Glynn, pointing out that the coffee
pots had long and productive working lives, and takes Stephen down a peg by
reminding him of how he got trapped in the old mines.
Stephen continues his put downs after the Earl has
left and starts bragging about how he beat four other engines at the Rainhill
Trials. After Glynn remains unflappable Stephen challenges Glynn to a race to
Knapford. Glynn isn’t sure this is a good idea, but agrees to it to prove
Stephen wrong about him. Mille starts their race and then decides she’d better
tell the Earl what’s going on.
Stephen and Glynn race down the main line, very,
very slowly, much to the annoyance of Gordon and James who get stuck behind
them. Stephen and Glynn agree with each other that the younger engines have no
respect for their elders and their history, and that people take railways for
granted instead of appreciating them.
The old pair receive cheers
as they parade through
stations and quite a crowd has gathered to see them arrive as they reach
Knapford station together, the competitive part of their race quite forgotten
about. Although the Fat Controller and several passengers are very cross about
all the trains that have been delayed as a result of their race, the Earl is
delighted to see Stephen and Glynn getting on so well together. Stephen and
Glynn realise they’re no longer angry with each other and that they get on
quite well together, and the Earl suggests that, so long as they stay well away
from the main line, they can hold a “classic engine” race every year.