STS Episode Guide: SEASON 3

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Full episode details for Shining Time Station Season 3 (1993)

Becky Makes a Wish
Production #42 (3.01)
Written by Sean Kelly
Directed by Wayne Moss
Summary by J. Hunter

Season 3 Episode 1: "Becky Makes a Wish"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)  
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • J.B. King, Esq. (Mart Hulswit)
  • Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)
  • Mayor Flopdinger (Jerome Dempsey)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis: It seems to be a boring day for Becky at Shining Time Station. But when Mr. Conductor’s Wishing Star gets loose, hilarity ensues; from Schemer and Stacy swapping places to Midge Smoot having her lips zipped! Will Becky be able to catch the elusive Star, or will the Station fail an important inspection?

Detailed Episode Summary:

Becky is dejected :(

It’s a quiet day at Shining Time Station. Becky walks up to the ticket counter and tells Stacy that she’s bored. She asks if the two of them could play a game, but Stacy tells her that she can’t. Today is the day when J.B. King, superintendent of the Indian Valley Railroad, comes to the stations to inspect all the clocks, so as to make sure they are running to correct railroad time. At this, Becky walks sulkily away to the Jukebox, and then wishes that the whole day was over with.

Meanwhile, the Jukebox Puppet Band is in their dressing room. When they hear Becky, they begin to feel sorry for her and Grace wishes that they could play her a song to make her feel better, to which Tito wishes that Becky had some nickels so that they COULD play her a song.

Mr. C. has a wishing star in his wish bag

Mr. Conductor then appears on top of the Jukebox, holding a bag and dressed in a wizard’s robe and cap. Becky exclaims that she wished that he would show up and wonders if he heard her wish. Mr. Conductor replies that he might, as he has just finished cleaning out the town’s Wishing Well. Becky wonders if all of the wishes will come true, but Mr. Conductor says only the ones in the blue bag will come true, because there’s a Wishing Star inside. He mentions that Duck the Great Western Engine’s wish isn’t in the bag. When Becky asks what he wished for, Mr. Conductor tells her the story of how Duck once wished that he could sail to faraway lands.

The Wishing Star escapes!

After Mr. Conductor finishes his story, Becky still wishes that something exciting would happen and asks if she could see the Wishing Star. Mr. Conductor tells her that it wouldn’t be a good idea, because this star is also a shooting star. But just as he’s about to explain further, Schemer approaches and he hastily disappears, leaving the bag with the Wishing Star behind. Schemer comes up to Becky and starts asking her what she’s doing in his arcade. While shooing her away, Schemer discovers Mr. Conductor’s bag and asks Becky about it. When she says it isn’t hers, Schemer immediately says “finders keepers, losers weepers”, and proceeds to open the bag hoping to find a nickel. Instead he releases the Wishing Star, which he takes to be a firefly.

Stacy & Schemer magically switch personalities!

At that moment, Stacy comes up and begins asking Schemer if he has reset his watch for the inspection, to which Schemer starts making jokes and excuses. As Stacy tries to reason with him, Schemer wishes the two of them could switch places so that she could see how difficult things are for him. But no sooner is the wish made, the Wishing Star flies by. Schemer and Stacy literally switch places and have now adopted each other’s personalities, much to Becky’s bewilderment. Amid all this confusion, Mr. Conductor reappears, takes his now empty bag, and then disappears.

Schemer now prefers to man the ticket counter

After that, Midge Smoot comes in looking for Stacy, but is instead greeted by Schemer, now acting as Stacy. She wants a new train schedule and Schemer immediately knows where they are, just as Stacy would. He even comments about Midge’s hat. A rather confused Midge then asks where Stacy is, just as Stacy, acting as Schemer, walks up and starts asking if she wants spend some nickels over at the arcade. Midge spots Becky and tells her she can’t wait to tell everyone about this strange turn of events. Becky pleads with Midge not to do so, but to no avail.

The Jukebox Band suffer a rocky elevator ride!

While that is going on, Stacy is pounding and shaking the Jukebox, demanding that it either play her song or give back her nickel. Inside, the band is in their elevator trying to get to their performance room and get a bad shaking. As they hastily get into position so that they can play the song Stacy chose, “Celito Lindo,” they realize that Tito isn’t with them. They decide to start anyway, hoping Tito (who’s still in the basement) will pick up the cue. Tito does, and during the song, we see Schemer and Stacy have now swapped wardrobes in addition to their personalities as they continue doing what the other usually does throughout the day.

Mayor Flopdinger at the height of his career!

After the song, Mayor Flopdinger comes in, attempting to rehearse a speech. He asks for a ticket to Chubby Corners, at first not taking notice of “Schemer Jones.” As he continues to practice his speech, he’s interrupted by Stacy who asks him if he would like to “invest” in the arcade. The Mayor gets very confused as he looks back and forth between Schemer and Stacy, and finally asks Becky to explain to him what’s going on. Becky starts her explanation by asking the Mayor if he has ever wished for anything. As the Wishing Star flies by again, Mayor Flopdinger states that his wish has always been that he could “rise above” petty concerns, to fly so to speak. Sure enough, the Mayor rises off the ground and starts flying, which astonishes Becky, Schemer, Stacy, and Billy Twofeathers, who ducks at the last second as Mayor Flopdinger flies through the station entrance.

J.B. King is confounded by Schemer & Stacy!

At that moment, J.B. King walks in and announces that it’s time for the inspection. Billy notes that he’s early, but Mr. King decides to go on with it, since he’s already there. But when Stacy comes up, still acting like Schemer, Mr. King immediately begins to notice that all is not right and it infuriates him. Since he wasn’t due for another six minutes and 21 seconds, Mr. King decides to return when the time is right, with the expectation that when he does, everything will run like clockwork.

Billy, Becky & Mr. C. vow to make things normal

Mr. Conductor motions for Becky and Billy to meet him in the workshop so that they can figure out what to do. They finally decide that when they see the star, they’ll wish everything back to normal. Becky says she’ll never make another wish again, but Billy tells her that wishing can be a good thing, and how that some of the greatest things started off as a wish. Mr. Conductor agrees with Billy, and conjures a magic bubble which plays a song about wishes and making them come true. The song is so catchy Mr. Conductor starts singing along before quickly composing himself and disappearing to look for the star.

Midge "zips it"!!

The moment he leaves, Midge Smoot runs into the workshop and begins to tell Billy everything that has happened, from Mayor Flopdinger being able to fly to Schemer and Stacy changing places. After she leaves to do some more snooping, Billy comments that Midge has a good heart, but wishes that she would zip her lip. Realizing what he just said, he and Becky run back out to the station to find Midge attempting to talk to Stacy with a large zipper over her mouth.

The magic is getting out of hand!

Chaos begins to break out as Mayor Flopdinger comes floating back, still reciting his speech, and then Schemer comes running up, now worriedly counting down how much time they have left until Mr. King returns. Feeling rather flustered, Billy wishes he had just stayed in bed. But the Wishing Star flies by and Billy is now in a bed fast asleep.

Back to normal just in time for the inspection!

While Schemer is frantically trying to wake up Billy, Mr. Conductor manages to catch the star with a fishing net, and Becky quickly wishes everything back to the way it was, and it works! Stacy and Schemer are themselves again, Billy is awake, and Mayor Flopdinger has stopped flying, all of them of course having no memory of what has transpired. And just in time, too, because now Mr. King has returned for the inspection. After checking the clocks and watches (and having a friendly run-in with Mayor Flopdinger), Mr. King announces that everything is in order, as it always is at Shining Time.

Mr. C. sends the Magic Star back to the sky

Once Mr. King has left, Becky and Mr. Conductor release the star back into the sky. After Mr. Conductor disappears, Midge Smoot passes by, now without a zipper. She asks Becky why she and her friends always hang out at the station, especially when nothing seems to happen. Becky simply replies that sometimes a quiet day is everything she could wish for.

Episode Morals:
  • Be careful what you wish for, because you might regret it later on.
  • Be content with what you have.
  • The best adventures are the ones we can only dream about.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Celito Lindo

Featured Magic Bubble Song:
•  Help Your Wish Along

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  All at Sea

Episode Notes:
  • This is the first and only episode where Becky appears without Dan or Kara.
  • This episode is the first where the Jukebox Puppet Band is seen in their dressing room and in the basement of the Jukebox.
  • The voice telephone conversation that Stacy hears before Mayor Flopdinger arrives at the station is actually sped-up audio from a scene with Stacy and Harry from Promises, Promises (see Season 1: Promises, Promises Episode Notes).

Schemer Alone
Production #43 (3.02)
Written by Wilson Coneybeare
Directed by John Ferraro
Summary by M. Cooper

Season 3 Episode 2: "Schemer's Alone"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Dan (Ari Madger)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Ginny (Barbara Hamilton
  • Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)
  • Barton Winslow (Gerry Parkes)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Delivery Man #1 (Eric Fink)
  • Delivery Man #2 (uncredited non-speaking role)

Episode Synopsis: Schemer’s Mother is staying overnight in Snarlyville, leaving Schemer to take care of himself for the first time in his life. Instead of taking responsibility, Schemer tries getting everyone to do things for him, and pays his debts with IOU's.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Schemer panics when told he'll be alone

Becky and Dan are helping the adults with some chores around the station. Becky is helping Billy build a shelf, and Dan is helping Stacy change lightbulbs. Schemer is talking on the pay phone with his mother. She’s going to Snarlyville and staying overnight, meaning Schemer has to take care of himself. She makes him take ‘The Schemer Family Pledge’ that he will act responsibly and do a list of chores she’s left for him. But as soon as she hangs up, Schemer freaks out, complaining to Stacy that he doesn’t know how to do anything by himself. His mother has always been there to do things for him. Stacy thinks it’s a good opportunity for Schemer to learn about self-responsibility and recommends that Schemer ask for help if he needs it.

That makes Schemer hit upon a “genius time” moment: He calls Becky and Dan over to play a game called “Do Stuff for Schemer,” where they do all his chores at home for payment. Despite their apprehension, the kids agree to help and head over to Schemer’s house.

Mr. Conductor goes for a slide!

Later, Stacy and Billy wonder where the kids have gone. The answer is supplied by Mr. Conductor, who accidentally breaks the unfinished shelf when he sits on it. While Stacy thinks it is nice that the kids are helping Schemer, they should have told her where they were going.

The movers demand payment!

Schemer has two delivery men bring in his furniture from home to the arcade. When they demand payment, Schemer tries slipping them an IOU, but through some “encouragement” from the larger of the two, Schemer pays them each a nickel as a tip. Stacy objects to the clutter and reminds Schemer that he should be taking responsibility for himself. Schemer replies it’s better to have people do things for him. For instance, Ginny has been asked to do his laundry. When she comes in with the clothes in a wheelbarrow, he orders her to do it again. When she demands payment, Schemer pays her an IOU, which she refuses until he pays her two nickels as tip.

Schemer even tries to play a song on the Jukebox using an IOU, but the band refuses to play until he threatens to unplug the Jukebox. The Puppet Band responds by playing “Polly Wolly Doodle” as a charity gig.

Mr. C. tells Billy a Thomas story

Back in the workshop, Mr. Conductor and Billy are finishing the shelf when Stacy comes in complaining about Schemer’s antics. Mr. Conductor calls the chores a dirty job that can only end up badly for everyone involved. This reminds him of what happened to James and Percy, and tells Stacy and Billy the Thomas story “Percy, James and the Fruitful Day” to explain. Billy agrees that Schemer’s bad plan could get him into a bigger jam than Percy’s accident.

Midge reads "The 3 Little Pigs" to Schemer

Meanwhile, Schemer is ordering around Ginny and Midge Smoot in the arcade while he prepares to take a nap. He wants to hear a story, but Midge doesn’t read until he gives her an IOU. This version of The Three Little Pigs is limited to page eight, paragraph three, when the Pig with the Brick house charges the other two pigs a nickel apiece as “protection money” from the Wolf. Because the pigs don’t have any money, they are left outside to be eaten. A horrified Midge refuses to read another word.

Barton delivers some fast greasy food to Schemer

Becky and Dan return from Schemer’s house, also demanding payment. Schemer’s IOU, a “blinding agreement,” means he will pay them in sixty days (in other words whenever he wants to). Ginny asks Schemer if anyone has been paid for helping him. Schemer attempts to dodge the question, when just at that moment Barton Winslow appears on his motorcycle towing a covered dish on a dinner trolley. The dish has Crazy Crunchy Crisp Chips, a Pistachio Popsicle and a Double Whammy Triple Cheese Cowboy Beef Burger with relish. Schemer says he can’t eat all that, as he just finished eating 15 Chilly Willy bars. Barton doesn’t care if he eats it or not, so long as he gets paid. But when Midge tells him about the IOUs, an angry argument begins between all the swindled people about who will pay out Schemer first. In the confusion, Schemer slips away, inciting Barton, Ginny and Midge to chase after him.

Mr. Conductor rides his bike - upside down!

Becky and Dan meet up with Mr. Conductor, who talks with them about Schemer’s irresponsibility and the importance of doing the things you promised to help with. To further cement the point, Mr. Conductor conjures a magic bubble that plays a music video about doing things on your own and asking for help only if you can’t do it alone. Mr. Conductor finishes the lesson by revealing the most important thing you can do on your own: admitting you made a mistake.

The two kids realize that they owe Stacy and Billy an apology for not helping when they needed them and acting irresponsibly. Billy tells them the first step to becoming more responsible is learning to do better. Becky and Dan are responsible, because they realized when they were wrong and admitted it.

A "Conditional" Lifetime Membership to the Arcade

Schemer, on the other hand, has figured out yet another way to get out of having to pay everyone for doing everything for him: A lifetime membership to Schemer’s Arcade, with a free machine use every ninth time they use one of the machines, once a week, every other month, leap year excluded. Paying everyone back this way amounts to 463 years by Schemer’s calculations. Stacy lectures him about how this will upset his employees.

Schemer sees Midge & Ginny talking to his mother!

At the window, Becky and Dan see Midge Smoot and Ginny talking to a woman who just got off the train: it’s Schemer’s mother, who came home early. Frantically, Schemer begs Stacy to help him straighten up the arcade, but Stacy refuses to help him, stating that this is one mess he’ll have to fix on his own. Midge comes in to tell Schemer she told his mother everything. His mother replied that one of these days, he’ll have to learn how to take care of himself and how to be kind to others even when she’s not there to take care of him. She’s waiting to see him at home so she can help him.

Schemer cries for his mother

Schemer thinks that means he doesn’t have to clean up at the arcade then, but trips over his own mess. The episode ends with him crying out “Mommy!”

Episode Morals:
  • Taking responsibility for yourself is important to growing up.
  • Help should only be asked for when it is needed.
  • Admitting your mistakes is necessary in becoming more responsible.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Polly Wolly Doodle

Featured Magic Bubble Music Video:
  • I Can Do It: Music written and performed by Beverly Glenn-Copeland, produced by Vitale Productions.

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Percy, James and the Fruitful Day

Episode Notes:
  • Schemer has a nickel-shaped rattle in his baby picture and has a nickel-decorated blanket.
  • The names and logo seen on their coveralls identify the movers as Mel (glasses) and Mack from Eggywegg Shipping.
  • In the episode's opening in the workshop where Becky helps Billy assemble a book case, it's very obvious that the shelf they are working on is severely off level where Billy puts the temporary nails.
  • When Barton Winslow wheels his motorcycle inside the station, you can tell that it's stuntman Cotton Mather from the exposed facial features.
  • The bright bank of studio lights' reflect off of Barton's motorcycle helmet.
  • Schemer’s Mother wears a hat with fake flowers and a plastic skunk on top.
  • The scene where Mr. Conductor is speaking to Billy and Stacy about Schemer tricking everyone into doing his chores was featured at the beginning of the 1995 Thomas the Tank Engine Man BBC Bookmark documentary.

Bully for Mr. Conductor
Production #44 (3.03)
Written by Brian McConnachie
Directed by Wayne Moss
Summary by J. Gratton

Season 3 Episode 3: "Bully for Mr. Conductor"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Magder)
  • J.B. King, Esq. (Mart Hulswit)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Buster (Ira Glasner)

Episode Synopsis: With Stacy away to Chubby Corners to help a colleague, Indian Valley Railroad Head J.B. King volunteers to mind the station until her return. He asks Dan and Becky to make his visiting nephew, Buster, feel welcome. Buster turns out to be a bully who targets the smaller Dan and even manages to intimidate Schemer. Mr. King, meanwhile, is distracted from what's going on by his own determined obsession to find Mr. Conductor. Dan is terrified of Buster's threats to beat him up as Mr. Conductor tries his best to make Dan tap into his inner strength to stand up to Buster in order to stop the bullying once and for all.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Shining Time Station is a special, special place..

Dan and Becky enter the still and empty station, reflecting how quiet and peaceful it is. Stacy suddenly steps out of the workshop to invite them in where we find J.B. King seated at Billy’s desk. When Becky asks where everyone is, Stacy reveals that Billy is working on the Sunset Flyer, while she is off to Chubby Corners. Mr. King adds they Stacy will be helping the Stationmaster there, and that he'll be minding the station during her absence. He appears to be distracted and looking for something as he comments that Shining Time Station is a very special place and that he's happy to be there. Dan asks his aunt if she would like him and Becky to go with her, but J.B. asks them to remain behind to entertain his young nephew Buster who will be visiting the station that afternoon, while he takes care of "serious adult railroad business." As he sees everyone out of the workshop, J.B. muses about where Mr. Conductor might be.

J.B. King looks for Mr. Conductor!

Before leaving, Stacy shares that she heard that Buster is not an easy person to get along with, and makes the kids promise to be nice to Buster and make him feel welcome. After Stacy departs, the kids are curious about when Buster will arrive and decide to go back into the workshop to ask Mr. King. J.B. is beneath the desk and the kids ask if he's dropped or lost something, but he replies that he hasn't. Dan and Becky figure out that he's looking for Mr. Conductor which Mr. King reacts to by bumping his head as he gets up, revealing a large magnifying glass in his hand. He admits that he is looking for Mr. Conductor and asks if they've seen him, and that he has a feeling that Mr. Conductor is currently at the station. When the kids try to tell him that they see Mr. Conductor all the time, J.B. interjects and lectures them about never interrupting an adult while they are speaking. Mr. Conductor appears on the desktop as J.B. King resumes his search on the floor and shares his conviction that Mr. Conductor spends his time at the station. The kids excitedly try to point out that Mr. Conductor is on the desk, but J.B. admonishes them once again for interrupting him. As Mr. Conductor mimics him, J.B. tells the kids to lock their lips and throw away the key. The oblivious Mr. King asserts that he's going to find him, while our tiny friend amuses the kids by monkeying around on the desk. A train is heard arriving and the kids leave the workshop to see who comes into the station.

Becky stops Buster from drawing on the wall!

A boy swaggers into the station and rebuffs Dan and Becky's welcome. They guess that he must be Buster and tell him that his uncle is inside the workshop if he'd care to say hello to him. When they add that they like Mr. King they're surprised when Buster refers to him as loser. When Dan disagrees, Buster intimidates the smaller boy into changing his mind by threatening to beat him up. Becky reminds Dan that they promised to be nice to Buster and try to approach him once more to invite him to play with them. Buster ignores them and props himself up on the bench with a marker pen in his hand. Becky asks what he's doing and Buster rudely informs her that he's going to draw on the wall mural. Becky pulls his arm away from the mural, and tells him not to do draw on it. Buster seems surprised by her reaction, but quickly challenges anyone to stop him. J.B. calls out to Buster, who quickly puts his marker away and begins flattering his uncle with compliments. Mr. King is pleased that the kids are getting along and tells them to have fun as he returns to the workshop. As soon as the workshop door is closed, J.B. King addresses Mr. Conductor aloud and asks why he can’t see him when he only wants to be his friend.

Buster threatens Becky!

In the station, Buster is about to draw a moustache on one of the mural characters, but Becky stops him and threatens to tell on him if he continues. Buster then threatens to tell his uncle to fire Stacy and asks Becky if that's what she really wants. Becky replies no, but as Buster readies himself again to draw, warns that she'll still tell on him anyway. When Becky stands up to him, Buster makes the excuse that it was lucky for her that his marker pen ran out of ink and throws it on the floor. The bully then turns his attention to Dan, and is drawn to Schemer's arcade asking what the machines do. Dan shows him the picture machine, then the jukebox, which Buster begins to roughly rock complaining that it's not playing music. Inside the jukebox the band is being jostled about and Tex thinks it's an earthquake while Rex quips that it's more like a "bully quake!"

Schemer: "Just ask, and it will be done."

Buster gripes that the machine doesn't work but Dan informs him that it needs a nickel to do so. He then asks Dan if he has any money, and when Dan reveals that he has a nickel, the bully demands it from him. Dan refuses to hand it over and the bully tells Becky not to interfere as he begins wresting the nickel away from the smaller boy. Schemer arrives just in time to intervene and questions Buster why he’s picking on a kid half his size. Dan tells Schemer that Buster took his nickel, which prompts Schemer to forcefully take it back and return it to its rightful owner. Schemer rebukes the bully that he should feel ashamed of himself and asks his identity. Buster refuses to say, but the kids reveal that he's J.B. King's nephew. Realizing the connection, Schemer immediately grabs the nickel from Dan and presents it to Buster. Buster asks how the jukebox works and Schemer informs him that he needs to insert a nickel into the machine. Buster then boasts that he's keeping Dan’s nickel for himself, and demands the now-intimidated Schemer to hand over one of his own nickels, which he wilfully surrenders. After the nickel is inserted, the jukebox band decides to make their own musical selection, and begin to play "Jamaican Farewell."

Dan gets accosted by the bully!

Buster seems impressed by the song, but now wants something else. He orders Schemer to get him an ice cream cone and intimidates him further by threatening to tell his uncle on him. He shouts at Schemer causing him to fall backward from the arcade and onto the station floor, sending him scurrying out of the station. Buster then asks Dan if he has any more nickels. Dan stands up to him and says no, so Buster responds by grabbing Dan in a headlock. Dan screams to be let go Justas Mr. King exits the workshop, with a fishing net in his hand. Mr. King asks his nephew what he's doing to Dan, but Buster replies sweetly that they're just having fun. J.B. tells them to carry on and, as he watches Dan struggling, reminds them to take a five minute rest once in a while. Dan finally manages to wriggle himself free and Buster warns him that if he'll beat him up if he's still at the station when he returns. After he leaves, Becky tries to encourage Dan by telling him not to let Buster push him around. Dan counters that Buster is bigger than he is, but Becky says that Buster is trying to scare him. Dan confesses that he doesn’t want to get beaten up, so Becky suggests that they go talk to Mr. King to see if he can help them.

J.B. King is hot on Mr. Conductor's trail!

In the workshop, J.B. King is intently examining the desk surface with his magnifying glass. He’s enthralled to find Mr. Conductor’s footprints in the powder he'd left on the desk, and believes that he’s close to finding him. He's totally engrossed in his pursuit and ignores Becky's pleas, all the while not seeing Mr. Conductor dressed as Sherlock Holmes watching him from above on the filing cabinet. Becky gives up trying to get Mr. King's attention and leaves, telling Dan that she's going home.

Dan: "Are there bullies on the Island of Sodor?"

Dan is alone on the station bench in front of the mural signal box fretting, when Mr. Conductor appears and asks if he's having troubles. Dan replies that he has bully troubles, with Mr. Conductor remarking that Buster is playing the "bully game." He explains that some people like to push other people around because it makes them feel important, and that it's a mean sort of game that bullies play. Mr. Conductor tells Dan that he can play his own game by showing that he can stand up for himself without picking a fight. Dan asks if there are any bullies on the Island of Sodor and Mr. Conductor tells him the story about Bulgy the Bus.

Mr. Conductor: "Instead of hiding, look here!"

At the end of the story Dan asks if Bulgy ever beat up anyone. Mr. Conductor doesn’t think so, but knows that the bus lied and made fun of the railway engines, which is another form of bullying. Dan tells Mr. Conductor that Buster intends to beat him up and wants to hide. Mr. Conductor tries to reason with Dan, but the lad's fear makes him try to hide behind the picture machine. Mr. Conductor appears on top of the machine and invites Dan to look into it instead of hiding. Mr. Conductor inserts a nickel into the picture machine to let Dan watch a music video about bad guys and bullies. After the video, Mr. Conductor asks Dan if it's given him any ideas. Dan only replies that he’d better hide. Mr. Conductor insists that you have to stand up to a bully to tell him that you've have enough. Dan is intimidated by Buster’s size, so Mr. Conductor suggests that Dan let him talk to Buster. Dan advises against it, emphasizing that Buster is mean and if he picks on Dan because of his size it'll be worse for Mr. Conductor, and so begs him to hide from Buster as well.

Dan protects Mr. Conductor from Buster!

Buster re-enters the station with his ice cream cone and asks Dan who he's talking to as Dan tries to shield Mr. Conductor from the bully’s view. Buster finally sees Mr. Conductor and orders Dan to get out of his way. Dan stands his ground and shouts "NO!” Momentarily taken aback, Buster repeats his order and threatens to beat Dan up. Dan refuses to and steps closer to Buster. Buster tries once again, but Dan is on the offensive telling Buster to get away from the arcade. In the workshop, Mr. King is under the table searching and overhears Dan ordering Buster to leave Mr. Conductor alone. This gets a reaction from J.B. who hits head beneath the table as he rises to get up.

Buster talks about his "dumb" uncle!

Dan warns the retreating Buster that he'll turn him upside down if he ever lays a hand on Mr. Conductor, then spin him around by his feet, and stick the ice cream cone on his head. Buster is now cowed by Dan's courage and does not hesitate giving back Dan's nickel when he demands it. Schemer runs in with a second ice cream cone for Buster as he whines that Dan is dangerous. Schemer sides with Buster and warns Dan of what will happen when Mr. King learns about this. As Buster retreats, he vows to see how tough Dan is once he tells his ‘dumb’ uncle what happened, not realizing that J.B. is standing immediately behind him as he adds that he’ll then be able to draw on the walls all he wants. He backs into his uncle and immediately begins to flatter him with compliments again. J.B. sternly tells Buster that he's in trouble, and that he'll only be making matters worse by lying to him. Buster plays innocent, but J.B. will have none of it, and orders his nephew to wait for him outside. Buster leaves whining that he never has any fun and blames everything on Dan.

J.B. King thanks Dan for his courage.

Mr. King addresses Dan and apologizes on behalf of the entire King family. Schemer interjects, lamely attempting to claim all the credit for what Dan did, and gives J.B. the ice cream cone before leaving. J.B. asks Dan if he was protecting someone smaller than himself, adding that it was a mighty fine thing to do and that he's proud of him. He offers out his hand to shake and then gives Dan the ice cream cone saying that he deserves it. As J.B. leaves to go have a word with his nephew, Dan asks him if he saw Mr. Conductor. J.B. replies that he didn’t, but suspects that Mr. Conductor had a small hand in what just transpired, as we see our miniature friend standing on the wall edge behind him. As he leaves Mr. King says that he knows Mr. Conductor is around somewhere. Mr. Conductor shushes Dan to keep quiet and the episode ends as they both wave at J.B. King as he exits the station.

Episode Morals:
  • Bullying is unacceptable social behavior.
  • We must all find the inner strength to confront and stop bullying and to stand up for yourself.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Jamaican Farewell

Featured Picture Machine Music Video:
•  The Bad Guy

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Bulgy

Episode Notes:
  • Neither Billy nor Kara appear in this episode.
  • Another Indian Valley Railroad engine is named in this episode: the Sunset Flyer.
  • The pen Buster is trying to draw on the mural with is a Mr. Sketch blue pen. (contributed by Daniel Celano)
  • Ira Glasner makes another appearance as Buster in Brian O'Connor's direct to video Shining Time Station special: The World According to Schemer. In the special Buster still acts like a bully.

Stacy Cleans Up
Production #45 (3.04)
Written by Brian McConnachie
Directed by Wayne Moss
Summary by J. Gratton

Season 3 Episode 4: "Stacy Cleans Up"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Kara Cupper (Erica Lutrell)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Magder)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Ted Typo (David Hewlitt)
  • Rusty McRail (Michael Polley)

Episode Synopsis: The abundance of trash at Shining Time Station becomes a problem for everyone when the town dump closes. A garbage train driven by Engineer Rusty McRail offers temporary relief, but ends up aggravating the situation by becoming stranded at the station because all the dumps in the Indian Valley have closed. Becky then comes up with a brilliant idea to eliminate the smelly problem, and in a way inspires the establishment of what could be considered the world's first mobile recycling center on rails!

Detailed Episode Summary:

Mr. Conductor cleans house!

When Dan arrives at the station, Stacy asks him as a favor to empty all of the wastebaskets, and quips that that they can't have Shining Time Station looking messy. Dan is more than happy to help his aunt and stops by Mr. Conductor’s signal house to inform him that he’s picking up the trash. Dan is amazed by the number of garbage bags Mr. Conductor brings out after several trips, and asks how everything could fit in his small house. Mr. Conductor replies that he’s very organized, and disappears.

All that wrapping...for this?

Schemer enters carrying a large cardboard box with Kara and Becky in tow. He tells everyone to gather around for a Schemer special deluxe one-day only event. Schemer opens the box and announces that he’s giving away “Lollapalooza Pops” and hands two of them to the girls, keeping one for himself. When asked why he’s giving them away, Schemer reveals that someone is paying him to give out free samples. They begin unwrapping the large item, first taking off the tin foil which Schemer explains keeps the “artificial natural” flavor in. The next layer of wrapping is wax paper needed to keep the germs out. Another layer made of cardboard is intended to help the pop keep its natural shape. Next, a layer of plastic to keep the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays out. As the package becomes smaller, they're surprised to find a layer of hospital gauze to keep the bugs out. Once completely unwrapped, the large confection turns out to be nothing more than a tiny lollipop. The lollipop is eaten in one bite which doesn’t give them much time to savor it, but Schemer still remarks how good it tastes. Kara complains about all of the waste that the excessive packaging created, and wonders how they’ll be able to get rid of it. Schemer stops Dan as he walks by the arcade, but he doesn't have room in his wastebasket to hold any more trash. He reveals that there's plenty more garbage out back of the station as Schemer scatters the wrapping around the arcade.

Ted Typo delivers the news!

As passengers arrive, Stacy greets reporter Ted Typo who shows her his Indian Valley Gazette headline that the garbage dump is closing. Stacy exclaims that it's terrible, which Ted misinterprets as a comment about his writing. Stacy clarifies that she's referring to the dump closure and wonders where they’re supposed to put all of their garbage. Ted then hands her a big stack of newspapers to hand out to the passengers, despite Stacy's concerns that they don’t have any place to throw them out after reading. Ted is momentarily offended at the suggestion and insists that people would cherish the newspapers as he hands a copy to a passing passenger.

Inside the jukebox, Rex and Tex debate what to do with their garbage now that the dump is closed. They decide to cram it into a box, cover it with gift wrapping and give it to Tito as a birthday gift. Tito is touched by the gesture and says that they shouldn’t have. The brothers reply that they know, and then make a hasty retreat before Tito opens his gift!

Mr. Conductor sitting on Ted Typo's hat!

Back in the station, Mr. Conductor appears on the ticket counter to inform Stacy that a train is slowly pulling in on track four. Stacy is puzzled, as track four hasn’t been used in years, and confirms that there aren't any trains scheduled to be on it. Since Billy is away, Stacy asks Mr. Conductor to keep an eye on things as she goes to find the engineer. Meanwhile, Ted Typo is leaning against the workshop door daydreaming when Dan nudges him out of the way when he opens the door to come out. Ted is looking for a big story and Dan persuades him that he has one. As Ted pulls out his notepad, Dan tells him that most of the garbage in the bag he's holding came from the signal house in the mural. Ted sarcastically guesses that a little man lives in the signal house which Dan affirms. Dan then realizes that Ted doesn't believe him as he tells the lad to run along before little men start sitting on his hat. Just as he utters those words, Mr. Conductor materializes on Typo's hat and waves to Dan!

Stacy meets Rusty McRail

A stranger enters the station examining an old map. Stacy and Dan meet at the station entrance, where she reveals that she couldn't find the train's engineer. She then asks Dan where he put all of the trash he collected, and is told that he dumped in one of the train cars outside marked 'garbage.' Stacy suddenly notices the man and asks if it's his train outside. The man, in a Scottish brogue, affirms that it is, and after Stacy identifies herself as the stationmaster, introduces himself as Rusty Rob McRail, Chief Engineer of the R&O freight line. Stacy asks if it would be alright to put the station's trash on his train. He agrees as everyone else has been asking to do that. Stacy rushes over to ask Becky to gather up all of the empty paint cans in the workshop and to throw them on the train outside. Schemer asks if he’d be able to throw the arcade's trash into Rusty's train. Rusty gives him permission to do so, and then decides to lay his map on the ticket counter for a better view. Dan asks Rusty what he's doing, and is informed that he's reading a map. He asks Dan if anyone has ever shown him how the read one. Dan looks at the map and turns it around making Rusty realize that he was reading it upside down! Rusty compliments Dan's skills and asks how he would like to be an engineer on his train. He puts his oversized hat on Dan's head, but now the lad can’t see, which Rusty admits would hold him back.

half-eaten egg-salad sandwiches - ewwww!

Schemer, Stacy and Becky return to thank Rusty and ask if they can do anything for him in return. Rusty doesn’t want anything except for clear directions to the Indian Valley garbage dump. Stacy breaks the news that the dump is closed. Rusty sighs with disappointment but becomes irritated when Kara comes in to remark that the train smells bad. Rusty retorts that so would she if she were filled with garbage and sat in the sun for thirty days. When asked by Stacy and the kids if he’s really been on the move that long, Rusty confirms that he started out with a train of trash, junk and worse – half-eaten egg-salad sandwiches, the mention of which makes the gang recoil in disgust. He was turned away from his town dump and told to take his garbage somewhere else, but every dump he stopped at, from Lucy’s Leap to Farmer’s Dell and Loon Key, was closed.

Rusty McRail is disapointed!

They commiserate how terrible his situation is, but encourage Rusty to move on to the next dump with his garbage train. Schemer tells him the sooner he gets going, the sooner he'll stop stinking up the station. Stacy gives Schemer a reproachful swat on the shoulder for being rude, but Rusty is offended for being told to move on after giving them permission to load their garbage onto his train. He thought that they'd be a bit different, but are the same as all the others. They don’t understand that there's nowhere to dump the garbage, and he has nowhere to go. Rusty leaves the station as Stacy fumbles for words and the rest on the gang remain silent. Stacy admits to not wanting his train at the station, and runs out to find Rusty to see if they can work something out. Schemer and the kids begin to be plagued by the buzzing of houseflies, and as they swat them away Becky says that garbage can’t go away on its own, while Kara adds that nobody likes garbage. Schemer comments that only flies love it, and deduces that he’d be a rich man if he charged a nickel from each fly when they landed on garbage. Schemer then begins chasing a fly out of the station demanding that it owes him a nickel.

Mr. Conductor asks what the buzz is all about!

Mr. Conductor appears on the ticket counter asking what the “buzz” is all about, and asks if the insects are honey bees. Dan informs him that they are dealing with garbage flies. Mr. Conductor proclaims that he likes honey bees as long as they don't sting him, but hasn’t made up his mind yet about garbage flies. Kara asks if there are a lot of honey bees of the Island of Sodor, which prompts Mr. Conductor to tell them about the unforgettable experience that James the Red Engine had with honey bees. After the story, Dan wishes the garbage flies were honey bees as they only sting when they're angry, while garbage flies are dirty all the time. Kara wishes that the garbage would just fly away, and Dan explains that the garbage dump is closed. Mr. Conductor mentions that for every door that closes, a window opens. Dan replies that the station’s windows are shut and it still smells. Becky thinks about what Mr. Conductor said and equates it to the old idiom “if life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.” Mr. Conductor emphatically agrees as Becky wonders if they can turn the trash into something they can use. Mr. Conductor suggests that they think some more about it while they go down the Anything Tunnel to get some ideas as they watch a musicvideo about recycling.

The smell from the garbage train is unbearable!

Later, everyone in the station is wearing a wooden clothespin on their nose to combat the garbage’s foul odor. Ted Typo arrives proclaiming that he smells a story, and recoils when he takes a deep whiff. Stacy gives him a clothespin as she explains to Ted that the garbage train has no place to go. Ted envisions a headline of "Garbage Dump Opens at Shining Time Station" but Stacy urges that they need to figure something out to solve this problem. Becky shows them an article she wrote for her school’s newspaper about the Indian Valley’s need for a recycling center. Ted is unfamiliar with the term and Becky explains that the center is where garbage is sorted into separate piles of glass, cans and paper that can be reused. Stacy thinks it’s a great idea and asks if Mr. McRail knows anything about recycling. Becky says that he doesn’t but she’ll go tell him, and runs off as Stacy calls out to her to wait because Shining Time doesn’t have a recycling center.

The friends gets into recycling!

Becky returns with Rusty, who understands that she wants to turn his train into a recycling center. Becky wants to help sort the garbage even though Rusty tries to dissuade her by warning that there’s an entire trainful of garbage to sort through, including the half-eaten egg-salad sandwiches. Dan suggests that they can compost the sandwiches for their gardens. Rusty is encouraged and calls them a fine bunch for wanting to help him out. He leads the charge out of the station to get to work, but Schemer feigns following them only to remain in the station where he puts a nickel in the jukebox to play some recycling music. Inside the jukebox Tito has donned a gas mask while the Boy brothers have wrapped their noses in handkerchiefs and Didi and Grace are equipped with clothespins. They decide to recycle an old song tomake it new again, with Grace leading them to play “Five Hundred Miles.” During the band’s performance everyone is busy sorting out the trash into piles of recyclables, with even passengers helping out as they pass by.

Becky's idea made a big difference

The gang are soon finished sorting the garbage and remove their clothespins, sighing in relief as Becky rejoices that they have fresh air at last. Rusty is speaking with someone on the telephone and after the call, Rusty informs everyone that a plastics manufacturer will pay him money for the recyclable plastic, and so will a tin can maker for the pile of cans. He's ecstatic that he has a new career as the “Recycle Express” as Ted Typo notes everything down. Rusty then gives thanks to Becky for her idea, and compliments her that she's done more good than she'll ever know. As he leaves, Becky asks if they'll ever see him again. Rusty can’t promise for sure, but if there's a pile of garbage that needs to be sorted and hauled away, he'll be there, and asks them to wish him luck. Before leaving, he takes a wooden clothespin from the ticket counter and places it on his nose, just in case, to everyone’s amusement. Mr. Conductor appears and disappears quickly after leaving something behind on the ticket counter. Rusty, seeing a miniature stack of paper, glass and cans, declares that some wee person has just sorted out his trash for him. Rusty pockets the items and everyone says goodbye as he heads towards the platform and his train. The episode ends as our friends rush after him after realizing that they still need to load their recyclables onto his train.

Episode Morals:
  • Recycling helps the environment and reduces waste.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Five Hundred Miles

Featured Anything Tunnel Music Video:
  • If Everyone Did a Little (music and lyrics by Carmino Ravosa)

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Buzz Buzz

Quotes of Note:
  • Schemer(about himself): Has that big brain started to drip out of that genius skull of yours?
  • Tex: We gotta find a way to stop making garbage!
    Rex: Hey! I don't make garbage, I make music!

Episode Notes:
  • Billy Twofeathers does not appear in this episode, although he is mentioned.
  • This is the first appearance of Ted Typo, who replaces Jake Scoop as the show's resident reporter for the Indian Valley Gazette.
  • The close-up shot of the Indian Valley Gazette with the article about the garbage dump closing reveals a few clues about the prop's origins. On the newspaper's front page, top-left is a small advert for the Humphrey Funeral Home (1403 Bayview Avenue, Toronto). Another clue is the story heading beneath the advert "Politicians Comment on Scrapping of M.V.A. Plan". At that time @ 1992, the Metro Toronto M.V.A. Plan involved a controversial long-overdue reassessment of privately-owned property worth. The prop was likely a small Toronto community newspaper made to look like the "Indian Valley Gazette".
  • The voice heard during Rusty McRail's telephone conversation is actually sped-up audio from a scene with Stacy and Harry from Promises, Promises (see Season 1: Promises, Promises Episode Notes). 

Schemer's Robot
Production #46 (3.05)
Written by Wilson Coneybeare
Directed by John Ferraro
Summary by J. Gratton

Season 3 Episode 5: "Schemer's Robot"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Magder)
  • Kara Cupper (Erica Lutrell)
  • Barton Winslow (Gerard Parkes)
  • "Robby" the robot (Michael Lamport)
  • Tourist #1 (Ho Chow)
  • Tourist #2 (Irene Panzer)

Episode Synopsis: Stacy eagerly prepares for the arrival of a new tourist train while Schemer brings in mechanical help to care care of the arcade and do all of his work. While the resulting chaos is going on, we learn that it's Mr. Conductor's turn to man the "Sob Story" booth on the Island of Sodor.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Mr. C. is annoyed at Schemer's trinkets

The episode opens with Stacy Jones practicing passenger greetings for the arrival of the new tourist train. Mr. Conductor appears and is annoyed after getting tangled up in the shoestring licorice that was on the table he materialized onto. He’s told that the licorice is one of the items for sale in Schemer's new tourist booth. Schemer plans to sell all kinds of trinkets to tourists, ranging from mashed potato mixes to even a commemorative plate featuring his picture. Mr. Conductor thinks it's a sad story indeed, which reminds him that it is his turn to sit in the "sob story" booth on the Island of Sodor to hear all of the engines' problems, and then help sort them out. Mr. Conductor vanishes when he hears Schemer approaching.

Schemer's Robot!

Schemer wheels in a large cardboard box on a hand cart, which he opens to reveal a robot. Stacy, Becky and Kara are dumbfounded. Schemer proclaims that the robot will do everything that he normally does; take care of the arcade and the tourist corner, polish his nickels, and basically do whatever he tells it to do. Stacy thinks it's a crazy idea and that everyone needs to do things for themselves. Schemer retorts that she's just jealous because she did not think of it first. Stacy storms off and Schemer activates the robot. He introduces himself as Schemer, supreme financier of nickels and monetary things, and orders the robot to speak. The robot replies "Would you like to try a Kielbasa Sausage? It goes great with our freshly baked buns." Schemer informs the robot that he's in an arcade, not a supermarket. Becky suggests that perhaps the robot needs to be shown what to do, but Schemer ignores her and orders the robot (which he has named Robby) to follow him, saying he’ll have to show the robot what to do.

Robby sweeps the walls with the broom

Inside the Jukebox, Tex thinks that the robot is a washing machine that wants to eat them. Rex corrects him by claiming that it's a clothes dryer. The Puppets panic, except for Didi who says that she likes it. Tito asks how she can dig such a big scary weird thing. Didi explains that just because something is big and weird looking doesn’t mean they have to be scared. Rex agrees, but suggests that they all remain scared of it anyway. Didi admonishes them all for being a bunch of big babies. The robot seems fixated on the Jukebox as Schemer hands it a broom and commands it to sweep. The robot begins sweeping the walls instead of the floor. Schemer grabs the broom from the robot and demonstrates how it is supposed to be done.

Mr. Conductor readies the "Sob Story Booth"

Kara and Becky enter the workshop where Mr. Conductor is putting the finishing touches on his Sob Story Booth. He observes that Schemer is having some trouble with his robot. Kara replies that Schemer said that he had some kinks to work out. Mr. Conductor thinks that Schemer hasn't taken to time to find out everything he needs to know about his robot. Becky adds that it would be neat to have a machine that could do everything. Mr. Conductor counters that although machines are good for some things, but there are other things that only a human can do. He adds that even the engines on the Island of Sodor need engineers and conductors, and when the engines forget that, things can get very confused. He proceeds to tell them the story of when the big engines were upset and planned to go on strike. Becky remarks that it was sad that the engine did not want to work anymore. Mr. Conductor says that what happens next was even worse, but that tale would have to wait until he gets back as he sparkles away.

The robot mops up Schemer!

Back in the arcade, the robot is still mesmerized by the juke box as Schemer gives it a bucket and mop and commands it to mop the floor. The robot instead empties the bucket onto the floor, and begins mopping Schemer. Schemer's yells attract Stacy to come over to help. To save face, Schemer denies that he's having problems and says that everything is as smooth as cake. Hearing this, the robot booms "Cake, try our tasty new cakes - aisle two!” Schemer tells Stacy that there are just a few bugs to iron out, and the robot shouts "Bug spray, on special this week." Schemer explains that the robot is unfocused at the moment, but as soon as more people arrive the robot will work perfectly. Stacy notices that the robot appears to be attracted to the jukebox, but Schemer doesn't think so. Stacy warns him that she doesn't want anything to go wrong in the station today with him, the robot or the jukebox. Schemer goes on to berate the robot about its infatuation with the jukebox, when he suddenly has a "genius time" moment. He puts a nickel in the jukebox, thinking that music will help the robot focus on its tasks. The Puppet Band then begins to perform their rendition of "Strolling in the Park One Day", as Schemer tries unsuccessfully to wrestle the robot away from the jukebox.

Robby is in love with the Jukebox!

After the song, Becky and Kara find Mr. Conductor crying at his Sob Story Booth and ask him what's wrong. He replies that the sob stories that he heard on the Island of Sodor were so sad, they were wonderful. The kids are confused by this statement. Mr. Conductor explains that they are wonderful as long as they have a happy ending, and that everyone enjoys having a good cry now and then. Mr. Conductor suddenly disappears when he and the kids hear Schemer shrieking. Everyone comes to investigate what is causing Schemer’s tantrum and he points toward the arcade where the robot is inserting nickel after nickel into the jukebox. Schemer is at his wit's end because the robot is in love with the jukebox. The robot declares his love for the jukebox to everyone. This upsets Schemer even more as the tourists will be arriving soon. He suddenly has a brainstorm and, announcing that he has an idea, runs out of the station.

Inside of the juke box, we see the nickels piling up as the tired and worn out band prepares to play selection #489. Didi tells Tito that they need a break, but he says that this is the best gig since his days as "Tito in the Box".

Mr. C. says that Robby belongs in a supermarket

Kara and Becky return to the workshop and reflect how the robot seems to have feelings and that Schemer has done nothing but hurt them. Mr. Conductor reappears with his booth and agrees that it's sad when someone hurts your feelings, but it's even sadder when you're not allowed to do what you do best. When asked why, Mr. Conductor thinks that the robot was intended to work in a supermarket, not an arcade. Becky adds that would explain why the robot is always talking about food. Mr. Conductor further explains that Schemer was so busy trying to find an easy way to do things that he never bothered to learn anything about his robot. Mr. Conductor feels that things will work out somehow, and proceeds to tell them how things worked out for the best once Percy arrived on the Island of Sodor. Mr. Conductor ends the tale by saying that we usually learn something very important from sad stories and directs the kids to go see what is happening just outside the door. The kids realize that Stacy is giving her tour to the passengers and leave the workshop to watch.

Schemer hopes the robot will be attracted to this

Stacy leads the tourists into the station, pointing out the building's historical artifacts. The robot walks up behind Stacy and the tourists' attention switches from Stacy to Robby. Robby startles Stacy by booming out "Would you like to try out some of our pickled calves' livers?", which delights the tourists. Stacy is crestfallen because the tour had been successful until the robot showed up. Just then, Schemer arrives with a lawnmower festooned with pink ribbons and bows. The tourists, meanwhile, are all gathered around the robot at the Tourist Corner. Schemer explains that the lawnmower will become the robot's new love interest.

The robot is giving away Schemer's trinkets!

As Schemer wheels the lawnmower over to the robot, a tourist asks for a souvenir from the station, Robby hands a package of instant mashed potatoes to the man. When he asks how much it costs, Robby hands him a second souvenir and declares to the shoppers that everything is free. Robby hands a plate and mug to a woman just as Schemer intervenes to yell at the robot that it can't just give things away and that people need to pay for the items. As soon as the tourists hear this, they begin to scatter out of the station with their goods as Schemer pursues them. Becky and Kara mention that they should help Schemer as they joke that they don't want either the robot or the lawnmower to get hurt.

Schemer patience with the robot is worn out

Later, an exasperated Schemer leans on the arcade's railing as the robot complains that the jukebox won’t play anymore. Schemer tells the robot that it is not much good at being a labour-saving device. The robot responds by harassing Schemer for more nickels. Inside the jukebox, Tito is tallying up the nickels and says that he's changed his mind about the robot and paraphrases the old saying "Isn't love grand" by adding "grand theft,” and chuckles at his pun.

Barton leaves with his new assistant!

Suddenly, Barton Winslow arrives on his motorcycle. He explains he has a problem with Schemer's new junior assistant cutting into his business by selling food. The robot, however, appears to be infatuated with Barton's motorcycle. Schemer has another "genius time" moment and approaches Barton with a deal: Barton gets an assistant for free, while Schemer gets rid of his assistant for free. Barton resists taking on a robot who has only worked in an arcade, but the kids inform him that the robot was actually designed to work at a supermarket. Barton talks to the robot who asks him whether he'd like to try some devil-larded beef. Barton is convinced and agrees to take the robot off of Schemer's hands.

The lawnmower chases Schemer!

After Barton and the robot leave, Stacy says she hopes that Schemer has learned something. Schemer retorts that he learned he should never order anything from the back of a comic book. Stacy is amused and asks if that's all he's learned. Schemer awkwardly adds that he should never introduce a robot to a jukebox. Stacy explains to him that he ran the arcade better than anyone else and was doing just fine, and wonders why he would have someone do for him what he does best by himself. The lesson finally sinks in, and Schemer ambles over to the arcade to tell the machines that they are all useless. When he tells the lawnmower that it too is useless and repeatedly kicks it, the lawnmower suddenly starts up and chases Schemer out of the station as the episode ends.

Episode Morals:
  • In order to gain independence, some things need to be done by no one else but ourselves.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Strolling in the Park one Day (arranged by Larry Wolf for Oasis Music Inc.)

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Stories:
•  Tenders and Turntables
•  Trouble in the Shed

Quotes of Note:
  • Mr. Conductor: "Advice is sort of like birthday presents. It usually is more fun to give than it is to receive."
  • Schemer ("genius time moment"): "A light bulb in Schemer's attic melting the snow-capped peaks." 
  • Schemer (to Barton): "Why don't you make like a tree and take a hike!" 

Episode Notes:
  • In this episode Barton Winslow enters the station on his motorcycle from the left side near the workshop, and exits with the robot on the right side below the arcade. This suggests that the station has alternate doors in/out of the building.

Billy Saves the Day
Production #47 (3.06)
Written by Jill Golick
Directed by Wayne Moss
Summary by J. Hunter

Season 3 Episode 6: "Billy Saves the Day"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Schemer (Brian O’Connor)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Kara (Erica Luttrell)
  • Dan (Ari Madger)
  • Schemee (Jonathan Shapiro)
  • Felix Perez (Aurelio Padrón)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis: Everyone at Shining Time Station is excited, because Felix Perez is organizing a concert. But when he loses his star, everybody (even Schemer!) tries out for the part. Everybody except Billy, for even though he has a great talent, he is afraid to show it. Will a star be found, or will the concert be cancelled? Find out, as they learn that everyone has something special to offer.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Felix is looking forward to seeing the concert!

As the episode begins, the kids see Felix Perez hanging a sign promoting the Moonlight Concert he’s putting together. Dan then notices that the star of it is Chilly Weathers, a famous musician, and Felix begins to describe how beautiful everything will look when the show begins after sunset. The kids are excited by this, and then they run off to Billy’s workshop.

Mr. Conductor plays Billy's guitar!

When they arrive, they not only find Mr. Conductor there, but they see Billy with a guitar. The kids then ask Billy if he’s going to play something, to which he says no and that he’ll play when he’s ready. The kids are disappointed by this and begin to beg Billy. But when Mr. Conductor says that he’ll play for them, they’re in disbelief. Billy lays his guitar down and starts strumming it, while Mr. Conductor steps onto the guitar’s neck and makes music by stepping on the frets!

The kids are astounded by this, and Mr. Conductor tells them that people are full of surprises and have something special to offer if given a chance. Billy agrees and then reminds the kids that they have to find out what that “something” is, because everybody’s different. Suddenly, everyone hears Felix exclaiming and they rush out to see what the matter is.

Felix is very disappointed about his star act

They find out from Stacy that the train bringing Chilly Weathers has been cancelled. Billy offers to help by taking another train to fetch Mr. Weathers, but Felix says it’s too late for that, because the concert is that night. Stacy then suggests maybe he could find someone else that can be the star, but Felix isn’t sure he could find someone in time. As that is said, the Jukebox Band tries to get Felix’s attention, but to no avail.

Stacy still tries to convince Felix that there must be somebody with musical talent, but he replies that he already knows everybody and that none of them are available. But when Kara says that he should give her, Dan and Becky a chance, Felix brightens and agrees. After stating that the show must go on, he leaves to see if he can find someone that can take Chilly Weathers’ place before the sun sets.

Stacy shares an anecdote about stage fright

After he leaves, Stacy and Billy begin to feel sorry for Felix and wonder if anything can be done. As they’re talking, the kids begin to think how great it would be to actually be on stage and ask Stacy, who has had some acting experience, what it was like. She tells them what happened when she first went on a stage. Just before the show started, Stacy began to get “butterflies” in her stomach when she saw how big the audience was. She also began to feel scared, because there were so many people depending on her. But after plucking up some courage, she went out, said her first lines and got so caught up in the play that she forgot about the audience, right up until the end when they started clapping. She then remembers that feeling when people are applauding a great performance.

Stacy shows the kids how to improvise!

After her story is over, Becky wants to be in the concert so that people can cheer her, until Kara states that they have to be able to do something that will make them want to cheer. Dan asks what can they do, since they have don’t have instruments. Stacy then shows them that anything can be an instrument as she taps a beat on the Information Desk. She then tells the kids to go look for things and then come back to her.

Billy does not want to be in the concert

In no time at all, Becky and Dan have instruments made from everyday things; Becky has a washboard with some bells and a horn, and Dan has a trumpet made from a plastic pipe and a kitchen funnel. Meanwhile, as Kara is having help from Billy, who’s making a bass fiddle from a pole, a wash tub, and some string, she asks him why he doesn’t try out for Felix’s concert since everybody else is. He says no, because he only plays for himself. She keeps on imploring him, but he simply states he doesn’t want to, and she leaves it at that.

After her instrument is made, Kara thanks Billy and joins Dan and Becky for a rehearsal. But as they try their instruments out, all playing random notes at the same time, they sound terrible and begin to think that Felix won’t let them perform. That is, until Mr. Conductor appears and says that all they need is a score. Kara is confused by this, until Mr. Conductor explains that a musical score is all the notes written on paper so that the musicians know what to play and when. Becky is surprised by Mr. Conductor’s knowledge on music, until he implies that he doesn’t always work with trains.

Mr. Conductor is also a Conductor!

Mr. Conductor then shows them (by conjuring visible musical notes) what they just played, which looks even worse than it sounds. He then shows each of the kids what rhythm to play, and then they play it together. The kids like what they hear and thank Mr. Conductor, who adds that they’ll sound even better with a little more practice. After he leaves, the kids then go to find some place quiet to practice.

It's MC Schemer and DJ Schemee!

A little bit later, when Felix comes back to the station, he sees what appears to be Schemer and Schemee, now calling themselves “M.C. Schemer” and “DJ Schemee,” dressed in 1970s break-dancing/rapper clothes and with a record player sitting next to them. Having heard that Felix needs a replacement for his concert, Schemer performs a rap song, but only succeeds in getting himself, Schemee, Felix, and the record player tangled in the microphone cords and they all crash to the floor. Inside the Jukebox, the Band is laughing at what has just happened, and Rex makes a comment that even Schemer has shown a hidden talent, much to the other members’ surprise. When they ask what it is, they laugh even harder when Rex says that it’s making a fool out of himself!

Felix: Don't call me. I'll call you."

Back in the station, Schemer asks Felix what he thought of their performance. Felix says don’t call him, he’ll call Schemer, and leaves. Schemee believes that he didn’t like it, but that doesn’t discourage Schemer, who then tells him his motto; if at first you don’t succeed, fake it!

Grace remembers her first gig

Back in the Jukebox, Grace begins to tell the other members about her first job, playing inside a car radio with Tubby’s Totally Tube-ular Band. She was scared, and Tubby tells her that it’s only natural for one to be scared when playing for a lot of people. Grace begins to panic and asks Tubby what if she makes a mistake and people don’t like her. Tubby then asks her if she likes the music the band plays. She does and then Tubby explains that when she’s sharing what she loves, she’ll make new friends. Now excited by this, Grace begins to play her first song. As Grace finishes her story, she confirms what Tubby had said, by saying that the other members are some of the best friends she’s ever had.

Billy listens to Mr. Conductor

Meanwhile, over in the workshop, Billy is playing on his guitar, but then stops and goes back to work. Mr. Conductor, who was quietly listening, begs Billy not to stop. Billy says he was only practicing, to which Mr. Conductor replies that he couldn’t tell the difference. But as Billy continues to fix an alarm clock, it reminds Mr. Conductor of what happened to Trevor the Traction Engine. He tells Billy a story of how after being saved from scrap, Trevor still felt lonely, until he was needed to help Thomas at the harbor. Afterward, he not only gave rides to children and helped get important work done, but he made a new friend in Thomas.

Mr. C. keeps on dropping hints to Billy!

Mr. Conductor then tells Billy how good one feels after making others happy, and then asks him if he feels the same way. When he replies that he does, Mr. Conductor then hints at other things that make people happy, such as singing to them. Billy is surprised by this, and is even more-so when the alarm clock goes off, to which Mr. Conductor says it’s time for him to go. After he leaves, Billy pulls out his guitar and begins playing it again.

The "warm up act"

Back in the station, after the kids have performed for Stacy and Felix, Felix tells them that they might be the “warm-up” act. The kids wonder what that is, and Stacy explains that it’s the act that goes on before the star, so as to get the audience in the right mood. The kids are excited by this, until Felix states that unless he can find a star soon, there might not be an audience for the children to warm up. Stacy is downhearted by this, until she wonders aloud why Billy hasn’t tried out yet. Felix says he’s never seen Billy play, and Stacy tells him that she has heard Billy through the workshop door, singing and playing the guitar when he’s alone.

Kara repeats what Billy had told her earlier, and Felix states that Billy may have stage fright. Becky thinks that means Billy is scared, but Stacy clarifies that it means he’s shy. But when Kara believes that the reason why is because he’s never been given the chance and that they should ask him, Felix tells them that somebody should do it quick, because if Billy doesn’t want to perform, he’ll have to cancel the concert.


The moment Felix says those words; Schemer and Schemee come up, now dressed in ridiculous rocker’s clothes. They proclaim themselves as “The Not Agains,” much to Felix’s annoyance. The Schemers go in to the Arcade as Schemee quickly sticks a nickel in Jukebox. Inside the Jukebox, however, the band knows what’s really going on; Schemer’s going to pretend to be them! Reluctantly, they play a rocked-out version of “Get on Board, Little Children.” As that’s going on, Schemer and Schemee are seen “rocking” to the song with Schemer lip-syncing to Didi’s singing. Once he’s done, Schemer asks Felix how great their performance was. Felix sarcastically says that it was, but then adds that it’s too bad that the Jukebox can’t go on the stage, much to Schemer’s disappointment.

Kara pleads with Billy

Kara then runs over to the workshop and tells Billy that the concert is about to be cancelled, to which Billy replies he’s sorry for them. Kara says that she was kind of scared to go on the stage anyway, and Billy says that maybe it’s for the better; that feeling of fear may be warning Kara that she’s not ready. But when Kara says that she is ready because she’s been practicing a lot, Billy then tells her that maybe she didn’t practice enough. Kara then tells him that she once felt that way when her grandpa Harry was teaching her how to ride a bicycle without training wheels.

Billy finally agrees to play!

They would start with Harry holding onto Kara to keep her balance and Kara would always tell Harry she wasn’t ready for him to let go. But when he finally did let go, she found out she could do it and that she was ready after all! Then she adds that it could be the same with performing on stage, but now she’ll never know since the concert’s going to be cancelled. Billy concedes that he’ll never find out if he’s ready to perform on stage unless he just goes out and does it. They both leave the workshop, approach the group, and then, rather nervously, Billy tells Felix he wants to try out for the concert, even though he’s never been on a stage before, to which Felix says he would like to hear him. Billy plays a song about how he sometimes likes to keeps things to himself, inviting everybody to join him in the final chorus.

rattling coin changers are music to Schemer's ears

After Billy has finished Felix declares that the concert is saved, if Billy is willing. Billy first confirms that the kids will go on before him, and then agrees to perform, much to the kids’ excitement. After Felix leaves to get everything ready, Kara asks Billy if he still feels scared. He does, but believes everything will be all right, which makes Kara glad. Amid all the excitement, only Schemer and Schemee are disappointed. The kids then offer to let them to join their band, to which they reply that they don’t have real instruments. But when Kara tells them that all they need is something to shake with, they immediately begin to shake their money changers, which Schemer declares is music to his ears. When Stacy says it time to go, everyone grabs their instruments and heads off for Felix’s Moonlight Concert.

Mr. Conductor decides to orchestrate bird singing!

After everyone has left, Mr. Conductor appears on the window, next to the Ticket Counter, and comments how beautiful the night is, and then adds that some music will make it better. As he begins to wave his conductor’s batpm, a bird tweets in response. He continues to “conduct” the bird as the episode ends.

Episode Morals:
  • Everybody has something special to offer, they just need a chance to show it.
  • The more you share what you love, the more friends you might make in return.
  • You’ll never know you can do something unless you try.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Get On Board, Little Children

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  A New Friend for Thomas (Thomas and Trevor)

Episode Notes:
  • Schemer impersonates both rapper M.C. Hammer and rock musician Ozzy Osbourne.
  • Harry Cupper, Kara’s grandpa, is mentioned in this episode.
  • In addition to acting, Tom Jackson is also an accomplished musician and recording artist. This would be the only time he performed on camera for Shining Time Station.

Billy's Party
Production #48 (3.07)
Written by Brian McConnachie
Directed by Wayne Moss
Summary by A. Su

Season 3 Episode 7: "Billy's Party"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin) 
  • Dan Jones (Ari Madger)
  • Kara Cupper (Erica Lutrell)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)
  • Ginny (Barbara Hamilton)
  • J.B. King, Esq. (Mart Hulswit)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis: It is Thanksgiving and Billy is very busy - he has to repair a locomotive, drive Ginny to buy a turkey, rescue Schemer who has been stranded on a train, and join some very special friends for dinner.

Detailed Episode Summary:

J.B. King sends Billy to repair "Old Dependable"

It's Thanksgiving and everyone is very busy. Midge Smoot is attending the high society Thanksgiving party hosted by the Wellington-Hoovingtons, Ginny is preparing to have Thanksgiving at her house with her nephew and his wife, and Billy has been invited to join the Boomers and the Hobos, whom he describes as very special railroad people. But Billy is delayed in setting off as J.B. King asks him to repair the locomotive “Old Dependable” to handle the amount of crowds needing to board trains home for Thanksgiving. Schemer is also into the activities, as he dresses up as a Pilgrim hoping that people will give him presents so he can say "thanks for giving" to them in return.

Mr. Turkey's glad that the bandmembers are Vegans!

Meanwhile, the Jukebox Puppet Band is taking some time off from performing, sitting in their dressing rooms while Chef Tito “dresses the turkey.” To pass the time, they sing “We Gather Together.” Tito returns with a live, very well-dressed turkey. But when Rex asks what’s for dinner, Tito reveals a platter of vegetables, much to the turkey's delight.

Look who's under the tureen! Mr. Conductor!

Back in the station, Dan, Becky, and Kara are griping about Thanksgiving, with its lack of presents and the need to keep their clothes clean. They look under a large tureen and find a sunbathing Mr. Conductor. Mr. Conductor explains to them that Thanksgiving is a time to stop and think about what to be grateful for, like food and good friends. To further illustrate his point, he tells them about how Thomas and his friends helped some very grateful villagers in "Thomas and Percy's Mountain Adventure".

Billy offers to bring Ginny to Dillylick

After Mr. Conductor's story is over, the kids go ask Billy about the Boomers and the Hobos, but before Billy can tell them, they hear Ginny outside with Stacy and rush out to learn that her new dog, Mr. Filthy, destroyed her turkey. So Billy offers to take her to a place in Dillylick that sells pre-cooked turkeys.

Stacy tells the story about the Boomers & Hobos

Later, while making paper turkeys, the kids ask Stacy about the Boomers and the Hobos, and she explains that the Boomers are travelling railroad people, such as drivers and conductors, and that the Hobos are people who would hitch a free ride on the railroads. The Boomers and the Hobos were once enemies, but after the Hobos saved the Boomers' lives from a big accident by closing a switch that got stuck, the Boomers came to the Hobos' campfire that night and shared their Thanksgiving dinner with them. Having realized that they have a lot of railroad stories to share with each other, they agreed to spend their Thanksgivings together from then on. Stacy goes on to explain that every Thanksgiving, the Hobos and Boomers would gather from all over the country and invite a very special railroad person as the guest of honor, and this year that person is Billy.

Billy offers to go and retrieve Schemer

After Stacy's story, the kids watch a music video in the Picture Machine about Thanksgiving. After the song is over, Billy returns and prepares to leave, but then he hears the kids telling Stacy that Schemer got on the last train hoping that passengers would give him presents and that the train left before Schemer could get off. So Billy decides to use Old Dependable to catch up to Schemer. As Billy leaves, Stacy and the kids depart as well.

The friends gather for Billy's Thanksgiving

After Billy gets Schemer home, he returns to the station, runs to get the cranberry sauce for his party, and rushes outside to catch the last train, but misses it. Billy sadly returns to the empty station and sits down, wondering what to do next, when Stacy comes in. She had guessed Billy might miss the last train and didn’t want him to be alone on Thanksgiving. Ginny then appears carrying her turkey, having told her nephew and his wife to meet her at the station instead. Then J.B. King appears and asks Billy if he can attend the Thanksgiving party too, to which Billy says yes. Midge Smoot arrives next, having decided not to attend the Wellington Hoovingtons' Thanksgiving party since she hardly knew them and she prefers to spend the holiday with people she knows. The kids then come in and sit down, and Schemer appears with some peas for the Thanksgiving dinner.

Mr. C. asks Dan to pass the cookies

After saying grace, they all sit around and have a good Thanksgiving dinner. Mr. Conductor, who is also having his Thanksgiving dinner under the tablecloth, asks Dan to pass around his homemade cookies. Mr. King notices the tiny-sized cookies and is delighted at another sign of Mr. Conductor's existence.

Episode Morals:
  • It’s better to give than receive.
  • The best holidays are those spent with loved ones.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  We Gather Together

Featured Picture Machine Song:
•  Thanksgiving

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Thomas and Percy's Mountain Adventure

Episode Notes:
  • The Thomas story in this episode, "Thomas and Percy's Mountain Adventure", was originally a Christmas-themed episode titled "Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure". The holiday was changed to Thanksgiving to fit this episode, as Thanksgiving is an American holiday.
  • Ginny’s new dog goes through three names in this episode, from "Rex the Wonder Dog" to "Mr. Filthy" and finally "Mr. Get Out of There".
  • This is the first and only time the Jukebox Puppets are not in their usual performing room for the entire episode, and it is also revealed that they are vegetarians.
  • The turkey who joins the Jukebox Puppets, with his monocle and top hat, is a caricature of Charlie McCarthy, a character popularized by ventriloquist Edgar Bergen in the 1930s.

Fortune Teller Schemer
Production #49 (3.08)
Written by Ellis Weiner
Directed by Wayne Moss
Summary by A. Su

Season 3 Episode 8: "Fortune Teller Schemer"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Madger)
  • Kara Cupper (Erica Lutrell)
  • Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)
  • Ginny (Barbara Hamilton)
  • Passenger #1 (Myra Freid)
  • Passenger #2 (Robert Desrosiers)
  • Passenger #3 (Gwendolyn Pacey)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis: Everyone believes that Schemer is a genius when his fortune telling machine correctly predicts the weather, causing him to let his fame go to his head.

Detailed Episode Summary:

A sudden frost has hit the Indian Valley Railroad, freezing the switches. As a result, the trains are unable to run until the switches are fixed, delaying the passengers at Shining Time Station.

Can Schemer's machine predict the future?

Suddenly, Ginny rushes into the station and hugs Schemer, telling him that the fortune telling machine in his arcade had advised Ginny to take steps to avoid disaster. She therefore added protection to her tomato crop and sure enough, they are now safe from the sudden frost. After hearing of this, Schemer becomes convinced that his machine can actually predict the future.

Schemer advises Ginny about her hair

Taking advantage of the stranded passengers, Schemer lures them all into the arcade to his fortune telling machine. Ginny, naturally, is the first to read her fortune, telling her to take advice from a trusted advisor, which Schemer interprets as himself. Ginny asks Schemer for his advice on whether she should get a new hairdo. After looking at her gray and boring hair, Schemer says "definitely".

The kids tell Mr. C. about Schemer's antics

Mr. Conductor meets with Dan and Kara and tells them that Jack Frost is the one behind the cold weather. Kara blames Jack Frost as the reason the passengers are believing what Schemer says, but Mr. Conductor explains that this happens when people get impatient. Dan asks if Thomas was ever impatient before, and Mr. Conductor replies that Thomas once got so impatient, he left his conductor behind, which he explains in the story "Thomas & the Conductor".

Support the Arts: Put nickels in the jukebox!

After the story is done, Kara says that at least Thomas was sorry for what he did while Schemer isn't, so Mr. Conductor decides to go talk with Jack Frost before the trouble gets worse. Meanwhile, Schemer is still taking advantage of the passengers, as he interprets one customer’s fortune of supporting the arts as paying all his money to the jukebox. The Jukebox Puppet Band is displeased by Schemer's deceit, but still knows where their duty lies and plays the song "Turkey in the Straw".

Introducing....El Schemo!

Later, Midge Smoot is talking to Stacy about Schemer predicting the future. As Stacy tries to explain to Midge that no one, let alone Schemer, can predict the future and that the prediction with the weather was just a coincidence, Schemer makes a grand entrance into the station. Dressed in a mystical turban and robe, he now addresses himself as the great and powerful “El Schemo.” He convinces Midge to have her fortune told, and the machine says nature will submit to her design. Midge interprets this as a command to rip out a troublesome patch of poison ivy with her bare hands, so she leaves to do just that. Stacy tries to convince the passengers of Schemer's deceit, but they are too blinded by their admiration to El Schemo to listen.

Mr. Conductor talks about Jack Frost

Stacy and the kids meet up with Mr. Conductor in Billy's workshop, with Mr. Conductor saying that Jack Frost finds the whole situation hilarious. Stacy wishes that the trains would start running and therefore bring the whole thing to an end, and Mr. Conductor says Schemer’s followers would then feel embarrassed like how Gordon and Henry were embarrassed after bragging too much about themselves, which he explains in the story "A Cow on the Line".

After the story is done, Mr. Conductor, Stacy and the kids come up with a plan to discredit Schemer, who is currently leading the passengers in chanting "Give Shining Time Station to him-o! Give Shining Time Station to Schemo!"

Mr. Conductor predicts!

Later, Midge and Ginny storm back into the station, with Midge showing the rash that she got from ripping out her poison ivy and Ginny showing everybody her hair, which is now purple. One passenger faints at the sight. “El Schemo” attempts to get an explanation from the machine, but at that point, the head of the doll inside the machine becomes that of Mr. Conductor's. The head begins talking, frightening “El Schemo” and revealing everything. He states that no one can see the future and that Schemer has been lying to the passengers to get their money by twisting the machine’s messages and the prediction about Ginny’s tomatoes was just a coincidence. By the time he is done, all the passengers are furious and head for the platform. Schemer heads them off, begging them to return. Stacy tries to get him to apologize, which he haughtily refuses. At that moment, the passengers’ train arrives, and they gladly leave. Ginny and Midge also depart to go comfort each other. Schemer hastily apologizes to them, but he is too late. With his customers and popularity gone, Schemer discards his “El Schemo” personality and retreats to his arcade to sulk. With some reasoning from Stacy, Schemer finally sees the light and agrees never to pull such a stunt again, but admits it was fun while it lasted.

The Fortune Teller predicts a "trip" for Schemer!

Suddenly, Mr. Conductor's head returns to tell Schemer that he will haunt him if he tricks people like that again and makes one last prediction: Schemer is about to take a trip. Sure enough, Schemer trips over his robe as he scrambles out of the station. Stacy and the kids give thumbs up to Mr. Conductor, who winks back.

Episode Morals:
  • Use common sense instead of believing uncertain or false predictions.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Turkey in the Straw

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Stories:
•  Thomas & the Conductor
•  a Cow on the Line

Episode Notes:
  • Billy and Becky do not appear in this episode. Billy's absence is explained as being outdoors, presumably to repair the switches.
  • The Charlie McCarthy turkey from “Billy’s Party” makes a return appearance in the Jukebox during their musical number.
  • This is the first and only time Schemer interacted with Mr. Conductor (albeit in disguise).

Billy's Runaway Train
Production #50 (3.09)
Written by Sean Kelly
Directed by John Ferraro
Summary by J. Gratton

Season 3,  Episode 9: "Billy's Runaway Train"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Schemer (Brian O’Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Magder)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • J.B. King (Mart Hulswit)
  • Felix Perez (Aurelio Padron)
  • Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)
  • Ginny (Barbara Hamilton)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis: Our Shining Time Station friends rehearse and perform a play titled “The Story of Casey Jones,” written and directed by Felix Perez. Unfortunately, Billy has to miss the performance due to him being tasked with a freight run to Snarlyville. With Mr. Conductor as his travelling companion, Billy discovers that he can no longer control his train’s regulator. With the freight train gaining speed and getting ahead of schedule, Billy realizes that he’s headed straight into a disaster unless he gets help.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Felix and his stars

The episode opens to reveal a locomotive and passenger car sitting in the middle of Shining Time Station. It’s a set, and Felix, Dan and Stacy are rehearsing for a play about Casey Jones that Felix is producing and directing. The rest of the cast join them for the dress rehearsal, with J.B. King assuming the role of Casey Jones. Midge Smoot, Ginny and Stacy are all in period dress. Felix shows them to their places, with J.B. in the mockup of the locomotive, Ginny and Midge in the passenger car, Stacy in the kitchen set, and Dan standing in front of the locomotive. Felix instructs them to begin, but everyone is confused as they weren’t provided with a script. Dan points out that Schemer was putting up posters about the play around town, while Becky was making copies of the script. Felix begins to moan about missing scripts and actors, when Schemer and Becky arrive. Schemer is carrying an armful of posters while Becky hands everyone a copy of the script.

Everyone wants to be on the poster!

Schemer unfurls part of the poster while Felix reads it, and we find out that the play is titled “The Story of Casey Jones.” Everybody is impressed until they unfurl the bottom half of the poster which reads “Featuring a special appearance of the one and only SCHEMER.” The rest of the cast begin to complain about wanting their names on the posters too. Felix reminds them that credits don’t matter; it’s the play itself that is important, and that all their names will be in the program. Felix then calls for a five minute break so the cast can study the script.

Ballet Dancer that Rex and Tex used to work with

Inside the Jukebox, the Band talks about the fun of being backstage. Tex remembers when he and Rex were backstage, but Rex corrects him that they were more “under the stage.” The Boy Brothers explain by reminiscing about their days as a house band inside a music box, where they played morning, noon and night for a ballet dancer. Tex confesses having a liking for her even though the brothers did all the work without rest while she received all the credit. Tito commiserates, saying that Dan is doing all the backstage work while the rest of the cast just has to deliver their lines. We learn that Dan’s responsible for the play’s lighting and sound effects, and has lines of his own to learn.

Schemer doesn't need to memorize his lines!

Dan and Becky are rehearsing their lines when Schemer arrives to aggravate them by asking what they’re up to. They ask Schemer if he has memorized all of his lines yet. Schemer dismisses the notion, stating that he improvises using his own lines, not the writer’s. After he leaves, Becky tells Dan that she’d be frightened to go on stage without knowing her lines. Dan adds that it’s scary even when you do know what to say, when Mr. Conductor appears. When he asks what’s so scary, the kids tell him that they’re nervous about being in the play, and Mr. Conductor asks what the play is about. They inform him that it’s about the legendary Casey Jones and his train wreck. Mr. Conductor shares that by coincidence there was a big train wreck recently on the Island of Sodor. The kids begin to press Mr. Conductor with questions, and so decides to tell them about how Duck crashed through the wall of a barbershop.

Mr. Conductor would like to help

At the end of the story Becky compares Duck saving the day to Casey Jones who did the same, which reminds them that they need to learn their lines. As they struggle, Mr. Conductor asks if there’s anything he can do to help, and offers to tell them another story. They kindly decline, saying that they need to rehearse. Mr. Conductor understands and tells them that he’ll go see Billy to see if he needs help, then vanishes.

As the kids resume practicing, Midge and Ginny rush by and complain to Felix about their lines. Midge has seven lines, while Ginny has eight, leaving Midge asking for one more line. Felix shares an old theatre idiom with them: There are no small parts, only small actors, and defies anyone to call them small.

Felix is then interrupted by J.B. King asking for a scene change. When Felix refuses, J.B. King reminds him that this is HIS railroad, which prompts Felix to remind him that this is HIS play! J.B. King becomes moody and begins to bicker as Schemer arrives to join Stacy on the kitchen set. When Schemer expresses his surprise when Stacy tells him that she’s trying to study her lines, he nearly knocks the table over as he’s about to lecture her about acting.

Billy: At your signal, Mr. Conductor!

Meanwhile, Billy Twofeathers is outdoors working on his locomotive. Mr. Conductor appears and asks if he can join Billy on his run. Billy then invites Mr. Conductor to join him in the cab. Billy prompts Mr. Conductor to blow his whistle as a signal to begin the trip and to call out “ALL ABOARD!” as the train begins to roll.

Back at the station, Schemer is standing in the locomotive mockup and shoveling prop coal carelessly, hitting an annoyed J.B. King. J.B. demands Felix intervene, and the producer is assailed by Dan informing him of a burnt spotlight, Becky asking for help with her lines, and Midge asking if he’s sure her name’s spelt correctly in the program. Ginny asks if they have to take care of their own makeup. When everyone begins speaking to him at the same time, an overwhelmed Felix orders a five minute break.

Satacy helps Becky with her self-confidence

A depressed Becky joins Stacy and confesses that no one is helping her and that she’s scared because she doesn’t know how to act. Stacy reassures Becky that she has nothing to worry about, and coaches her through their dinner scene by asking what she would be doing in real life. Becky deduces that she’d be setting the kitchen table. With Stacy’s encouragement, Becky easily performs the scene. Stacy adds that acting is whenever you pretend to be someone else, which raises Becky’s confidence in herself.

Inside the jukebox, Didi wishes that they had parts in the play. Grace suggests that they can play background music, and Tex suggests that they play the “Freight Train Blues.” The band then performs their version of the song.

Billy enjoys Mr. Conductor's company

Meanwhile, Billy’s train is travelling along the countryside, and Mr. Conductor asks if they’ll be back to the station in time for the play. Billy regrets that they won’t as the play begins at seven o’clock, and they won’t be back until ten minutes after. Billy explains that they will have to highball it past the station anyway as their train is a non-stop freight to Snarlyville. Mr. Conductor asks about the time, and Billy confirms that they’re right on schedule.

Back at the station, the townsfolk begin to arrive for the play. The cast are preparing themselves in Billy’s workshop when Felix reminds them that curtain call is in one minute. Felix introduces the play by telling the audience that Casey Jones was a real historical hero who worked on the Illinois Central Railroad., and that this is his story…

A surprise dinner guest!

Dan begins to tell the tale as the spotlight centers on him and Casey Jones. We cut to the kitchen where Casey Jones is seated at the dinner table with his wife (Stacy) and daughter (Becky) as the telephone rings – only the actors can’t find it. Felix realizes that he’s holding the telephone prop and quickly brings it to the table. J.B. struggles through his lines as he says that he needs to replace someone on a run. He states that he must perform his duty and hands his cutlery over to Stacy as he hops into his locomotive’s cab as Dan continues the narrative.

billy begins to get worried!

It’s night now as Billy’s train rumbles onward and Mr. Conductor comments that they’re a little ahead of schedule. Billy, however, appears distracted which causes Mr. Conductor to ask him concernedly if anything’s wrong. A worried-looking Billy says that the controls are a little stiff, and that he can’t quite regulate their speed, but it’s nothing serious. Mr. Conductor agrees as long as the line is clear all the way to Snarlyville, and asks Billy to confirm that it is, but Billy doesn’t answer right away.

Ginny and Midge deliver their lines!

The play continues as the actors deliver their lines. Ginny flubs one of her lines by referring to the train as the “Volleyball” instead of the “Cannonball.” The play nearly stalls again when Dan forgets his cue to play the whistle sound effect.

Meanwhile, Billy’s train is picking up speed and he tells Mr. Conductor that they’re in serious trouble. They’ll reach Shining Time Station at 7 o’clock, but the automatic switcher is set to go off at 8 o’clock. Billy warns that there’s a train parked in the station and they’ll crash into it if Stacy doesn’t manually throw the switch. Mr. Conductor offers to help and vanishes.

Schemer is ejected from the Cannonball's cab!

The play is reaching its climatic scene where Casey Jones orders his fireman (Schemer) to jump from the cab before they crash into an oncoming train. Schemer however is frozen in place with a grin on his face as J.B. reminds him to jump as Felix gestures wildly to him to do the same. Even Becky shouts at Schemer to jump, and it’s not until J.B. King swats his rear end with the coal shovel that he’s ejected from the cab! Schemer hams it up in front of the audience before making his exit.

Mr. Conductor warns Stacy!

Mr. Conductor appears beside Stacy and whispers to her before vanishing. Stacy then hastily leaves the stage as Dan continues his narrative to the play’s conclusion. Meanwhile, Shining Time Station is in Billy’s sight as he urges Stacy to pull the switch in time.

Billy's train is safe!

Back in the station, Schemer explains to Felix that he didn’t miss his cue; he was simply building up the suspense. Excusing himself to go sign autographs, Schemer trips over an electrical cord which turns out the lights at the station. Mr. Conductor reappears inside Billy’s train to announce that Stacy managed to pull the switch in time. The lights come back on in the station as the cast bows to the audience’s applause. Felix thanks everyone and bids them all a good night as we watch Billy’s train carry on to its destination.

Mr. Conductor gives a thumbs-up to Stacy

Later, Schemer lazes around as Felix and the cast begins dismantling the sets. When Felix asks him to help, Schemer muses that it’s a shame they have to tear everything down as it was the center of his acting triumph. J.B. King wishes that they could perform the play one more time to have the chance to do it perfectly. Stacy insists that the performance was perfect, while Felix adds that Billy’s train rushing past the station at the play’s climax was great timing. Dan compares it to Casey Jones coming back to life, as Becky asks if Billy is okay. Stacy tells them that Billy phoned her to say that he got his train back under control just outside the station. J.B. King adds that Billy was shockingly ahead of schedule, and wonders how Stacy knew that she needed to pull the switch early. Mr. Conductor appears in the background to give Stacy the thumbs up sign as Stacy stumbles for an answer. She concludes by explaining that she was simply “inspired” as the episode ends.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Freight Train Blues

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  A Close Shave for Duck

Quotes of Note:
  • Felix: There are no small parts, only small actors.

Episode Notes:
  • The Ruston-Hornsby 165DE diesel-electric shunter seen in this episode is from the South Simcoe Railway, a tourist railway in Southern Ontario where it is known as No.10. The Railway’s name appears to have been painted over for use in the episode.
  • This is the only regular half-hour episode that features scenes taped outdoors.
  • Kara does not appear in this episode.
  • Continuity Error: Billy states to Mr. Conductor that the play begins at 7 o’clock. This is also when Billy says they will arrive at Shining Time Station after the train gets ahead of schedule. However, the play is already close to the climactic scene when Billy’s train arrives, which implies that the play’s start time was actually much earlier.
  • Nitpick: Billy calls his train the n"on-stop express train to Snarlyville", however he's driving a shunter pulling two passenger coaches.
  • The story of Casey Jones is based on historical fact and can be found here.

Schemer Goes Camping
Production #51 (3.10)
Written by Wilson Coneybeare
Directed by John Ferraro
Summary by A. Su

Season 3 Episode 10: "Schemer Goes Camping"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Kara Cupper (Erica Lutrell)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Madger)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Schemee (Jonathan Shapiro)
  • Ginny (Barbara Hamilton)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis: Everyone goes camping but Schemer neglects to pack most of the important camping equipment.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Scoutmaster Schemer keeps his troop in line!

The kids are preparing to go camping with the adults for the Indian Valley Wilderness Weekend. The girls, Becky and Kara, have Stacy as their camp leader. As they prepare their gear, Dan and Schemee are marched into the station by their camp leader, “Master Scout Sergeant” Schemer. Schemer starts barking orders at the boys to set up the tent and get him some “grub.”

Meanwhile, in the Jukebox, Tito has suggested the Puppet Band take a camping trip of their own. Tex and Rex’s idea of camping includes a trailer with beds and an electric toothbrush. Didi quickly shoots down that plan in favor of “roughing it.”

Schemer gets room service

Back in the station, Schemer makes the boys do all the work, claiming that real men know how to construct tents alone. Stacy challenges him to do it, and Schemer’s demonstration ends with him on the Arcade floor with the tent on top of him. He gives up and hustles Schemee outside to search for a camping spot.

Mr. Conductor prepares for his refresher course

Once the Schemers are gone, Mr. Conductor appears. He’s nervous about taking his Conductor’s Refresher Course. He’s tested his ticket puncher, cleaned his whistle and practiced his “All Aboard!” Mr. C tells the children he’d hate for his skills to get rusty, then he’d let everyone down since conductors are supposed to help people get from here to there. He compares it to camping, something that takes everyone working together. To further illustrate his point, he directs everyone to the Picture Machine, which plays a music video about teamwork.

Mr. Conductor helps putting the tent up!

Afterward, Mr. Conductor helps the children set up a tent, but quickly disappears when Schemer returns to report he’s found a campsite. Stacy asks if he’s prepared since it looks like rain, but Schemer says he isn’t afraid of a little water. Stacy has decided to camp in the station instead of out in the rain, an idea Schemer scoffs at even more. Insisting that man’s survival skills will carry the day, he marches Dan and Schemee outside, with hardly any gear.

In the Jukebox, everyone is ready to go, except Tex and Rex who are scared. Didi teases them, but Tito suggests the cowpokes sing a song to get them in the camping spirit. So the band performs “Crawdad,” after which Tex and Rex join the others and head off on their trip.

Dan tells the gang about Schemer's disaster

That evening, a storm does indeed occur. While Stacy, the girls and Mr. Conductor tell each other stories, a soaked Dan arrives back at the station. Dan explains that Schemer tried to put up the tent by stapling it to a tree, despite the boys' protests, but the wind caught the tent and carried it into the woods, so Dan was sent back to fetch more staples while Schemer and Schemee went after the tent. Mr. Conductor then remembers the time when Percy the Small Engine got drenched for not listening, and he tells the story "Percy Takes the Plunge" to explain.

Schemee adds more details about the disaster

After finishing his story, Mr. Conductor decides to head outside to find Schemer and Schemee. The moment he is gone, Schemee arrives back at the station. Schemee explains to Stacy and the kids that after Dan’s departure, the tent flew into a tree. Schemer attempted to get it back by climbing the tree, but fell into the mud with his foot stuck in a log. Schemer was then frightened by the sight of a wild animal on the log and fell from the hill into a creek. That was when Schemee abandoned his uncle and returned to Shining Time Station, much to Stacy's disappointment.

Meanwhile, down in the bowels of the Jukebox, the Puppet Band is cold, hungry and getting increasingly angry with each other. Just as an argument is about to break out over whose idea the camping trip was, they realize they should have prepared better and decide to go home.

Ginny captures an intruder

Stacy decides to go outside and find Schemer when Ginny appears with a hooded man she caught looking in the windows of the station. It turns out to be Schemer, who claims to have been chased by a mountain lion, but upon his description, his friends believe it to be a squirrel instead. Schemer then describes that after escaping the creek, as well as a swamp, he found himself completely lost, but was led back to Shining Time Station with the help of a little whistle sound (courtesy of Mr. Conductor). Schemer laments that he's a failure, but his friends assure him that he's not, as he was able to find his way back to them, and they express their hope that he has learned a good lesson of teamwork and preparation.

Schemer confronts his thoughtless nephew

With everyone safe, Ginny announces she has some cider in her truck she’s willing to share. As the kids leave to help Ginny unload, Schemer confronts his nephew for abandoning him. While chasing Schemee out of the station, Schemer falls on Stacy's tent and fruitlessly tries to untangle himself as the episode ends.

Episode Morals:
  • Teamwork and Preparation is important.
  • Learn from your mistakes.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Crawdad

Featured Picture Machine Song:
•  Team

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Percy takes the Plunge

Episode Notes:
  • Billy Twofeathers does not appear in this episode.
  • Mr. Conductor's magic bubble sequence uses a clip from George Pal's stop-motion film: Hoola Boola
  • At the end of his camping speech, Schemer inserts a malapropism, referring to 60s pop singer Pat Boone instead of frontiersman Daniel Boone.

Mr. Conductor's Evil Twin
Production #52 (3.11)
Written by Don Arioli
Directed by John Ferraro
Summary by A. Younger

Season 3 Episode 11: "Mr. Conductor's Evil Twin"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)
  • J.B. King, Esq. (Mart Hulswit)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis: When nobody will help her clean up a mess she made, Kara resurrects Mr. Conductor's Evil Twin and asks him for help. The Evil Twin does help her, but soon creates chaos around the station.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Stacy and Kara admire the locomotive model

The episode begins in the workshop, where Mr. Conductor has been helping Billy build a model of a New York Central Railroad Hudson steam locomotive. Mr. Conductor even has the whistle working. Kara and Stacy come in and admire the work Billy and Mr. Conductor have done. Kara asks if all engines were alike back when the Hudson was made. Billy explains that, while some of them were similar, every engine is different. It could even be something little. He continues by saying that the main way to tell engines apart is by the sound of their whistle.

Framed picture of Mr. C. for Mr. J.B. King

Kara then shows Stacy and Billy that she's been working on a frame for the picture of Mr. Conductor that she, Dan, and Becky drew. The four of them discuss the drawing and how an evil duplicate of Mr. Conductor was created from it after the kids sprinkled some of Mr. Conductor's magic gold dust on it. The twin created chaos in the station. Luckily, the real Mr. Conductor was able to outsmart the evil double into going back into the drawing. That reminds Stacy that J.B. King is coming to the station later to pick up the drawing. Kara and Stacy go into the main station where Stacy asks Kara to clean up a mess she made while making a frame for the drawing. Though she would rather not, Kara starts cleaning up. However she does complain about it a little bit.

Kara begs Mr. Conductor for help to clean up mess

A little while later, Kara is almost finished cleaning. Then, Schemer comes up behind her and startles her, causing her to send papers flying and undoing all her work. Schemer proceeds to tease her about it. After Schemer leaves, Mr. Conductor appears. Kara tries to tell him about what Schemer did, but Mr. Conductor is distracted because his whistle is out of tune. Kara asks for Mr. Conductor's help in cleaning up her mess. Mr. Conductor states that because Stacy asked Kara to clean it up, and it is a rather small mess, Kara can handle it on her own. Mr. Conductor then leaves to get his whistle tuned.

What's that behind you, Schemer?

As Mr. Conductor leaves, Kara grabs some of his gold dust. She sprinkles it on the picture of Mr. Conductor, bringing the Evil Twin back to life. Kara makes the Evil Twin promise to clean the mess she made and then go back into the picture. The twin agrees, and asks Kara to make sure no one is watching. As Kara does so, the Evil Twin plots to himself about how he will first get everyone out of the station, then confront Mr. Conductor and force him to take his place in the picture. Kara comes back and the twin makes the mess magically disappear. However, once he is finished, he cons Kara into letting him stay by telling her he'll help her pay back Schemer for teasing her. While Kara distracts Schemer, the Evil Twin creates a giant, man-sized nickel which chases Schemer out of the station.

Inside the Jukebox, Tito has noticed the giant nickel. He becomes slightly obsessed and makes it his quest to find and capture it.

Mr. Conductor's Evil Twin squishes the chocolates!

Back in the station, there are two boxes of chocolates on Stacy's desk. She had been planning on giving them to J.B. King when he arrives. The Evil Twin proceeds to open one box and smash each chocolate with his feet. Kara then comes in and tells the Evil Twin it's time for him to go back into the picture, but the twin refuses. When Kara threatens to tell on him, the twin points out that nobody will believe her. Stacy enters the station and is impressed with how clean it now is. She goes to give Kara a piece of chocolate for doing such a good job, but discovers the smashed chocolates in the first box. Upon opening the other box, Stacy and Kara find not chocolate, but creamed spinach. Stacy tells Kara to take the boxes back to Barton Winslow's General Store and ask for two new ones. Kara tries to tell Stacy about the Evil Twin, but Stacy is too busy trying to make sure everything looks nice for when J.B. King comes. The twin then gets Stacy out of the station by impersonating Mr. King over the phone telling her and Billy to come to Leaky Park as soon as possible. Stacy, while curious as to why Mr. King is rhyming his words, gets Billy and they quickly leave.

Mr. C.'s Evil Twin is about to topple Schemer!

Schemer soon returns to the station, covered from head to foot in a suit of armor. Calling himself “Sir Scheme-a-lot, he challenges the “monster” nickel to show itself. To rid himself of this distraction, the Evil Twin orders the Jukebox Puppet Band to play a sad song. They do so, which makes Schemer cry, causing his armor to rust to the point that he can barely move. The Evil Twin then knocks Schemer unconscious with a nickel. Kara soon returns with two new boxes of chocolate. Mr. Conductor appears and still hasn't gotten his whistle tuned. Kara explains what happened, that someone has done something bad, without letting on that she is talking about herself freeing the Evil Twin. Mr. Conductor tries to make her feel better about it by telling her a story about Bill and Ben and how they made a mistake without meaning to.

Kara must choose!

After the story, Kara tells Mr. Conductor the truth and apologizes for what she’s done. The two ponder where the Evil Twin could be. Just then, they see the him heading towards them. He has commandeered the model engine and crashes it into arcade steps. Mr. Conductor and his Evil Twin are now standing side by side. Kara can’t tell which is which until she remembers that the real Mr. Conductor's whistle is still broken, and asks both to blow their whistles. She identifies the Evil Twin and pours a pot of glue over him, in the hopes he will disappear. It works and the Evil Twin returns to being a picture.

Mr. King is pleased with the portrait!

Just then, J.B. King, Stacy, and Billy enter the station. Mr. King has no idea what Stacy is talking about when she mentions the phone call about Leaky Park, which has been leak-free for several days. Stacy puts it down to an imposter. Schemer wakes up and asks if Mr. King is there to help him catch the monster nickel. Mr. King becomes a bit concerned about Schemer. When Stacy says "boy, what a costume!," the word boy makes Schemer think of “Danny Boy,” the song that made him cry earlier. He quickly runs home to change out of his suit so it doesn't rust up again. Dealing with Schemer’s behavior makes Mr. King say that he sometimes considers closing the station. Kara, Stacy, and Billy quickly persuade him not to, saying that Schemer is simply a bit paranoid, but he means well. Kara gives Mr. King the picture of Mr. Conductor, which he is very happy to have. J.B. King thanks Kara and leaves the station, debating where he should put the picture.

Everything is back to normal... :)

A little while later, Stacy, Billy, Kara, and Mr. Conductor are in the workshop. Mr. Conductor has finally had his whistle fixed. Billy is working on repairing the model engine. Kara apologizes once more for what she did. Stacy tells Kara that everyone makes mistakes, but that we become better people by learning from our mistakes. Kara says she's learned that Mr. Conductor's Evil Twin is trouble. Mr. C agrees, saying that the twin is "double" trouble.

Episode Morals:
  • When someone gives you a job to do, don't ask for help unless you know you can't do it yourself.
  • Everyone is unique, no matter how similar they may seem.
  • We all make mistakes, but we can learn from our mistakes and become better people.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Danny Boy

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Heroes

Episode Notes:
  • This is the final appearance of Mr. Conductor's mischievous double, who speaks almost entirely in rhyme.
  • Though included in the opening credits, neither Danielle Marcot (Becky) or Ari Magder (Dan) appear in this episode, apart from a flashback using stock footage from Episode 37, "Double Trouble.
  • Unlike other episodes where the actor mimics the voice of another actor, in this episode, when the Evil Twin impersonates J.B. King, Mart Hulswit dubbed his voice over the scene.
  • The voice heard during Stacy's telephone conversation is  actually sped-up audio from a scene with Stacy and Harry from Promises, Promises (see Season 1: Promises, Promises Episode Notes).
  • This was one of a handful of episodes to be released on home video.

Bad Luck Day at Shining Time Station
Production #53 (3.12)
Written by Wilson Coneybeare
Directed by John Ferraro
Summary by A. Su

S3 E12: "Bad Luck Day at Shining Time Station"

Episode Characters/Stars: 
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Madger)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Schemee (Jonathan Shapiro)
  • Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Doris "Helga" Boonswaddle (Jayne Eastwood)

Episode Synopsis: It is Friday the 13th, and Schemer encourages his nephew Schemee to use the occasion to scare people into buying the lucky charms he made. However, Schemee takes his uncle's technique of scaring people a little too far.

Detailed Episode Summary:

It's Friday the 13th!

The episode begins with “Professore” Schemer lecturing his pupil, Schemee. Schemer explains to his nephew that today is Friday the 13th, a day when people everywhere get afraid of having bad luck. He tells Schemee this is an opportunity to convince people, even smart people, to buy all sorts of junk by claiming them to be lucky. As an example, Schemer produces some of his own “lucky charms”: plastic four-leaf clovers, fake vinyl horseshoes and lucky rabbit's feet made from his mother's wool coat. When Schemee suggests that he had other ideas on how to make money, a delighted Schemer declares school dismissed. As Schemee leaves, Schemer remarks to himself about his nephew’s brightness and believes that the boy would become just as bright as him as he leans on the blackboard a little too much and falls to the ground.

Inside the Jukebox, the Band discusses their fear of the “unlucky” song, “Engine 143.” Tito claims that whenever someone requests that song on Friday the 13th, something crazy always happens. Didi tries to dismiss this, but Tex and Rex point out that Schemee being at the station is bad luck already.

Midge Smoot is prepared!

Later, Dan and Becky arrive at the station to see passengers throwing nickels into a kiddie pool with rubber ducks inside and a sign saying "Lucky Ducky Pond – Throw in nickels to Avoid Bad Luck." Schemee notices the kids and advises them to throw in their nickels as well if they don’t want to end up in a train wreck, pointing to a black-and-white photo of such. The kids tell Schemee that not everyone would fall for such superstitions, but the young trickster decides to prove them wrong by approaching Midge Smoot, who has just arrived at the station with a train ticket. Schemee asks Midge if she really wants to be to be traveling on a train on Friday the 13th, and Midge replies that she is not worried because she is well prepared for it – with her lucky rabbit's foot, lucky four-leaf clover, lucky horseshoe, and her personal lucky plastic crotchet hook. However, Schemee claims that trains are very dangerous and secretly plays a haunting train whistle sound from a tape recorder he has hidden behind him, which he claims is the sound of the Ghost Train.

Mr. C. has an accident!

The kids see the hidden recorder and try to point it out to Midge, but Schemee cuts them off and tells Midge a story of a train that went off the rails and crashed into the station and has haunted the place ever since. Midge states that she has heard of such rumors and as the kids try to convince her otherwise, Mr. Conductor appears from behind Midge on the ticket counter to wave at them. Dan gestures at Mr. Conductor to leave, causing the latter to accidentally knock over a nearby flower vase while doing do. Midge notices the fallen vase and is now convinced that the station is indeed haunted. Stacy arrives and notices the fallen vase while Midge tells her of a rumor that Shining Time Station is being haunted by a hundred Ghost Trains. Dan tries to reveal Schemee's deception, which Schemee denies, getting the kids into an argument until Schemer arrives and breaks up the fight with his whistle. Schemee claims that the kids were simply mad at him for trying to make a couple of nickels Midge tells them all to be quiet and tells Stacy that she has a hundred ways to help her be rid of the Ghost Trains and leaves before Stacy can protest.

Stacy broke a mirror!

Stacy tells Schemer that she has a hunch he is behind all of this. When Schemee states that he and his uncle were only trying to protect people from train wrecks, Stacy tells them that there has never been a train wreck on the Indian Valley Railroad. When Schemer demands proof, Stacy takes out a box of files from under the ticket counter. As she lifts the box, a small mirror falls out and cracks on the floor. Schemer states in horror that a broken mirror means seven years of bad luck and he and his nephew attempt to sell her the four-leaf clovers they have. Dan points out that the Schemers' four-leaf clovers are made of plastic and there are real ones outside. Stacy decides to leave to find one, with the Schemers following her to try to convince her otherwise. Dan and Becky are left surprised at Stacy's behavior, believing her to be a sort of hypocrite, as she yelled at Schemer and Schemee for fooling people one minute and then went out looking for a four-leaf clover the next. Becky tells Dan to go talk to Billy before everything goes out of control while she stays to make sure that no one else gets fooled by Schemee.

Midge sees a black cat!

Inside the workshop, Billy Twofeathers is sprinkling salt on his sandwich. He furtively throws some over his left shoulder just as Dan comes in and asks Billy if he ever gets superstitious. The boy mentions that everyone is acting weird because of today being Friday the 13th, and feels that superstitions don’t make any sense. Billy replies that some superstitions come from experiences. He mentions that even railway people are superstitious, such the number 9 being considered bad luck for them because of several trains bearing that number that crashed. However, Billy goes on to state that not all superstitions are bad, and it's you think of the superstitions and how you let them affect you that matters. Back at the ticket booth, Midge attempts to offer Stacy (who now has her four-leaf clover) her spare rabbit's foot when she sees a black cat at the window, causing her to faint from shock. The kids return to the station to see Schemee lurking outside the window and try to tell Stacy. Schemee ducks away before he's noticed, but Midge regains consciousness and declares that there is only one person who can help now, Helga Boonswaddle, the Official Medium of her club. She quickly leaves to fetch her.

Schemer takes a dip!

Later, Schemer and Schemee come in to the station carrying fishing nets. As Schemer instructs his nephew to fish out the nickels from the duck pond, he notices that his coin changer has mysteriously disappeared. Schemee advises his uncle to look inside the duck pond, and as Schemer does so, he kneels a little too much and falls in, soaking his clothes. Schemee claims that this may be bad luck and advises his uncle to throw a nickel in himself, but Schemer dismisses it, claiming that that is for suckers. He decides to go home to have his mommy help him change, but he takes out a nickel from the duck pond and throws it in again before leaving, claiming that it’s "just in case."

Schemee plays a song with a stolen nickel

After Schemer leaves, Schemee takes out his uncle’s coin changer, which he had hidden inside his coat pocket. Dan and Becky are shocked and try to tell Schemee that it’s not right to trick his own uncle, but Schemee replies that what is right is that he’s now the one earning nickels off of people while the kids are not. He also decides that with all the nickels he’s earned, he can listen to the Jukebox all day if he wants to. His first selected song, to the Jukebox Band’s horror, is “Engine 143”! Despite their fear of the song, the Band decides to play it anyway and hope for the best. After the song is done, Didi remarks happily that nothing happened, only to find that the rest of the band has fainted.

Mr. Conductor doesn't want to rock the duck!

Back in the station, Mr. Conductor appears on one of the rubber ducks, and Dan asks him what a medium is. Mr. Conductor explains that a medium is someone who is not too large, not too small, not too thin, and not too tall. Becky says that the medium they were referring to is one who Midge claims will stop all the accidents. Mr. Conductor explains that kind of medium is someone who reads crystal balls and knows all about bad luck. However, he states that most bad luck happens because people are careless. Dan sarcastically suggests Mr. Conductor tell that to Midge Smoot, and Mr. Conductor replies that he could tell Midge about the time Gordon the Big Engine went off the rails into a ditch, which he tells to the kids instead. After the story is done, Mr. Conductor decides against telling Midge Smoot about Gordon, since he wouldn’t want her to fall in any ditches. Dan asks if Schemee would end up like Gordon, and Mr. Conductor replies that he believes Schemee would get turned around like Gordon. He then gets an idea on how to turn everything around and whispers to Dan and Becky about it.

The Mystic Helga senses a vibe!

Later, Schemer, wearing different clothes, returns to the station still looking for his coin changer. He is about to accuse Stacy when Midge appears and dramatically presents “Madam” Helga Boonswaddle, who enters with a flourish and speaking in a vaguely foreign accent. Schemer initially believes her to be a fraud, until she reveals to Schemer that she already knows his name, and discerns that he is misunderstood by his friends who don’t appreciate his brilliance. This impresses Schemer, and as the adults talk, Schemee sneaks to the back of the station and turns off the lights. Boonswaddle, claiming this to be the work of bad spirits, decides to hold a seance and tells the adults to hold hands with her. As Dan and Becky return to the station, Boonswaggle attempts to contact the spirits, with Schemee making a ghostly sound, but then Mr. Conductor lowers himself from the ceiling next to Boonswaddle. Claiming to be the spirit of fooling people, Mr. Conductor informs the shocked medium that Schemee is behind all the tricks that have happened, and that everything will be explained if they look under the ticket booth. He then turns the lights back on.

Schemee is caught!

As Boonswaddle claims to have heard a real spirit (dropping her accent and revealing her real name to be Doris), Stacy looks under the ticket booth as Mr. Conductor suggested and finds Schemer's coin changer as well as a backpack containing the black cat, which is revealed to be made of cardboard. Spotting Schemee, Midge Smoot is about to punish him but his uncle rushes to his defense, saying that he'll be the one to punish the boy instead. After forcing Schemee to make an apology, Schemer sternly tells his nephew that he'll someday learn the difference between scheming and being a jerk. As they turn to leave, Schemer trips and falls into the duck pond again. Schemee also gets soaked when he tries to help his uncle out, and they both run out of the station, with Schemer crying that his mommy will be mad at him for ruining two sets of clothes in one day.

Midge is dissapointed that the excitement is over

Midge expresses her disappointment that the rumor of the bad spirits weren't real, as she was having such a good time. Doris tries to claim that she did indeed hear the spirits, but Midge refuses to believe her. Stacy asks the kids if they had a role in telling Boonswaggle about Schemee's trick. They reply yes and that they had Mr. Conductor be the one to tell Boonswaggle because it was the only way to get the adults to realize that there were really no ghosts or spirits, only Schemee. Stacy replies that even grownups can get carried away with superstition sometimes and asks the kids to stop them before they go too far. The kids agree, and Stacy leaves to find a way to clean up the mess.

Mr. Conductor had his lucky gold watch

Mr. Conductor appears and asks the kids on how they would rate him as a medium. Dan tells Mr. Conductor that he was great, although for a while he thought that their plan wouldn't work. Mr. Conductor replies that he knew their plan would work all along, and he reveals the reason why; he had his lucky gold watch with him, and whenever he has it, things always work out for the best. This exasperates the kids, as it shows that despite being magic, Mr. Conductor is just as superstitious as the adults.

Episode Morals:
  • Not all superstitions are bad, it's what you think of them and how you let them affect you that matters.
  • Most bad luck happens only because of people being careless, so don’t let superstition and fear rule over your common sense.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Engine 143

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Gordon takes a Dip (Off the Rails)

Quotes of Note:
  • Schemer: Wait-wait-wait he's just a child, and my nephew. I don't think it's appropriate that you punish him.
    Midge: Why not?
    Schemer (menacingly): Because I'M going to.

Episode Notes:
  • Kara does not appear in this episode.
  • Billy Twofeathers' act of throwing salt over his left shoulder refers to a superstition that throwing salt over your left shoulder can ward off the Devil who supposedly lurks there.
  • Schemer claiming Helga Boonswaddle to be a phony due to her outfit possibly references to the  episode "Fortune Teller Schemer," when Schemer himself wore a similar outfit to convince people that he had mystical abilities.
  • The title of this episode appears to be a reference to “Bad Day at Black Rock” a 1955 motion picture starring Spencer Tracy as a war veteran confronting racial bigotry.

Mr. Conductor's Fourth of July
Production #54 (3.13)
Written by Sean Kelly
Directed by John Ferraro
Summary by A. Su

"Season 3 Ep # 13:" Mr. Conductor's 4th of July"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Madger)
  • Kara Cupper (Erica Lutrell)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Mayor Flopdinger (Jerome Dempsey)
  • Schemee (Jonathan Shapiro)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis: It is the Fourth of July, and everyone is into the celebratory spirit. While everyone is outside listening to Stacy's speech on freedom, Schemer and Schemee, having discovered Mr. Conductor’s magic gold dust, use the opportunity to turn the station upside down to look for more, during which Schemee vacuums up Mr. Conductor's gold dust. As a result, Mr. Conductor can't disappear and is at risk of being discovered.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Schemer and Schemee sell dud fireworks!

It is the Fourth of July, and everyone at Shining Time Station is in a celebratory spirit, including Schemer and Schemee, who are selling fireworks they claim to be "absolutely safe." Schemer secretly confesses to Billy that the fireworks are safe because they aren’t loaded with anything and therefore don't work. However, Billy counters by pointing out that one large skyrocket actually is loaded, intimidating Schemer.

Mayor Flopdinger has writer's block!

Meanwhile, Mayor Flopdinger has some problems of his own, as he has to give a patriotic speech and he can't come up with one. He even ignores Schemee’s pitch to have his picture taken with a cardboard cutout of Schemer dressed as Uncle Sam. When Stacy offers him some ideas for his speech, the Mayor ends up giving the task of writing the speech to her instead, much to Stacy's dismay.

Inside the Jukebox, the Jukebox Band greets each other a happy Fourth of July. Didi asks Tito his view on independence, which he interprets as freedom, such as being one's own boss, playing music his own way, etc.

Schemee finds Mr. Conductor's gold dust!

Back in the station, Becky and Kara find Dan looking at a little rabbit caught inside one of Billy's traps and wonder what Billy will do with it. Mr. Conductor appears and suggests that Billy will probably set it free. He goes on to tell the kids that instead of visiting the Island of Sodor, he’s just been to New York to keep company with a French friend of his, The Statue of Liberty. While they are talking, Schemee sneaks up behind them and takes a snapshot, startling the kids and causing Mr. Conductor to disappear instantly. When Schemee looks at the picture, he notices a strange sparkle in it. He investigates further and finds some of Mr. Conductor’s magic gold dust left on the ticket counter.

Billy tells the legend of the rabbit's tail

The kids take the rabbit to Billy, who decides to set his "little nephew" free in the woods. The kids ask Billy why he addressed the rabbit as his nephew, and he explains that a certain Native American tribe believes that humans are the aunts and uncles of the rabbit, as they regard the rabbit as an important animal spirit, a brave hero and a clever trickster. Billy then tells the kids a Native American folk tale of a hare that, after making many traps, catches the sun. However, knowing that he can't keep the sun, he lets it go, but not before getting his tail burned off due to getting too close to the sun, which is why the Hare has a short tail to this day. After the tale is done, Billy and the kids take the rabbit outdoors to set it free.

Schemer realizes that there's gold in the station!

Meanwhile, Schemer tries to give his opinion on freedom for Stacy’s speech, but his words prove to be no help. After being dismissed, Schemer finds Schemee, who shows him the gold dust he found. They both reason that if they could find a small pile of gold in the station, there must be a larger pile somewhere in it. They decide to use the opportunity of the station being empty that night to turn the place upside down to find the gold.

Back in the Jukebox, Tito and Grace discuss their first experiences being on stage, with Grace recalling her first experience of playing the bass guitar in an automobile radio with "Tubby and his Totally Tube-ular Band" and performing the song "New River Train."

Mr. Conductor tells Stacy not to work in the dark!

Later, a voice reminds Stacy not to work in the dark. Stacy turns on a light to find Mr. Conductor, who informs her that it has grown dark outside due to approaching rain clouds, which concerns Stacy. The kids come into the station excitedly to tell Stacy and Mr. Conductor that Billy had set the rabbit free in the woods, and a delighted Mr. Conductor tells Stacy and the kids the story of Oliver, an engine who, with the help of Douglas, escaped diesel territory to freedom on the Island of Sodor.

Mr. Conductor escapes - on a rocket!!!

After the story is done, Billy arrives with umbrellas and rushes everyone out to hear Stacy’s speech and see the fireworks. The moment the station is empty, Schemer and Schemee, dressed in miners' outfits, sneak into the station with a vacuum cleaner. Mr. Conductor, wondering what they are up to, moves closer to investigate, during which he gets too close to the vacuum cleaner and his magic dust is vacuumed up. Mr. Conductor realizes that without his magic dust he can't disappear. To make matters worse, Schemer has heard his footsteps and comes very close to discovering him. Fortunately, Mr. Conductor manages to evade them by lighting the one loaded rocket and flying it into Billy’s workshop, with Schemer right behind.

Inside the Jukebox, the Band wonders what the noise was. Tito says it was a nickel’s worth of fireworks, which is their cue to perform some patriotic songs.

Schemer sees a g-g-g-ghost! (Schemee)

After the songs are done, Schemee tries to open up the vacuum cleaner in order to collect the gold dust he vacuumed up, during which he gets showered by the dust and becomes invisible save for the accessories he's wearing. He goes into the workshop to find his uncle, who has now cornered Mr. Conductor in Billy's trap. Before he can get a closer look at his captive however, Schemer sees the invisible Schemee’s floating helmet and goggles and, taking him as a ghost, runs out of the station screaming while being followed by his oblivious nephew. Mr. Conductor frees himself and collects his magic dust, realizing that it's as precious as freedom, as one can never realize how important it is until it's gone. He decides to take better care of his magic dust while using it to disappear.

Billy: "So why are you two all dressed up?"

Everyone returns to the station, with Mayor Flopdinger mentioning Stacy’s speech as wonderful, moving and touching, and that everyone would have stayed to listen to the end if it weren't for the rain, which has also ruined the fireworks. Schemer and Schemee arrive back into the station soaked, with Schemee visible again due to the rain having washed away the gold dust, and they explain their outfits as trying to catching wild animals. When the kids ask Stacy on how she planned to end her speech, she replies that she planned on quoting a great man’s words about freedom.

A special fireworks show!

Mr. Conductor decides to help finish the Fourth of July celebrations by setting off his own fireworks in the sky and everyone watches through the station window with amazement as the episode ends.

Episode Morals:
  • Freedom is very precious, as you never realize it's there, until it's gone.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Songs:
  • New River Train
  • Patriotic Medley (Yankee Doodle, Dixie, I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy, America the Beautiful)

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Escape

Episode Notes:
  • In some international airings, the Patriotic Medley is replaced with the song "John Henry" from the season 2 episode "Crackpot."
  • The one-man band Washboard Hank, who previously appeared in the season 2 episode “All’s Fair,” makes a return appearance in the opening scene.
  • This is the first and only time Schemer and Schemee see Mr. Conductor (although not in clear view).
  • The voice heard in Mayor Flopdinger's phone call is actually sped up dialogue between Harry and Stacy from the Season 1 episode, Promises Promises.

Stacy Forgets Her Name
Production #55 (3.14)
Written by Sean Kelley
Directed by Wayne Moss
Summary by J. Hunter

Season 3 Episode 14: Stacy Forgets Her Name

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Magder)
  • Passenger (Simon Sinn)

Episode Synopsis: It seems to be another ordinary day at Shining Time Station, until Stacy loses her memory and forgets who and where she is! When Schemer finds out, he begins to take advantage of the situation by tricking Stacy into making him the new owner of the station! Will Dan and Mr. Conductor be able to help her recover her memories in time? Find out how as Stacy takes a trip down memory lane, as she learns who her friends really are.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Mr. C. warms Dan about the bees!

As the episode begins, Dan finds Mr. Conductor at the Ticket Counter, sprinkling something on a vase of flowers. At first, Dan thinks he’s trying to make the flowers disappear, but it’s actually some bees Mr. Conductor is trying to make disappear, as the insects buzz menacingly past them.

Mr. Conductor reveals that the powder he’s using is called “Forgetting Dust,” which makes you forget who you are for a while. Dan wonders what that has to do with the bees, and Mr. Conductor explains that when the bees come to the flowers for pollen, they’ll get covered with the dust, forget they’re bees, and won’t sting anyone. When Dan mentions that he knows where the bees’ hive is, they both agree to meet up in the orchard and sprinkle the “Forgetting Dust” on the hive.

Stacy is exposed to Forgetting Dust!

After they leave, Stacy walks into the station and sees the flowers. Noticing how beautiful they are and not knowing that they’re covered with the “Forgetting Dust,” she picks one up and inhales deeply. Instantly, she begins to look at her surroundings in a dazed confusion. She slowly begins to panic, as she starts asking herself where, and who, she is. Meanwhile, Schemer is polishing his nickels in the Arcade until Stacy comes up, asking him questions to help her remember who she is. A passenger asks Stacy if the Rainbow Sun is on time, but Stacy doesn’t even remember they are in a train station. Schemer quickly intervenes by saying that the train is on time and will be arriving soon.

Schemer convinces Stacy!

Stacy (who now thinks her name is “Ma’am” because that is how the passenger addressed her) asks Schemer how he knew the answer. As he’s trying to tell her that he simply checked the schedule board against the clock, he begins to realize that she doesn’t know who he is, which gives him an idea. He introduces himself as “Mr.” Schemer and tells Stacy that he’s the Stationmaster. When she asks if he owns the station as well, Schemer says no, but then says since he does all of the "important" work, he probably should.

Inside the Jukebox, Didi is watching what Schemer is doing through a periscope and it’s making her angry. She explains to Tito that instead of trying to help Stacy, Schemer is trying to take over the station! Even though the situation looks bad, Tito comments on how much trouble Schemer’s going to be in when Stacy does remember, which makes Didi feel better.

Back in the Arcade, Stacy thanks Schemer and then tells him that she must find someone that can help her remember some more. At that, Schemer quickly tells her that she shouldn’t go “rushing off and stressing her mind” but rather just stay at the station and enjoy not remembering, while he goes to find someone that can help her.

Mr. C. frightens Stacy!

After Schemer leaves, Stacy is greeted by Dan, but she doesn’t remember him and thinks he’s looking for someone else. Dan then notices that she’s holding one of the flowers that got sprinkled with the “Forgetting Dust” and asks if she smelled it. As she excitedly replies that she does remember doing that, Dan is stunned and tells her that she should sit down. Taking a seat next to the mural signal house, Stacy asks if she knows him. As Dan tells her that he’s her nephew, Mr. Conductor appears and greets them. But Stacy, in her current state of amnesia, screams in shock at the sight of a little man and runs away. As Dan tries to explain, Mr. Conductor reappears next to Stacy, who’s hiding at the Information Desk, and tells her that she shouldn't be afraid of him. He then goes on to tell her that he’s known her and her parents since they were Dan’s age, and that he lives in the signal house on the mural.

Stacy is unsure of this, but then Dan tells her that the two of them are friends that take care of each other, which reminds him of when Mr. Conductor had caught a cold and how she told him that he should take it easy by telling him the story of a bear cub named Lil’ Sneezer. After that, Mr. Conductor tells her a story about a cheeky tank engine named Thomas, who got paid out by Gordon the big express engine after playing too many tricks on him.

Stacy praises "Mr. Schemer" to Dan

After Mr. Conductor is done with his story, Stacy is now glad to know about Thomas, the Island of Sodor, and that the station is called Shining Time. After Mr. Conductor disappears, Stacy then notices another place and asks Dan what it is, to which Dan replies that this particular place is Schemer’s Arcade. At mention of Schemer’s name, Stacy then tells him that she met him earlier and thinks that he’s a very responsible man. At this, Dan tells her that Schemer isn't responsible, and tells her what happened when Schemer bought a robot to do his work, which only caused trouble later on. When Stacy tells Dan that doesn't sound like the Schemer she met earlier, whom she believes to be kind, thoughtful, and considerate, Dan comments that she really has lost her memory.

Mr. C. & Dan try to help Stacy remember!

The next place they come to is the Ticket Counter, in which both Dan and Mr. Conductor tell her that she sells tickets, give directions, keep the schedules up to date, and helps people there. Stacy is surprised by this, and they begin to tell her of when she saved J.B. King’s life by warning his train of a washed-out bridge. After they finish, Stacy begins to hope that she’ll remember everything soon, to which Mr. Conductor tells her that the “Forgetting Dust” is only temporary and that maybe some sleep will help. Dan agrees, and then he and Mr. Conductor leave her alone so she can take a nap on one of the benches.

Mr. Schemer's lawyer!

But no sooner does she lie down, a man in a black suit enters the station and approaches Stacy. It’s Schemer, disguised with sunglasses and a fake mustache, who wakes Stacy up and introduces himself as Mr. Schemer’s lawyer and explains that she is to make “his client” the sole proprietor of Shining Time Station, due to the conversation she had had with him earlier. Stacy is confused, of course, and as she tries to tell him that she doesn’t remember, he tells her it doesn’t matter and then produces a deed and tells her to sign it. She does so and then walks away, still feeling confused. Once she’s out of sight, Schemer begins to celebrate, believing that the station is now his. However, his victory is short-lived; when he takes a closer look at the signature, it says “Ma’am” instead of “Stacy Jones.”

Dan shares more anecdotes to jog stacy's memory

Stacy finds Dan in another part of the station, telling him that she can’t sleep. She asks him what this place is. Dan proceeds to tell her that it’s Billy Twofeathers’ workshop and how everybody knows him. When she asks him what Billy’s like, Dan tells her that he’s nice, but didn’t seem that way to him when they first met, and then tells her of when he was dared to sneak into the workshop to steal Billy’s flute, how Billy caught him and how the two of them ultimately made friends. Stacy asks Dan if she had other friends, to which Dan begins to tell her about Becky and Kara and when she helped them with acting in a play, and writing a story for a newspaper. After that, Stacy then asks Dan if Schemer is like the person she met earlier, to which he says Schemer only looks like that when he’s pretending to be his own lawyer.

Stacy quickly falls asleep thanks to the lullaby

They then come to the Jukebox, and Dan begins to tell Stacy how it works, how it sometimes plays on its own, and how it doesn’t always play the song the customer chooses. Eager to see it in action, Stacy asks Dan to insert a nickel. Once the coin comes down, Tito asks the other band members what they should play to help Stacy. After Tex and Rex voice their suggestions, Didi suggests that maybe they should play her a song that’ll help her sleep, to which Tito agrees and they begin to play a lullaby medley. As they do so, Stacy lies down on a bench and finally gets the sleep she needs.

Stacy claims she had the weirdest dream!

A few hours later, Stacy wakes up to see Dan and Mr. Conductor next to her, and, to their amazement, she remembers them and is shocked to see that a train is due soon. She then goes on to tell them that she had a dream about memory, and how it’s important to remember who you are, who your friends are, and what your dreams are. She asks if any of this makes sense, and Dan and Mr. Conductor say it does.

Stacy confronts Schemer

But the second those words are said, Schemer, still dressed in his lawyer disguise, approaches Stacy and asks if she could resign the deed for “his client,” not realizing that she now has her memory back. He finds out quickly, as Stacy begins to tell him it’s important to know who your friends aren’t and how it’s cruel to take advantage of people for personal gain. As she does so, she begins to remove his disguise piece by piece until finally ripping off his fake mustache, causing Schemer to run off in pain. Stacy and Dan begin to laugh at Schemer’s failed takeover of Shining Time Station as the episode ends.

Episode Morals:
  • Know who your friends are and are not.
  • Don’t take advantage of those who need help.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Lullaby Medley

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Thomas Gets Tricked (Thomas and Gordon)

Quotes of Note:
  • Stacy: Excuse me, sir, who are you?
    Schemer: I’m fine. How are you?Schemer (in lawyer disguise): Uh, yes, indeed, you can. I am the, uh, sole representative of, uh, the esteemed Mr. Schemer, whom I believe you have conversed with in a conversational way.
  • Stacy: Yes, can I help you?
    Stacy: Yes, but, uh, I-
    Schemer: Yes, well, but, I intend, or I should say that my client, intends that he understands, therefore because of the reason I have set forth without saying so, that you intend to make him the sole proprietor, because of his honesty, of this particular station which I am now speaking about, which I have just finished saying, therefore, that was what I was saying.
  • Schemer (after his disguise is exposed): I take it that means you are declining my client’s offer?

Episode Notes:
  • The flashbacks are taken from the following episodes and shown in the following order: “Achoo,” “Schemer’s Robot,” “Washout,” “Scare Dares,” “Billy’s Runaway Train,” and “Stop the Press.”
  • This is the only episode where Dan appears without Becky or Kara (although they are seen in the flashbacks).
  • Continuity Error: After the “Stop the Press” flashback, Stacy and Dan are now in the Arcade instead of being in Billy’s Workshop.
  • Tex and Rex mention the songs “I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know About Her” by Bob Dylan and “I Forgot to Remember to Forget” by Elvis Presley.
  • When Stacy arrives at the station before smelling the flowers, she is singing Try to Remember from the musical comedy The Fantasticks.
  • The song Golden Slumbers sung by the Jukebox Band was written by Beatles members John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Schemer's Special Club
Production #56 (3.15)
Written by Ellis Weiner
Directed by Wayne Moss
Summary by J. Hunter

Season 3 - Episode 15: "Schemer's Special Club"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Schemer (Brian O’Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Kara (Erica Luttrell)
  • Dan (Ari Madger)
  • Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Hobart Hume III (Colin Fox)

Episode Synopsis: Schemer begins to “put on airs” when he reveals that the President of the Nickelaire Club, Hobart Hume III, will be coming to visit Shining Time Station. And if he can impress him, he’ll let Schemer join the club! But when Mr. Hume arrives, he begins to insult Stacy, Billy and the kids, believing that he’s better than all of them. Will Schemer learn sense before it’s too late? Find out, as he learns who his real friends are, and laugh when Mr. Hume learns a lesson he’ll never forget!

Detailed Episode Summary:

Schemer wants to join the "Nickelaire Club"

As the episode opens, Schemer enters the station dressed in fancy clothes and trying to act super polite, much to the kids’ confusion. Schemer asks them if a Hobart Hume III has been asking for him, and Kara asks who that is. Schemer explains that Mr. Hume is not only the owner of the Snarlyville Toxic Chemical Company, but is also president of a club that Schemer adores, the Nickelaire Club. He adds that Mr. Hume is going to be coming by, and if he can impress him, he’ll let Schemer join.

Schemer intends to impress with goodies!

Becky then notices that Schemer brought something, and asks him what it is. Schemer reveals that it’s a tray of treats; a cake, some gingerbread men, and his mommy’s homemade toffee. He then tells them that if there’s anything left over, he’ll share the gingerbread men with them. He adds that he likes to eat the head first and is sure Mr. Hume does the same. When Kara questions how he knows that, Schemer answers by saying he and Mr. Hume are the same kind of people.

Schemer's mouth is stuck shut with toffey!

After shooing the kids away, Schemer begins to practice his introduction to Mr. Hume, pretending to offer him some toffee but then allowing himself to eat it first. But after the first bite, Schemer begins to panic when he realizes he can’t open his mouth, because the toffee is so sticky! As the kids laugh, Schemer stomps away to get his mouth unstuck.

Mr. Conductor belongs to several clubs!

The kids begin to wonder why Mr. Hume would be coming to the station in the first place. Kara suggests that maybe he’s coming to see if he could hold club meetings there. At that moment, Mr. Conductor appears and asks the kids what’s going on. After Dan tells him that Schemer will be joining the Nickleaire Club, Mr. Conductor tells them of the Messy Club, whose meetings consist of completely trashing Mr. Conductor's house and yard, and the Clean Club, which puts everything right again. The kids are confused until Mr. Conductor explains that the two clubs have only one member, himself! He then leaves for a Messy Club meeting after realizing he’s late.

Tito wants to be a Nickelaire Club member!

Meanwhile, inside the Jukebox, Tito has returned from the tailor with his tuxedo and is excited about Mr. Hume's impending visit. The other members are just as excited, and begin to fantasize about Schemer taking them to the club and being surrounded by important people with nickels. As Didi comments on Schemer showing some class for once, Tito comes out of the dressing room and shows himself off in his new tux.

Schemer shows Hobart Hume III around the station

Back in the station, a very refined-looking man comes in and asks in a haughty manner for someone to help him. Schemer, trying to act refined as well, asks the man if he is Mr. Hume, which he is. Schemer then introduces himself (after stumbling in the Arcade) and proceeds to show Mr. Hume the station. At that moment, Stacy and Billy appear, and Mr. Hume asks Stacy to tell the stationmaster that he has arrived, not believing at first that Stacy is the stationmaster. After Stacy makes it clear who she is , Mr. Hume states that he’s familiar with her last name and how “common” it is. Billy then introduces himself, and Mr. Hume asks if his last name is translated from the French. Billy corrects Mr. Hume that his last name is actually from the Lakota-Sioux. When Mr. Hume realizes this, he makes a rather rude comment about Billy being an Indian, to which Billy states that the preferred term is Native-American.

Schemer and the kids entertain Mr. Hume!

Already feeling bored, Mr. Hume asks if Schemer and the kids can provide some entertainment. Schemer agrees but the kids don’t. Schemer motions for them to cooperate, heads over to the Jukebox, inserts a nickel, and selects a song. Inside the Jukebox, the Band immediately, and excitedly, begins to play “Ol’ Joe Clark.” As Grace is singing, Schemer begins to dance and gets the kids to join in, so as to entertain Mr. Hume, much to Stacy and Billy’s bewilderment.

Replace tthe arcade with a toxic chemical booth?

After the song is over, Mr. Hume comments on how Schemer was able to pull off such a performance. But when Schemer begins to ask him what he thought of the song, Mr. Hume responds by saying how dreadful it was and how appalling the Jukebox is. Schemer tries to show how great the Arcade is, but Mr. Hume only sees it as a joke and asks the kids their opinion. The kids try to say that Schemer loves his Arcade, with Schemer immediately chiming in to suggest maybe they could use the space to sell chemicals. Mr. Hume finds the idea interesting and they both leave to talk some things over.

Back in the Jukebox, the Band begins to blame Grace for not trying hard enough but she tells them that they should blame Mr. Hume. The Band then starts to think what will happen to them if Schemer does join the club; maybe they’ll be left behind, or put up for sale in an antique store (REAL cheap), or maybe placed in the basement forever!

Mr. Hume becomes even more insulting!

As they return to the station, Mr. Hume is wondering if Schemer is really “one of our kind.” After mentioning that he doesn’t mind that Schemer works for a living and the club is now more tolerant of “that kind of people,” Stacy mentions that things do change over time. Realizing that she knows her history, Mr. Hume asks Stacy to regale him with some railroad tales, to which Stacy kindly refuses. But when he keeps pressuring her, Billy notices that Stacy’s beginning to lose her patience and quietly suggests that they talk in his workshop.

The tension mounts!

At this, Mr. Hume begins to say how appalled he is by their inability to make his visit more enjoyable. Schemer tries to show him other things but Mr. Hume begins to implore Billy to do some sort of demonstration of his culture. When Billy refuses to do so, Mr. Hume makes a rather rude insult which gets Billy riled. Realizing that tensions are coming to a head, Schemer tries to convince Mr. Hume that everybody is just joking, and goes on to say that the whole station is just one big joke. Mr. Hume then takes Schemer aside, and says that he did have his doubts about him, but now believes that he might just be “one of our kind,” much to Schemer’s pleasure. He states that he’s going to return to the club and discuss the matter with his colleagues, promising to return. Wishing everyone farewell, Mr. Hume leaves the station.

After he’s gone, Schemer begins to talk about how great Mr. Hume is and how he was able to impress him. Stacy and Billy try to explain how arrogant Mr. Hume is, but Schemer completely ignores them and explains that once he’s accepted in the Nickelaire Club, he’ll be able to get everybody else into the club as well, much to their disgust.

Mr. Conductor steps out of a sticky mess!

A little bit later, the kids are in the Arcade when Mr. Conductor appears in a cleaning suit and states that the Clean Club is now in session. After the kids tell him about what happened with Mr. Hume, Mr. Conductor is reminded of what happened to Oliver, the new Great Western Engine, when he began to think that he was better than the other engines. Once he’s done with the story, the kids begin to compare Oliver to Mr. Hume, only to realize that even though Oliver was stuck-up, he isn't as bad as Mr. Hume because he eventually learned his lesson. Suddenly, the kids hear Mr. Hume calling for Schemer, and they quickly go back to their game. As they do so, Mr. Conductor tries to leave but accidentally steps in the toffee! After commenting on how sticky it is, he manages to get unstuck and disappears.

Stacy tells Hobart Hume III a story...

Upon entering the station, Mr. Hume notices that there’s nobody to greet or entertain him. After ringing the bell on the ticket counter, Stacy appears and Mr. Hume begins asking her to tell him some stories. But once again she refuses, and Mr. Hume makes a rude comment on how women always let people down. He starts to pressure Billy into entertaining him instead, so Stacy finally plucks up some courage and begins to tell Mr. Hume a story, but not the kind of story he’s expecting…

Stacy begins her story with a station manager, who once ran an important station on the Indian Valley Railroad and was well-loved by everyone. One day, this manager wanted to join the local business and social club, but its members wouldn’t let this manager join. Why? Because the manager was a woman, a woman by the name of Gracie Jones, Stacy’s grandmother. And the name of the club was the Nickelaire Club, run by its founder: former president, and Mr. Hume’s grandfather, Hobart Hume Sr.

Billy tells Mr. Hobart Hume II that he's a bigot

Mr. Hume comments on how that was before his time, however Stacy points out that even though it was, he’s acting exactly like his grandfather. She then goes on to say how insulting and insensitive he was to them earlier, expecting them to kowtow to his every whim while they were busy. Stacy tells him that she’s sorry for him, because he’ll never be able to have true friends while he still retains his prejudices and superior attitude. She concludes by saying he can use the station to catch a train, but will otherwise conduct his business elsewhere. After she leaves, Mr. Hume is about to express his offense, until Billy says where he comes from there is a name for people like Mr. Hume, bigots. Billy describes them by saying they don’t stay long when they come to Shining Time Station and they never seem to return. Mr. Hume is obviously perturbed by this, but remains silent as Billy leaves.

"Just cut off that curl, and you'll be one of us"

At that exact moment, Schemer appears and notices that Mr. Hume was talking with Billy. Unaware of what has just happened, Schemer explains that the reason why everyone is acting out right now is because they want to join the club. Mr. Hume sternly explains to Schemer why his friends won’t be admitted, because they’re not “his kind of people,” unlike Schemer. As he talks, Schemer slowly becomes disillusioned about Mr. Hume, with the final straw coming when Mr. Hume says that to be “one of us” he'll have to cut off the curl in his hair. At this, Schemer states that he would rather throw all of his nickels away than cut his curl off, for it’s what makes him Schemer. He starts questioning Mr. Hume on just what kind of club he’s running, and Mr. Hume states that the club is a haven from the rest of world, for they are the leftovers while the club members are the dessert.

Hobart Hume III finally gets paid out!

At the word “dessert,” Schemer remembers the treats he brought earlier, and slyly offers Mr. Hume some toffee, which he accepts. The second Mr. Hume realizes he can’t open his mouth, Schemer begins to tell him off by saying if the club is not good enough for his friends, then it’s not good enough for him! As Schemer boldly tells him to go, an outraged Mr. Hume slams his hand onto the table, smashing the cake, and then trips on the gingerbread men he knocked onto the Arcade floor! The kids begin laughing at his predicament and after Billy politely helps him up, Mr. Hume stomps angrily away, while everyone begins to congratulate Schemer for standing up to him.

Our friends form a new club!

A little while later, the kids find Mr. Conductor using his magic to clean the Arcade. Mr. Conductor explains that the Clean Club decided that Schemer deserved some help after what he did, then disappears. The kids see Schemer walk sulkily by and ask him what’s wrong. After stating that he wished that there was good club to join, the kids reveal that they’re starting a new club and want Schemer to be the first member to join! He excitedly accepts, but on the condition that he gets to be treasurer. After the kids agree, the episode ends with Schemer making new rules about club dues.

Episode Morals:
  • Appreciate the differences among people.
  • Don’t pretend to be something you’re not; be yourself. 
  • Excluding others is hurtful.
  • Pride goes before the fall.
  • Stand up for your friends, not against them.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Ol’ Joe Clark

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Oliver Owns Up

Quotes of Note:
  • Schemer (practicing his conversation): Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Hume! Charmed, I’m sure. And by the way, would you care to partake in some of Mama’s homemade toffee? What’s that? Prefer me to have some first? (titters) How “ta-ta” of you!
  • Mr. Conductor (realizing he's late for his Messy Club meeting): I hope I don't start without me!
  • (After Mr. Hume leaves to talk with his colleagues)
    Schemer: Is he something or what?
    Billy: Oh yeah, he’s something, alright. And I know just what that something is.
    Schemer: Class! Total class with a capital “K”!

Episode Notes:
  • If you listen closely to when Schemer is talking about Hobart Hume III in the opening scene, you can hear a dog barking.
  • This was one of a handful of episodes released on home video.
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band reveal that the station has a basement.

Mr. Conductor's Movie
Production #57 (3.16)
Written by Marie Therese Squerciati
Directed by Wayne Moss
Summary by J. Gratton

Season 3 Episode 16: "Mr. Conductor's Movie"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Magder)
  • Kara Cupper (Erica Lutrell)
  • Felix Perez (Aurelio Padron)
  • Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Barry Prince (Sam Malkin)

Episode Synopsis: A freight train of livestock arriving at Shining Time requires Stacy’s and Billy’s attention to work out a new freight schedule. Things change quickly when Barry Prince, a film director, arrives at the station with the intention of shooting a movie and has a chance encounter with Midge Smoot and Felix Perez. Despite being asked not to tell anyone about the movie,Midge starts a chain of events that creates bedlam and mayhem as everyone begins to fantasize and delude themselves into believing that they will become famous movie stars, and all except Stacy go as far as dressing up in costumes for an alleged audition. Their dreams come crashing down when the besieged director’s true intentions are revealed, but Mr. Conductor manages to turn things around in his own candid way.

Detailed Episode Summary:

A "Famous" Movie Director arrives at  the station

Stacy takes a call from J.B. King who asks her to make a new freight schedule to accommodate a train of livestock coming through the valley and stopping at Shining Time Station. Realizing that she doesn't have much time, she joins Billy in his workshop for his help compiling the freight schedule. As passengers come through the station, one man stands out as he glances around, seemingly impressed by what he sees. This draws the attention of Mr. Conductor, who appears briefly to mimic the man's actions a few times before vanishing.

The Director meets Midge Smoot

Midge Smoot approaches the stranger out of curiosity and is flattered when he begins paying attention to her. The man surmises that Midge knows everything and everyone in town. Midge replies that she does know everyone, except him. The man introduces himself as Barry Prince, a self-proclaimed famous film director. Midge is enthralled and mentions that she once tried out for the part of Ms. Hannigan in "Annie," and she recites afew lines from the play. Prince reacts by pleading that she not be another actor, and tells Midge that he needs to find someone who works at the station.

The Director meets Felix Peres

Prince notices Felix Perez entering the station, and as Midge makes introductions, the director tells him that he's making a movie and will need Felix's help. Felix is starstruck and asks if he really wants him, but the director counters that he's not so sure; he really wants to capture the atmosphere of the station, the railroad, the "classic American thing" as he puts it. Prince asks Felix what he's doing at the moment, but the bus driver volunteers that he recently played the part of the Tin Manin "The Wizard of Oz," and delivers a few lines from the role. The Director shouts for help in anguish at having encountered yet another actor, and tells Felix that he thought he worked on the trains. Midge reveals that he’s actually a bus driver, but Felix interjects to say that he's primarily an actor and driving a bus is just his hobby. An exasperated Prince informs everyone once again that he's looking for someone who actually works at the station; he'sa busy man and is late for a meeting with the mayor of East Shemp. Felix offers to drive him there, while Midge promises to give him a list of people he needs to see such as Stacy and Billy Twofeathers. Prince agrees to see them, but requests that Midge and Felix not tell anyone that he'll be filming a movie. As they leave for the bus, Felix informs Prince that he also once played Linus in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

Midge begins to spread the news

As soon as they're gone, Midge begins shouting for Stacy and Billy to come out of the workshop, declaring that Hollywood is calling. Midge breathlessly tells them how she is going to be a star, and that the famous director Barry Prince will be shooting a movie at the station. She then confides to Stacy and Billy that Prince wants to see them for a part in the movie. When Billy asks what the movie is about, Midge can’t describe it as anything but a 'classic.' Her answer bewilders Billy as he glances around trying to figure out what would be so special about the station.Midge begins complimenting Stacy for being perfect for the movie since she's so young and pretty, and suggests that she can be Midge'sunderstudy! Midge takes her leave and runs off to spread the word, as Stacy becomes excited and asks Billy if he thinks it's true that there will be a movie shoot at the station. They both begin to get caught up in the hype about being in a movie, but come back toreality when a train arrives, reminding them to get back to work updating the freight schedule.

The kids ask about the movie

Inside the jukebox the band members are excited about the movie and they begin planning for an audition that is guaranteed to impress the director. Back in the station, Stacy is practicing making exaggerated facial expressions just as Dan, Beckyand Kara arrive. When asked, Stacy gives the excuse that she's only testing her new mirror, but Becky thinks that she's practicing for a part in a movie, and Kara asks when the film's movie stars willarrive at the station. Stacy reminds them not to believe every rumor they hear, especially if it comes from Midge Smoot. Dan reveals that his mother thinks she once met a movie director in Barton Winslow's store. The kids admit that they'd all like to be in a movie, and Stacy excites them even more by suggesting that perhaps there will be parts they can try out for. She tells them acting requires a lot of imagination because you need to portray yourself as being real and honest in a make-believe situation. When the kids ask Stacy to show them how, she leads them in a game of pretend. She begins by pretending to be one of Cinderella's wicked stepsisters, then prompts Dan to pretend that he's the royal messenger. The game progresses with Kara's pretending to be the other stepsister and it’s finally Becky's turn to be Cinderella.

Mr. Conductor plans to make his own movie

Stacy applauds their performance just as Mr. Conductor appears dressed up as a movie director with a movie camera. He reveals that with everyone talking about a movie, he thought he'd make one himself. The kids find it neat and Kara asks him what his favourite movie is. Mr. Conductor replies that it’s "The Wizard of Oz," especially the scene where the Munchkins greet Dorothy, adding that he could've played the former part! Kara tells that that her favourite movie is the one she'll be in. The kids become dreamy as they describe how they'll become famous movie stars and move to Hollywood, while Dan adds that they wouldn't have to go to school. Becky tells Mr. Conductor that despite their fame, they won't become snobby, stuck up or spoiled and will remain the same as he knows them today. Mr. Conductor expresses his relief as Stacy tries to reason that they might not get a part in the movie, and if they do, it may just be a very small one. Mr. Conductor quips that he's perfect for a small part. The kids find it cool if Mr.Conductor could be in their movie. Mr. Conductor calls them out for THE movie now becoming THEIR movie. The livestock train arrives and Stacy runs off to finish the schedule as Mr. Conductor tells her not to count all of her chickens before they hatch, then sternly advises the kids not to count on anything, as it reminds him of what happened to Henry when he became envious about tenders. After the story Mr.Conductor explains that Henry brought his embarrassment upon himself by becoming excited about the extra tenders before he even knew what they really were, and let himself get carried away. Mr. Conductor vanishes just as Midge returns to the station.

Midge has a very interesting costume!

Midge is dressed exotically with a fruit arrangement on her head and a Spanish formal dress. Stacy compliments her costume and Midge reveals that she wore it on this same day fifty years ago as Carmen Congusso in "Flying Down to Rio." When Stacy asks if her costume is in any way connected to the fact that a famous movie director is in town, Midge, thinking he's at the station, whirls around in an excited state as bananas fall off her headdress and onto the floor. Stacy offers to have Billy fix her hat with his glue gun, but Midge declines exclaiming that she doesn't have time and needs to rehearse. As Midge leaves, the kids ask Stacy if they'll need to wear a costume when they rehearse. Stacy advises that all they need is a prop to help them feel the part. The kids look thoughtfully at one another thinking the same thing, and Becky excuses them saying that they need to leave to go do something. Stacy offers her help if they need it as she returns to the workshop.

Meanwhile in the jukebox, Tito has taken on the role of director as he leads the other band members through a rehearsal. Wearing an eye patch and looking through thecamera (with his covered eye!), Tito coaches the costumed band members as they read from a script he's written. Grace misses her cue, Tex imitates John Wayne as he talks about a horse being prettier than Didi's character, while Didi takes offense at Tito's dialogue.Tito thinks it's all great though, saying their performance is sure to outdo Schemer’s.

It's Schemer Man!

Just then, Schemer bounds into the station dressed in a superhero costume asking in baritone if someone called for help. Stacy is amazed that Schemer seems bigger as he strikes exaggerated heroic poses and asks where the "die-rec-tor" is. Stacy doesn't know and, as Schemer tries to blow air into his padded shoulders, adds that a lot of people are looking for him hoping for a part in the movie. At this, Schemer tells Stacy not to make him laugh as he works on (inflating) his shoulders. A conceited Schemer feels sorry for the people hoping to land a part in HIS movie, and confesses that he'll miss Shining Time Station. Stacy asks concernedly if he's leaving the arcade, with Schemer replying that he is, now that he's going to be a movie star. Stacy warns him that perhaps he should first wait to see what the director needs, but Schemer lectures her that the director needs someone who can sell movie tickets like John Wayne, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Big Bird and now “Super-Schemer.” He suddenly decides to call himself  “Schemer Man” and pretends to fly by lying on top of the arcade entrance's railing and providing his own sound effects. Stacy tells him that he's unbelievable as he hams it up, then tries to demonstrate his super-strength by lifting and moving Stacy from where she's standing. When he can't budge her, he coaxes her to walk over to where he was going to set her down! Schemer begins to demonstrate martial arts moves and hurts his hand when he lands a karate chop on top of the jukebox.

Billy: "Go ahead. Make my day!"

Schemer’s cries attract Billy out of the workshop who points out that he's all puffed up. Schemer tries unsuccessfully to mask his pain as he informs Billy that he's a superhero and offers him an autograph. Billy turns down the offer, telling him that he'll get the autograph later. Inside the workshop, Billy is impressed at how he replied to Schemer, and begins to deliver lines like a Clint Eastwood western character, then switches to a southern drawl as he wonders if the director has a part for him.

It's Captain ???

A man dressed as a buccaneer suddenly leaps into the station threatening to make an unseen enemy walk the plank. Stacy compliments Felix by name, saying that she didn't recognize him in that costume. Felix asks how she knew it was him, to which Stacy replies that it was his voice. Felix tells Stacy that he's wearing the costume for his audition and asks Stacy if she'll be wearing a costume as well. Stacy reveals that she gave up acting to run the family business, and that running a train station is a full time job. She adds that if she doesn't finish sorting out the new freight schedule, the place will be just like a zoo with the livestock waiting in the trains outside. Felix then asks Stacy for her honest opinion of his costume and acting. She thinks it's great, but asks who his character is supposed to be. Felix reveals that he's Captain Hook. Stacy confesses that without the hook, she would've never guessed. Felix says that he couldn’t find a hook, but Stacy inspires him to go home and make a prop hook out of cardboard and tinfoil.

Everybody gets into the act!

Later, Schemer, Midge and the kids gather near the information desk wondering where the director is. Kara is dressed as Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz,” accompanied by a West-Highland Terrier (Toto), while Dan is dressed as a trapper with a pair of bear paw snowshoes. Midge spots Mr. Prince returning to the station and everyone mobs the startled man. Inside the jukebox, Tito complains that they are trying to steal their show, so the band begins playing and singing "There's No Business like Show Business." As they perform, Mr. Prince is chased all over the station by the wannabe actors and Mr. Conductor films the mayhem from on top of the station clock, while in the workshop Billy puts the finishing touches on his Clint Eastwood movie cowboy costume.

Barry Prince escapes the melee

By the time the song is over, the costumed crowd has Barry Prince cornered, but he manages to crawl out of the melee just as J.B. King storms into the station bellowing to know what this riot is about. He demands to know where Stacy is andS chemer points to the rear of the station just as Stacy rushes in from the front. Mr. King then asks Stacy where Billy is, and as Schemer points towards the front of the station, the workshop door swings open and Billy emerges in his desperado outfit. J.B. is at a loss at what he sees and buries his head in Schemer's shoulders,disappointed that Mr. Prince visited the station only to be greeted this way. Becky then arrives dressed as Cinderella to address J.B. as "the King" and the director as the "Prince" and that she's happy to meet them. This prompts the rest of the costumed characters to to noisily imitate Becky to get the director's attention.

You can't make a movie about trains with actors!

Barry Prince begins to scream "CUT" which J.B. translates to everyone as an order to all stop what they're doing. With order restored, Mr. King reveals that Barry is a friend of his and that he gave him the idea for his new movie. The director informs everyone that he was going to film a movie at the station until he got caught up in this indescribable mess, adding that you can’t make a reality movie about trains with a bunch of actors and what he encountered here is anything but real. Their antics made his decision easier; he’ll be instead doing the filming in Eggywegg where there are no actors. The crowd plead and chase after him as he leaves, leaving Billy alone in the station as he takes off his costume in disappointment.

It was a disaster!

Later, the kids and Stacy are gathered at the ticket counter as Mr. Conductor appears, asking about the filming and saying that he himself managed to shoot a lot of footage.The kids tell him that it was a disaster with Dan adding that he feels dopey. Mr. Conductor tells them that they shouldn’t feel that way as it takes a lot of courage to go out and act. Stacy tells them that they should be proud of themselves as Mr. Conductor adds that they let their fantasy run too far ahead of them. Stacy confesses that she was also distracted by the hype about the movie which led to her falling behind with her railroad work. Mr. Conductor quips that if they were trains, they'd all be movie stars by now! Stacy asks Mr.Conductor not to tease them about it, but he explains that if they had simply remained themselves, Barry Prince would have included them in the movie. Instead they are now Mr. Conductor's stars, which means that his film will be better than Barry's because he'll feature them as real people and the characters they play.

Watching Mr. conductor's movie!

Mr. Conductor asks Stacy to lower the station window's shade as he comments that he became scared ever since reading about Stuart Little getting caught in in one. Mr.Conductor then projects the film footage he'd candidly taken earlier and everyone laughs as they watch their antics. As they watch the hilarity, Stacy formally presents the film, and asks Mr. Conductor for its title which he gives as "A Little Light Madness", starring everyone.

Episode Morals:
  • Never let fantasy overtake your patience and waiting for something tangible.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  There's No Business Like Show Business

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Tender Engines

Quotes of Note:
  • Mr. Conductor: Well, if small parts are for small people, then shouldn’t the biggest small part go to the smallest person - like me?
  • Schemer: Miss Jones, I'm so brilliant (gasps) that I sometimes scare myself.

Episode Notes:
  • When Felix delivers his line asLinus from “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” his cry of "Lucy!"is reminiscent of the way Ricky Ricardo used to call for his wife inthe classic "I Love Lucy" TV show. Actor Aurelio Padronlived in Cuba for a period during his childhood.
  • "Flying Down to Rio" was a 1933 film notable for being the first to pair Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as a dancing team. Contrary to Midge Smoot's claim however, there is no character in thefilm named Carmen Con Gusto!
  • J.B. King's voice heard during a telephone call to Stacy is actually sped-up audio from a scene with Stacy and Harry from Promises, Promises (see Season 1: Promises, Promises Episode Notes).
  • When this episode aired on NickJr., the scene where the Jukebox Puppet Band rehearses their movie was edited (shortened) for time.

The Joke's on Schemer
Production #58 (3.17)
Written by Ellis Weiner
Directed by Wayne Moss
Summary by A. Su and D. Dobrydney

Season 3, Episode 17: "The Joke's on Schemer"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Schemer (Brian O’Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Magder)
  • Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • J.B. King (Mart Hulswit)
  • Ginny (Barbara Hamilton)
  • Felix Perez (Aurelio Padron)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Passenger (Myra Fried)
  • Mover (William Colgate)

Episode Synopsis: It is the day before April Fool’s Day, Schemer’s favorite day of the year. Dreading Schemer’s pranks, the kids decide to play a joke on him by tearing off a page from the calendar, causing Schemer to think that April Fool’s Day has already arrived. As a result, Schemer begins playing numerous pranks on people, causing them to think he has become weirder than usual, which unfortunately gets Schemer in trouble with J.B. King when the latter visits the station to renew Schemer’s arcade lease.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Stacy takes a call from J.B. King

The episode opens as Stacy tears off yesterday's date from the calendar on the ticket counter, showing the new date of March 31. Just then the phone rings; it's J.B. King, who tells Stacy that he is coming to the station to review Schemer’s arcade lease. Stacy promises to tell Schemer, hangs up the phone and leaves. After Stacy is gone, the kids arrive at the station looking glum. Becky explains to Dan and Kara that tomorrow is April Fool’s Day, Schemer’s favorite day of the year. Dreading all the pranks and tricks that Schemer is going pull, Dan gets an idea: if they tore off the March 31 calendar page, Schemer would think that it's already April Fool’s Day, while everyone else will think he's being stranger than usual.

Schemer doesn't believe a word Stacy tells him!

Hearing Schemer approaching, the kids quickly tear off the calendar page and run off to hide while Schemer enters the station. Sure enough, Schemer sees the doctored calendar and believes that it is indeed April Fool’s Day. He goes into a panic, thinking that everyone will be out to trick and fool him. At that moment Stacy returns and attempts to talk to Schemer, but he instantly takes a defensive attitude and posture. Confused, Stacy tells Schemer about Mr. King coming to review his lease, but Schemer dismisses it as a joke and tells Stacy that he will be “prepared” for everyone before leaving. Stacy says to herself that Schemer is acting strange even for him, while the kids come out of their hiding place, delighted that their plan worked.

Schemer has a laughing fit!

Later, Schemer is spreading something on the floor in front of the Arcade while he lists to himself all the April Fool's devices he's going to use. He backs into Stacy and informs her that he's just put down some Super Sticky Space Age Goo, so that anyone who tries to sneak up to trick him will get their feet stuck to the floor. Schemer considers the idea hilarious, and demonstrates by laughing uncontrollably, with help from a novelty device that laughs for him. Stacy, beginning to lose patience, tries to tell Schemer he can't be playing pranks on the station's customers but Schemer counters that he is merely defending himself against a world full of “tricksters and jokesters.” Schemer then tries to divert Stacy's attention with a string of compliments, and offers her some perfume from a bottle. The bottle turns out to be an ink-squirting prank, but Schemer is holding it backwards and squirts himself instead of Stacy. Now thoroughly fed up, Stacy threatens to call Schemer's mother to straighten him out. Schemer dares her to do so, setting off the laughing device again as she walks away.

Chattering teeth chase Mr. Conductor!

The kids come into the Arcade to look at Schemer's practical jokes when Mr. Conductor appears, and accidentally sets off a set of chattering novelty teeth. The teeth chase Mr. Conductor across the table before he escapes by leaping onto a nearby chair, landing on a whoopee cushion. Now that he's safe, Mr. Conductor is confused as to why Schemer has all the pranks now instead of tomorrow, and Dan explains what they did with the calendar. Mr. Conductor asks if they've told Stacy or Billy; Becky explains they haven't told Stacy yet and Billy isn't at the station today. Now understanding the situation, Mr. Conductor considers it a good laugh. He also considers laughter strange, saying it isn't too different from coughing which isn't fun at all. He also adds that when it comes to telling jokes, some times are better than others. To illustrate, Mr. Conductor directs the kids to the Anything Tunnel, which plays a movie about when and when not to play pranks.

Schemer thinks the passenger's nickel is fake!

After the movie is over, Schemer finds Ginny in the Arcade sorting through a basket of tomatoes. Ginny explains to a very suspicious Schemer that she's going to give some tomatoes to Stacy. Schemer considers that a likely story, accusing Ginny of trying to fool Stacy with fake tomatoes. He tries to prove his by taking one of the vegetables and pressing it against his head. Of course, Schemer ends up with smashed tomato all over himself and Ginny accuses him of deliberately wasting a good tomato. Then Felix Perez arrives with a lady passenger. Felix specifically points out the Arcade and assures the lady that Shining Time Station is a friendly place. As the lady goes to play the Jukebox, Schemer, taking her for a prankster, stops her and declares the Jukebox closed. Felix asks Schemer what is going on, and Schemer accuses the bewildered lady of trying to use a fake nickel. Felix can see nothing wrong with the nickel and asks Schemer if he is feeling all right.

Schemer and the itching powder!

Schemer replies that he’s never felt better and, sensing an opportunity, mentions that his secret to life is “taking the time to smell the roses.” He then implores the lady to smell the flower on his coat, and as she does so, Schemer accidentally squirts himself with disappearing ink. As Schemer stumbles blindly about, he accidentally gets stuck in his own glue. However, Schemer thinks it's the result of everyone attempt to “trickerize” him. Ranting about how he's “onto” them, Schemer pulls out a can which he claims is his defense against them. As the others attempt to free him, Schemer accidentally dumps the contents of the can on himself. He reveals that it's itching powder, and frantically strips to his underwear as he scratches.

Schemer squirts J.B. King in the face with ink!

Just then, J.B. King arrives and Schemer accuses him of being in on “it” as well. Mr. King replies that he is not in on anything, but that Schemer is: big trouble! Mr. King explains that Schemer’s arcade lease has expired and he presents a new one, telling Schemer that he has to sign it if he wishes to continue running the arcade. Schemer, however, dismisses the lease paper as a “phony baloney piece of gobbledy-gook.” The kids try to tell Schemer that he’s making a big mistake, and Schemer responds by pretending to be scared and mockingly asks how to spell “Abraham Lincoln.” A confused Mr. King asks Schemer if his behavior is some kind of joke, and Schemer responds by squirting ink on Mr. King’s face, much to the horror of everyone present. Mr. King remains calm but shows that he is losing his patience by asking Schemer if he is going to sign the lease or not, and Schemer answers by ripping the lease to pieces. Schemer then plays the laughing device to Mr. King, who snatches it away and stomps on it before storming off with everyone else following, including the kids who try to explain everything to him. Schemer, not realizing what he's done, calls out “April Fool’s Day” to Mr. King.

The Jukebox band, having seen everything, decides to play a song (even though they didn’t receive a nickel) to drive Schemer crazy. Didi wonders where “crazy” is if they're going to drive Schemer there. Tito decides not to acknowledge Didi's comment and the band plays “This Ol' Man.”

The kids feel bad for pranking Schemer

After the song is done, the kids are back at the Arcade reflecting on what happened and feeling that they were the ones to blame. Mr. Conductor appears in a polo player uniform and comments that while polo is a good game, it is not easy to play when riding on squirrels as they keep getting distracted by acorns. The kids are not cheered up, and Mr. Conductor asks if he is at Shining Time Station or the world headquarters of IMS (International Mopey Society). The kids explain that their trick on Schemer got out of hand, with Schemer angering Mr. King and possibly losing the arcade as a result. Mr. Conductor explains that Mr. King is intelligent to understand that even railroad people make mistakes sometimes, and he tells them a story about a mix-up between Gordon and Edward. After the story is finished, Mr. Conductor tells the kids that while Gordon wasn’t entirely to blame for the mix-up, he had made things worse because of his bad attitude. Hearing Schemer approaching, Mr. Conductor excuses himself and vanishes.

Moving Man: "No Lease, No Arcade!"

Schemer enters the station wearing a barrel over his underwear, and the kids approach him to tell him the truth. Before they can begin, two moving men arrive and load the Picture Machine onto a hand truck. They tell Schemer that due to him not having a lease, they have been ordered by J.B. King to move all the arcade machines away. Schemer still believes the whole thing to be yet another joke and tells the movers to go ahead, until the kids finally explain the whole joke to him by showing him the torn-up calendar page. Realizing the truth, a panicked Schemer begs the movers to reconsider but they haul the Picture Machine away, dragging a desperate Schemer along with it.

Stacy and the kids plan to speak to Mr. J.B. King

The kids go up to Stacy, who has seen everything, and apologize for letting things go too far. They ask if Schemer really will lose the Arcade, and Stacy replies that if they explain what happened to Mr. King everything should be all right as long as it doesn't happen again. Mr. Conductor appears in a jester’s costume and agrees with Stacy that they should help Schemer so he would be better prepared. The kids ask why, and Stacy replies that because tomorrow is the real April Fool’s Day, which means that Schemer will have to go through everything all over again!

Episode Morals:
  • Joking around is fun, but not at some else's expense.
  • Different people will have different reactions to jokes.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  This Ol' Man

Featured Picture Machine Music Video:
•  Laugh and a Half

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Wrong Road

Quotes of Note:
  • Schemer: Oh Miss Jones, you're such a smellerific sort of woman!
  • Schemer (to lady passenger): I know what's going on here, and you know what's going on here. That means that I know that you know that I know that you know that I know what's going on here!

Episode Notes:
  • Despite being listed in the opening credits, Tom Jackson (Billy Twofeathers) does not appear in this episode.
  • “Wrong Road” would be the last story from Series 2 of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends to make it's American TV debut on Shining Time Station.
  • Continuity Error: Becky says that Gordon’s conductor was to blame for the mix-up in “Wrong Road,” but the one to blame was actually Gordon’s fireman.
  • Mr. Conductor's Polo team is named "Britches" for whom he wears jersey #3. 
  • J.B. King's telephone voice during his conversation with Stacy is actually sped-up audio from a scene with Stacy and Harry from Promises, Promises (see Season 1: Promises, Promises Episode Notes).

Dance Crazy
Production #59 (3.18)
Written by Jill Golick
Directed by John Ferraro
Summary by J. Gratton and D. Dobrydney

Season 2 - Episode 18: "Dance Crazy"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Magder)
  • Kara Cupper (Erica Lutrell)
  • Felix Perez (Aurelio Padron)
  • Ginny (Barbara Hamilton)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Music Box Dancer (Darlene Whitehead)

Episode Synopsis: Felix Perez wants to ask Stacy out to the town dance contest, but Schemer has other plans when he discovers that a big prize will be awarded to the best couple. Dan expresses an interest in dancing but keeps it to himself and pretends to hate dancing when Becky and Kara tease him about it. Mr. Conductor makes Kara realize that people run away when their feelings are hurt, while Billy counsels Dan to follow his heart when it comes down to pursuing your interests regardless of perceived stereotypes.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Felix is looking forward to tonight's dance!

Felix Perez arrives at the station singing and in a good mood as Dan helps Billy fix the schedule board. Billy says that there aren't any passengers for him to take into town but Felix explains that he's at the station to ask Stacy for something. Billy asks if he can help, but Felix kindly declines. This prompts Schemer to cut in to say that whatever "Jonesy" can do he can do ten times better and dares Felix to ask him whatever he was going to ask Stacy. Felix laughs and asks Schemer on bended knee to be escorted to the dance in town that night. Schemer begins to agree but quickly snaps out of it when he realizes that Felix is inviting him to a dance and makes a snide remark that dancing is for girls. Dan picks up on the remark, as Billy asks Dan to join him in the workshop and tells Felix that he'll tell Stacy he was at the station. Dan lingers at the workshop doorway to hear Felix telling Schemer about all the dances he'll do with Stacy and even demonstrates a few steps, impressing Dan.

Stacy: "Lying down on the job again, Schemer?"

Felix adds that with Stacy at his side they might even win a prize, which gets Schemer's attention. Felix explains to Schemer that it's a dance contest, with the grand prize going to the couple who dances the best. Schemer is too distracted by the idea of winning a prize when Felix asks him to tell Stacy that he'll be back later and leaves to go pick up his passengers. Schemer becomes obsessed with winning a trophy, thinking that it could be worth a few nickels. Declaring that he could dance circles around Felix with both legs tied behind his back, all he needs to do is learn how to dance. He tries a few moves, but falls flat on his face just as Stacy arrives followed by a queue of passengers needing tickets.

Schemer has two left feet!

Schemer impatiently butts his way to the front of the queue and hurriedly stamps and hands the passengers their tickets. Now alone with Stacy, Schemer makes an attempt to flatter her by showering her with nonsensical compliments. Stacy sees through his motives and asks what he wants from her. Schemer asks her out to the dance, and she's both surprised and impressed by his claim that he knows how to dance. Stacy then tries to dance with Schemer, but he steps on her foot. As Stacy winces in pain, Schemer accuses her of having big feet. Stacy then declares that she'd rather go to the dance with someone more experienced. Stacy limps away, but Schemer is not discouraged and maintains that he's a great dancer. He tries a few ballet moves as he makes his way towards his arcade, and makes a comment that anybody can dance. He trips on the steps and falls on the arcade floor, adding that it takes a genius to fall down!

Mr. conductor surprises Dan dancing

Later, Dan is doing some dance moves when Mr. Conductor appears near him. Dan asks Mr. Conductor not to tell anyone that he saw him dancing. Mr. Conductor promises not to, but asks why. Dan replies that he doesn't want people seeing him dancing because boys don't dance. Mr. Conductor adopts a mock officious attitude, saying Dan is breaking the rules by dancing while being a boy. He goes on to say that some rules are silly, and conjures a magic bubble that shows an animated bear who, after seeing dancers in a movie, decides to dance everywhere he goes, to the annoyance of everyone around him!

The girls tease and mock Dan for dancing

Afterward, Mr. Conductor tells Dan that it doesn’t matter who you are if you feel like dancing, and shows off a few of his own dance steps, inviting Dan to join him. Mr. Conductor disappears just as Kara and Becky enter the station to see Dan doing jazz hands. The girls begin to tease him, asking if he learned those moves in ballet school and he's left his tutu at home with his dollies. Dan denies that he was dancing and claims there was a rock in his shoe. When the girls begin to tease him again, Dan vehemently proclaims that he hates dancing and is off to play baseball and storms away. As he leaves, Becky tosses one last insult at him, asking if he really meant the grand ball.

Schemer tries to take dancing lessons from a book!

Later, Schemer is trying to follow dance instructions with the help of a book and a diagram laid out on the station floor. He initially follows the instructions correctly, but becomes contorted when he mixes up his left foot with his right as he follows the steps. He gives up and pulls out a pair of scissors to cut the diagram into a shape he can follow. Hearing Felix come in, Schemer tries to hide what he was doing by lying on top of the diagram, pretending to have just fallen. Felix is still looking for Stacy, and is worried that someone else will ask her to the dance first. Schemer almost betrays his own intentions, then tells Felix that he should buy Stacy a present if he wants her to go to the dance with him. Felix thinks of getting flowers, but Schemer suggests that he give Stacy a goose instead. Felix would rather stay and wait for Stacy, but Schemer convinces Felix to go find a wild goose first. Felix leaves, thanking Schemer for the advice and calling him a true friend. Schemer goes back to cutting up the diagram, but packs everything away quickly when he hears Becky and Stacy at the ticket counter.

Kara: "Who are you talking to?"

Becky is admiring the music-box dancer that Stacy has owned since she was a little girl and asks if she can play with it. Stacy agrees and asks Becky to bring it to Billy afterward as he has promised to try fixing it. Stacy then goes out to the platform to greet all the passengers arriving for the dance contest. Becky begins to fantasize a story about a grand ball to the statuette as Kara sneaks up behind her. Kara asks who she was talking to, and when Becky denies that she was talking to anyone, Kara points out that she was addressing the doll. Becky becomes upset and runs with the music-box dancer into the workshop as Kara chants mockingly that Becky talks to toys.

Kara is amazed by Mr. conductor's conversation!

Mr. Conductor suddenly appears to tell Kara to keep it down because he's having a interesting conversation. When Kara asks with whom, Mr. Conductor replies that it's with himself. Kara asks if he really talks to himself. Mr. Conductor adds that he's an excellent conversationalist, but he tends to interrupt himself. He demonstrates by saying something and reappearing a few feet away to reply, and the exchange plays out as Kara watches in disbelief. The conversation ends with a suggestion to tell Kara the story about the time Percy ran away. After the story, Mr. Conductor continues his conversation with himself to add that Percy ran away because his feelings were hurt when Gordon yelled at him, but the big engine later apologized and they became good friends again. Mr. Conductor reiterates to Kara that people run away when their feelings are hurt. Kara replies that apologies should be given when that happens, and realizes that she should go apologize to Dan and Becky.

"I'm so lucky to have a friend like you, Schemer!"

A group of children dance through the station on their way to the contest, accompanied by Schemer, wearing a white disco suit. Convinced that he and Stacy are going to win the prize, he imagines a fantasy dance number where the two of them dance all around the station, on the arcade's railings and even upside down at the top of the station archway. Schemer's daydream is interrupted by Felix, who has managed to acquire a live goose. Felix thanks him profusely for suggesting that he present Stacy with a goose as a gift. Schemer is afraid of the goose and wails when it nips him on the shoulder. Felix asks if he's going to the dance. Schemer becomes annoyed and replies that he's not going to the dance with Felix. Felix points out that he assumed he was going by the way he was dressed, and wanted to know as a friend, because he would not ask Stacy out if Schemer intended to. Felix then leaves to drive a busload of dancers to the dance hall.

Billy talks to Dan about how dancing is special

Inside the workshop, Billy is working on Stacy's music box dancer when Dan comes in and asks if he was ever teased as a child. Billy replies that everyone gets teased, leaving Dan to ask him what he did about it. Billy recalls having one uncle who told him to stand his ground, another uncle who advised running away, and a third uncle counseled him to ask his tormenters to dance. Dan doesn't comprehend the latter advice, and Billy explains that there's something about dancing that makes people forget about their differences - something magical. As the now-repaired music box plays, Billy elaborates by saying something special happens that makes people forget all about their problems.

Ginny "swings" with Schemer!

Back near the arcade, Schemer is practicing dance moves when Ginny arrives and asks what he's doing. When Schemer informs her that he's dancing, Ginny retorts that she'll be the judge of that. Schemer challenges her expertise by reminding her that she's just a farmer. As Ginny takes a nickel from Schemer's coin changer to insert it into the jukebox, she reveals that she used to be a dance instructor with a studio of her own: Ginny's Studio of Dance and Manners. Schemer backs away nervously as Ginny approaches him with the intention of teaching him how to dance. Inside the jukebox, the band plays an instrumental version of “Orange Blossom Special,” accompanied by a self-playing banjo. As the band plays, Ginny leads Schemer in hilarious moves, ending with Schemer sliding into the ticket counter, knocking down the schedule board.

Schemer's motives are discovered

Just then, Stacy and Felix come in carrying the goose. Schemer looks up and asks Stacy what time he should pick her up for the dance. Felix is puzzled, as he believed Schemer wasn't going to the dance. Stacy reveals that when Schemer told Felix that he wasn't going to the dance, she decided to go with Felix. Ginny is upset as she was certain that Schemer was going to the dance by the way he was practicing. Stacy apologizes as Schemer mopes, then asks Ginny if she could take the goose to her farm. Ginny agrees and as they go off to her truck, Felix tells Schemer that the goose was a good idea as Stacy loves it.

Mr. Conductor waltzes with the music box dancer

Schemer goes off to sulk on the arcade steps just as Dan arrives to remind him that although he doesn't have a partner, he can still go to the dance and have fun. Schemer fumes that he doesn't want to have fun; he only wants to win a prize. Dan offers to show him a few of his dance steps he's learned, and demonstrates the moves Mr. Conductor showed him with Schemer following suit. Becky and Kara arrive and apologize to Dan for teasing him about dancing. Dan accepts their apology and asks the girls if they'd like to accompany him to the dance. They even extend the invitation to Schemer. Schemer accepts, saying he might as well since he's already impeccably dressed. They all leave when Felix comes in to offer them a ride to the dance on his bus. Billy comes out of his workshop and places the now-repaired music box dancer on the ticket counter. He's about to repair the schedule board when he hears the bus horn and decides to join everyone else. With the station now empty, Mr. Conductor appears beside the music box dancer formally dressed, and politely asks her for a dance. She obliges by stepping off her pedestal and dances with him as a classical waltz plays on the music box.

Stacy and Felix win first prize!

That evening, Felix, Stacy and the gang return to the station so Stacy can meet the Starlight Express. They're accompanied by Ginny, who is carrying several trophies. Felix apologizes for having to leave the dance before she was able to announce the winners, but Ginny says that she'll just hand out the prizes now. A girl named Claudine wins the first prize for the solo girl competition, while Dan wins the first prize for the solo boy competition. The grand prize for the best couple is awarded to Stacy and Felix. Felix wants to share his trophy with Schemer, however Ginny interrupts to inform Schemer that he's won a prize of his own; the consolation prize. As the dancer who gave the most effort with the least results, Ginny tells Schemer he's won something better than a trophy: five free dancing lessons from her. The episode ends as Ginny gives Schemer his first lesson.

Episode Morals:
  • We should not judge others based on stereotypes or let it prevent you from pursuing something of interest.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Orange Blossom Special (instrumental)
Featured Magic Bubble Sequence:
•  The Dancing Maitre 'D

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Percy Runs Away

Quotes of Note:
  • Schemer (to Stacy): And those eyes - the color of the left one matches almost perfectly with the color of the right one.
  • Ginny (to Schemer): Open up your green umbrella, it's rainin' four-leaf clovers all over you!

Episode Notes:
  • This is the only episode in the series where the members of the cast other than George Carlin tape green screen segments.
  • When Felix first enters the station at the beginning of the episode, he's singing “I Could Have Danced All Night” from the movie “My Fair Lady."
  • Schemer's attempts at ballet leaps are accompanied on the soundtrack by music from Tchaikofsky's ballet “Sleeping Beauty,” specifically a section titled “Once Upon A Dream.”
  • The tune Billy whistles as he leaves the station is “Tea For Two,” a song written in 1925 by Vincent Youmans and Irving Caesar.
  • When Billy finishes repairing the music box in his workshop (as he gives advice to Dan), it plays a few bars from the 1974 Bobby Vinton hit "My Melody of Love".  
  • The music box piece that Mr. Conductor and the dancer waltz to is from Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Flowers". 

Mysterious Stranger
Production #60 (3.19)
Written by Marie Thérese Squerciati
Directed by Wayne Moss
Summary by J. Gratton

Season 3 Episode 19: "Mysterious Stranger"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Schemer (Brian O’Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Magder)
  • Kara Cupper (Erica Lutrell)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Ringmaster (Chas Lawther)

Episode Synopsis: The residents of Shining Time Station fear that someone is stealing when personal items suddenly begin to go missing.

Detailed Episode Summary:

The Stationmaster speaks to the Ringmaster

There's a carnival-like atmosphere inside the station as a circus is preparing to move to another town, while their ringmaster stands nearby reading a clipboard. Stacy reminds the ringmaster that the circus train is ready to leave, and hopes that he hasn't forgotten anything. The ringmaster replies confidently that ringmasters never forget and that he has a system: an itemized list of everything that he checks off as it’s are loaded onto the train. As he glances at the clipboard, he frets about having misplaced his reading glasses. He hands the clipboard over to Stacy as she points out that his glasses are still tied around his neck. As he departs with the performers, he thanks Stacy for her help and promises that the circus will return to Shining Time next year. Stacy realizes that she is still holding the clipboard and rushes outside to give it back to him just as the train departs.

Mr. Conductor searches for his sketchpad

Becky, Dan and Kara are seated on a bench reading when Mr. Conductor appears, looking for his sketch pad. Stacy, with the ringmaster’s clipboard still in hand, overhears the conversation and mentions that she saw it outside of the station, and will retrieve it for him as soon as she puts on her cap. Her cap, however appears to have gone missing from where she left it on the information desk. Mr. Conductor thanks her and tells his friends that he'll continue looking for it on his own, then sparkles away. The sketch pad and cap vanishing in such a short time period makes Stacy wonder aloud what is going on, just as a shadow passes behind her.

Tito worries about his nickel collection!

Inside the Jukebox, these vanishings do not go unnoticed by Tito. He worries about his collection of nickels being suddenly spirited away. Didi comes in to retrieve him for the band's rehearsal, and after hearing Tito's concerns about the missing items, dismisses it as people being so excited about the circus, that they've forgotten where they placed their belongings. Didi berates him for his fears and he finally goes off to join the rehearsal.

Back on the bench, Becky remarks how weird it is to have things go missing all at once. Mr. Conductor reappears and Dan asks him if everyone is being forgetful at the same time. Kara wonders if perhaps there's a thief in the station. Dan confesses that he is beginning to get scared. Becky reassures him and adds that there isn't any evidence pointing to a thief taking these items. Mr. Conductor agrees and suggests that the items going missing are merely by coincidence. He adds that it's possible to be scared for no good reason, and proceeds to tell them the story about Henry and how his fear of rain led to him being shut up in a tunnel. After the story, Becky asks if Henry will be left inside of the tunnel and Dan adds that it wasn't very nice to have done so. Mr. Conductor explains that Henry just needed some quiet time by himself to work out his problems.

Schemer demonstrates his anti-intruder gimmicks!

Mr. Conductor disappears just as Stacy and Billy enter the station, while Schemer sneaks up behind them, startling everyone with his shrieking while wearing a face mask and carrying an assortment of odd objects. Billy and Stacy confront him for an explanation for his theatrics and Schemer goes on to present "Schemer's Personal Protection Program," including: "Schemer's Really Scary Masks" to frighten anyone sneaking around outside of your house, "Schemer's Stereophonic Mirrors" to detect if someone is trying to sneak up behind you, and "Schemer's Genuine Banana Peels", to throw in front of someone really bad and mean quickly coming towards you. Schemer slips one by accident, but shrugs it off as a demonstration as his concerned friends try to help him up.

Stacy asks to speak to Billy privately at the ticket desk. Schemer tries to follow, but Billy and the kids intercept him. Stacy confides to Billy that Schemer may be right about a thief at the station after all. Billy suggests that they put the theory to the test by spending the night inside the station. If they see or hear anything suspicious, they'll call the police.

Schemer's soda pop intruder deterrent backfires!

Schemer is still demonstrating his props when Dan asks him about a can of soda pop. Schemer explains that it's intended to be sprayed into the face of a criminal, confusing them long enough to drop the cargo net onto them and call the authorities. He proceeds to demonstrate by shaking the can vigorously, aiming it at an imaginary criminal and pulling the tab. However, the stream of soda jets into his own face. He sputters that he now has to buy another can, and departs with his gear.

Billy offers  to spend the night at the station

Stacy walks over and tells the children to return home, as she and Billy have some serious work to do. The children protest, but Stacy is firm explaining that she and Billy's work could be dangerous. As she speaks, a shadow can be seen going by against the back wall. The kids think it would be fun, but are finally convinced to leave. Billy asks a nervous-looking Stacy if she's scared. She admits that sitting alone in the dark waiting for a thief is scary. Billy suggests that Stacy go home and offers to spend the night at the station alone. Stacy insists on staying as it is her station and it's her duty to protect it.

Who turned out the lights?

The Jukebox Band listens to the conversation and Tito begins to panic, thinking that the band members themselves will be next to be stolen by the thief. As Tito cowers, the scene breaks away to a hairy hand turning the station's light switch off. The band members witness this and panic. Tito regains his courage and leads the band to sing a rendition of "Waltzing Matilda."

Stacy catches the kids hiding near the arcade!

That night, as Stacy makes her rounds with a flashlight near the arcade, she hears a noise and orders whoever it is to come out from behind the jukebox. She sees movement in front by a covered luggage cart and begins to shriek. It turns out to be an equally startled Dan, Kara and Becky hiding near the luggage cart. They returned to the station to help catch the thief. Stacy berates them and leaves to call their parents to come and get them. The children mope and deny being afraid, but a noise makes them jump. Kara suggests that they watch a Picture Machine video about being afraid, and dares her friends to watch it.

Mr. C. explains why fears are often ungrounded

After the video, Kara reflects that sometimes they are afraid of something that they don't really have to be afraid of. Dan agrees that you don't have to be afraid of something created by your own imagination, but asks if this could indeed be real. Mr. Conductor appears and the children ask him if he's also afraid. Mr. Conductor says that people are usually afraid of things they don't understand. He doesn't understand what everyone is so afraid of, so by the same token admits to being just as frightened as the rest of them. Kara asks if Mr. Conductor can use his magic to whisk the fear away, but he informs them that magic cannot make fear go away; we need to overcome our fears individually. He then tells the story of how Henry overcame his own fears.

Billy catches an intruder!

Becky remarks that Henry was no longer afraid after he left the tunnel. Mr. Conductor concludes the moral of the story by telling the kids that Henry learned that there was nothing to be afraid of thanks to help from his friends. Mr. Conductor vanishes just as Stacy returns from calling the kids’ parents. They hear a noise and Stacy huddles the kids near her and head for the station's exit. As Stacy calls out to Billy, a dark cloaked figure follows along on the bench and throws a net at them, but misses. Everyone shrieks including the cloaked and masked intruder. Just them Billy steps up behind the figure, grabs him by the shoulder and demands to know what he is doing here. Schemer removes the mask and cloak explaining that he was only trying to protect his arcade.

Just then we see a hairy hand knock the telephone down at the ticket desk. The noise gets everyone's attention. As Billy goes to investigate, Schemer cowers on the bench near the exit using the kids as a shield. Stacy joins Billy vowing to get to the bottom of this. The kids follow Stacy, leaving a cowering Schemer alone on the bench. Mr. Conductor appears and turns on the station lights.

Schemer meets Baby Felicity!

Stacy notices her cap at the ticket desk, and to everyone's delight, Mr. Conductor's sketch pad is right next to it, along with Schemer's comb. Hearing this, Schemer looks up excitedly, and on the window sill behind him we can clearly see a Capuchin Monkey. The children recognize it as "Baby Felicity," who belongs with the circus, but must've been accidentally left behind. Schemer tells Felicity to stay away from his arcade as he doesn't believe monkeys should be part of a human entertainment industry. Schemer then mimics the monkey's facial expression and Felicity reacts by reaching over and pulling Schemer's hair!

The Ringmaster picks up his clipboard and Felicity

The next day, the Ringmaster has returned to the station with his performers to pick up the clipboard and Felicity, hoping that she did not cause too much trouble. Felicity clambers over a very uncomfortable-looking Schemer as Stacy concludes the episode by replying that they all spent a fun evening together "monkeying" around with her.

Episode Morals:
  • Many fears are groundless and are made worse by our imagination.
  • We can overcome our fears.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Waltzing Matilda

Featured Picture Machine Song:
•  Everyone's Afraid of Something

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Stories:
•  Come Out Henry (The Sad Story of Henry)
•  Henry to the Rescue (Edward, Gordon and Henry)

Episode Quotes of Note:
BILLY:      This better be good, Schemer.
SCHEMER: Billy, I don't believe in "good", only "great".

Episode Notes:
  • Schemer's missing comb isn't mentioned at all during the episode.
  • Schemer can be seen holding a leash tied around Felicity's waist when she is first revealed.
  • The Nick Jr. version of this episode was shortened to permit advertising breaks. Tito's initial segment with Didi and the "Waltzing Matilda" song were removed from the episode.
  • When rewatching the episode, it can be made out that the shadow is that of the monkey.

Dan's Big Race
Production #61 (3.20)
Written by Wilson Coneybeare
Directed by John Ferraro
Summary by J. Gratton

Season 3 Episode 20: "Dan's Big Race"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Schemer (Brian O’Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Magder)
  • Kara (Erica Lutrell)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Barton Winslow (Gerard Parkes)
  • Schemee (Jonathan Shapiro)

Episode Synopsis: The Shining Time Station kids plan to enter an upcoming Charity Bicycle Race to raise money for their new playground. Unfortunately, so does Schemee who is more focused on winning the race. When Barton Winslow sponsors Dan and bets 20 nickels that he'll win the race, Schemee has a devious plan in mind to eliminate his competition. Dan soon finds himself out of the race before it even begins, and receives a pep talk from Mr. Conductor about the importance of never giving up.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Bike race to raise money for the new playground

The episode opens with Becky reading aloud from a poster for the upcoming Charity Bicycle Race. The race circuit runs from Shining Time Station to Cloggyville, then to Lucy's Leap and back to Shining Time Station. Kara remarks that it's a pretty long route for a bicycle race, and asks Stacy if she's sure about wanting to sponsor them, while Becky is not so confident about winning. Stacy counsels them to just have fun and do their best, and that the most important reason for the race is that it's for charity. Kara agrees, adding that the whole idea behind the race is to raise money for the new playground, although Becky feels that it would still be fun to win.

Schemee is "the Human Flash"!!

Barton Winslow arrives dressed in his leather jacket speaking hip talk and looking for Dan, his "winnin' cyclin’ man." Becky asks Barton if he speaks English, and Stacy translates that Barton has sponsored Dan in the bicycle race just as she has sponsored the girls. Barton sees Dan riding his bicycle into the station and goes over to greet him. Schemer interrupts everyone to announce the arrival of the "Human Flash" as his nephew Schemee wheels in his bicycle, while wearing an gaudy outfit, helmet and glasses. He boasts that they should all take a good look at him now because it’ll be the most they’ll ever see of him once the race starts. Stacy compliments his outfit and asks if he’s planning to enter the bicycle race. Schemer brags that his nephew IS the race and the fastest thing since sliced bread. This prompts Barton to proclaim that he’d place his bets on Dan beating Schemee any time and bets 10 "big ones" that Dan will win the bicycle race. Schemer raises the bet to 15 big ones in favour of Schemee. Barton then ups the ante to 20 big ones and the two men shake hands to seal the bet, with Schemer vowing that Schemee will be the one winning the 20 nickels.

Barton tries to pump Dan up for the race!

Dan tries to interject, but Schemer and Schemee leave to plan their victory celebration. Stacy counters Schemer's bravado by telling him that he has a trick or two to learn this time, and bets that Schemee will come in dead last! Barton begins to pump Dan up by saying that Schemee will be eating Dan's dust for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dan tries to protest but Barton cuts him off to add that Schemer for once will be squealing for mercy. Dan then joins the girls when Barton leaves the station.

Mr. Conductor plans to enter the bicycle race!

Dan feels that there’s no way he can beat Schemee just as Mr. Conductor appears on the arcade railing riding a bicycle. The kids ask if he’ll also be in the race, with Kara commenting that all the bikes in the world could not beat Schemee. Mr. Conductor questions why he would want to beat Schemee when the idea for the bicycle race was to have fun for charity. Dan replies that he was thinking the same thing until Barton placed a bet that he’ll win the race. Mr. Conductor feels that it sounds like Dan is already out of the race before it even begins, and asks what would happen if Henry the Green Engine had done that. He tells the story of how Henry wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t even pull a freight train until things improved when he was given special coal to burn. At the end of the story Mr. Conductor maintains that Henry never gave up and got better with the help of his friends, and so will Dan. He bids them farewell and promises to see them at the races.

Meanwhile, there is a betting frenzy going on inside the jukebox as Didi takes bets for the race with the current odds of 2:1 in Dan's favour. Tito wants to place his bets on Becky and needs another nickel just as Schemer inserts one into the jukebox. As the band members prepare to play the selection, Tex whispers to his brother that his bet is on Kara winning the bicycle race. Grace then leads the band a medley of "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."

Prepapring to register for the bike race.

Stacy reminds the children that they need to sign up before they can enter the race. She tells them that she wants to get a good seat at the finish line to see the winners and, as Schemer and his nephew arrive, the losers. Schemer tries to turn Stacy's barb around and informs them that he's keeping an eye out to make sure that none of her henchmen try to flatten Schemee's tires before the race begins. Schemer tells him to go with the kids to sign up, but Schemee replies that he's already done so and would rather stay behind to prepare for the race.

Dan hurts his leg falling off his bike!

As soon as Schemee is alone in the station, he pulls out a wrench and removes a nut from Dan's front bicycle wheel and puts it in his pocket. He's about to tamper with the other bicycles when he's interrupted by the kids returning. They mount their bicycles to ride out of the station when Kara shouts a warning to Dan as his front wheel detaches and he falls down. Stacy rushes to his aid as Schemer holds the now-bent front tire. Dan says that he only suffered a scrape and is more concerned about his broken bike. Schemee puts on an air of false sympathy as he informs Dan that this means that he won’t be in the race. Dan is very disappointed because this also means that Barton has lost his bet, much to Schemer's delight.

The injured Dan talks to Mr. Conductor

As everyone leaves for the race, Dan limps over to the arcade steps and sits down. Dan is surprised when Mr. Conductor appears, thinking that he would be racing too by now. Mr. Conductor tells him that he hurt his leg just like Dan did by falling off his bike, and suggests that they form a "sore leg" club with the rule that they can't feel sorry for themselves for missing the race. He adds that Henry the Green Engine would make a good member because he hurt more than his leg, and tells Dan the story of Henry's experience with "The Flying Kipper." As the story concludes Mr. Conductor has an idea that the next time there’s a race, they should hurt their legs again! When Dan asks why they would want to do that, Mr. Conductor replies because they were having such a good time feeling sorry for themselves. Dan mentions that he's looking forward to the next race which prompts Mr. Conductor to inform him that he's no longer a member of the sore leg club. He tells Dan that he needs to start over and directs the lad’s attention to the Anything Tunnel where a music video is shown of a young girl not giving up as she learns how to ice skate. Afterward, Mr. Conductor advises Dan that he also needs to pick himself up, brush himself off and start the race over again.

A better vantage point for Mr. C. to see the race!

They realize that they're missing the race and both rush over to the station window behind the ticket counter. Dan complains that he can’t see anything, so Mr. Conductor asks him to hold his hand up as high as he can as he materializes on it. From his high vantage point Mr. Conductor calls out a play-by-play account of the race as he watches it with a pair of binoculars. The race to the finish line is close between Becky, Kara and Schemee, with Kara just behind when Schemee wins by a curl. Dan is dejected to learn who won the race, while inside the jukebox the band members watch the event on their television set. Seeing that Schemee won makes them conclude that they've all lost their bet money except for Didi, as she collected the bets for the house!

Barton reassures Dan

Barton arrives having heard the news of Dan's accident and asking him if he's all right. Dan apologizes for not being in the race and for losing Barton’s bet money. Barton tells him in confidence that he's been in hundreds of motorcycle races and has won only one of them, his first race which was a long time ago. He adds that he kept on returning because you should never give up; every time you try, you'll be a winner. He lifts Dan's spirits by telling him that he has a feeling that he'll be seeing him in the next bicycle race.

Schemee's gig is up!

Stacy and the girls arrive and she tells how proud she is of their participation in the race, with Becky agreeing that it was a lot of fun. Schemer heralds the arrival of his victorious nephew, who enters the station wearing a floral horseshoe around his neck. Schemer smugly tells Barton to pay up his 20 nickels, and as soon as the bet is handed over, begins to celebrate by shouting gleefully and picking his nephew up in his arms. As he bounces his nephew, the wrench and nut fall out of Schemee’s pocket onto the floor. Stacy immediately suspects that the wrench and nut will fit Dan's bike, but Schemee tries to deny responsibility by saying that his uncle told him to do anything to win. Just as Schemer is about to rebuke his nephew, Barton tells Schemee that he's disqualified from the race and asks for the return of his nickels. Schemee protests that it isn't fair, but Stacy reproaches him by asking how fair it was of him to break Dan’s bike which could have caused him serious injury, and for which he owes Dan an apology. Schemee coyly insists that he still won the race which earns a further admonishment from his uncle for losing his nickels and more importantly, losing the pride of the Schemer name. Schemee starts apologizing profusely as Schemer drags him home to take away his bike and comb out his nephew's curl as punishment.

3 cheers for Kara!

Becky realizes that Schemee’s disqualification means that Kara won the race by default. Barton then hands the 20 nickels over to her for the new playground. Kara insists that the money was intended for Dan, not her, but Barton explains that the race was about the playground, and not about who won or lost. Stacy adds that sometimes we are so caught up on winning that we forget to do our best, and they all begin to cheer for Kara with hip-hip-hoorays.

Dan & Mr. Conductor form a new club!

Mr. Conductor appears later atop Dan's now-repaired bicycle to ask why he's polishing it, pointing out that the race was days ago. Dan explains that he's simply getting ready for the next race. He's sorry that their sore leg club didn't work out, but has an idea for a new one: "The Good Friends Club." Mr. Conductor agrees that it's a good name for a club and the episode ends as they high-five one another as a token of their new club’s membership.

Episode Morals:
  • Never give up after a failure, and always try your best as there'll always be another chance to try again next time.
  • Although winning is nice, having fun is important and is more satisfying.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Michael Row the Boat Ashore

Featured anything Tunnel Music Video:
  • Start All Over Again (Produced and arranged by Stacey Hersh, Performed by Neil Donell for Vitale Productions)

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Stories:
•  Henry's Special Coal
•  The Flying Kipper

Quotes of Note:
  • Mr. Conductor (when asked if he'll be in the race): Of course! It's a rule of mine. Never miss a train; never miss a race and never Mississippi.

Episode Notes:
  • Billy Twofeathers does not appear n this episode.

Mr. Conductor Gets Left Out
Production #62 (3.21)
Written by Brian McConnachie
Directed by Wayne Moss
Summary by A. Su

Season 3 Episode 21: "Mr. Conductor Gets Left Out"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Did Conn)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Dan (Ari Madger)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Kara (Erica Luttrell)
  • Barton Winslow (Gerald Parkes)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Slugger Cobb (Maurice Dean Witt)
  • Girl in 'Missy Fussy' commercial (Ashley Ann Wood)
  • Mel - Barton Winslow's assistant (uncredited)

Episode Synopsis: Schemer installs television in the Arcade and the kids soon become addicted to it. As a result, they forget about all the other activities they've been planning to do for that day. Unless Billy, Stacy and Mr. Conductor can do something about it, the kids are in danger of becoming couch potatoes.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Mr. C. hears Dan and Becky bickering

The episode begins with Mr. Conductor appearing outside the station window, remarking that it is a beautiful day. He is about to water the plants when he notices a bag of hazelnuts, his favorite dessert, sent from his friends the Squirrels. Mr. Conductor is enjoying them when he notices Dan and Becky entering the station arguing about where they should go – Becky wants to go to the Traveling Zoo, while Dan wants to go to the Baseball Card Show. Mr. Conductor suggests they settle it with a vote, but it doesn't work as both children cast a vote for their own activity.

Kara finds Timbuktu in the atlas!

When they ask for Kara's opinion, she replies that she wants to go on a canoe ride. Mr. Conductor suggests that they should go to where they wish to go by themselves since they don't always have to do the same thing, which satisfies the kids. As Mr. Conductor talks to Becky about the Traveling Zoo, he mentions a certain place called Timbuktu and Becky wonders where that is. Kara decides to look it up in the Atlas, which exasperates the other kids since Kara always looks for places in it. Kara soon returns with the Atlas and points out Timbuktu in the middle of central Africa, and the kids get interested in finding more places. Mr. Conductor notices the time on his watch and tells the kids that he has to go water the flowers at Leaky Park Station, but he promises the kids that he'll tell them a story after he returns.

Guess what's under the orange tarp!

After Mr. Conductor leaves, Schemer arrives at the station and excitedly exclaims that the delivery he ordered, hidden under a large orange cover, has arrived. Noticing the kids, he tries to get their attention by tempting their curiosity. When that fails, he blows his whistle, and they finally notice him. As the kids attempt to leave the station to do the activities they've been planning, Schemer tries to get their attention by quizzing them on what is under the orange cover. When all the guesses the kids provide are wrong, Schemer finally uncovers the object, revealing a set of three televisions with built-in seats. He tries to advertise the good qualities of his new acquisition, but the channels he shows do not interest the kids at first, and only when he shows them cartoons and toy commercials do they finally get interested and stay to watch them.

Inside the Jukebox, the puppets notice that the kids' attention on TV has resulted in a lack of music from the band. The band attempts to gain their attention by playing "New River Train," but fails.

Billy tries and fails to get their attention!

Later, Billy returns to the station to invite everyone to see a funny sight. The goats in the Traveling Zoo have escaped and climbed on the passengers' cars. Stacy excitedly leaves to see it, but the kids remain fixated to their TVs, so Billy leaves without them after failing to get their attention. Mr. Conductor returns to the station to tell them the story he promised, but the kids are still too hooked on the TV to notice him, even when he is jumping from TV set to TV set in front of them. Only when he uses his magic to turn off the TV do the kids finally notice him, and after getting them away from the TV sets he tells them a story about Bill and Ben the Tank Engine Twins.

Dan thinks Slugger Cobb is inside his TV!!

When the story is done, Mr. Conductor finds that Billy is the only one listening while the kids have gone back to watching television. Seeing that the kids apparently like television more than his stories, Mr. Conductor wonders aloud if he should start telling his stories on TV as he leaves. Stacy decides to directly intervene, but Billy convinces her to let the kids learn a lesson by themselves. At that moment, baseball player Slugger Cobb enters the station and asks Stacy and Billy for directions to the Baseball Card Show. Billy sees this as an attempt to lure the kids away from TV, so he points Cobb to Dan, who is a fan of his. However, Dan is concentrating on the TV so much that instead of noticing the real Slugger Cobb beside him, he mistakenly believes that Slugger Cobb is on TV, and the baseball player leaves frustrated.

Dan places an order for the Envirobot

Dan then changes to the All-Toy Commercial Channel, where it is advertising an action robot toy called 'Envirobot'. At the end of the commercial is an ad from Barton Winslow's General Store, offering to help customers order and deliver Envirobot for them. After watching the commercial, Dan tells the girls that he is going to buy an Envirobot with the money he had been saving for baseball cards, and he goes to telephone Barton Winslow to place an order. The girls express their dismay that Dan was willing to spend his money on Envirobot, but another commercial immediately gets their attention – Missy Fussy, a talking doll that can say over 150 phrases as well as speak her own mind (so much, that the girl in the commercial eventually gets frustrated by it). The girls decide to call Barton Winslow to order Missy Fussy.

What happens when you watch too much TV!!!!

As the afternoon passes, the kids remain fixated on the TV sets, concerning Stacy and Billy. Stacy even says it’s a wonder the kids’ eyes aren’t spinning inside their heads by now. They attempt to get Kara’s attention off the TV by wondering aloud where a certain place is and enlist her help with the Atlas, but fail. Their patience wearing thin, the adults decide to directly call the kids' attention when they notice that the kids’ eyes are now indeed spinning inside their heads, much to Stacy’s horror! She decides to put an immediate stop to things by unplugging the TV sets, which finally snaps the kids out of their stupor. The kids agree that they’ve watched enough TV for one day and decide to do the activities they’ve been planning to do, only to learn that they've missed them already – The Traveling Zoo and the Baseball Card Shows are already closed, and the canoes won't be available until the next week.

The goods arrive thanks to Barton Winslow & Mel!

As the kids are disappointed with missing what they’ve planned, Barton Winslow and his assistant Mel arrive with the toys the kids ordered. Barton tells Stacy that his ordering and delivery service was just a sideline since he has never seen the actual products. After Barton and Mel leave, the kids discover that the toys they ordered were not as accurate as depicted on TV, with Envirobot being a tiny, static figurine and Missy Fussy smaller and not talking. Billy reads through an instruction book that Missy Fussy requires special batteries that the customer has to send eight dollars to Krakatoa, west of Java, to receive. The kids are upset that the TV not only sold them junk, but also stole their time. Stacy tells them that just because something is on TV doesn’t mean they have to watch it, but if they choose to watch TV, they should pick out the best so that they could have time to do other things.

The kids would now rather play outside!

Just then, Schemer returns to the station to tell the kids that he is no longer giving free samples for his Pay TV, but while he tries to rush them back to the TV, they tell him that they have watched enough. When Schemer asks on what fun would they have without TV, the kids instead figure out that they can still have fun from the cardboard boxes and the paper wrappings the toys arrived in; the boxes would serve to build a fort and a ranger station, while the paper wrappings would make a good dinosaur or a papier-mâché. Schemer tries to regain the kids’ attention by asking what is wrong with watching TV, and Kara replies that there is nothing wrong with it, except that one can't watch TV and play at the same time, the latter being what they want to do right now. The kids then leave the station with the boxes, with Schemer following them vainly trying to convince them otherwise.

Mr. C. sends a letter of thanks for the hazelnuts

Mr. Conductor reappears outside the Station window, pleased with the kids' decision. The episode ends with him writing a letter to thank the squirrels for the bag of nuts, remarking that they tasted delicious.

Episode Morals:
  • There is nothing wrong with watching TV, but there is a time and place for doing it.
  • When you choose to watch TV, choose the best to watch and not everything, so that you can have time for other things.
  • Do not believe everything you see on TV. Some of them may not be as accurate as they had been depicted on the screen.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  New River Train

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  One Good Turn

Quotes of Note:
  • Mr. Conductor: They like television more than my stories. Maybe I should start telling my stories on TV.

Episode Notes:
  • “One Good Turn” was the last story from Series 3 of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends to debut on Shining Time Station. All stories in subsequent episodes of the show would be stories that originally debuted with narration by Ringo Starr.
  • While classic Hollywood cartoons in the public domain were often used as backdrops for Picture Machine or Anything Tunnel songs, when shown on the TV sets their original soundtracks can be briefly heard.
  • This is the only episode to re-use a Jukebox Puppet Band song. Grace originally sang "New River Train" in episode 54, "Mr. Conductor's Fourth of July."
  • The Pie Face game and Envirobot seen on the All-Toy Commericial channel were both real products, the former being produced by Hasbro in 1968, the latter by Ideal (under its real name, Robot Commando) in 1959.
  • The "24 Hour Crybaby Channel" segment reuses footage from the Magic Bubble music video "I Can Do It Myself" from Schemer Alone.  

Robot Commander and Pie Face Game

Mr. Conductor's Big Sleepwalk
Production #63 (3.22)
Written by Don Arioli
Directed by John Ferraro
Summary by J. Gratton

Season 3 Ep..22 : "Mr. Conductor's Big Sleepwalk"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Magder)
  • Kara Cupper (Erica Lutrell)
  • J.B. King (Mart Hulswit)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Charles the passenger boy (Josh Hume)
  • Boy's Mother (Elizaeth Hanna)

Episode Synopsis: The Midnight Express is stopping at Shining Time Station, and the kids help Stacy out by refilling the salt-shakers for the express' dining car. Meanwhile, Mr. Conductor prepares for his night-shift duty as one of the Sandman Sleepy Time Volunteers. Things go awry when Mr. Conductor accidentally exposes himself to Sleepy Sand, which makes him walk and talk in his sleep. The kids then do their best to prevent their sleepwalking friend from hurting himself. While the rest of the Indian valley residents suffer from insomnia, the adults succumb one by one to the Sleepy Sand's effects as they sprinkle what they believe is salt on their food, which turns out to be Sleepy Sand that Dan hid in one of the salt-shakers. The kids are in a panic to wake Mr. Conductor, Stacy and Billy up before the Midnight Special arrives.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Mr. Conductor fills in for the Sandman!

To help Stacy, Becky, Dan and Kara are hurrying to refill the salt-shakers for the Midnight Express' dining car. Mr. Conductor appears, and the kids are curious about the strange uniform he's wearing. Mr. Conductor explains that he is a member of the Sandman Sleepy Time Volunteers and that he'll be helping everyone fall asleep in the Indian Valley Snore Zone that night. The kids ask about the bag of sleepy sand that he's carrying, which is explained as not being real sand, but made from dried tears with a pinch of magic mixed in. Mr. Conductor reveals that people would not be able to go to sleep without the sleepy sand. Dan thinks that sleeping is a waste of time, but Mr. Conductor disagrees and digresses into talking about timing and telling the story of how Thomas and Bertie needed to cooperate to be on time for the sake of their passengers.

Mr. Conductor is exposed to Sleepy Dust!

After the story Mr. Conductor says that he wishes that his friends would help him if he was ever late just as Thomas helped Bertie. To make sure that he has everything, Mr. Conductor makes a quick inventory of the uniform,map and double-checks the bag of sleepy sand by peeking into it. He sneezes causing some of the sand to fly up into his face and making him drowsy and incoherent as the kids look on in concern. Becky hands the bag of sleepy sand over to Dan for safekeeping and tells him to finish filling the salt shakers as she and Kara follow Mr. Conductor so he doesn't injure himself as he ambles away sleepwalking and talking. Dan then pours the contents of the sleepy sand bag into one of the salt shakers.

Mr. Conductor sleepwalks!

Kara and Becky place a wooden ruler in Mr. Conductor's path so that he doesn't fall down as he stumbles his way towards the arcade's railing talking about the evening mail train. As he sleepwalks along the railing, Kara and Becky notice Schemer enting the arcade and must think of a way to distract him before he sees Mr. Conductor. Becky tells Kara to throw a nickel on the floor and points it out to Schemer. As he searches for the nickel, Schemer leans his backside against the railing which creates a bridge for Mr. Conductor to continue along unnoticed onto the other side where he disappears. Schemer finds the nickel and walks away with his prize just as Mr. Conductor reappears.

Becky and Kara help Mr. Conductor!

As Schemer is congratulating himself for his find, Kara and Becky form a bridge with the palms of their hands for Mr. Conductor to step on as he makes his way back to the other side of the railing. Schemer then decides to use the nickel to play a song on the jukebox. Inside the jukebox the band wonders if they should play something nice and slow, when Didi suggests that they perform "Beautiful Dreamer." During the performance, Mr. Conductor sleepwalks onto the station floor where Dan tries to throw a blanket over him, but misses.

Mommy! Mommy! a little man!

After the song, Dan manages to cover Mr. Conductor with a blanket, but this doesn't stop his sleepwalking just as passengers enter the station. The oblivious passengers dodge him as they make their way to exit the front of the station, but a little boy steps on the corner of the blanket and reveals Mr. Conductor's presence. The boy tries to tell his mother about the little man and wants to keep it, but his mother pulls him away by the hand saying that he already has enough pets!

Mr. Conductor walks up the wall!

J.B. King arrives asking Stacy if everything is ready for the Midnight Express. Stacy informs them that the mail bags are on the platform and that the food will arrive shortly. Mr. King stresses the importance of the food arriving on time and warns that if the passengers don't have their breakfast that it will be the last time that the Midnight Express will be stopping at Shining Time Station. Stacy assures him that they're ready as Billy joins her behind the ticket counter. Mr. King then opens his briefcase at his feet to retrieve his appointment book. Mr. Conductor sleepwalks up the side of the ticket counter, muttering "Chickens in the coop, it's time to sleep. I want to hear you snore, I don't want a peep." Mr. King asks who said "peep". The kids are shocked that Mr. Conductor's talking will reveal his presence as our sleepwalking friend continues saying "Clickety-clack goes the sound of the whistle," which makes Mr. King ask Billy and Stacy about the "whistle." Becky pipes up to say that she said "thistle," and as the kids try to warn Stacy and Billy that Mr. Conductor is on the counter, clarifies that "this'll" be a good night to stay up late.

Mr. Conductor fell into Mr. King's briefcase!

Mr. Conductor continues babbling, saying "all aboard, women and children first," which makes J.B. King ask who's first, and begins to suspect that something strange is going on. Stacy replies that she said "first things first," but can't provide Mr. King with a rational explanation for why she said it. Mr. Conductor says "the quick red engine rolled across the trestle." Mr. King is adamant that he heard something and everyone points to a different direction as the source of the voice. As Mr. King spins around to look, he knocks Mr. Conductor off the counter to land into his open briefcase. After the tumble, Mr. Conductor is back on his feet muttering "how many times have I told them on the Island of Sodor to fix those holes, someone is liable to fall into them."

Mr. King plans to get the water tested!

Now convinced that something strange is going on, J.B. King makes a note in his appointment book have the drinking water analyzed. Stacy reminds him that he has an appointment to go to, and he then realizes that it's five o'clock and has other stations to visit. Meanwhile, Mr. Conductor is headed for the platform entrance saying "tickets, please. Next stop - Farmer's Dell." J.B. King is momentarily distracted when he realizes that the voice he just heard is a very familiar one, but quickly recovers to remind Stacy to make sure that the Midnight Express is taken care of as he leaves. The kids then become concerned and run out of the station when they conclude that Mr. Conductor is now sleepwalking outside.

The kids realize that Mr. Conductor is outside!

The kids return later to tell Stacy that they could not find Mr. Conductor anywhere, and she did not find any sign of him either after searching the station. Kara hopes he wakes up before anything bad happens to him. Becky doesn't know what they can do since they'll need to go home soon for bedtime. Stacy tells them that she's telephoned their parents who gave permission to stay up late and adds that she'll need their help to keep an eye out for Mr. Conductor. Stacy remarks how she finds it interesting that their parents were wide awake and they said that their neighbors were too. Becky tells Dan and Kara that Mr. Conductor will get into trouble, and when Stacy asks who's in trouble, Becky replies that they will be if they don't finish filling the salt shakers.

Billy shares his memories of the Midnight Express

Stacy joins them at the table and is pleased to see that everything is ready. Billy arrives and tells them that he's excited about the the train's impending arrival. Dan asks him what is so special about the Midnight Express. Billy is happy to tell them about his boyhood recollections of waiting for the sound of the Midnight Express' whistle which even awakened him if he was sleeping, which inspired him to become an engineer. He concludes his anecdote by wagering that there is not one railway person alive who wouldn't wake up to the sound of the Midnight Express rolling through the valley.

Schemer can't sleep!

Our friends are interrupted by a moaning which reveals itself to be Schemer entering the station dressed in his pajamas and carrying a pig stuffed toy and a blanket. He complains that he can't sleep even after drinking a hot bath and taking a warm milk. His mommy tried to sing him some lullabies but stopped after not being able to sleep herself and becoming cranky. Stacy tells him that everyone in the valley is suffering from insomnia and suggests Schemer sit down by his arcade and imagine counting nickels to help him go to sleep.

Inside the jukebox, Tito says that he tried counting nickels but still can't sleep. Didi complains that if she doesn't get her beauty sleep, she'll scream, which Tito makes a dig at her by adding that if she doesn't get her beauty sleep that he'll scream. Rex counters that hearing him scream would sound better than his singing, while Tex rebukes him for speaking to Tito that way. We leave the band members realizing that their bickering is a result of being too tired.

Dan says he never gets grumpy!

The kids are putting the salt and pepper shakers into a basket for the Midnight Express when Dan confesses that he doesn't remember which salt shaker he put the sleepy sand into. Stacy comes to ask how things are going. Kara asks her what would happen if they were never able to sleep again. Stacy says that it would be horrible if everyone were as grumpy as Schemer. Dan tells them not to worry and maintains that he never gets grumpy, which prompts Kara and Becky to strongly disagree with him. Stacy interrupts the argument by saying that being grumpy is only part of it, and that they would also never be able to dream. Kara asks why dreams should be important and Stacy explains that they're wonderful as they take you to places you've never seen before do things that we could never imagine doing while we were awake. Stacy feels sorry for keeping them up so late, so invites them to watch a movie in the picture machine about "Dreamland."

Sleepy Dust takes effect

Stacy calls everyone over to the table for dinner and Schemer loads his plate up with most of the food. Billy asks for the salt-shaker but Schemer tells him that he'll get it as soon as he's finished using it. Dan tells him to wait, but Schemer tells him to wait his turn as he begins sprinkling salt generously on his food. The salt turns out to be the sleepy sand which has an immediate effect on the adults. The kids are alarmed as Schemer curls up on his arcade steps while Stacy and Billy fall asleep on the bench. The Midnight Express will arrive soon and the kids fell powerless to do anything.

J.B. King and Schemer snooze

J.B. King enters the station in his pajamas and a housecoat, and is indignant to find his staff sound asleep. He wonders if it's the Indian Valley air and wishes that he'd arrived a few hours earlier and to fall asleep. Becky claims that they are only resting, but all efforts by Mr. King to rouse them fail. The kids invite him to sit down, relax and have a hamburger. He quickly becomes sleepy after sprinkling the salt-shaker's contents on his food. He removes his housecoat and falls asleep sitting beside Schemer on the arcade steps.

The Midnight Special is about to arrive!

A bark is heard and the kids are amazed to see a St. Bernard dog carry the still-unconscious Mr. Conductor into the station and deposit him on the floor. The Midnight Special is one minute away from arriving and the kids try in vain to wake Mr. Conductor up. A train is heard approaching which inspires Kara to remember what Billy said about railway people always waking up to the sound of the whistle, and deduce that Mr. Conductor will wake up as soon as he hears it. They take Mr. Conductor's prone body to the platform station window where he immediately wakes up as soon as he hears the train's horn. Realizing that it's the Midnight Express, Mr. Conductor uses his magic to wake up the adults. Stacy hands the basket over to Billy who takes it out to the station platform. Mr. Conductor is relieved a he floats away to put the rest of Indian Valley to sleep. Stacy is happy that they've all seen the Midnight Express and offers to take them all home to get some much-needed sleep.

Everyone is now awake!

J.B. King and Schemer awaken at the same time and are startled to be so close to one another. Mr. King looks at Schemer's pajamas and informs him that he can't expect to run a successful business dressed in that attire. Schemer points out that Mr. King is also wearing pajamas. Mr. King makes up an excuse that he simply wanted to see the Midnight Express, then suggests that they both stay awake all night to watch the sunrise. He knows of an all-night diner with a magnificent view of the valley and remarks that there is nothing like seeing the glow of dawn on the horizon. The episode ends as they both walk off with Schemer going along as long as J.B. King is paying for the coffee.

Episode Morals:
  • It is important to get enough sleep.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Beautiful Dreamer

Featured Picture Machine Music Video:
  • Lullabye Song (music and lyrics written and performed by Kevin Roth, courtesy of Vitale Productions)

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Better Late Than Never

Quotes of Note:
  • Billy (Re: the Midnight Express): I'll tell you there's something about that sound in the middle of the night that's like an old friend saying hello.

Episode Notes:
  • This is one of the rare episodes where a doll is used to represent Mr. Conductor.

The Mayor Runs for Re-election
Production #64 (3.23)
Written by Ellis Weiner
Directed by Wayne Moss
Summary by J. Gratton

Season 3 Ep 23: "The Mayor Runs For Re-Election"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Kara Cupper (Erica Lutrell)
  • Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)
  • Mayor Flopdinger (Jerome Dempsey)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Mr. Richhouse (Guest Richard Dixon)
  • Ted Typo (David Hewlitt)
  • Passenger (Gerry Mendicino)

Episode Synopsis: It is election time in the town of Shining Time and Mayor Osgood Bob Flopdinger is seeking another term in office. His campaign becomes a disaster when he takes Schemer on as his campaign manager. Things become more complicated for the mayor as a newcomer to Shining Time, Mr. Richhouse, becomes his opponent in the election. Everyone then learns why it is important to vote, and for someone genuine who’ll help all the people once elected.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Stacy and Midge argue politics!

Municipal elections are underway in the town of Shining Time where current mayor Osgood Bob Flopdinger is seeking another term. Inside the station, Kara and Becky watch as Midge Smoot leaves in a huff after unsuccessfully trying to persuade Stacy to vote for Flopdinger regardless of his election platform. Mr. Conductor appears as Becky asks Stacy if Midge is no longer welcome at the station because of their argument. Stacy maintains that they are still friends despite disagreeing about the mayor, with both agreeing that voting is important. Mr. Conductor wishes that he knew more about the mayor’s mysterious opponent, with Stacy noting that she’s seen his photo and that he seems very familiar. Becky feels that they should vote for the mayor because he’s always been nice to them. Although agreeing that he’s a nice and honest man, Stacy feels that he’s making a big mistake by not talking about the town’s issues or listening to people’s complaints. Mr. Conductor adds that it’s hard to admit making a mistake, which leads him to tell the story about what James the Red Engine learned from his experience with the coaches. Stacy wishes afterwards that the mayor had heard the story so that he'd learn from his mistakes the way James did, which would make her proud.

Ted Typo tells the Mayor about his poll ratings

The sound of screeching car brakes announces Mayor Flopdinger's arrival. He enters the station followed by Indian Valley Gazette reporter Ted Typo. The mayor is about to make a speech but notices there aren't many citizens present, so he recruits Schemer and "future voters" Becky and Kara to be his audience. When the mayor opens his speech with "When I even think of the flag, I get this feeling...," he’s interrupted by Ted Typo asking about how he feels about coming in second in the latest poll. The mayor answers that it could be worse; he could be last. Ted points out that there are only two candidates running and therefore he is in last place. Mayor Flopdinger replies that he hadn't thought of that and tells the reporter that he can quote him for saying that.

Schemer offers his services to the Mayor!

As everyone leaves, Schemer approaches the mayor to bluntly tell him that he's a loser. The Mayor is upset at the suggestion and asks if that means he’ll lose the election. Schemer informs him that he most definitely will lose, which prompts the Mayor to ask why people don’t like him. Schemer confides that people don’t care for his hair, his clothes, or the way he walks and talks. The mayor’s only distracted reply is that he hadn’t noticed. Schemer convinces him that if he wants to win, he'll need a campaign manager to give him a new look and image using "Schemer’s System of Success." In exchange for his help, he asks the mayor to appoint him ‘Secretary of Money’ if he wins the election. Because he is desperate to win, the mayor reluctantly agrees. Inside the jukebox, Didi voices her disbelief that Schemer can get the mayor re-elected, while Tito questions the mayor's competence if he chose to hire Schemer.

The Mayor's new look!

Later, Schemer is in full campaign mode as he oversees Kara and Becky organizing campaign hats, buttons, stickers and posters for Mayor Flopdinger. The mayor arrives in a tattered suit top complaining that the clothes Schemer has given him to wear are too small and is making him look ridiculous. Schemer pulls out a bottle of hair spray which he applies to the new curl of hair we notice sticking out of the mayor’s hat and tells him that he looks much better. Schemer boasts that because the mayor now resembles him, people are guaranteed to give him their vote. Schemer then cons a nickel from the mayor to play their new campaign song on the jukebox. Inside the jukebox, Didi complains how she hates how Schemer rewrote the song, but Rex and Tex insist that they must play it as "a job’s a job" and "a song’s a song," with Tito adding that "a nickel’s a nickel." The band plays a version of "Hurray for the Railway" with a few modified verses about Mayor Flopdinger and Schemer inserted throughout.

The look of the modern politician!

Midge Smoot and Ted Typo arrive and are amazed by, as Schemer puts it, the new and improved Mayor Flopdinger. Typo asks what the Mayor intends to do about the town’s garbage problem. As the Mayor fumbles for an answer, Schemer removes the mayor's hat and points out his new curl as the look of today’s politician, a symbol of trustworthiness and decisiveness that says "vote for me." Typo points out voters don't care what he looks like; they’ll vote for what he stands for.

Mr. Richhouse, the mayor's opponent!

Just then, a man bearing a very striking resemblance to former U.S. President Richard M. Nixon enters the station with an entourage of curious townsfolk. He uses the tri-colored suitcase he's carrying as a podium and flashes a familiar victory sign. After making an opening greeting to the small crowd that has gathered, he mentions that some of his enemies have asked why he's running for Mayor of Shining Time. Without elaborating, the man abruptly ends his speech by thanking everyone, and proclaims that he's off to city hall.

Richhouse takes an exception to Schemer!

Schemer challenges the man, who’s named Richhouse, to meet the real mayor of Shining Time, the honorable Osgood Bob Flopdinger, and the two men eye one another as they exchange a handshake. Schemer notices Typo making notes so he tries to bait Richhouse by calling him a newcomer who doesn't know anything about the town. Richhouse retorts that he knows more than Mayor Flopdinger, and physically accosts Schemer when he begins arguing back. Typo interrupts the shouting match to suggest that this be settled through a live televised debate moderated by the kids under the title "Meet the Kids." Mayor Flopdinger thinks letting the kids ask the questions is a brilliant idea and whispers to Schemer that it will make the debate easier to win. Schemer agrees and taunts Richhouse by feigning a handshake, telling him that he’ll see him at the debate, and Richhouse leaves scowling.

Mr. Conductor struggles with a balloon

Later in the waiting area, Kara says that she wants to ask the mayor about their playground, while Becky would like to ask why the library isn’t open later. Mr. Conductor appears struggling with a Flopdinger campaign balloon. Kara asks Becky if she really thinks that the mayor will lose the election, and Becky confirms that she knows he will with Schemer helping him. Kara then asks Mr. Conductor for his opinion. He answers that it reminds him of a saying on the Island of Sodor, "Every engine has to pull its own freight train." When the kids ask about its meaning, Mr. Conductor tells them about how James learned the hard way by pulling a train of stubborn freight cars up and over Gordon's Hill. Afterwards, Becky says that she loved the story because James did not give up, with Mr. Conductor adding that the mayor should not give up either if he wants to win the election and that he'll never win unless he learns to pull his own freight train. Kara elaborates that the Mayor must learn how to run his own campaign without Schemer's help, with Becky sharing that that the mayor needs to take more responsibility for himself, or else no one should vote for him.

the candidates face off!

The televised "Meet the Kids" debate begins with a studio audience and Ted Typo’s introduction. Kara directs the opening question to Mr. Richhouse, asking how he intends to fix the playground in the park. Richhouse gives a vague answer by saying that he’ll do so by making the hard choices and tough decisions. The question is then directed to Mayor Flopdinger who at first fumbles, then reads from a cue card that Schemer is holding. He answers that he’ll build a new playground and reads on in disbelief that kids wanting to play in it will pay a small admission fee to Schemer. Schemer tries to drown out the audience’s disapproval by shouting out "yays." Ted turns the next question over to Becky who asks what advice can the mayor give to kids. The mayor once again relies on Schemer’s cue cards to answer that kids should send their nickels to Schemer, who’ll give them all the advice they need. The crowd once again "boos" the suggestion as Schemer shouts out "yays." The mayor tries to regain his composure by revealing that it was Schemer telling him what to answer. Schemer hastily writes something down and flashes the cue card to the mayor who mistakenly reads it as "I Quiet," which Schemer corrects that it reads "I Quit." The mayor bellows out to Schemer that he can’t quit because he's fired. The audience voices their approval, prompting Schemer to hastily leave the station sulking.

a standing ovation to the mayor's speech!

The mayor's confidence is restored as he apologizes and promises to buy new equipment for the playground. He continues by admitting that he was slow to act on the issue of recycling, but vows to get right on it if re-elected, and confesses that his biggest mistake was hiring Schemer. Mr. Conductor is seen listening to the speech from behind one of Schemer’s campaign posters just as the mayor quotes his saying that every engine has to pull its own freight cars. He ends the speech by saying that although he may sometimes seem distracted, he thanks and respects every one of them. The audience responds by giving Mayor Flopdinger a standing ovation.

Even Mr. Conductor votes!

Election Day comes and everyone, including Mr. Conductor, is casting their vote in the ballot box. The girls arrive at the station and Kara asks Ted Typo who he voted for. Becky reminds her friend that voting is a private affair. Ted doesn’t mind telling them that he did not bother to vote as he feels that it would not make a difference. Becky informs him that whoever wins will be his mayor whether he voted or not. Becky's point convinces Ted to cast his vote anyway, but maintains that it won’t make a difference as he inserts his ballot into the box.

The mayor won the election!

The election results are in by 7 p.m. with Midge excitedly telling Stacy that Mayor Flopdinger won by one vote and feels that her ballot made the difference. Schemer tries to take credit for the mayor’s win but relents his boasting as Midge and Stacy stare at him incredulously. Mayor-elect Flopdinger rushes into the station in a celebratory mood congratulating himself for winning on his own and thanking everyone except Schemer for their support, and adding that he intends to honor his campaign promises. Ted Typo also feels good for participating and tells the kids that his vote mattered just like everyone else’s, and exchanges high-fives with Kara and Becky.

Mr. Richhouse bids Shining Time farewell!

Richhouse later enters the station carrying his suitcase and Stacy congratulates him for making a good campaign effort and asks if he’s going on a vacation. He informs them that he’s moving on and stands on his podium to announce that he’s not quitting, but moving on to a new town and a new election. Becky asks why he’d want to enter another election having just lost this one. Richhouse asks the kids to step closer to the podium as he admits to making mistakes in the past, but if he wins another election he promises to help all of the people. He explains that any elected politician who doesn’t try to help all of the people does not deserve to win, and asks the kids to remember that when they’re old enough to vote. A locomotive whistle announces his train’s arrival and Richhouse tells them not to worry; one day when they all think he’s gone forever, he’ll be back. He flashes a victory sign as Stacy and the kids say goodbye and wish him luck as he leaves.

Mr. Conductor wonders about running for office!

Mr. Conductor appears on the information desk and Stacy happily informs him that everybody voted this time. Mr. Conductor found the campaign exciting and may run for mayor next time. Becky thinks that it would be great for him to give speeches to large crowds and Kara says that he’ll be able to have a debate on TV. Becky adds that if he wins, he’ll have a big office and that people will be visiting him every day and that he’ll never be left alone, which gives Becky the ambition to run for office herself some day. The episode ends after Mr. Conductor confessing that after giving the notion a second thought, he’d rather go fishing!

Episode Morals:
  • Voting and exercising your democratic right is important.
  • You must do your own talking and be be true to yourself.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Hurray for the Railway

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  James Learns a Lesson (James & the Coaches)
•  Foolish Freight Cars (Troublesome Trucks)

Quotes of Note:
  • Stacy: A vote is power only if you use it.
  • Midge (after Richhouse's speech): Well he must know what he's talking about, I don't understand a word he's saying!
  • Mr. Conductor (struggling with the balloon): This is what you get when you lose control of your own hot air, you get all puffed up just like some of those politicians around here!

Episode Notes:
  • Neither Billy nor Dan appear in this episode.
  • "Meet the Kids" may be a play on the NBC political commentary/interview program "Meet the Press"
  • Richhouse was played by actor Richard Dixon (James Laroe), a Nixon look-alike. The episode originally aired without incident in January 1993 with at least two additional repeats afterwards that did not draw undue attention. By unfortunate coincidence, the episode was rebroadcast on April 27, 1994, the day of former President Nixon’s funeral. According to a Washington Post article filed the following day, an apology was given by PBS after receiving a number of phoned-in complaints.
  • In the same April 28, 1994 Washington Post article, Co-Creator and Co-Producer Rick Siggelkow provided some additional insight and clarification about the episode. "The intent was not to make fun of him [Mr. Nixon] on the show" and at the episode’s conclusion "Richhouse gives a very strong, positive speech about why it's important to be in public life, to vote and to vote for someone who cares about people. There was no political reason for choosing Nixon. We considered [former New York mayor] Ed Koch because he was tenacious. I saw Nixon as almost a folklore figure - there was something that just made him seem like the logical one to be in the episode. He's not the villain of the piece by any means."

Stacy Says No
Production #65 (3.24)
Written by Jill Golick
Directed by John Ferraro
Summary by J. Gratton

Season 3 Episode 24: "Stacy Says No"

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Schemer (Brian O’ Connor)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Dan Jones (Ari Madger)
  • J.B. King (Mart Hulswit)
  • The Jukebox Puppet Band
  • Passenger (Marium Carvell)

Episode Synopsis: Stacy becomes frustrated when Dan plays ball inside the station, Schemer disregards safety and Billy decides to go fishing against her wishes. Her salvation comes in the form of a book lent to her by Superintendent J.B. King. Using the book as a guide to make the station run more efficiently, Stacy enacts new rules that become overly restrictive and alienates her from her friends. In the end, she learns that for rules to be effective, everyone needs to work together.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Schemer & Dan breaking the rules

Billy notices Dan playing alone with a beach ball and asks him where his friends are. Dan replies that Kara is visiting her grandpa Harry while Becky has gone shopping with her father. Stacy walks by to remind Dan about the rule of not playing ball inside the station, but the lad wants to show her a new move he's learned and throws the ball over into the fishing net Billy's holding. Stacy is disappointed that Dan did not listen to her, and then asks Billy if he's fixed the signal crossing. Billy says that he'll get around to it after he comes back from trout fishing and goes to his workshop before Stacy can reply. Schemer arrives next, carrying a stack of Cheese Giggles boxes and sets them down beside the information desk. Stacy informs him that he can't leave the boxes there, but Schemer retorts with a laugh that he just did. Stacy tries to explain that it's creating a danger as a passenger might run into and knock the boxes down. Schemer dismisses her concern saying that only a klutz would do that. Schemer then calls out to Dan to throw the ball over to him. Dan throws it, but Schemer misses. Schemer then falls over his stack of boxes. A frustrated Stacy heads back to her ticket desk asking why no one ever listens to her.

Stacy has trouble saying "no"

A timely arrival by J.B. King changes things when he arrives pitching a book about "Bossing" to Stacy. He encourages her to read it saying that the book solved his problems by teaching him how to be the kind of boss that people fear and obey. Stacy at first declines and J.B. King pointedly asks her if she has trouble saying no to people. J.B. then coaches her how to say "NO" assertively. Stacy's first attempt is weak, but her second attempt comes out as a shout, surprising herself and impressing Mr. King. The exchange is heard by Jukebox Band who begins bickering about who in their group should be the boss. Outside, J.B. King goes over highlights of the book with Stacy about making rules, setting limits, and using discipline. He tells her that the future of the Indian Valley Railroad is riding on her shoulders and advises her to begin being bossy, adding that he'll be watching and keeping score.

Dan learns the penalty for breaking a rule!

She begins by telling Dan to stop playing with the ball, but he carries on. When J.B. King flashes Stacy a "0," she grabs the beach ball from Dan and takes the air out of it as he protests that it took him a long time to blow up the ball. Stacy tells him that this will remind him that there's a rule about not playing ball inside the station. Her confidence rises when she sees J.B. King approvingly giving her a score of "5" for her performance. When Billy exits the workshop with his fishing gear, Stacy asks him if he’s fixed the crossing signal yet. Billy replies that he hasn’t, but will get to it. Behind them J.B. King begins lowering Stacy’s score, prompting her to aggressively demand where Billy thinks he’s going. Billy replies that he was thinking of spending an hour or two trout fishing. Just as he’s about to leave, Stacy shouts “NO!” at Billy and tells him that he’ll not be going fishing. Taken aback, Billy excuses himself as Stacy lectures him that he has responsibilities and cannot go fishing any time he wants to. She orders him to fix the signal crossing, or he won't be going anywhere. Billy complies by saying that the trout will simply have to wait as he retreats to his workshop. J.B. King meanwhile is beaming with approval as he flashes a score of "8" to Stacy. Schemer is playing around in the arcade and tosses a crumpled piece of paper at the information desk, but misses. Just as he's about to try again, Stacy warns him in an authoritarian voice which sends Schemer scampering back into the arcade. Stacy is then overjoyed when J.B. King flashes a "10."

Mr. Conductor feels like smashing something!

Inside the workshop, Mr. Conductor appears to ask an unhappy-looking Billy what is making a racket. Billy replies that he's fixing the crossing signal, but Mr. Conductor thinks that it sounds like he's trying to break it. Billy admits to feeling frustrated and Mr. Conductor asks if he's having trouble getting along with someone. When Billy asks how he would know, Mr. Conductor admits to feeling the same way because a mouse moved into his signal house and won’t leave. Billy wonders why Mr. Conductor would be afraid of a little mouse when Mr. Conductor replies that given his size, the reason should be obvious, and that he won't resort to using a dangerous mouse trap. Billy asks if he tried making friends with the mouse but Mr. Conductor rants that the mouse can’t get along with anyone, ate everything in his house and left the refrigerator door open, not to mention leaving his dirty socks everywhere. Billy commiserates that he knows how he feels and Mr. Conductor adds that he feels like smashing something. Billy then offers him a mallet to hit the crossing signal.

Stacy confiscates Dan's harmonica

Dan is sitting in the waiting area cleaning a trowel when Stacy orders him to stop because he's creating a mess. When Dan tells her that she's let him do it before and promises to clean up, Stacy wags her finger in his face and repeatedly shouts "NO!" to his counter-arguments, adding that the new rules are in place to make the station a better place. Giving up, Dan tells her that he'll simply play with his pogo-stick, but again Stacy refuses and takes it away. The last straw for Dan is when Stacy confiscates his harmonica. He storms away to the arcade complaining that he can’t do anything around the station anymore. Inside the Jukebox, the band is moping around saying that they're feeling blue. Tex notices that Dan must be feeling even bluer as we see him insert a nickel into the jukebox. As soon as Tito retrieves the nickel, the band plays "Cannonball Blues" during which Stacy can be seen putting up regulation signs all over the station.

Billy's in the wrong lane

Billy is startled by a whistle as he enters the station with Stacy pointing out that he's in the wrong lane. She's drawn separate lanes on the station floor for people to come into and exit the station. Stacy tells Billy that she got the idea from the Bossing book and offers him a spare copy. Billy asks if the book says anything about people in it just as Schemer sneaks in. When asked why, Billy adds that people like to be treated like they are special, but Stacy retorts that her rules will make the station run more efficiently. The telephone rings and as she answers it, Billy comments that Shining Time Station was running efficiently before these rules. Stacy shows him a 'No Talking' sign, which makes him take his leave as Schemer can be seen hiding behind the postcard rack. As Stacy's back is turned, Schemer reaches up and snatches a copy of the book from the ticket counter. After inaudibly asking Stacy permission to borrow the book, Schemer skulks away with it on his hands and knees.

Mr. Conductor and his borrowed cat!

Mr. Conductor appears beside Dan telling him that there's no use crying over spilt milk. Dan tells him that he wasn't crying, and Mr. Conductor clarifies that he was referring to the cat beside them. Dan didn't know that Mr. Conductor owned a cat, but he reveals that he only borrowed it from a friend to take care of "that rat of a mouse" that has taken over his signal house. After confirming with Mr. Conductor that he's not in a hurry, Dan complains that he's not allowed to do anything in the station any more, but there's no rule against telling stories - at least not yet. Mr. Conductor humors him by telling Dan the story of what happened when the big engines tried to boss Percy and Duck around. After the story Dan mentions that he knows how Percy and Duck felt as he also hates being bossed around. Mr. Conductor argues that it’s sometimes for your own good. Dan counters that Duck and Percy got to do what they wanted, but Mr. Conductor explains that they first had to prove that they could be trusted by someone who was older and wiser. Dan understands and mentions someone like Sir Topham Hatt, while Mr. Conductor also suggests Stacy. Mr. Conductor then vanishes with the cat to go take care of the mouse.

Passenger caught in a tug of war!

Schemer is engrossed reading the Bossy book when he notices Stacy putting up another sign limiting time spent in the arcade to three minutes. When Schemer confronts her she informs him that she doesn't want people wasting their time at the station. Schemer argues that a person can barely spend a nickel in three minutes but Stacy insists that these are the new rules. Schemer complains that her rules will bankrupt him but Stacy counters that if he wants to be a part of Shining Time Station, he'll have to follow the new rules. The argument is interrupted by a passenger asking about the next train to Mount Careful. Stacy informs her that it will arrive in three minutes and tries to lead her out to the platform to await its arrival. Schemer tries to instead lead the woman to the arcade to spend her nickels. The poor passenger is caught in a tug of war as Schemer and Stacy each try to lead her in opposite directions. As they argue, the passenger's suitcase opens, spilling its contents onto the station floor. As Stacy and Schemer try put the clothes back into the suitcase, the woman says that it's time for her to go and leaves saying that she’ll take the bus instead!

Rules need to be enforced with a gentle hand

To get away from the strife, Dan goes into the workshop offering to help Billy fix the crossing signal as long as there isn't a rule against it. Billy assures him that there aren't any rules in his workshop but Dan warns him not to let Stacy hear him say that. Billy tries to explain that Dan’s aunt is only trying to do what she feels is best for the station. Dan gets him to admit that there are a few too many rules, but Billy counters that rules work best with a gentle hand, and uses fixing the crossing signal as an example. He tried to use bigger hammers to push a cover over a bolt which made him realize that more force is a waste of effort and time. He shows Dan that “gentle persuasion” can work as he applies a little grease to the bolt which helps secure the cover, repairing the sign.

Mr. Conductor: Can you help me?

Mr. Conductor appears outside his signal house and shouts at the mouse through the window warning it to be gone by the time he gets back. When he reappears on the ticket counter to speak with Stacy, she blows her whistle and shouts “NEXT.” When Mr. Conductor asks for her help with the mouse, she cuts him off by saying that he must wait in line just like everyone else. Mr. Conductor points out that he’s the only one in line and Stacy replies that the rules state that everyone must go through the roped lanes. A desperate Mr. Conductor reappears in the roped lane and vents that the cat and mouse are now friends and doesn't know what to do and needs Stacy’s help, only to be coldly told that the ticket counter is closed. When he complains, Stacy redirects him to the information booth and nearly steps on him as she makes her way there. As soon as he appears on the information desk, Stacy orders him to take a number card from the rack – the next available one is #49 while the ‘now being served’ slot only shows #3! She adds that if she breaks the rules for him, then everyone will be asking for special treatment. He leaves in frustration after unsuccessfully trying to argue his point just as Dan arrives asking to speak to his aunt, but she also tells him to take a number just like everyone else. Stacy refuses to relent even after Dan pleads that he’s not like everyone else. Dan gripes that being at the station is no longer fun and offers to leave just like Mr. Conductor did. Stacy begins to intently leaf through her book when Billy asks her if she really expects to find the answer in there. Billy gently leads Dan away to cool off as Stacy struggles with losing her friends because of her strict rules. Stacy realizes her mistake and decides to stop enforcing the rules.

Stacy apologizes and Dan & Billy promise to help

She blows her whistle to get Billy and Dan's attention and assertively tells them that that no one is going anywhere, at least not until she apologizes and confesses to getting carried away. When Dan says that she hurt his feelings, Stacy apologizes and says that she wasn’t thinking about anyone's feelings at the time, which was a wrong thing to do. She explains that she has so much to worry about in Shining Time Station, making sure that it's safe, clean, the trains run on time and that all the passengers, including Dan, are taken care of. She thought she was only doing her job and that having rules would help her. Billy feels that perhaps they are the ones who should be helping her, and that they weren’t doing their share around the station. Dan asks if they promise to try harder to help her, she’d be willing to get rid of the rules. Stacy agrees to only remove the rules that aren’t helpful and asks Dan’s help to take down a few of the signs.

Stacy shuts Schemer up!

J.B. King arrives and asks what is going on when he sees the signs and roped lanes. Stacy tells him that she’s been trying to make the station work a little better, and that it only does so when they all work together. The superintendent asks what happened to leadership, discipline and being bossy, leaving Stacy to explain that when you make it clear what you want and why you want it, people can choose to help you rather than being bossed around. Mr. King reflects on what Stacy said and changes his stance just as Schemer storms in with a megaphone in hand. He boasts that if leadership qualities is what Mr. King is looking for, he’ll demonstrate how real “boss's boss.” Using the megaphone, he proclaims himself to be the new boss, and that there are new rules; the first being that there is a name change to “Scheming Time Station.” At that point J.B. grabs the Bossing book from Schemer and tears it to shreds as Schemer announces that everyone must now give him a nickel a day, with two nickels given to Mr. King. J.B. yanks the megaphone from Schemer's hands but Schemer continues without it by changing the fee to three nickels a day. Stacy finally silences Schemer by putting the “No Talking” sign over his mouth. J.B. King congratulates Stacy telling her that the move earns her a "10" proving that she really is in charge, and then leaves the station playing with the megaphone.

Schemer decides to write a book

Sometime afterward, Dan presents Stacy with a snowflake that he cut out from paper. She expresses her gratitude for it as Dan tells her that he’s going to clean up the paper cuttings from the bench. As he does so, Mr. Conductor appears outside of his signal house. When Dan asks for news about the mouse, Mr. Conductor reveals that the mouse has a new home in the wall painting of a country cottage at a cheese factory nearby. Dan is happy for him and Mr. Conductor is glad that everything is back to normal. They're interrupted by the sound of a typewriter which turns out to be Schemer typing out a new book, "Schemer's Guide to Success in Business without Actually Doing Anything." The episode concludes as Schemer types out the first chapter, “Taking Credit for Other People's Ideas,” with Dan and Mr. Conductor both agreeing that everything is back to normal.

Episode Morals:
  • Having rules in place is necessary for things to run smoothly.
  • There is a difference between asking people to do or not do something and being overbearing.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Cannonball Blues

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Story:
•  Duck Takes Charge

Quotes of Note:
  • Mr. Conductor (to Dan): You know what chickens mice are. One look at this vicious beast and the mouse will turn and run like a scaredy-cat.

Episode Notes:
  • The title of the book is "Bossing: You're the Boss, Be Bossy" by Wilbur T. Master.
  • This is the second time the passenger played by Marium Carvell makes an appearance and becomes offended. Stacy first “barked” at her in Season 2’s episode Achoo.
  • The voice heard during Stacy's telephone conversation is actually sped-up audio from a scene with Stacy and Harry from Promises, Promises (see Season 1: Promises, Promises Episode Notes).

How the Station Got Its Name
Production #66 (3.25)
Written by Jill Golick
Directed by John Ferraro
Summary by J. Hunter

Season 3  Ep.#25: How the Station Got its Name

Episode Characters/Stars:
  • Stacy Jones/Gracie Jones (Didi Conn)
  • Billy Twofeathers/William Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)
  • Kara (Erica Luttrell)
  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
  • Jebediah Schemer (Brian O’Connor)
  • B.J. King (Tom Hulswit)
  • Emmett (Larry Reynolds)
  • The Young Mural Painter (Colin O’Meara)

Episode Synopsis: In the series finale, Kara and Becky travel back in time with Mr. Conductor to the days of Gracie Jones, Stacy’s grandmother, to find a part for an old lantern. But along the way, they not only meet the ancestors of Stacy, Billy, Schemer, and J.B. King, they also discover how the station got its name, among other things. And they also learn that no matter how old-fashioned something is, it can still be really useful.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Stacy finds an old lamp

As the episode begins, Stacy is going through an old trunk and discovers an even older lantern. Mesmerized by it, Stacy walks over to the workshop, not noticing Becky and Kara who are playing jacks. But when they lose their ball and go after it, they come across an old man, who introduces himself as Emmett.

Kara & Becky meet Emmett

Emmett begins to comment on how the murals’ colors haven’t faded, which often happens as time goes by. But when he asks if either of them have actually seen the mural, Kara replies that it’s only a picture of things that happened a long time ago, to which Emmett agrees and then gets a queer look on his face. When Becky asks if he wants to buy a train ticket, he says no and that he’s only looking around. After he walks away, Kara and Becky begin to whisper to each other on how old they think he is.

Billy can't fix the antique lamp

Meanwhile, over in the workshop, Billy is examining the lantern and has some sad news; the gear that makes the wick go up and down is missing. Stacy is downhearted by this, and begins to tell him that this particular lamp is the reason Shining Time exists today, based on what her grandmother has told her. She then asks Billy if he can acquire the missing part, to which he says he can’t, because parts for that type of lantern stopped being made many years ago. After he hands the lantern back to her, Stacy sadly leaves the workshop.

Old fashioned like Toby?

A little bit later, Emmett is still looking about the station, with Kara and Becky watching him and still making comments on how old-fashioned he is. But the second the words ‘old-fashioned’ are said, Mr. Conductor appears on the ticket counter and asks the girls if they’re talking about Toby, the Tram Engine. When Kara asks why they would call Toby “old-fashioned,” Mr. Conductor proceeds to tell them about what happened to Toby when people began to think he was out of date and decided to close his line.

Mr. Conductor is running out of time!

Once Mr. Conductor finishes his story, Becky asks what happened next, to which he says that they’ll have to wait. He then looks at his watch and tells them he’s running out of time and has to leave. But before he does, the girls ask him where they can get the missing part for the lantern. Mr. Conductor says that the only way to get the part is from the days of Stacy’s grandmother, Gracie Jones.

Preparing to travel back in time!

The girls are astounded by this and wonder if it’s even possible, to which Mr. Conductor reveals that it is and that he’s actually going back in time himself to make sure something gets done. The girls then begin to beg him to let them come with him, to which he agrees, thinking that it will be good to have some company. He first tells Becky to open the hourglass standing next to him, so he can pour some of his magic dust into it, which will help them travel back in time. After she does that, Becky quickly grabs the lantern so that they can find the part. Mr. Conductor goes on to tell them that they’ll only be staying there until the dust runs through the hourglass, and then tells them to repeat a rhyme that’ll make the dust work.

Time travellers to 1895

When they finish reciting the magic words, the girls find themselves still in the station. They begin to wonder if they went back in time at all, until they notice that their clothes have become like those of the mid-1800s. When they begin to wonder where Mr. Conductor is, he appears on the top of the bonnet Kara is wearing. Becky then tells them to be quiet, because something is going on…

meet Gracie Jones!

They turn around, and see a young man painting what appears to be the mural. Then they see a young woman in a pink dress talking to him. The girls think it’s Stacy at first, until Mr. Conductor tells them that it’s actually a young Gracie Jones. He quickly disappears when Gracie notices the girls and walks over to them. After a cheerful greeting, Gracie welcomes them to the as yet unnamed station and asks how long they’ll be staying. When Becky says it’s just for the day, Gracie becomes disappointed and wishes that they could stay longer, because the following day is the grand opening in which there’ll be a band, speeches, and, hopefully, she’ll have thought of a name for the station.

meet William Twofeathers

Kara then asks if Gracie knows where they can get their lantern fixed, to which she says she doesn’t because she’s new to the area. She then says goodbye and returns to her work. Now wondering what to do, Becky asks Mr. Conductor, who in turn asks them where does one usually go to get something fixed? The girls realize he’s talking about the workshop! They enter the workshop to find it’s still under construction and someone who they believe is Billy. Of course, they’re wrong again, as the man introduces himself, rather gruffly, as William Twofeathers, who was hired to build the workshop. Realizing that he’s Billy’s grandfather, Becky asks Mr. Conductor what they should do now. He reappears, and tells them to make friends with him and show him that they like the same things he does.

You kids want something?

After Mr. Conductor disappears again, Kara finds a book on poetry. She mentions to William that they like poetry too, which he finds hard to believe. But when they ask him to read a poem to them, he begins to think that they want something, and bluntly asks what it is. When he finds out that they need a part for the lantern, he begins to soften up and helps fix it. A few minutes later, the lantern is now repaired, and the girls are glad.

meet Jebediah Schemer - without a curl!

As they leave the workshop, they see what appears to be Schemer, hauling some sort of electrical contraption. Mr. Conductor reappears again, and informs them that this gentleman is really Jebediah Schemer, Schemer’s grandfather, without a curl in his hair! Jebediah walks over to Gracie and begins to say how she’s not looking so good and that she’ll be wanting a bottle of his “famous snake oil” to make her well (for a nickel of course). Gracie then kindly reminds him that she doesn’t feel sick. Just as Jebediah is about to press the subject, he notices Kara and Becky and tries to get them to step up to his contraption, which he claims can cure anyone of any ailment. When they tell him that they feel alright and that the machine looks too dangerous, Jebediah seats himself on the contraption to prove that it works. As he adjusts the apparatus (made from a colander and some coiled springs) on his head, he asks one of the girls to turn the crank on the side of the machine to get it going. A few seconds later, after a flash and a pop, the stunned Jebediah removes himself from the contraption to look himself over in a hand mirror.

Jeb Schemer gets a curl!

And there, to everyone’s astonishment, is a curl of hair on the side of Jebediah’s head! At the sight of it, Jebediah believes that it’s beautiful and starts to laugh a familiar wheezing chuckle. Becky whispers to Kara that now they know why Schemer is Schemer, while Jebediah leaps from the machine and runs to the telephone to tell his mother about the curl. The phone is next to the Arcade, where inside a player piano are the Jukebox Band’s ancestors. Tito’s grandfather comments that they’ll be having “some fun” with Jebediah in the future, and they begin to play a cowboy medley. During their singing, Tex and Rex meet Sheriff Jackrabbit, who reminds them to be kind to all creatures, love their neighbor, and that the world is like a birthday cake and they should take their piece (but not too much).

Paint a signal house!

After the song is over, the girls are now watching the young painter working on the mural, and Kara realizes that Mr. Conductor’s signal house is missing. Mr. Conductor appears and tells them that it simply hasn’t been painted yet, and that’s why he came back in time; to make sure it is. The girls walk up to the painter and comment that the mural looks nice, to which he replies that he’s worried that the colors will fade. Kara notices the blank spot on the mural, and she asks what will go there. The painter answers that he’s not sure and asks them for ideas. At this, Mr. Conductor reappears and calls out to the painter to paint a signal house. The painter believes that the artistic “muses” are speaking to him. Feeling inspired, the painter immediately gets to work. A few hours later, not only is the signal house painted, but the rest of the mural is complete.

Gracie lights the lantern to warn the train!

Just then, an infuriated Jebediah stumbles into the station and tells Gracie that his horses ran away after his carriage got stuck on the rails. The girls offer to help him to move it, but Gracie urgently tells them that there’s no time because a train will be coming through any second. She then takes the lantern to signal the engineer to stop. The girls worry that there isn’t enough time, but Gracie says there must be. After confidently stating that wonderful things will happen in this station, Gracie lights the lantern and rushes out to stop the train.

We meet B.J. King

Jebediah and the girls run to the window to see if the train will stop. It does, and everyone begins to cheer Gracie for saving the day as she comes back in. At that moment, the train engineer walks in and asks Gracie if she was the one signaling him. After she confirms it was and introduces herself, the engineer introduces himself as B.J. King and begins to tell her how brilliant her idea was, for he saw the lantern shining just in time.

The lantern piece fell into the artist's case!

The second those words are said, the girls, realizing that that is how Shining Time got its name, repeat the words “shining” and “time,” and Gracie finishes by saying “station”. Inspiration suddenly strikes her and Gracie excitedly decides to call the station Shining Time Station. Just as B.J. agrees with her and then tells her that there’s “something about this place,” Jebediah interrupts and tries to take some of the credit for the idea. In doing so, he bumps into Becky, who is holding the lantern, and the gear they just replaced flies off and lands into the painter’s paint case!

Jebediah: "Elders First!"

B.J. announces that the train is departing for Twiddly Junction and the painter buys a ticket for it. The girls realize the gear is missing and try to stop the painter from leaving, but they get held back by Jebediah, who states that elders have the right of way. By now, the train has left, and Mr. Conductor tells them that their time in the past is up.

Kara and Becky return to the present!

A few seconds later, the girls are disappointed to find that not only are they back to the present, and in their normal clothes, but right back where they started. Just as Becky says she hoped it didn’t have to end this way, Mr. Conductor continues his story about Toby, who became useful again when Thomas got into some trouble with a policeman. After he finishes his story, Kara tells him that that was a good ending, to which Mr. Conductor says that it was only the beginning. He also adds that Toby may be old but he still has a lot of tomorrows ahead of him, as do the girls.

Emmett has the missing lantern part!

After Mr. Conductor leaves, Becky comments that ever since they met the young painter, she sees the mural differently. Kara adds that he did a good job on the signal house. At that moment, Emmett returns and agrees with them. Surprised, Becky asks him if he likes it, to which Emmett replies that this was some of his best work. The girls then realize that he was the young painter! They tell Emmett about the lantern’s missing part and ask him if it’s still in his case. Sure enough, Emmett opens the case, and produces the missing part! He goes on to say that he didn’t throw it away because he had a feeling that that someone somewhere, sometime, might need it.

the lantern is repaired!

The girls thank him and run to the workshop, where they find Billy and Stacy and tell them that they found the missing part. Stacy eagerly asks how they found it, and they explain that Emmett gave it to them. Wondering who Emmett is, the girls take Stacy to meet him. But when they come out of the workshop, he’s nowhere to be seen. As the girls try to tell Stacy there was someone there, Billy comes out with the repaired lantern. After the girls ask Stacy to light the lantern, Stacy begins to say that she has been waiting to light it for as long as she can remember, and goes on to say that the last person to light it was her grandmother. As the episode draws to a close, the lantern is lit and Stacy repeats the words of her grandmother: “Wonderful things are going to happen in this station. I just know it.”

Episode Morals:
  • Just because something is “old-fashioned”, doesn’t mean it’s useless.
  • It’s never the end; it’s only the beginning.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Cowboy Medley

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine Stories:
•  Toby the Tram Engine (Toby and the Stout Gentleman)
•  Thomas Breaks the Rules (Thomas in Trouble)

Quotes of Note:
  • Jebediah Schemer: Ah, my dearest Miss Jones, the consternation of opening this fine new train station has got you a-frettin’ and a-hankerin’ for a day when you’re not feeling quite so sickly. Only one thing that’ll be putting you right, Miss Jones; Jebediah Schemer’s Famous Snake Oil. Any bottle, only a nickel.

Episode Notes:
  • Possibly for time, the first shot of “Toby the Tram Engine” was cut.
  • Gracie Jones, William Twofeathers, Jebediah Schemer, and B.J. King were played by the same actors as their respective successors.
  • Schemer does not appear in any of the scenes set in the modern day.
  • Production notes about the series seen on Schmid collectible boxes mention that Shining Time Station was established in 1885. That would make the mysterious Emmett very old indeed! 
  • It's established that the first Shinng Time train ticket (to Twiddly Junction) was sold to the mural artist (Emmett).
  • Dan does not appear in this episode.
  • The mural gracing the station's walls in the TV show were originally designed and sketched by Wayne White.
  • Ma's voice heard during Jebediah's telephone conversation is actually sped-up audio from a scene with Stacy and Harry from Promises, Promises (see Season 1: Promises, Promises Episode Notes).
  • This was the final half-hour episode of Shining Time Station. It would later return for a quartet of hour-long specials.
  • Before Rex's grandfather sings My Home is Montana, Sheriff Jackrabbit's concluding speech about taking one piece of a birthday cake is from the Beatles' song It's All Too Much.

Click to see Season 1 Episode Guide
Click to see Season 2 Episode Guide
Click to see Season 3 Episode Guide
Click to see Family Specials Episode Guide
Click to see Mr. C.'s Thomas Tales Episode Guide
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