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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Step Into Reading book or the Philippine DVD.
“What a boring view! Important engines like me should have a panoramic view, where I can see people and people can see me!”
―Gordon complaining about Kirk Ronan station

A Better View for Gordon is the third episode of the fifth series. It aired back to back with Gordon and the Gremlin on Storytime with Thomas in the US.


One morning, Gordon is complaining, which annoys James. James asks why Gordon complains all the time and Gordon tells him that he is a big engine and shall complain whenever he wants. Gordon then tells James that he is just a small red engine with ideas above his station and that one day he will show them just what a big engine can really do.

Later, Gordon is ordered by the Fat Controller to pull an empty express train to Kirk Ronan for a dress rehearsal to test the new station building. At first he does not want to do it since Henry usually likes idling in stations, but the Fat Controller does not care, saying that he will do as he is told. So Gordon goes on and does so, but along the way, he begins to feel sick. His driver tells him that he must go to the works as his pipes are clogged. Gordon soon arrives at the station. He is impressed, but his mood soon changes when in front of him is a blank wall and a set of buffers. Gordon is bored by the blank plaster wall in front of his buffers and says that important engines should have a panoramic view so that people can see him.

On the return journey, Gordon tries to build up speed, but he then breaks down and comes to a complete stop in a siding. His driver tells him that something inside of him is broken and that now he really will have to go to the works to be repaired. When James arrives to collect his coaches, he tells Gordon that he was too puffed up in his smokebox and it serves him right.


''Well, Gordon, I know you wanted a panoramic view, but this is not the way to achieve it''.

Gordon is repaired in time for the opening of the new station, but still acts puffed up. When he approaches Kirk Ronan, neither his driver nor fireman can apply his brakes, as something has jammed. His driver reduces steam but Gordon is still going too fast to stop in time and crashes through the back of the station, completely destroying the wall. His crew and the Fat Controller suffer minor injuries. The Fat Controller tells him that he knew Gordon wanted a panoramic view, but this is not the way to achieve it. Gordon apologizes.

Upon his second return from the Works, Gordon arrives back at the station for its second official opening and this time he arrives safely. Gordon is delighted to discover the broken wall has been turned into a panoramic window. The Fat Controller tells him that it is here to stay and he trusts that he will always see through it from the safety of his own rails.




  • Gordon's crash at Kirk Ronan was inspired by the Gare Montparnasse derailment in Paris, France. On 22nd October 1895 the Granville-Paris Express ran through the buffer stop, crossed the station concourse and crashed through the station wall; landing in the Place de Rennes below. David Maidment showed the production team a poster of the disaster. A small picture of the real-life incident can be see in the Thomas & Friends Exhibition at Drayton Manor at Bluff's Cove in the waiting room.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Kirk Ronan station in the television series, replacing Knapford for the fifth series.
  • The barrel that the Fat Controller is standing on when he is talking to Gordon near the beginning is the "Best Quality Diesel Oil" barrel from the fourth series episode, Bowled Out.
  • This is the first of two things:
    • The first and only episode to have injuries, which are minor, reported during the crash.
    • The first appearance of Gordon's unused soft-looking shocked face mask from Series 2.


  • When Gordon leaves for Kirk Ronan, the Fat Controller is still standing there.
  • The title card of the Norwegian narration says "Let's Have a Race by Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell."
  • When James is talking to Gordon at the siding, James' dome is scratched.
  • When Gordon was boasting on the turntable, his left buffer is crooked.
  • When Gordon's crew attempts to apply his brakes, a wire can be seen out the cab window.
  • Just before Gordon crashes into the wall, his tender buffers are crooked.
  • A near fragment of a jump cut is shown just before Gordon crashes into the wall.
  • The Hindi narration of this episode credits Michael Angelis as the narrator.
  • In the Czech dub the line "he likes hindling up in stations" is said by Sir Topham Hatt instead of by Gordon.
  • In a close-up of James, his whistle is crooked.
  • When the crew are trying to put on the brakes and reduce the steam, the fireman has blond hair and the driver has brown hair. But when they and Sir Topham Hatt come to see Gordon on an elevator, none of the crew members have blond hair. Both of them have brown hair. The error also occurs with James' crew in the first series episode, James and the Coaches.
  • The studio is reflected on Gordon's paintwork when he approaches Kirk Ronan for its second official opening.


  • Gordon: (to James) You're just a small red engine with ideas above your station!
  • Percy: I can't see any, where are they?
  • Gordon: Any what?
  • Percy: "Ideas above the station", the sky is empty!
  • James: Like your smoke box, Percy!
  • Gordon: One day I'll show you just what a big engine can really do!
  • Percy: So what can a big engine really do?
  • Gordon: Not speak to silly little green engines for a start.


  • Gordon: (about his speed) Come on! Come on! I can go faster than this! Sick, me?! Never!


  • James: (after Gordon breaks down) Well, well, well, so much for knowing about everything! You got too puffed-up in the boiler, so it serves you right!


  • (after the crash)
  • The Fat Controller: Well, Gordon, I know you wanted a panoramic view, but this is not the way to achieve it.
  • Gordon: Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Uma Visão Melhor Para Gordon
Chinese 更清楚地了解高登
Danish En Bedre Udsigt for Gordon
Dutch Een Beter Uitzicht voor Gordon
Finnish Parempi Näkymä Jorille
German Schöne Aussicht für Gordon
Greek Ο Τζόνι και η πανοραμική θέα
Hungarian Jobb Kilátás Gordonnak
Italian Aria di Guai
Japanese ゴードンのまど
Korean 잘난 척 대장, 고든
Norwegian Et Bedre Syn for Gordon
Polish Lepszy Widok dla Gabrysia
Romanian O Privelişte Mai Bună Pentru Gordon
Russian Гордону лучше видно
Slovak Lepší Pohľad na Gordona
Slovenian Lepši Razgled za Gorazda
Spanish Mejoras Para Gordon
Swedish Bättre Utsikt för Gordon
Thai กอร์ดอนได้เห็นวิวสมปรารถนา

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