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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book, the Buzz Book, the DVD, or the magazine story.

“I do not like engines popping through my walls!"
"I appreciate your feelings, but you must know that this engine and his crew have prevented a serious accident. It was a very close, um... shave.”
―The barber and the Fat Controller

A Close Shave, retitled A Close Shave for Duck in American releases, is the fourteenth episode of the second series. It is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Duck and the Diesel Engine.


After being framed by Diesel for telling lies about the engines to the Troublesome Trucks, Duck sadly goes to Wellsworth and tells Edward about what has happened. Edward assures Duck that everything will be alright and suggests helping out with his goods train, which cheers Duck up.

The two engines work hard during all afternoon, trying to get the trucks tobehave properly while taking them up Gordon's Hill. When they get to the top, Duck says goodbye to Edward and heads back to the station. As he coasts down the hill, enjoying the breeze, he suddenly hears a guard's warning whistle. Edward's trucks have broken away and are racing towards Duck at breakneck speed, with intent to push him off the rails.

We've broken away! We've broken away!

Duck hurries down the main line trying his hardest to outrun the trucks, but they gradually catch up to him on the viaduct and begin pushing him. Just as they are starting to regain control, Duck and his driver see James on the same track, pulling a passenger train out of the next station. Duck puts all of his weight against the trucks, but is unable to stop. He shuts his eyes and prepares for the worst, but gets diverted into a siding at the last second after being slowed down long enough for James to clear the platform.

At the end of the siding Duck runs onto is a small barbershop where a barber is shaving a customer. Duck, with the trucks pushing him, slides into the end of the siding and crashes right into the front of the shop, destroying the wall. The trucks pay no attention to this feeling rather pleased with themselves. As Duck stares nervously at the crowd in front of him, he tries to apologize, but the barber is furious with him for frightening his customers, and lathers Duck's face with shaving cream.

Thomas arrives to help clear the mess, while the Fat Controller speaks with the barber, who is still angry. The Fat Controller explains that, while he understands how upset the barber is, Duck and his crew helped to prevent a much larger accident with James, adding that it was a "very close shave". The barber quickly washes the lathering off of Duck's face and apologises for misjudging him. After the trucks have been pulled away, Thomas pulls Duck out of the wrecked barbershop, and the Fat Controller tells him he will be returning to the yard once he is washed and mended. Duck is worried by this as he believes that the engines are still angry with him. The Fat Controller, however, replies that he never believed Diesel and sent him packing, and the other engines are now sorry and want Duck to come back.

After being mended, Duck returns to the shed where the other engines welcome him back with happy whistles. Proudly taking his place among them, Duck feels happier than ever to be home with his friends.




  • A large scale model of Duck is used for the scenes inside the barbershop. The face used for this model was actually designed for Thomas' large scale model.
  • In the restored version, the scene in which the trucks pass through Wellsworth is sped up.
  • In the German version, when Duck passes through Edward's station, the line "But the trucks were catching up" is omitted.
  • The Lynton and Barnstaple van that was used in this episode is currently owned by Twitter user ThomasTankMerch.
  • A deleted scene shows the barber and his customer looking at Duck before he crashes and the barber putting shaving foam on the customer's forehead by mistake, which may explain why it is there when the customer is shown after the crash.
  • In the original version, there are five shots of the barber lathering Duck's face. In the restored version, there are only four.
  • When Duck races into Crosby Yards, the stationmaster's house from Thomas Comes to Breakfast can be seen.
  • On the end credits of its Shining Time Station episodes, the Starz release of Thomas Comes to Breakfast and Other Thomas Adventures and Thomas & Friends Classic Volume 2, the UK title is used.


  • When Duck arrives at Wellsworth, his whistle valves are missing.
  • The brake van for Edward's train does not have a face, but it is shown to have one when the trucks race in both level crossing scenes. It disappears when the trucks runs through Wellsworth Station.
  • As the trucks race through the level crossing, a string can be seen pulling on them.
  • Due to portions of the script being taken word for word from the original book, both of Ringo Starr's narrations states that Duck shut his eyes, when they are wide open.
  • When the barber says, "No, I won't!" to Duck, he looks upset, but when he says, "I'll teach you!" both he and his customers are smiling.
  • When Thomas arrives to help with the cleanup, a second track appears next to the siding.
  • The barber only washes half of the shaving cream off Duck's face, but when Duck is pulled from the barbershop, the shaving cream is back all over his face again.
  • Duck appears to be smiling while being lathered with shaving cream.
  • In the close-up shots of Duck when he is being pulled from the barbershop, studio equipment can be seen in the upper right hand corner.
  • In Ringo Starr's US narration, and the Welsh version, after Duck complains to Edward that Diesel has made the other engines think that he is horrid, there is an echo in the background. This is audio from the UK version.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Um Visitante Inesperado
Chinese 一次擦肩而过
Croatian Za Dlaku
Czech O Fous
Danish Duck hos barberen
Dutch Op een haartje na
Finnish Tarkka Rajaus
German Um Haaresbreite
Hungarian Hajszál Híján
Italian Scampato Pericolo
Japanese とこやにいったダック
Norwegian Nære på
Polish O Mały Włos
Romanian Pe Aproape Bărbierit
Russian Опасное бритье
Serbian Brijanje
Slovak O Chlp
Slovenian V brivnici
Spanish Una Afeitada al Ras para Duck
Swedish Nära på
Thai ดั๊กชนร้านตัดผม
Welsh Sôn am Helynt

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