|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Philippine DVD, the Scandinavian DVD, or the magazine story.|
- “We're a cracking crew!"
"And all the better for Jack's being here!"
"Welcome to the Pack, Jack!"
"Yes, welcome to the Pack, Jack!”
- ―Kelly, Isobella, Alfie and Thomas
A Friend in Need is the eighth episode of the sixth series.
Thomas is taking some trucks along the line, thinking about his new friend, Jack, who hopes he has improved himself, after having broken the rules for jumping in where he does not belong. The Pack is at work widening the road near the Old Quarry Bridge. After loading Max with Alfie, Jack, having completed his first assignment for working hard, behaving well and following all the rules, feels proud for himself, but he is also worried that Miss Jenny still will not accept him into the Pack.
Meanwhile, Ned the steam shovel is cleaning up a pile of rocks and loads Max, who tries to warn him to be careful of his very full bucket. Thomas is excited to cross the Old Quarry Bridge, as he can see how Jack is doing and knows the Pack is working on the road construction below. Back at the site, the foreman orders Oliver to move a pile of topsoil. Jack initially attempts to help him once again by jumping in. But just before he fills his bucket, Jack suddenly remembers Miss Jenny's warning to not jump in where anyone should not belong from last time. Oliver arrives to do the job, and Jack tells him that the topsoil moving was actually for him. Oliver kindly thanks Jack, while Kelly, Alfie and Isobella congratulate him. Later, Ned approaches the Old Quarry Bridge and tries to go as slow and cautiously as he can as he is going under it. However, he ends up not lowering his arm down far enough, and he accidentally knocks a keystone out of the bridge which begins to crumble.
Meanwhile, Thomas nears the Old Quarry Bridge, unaware of the danger that has unexpectedly laid ahead but is unable to stop. Before Thomas rolls onto the bridge, Jack jumps in and holds the bridge up with his scoop until Thomas can reverse back to safety. Kelly rushes to Jack's aid, but Jack is unable to hold the bridge much longer as he let it go, causing the bridge section to collapse before Kelly can help.
Thomas brings Jack back to the yard, and after having damaged his arms, Jack is very worried what Miss Jenny might say, but she is pleased with Jack's bravery and accepts him into the Pack. Jack is then sent to the works to get his arms repaired tomorrow.
Thomas, now very happy, then returns home to Tidmouth Sheds and welcomes Jack to the Pack.
- Sodor Construction Company Yard
- Old Quarry Bridge
- Tidmouth Sheds (mentioned)
- The Works (mentioned)
- Stock footage from Jack Jumps In is used.
- Alec Baldwin's narration had only been broadcasted on the Canadian television station TVO Kids, but it was later released on the US DVD Mud Glorious Mud on 6 May 2008.
- The US DVD release New Friends for Thomas and Other Adventures features this episode, having been re-narrated by Michael Angelis for American audiences.
- This was the last episode of several things:
- The last episode to date with three writers.
- The last episode directed by Stephen Asquith until the eighth series and Jack and the Sodor Construction Company series.
- The last episode of David Mitton's tenure of working on the show where it is unknown if he was involved in production at all, and the second after Jack Jumps In.
- The last episode to feature only one engine and the Pack until the Jack and the Sodor Construction Company episode, A Visit from Thomas.
- The last episode until the fifteenth series episodes Gordon and Ferdinand, Toby and Bash and Emily and Dash to have a story arc span over more than one episode.
- The last episode in the main series until the twenty-first series episode, Terence Breaks the Ice to feature only one engine.
- Ms. Jenny's last speaking role in the main series until the twenty-third series episode, Out of Site.
- A deleted scene depicts Max being surprised by Ned loading him up with stone.
- Thomas is stated to be puffing along a branch line, but he is passing through Cronk, which is on the Main Line.
- When Jack and Alfie load Max, Max's right-rear wheel spins around. It spins again in the close-up of Jack loading dirt into Max.
- Ned appears to have already gone underneath the bridge and is later seen going underneath the bridge again and knocking out two keystones.
- When Ned clears the bridge, his smokestack is missing. It may have been removed so Ned's model could go under the bridge.
- In the shot of Jack emerging from under the bridge, the studio is reflected in his front window and the ground he travels over bounces up and down.
- In between the shot of Jack's face turning from happy to sad, Jack's roof shifts slightly to the right.
- When Ned says "Sorry" to Max, his eyes are wonky.
- In the shot before Ned knocks the first keystone away, his crane arm goes under the bridge without causing any damage. Upon closer inspection, a gap is visible possibly so Ned's arm could hit the other keystone precisely.
- When the bridge collapses, some batteries are visible inside it.
- Thomas: (thinking about Jack) I hope he's doing better today.
- (Ned loads Max excessively)
- Max: Careful, bumble bucket!
- Ned: Sorry!
- Foreman: Oliver, this topsoil needs moving! Now!
- Jack: I'll move it!
- Alfie: Jack!
- (Jack races under the bridge, and just as he was about to fill his bucket of said soil, he realises Miss Jenny's warning the day before; Oliver then shows up)
- Jack: Oliver, this is your job. Not mine.
- Oliver: Thank you.
- Kelly: Well done, Jack!
- Alfie/Isobella: Yes! Well done!
- Ned: (trying to lower his arm whilst going under the bridge) I must be careful, I must be careful, I must be careful.
- Jack: (hearing Thomas's whistle) Thomas!
- (he goes under the bridge and pushes the bridge up hard with much effort as possible)
- Thomas: (approaches and teeters on the bridge) Cinders and ashes!
- (Jack still holds on, but Thomas reverses to safety)
- Kelly: Hold on, Jack!
- (Jack, unable to hold the bridge any longer, reverses to safety, and the bridge starts to collapse)
- Kelly: Are you alright, Jack?
- Jack: I think so!
- [after Jack has saved Thomas from the damaged bridge]
- Miss Jenny: Spot on, Jack! You'd make a mother proud!
- Thomas: And a tank engine grateful!
- Miss Jenny: It's off to the fitters with you tomorrow, Jack. The Pack can't have a front loader with bent arms.
- Jack: You mean, I can stay?
- Miss Jenny: I wouldn't have it any other way.
In Other Languages
- Capsule Plarail - Old Quarry Bridge and Straining Jack
- My Thomas Story Library - Jack (discontinued)
- Magazine Stories - Jack Helps Out
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