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- “Your Duke is a hero! He stood firm like a bulldog, and wouldn't let go.”
- ―The passengers complimenting the manager on Duke's bravery
One morning, Percy is feeling very impatient. He has a new coat of paint and is very eager to show it off and complains that his driver is late. Gordon and James remind him the driver is not late, rather Percy is awake early. Thomas assures Percy it will soon be time for work, but warns him not to be impatient otherwise he may run into danger and Duke will not be there to save him. The other engines are surprised to hear their hero mentioned and Thomas decides to tell them a story his driver told him...
Long ago on the Mid Sodor Railway, back when Sir Handel was still called Falcon and Peter Sam was still called Stuart, the two worked alongside Duke. One day the manager came along and told Falcon - who was still new and had a lot to learn - that he was pleased with his work but now wanted the engine to learn about the Mountain Road, which was a difficult part of the line. The next day, Falcon would get a new coat of paint, then go on the Mountain Road with Duke to double-head a train. Falcon was not impressed that he was having to work with Duke, who he considered a fusspot.
The next day, Duke told Falcon he would head the train since the Mountain Road was tricky to travel over. Falcon refused and insisted on going in front, since he needed to learn the line and Duke would block the view. Duke warned Falcon not to admire the view since he needed to watch the track and also tried to slow them down to keep them safe, but Falcon ignored Duke and thought he was fussing over nothing.
Soon the engines approached a curved tunnel, which Falcon disliked. He rushed through the tunnel and while everything initially seemed normal, he suddenly derailed and hung dangerously over the edge of a cliff. Duke held on to Falcon for dear life, as their crews quickly worked to anchor the two engines to the line. However, Duke's fireman found another problems; Duke was low on water. Luckily for them, a workman's cottage was nearby and all the passengers assisted in fetching water. Duke's tank was soon refilled, and he managed to build up enough steam to pull Falcon clear off the edge and back onto the track.
The manager was waiting for the train at the top station, and when Duke and Falcon arrived the passengers told him that Duke was a hero who stood firm like a bulldog and would not let go of Falcon, who thanked Duke for saving him, especially as he had been so rude to him. Duke was modest and told Falcon that it would have been a shame if his new coat of paint had been spoilt.
- Sir Handel (as Falcon)
- The Mid Sodor Railway Manager
- Peter Sam (as Stuart) (does not speak)
- Duncan (cameo)
- Stephen Hatt (cameo)
- Mrs. Kyndley (cameo)
- Farmer Trotter (cameo)
- One Little Boy (cameo)
- Smudger is not present in his generator shed.
- The North Western locomotives take over the role of the Skarloey Railway locomotives from the original story in the opening of the episode.
- On the early release of the episode in the scenes when Thomas began telling the story about Duke, the music is omitted until the scene of Duke and Falcon starting their journey. Also the first bit of music is heard earlier than the later version.
- In the early release of the episode when Duke pulled Falcon back onto the rails, his chuffing sound is faster.
- The scenes in which the passengers fill up Dukes' tank with water using pots and pans from a nearby cottage is possibly inspired by the 1953 film The Titfield Thunderbolt, in which they do the same.
- The title is a reference to the symbolic dog breed of the United Kingdom. Even the quote "[Duke] stood firm like a Bulldog and wouldn't let go" comes from the stereotype of the type of dogs called bull breeds in which they are said to not let go of something they bite.
- On early UK releases of Rock 'n' Roll and other Stories, a few lines indicated that they were later redubbed or relocated:
- Henry's line, "Rubbish!" sounds less enthusiastic.
- One line, "But be careful, or you might run into danger and Duke is not here to save you," is heard earlier. The music is also heard earlier.
- Another line, "It was curved and he couldn't see," is heard later.
- Another line, "Duke bravely held on with all his strength. 'Stop shaking,' he called. 'I can't hold you if you shake,'" is heard later.
- This episode was the last to be featured on the Shining Time Station spin-off Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales.
- Although the engines said the drivers and firemen were not there because it was still early, the drivers and firemen were there.
- This was one of few Thomas episodes to be featured on the Captain Kangaroo spin-off series Mister Moose's Fun Time on Fox Family Channel.
- This episode was rerun back to back with Thomas Comes to Breakfast on Storytime with Thomas.
- Falcon's nameplates were placed over the much larger "Sir Handel" nameplates covered with black tape. This is because the "Sir Handel" scenes were shot first.
- When Falcon crashes through the fence and Duke tries to save Falcon, Duke derails as well.
- When Duke pulls Falcon back onto the rails, Falcon's nameplate is slightly peeled off.
- When Duke and Falcon enter the tunnel, one of them has Smudger's whistle sound.
- In a close-up of Duke, his face is smaller than usual. This is because his larger scale model was used.
- A rare picture shows Falcon with his Sir Handel nameplate and Rheneas' face.
- In the close-up of Duke before he pulls Falcon back on the track, they are not coupled together.
- When the passengers say, “He stood firm like a bulldog and wouldn’t let go,” one of the passengers is missing their eyebrows.
- Falcon's left (viewer's right) eye is wonky and too far up when the manager is talking to him about the Mountain Road.
- Gordon is missing his brake pipe.
- Henry's face is tilted when he is dozing.
- In some close-ups of Duke at the end of the story, his driver's head is on backwards.
- When Falcon thanks Duke for saving him, His left pupil (viewer's right) is scratched.
- Percy: Driver should be here by now! What's he doing?
- Gordon: Sleeping!
- Percy: But that means I'll be late! The coaches will be waiting and the passengers will get cross!
- Henry: Rubbish!
- James: It's still early. You just want to show off!
- Percy: No I don't!
- Thomas: Never mind, Percy. It'll soon be time for work. But be careful or you might run into danger. And Duke is not here to save you.
- Toby: Du-Du-Duke? You mean our hero?
- Falcon: Huh! Duke's an old fusspot!
- Duke: Listen. The mountain road is difficult. I'll lead.
- Falcon: No, I'll lead! How can I learn the route with you lumbering ahead and blocking the view?
- Duke: Suit yourself, but never mind the view. Look at the track.
- Duke: Look at the track. Never mind the view.
- Falcon: Fusspot, Fusspot! Fuddy-Duddy, Fuddy-Duddy, Fuddy-Duddy!
- [the train grows increasingly slow]
- Falcon: Don't dawdle, don't dawdle!
- Duke: No hurry, no hurry.
- [the train approaches a tunnel, which Falcon dislikes]
- Falcon: I wanna get out! I wanna get out!
- [their exit seems normal, but then Falcon derails and teeters precariously over a precipice]
- Passengers: Your Duke is a hero! He stood firm like a bulldog and wouldn't let go.
- Falcon: Thank you for saving me, Duke. I don't know why you bothered after I'd been so rude.
- Duke: Oh, well! You just had a new coat of paint. It would have been a pity if you rolled down the mountain and spoiled it!
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