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- “What are you doing here?"
"Your worthy Top - um, Sir Topham Hatt sent me. I hope you are pleased to see me again. I am to shunt some dreadfully tiresome trucks."
"Where? Why from here to there! And again from there to here! Easy, isn't it?”
- ―Duck, Diesel and Percy
Duck and Percy enjoy their work at the harbour yards pulling trucks to and from the quay, but one day the harbour is busier than usual and the engines feel exhausted. The Fat Controller understands this and promises that another engine will come and help out. Percy and Duck are very glad to hear this, but their relief turns to shock when the engine sent to help turns out to be Diesel. The two engines ask him what he is doing there. Diesel tells Percy and Duck that he is to shunt some dreadfully tiresome trucks and to make himself clear, he bumps some trucks hard.
Percy and Duck do not trust Diesel and refuse to work with him, not leaving the harbour shed. The Fat Controller is in his office enjoying his tea and iced bun when he gets a call on the telephone from the harbour master saying that there is trouble at the harbour yard. Diesel is working alone and as a result, the work starts to pile up as the cargo and passengers are delayed on the quay. People soon start complaining about the railway.
The Fat Controller arrives and demands an explanation from Percy and Duck and they explain that they will not work with Diesel. The Fat Controller tells the two that he has to give Diesel a second chance as he was the only engine available and is trying to help Percy and Duck out by bringing him to the harbour, demanding that the two go back to work, unaware that Diesel is up to his tricks again. With no choice, Percy and Duck do as they are told.
Next morning, Diesel's driver did not properly put his brakes on the night before and he bumps straight into Percy without apologising. Later, Diesel bumps some trucks so hard that the loads spill. Percy and Duck are worried as to what the Fat Controller will say, but they do not tell him after Diesel calls them "tattletales" if they do.
The following day, Diesel, thinking he can get away with anything, becomes increasingly rude while he shunts some China Clay Trucks. He ploughs the trucks through a set of unsecured buffers, which fall into the sea. That evening, the trucks are salvaged but the clay is lost, while the Fat Controller is furious with Diesel upon hearing the news. He tells Diesel that he will be sent away again and then tells Duck and Percy that they will have to handle all the work by themselves again. Knowing that extra work is preferable to working with Diesel, Percy and Duck gladly oblige and start their jobs as Diesel slinks away in disgrace.
- Troublesome Trucks
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Thomas (cameo)
- James (cameo)
- Stephen Hatt (cameo)
- Bridget Hatt (cameo)
- Sir Topham Hatt's Brown-haired Assistant (cameo)
- One Little Boy (cameo)
- Big Mickey (faceless; cameo)
- A CGI Series flashback of the scene where Diesel pushes the trucks into the water was later made for the nineteenth series episode, Diesel's Ghostly Christmas.
- A tractor prop, S.S.Vienna, Big Mickey's models, the steel company, steel rig, various boats and cranes and the Fire station from TUGS are visible.
- In the restored version, the last few seconds of the scene of Diesel passing Duck and Percy before he bumped the trucks are cut off, the Fat Controller's head is turned different when he said "What's all this?" and Diesel's eye movement is different when he calls Duck and Percy tattle-tales.
- This is the 60th episode of the franchise.
- In a deleted scene, Duck and Percy are in different spots when the Fat Controller questions their refusal to work with Diesel.
- This episode was reran back to back with Escape on Storytime with Thomas.
- In some releases of the US dub as Duck tells the Fat Controller that they will not work with Diesel, the Thomas theme is faintly heard for about two seconds.
- On the week this episode and Henry's Forest made their television debut, TV Times held a competition with the deadline of 1 May 1992. Fans had to write the correct names of three engines as pictured in a scene from Woolly Bear and send in their answers. Seven winners would receive various assorted Thomas goods as their prize.
- This is one of the two episodes to feature Duck's unused Series 2 tired face with the other being the fourth series episode Bowled Out.
- In the Japanese version, the Fat Controller gains an extra line in the place of the narrator saying "The Fat Controller promised that another engine would be found to help them".
- Even though the trucks that Diesel pushes into the sea are not shown to have faces, the German narration states that the trucks drowned. This is the first time death has been explicitly mentioned in the television series, even though it was not until Toad and the Whale that the English dubs did so.
- When Percy and Duck are pulling trucks in the first shot, the steam under Percy goes off too late.
- In one scene, Percy has Thomas' tired face mask on. In a picture, he is wearing his correct tired face mask.
- When Thomas is seen leaving the station, he blows off steam, but it suddenly disappears as another train comes in, thus indicating a film cut.
- The trucks Diesel shove hit the end of the set, as Diesel's wheels continued moving after he spills the loads. In addition, the track behind Diesel ends at a wall, indicating the edge of the set.
- Shortly before Diesel bumps into Percy, the former's eyes are wonky.
- When Percy leaves at the end, steam can be seen coming from the track after he has gone.
- In the early UK narration, the narrator mispronounces "arrive" as "arrie" when Duck and Percy are waiting for the engine to arrive. The narrator pronounces it correctly when the Fat Controller says "The Harbour Master has told me everything. Things worked much better here before you arrived. I shall not be inviting you back."
- The Fat Controller is missing his eyebrows when he scolds Diesel.
- Before Diesel bumps into Percy, the latter's piston appears to be broken.
- When Diesel says "Wake up, Percy!" the narrator says he was scowling, but he is smiling.
- Diesel: [approaches the shed] Good morning.
- Duck: What are you doing here?!
- Diesel: You're worthy Fat - uh, Sir Topham Hatt sent me. I hope you are pleased to see me again. I am to shunt some dreadfully tiresome trucks/cars.
- Percy: Shunt where?
- Diesel: Where? Why from here to there. And then again, from there to here. Easy, isn't it?
- (he punctuates his point by bumping some trucks hard)
- Trucks: OOH!!!
- Diesel: Grrrr!!!
- Percy: What will the Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt say?
- Duck: He won't like it.
- Diesel: So who's going to tell him I wonder? Two little goody-goody tattletales like you, I suppose?
- The Fat Controller: [to Diesel, after his mishap with the trucks earlier] The harbour master has told me everything. Things worked much better here before you arrived. I shall not be inviting you back! Now, Duck and Percy, I hope you won't mind having to handle the work by yourselves again.
- Percy: Oh, no, Sir.
- Duck: Yes, please, Sir.
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