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This article is about the second series episode. You may be looking for the eleventh series episode, the DVD or the magazine story.

“Duck called me a galloping sausage!"
"Rusty red scrap iron!"
"I'm old square wheels!"
"Well Duck?"
"I only wish Sir, that I'd thought of those names myself. If the dome fits...”
―Gordon, James, Henry, the Fat Controller and Duck

Dirty Work, retitled Diesel's Devious Deed or Diesel's Devilish Deed in American releases, is the thirteenth 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.


Diesel - the newest engine on the Island of Sodor - is having a hard time having been made to look silly in front of the trucks, who delight in teasing him. Duck sees what Diesel has gone through and stops the trucks from their joking. Duck apologises for the trucks' behaviour, but Diesel is still furious and blames Duck of making the trucks laugh at him. The big engines - who are nearby - tell him that they know Duck would never do that. Henry reminds Diesel that while he, James and Gordon have their differences with Duck, they would never tell the trucks about them.

By now, Diesel's hatred of Duck has grown to such a point that he wants him to be sent away. Inspired by the engines' words about trucks, he makes a plan to tell lies about Duck. Going into the yard the next day, Diesel tells the trucks that he laughed at the joke about him the day before and tells them some about the bigger engines and claims that he heard them from Duck. Before leaving he tells them not to tell the bigger engines he told them. The trucks find these jokes hilarious and laugh at the bigger engines and tell them that they came from Duck in order to get revenge on him for forcing them to behave.

Gordon, James and Henry (believing that Duck was the one who told the humiliating stories about them) hold a meeting and agree that Duck needs to be paid out. They decide that since Duck prevented them from entering the sheds that they will do the same to him. Later Duck returns to the shed after an extremely hard day's work. However, when he tries to get back inside for a rest, the bigger engines instead let off a lot of steam at him. They tell him that after having been told tales about them to the trucks, they no longer trust him and want Diesel to replace him. Duck denies this and an argument ensues, but it is for not long as the Fat Controller arrives to intervene and see what the commotion is. He is told of the bigger engines' accusations against Duck and (while trying not to laugh) gives Duck a chance to explain himself. Duck tells the Fat Controller that he did not and that no steam engine would be as mean as that. Diesel comes forward and when the Fat Controller asks him what he knows, Diesel feigns shock at Duck's "actions," but claims ignorance otherwise.


The Fat Controller apologises to Duck, saying that until he gets to the bottom of the incident that he must go to work with Edward at Wellsworth for a while and kindly reassures Duck that Edward will be happy to see him. Believing that the Fat Controller has turned against him too, Duck sadly obliges and puffs away while Diesel smirks with triumph.




  • A reference to Duck Takes Charge is made by the big engines.
  • This episode takes place before A Close Shave.
  • On the Thomas' Halloween Adventures DVD, this episode's title card reads Diesel's Devilish Deed, but is still referred to by its original name on the back cover.
  • In the Welsh narration, the trucks singing Pop Goes the Diesel at the beginning of the episode is omitted from the narration.
  • In this episode, Diesel is seen squirming while he is eavesdropping on the argument at the shed. But in a few photos from this episode, he is smirking instead.
  • This is the first episode of a few things for the trucks:
  • This marks the last time an engine cries in tears until the 2011 special, Day of the Diesels.
  • In the Welsh version, when Diesel sulks, the trucks are heard laughing at him. Also when Duck apologises to Diesel about the trucks being rude to him, the music cue used when the narrator says, "Diesel lurked up" is used.
  • Unlike all other episodes, the audio for the very beginning of this episode is heard during the last second of the TV series' intro. 
  • When the Fat Controller tells Duck that he must go to Edward's Station, and as Duck leaves, Henry's Sad Theme music is heard playing. This is the first time in Thomas history when Henry's Sad Theme is played for another engine.


  • The truck Duck bumps are being pulled by fishing wire.
  • A pole is lying across the rails in front of Duck and Diesel in a shot.
  • When Henry reminds Diesel, his coupling hook chain is upside down and his pompous/unimpressed face mask has a crack in the left socket.
  • The camera wobbles when James says "Disgusting!" in the yard.
  • The lines at the large yard with the trucks all lead to the brick wall in the background; this means the trucks are trapped in there.
  • When Diesel speaks to the trucks, none of them have faces, but when Diesel sniggers away they do.
  • The lighting subtly changes between Gordon and Henry passing the trucks.
  • When Duck turns on the turntable, the top of his face almost comes loose.
  • When Gordon accuses Duck of calling him a galloping sausage, he has marks on his right cheek and left side of his chin.
  • In the close-ups of Gordon, James, and Henry at Tidmouth Sheds, all three are missing their tenders.
  • When Henry passes the trucks, he has a different whistle sound.
  • Throughout the Brendam Warehouse scene, Diesel is missing his eyebrows.
  • When the engines bar Duck from entering the shed, Gordon, Henry, and James' eyes are wonky.
  • When the narrator says "Duck was horrified," Gordon can be seen to Duck's left. However, in the following shot, Duck is steaming towards where Gordon, James, and Henry are.
  • In Ringo Starr's US narration, during the shed scenes, an odd hissing and squeaking sound can be heard. This is absent on the Better Late Than Never and Other Stories VHS however.
  • When Henry says, "Nonsense! Duck would never do that," part of his left (viewer's right) eyelid is chipped off.
  • When the narrator says "Diesel squirmed and hoped he didn't," Diesel's face is crooked.
  • When Gordon, Henry and James pass the trucks, Gordon's and Henry's tenders fade away.
  • In the scene after Gordon, Henry and James passing the trucks, the truck next to the two laughing trucks is gone.
  • When James says "Keep out!" his face is off-centre from his smokebox.
  • Henry's eyes are wonky when he is on the turntable.
  • When the trucks laugh and the narrator says "'Ha ha ha ha!' guffawed the trucks!" the van furthest to the right of the screen has a crooked face.
  • In the Welsh version, at the shed scene, Ringo Starr's voice can be faintly heard.


Duck: Shut up! [bumps the trucks hard] I'm sorry our trucks were rude to you, Diesel.
Narrator: Diesel was still furious.
Diesel: It's all your fault. You made them laugh at me.
Henry: Nonsense! Duck would never do that. We engines have our differences but we never talk about them to the trucks. That would be dis-dis...
Gordon: Disgraceful!
James: Disgusting!
Henry: Despicable!

Diesel: I see you like jokes. You made a good joke about me yesterday. I laughed and laughed. Duck told me one about Gordon. I’ll whisper it… Don’t tell Gordon I told you.
Trucks [giggling] Haw! Haw! Haw! Gordon will be cross with Duck when he knows. Let’s tell him and pay Duck out for bumping us.
[cut to the sheds]
Gordon: Disgraceful!
James: Disgusting!
Henry: Despicable! We cannot allow it.
Henry, Gordon and James: Yes. He did it to us. We’ll do it to him, and see how he likes it.

[Duck arrives at Tidmouth Sheds, only to get blockaded by the 3 big engines]
Gordon, James, and Henry: [let off a lot of steam] WHOOSH!!!!!
James: Keep out!
Duck: Stop fooling! I'm tired!
Gordon, James, and Henry: So are we. We're tired of you. We like Diesel. We don't like you. You tell tales about us to the trucks.
Duck: I don't!
Gordon, James, and Henry: You do!
Duck: I don't!
Gordon, James, and Henry: You DO!
[the Fat Controller enters the scene]
Gordon: Duck called me a galloping sausage!
James: Rusty red scrap iron!
Henry: I'm old square wheels!
The Fat Controller: Well, Duck?
Duck: I only wish, Sir, that I thought of those names myself. If the dome fits...!
[the Fat Controller clears his throat]
Gordon, James, and Henry: He made trucks laugh at us.
The Fat Controller: Did you, Duck?
Duck: Certainly not, Sir! No steam engine would be as mean as that!
[Diesel comes forward]
The Fat Controller: Now Diesel, you heard what Duck said.
Diesel: I can’t understand it Sir. To think that Duck of all engines… I’m dreadfully grieved Sir; but know nothing.
The Fat Controller: I see. I’m sorry, Duck; but you must go to Edward’s station for a while. I know he will be glad to see you.
Duck: As you wish, Sir. [leaves the sheds]


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese A Intriga de Diesel
Chinese 肮脏的工作
Croatian Prljavi Posao
Czech Špinavá Práce
Danish Diesel Laver Balladen
Dutch Een Vuil Zaakje
Finnish Kieroilua
French L'Acte Sournois de Diesel
German Schmutzarbeit
Hungarian Hazugság
Italian Soprannomi
Japanese ディーゼルのわるだくみ
Norwegian Bakvaskelser
Polish Brudna Robota
Romanian O Treaba Murdară
Russian Прозвища
Serbian Prljave Posao
Slovak Špinavá Práca
Slovenian Umazano Delo
Spanish El Complot de Diesel
Swedish Bakverk
Thai ดั๊กถูกใส่ร้าย
Welsh Bai ar Gam

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