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

“Beg pardon sir, but I'm a Great Western engine. We do our work without fuss. But begging your pardon sir, Percy and I would be glad if you would inform these, um... engines, that we only take orders from you.”

Duck Takes Charge is the eighth episode of the second series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Percy the Small Engine.


One day in the sheds, Percy is eager to tell a disinterested Gordon and James some news. Both quickly tire of Percy's usual manner and the tank engine tells them that as the work in the yard is getting too hard for him, the Fat Controller is planning to bring a new bigger engine in to help. James is unimpressed and tells Percy that if he worked harder instead of chattering, the yard would be a happier place. Percy then leaves to do his work.

As he works, Percy is grumbling to himself about how the larger engines see him as a "silly little engine" ever since he accidentally reversed at a signal and often order him about. Percy wants to teach them a lesson, but does not know how to do it. He then works very hard all day and by the afternoon he is worn out. After bringing some express coaches to the station, he sees the Fat Controller on the platform who notes that Percy looks very tired, which Percy confirms. The Fat Controller cheers Percy up by telling him the new engine is bigger than him and can probably manage the work alone. He then asks Percy if he would like to help Thomas and Toby build the new harbour, which cheers Percy up straight away.

Soon, the new engine arrives. The Fat Controller asks the engine his name and the engine introduces himself as Montague, but tells the Fat Controller he is often called "Duck" due to his supposed waddle. Although he does not believe that he does, he admits to liking Duck better than Montague. With that, the Fat Controller agrees that the new engine will be known as Duck. Percy arrives and the Fat Controller asks Percy to show Duck around.

"We'll have some fun and order him about!"

Duck does his work quietly as he brings some coaches to the station, leading Gordon, James and Henry to decide to boss him about like they do to Percy. Gordon and Henry then start to leave the station on either side of Duck, quacking and blowing steam at him. As Percy sees everything and is cross, Duck takes no notice and just wants to wait until the larger engines get tired of their teasing. Duck then asks Percy if the larger engines boss him about and Percy confirms they do. Duck decides to take charge and put a stop to it and tells Percy what they will do.

That afternoon, the Fat Controller is sitting at his desk looking forward to having toast for tea when he suddenly hears a horrible commotion coming from the yard. Looking out his window, he sees Percy and Duck blocking the turntable and preventing an enraged Gordon, James and Henry from entering the sheds. The Fat Controller grabs his hat and rushes to the yard.

At the sheds, Gordon, James and Henry are furiously wheeshing and whistling loudly when the Fat Controller arrives and demands silence before demanding an explanation from Duck and Percy. Duck politely explains that - as a Great Western engine - he prefers to do his work without any fuss, but wants the other engines to know that he and Percy will only take orders from the Fat Controller. As the three larger engines start whistling angrily again, the Fat Controller silences them. The Fat Controller then tells Duck and Percy that he is pleased with their work that day, but not with their behaviour that night, as they have caused a disturbance. Gordon, Henry and James snicker at Percy and Duck's dilemma, but the Fat Controller turns back to face the three larger engines and admonishes them too, as their actions have been much worse; he declares that they made the disturbance by ordering the two tank engines around and that Duck is right, that this is his railway and he is the one to give the orders, not them. With that, the three engines quickly fall back into line.

When Percy is sent to work at the harbour on Thomas' line, Duck is left to do the work alone, something he manages easily.




  • This marks the first episode of a few things:
    • The first appearance of Duck.
    • The first episode where a character reads the first line instead of the narrator.
  • A Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus poster is seen at Knapford.
  • In the US and Canada, this episode aired before Percy and the Signal, meaning that US and Canadian viewers would not understand the latter being mentioned.
  • The final frame of this episode was used as the credits backdrop on all the odd-numbered episodes in the second series.
  • Inside the Fat Controller's office, there is a picture of an LMS Jubilee locomotive.
  • A first series-style truck can be seen when Duck leaves the yard with Percy. It is also the final time in which these trucks are seen like this.
  • This marks the only time with a few things:
    • The only time that Duck is referred to as Montague until the seventeenth series episode, The Thomas Way.
    • The only episode of the second series to feature Duck's sad face.
  • The close-up of the Fat Controller folding his hands at Knapford was used for the "Next Story Coming Up Soon!" card in between double bills.
  • In a picture, Henry is not pulling any coaches while Gordon is uncoupled from his train as they leave the station to taunt and blow steam at Duck.
  • Thomas' special coach is seen as Percy leaves the yard.
  • When George Carlin's dub aired on the Shining Time Station episode, Stacy Says No, a small portion of the opening was cut.
  • This episode was never released on VHS and DVD in South Korea.
  • When this episode aired on Cartoon Network, the music and sound effects overlapped the original audio.


  • In the panning shot of Percy, Gordon and James, the Breakdown Train on the far left is derailed.
  • In the first close-up of Gordon, his eyes look wonky and he has red paint on his brake pipe and coupling.
  • When Percy puffs away to get the coaches, studio equipment is slightly visible at the top of the screen.
  • In the Norwegian dub, the narrator says Percy was getting some trucks, when he was in fact getting some coaches into Knapford station.
  • When Percy and Duck first puff away, a crew member's shadow briefly passes in front of them.
  • When Duck backs up to introduce himself to the Fat Controller, the latter is standing on the ground next to the line. But after the introduction and when Percy arrives, he's still next to the line, but suddenly standing on top of a barrel.
  • Henry's front right break pipe is tilted before he and Gordon leave Knapford.
  • Duck's eyebrows are missing when the engines "wheesh" him. Henry also has a different whistle sound, which is Duck's five steps higher in pitch, in both versions. In the George Carlin dub, Henry's whistle can be faintly heard.
  • Due to portions of the script being taken word for word from the original book, the narrator says, "Duck and Percy calmly sat on the points outside the shed, refusing to let the engines in," despite the fact that Percy is standing on the turntable and Duck is on a line outside a berth.
  • In the close-up shots of the Fat Controller at Tidmouth Sheds, his left eyebrow appears to be loose.
  • When Duck says to Percy "We'll do it later," Percy's roof is lifted up.
  • In the shot of the Fat Controller sitting in his office hearing the engines outside, his legs are missing.
  • When the Fat Controller leaves his office, a brick wall can be seen behind the door frame.
  • When the narrator says "Gordon, James and Henry were furious," the three engines are facing away from the sheds. Gordon is also missing his tender and his eyes are slightly wonky.
  • In the close-up of Henry at Tidmouth Sheds, James disappears.
  • When the Fat Controller yells "Stop that noise!", the two men standing in front of Percy are out of scale, as they are half his height.
  • When Duck brings the coaches into Knapford, James' eyes are wonky.
  • During the Tidmouth Sheds scene, Duck's handrails are gold instead of silver.
  • As the Fat Controller leaves his office, the background to the outside is right at his door instead of a few inches or feet away.
  • In the original Norwegian dub, the tender engines quacking is omitted by the narrator.


  • Percy: Do you know what?
  • Gordon: What?
  • Percy: Do you know what?
  • Gordon: Silly. Of course I don't know what, if you don't tell what "what" is.
  • Percy: The Fat Controller says that the work in the yard is too heavy for me. He's getting a bigger engine to help me.
  • James: Rubbish! Any engine could do it! If you worked more and chattered less, this yard would be a sweeter, a better and a happier place.


  • The Fat Controller: Hello, Percy. You look tired.
  • Percy: Yes, Sir. I am, Sir. I don't know if I'm standing on my dome or on my wheels.
  • The Fat Controller: You look the right way up to me. Cheer up. The new engine is bigger than you and can probably do the work alone. Would you like to help build my new harbour? Thomas and Toby will help, too.
  • Percy: Oh, yes, Sir! Thank you, Sir!


  • The Fat Controller: (to the bigger engines, who are whistling impatiently) Stop that noise!
  • Gordon: They won't let us in!
  • The Fat Controller: Duck, explain this behaviour.
  • Duck: Beg pardon, Sir, but I'm a Great Western Engine. We do our work without fuss. But begging your pardon, Sir, Percy and I would be glad if you would inform these, um, engines that we only take orders from you.

(the big engines furiously blow their whistles again)

  • The Fat Controller: SILENCE!!! (US dubs: QUIET!!!) (to Percy and Duck) Percy and Duck, I'm pleased with your work today, but not with your behaviour tonight. You have caused a disturbance. (turns his attention to the big engines) As for you, you've been worse! You made the disturbance! Duck is quite right. This is my railway and I give the orders!


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Duck assume o comando
Chinese Mandarin 负起责任的达克
Croatian Darko preuzima dužnost
Czech Kačer Přebírá Velení
Danish Duck Fører An
Dutch Duck Valt Aan
Finnish Ankkanen Ottaa Ohjat
French Duck Prend les Choses en Main
German Duck übernimmt
Greek Η Τζακι Παίρνει Ευθύνη
Hungarian Kacsa Igazságot Szolgáltat
Italian La Nuova Arrivata
Japanese ダックしごとをもらう
Korean 새로 온 기관차, 덕
Latin American Spanish La Llegada de Duck
Norwegian Duck Klarer Brasene
Polish Pojawia się Duck (Original)
Jak Kaczor Sobie Poradził (Alternate)
Romanian Duck Preia Comanda
Romansh Duck surpiglia il cumond
Russian Новичок
Serbian Patak Preuzima Stvar
Slovenian Cene Postane Glavni
Swedish Duck Klarer Brasende
Ukrainian Качур стає головним
Welsh Ffrind Newydd Prysi

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets



  • Thomas Breaks the Rules and Other Stories (Ringo Starr's dub)
  • Thomas and His Friends Get Along and Other Thomas Adventures (George Carlin's dub)

VHS/DVD Boxsets


  • Thomas, Percy and the Coal
  • The Complete Series 2

DVD Boxsets

  • Complete Series 1-10
  • Classic Collection
  • Series One and Series Two Double Pack











  • Thomas the Tank Engine 4






DVD Packs



  • Thomas and Friends Season 1-4