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- “Look! It's Duncan the musical engine!”
Faulty Whistles is the twenty-sixth and final episode of the sixth series.
Duncan waits at a junction one morning for Peter Sam to deliver his goods to take to Strawberry Grove. He is also assigned the task to take the headmaster and the new organ.
Peter Sam has steamed overnight all the way to the morning to deliver Duncan his goods, but as he approaches the junction his whistle is knocked off by a branch. As a result, Peter Sam cannot run anywhere without a whistle as it would be unsafe. Duncan brags that an engine is not one without a whistle and lets off a big blast with his whistle, but the other engines ignore him. Duncan becomes cross while he sets off with his goods because he thinks the other engines are jealous with his whistle. On the way, he whistles at some sheep, but they are busy eating to grab any attention. Duncan becomes frustrated and thinks he needs to whistle louder and longer. He approaches a crossing where Elizabeth is carrying the Farmer's Prize Bull. As Duncan approaches the crossing, he whistles loud and long, startling the bull. Elizabeth scolds Duncan but to no avail as he finds it fun, not knowing that his whistle has become loose. When he sees Terence ploughing a field, he prepares to give him the same surprise, but he blows his whistle so hard, it simply flies off and lands out of sight.
With his whistle nowhere to be found, Duncan's driver tells him they are stuck and cannot continue on. However, with Duncan carrying the organ destined for Strawberry Grove School, Duncan's crew decide to have Headmaster Hastings play the organ in lieu of Duncan's whistle, which alerts every person at stops during the delivery, despite Duncan not thinking so. When Duncan reaches home, he is teased by Rusty as being a "musical engine" while Rheneas and Skarloey whistle along. Peter Sam, having been in the works for a new whistle, tells Duncan that he was brave to go on and make his deliveries without a whistle, which cheers Duncan up. The headmaster makes one last "toot" on the organ and all the other engines whistle back in reply, except Duncan who just grins.
- Peter Sam
- Headmaster Hastings
- Skarloey (does not speak in US version)
- Terence (does not speak)
- Farmer Finney (does not speak)
- This episode appears to be a loose adaptation of the Railway Series story, Mike's Whistle. Peter Sam and Duncan take the roles of Duck and Mike respectively. The actual story was adapted as the twentieth series episode of the same name.
- The organ plays the song "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain" while Duncan puffs on the cliffside.
- When Duncan delivered his trucks, music is played in the UK version but not in the US version.
- Headmaster Hastings is named after the episode's writer, Ross Hastings.
- This episode marks the first season finale in which Thomas and Percy do not appear and the only one where Thomas does not appear.
- This was the last episode of a few things:
- The last episode narrated by Alec Baldwin in the US due to him pursuing other projects, and Terje Strømdal in Norway and the final episode narrated by Vladimir Jurc in Slovenia until the thirteenth series.
- The last episode to have Britt Allcroft as an executive producer.
- The last episode to only have one soundtrack, the one composed by Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell.
- A deleted scene shows where Duncan's whistle landed. It was cut from the final version for unknown reasons. It is featured in the music video for the Whistle Song.
- When Elizabeth is carrying the bull, her eyes are wonky.
- For the first shot of the camera "pulling" Duncan, at the bottom of the screen a wire is seen bouncing up and down.
- The narrator says "The rest of the engines just ignored [Duncan]," but Peter Sam was the only one there.
- In the close-up of Duncan's whistle flying off, his crew are not in his cab.
- When Peter Sam crosses the bridge at the beginning of the episode, his cab is empty and his whistle is already missing.
- Duncan appears to be mischievous when the narrator mentions Duncan being cheerful.
- When the engines all whistle together at the end Duncan's whistle can be heard faintly in the background
In Other Languages
- Take Along (four-pack and movie car; both discontinued)
- Books - Duncan and the Faulty Whistles and A Smart Idea (Germany only)
- Magazine stories - Musical Duncan
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