- “The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt won't still be here, will he?"
"No, no. He won't be here. I'll find out when he's going."
"Well, the sooner he's gone, the better. So we can get started.”
- ―The Painters
Goodbye Fat Controller, retitled Goodbye Sir Topham Hatt for North American releases, is the twenty-sixth episode of the nineteenth series.
One morning, Percy pulls into Knapford with the mail train. He notices a group of people talking to the Fat Controller outside his office. As he leaves for a moment to answer the telephone, one of the men tells the other two that he will soon find out when the Fat Controller is leaving. Percy is very surprised to hear this. The men catch him listening, so he hastily leaves the station. When he meets Thomas later that day, Percy tells him what the men had said. They conclude that the Fat Controller must be leaving the Island of Sodor.
By that evening, all of the engines are talking about it. Edward and Gordon both agree that they will miss the Fat Controller once he is gone, even though he sometimes gets very cross with his engines. Emily reminds them that they are always causing confusion and delay and Percy comes to the conclusion that maybe that is why he is leaving: because of them. Thomas decides that they must convince him to stay.
The next morning, the Fat Controller is very surprised to see the engines arriving at Knapford bright and early. Thomas tells him that they are doing their best to make Sodor a very good railway. All day long, the engines work hard to show the Fat Controller how reliable they can be, much to his confusion. In the evening, Emily nearly collides with Diesel's goods train. Diesel begins to snap at her before stopping himself so as to not upset the Fat Controller. As Diesel leaves, the controller asks Henry why the engines are behaving so strangely. Henry tells him how happy they are that he is running the railway and the Fat Controller replies that he loves the railway very much.
At Tidmouth Sheds, Henry tells the engines what the Fat Controller said. They all begin to think that maybe he is not leaving Sodor at all, but Percy is still not sure what to think as he leaves to take the mail train.
The following morning, Percy arrives at Knapford and sees the same group of men. This time, they are taking the Fat Controller's belongings out of his office, including his beloved telephone. Percy quickly hurries back to the sheds to tell the other engines. They are all very sad when they realise that he must be leaving after all. Thomas decides to put his wheel down and tells the engines that they must go on strike, to persuade the Fat Controller to stay on Sodor.
At Knapford, the passengers are all complaining about their trains running late and telling each other what a bad railway it is. The stationmaster tells the Fat Controller about the engines refusing to leave the sheds, so he hurries to see what is going on. When he arrives, Thomas tells him all about their strike to persuade him to stay. But it turns out the Fat Controller is not leaving at all. He explains to them that his office is being redecorated and his belongings had to be moved to a temporary one. All of the engines feel very silly as they leave to start work.
Thanks to their strike, the engines have caused confusion and delay, but they have to work very hard to make up for lost time. Meanwhile, the Fat Controller struggles to work in his temporary office: a small shed next to Knapford in the yard.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- A Painter
- The Knapford Stationmaster
- Two Workmen
- A Porter
- Toby (cameo)
- Paxton (cameo)
- Stafford (cameo)
- Annie and Clarabel (cameo)
- Henrietta (cameo)
- The Dairy Manager (cameo)
- The Teacher (cameo)
- The Bird Watcher (cameo)
- The Ginger-haired Boy (cameo)
- A Schoolgirl (cameo)
- One of Dowager Hatt's Friends (cameo)
- The Welsh Bird Watcher (cameo)
- The Lady with the Big Hat (cameo)
- The Grumpy Passenger (cameo)
- Albert's Wife (cameo)
- The Female Puppet Show Entertainer (cameo)
- Ferdinand (portrait cameo)
- John Hasler as Thomas
- Keith Wickham as Edward, Henry, Gordon, James, The Fat Controller, The Knapford Stationmaster, some Workmen and a Porter
- Nigel Pilkington as Percy
- Teresa Gallagher as Emily
- Kerry Shale as Diesel
- Rob Rackstraw as A Painter
- Joseph May as Thomas
- William Hope as Edward
- Kerry Shale as Henry, Gordon and Diesel
- Rob Rackstraw as James and a Painter
- Christopher Ragland as Percy
- Jules de Jongh as Emily
- Keith Wickham as Sir Topham Hatt, The Knapford Stationmaster, some Workmen and a Porter
- This is the only episode in the nineteenth series to have different titles in the UK and the US. This is also the first episode with Sir Topham Hatt's name in the title that addresses him as "Fat Controller" in the UK version.
- This is the only episode story idea by Robin Gay.
- An instrumental snippet of the 2010 Sir Topham Hatt song is heard during the montage scene, also the singers can be faintly heard. The original Sir Topham Hatt song is also heard a few times.
- This episode is similar to the magazine story Come Back, Please! and the engines' strike is similar to the first series episode, Trouble in the Shed. The stationmaster even says the exact same phrase from said episode: "There's trouble in the sheds, sir!"
- When this episode aired on Cartoonito, Sky, TalkTalk, BT and Virgin listed the episode with the US title and info. However, said services list other episodes with their UK titles.
- When Gordon says, "So that's what's going on?" Henry is out of scale.
- Diesel emits steam when he leaves Knapford.
- When the Fat Controller orders his engines to get back to work, they all leave the sheds at once, but the turntable only has room for one engine at a time.
- After Gordon backed down toward the express coaches, a few moments later, the express coaches disappear.
- When Percy arrived back at Tidmouth Sheds with his mail coaches, steam emits out of Thomas' whistle, but it is suppose to be Percy's whistle sound.
- Thomas: UK: Sodor needs the Fat Controller!/US: Sodor needs Sir Topham Hatt!
- All: No! No! He can't go! No! No! He can't go!
- Percy: UK: The Fat Controller is our friend!/US: Sir Topham Hatt is our friend!
- All: No! No! He can't go! No! No! He can't go!
- Emily: (Gasps) There he is!
- All: Hooray!
- Sir Topham Hatt: What on earth is going on? Quiet! Be quiet, all of you! Now, could someone please explain the meaning of this outrage?
- Thomas: This strike was my idea, sir!
- James: Without you, the railway just wouldn't be the same.
- Sir Topham Hatt: But... But...
- Percy: We don't want you to leave Sodor, sir!
- Sir Topham Hatt: But I'm not leaving Sodor! I'm not going anywhere!
- Thomas: But Percy saw the men clearing your office.
- Percy: They were taking everything away!
- James: Even your telephone!
- Sir Topham Hatt: That's because my office is being redecorated.
- Percy: Redecorated?
- Sir Topham Hatt: That's right. I'll have to work in a temporary office until they finish repainting and decorating.
- All: (Chatters)
- Percy: Sorry. But I thought...
- Sir Topham Hatt: I know what you thought, Percy, but you got it all wrong. (Laughs)
The Fat Controller explaining to the engines that he is not leaving Sodor.
In Other Languages