- “Maybe teaching Percy will be fun, then he'll see I'm the biggest and the best.”
Gordon Takes Charge is the twelfth episode of the eighth series.
More visitors are coming to the island to celebrate the winter holidays. When the roads are blocked and Bertie cannot take any passengers, Sir Topham Hatt assigns Percy to take passengers. Percy is worried as he has not pulled passengers in a long time, but Sir Topham Hatt assigns Gordon to teach him. Gordon huffily states that he is an Express engine and he should not be slowed down by a small engine, like Percy.
When Gordon and Percy arrive to collect their coaches, Percy bumps his coaches hard. Gordon tells Percy to back up smoothly to his coaches and Gordon backs up to his coaches without bumping them. The yard manager praises Gordon for being smooth and saying that it was the best buffering he has ever seen. This makes Gordon feel pleased, especially because he believes that teaching Percy will give him the chance to show off that he is the biggest and the best.
When Gordon arrives at Knapford, he smoothly comes to a stop. Percy arrives a moment later and upon seeing so many passengers, he blows his whistle and whooshes a lot of steam. Gordon crossly tells him he is doing everything wrong and that he should not wheesh until his passengers are on board. He then tells him to watch how he waits for his passengers and lets off steam after. Gordon is very proud to show Percy that he is the best and he is having fun... but Percy is becoming fed up.
Gordon and Percy puff along different tracks during their routes, with Gordon going through the snowy valley and Percy going under the icy bridge. At Maron, Gordon and Percy pick up more passengers. This time, Percy waits until his passengers all are onboard until he wheeshes some steam. Gordon claims that Percy is learning a little bit, but he is still not doing it right. He once again tells Percy to watch him as he wheeshes steam and then immediately pulls out of the station. By now, Percy is very cross and dismisses Gordon's "teachings" as nothing but showing off.
As Gordon puffs through the countryside, he declares himself as very clever and starts showing off to James and Toby as he passes by. Neither of them are amused by Gordon's showing off, either, but Gordon continues on, declaring how nice and smoothly he puffs and that he is the fastest and the best.
Soon, Gordon is approaching Kellsthorpe. Thomas and lots of people are there and he wants to show off to the passengers by how smoothly he can travel. Unfortunately, Gordon is so busy showing off, he does not take any notice as to how icy the tracks are. Gordon slides right past the platform and is diverted into a siding and everyone watches as he runs into a snowdrift! Luckily, no one is hurt.
Eventually, Sir Topham Hatt arrives, looking very cross. He scolds Gordon for showing off all afternoon instead of teaching Percy as he had ordered him to. Gordon quietly apologises for his behaviour, just as Percy passes by. Percy gently halts at the station with all of his passengers safely stepping on the platform, while Gordon's have to walk through the snow. Gordon feels embarrassed and his face turns as red as Bertie the Bus, but Edward soon pulls him out of the snow bank.
That night when it is time to go home, the passengers are all on board Gordon and Percy's trains. Gordon wants to show Percy how smoothly he can puff, but he remembers the accident he had and he does not want to look silly again. This time, he lets Percy go first to show Gordon how smoothly he can go instead. So Percy puffs out of the station first and Gordon follows him. All the way home, Gordon does not show off once.
When they arrive back at the shed, Percy asks Gordon if he saw how smoothly he went. Gordon compliments Percy, saying he has learned very well, but afterwards, he attributes it to his good teaching.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Edward (does not speak)
- James (does not speak)
- Toby (does not speak)
- Bertie (does not speak)
- Thomas (cameo)
- Emily (cameo)
- Annie and Clarabel (cameo)
- Butch (cameo)
- Mrs. Kyndley (cameo)
- Refreshment Lady (cameo)
- Cyril the Fogman (cameo)
- The Storyteller (cameo)
- Going by production order, this is the nineteenth episode of the eighth series.
- This episode was originally titled Gordon and the Snow Gala.
- Thomas' large-scale model for when he interacts with The Pack is seen at the beginning.
- When Percy whistles at Knapford, his whistle sounds the same as it did in the eighth series episode, Percy's New Whistle.
- In The Complete Series 8 DVD, the music is played a few seconds late at the beginning.
- This is the first episode of Series 8 where Thomas does not speak.
- One of the passengers is Headmaster Hastings with Jem Cole's head.
- Gordon puts his brakes on but he still makes a puffing sound.
- Bertie appears to be smiling when he is stuck in the snow.
- In the close-up of Gordon's wheels sliding, he is already heading down the siding but in the next shot, he is heading down it again.
- When Gordon and Percy are in the depot, Gordon backs up to only two express coaches, not three like the standard express train. But when Gordon pulls up to Knapford and stops on his express line, he is pulling a train of three express coaches.
- When Gordon is in Tidmouth Sheds his eyes are wonky.
- In the close-up of Percy wheeshing steam at Maron, Gordon and his express coaches disappear next to him.
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