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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story or the board book.

“Are you lost?"
"Would you like some help?"
"No, thank you. I'm not lost.”
―Duck, Oliver, Toad and Gordon

Gordon Takes a Shortcut is the fifteenth episode of the twelfth series.


Some workmen and a group of railway inspectors are waiting at Knapford. Gordon tries to take a shortcut to beat Stanley there, but when he ignores advice from Duck, Oliver and Toad he ends up getting lost. After banging into Ben's log truck, spilling logs onto Stanley's line, he realises that trying to take a shortcut had not been such a good idea after all. Gordon knows he must stop Stanley from hitting the logs, so he asks for advice from the other engines on how to get down to Stanley's line. He manages to stop Stanley just in time. The two go to Great Waterton and as a sign of friendship, Gordon allows Stanley to take the inspectors.




  • A sample of the episode with Pierce Brosnan's original narration is featured on Dino Athanassiou's website.
  • Stock footage from the eleventh series episode, Gordon and the Engineer is used.
  • This episode marks Oliver and Toad's first speaking roles since the seventh series episode, Snow Engine as well as the latter's first appearance since that episode, not counting his faceless cameo appearance in the eighth series episode, Thomas and the Circus.
  • This the third episode (second in the UK) to have the same half title Gordon takes, the others being the first series episode, Gordon Takes a Dip and the sixth series episode, Gordon Takes a Tumble.
  • This episode aired before The Great Discovery premiered in the UK. It was originally supposed to be shown after The Great Discovery but was brought forwards for unknown reasons, meaning the audience may have not known about Stanley or Great Waterton.
  • Harvey appears in the annual story of this episode, which means he may have originally played a role in this episode.
  • A barn building from the fourth series can be seen in the Lumber Yard.
  • This episode marks the last of several things:
    • Ben's last appearance until the seventeenth series episode, Percy's Lucky Day and his definitely second, possibly third, and last appearance without Bill.
    • The last episode until the seventeenth series episode, Luke's New Friend and thus, the last episode in the model series, where Thomas does not appear at all.
    • Oliver's last appearance until Tale of the Brave, Toad's last appearance and Oliver's last episode appearance until the eighteenth series episode, Signals Crossed, and both of their last speaking roles until Toad's Adventure.
    • 'Arry and Bert's last appearances until the fourteenth series episode, Victor Says Yes.
    • Ben, Oliver, 'Arry, Bert and Toad's last appearances in the model series.
    • Duck's last speaking role until the seventeenth series episode, Henry's Hero and thus, his last speaking role in the model series.
    • The last episode written by Wayne Jackman, as well as the only episode written by him in the twelfth series.
  • The Korean title of this episode shares the same name on Kids 1 and EBS.


  • Duck's face is smaller than usual.
  • Toad's face is bigger than usual in some scenes.
  • Gordon's tender shakes when he arrives at the logging station.
  • One of the vans in the siding with 'Arry and Bert is derailed.
  • When the narrator says, "But Gordon didn't know which track to take to find Stanley", Ben's eyes are misaligned.


In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Gordon Pega um Atalho
Chinese Mandarin 高登选择走近路
Czech Gordon to bere zkratkou
Finnish Jorin Oikotie
French Gordon prend un raccourci
German Gordon nimmt eine Abkürzung
Indonesian Gordon Mengambil Jalan Pintas
Italian Gordon Prende una Scorciatoia
Korean 지름길로 간 고든
Latin American Spanish Gordon Toma un Atajo
Polish Gabryś Jedzie Skrótem

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