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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Philippine DVD release.

“What are gremlins?"
"I've heard they're little green men who play tricks."
"Can we find one?"
""Pah! Gremlins don't exist! They're just an excuse when things go wrong and no one knows why."
"If firelighter says there are gremlins, there are.”
―Percy, Thomas and James

Gordon and the Gremlin is the sixth episode of the fifth series. It aired back to back with A Better View for Gordon on Storytime with Thomas in the US.


Gordon is having problems with his fire, and the firelighter suggests it is due to gremlins. Thomas and Percy get excited, but James thinks it is nonsense. The engines argue about the issue until the Fat Controller arrives and informs the engines that he's got a VIP coming and she has heard a lot about how Really Useful the engines are. After Percy states about the gremlins in Gordon's fire, the Fat Controller warns Gordon to be on his best behaviour as he's taking the VIP.

The goods yard's turntable malfunctions with the special coach on it, making Gordon late. He makes up for the lost time and manages to get to Kirk Ronan on time. Thomas arrives with the special passenger and Gordon takes her to Wellsworth. On the way, Gordon goes at high speed, much to the passenger's disliking. At Wellsworth, the passenger's Dalmatian runs away after being frightened by Gordon's loud whistle and, after confronting a bull in a field, runs into Thomas' cab and rides there during the trip to the docks.

At Brendam, Thomas' fireman inquires about the dog's name, to which the Fat Controller's VIP decides to rename him "Gremlin" after the day's events. After the Fat Controller laughs at having finally met one, he reveals the woman is his mother (Dowager Hatt, not named) and that she agrees with him about how Really Useful the engines are. To which he adds, "and my mother of course is always right!"




  • Parts of this episode are inspired by an event that happened on the London Midland Region: During John Gregory's time as Chief Operating Manager of the LMR, the Royal Train was late departing Euston Station. To keep to time, the Train was diverted via Northampton and ran at 100 mph as far as Hanslope Junction. The excessive speed caused the Queen's bathwater to hit the celling of her carriage. This anecdote was given to the production team by David Maidment, Gregory's successor.
  • This episode marks Dowager Hatt’s only appearance in the fifth series and her only speaking role until the ninth series episode, Thomas and the Birthday Picnic.
  • The Fultan Ferry from TUGS appears at Brendam Docks. This was its only appearance in the series.
    • The close-up model from the TUGS episode Quarantine is used, as well as the actual Fultan model.
  • In some international versions, Michael Angelis' impersonation of Gremlin ("ah-woof-woof") is used at the end of the story.
  • This is the first time the bull is seen, and the first sudden zoom-in of it as it roars.
  • Oliver can be seen inside his shed when Gordon's special coach is on the turntable, indicating that this episode may have been filmed alongside Oliver's Find.
  • When we are at Oliver's Shed where Gordon is fetching the Special Coach, we see Oliver and the freight cars indicating that Oliver's Find (series 5 episode 18) occurs on this day.
  • Thomas also suggests that an episode similar to Cows in season 2 was used as his excuse for being late. "A cow was stuck on the line and we had to wait for the farmer to take her away; but driver says your visitor is here safe and sound."


  • In the first scene of Tidmouth Sheds, Gordon's left buffer (viewer's perspective right) is crooked. The same thing happened when he left Kirk Ronan.
  • When the narrator says "Gordon puffed away with his special coach," there are really two, but there was only one on the turntable.
  • In the close-up of Thomas' driver, Thomas is not pulling Annie and Clarabel.
  • When Percy puffs in with the coal trucks, the end of the set can clearly be seen behind him.
  • The narrator says "The Fat Controller had heard everything," but a few lines later The Fat Controller then asks Percy what Gremlins thus stating he didn't hear the whole conversation.
  • In the close-up of Sir Topham Hatt being concerned about Thomas being late, he is smiling and there is a chip near his right eye (viewers left).
  • At one point, camera equipment can be seen in the reflection of Gordon's tender.


Firelighter: [looks at Gordon's fire] I don't know what's wrong. There must be gremlins about.
Percy: What are gremlins?
Thomas: I heard that they're little green men who play tricks.
Percy: Can we find one?
James: Pah! Gremlins don't exist. They're just an excuse when things go wrong and no one knows why.
Thomas: If firelighter says there are gremlins, there are.
James: Huh!

Fireman: What's the dog's name?
The Fat Controller's mother: Well, after today's events, I think I'll rename him Gremlin.
The Fat Controller: In that case, I've met one at last! [laughs]
Thomas: Excuse me, Sir. But who is your very important visitor?
The Fat Controller: Why didn't I tell you? This lady is my mother. And she agrees with me: You are indeed really useful engines. And my mother, of course, is always right! [laughs again]
Gremlin: Ah-woof-woof. (UK)

In Other Languages

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Language Title
Chinese 高登与小精灵
Czech Gordon a šotci
Danish Gordon og Grimlinen
Dutch Gordon en de Kwelgeest
Finnish Jori ja Riiviö
German Die Kobolde und der Ehrengast
Greek Ο Τζόνι και τα ξωτικά
Hungarian Gordon és a Manó
Italian Gordon e il Folletto
Japanese ゴードンとおばけ
Korean 특별한 손님
Norwegian Gordon og Nissen
Polish Gabryś i Chochlik
Portuguese Gordon e a Demônio
Romanian Gordon şi Spiriduşii
Russian Гордон и гремлины
Slovak Gordon a Škriatok
Slovenian Gorazd in Škrat
Spanish Gordon y El Duende
Swedish Gordon og Nissarna
Welsh Gordon a'r Gremlin

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