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“I told the Fat Controller and I'm telling you: I don't need any help, especially from a funny little crane like you!”
―Cranky to Kevin

Kevin's Cranky Friend is the first episode of the seventeenth series. It is also the first episode to be animated by Arc Productions.


It is a busy day at Brendam Docks and Cranky is being very overworked. When Thomas arrives at Knapford late, Thomas explains the situation at the docks to the Fat Controller, who goes to investigate straight away. Once there, the Fat Controller sees the chaos and tells Cranky that he will get him some help. Cranky is adamant that he does not need help, but he accidentally drops a net full of lettuces causing the Fat Controller to leave and head to the Steamworks.

At the Sodor Steamworks, the Fat Controller asks to borrow Kevin. As they are not very busy, Victor agrees. Kevin is delighted at being given a special job and even more delighted that he will finally get to meet Cranky.

Thomas takes Kevin to Brendam Docks where the little crane wastes no time in introducing himself to Cranky. To Kevin's surprise, Cranky announces that he does not need any help especially from a silly little crane like Kevin. Cranky orders Kevin to stay out of his way. Kevin is sad, but Salty tells him that he will soon get used to Cranky's cranky ways.

Just then, Cranky drops some pipes onto the tracks. Kevin races to assist Cranky and soon has all the pipes piled up. Instead of being grateful, Cranky is more rude than ever and blames Kevin for the complete accident. Cranky then orders Kevin to go back to the corner of the quayside and to stop interfering. Then, Cranky drops some crates of chickens onto the tracks. The chickens break out of their boxes and run all around the docks. Once again, Kevin rushes to help and soon rounds up all of the chickens. Salty congratulates Kevin, but Cranky is less than pleased with Kevin sticking his hook in where it is not wanted again. He orders Kevin to go back to the corner of the dockside.

Thomas arrives and asks Kevin how he is getting on. Kevin explains that he does not think Cranky likes him. Both Thomas and Salty try to reassure Kevin that underneath Cranky's gruff exterior, there lies a heart of gold. Then, Cranky swings round and knocks over a barrel. The barrel rolls along the quayside and towards the sea. Kevin tries his best to stay put, but cannot resist trying to help. Unfortunately, Kevin is too late to save the barrel and follows it into the sea. Luckily, before Kevin can sink too far into the sea, Cranky fishes him out.

The Fat Controller arrives and is not pleased to see Kevin being pulled out of the sea. He tells Kevin that he should return to the Sodor Steamworks immediately as he is clearly not helping at the docks. Kevin is ashamed at being sent away in disgrace. As he trundles away, Cranky speaks up and tells the Fat Controller that it was not Kevin's fault; it was his. Kevin is amazed when Cranky goes on to call him a hardworker and really useful. The Fat Controller is satisfied and tells Kevin and Cranky to carry on.

After the Fat Controller has left, Kevin thanks Cranky for his kind words and asks if he should stay in the corner out of the way. Cranky finally confesses to needing a bit of help because two hooks are always better than one; Kevin is ecstatic and cheerfully goes about his work. Cranky is happy with Kevin's work, but wishes that he would not be so cheerful doing it.





US and CAN


  • Going by production order, this is the fourth episode of the seventeenth series.
  • This was the first episode for several things:
  • The main theme of this episode is similar to the song Back in Time by Huey Lewis and the News.
  • This is the only episode of the seventeenth series that has not been released on DVD in Germany. It is also the first episode since Gordon Takes a Shortcut from the twelfth series not to be released on home media in said country.
  • In the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Baltic Russian and one of the Vietnamese dubs, the UK dub can be heard in the background as a dubbing track was not used.


  • After the Fat Controller leaves Brendam Docks, Henry disappears.
  • Throughout most of the episode, Cranky's ladder is on the wrong side.
  • James and Henry swap whistle sounds.
  • Bob Golding is credited despite none of his characters speaking.
  • When the Fat Controller first arrives at the docks, his car is being driven by Bertie's driver.
  • In the Hebrew dub, Cranky mispronounces the word "וו" (vav, "hook") as "woo."


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Cranky, o Amigo de Kevin
Chinese Mandarin 凯文的坏脾气朋友
Croatian Kevinov mrzovoljni prijatelj
Czech Kevinův rozviklaný kamarád
Estonian Kevini torisev sõber
French L'assistant de Cranky
Galician Kevin, o Amigo de Cranky
German Kevin hilft Cranky
Greek Ο Γκρινιάρης φίλος του Κέβιν
Hebrew החבר הרגזן של קוין
Hungarian Kevin Morcos Barátja
Italian Un Aiuto Per Cranky
Japanese ケビンとクランキー
Korean 케빈과 크랭키
Latin American Spanish El Amigo Gruñón de Kevin
Lithuanian Kevino Bambeklis Draugas
Norwegian Kevins gretne venn
Polish Zrzędzący przyjaciel Kamila
Romanian Prietenul Morocănos al lui Kevin
Russian Ворчливый друг Кевина
Serbian Kevinov na mrgudženi drug
Spanish Cranky el Amigo de Kevin
Ukrainian Як Кевін і Кранкі потоваришували
Vietnamese KeVin là bạn của Cranky

Home Media Releases


DVD Packs


  • Railway Mischief (Direct-to-Home Video)
  • Season 17


  • Railway Mischief