- “So I did help, but by accident as you might say!”
Tom Tipper is the local Sodor postman who takes the mail from Thomas and Percy's post trains to deliver to the residents of Sodor. He is very friendly and always helps to load the mail vans, but knows he could never do his job without his trusty post van.
One morning, Tom is sick and his substitute, who is forced to ride a bicycle, leaves the mail bags on the platform and leaves without saying a word. Percy's driver attributes his bad mood to having to use the bike. When Tom does return, Percy discovers that he, too, has been given a bike as his van was considered too expensive to run. Due to this, Tom no longer has time to help load the trains, which makes him very upset. Percy wishes he could cheer Tom up, but is unsure how.
Just as Tom is about to leave, he is called to the Fat Controller's office to sign some important papers. Knowing this will make him very late, he rushes off and, in his haste, leaves his bike propped up against Percy's mail vans, despite the tank engine's attempts to stop him. Percy's driver is oblivious of this and as Percy starts, the bike falls onto the line and is destroyed beneath the vans.
When Tom returns, Percy apologises for destroying his bike. Tom assures Percy that it is not his fault, but laments the fact that he will now have to deliver all the mail on foot. When Percy returns the next day, however, he finds that Tom has received a brand new van. Tom explains that the postmaster, after learning about what had happened, decided that the van was worth the expense after all, and cheerfully goes back to his work. Percy is delighted that he was able to help his friend after all, albeit by accident.
- Tom Tipper
- Bertie (does not speak)
- James (cameo)
- Duck (cameo)
- Oliver (cameo)
- Annie and Clarabel (cameo)
- Toad (cameo)
- Bulgy (cameo)
- Jem Cole (cameo)
- Refreshment Lady (cameo)
- The Dryaw Policeman (cameo)
- Sir Topham Hatt (mentioned)
- Road Beside Rail and Canal Runby
- Bulgy's Bridge
- Tidmouth Beach
- Elsbridge (deleted scene)
- Sir Topham Hatt's Office (mentioned)
- This was the first episode not to feature any of the narrow gauge engines to use music associated with them as heard at the start and end of this episode excluding incidental music.
- This was the last episode of many things:
- The last episode adapted from a story written by Christopher Awdry.
- The last episode narrated by George Carlin in the US due to him continuing on his comedy career until his death in 2008, as well as Trine Lossius Borg in Norway, Jang Gwang in South Korea, Mykola Koziy in Ukraine (until the seventeenth series), and Povl Dissing in Denmark (until the eighth series).
- The last production based on a story from the Railway Series until "The Adventure Begins".
- The last episode based on a story from the Railway Series until the twentieth series episode, "Tit for Tat".
- The last episode to introduce a character from the Railway Series until "Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure".
- The last appearance of Bulgy until the seventh series episode, "Bulgy Rides Again", as well as the last time the field next to Bulgy's Bridge appears until said episode.
- The last episode to air during Wilbert Awdry's lifetime before he died in 1997.
- This was the first series finale that was not Christmas-themed.
- This episode marks the only speaking role of Tom Tipper in the television series, until the eighteenth series episode, Samson Sent for Scrap.
- When Tom Tipper's van passes Bertie, his undercarriage is loose and a wire is visible.
- In the sixth shot of the episode, the camera lens is visible in the top left corner.
- In the restored version of this episode during the night scene with Thomas and Percy, studio equipment is seen over Callan Station.
- After Percy crushes the bike there is a shot of his cab, judging by the amount of space and the shape of the side windows, it is actually Duck's cab.
- When Tom drives away in his new van, part of the driving mechanism is visible underneath.
- When Tom Tipper says, "This is going to make me later still," he is smiling. This also happens when he props his bike up against one of Percy's mail trucks.
- After Percy arrives at Callan when he sees the dumped bags, his cab roof is loose.
- Tom's van repeatedly switches between its "old" (scratched, faded paintwork and black hubcaps) and "new" (clean paintwork and red hubcaps) liveries in the beginning of the episode.
- The font on the station signs change throughout the episode.
- When Callan is in view from the stone bridge, on Thomas' line there is a van and a brake van in front of him.
- Near the end of the episode when Percy arrives at Callan, Oliver and Toad can be seen on some sidings. But a few seconds later, they pass Percy with a train.
- The shed and siding at Toryreck are missing.
- Percy's left-hand splasher is missing in several scenes.
- In the shot of Tom Tipper's post van driving down the hill towards Callan, the track in front of Percy is broken.
- Percy: [sees nothing but mail bags on the station platform] What happened to Tom?
- Driver: And his old van? No wonder the new postman looks cross. Trying to carry mailbags on a bicycle would make anyone miserable!
- [after Percy unintentionally damages Tom's bike]
- Percy: I'm sorry, Mr. Tipper.
- Tom: Never mind, Percy. It wasn't your fault, but now I've only got my legs to get the mail delivered. Whatever will happen next?
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