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This article is about the television series character. You may be looking for the Railway Series characters.

Mr. Peregrine Percival, nicknamed "The Thin Controller", is the current controller of the Skarloey Railway and the Culdee Fell Railway in the television series. In the magazine stories, he also runs a Cable Railway. He also takes the role of substitute controller on the NWR, particularly when Sir Topham Hatt is busy elsewhere.


Thomas & Friends

Mr Percival was hired sometime between the seventh and ninth series to help Sir Topham Hatt manage the ever-increasing size of the railway industry on the Island of Sodor.

Mr Percival is married to Mrs Polly Percival and has five children, including twins Patrick and Pansy. He and his family live in a cottage opposite the Depot.

He was one of the important visitors who attended Dowager Hatt's special tour of Sodor and then a party at Knapford. He later charged Peter Sam with the running of the Skarloey Railway whilst he attended a meeting with Sir Topham Hatt and welcomed Luke to his railway.

He scolded Duncan for his grumpy disposition at Christmas time. He told Duncan that he had to be cheerful all day but later realised that demand was too hard for the grumpy engine.

He once attended a meeting with Sir Topham Hatt at Knapford, where he sparked a debate between Thomas, Spencer and Bertie over how many wheels are best, after declaring the two wheels of his bicycle were best. On the way back from the meeting, he called for help when The Duke and Duchess of Boxford needed to get to Callan Castle when Bertie was unable to take them because of a fallen tree. He later attended Sir Robert Norramby's Christmas Luncheon at Ulfstead Castle.

Mr Percival appears to be acquainted with the Thin Clergyman, as he was seen boarding Thomas' train with him at Kellsthorpe Road, speaking to him at Vicarstown and watching the events of the Great Railway Show with him.

He was one of a group of very important passengers who went on a demonstration run of Hugo.

While Sir Topham Hatt travelled the world looking for Thomas, he left Mr. Percival in charge of the North Western Railway.


Much like Sir Topham Hatt, Peregrine is a firm but fatherly figure to the Skarloey engines and his stern, compact attitude and work ethic is only what's best for the railway. 


Mr. Percival is a tall, thin gentleman. He is usually dressed in a black suit jacket with grey trousers, a yellow waistcoat, a white shirt, a black tie and a black bowler hat. He wears a pair of brown glasses.


Thomas & Friends


Music Videos

Voice Actors


  • In the original UK version, he was generally referred to as Mr. Percival (and to a much lesser extent, the Thin Controller) in series 9, but starting from series 10 and onwards, he is almost exclusively referred to as the Thin Controller. Sir Topham Hatt (aka the Fat Controller) has the same issue. In the US version, Mr. Percival is generally referred to as his aforementioned real name (and sometimes the Narrow-Gauge Controller).
  • Mr. Percival shares several similarities with the Fat Controller:
    • Both dress in similar attire - a hat, with a black jacket, a yellow waistcoat, a white shirt, grey trousers and brown shoes.
    • Both are very firm yet fatherly towards their engines.
    • Both have owned and managed more than one railway in their careers.
    • Both have taken on the duties of other railway workers at least once (the Thin Controller taking charge of the NWR in Big World! Big Adventures!, and the Fat Controller acting as Thomas's fireman in Lady Hatt's Birthday Party and Thomas and the Royal Engine).
  • Mr. Percival's Take-Along and Take-n-Play toys both feature him inside of a car, whereas he has only ever been seen with a bicycle, which he prefers over cars.
  • He is the only character introduced in Series 9 to be in CGI.
  • From the ninth to the eleventh series, the top of Mr. Percival's head was bald. However, since the crossover to CGI in the twelfth series, he has a full head of hair.
  • Mr. Percival wears similar attire, with corresponding colours, to the television series Fat Controller's clothes.
  • In the model series, Mr. Percival was often accompanied by a workman holding his bicycle.
  • The Thin Controller's attire and physical appearance in the 1979 annual may have been the inspiration for Mr. Percival, as they both have the same hairstyle and wear the same clothing and bowler hat.
  • Mr. Percival's CGI Series model was reused for the Dockyard Manager in the twelfth series episode, Henry Gets it Wrong.
  • His name is derived from an Australian pelican.


* RWS only | ** T&F only