Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
Main Page

“Hello Oliver! Are you being a 'Good-Gracious' engine? Beg pardon, of course, but we really don't like this sort of surprise. Donald and Douglas will miss their turntable until it is mended.”

Oliver Owns Up is the twenty-second episode of the third series. It is based on the story Resource and Sagacity from the Railway Series book Oliver the Western Engine.


Oliver is still new to Sodor and tells Duck how very grateful he is that Douglas rescued him and Toad from being scrapped on the Other Railway. That night, Gordon, James and Henry praise Oliver. Unfortunately, Oliver - who has never been complimented by big engines before - soon becomes puffed up in the smokebox.

After pulling some coaches to Tidmouth, Oliver is told by the Fat Controller that he must learn how to handle trucks, because "every wise engine knows that you cannot trust trucks." However, Oliver is so confident in himself that he ignores the other engines' warnings. Duck tries to convince Oliver of how trucks are troublesome, but Donald says it will be better for Oliver to learn for himself. After arranging some loaded trucks and then shunting empties to the hopper, he goes back to take the loaded trucks. However, the loaded trucks are comfortable where they are and do not want to move. They say that they do not want Oliver, preferring Duck, or one of the Scottish twins instead.

Oliver bosses the trucks about and takes them anyway, but the trucks decide to show Oliver who is boss by forcing him down the tracks. Oliver puts his weight against the trucks, but they still push him on, unaware of the danger ahead; he is heading towards the turntable currently in use by Duck. Just when it seems he is gaining control, Oliver falls bunker-first into the turntable well. Duck, having seen everything, speaks his concern about the predicament, as Donald and Douglas will now have to work without the use of the turntable.

That night, the breakdown train rescues Oliver. The Fat Controller kindly says that Oliver has a lot to learn about the troublesome nature of trucks, to which Oliver agrees and is sent to the works to be mended. Since his return, he is a much wiser engine and knows how to handle trucks.




  • As Oliver falls into the turntable well, his cab windows are blacked out. This was probably done to hide the weights used to make him drop before his driving wheels reached the well.
  • The fourth series episode, Toad Stands By takes place after this episode. Stock footage from this episode for when Oliver fell down the turntable well was also used in Toad Stands By.
  • This is one of the few third series episodes to use the train brake sound effect from Fox Film Sound Effects and the first two series (also on "The International Sound Effects Library").
  • This is the first episode of a few things for the trucks:
    • The first episode to feature NER Vans with faces.
    • The first episode to feature a van with a rectangular face.
    • The first episode to feature a 4 plank truck with a face (in an extended scene from Down by the Docks).
    • The first episode where Ben appears without Bill, this is also the first episode where either twin appears without the other. Although it may be hard to hear at first, it is Ben's whistle that is heard on the background. This proves that Ben is the twin that makes the cameo.
  • This is the only episode to feature a Utility Van with a face. It can be found at the left of the screen in the shot where the camera is following Thomas at the harbour before focusing on Oliver.
  • This episode marks the last appearance of Ffarquhar Sheds.
  • In the restored version, after Oliver pushes the trucks underneath the hopper and before leaving them, there is a fade effect.
  • The yard set with the turntable where Oliver fell into is the Wellsworth Yards set from the third series episode, One Good Turn redressed.
  • Big Mickey, S.S. Vienna, the steel company, a shed, a three berth garage, a large brown building and one of the Crawler Tractors from TUGS all appear at the shunting yard.
  • This episode was paired alongside Gallant Old Engine in an airing of Storytime with Thomas.
  • This episode was never released on DVD in South Korea.


  • When Oliver crosses the bridge, it bounces. In the same scene, his eyes are off-centre.
  • In the scene where the engines are in the sheds, black tack is wrapped around James' funnel, and he is also off the rails.
  • Tidmouth Sheds had seven visible berths instead of the usual six at the time.
  • The trucks are facing away from Oliver when he takes them away, but when they force him forward, they are all facing him.
  • In the restored version, the shot of Oliver crossing the Three Tier Bridge is slowed down and the edge of the set at the waterfall behind him to the left is visible.
  • In some scenes, Oliver has Edward's whistle sound.
  • When the narrator says "Oliver heard nothing," the tracks lead to a dead end.
  • When the trucks start to push Oliver, his wheels are not moving. Then, in the next shot, his wheels are moving backwards. Then, in the next shot, his wheels are moving forwards. Then, when he approaches the turntable, his wheels are not moving again.
  • When Oliver's buffers hit the bottom of the turntable, the sound effect for it is out of sync.
  • When the narrator says, "Every wise engine knows that you cannot trust trucks," a van on the left of the screen has a crooked face.
  • When Douglas takes Oliver to the Works, Toad is missing his eyebrows.
  • When Oliver arrives with his red coaches at the station, the track he is on bounces.
  • When Oliver returns to collect the trucks after leaving them to be filled, his coupling chain is tangled with his middle lamp iron.
  • The troublesome truck that says "Or Donald!" has a scratched out eye.
  • Douglas has Donald's whistle sound.
  • In a rare picture, Oliver is smiling when he is being pushed by the trucks.
  • Due to portions of the script being taken verbatim from the original book, Duck says the Turntable needs to be mended, even though it appears to be perfectly fine.


Oliver: (about the time Douglas saved him from scrap) If it wasn't for his help, I might have been caught when I ran away from the scrapyard, and I would never have come to live here on the Fat Controller's railway.

Henry: Amazing.
James: Oliver has resource.
Gordon: And sagacity.
Percy: What does that mean?
Thomas: I think it's about being clever and wise.
Gordon: He is an example to us all!

Oliver: Henry says I'm amazing! He's right!

[The Fat Controller has planned for Oliver to work with trucks]
The Fat Controller: You are doing well. Now, you must learn how to look after trucks.
[the other engines warn Oliver, who takes no notice]
Oliver: You think I can't manage! Gordon knows better. He says I'm sagacious!
Duck: You may be "Good Gracious," or whatever you call it, but trucks can be troublesome, and--
Donald: Say no more, Duck. It's a pity, but the wee engine will have to learn for himself.

[the comfortable trucks don't want to move when Oliver is about to take them away]
Troublesome Trucks: What right has he to poke his funnel in here? We want Duck! Or Donald! Or Douglas!
Oliver: [as he bumps the trucks] Look sharp!
Troublesome Trucks: That's not the way to speak! We'll pay him out...
[the cars initially move smoothly, but Oliver then feels them push forward. His driver applies the brakes]
Troublesome Trucks: On! On! On!
[the surging trucks force a resistant Oliver on, but they eventually grow tired]
Oliver: I'm winning! [promptly crashed bunker-first into the turntable well. Duck surveys the damage]
Duck: Hello, Oliver. Are you being a good gracious engine? Beg pardon but, we really don't like this sort of surprise. Donald and Douglas will miss their turntable until it is mended.

[that evening, as Oliver is being craned out of the turntable well]
Oliver: I'm sorry, Sir. I should've listened to Duck's advice. I don't feel... "good gracious," or whatever it is. I just feel silly.
The Fat Controller: Well, Oliver, now you know the damage trucks can do.
Oliver: Yes, I do, Sir. I look like a load of scrap iron.
The Fat Controller: [laughs] Oh, I don't think so! But you do need to go to the works to be mended.
Duck: The branch line won't be the same without you! Come back soon!

In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese O Retorno de Oliver
Chinese Mandarin 奥利弗的坦白
Czech Lekce pro Olivera
Danish Oliver Bliver Klogere
Dutch Oliver in de Val
Finnish Oliverin Opetus
German Oliver gesteht
Greek Ο Όλιβερ δίνει το καλό παράδειγμα
Hungarian Oliver Vallomása
Italian Oliver si Ricrede
Japanese ちょっとちがうよオリバー
Korean 더욱 현명해진 올리버
Latin American Spanish Una Lección para Oliver
Norwegian Oliver blir klokere
Polish Lekcja dla Olka
Romanian Oliver își Primește Răsplata
Russian Оливер признает ошибку
Serbian Oliver Uči na Greškama
Slovenian Oliver prizna svojo zmoto
Swedish Oliver blir klokare
Turkish Oliver'a Sahip Çıkanlar
Ukrainian Олівер запишався
Welsh Olifer yn Dysgu Gwers

Home Media Releases


DVD Packs




  • Percy's Ghostly Trick and Other Thomas Stories

DVD Boxsets



  • Escape and other stories
  • The Complete Series 3

DVD Boxsets




DVD Boxsets







  • Edward, Trevor and the Useful Party






  • Thomas and Friends Season 1-4