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“Hello Oliver! Are you being a 'Good-Gracious' engine? Beg pardon, of course, but we really don't like this sort of surprise.”

Oliver Owns Up is the twenty-second episode of the third series.


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.


"Gordon knows better. He says I'm sagacious."

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 suggests that Oliver should learn for himself. After arranging some loaded trucks and then shunting empties to the hopper, he goes back to take the loaded trucks. But, 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. Oliver then ends up bunker-first in the turntable well.

Duck, who now feels sorry for Oliver, is very concerned 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, and Oliver agrees and the Fat Controller sends him to the works to be mended.

Once home from the works, Oliver is a much wiser engine and knows how to handle trucks.




  • This episode is based on the story Resource and Sagacity from The Railway Series book, Oliver the Western Engine.
  • As Oliver falls into the turntable well, his cab windows are blacked out. This is probably to hide the weights used to make him drop before his driving wheels reached the well.
  • 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:
    • This is the first episode to feature NER Vans with faces.
    • This is the first episode to feature a van with a rectangular face.
    • This is the first episode to feature a 4 plank truck with a face (in an extended scene from Down by the Docks).
  • This is the only episode to date 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 is the first episode where Bill appears without Ben, as well as the first episode where either twin appears without the other.
  • The yard set with the turntable where Oliver fell into is the Wellsworth Yard set from 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.


  • The Russian title is misleading as it says that Edward made a mistake instead of Oliver.
  • 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, James has some sort of wire wrapped around his funnel. He is also off the rails.
  • Tidmouth Sheds had seven visible berths instead of the usual 6
  • 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 backward. Then, in the next shot, his wheels are moving forward. 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.
  • In some foreign dubs of the episode, the narrator mistakenly says "Now Douglas and Duck can't use the turntable."
  • 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.
  • Oliver whistles when he is on the flatbed despite not having a driver.
  • In a rare picture, Oliver is smiling when he is being pushed by the trucks.

In Other Languages

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Language Title
Chinese 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
Norwegian Oliver blir klokere
Polish Lekcja dla Olka
Romanian Oliver își Primește Răsplata
Russian Оливер признает ошибку
Serbian Oliver Uči na Greškama
Slovak Lekcia pre Olivera
Slovenian Oliver prizna svojo zmoto
Spanish Una lección para Oliver
Swedish Oliver blir klokare
Thai รถสินค้าลองดีกับหัวรถจักรหน้าใหม่
Ukrainian Олівер запишався

Home Media Releases


DVD Packs



DVD Boxsets



  • Escape and other stories
  • The Complete Series 3

DVD Boxsets



DVD Boxsets







  • Edward, Trevor and the Useful Party








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