Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
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Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
For other uses, see Percy (disambiguation).

“If I choose you, will you work hard?"
"Oh Sir! Yes, Sir!"
"That's a good engine; I'll call you Percy.”
Sir Topham Hatt meeting and naming Percy[src]

Percy is a little green saddle tank engine who was brought to Sodor to help run the railway during Gordon, Henry and James' strike. He is one of the youngest engines on Sodor and he is also Thomas' best friend and is quite cheeky, often getting himself into trouble with his attempts to play tricks on the other engines. Percy's favourite job is to deliver the mail and he works on Thomas' Branch Line as a goods engine.

Biography

The Railway Series

Percy was most likely built by the Avonside Engine Company sometime after the turn of the century and had a subsequent rebuild in the period before he was sold second-hand to the North Western Railway by a factory on the Mainland. He is said to have been found to contain Hunslet parts, among others, according to workers at Crovan's Gate.

In 1926, when Gordon, James and Henry went on strike in protest of fetching their own coaches following Thomas' departure to run his branch line, the Fat Controller decided the railway needed another tank engine. At the engine workshop, the Fat Controller saw a green saddle tank. When the engine said that he was willing to work hard, the Fat Controller bought him and named him Percy. Bringing him back to Sodor, Percy was charged with running the branch line while Thomas ran the Main Line with Edward and was allowed to stay after the big engines surrendered and returned to work. At first, Percy liked to annoy the big engines. Percy was later waiting at Knapford, but forgot to whistle to the signalman and thus was startled when Gordon came running towards him with the express. Gordon managed to stop in time, but Percy was so frightened, he ran away and ended up stuck in a sandbank. He was rescued by Gordon and took up the duty of station pilot at Tidmouth.

Percy was still a cheeky engine and often liked to play jokes on Gordon and James, only for the two engines to have their revenge when Percy failed to recognise a "backing signal". After this, Percy was subject to bullying from the big engines until Duck arrived and helped Percy to put the big engines in their place, although Percy still received a reprimand from the Fat Controller for it.

With Duck's arrival, Percy was sent to Thomas' Branch Line to help build Knapford Harbour and has stayed there ever since as a goods engine. He met a self-centred white helicopter named Harold who said that railways were "slow and out-of-date", so Percy decided to race him and won. When Percy had to take the Sunday School children home, he came across a flooded paddock which swashed away his fire. Thankfully, he got some help from Harold (who dropped supplies of hot drinks for his crew and the passengers) and was able to get the children home.

Despite being really useful, Percy was prone to having accidents were due to him sometimes acting naughty or being careless. He was naughty when he asked the trucks to push him past a danger notice, only to end up in the water until he could be lifted out and taken to the works by Henry. When a diesel railcar named Daisy came to look after Thomas' Branch Line, she constantly kept leaving behind the milk van every time Percy shunted it for her. Fed up with taking the milk for her, Percy offered to take Toby's trucks for him while he took the milk. However, the trucks were unfamiliar with Percy and when he ordered them about, they decided to seek revenge by pushing him onto a line of stone trucks that caused an awkward predicament.

Thomas & Friends

One winter, the cold was severely getting to Percy, so he tried to think about warm things. As a result, his workday led to Percy obsessing over scarves and seeing everyone around him wearing them. Henry remarked on the silliness of an engine wanting a scarf, but Percy bit back with a comment about Henry's funnel size. The cold did not affect Percy's cheekiness however, as he planned on startling the coaches by coming in quietly. However, the porters did not hear him either and Percy crashed into their luggage trolley, ending up covered in jam with the Fat Controller's hat on Percy's lamp iron and his best trousers wrapped around Percy's funnel. James joked that Percy found a 'scarf' after all and ran off to tell Henry. That night, Thomas and a clean Percy prepared to go to sleep happy that the firelighter had agreed to arrive earlier the next day. Henry and Percy made up and Henry assured Percy that the weather would be warmer the following day.

Percy has still been bullied a lot by others (including by Cranky, the Horrid Lorries, 'Arry and Bert), only for his tormenters to later get their just desserts. Percy also believes the things are real to himself when they're not true. Once, he arrived late at Brendam Docks, leading the Dock Manager to speak with the Fat Controller. When Percy got back to the sheds, he heard the Fat Controller talking to his driver, and Percy thought the Fat Controller wanted to scrap him when he told the driver "He [had to] go to the scrap yards". Thomas tried to tell his friend that he is really useful, which made Percy better, until he noticed the time. Percy was so impatient for Cranky to finish loading the pipes, he rushed off before they were tied down. As Percy rounded the bend, the Pipes fell on the tracks. He also rushed to deliver the tar, causing the tar wagons to crash into Gordon. Percy thought he would be scrapped now. When Thomas told the Fat Controller that Percy thought he was going to be scrapped, the Fat Controller sent everyone to look for Percy. But they could not find him, until Thomas knew where he was hiding. When they arrived at the Sheds, The Fat Controller told Percy what he really said; he told Percy's Driver that he was late because he was working too hard. And the Fat Controller said he was going to take scrap to the smelters and carry the mail all week, which made Percy happy and Thomas was happy his friend felt better. Percy also loves his home, the Island of Sodor. He once had to show a famous painter round the island in an attempt to get him an idea of what to paint as the "Spirit of Sodor", only for the painter to realise that was Percy was the "Spirit of Sodor" and painted him. After the Fat Controller lost his voice, Percy was told to give Gordon, James and Toby their jobs for the day. Unfortunately, he accidentally got them mixed up until Thomas helped him put them right.

In Tale of the Brave, Thomas told Percy about some mysterious footprints that he saw at the China Clay Pits. Percy thought that the footprints were that of a monster that was roaming Sodor. Continuing to be anxious for a few days, he caused lots of confusion and delay such as: mistakenly referring to Gator (a new engine) as a monster, failing to deliver his mail on-time and running off before the Fat Controller finished talking to him. After talking with his new friend Gator, he understood what being brave is like and later used this courage to save James from a huge landslide. He later learned that the monster was really a dinosaur a long, long time ago, which had now become a fossil. He also understood that the footprints Thomas saw were also only fossils left from the dinosaur. Percy later said goodbye to Gator, who had to return to the mainland, but the two friends were certain they would meet again someday.

In the eighteenth series, Percy was starting to miss Gator and tried to forget him by working hard and not think about him. When he had to deliver trucks full of precious sculptures and paintings for a special exhibition, he did not stop to be coupled and the Troublesome Trucks went rolling into the old mine. He thought about Gator and his advice of how to be brave. Percy went into the mine and rescued the trucks. Percy soon reunited with Gator at Christmas.

In the nineteenth series, he was to transport Farmer McColl's ewes to a fair at Maithwaite. However, he was late delivering that night's mail. Rushing to get back on time, he bashed his livestock wagon into a flatbed and unknowingly created a hole in it. He collected the sheep from McColl Farm, but every time he stopped some of the sheep escaped. By the time he had reached the fair, all the sheep had escaped. Fortunately, Thomas, Annie and Clarabel arrived shortly afterwards with the sheep, much to Percy's relief. Once, he saw some men at Knapford, talking about the Fat Controller "leaving". After he told Thomas and the other engines, they came to the conclusion he was leaving Sodor because of them, so they decided to create no confusion and delay until he decided to stay. By the end of the day, it appeared their plan was successful, though Percy still had his doubts. His suspicions were seemingly confirmed when he saw the men clearing out the Fat Controller's office. Now believing the Fat Controller was being forced to leave, the engines decided to go on strike until he was allowed to stay. After much confusion and delay, the Fat Controller explained to the engines that he was just moving to a temporary office while his was being redecorated. With the misunderstanding cleared up, Percy and the other engines worked hard to get the railway back on schedule. Percy was once given the job of taking the Mayor of Sodor to the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre to present a new alarm bell to celebrate their one thousandth rescue. Diesel overheard Percy talking about it at Brendam Docks and he played a trick on him, sending Percy to the Old Quarry which resulted him ending up on a badly flooded railway line. After Diesel unsuccessfully attempted to pull him out of the flood, he too also ended up getting stuck in the water after it badly damaged his generator. The rescue of Diesel and Percy marked the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre Crew's one thousand and first rescue.

In the twentieth series, Percy had the job of taking the Christmas Mail to Vicarstown for Hiro to take to the Mainland and onwards to the North Pole. Harold offered to help, but Percy refused, determined complete the job on his own. After he left a bag of letters behind at Dryaw, Harold chased after him, but Percy believed Harold was mocking his speed and refused to stop which led to him crashing into a snowdrift at a tunnel. Stuck, he reluctantly agreed to let Harold deliver the Mail. The following day, he heard from Toby that Harold had not returned to Sodor that night, so he raced off to the Mainland to find him. He found Harold stuck in a field and out of fuel. Not wanting Harold to spend Christmas stranded and alone, he fetched his fuel and the two returned to Sodor. Later, Percy was taking the Mail Train at night, when he came across the Watermill bridge and heard a moaning sound which gave him a fright. Percy later told Thomas and Toby about it and remembering the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff, he thought it was a troll that was living under the bridge. The three engines reluctantly crossed the bridge and discovered it was only a lost cow. He was also the only engine to be nice to Hugo, who was being shunned as the others thought he had come to replace them. He would then see a Zeppelin in the sky and question how Hugo could be in the sky as well as on the rails.

In The Great Race, Percy took Thomas' place in the shunting competition of the Great Railway Show after Thomas had an accident and was left on Sodor. However, Thomas managed to make it to the Mainland after all and Percy dropped out of the competition so his best friend could compete and because he did not want to compete in the first place.

In the twenty-first series, Percy became confused because of the new P.A. system which was not working properly. Because of this, he ended up taking a delivery of pigs to Lord Callan at Callan Castle. He was also told by Dowager Hatt to pull Gordon's Express instead of Gordon doing so, but because he was not strong enough to pull it, he got stuck on Gordon's Hill and ended up severely delayed.

In the twenty-second series, when Merlin first came to Sodor, Percy thought everyone was talking about how Merlin is an invisible engine, so that was why Percy had not seen him. He looked everywhere for the invisible engine until he met up with Merlin (who did not get a chance to introduce himself) and heard what he believed was the invisible engine's whistle (which was actually Trevor's whistle) and rushed off to tell Thomas about hearing what he thought was Merlin's whistle.

In the twenty-third series, Thomas began to miss Percy while in China, though with prompting, he decided to send a postcard. Percy later began worrying about Thomas when snow came, and he got himself into an accident looking for Thomas when he became late. His friends soon found him in his current predicament, and Percy felt foolish when he learned that Thomas was only late due to a salt delivery.

In the twenty-fourth series, Percy overheard some talk about a railway show at Ulfstead Castle for little engines, though when the Thin Clergyman found out, he clarified it was a model engine show. Percy felt foolish for the misunderstanding, having wanted a moment for himself to shine, but he felt proud that after the confusion was cleared up, the winning model was one of himself.

Thomas and the Magic Railroad

Percy in Thomas and the Magic Railroad

In the film, Percy was seen talking to the other engines at Tidmouth Sheds about Lady and he overheard Mr. Conductor talking in his sleep. Later, he arrived at Knapford with his Mail Train and told Thomas about Mr. Conductor and concluded that he travels to Sodor on the magic railroad. Thomas told Percy about the missing truck and realised about how the buffers led to the magic railroad. He told Percy to guard the buffers to be a brave engine, only to find Splatter and Dodge at the magic buffers. Percy raced to warn Thomas, telling him to get Lily back to Muffle Mountain before Diesel 10 could destroy the magic railroad. Percy was last seen pulling a goods train during the chase between Lady, Thomas and Diesel 10 when the three engines passed over Bulgy's Bridge. In the original script, Percy, Mr. Conductor and Junior would have watched Diesel 10 and P.T. Boomer being towed away and the former two congratulated Junior for turning the villains into sludge.

Personality

Percy is a rather cheeky, but kind engine. He normally behaves well, yet he also gets himself in trouble by jumping into situations without adequately thinking them through first. He loves teasing other engines, especially bigger ones such as Gordon and James, but is always brought down to earth in due course by anyone who gives him the moral to learn, especially the Fat Controller. He can also be somewhat timid.

Percy can also be questionable and naïve to certain difficult words: he would say "depotstation" whereas anyone else would say "deputation", "dingy-fried" instead of "dignified", "dimmer-station" instead of "demonstration", "inspectacles" instead of "inspector", "tenkiakihos" instead of "technology" etc.

Percy is incredibly accident-prone and has many accidents, sometimes due to his own silliness or his tricks backfiring. He holds the dubious record of the most accidents in one series - five, all of which happened in the second series; crashing into some buffers, falling into the sea, being pushed onto a brake van, colliding with a cart of lime and being hit by a falling crate of treacle. His silliest accident to date, however, was in the sixth series, when he slipped on oily rails and crashed through the chocolate factory and emerged covered in chocolate. Despite this, he always tries to do his best, learns from his mistakes and get his jobs done, a loyalty which the Fat Controller has praised him for on many occasions.

Although their friendship has been turbulent at times, Thomas is Percy's best friend. He is also good friends with Toby. While he has a small rivalry with Harold stemming from their race, they are always willing to help each other when in trouble.

Percy can also be seen as an easy target for teasing by the big engines, especially whenever he has an accident or when he is afraid of something. He also has held a grudge from them about their tricking him into misinterpreting a signal but silenced this with some help from Duck. This shows that, when nonsense goes too far, Percy will not stand for it and seek help to settle the matter for good, even if he faces a reprimanding from the Fat Controller for it.

In the fifth series, Percy is vaguely the same engine he's always been. However, he became annoyed rather easily and unhappy with his work amount while the other engines, except Toby, thought even less of him.

During the CGI series, Percy became slightly wiser and a little less cheekier. This could be because he learnt his lesson for being cheeky or because he did not want to get in trouble again. Also, Percy and Thomas' friendship has expanded and they hardly ever argued. Despite his increased maturity, Percy still falls victim to occasional bouts of naivety and misunderstandings.

Technical Details

Basis

Percy is an 0-4-0 saddle tank believed to have been built by the Avonside Engine Company of Bristol, but prior to being purchased second or third hand by the Fat Controller he acquired components from Hunslet of Leeds and other builders.

In the My Thomas Story Library book, The Fat Controller, a maroon tank engine seen in the workshop vaguely resembles Percy, so it is likely that the engine also has the same basis as Percy and the same modifications as him.

Livery

Percy is painted in NWR apple green with red and yellow lining. His number 6 is painted on the sides of his cab in yellow with red lining and the lining around his cab windows is yellow.

In some illustrations of the Railway Series, Percy has a golden builder's plate on the side of his cab.

Appearances

The Railway Series

Companion Volumes

Thomas & Friends

Specials/Movies

Music Videos

Learning Segments

Videos

Magazine Stories

Percy also appeared in the magazine stories, A Good Hiding Place, A Job for James, A Long Way Up!, A Puzzle for Percy, Big Catch, Bill and BoCo, Boat Afloat, Bulgy's Dream, Clean Getaway!, Clever Climbers!, Daisy and the Fish, Dressing Up, Engine Plates, Fast Food!, Fish and Fog!, Fishy Diesel!, Flying James, Funnels and Tunnels, Good Games, Bad Sport!, Happy Holiday!, Harvest Time, Henry and Diesel, How Does Percy Work?, I Spy with my Little Eye, Jack Frost, Jim's Jungle Ride!, Just Right, Keeping Dry, Lazy Wheels, Letting off Steam!, Looking Splendid, Lost Luggage!, Making a Mess!, On Inspection, Percy gets Wet!, Percy's House, Percy's Stories, Percy and the Trucks, Pigeon Passengers!, Pink Cows, Proud Percy!, Puzzles, Really Useful Edward, Rhyming Engines, Rushing Around, Seeing Steam, Snake Mistake, Sodor's Strongest Engine, Spooky Station, Spotty Spencer, Steaming Along!, Taking Toby, The Balloon Race, The Big Ship, The Camel Train, The Christmas Sacks, The Cloud Factory!, The Dodgems, The Flying Broomstick, The Lost Parcel, The Runaway Percy, The Trainspotters, The UFO, There and Back and Think Pink.

Annual Stories

Audio Stories

Video Games

Percy also appeared in the video game, Magical Adventure.

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Audio Files

Themes

First used Last used Composers Theme Song
Series 1 Series 2 Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
First used Last used Composers Theme Song
Series 5 Series 5 Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
First used Last used Composers Theme Song
Series 8 Series 12 Robert Hartshorne To be added

Whistles

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 1 The Sodor Springtime Parade

In the third series and one episode of the Learning With Thomas miniseries, Percy has his regular whistle sound at two steps lower in pitch. This would later be reused for Toby in the fourth series only and Logan.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 3 Learning with Thomas

At the end of Bulgy, the beginning of Emily's New Coaches and in Right on Time, Percy is incorrectly portrayed with James' whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Bulgy Right on Time

In one scene in the US version of Thomas and Stepney, Percy is incorrectly portrayed with Thomas' whistle, but at three steps higher-pitched, which would later be reused for Stanley in Series 12.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Thomas and Stepney (US version) Thomas and Stepney (US version)

In Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Percy uses the same whistle sound Henry used in said film.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Thomas and the Magic Railroad Thomas and the Magic Railroad

In 10 Stories from Thomas & Friends, Percy is incorrectly portrayed with a different whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
10 Stories from Thomas & Friends 10 Stories from Thomas & Friends

In the LeapFrog book, Thomas and the School Trip, Percy reuses Henry's whistle sound from Thomas the Really Useful Engine.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Thomas and the School Trip Thomas and the School Trip

In the LeapFrog book, Thomas the Really Useful Engine, Percy reuses Henry's whistle sound from Thomas and the School Trip.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Thomas the Really Useful Engine Calling All Engines! (Leapster)

In Building the New Line, Percy uses the same whistle sound as Edward in said game.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Building the New Line Building the New Line

In James and the Queen of Sodor, Percy has a clogged whistle.

In a Series 8 intermission Segment, on the Thomas, Rosie, and Percy Engine Tours ride at Drayton Manor Theme Park, the game Whistle and Peep, the Sing Along mode of the game Engines Working Together, and one scene in the twenty-fourth series episode, A New Arrival, Percy is incorrectly portrayed with Thomas' whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 8 (Intermission Segments) A New Arrival
First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 13 Series 24

In one scene in Thomas and the Sounds of Sodor, Percy has a lower-pitched version of his whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Thomas and the Sounds of Sodor Thomas and the Sounds of Sodor

In Thomas' Musical Day for Percy in the kids app "Speakaboos", Percy has a broken whistle.

In one page of The Fat Controller in the Read and Play! app, Percy is incorrectly portrayed with Edward's whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
The Fat Controller (Read and Play!) The Fat Controller (Read and Play!)

In the mobile app, Read and Play!, Percy has a sad whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Read and Play! Read and Play!

In Five Little Railway Friends, Percy is incorrectly portrayed with a different whistle.

Voice

Trivia

  • One of Percy's models is currently on display in Japan at the Hara Model Railway Museum and is wearing his smiling face mask (previously on display at Nitrogen Studios), along with his large-scale model used for the spin-off series, The Pack (previously on display at Thomas Town). Three of Percy's face masks are also in possession of Twitter user ThomasTankMerch.
  • Percy is the only engine who is known to have been named by the Fat Controller.
  • Percy is the first engine in the series to have only four wheels.
  • In the French narration of the first seven series, Percy is called "Pierre".
  • In the Greek narration of the first seven series, Percy is called "Jerry". From the thirteenth series onwards, Percy has been referred to with his original name.
  • Percy has been shown to be quite popular among several people who worked on the series:
    • According to Abi Grant on her website, Percy is her favourite character.
    • Britt Allcroft also stated he was her favourite character (due to him being green and cheeky).
    • Percy is also Mark Moraghan's favourite character, alongside Cranky.
    • Mike O Donnell also has Percy down as a favourite for being a "cheeky little chap"
  • Percy is the first character other than Thomas to be the protagonist in a special, with that special being Day of the Diesels, which he would later do again in Tale of the Brave.
  • In Thomas and the Rumours, Percy is stated to have a branch line, though it may have been mistaken for Thomas' Branch Line.
  • His whistle in the US version of Thomas and Stepney was reused for Stanley in the twelfth series.
  • He is one of the few characters created by Wilbert Awdry who is not precisely based on a real engine.
  • Percy was featured on the 1986 single cover along with Rheneas of Oh L'amour, a song by English synthpop duo Erasure.
  • In a 2020 Australian Red Nose Day advertisement, a child is seen playing with a 2014 My First Percy and an Ertl Gordon.
  • Percy's third series whistle sound was reused for Toby in the fourth series episodes Bulls Eyes and Special Attraction and also for Logan in Welcome to the Island of Sodor, Logan!
  • Percy has the same whistle sound as Edward's, albeit in an octave higher in pitch.
  • The outline of Percy's Hornby Model was featured in the introduction sequence of the first season of James May's Man Lab.
  • Percy is the only current Steam Team member not to have lining on the back of his bunker or tender.
  • Percy's Gauge 1 model had a total of nineteen facial expressions during the model series era, two of which (different smiling and alternative astonished) were not used on-screen:
  • His Pack-Scale model had a total of six facial expressions, two of which were not used on-screen.
  • Despite being titled the small engine, Percy is much wider than Thomas in the model series of the original show. However, Thomas is longer and slightly taller. In the CGI series, Percy is depicted more clearly as shorter than Thomas in both length and Height, but he ultimately remains wider. In All Engines Go, Thomas is depicted as definitively bigger than Percy.

Quotes

“Hello! I'm Percy, the number six green engine. I'm Thomas' best friend, and I love delivering the mail.”
―Percy's website audio
“Don't call me "Dirty Percy!"”
―Percy to Gordon in Thomas, Percy and the Squeak

Video

References



* RWS only | ** T&F only | --- Dropped

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