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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story, the Buzz Book, the UK DVD, the US DVD, the promotional DVD, the Philippine DVD, the Malaysian DVD or the pop up book.

“Well, it wasn't anything, really. Water's nothing to an engine with determination.”

Percy Takes the Plunge is the eleventh episode of the second series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book The Eight Famous Engines.


At Brendam, a tired Henry is looking to rest. However, he is annoyed to find Percy telling Bill and Ben about the time he braved bad weather to help Thomas' passengers return home. Percy claims that "Water's nothing to an engine with determination," while the twins shower him with praise. Henry arrives and angrily sends them away, claiming that the shed is only for engines belonging to the Fat Controller. Henry also thinks Percy is silly for his remark about water. Percy runs off, singing about the time that Henry refused to leave a tunnel in case the rain spoilt his paint, to Henry's annoyance as he huffs to himself that no one will ever let him forget that incident.

Percy finds Thomas looking at a "Danger" board on the quayside. Thomas tells Percy that they must not go past it, recalling when he went past it and fell down a mine. What Percy does not realize is that the foundations of the quay have sunk, causing the tracks to slope downward into the sea. As a result Percy - who is now feeling very cheeky - remarks that the board is stupid and makes a plan to pass it.

"I went past danger once, and fell down a mine." "I can't see a mine."

One day, Percy is taking a line of trucks to the harbour. He secretly asks them to give him a bump once they get to the quay. The trucks happily agree, having never been asked to bump an engine before. Percy thinks that he can stop the trucks whenever he likes, but every wise engine knows that trucks are never to be trusted.

At the quay, Percy stops before the board, convinced his plan will work, but the trucks seize the opportunity and bump Percy hard enough to knock his crew off the footplate. Percy is frantic and urges the trucks to stop, but they ignore him and cause him to slide downward into the sea. The Fat Controller arrives on a boat and scolds Percy for his deliberate disobedience. Percy begs to get out, but the Fat Controller sternly refuses, telling him that they cannot do that until high tide, hoping it will teach Percy to obey orders. When night falls, floating cranes are brought in to hoist Percy from the sea and onto a flatbed as he has become too cold, filthy, and stiff to move.

The next morning, Percy is taken to the Works to be cleaned and mended on Henry's goods train. Henry finds the incident very amusing, telling Percy he needs more determination and suggesting that he will like it better next time. Percy - however - is determined that there will not be a "next time."




  • In concept art of Brendam for the second series, this episode is noted as the twelfth episode, whereas it is actually the eleventh.
  • This is the first time a diesel engine is seen in the show.
  • In the original Railway Series story, Percy tells his story to his group of unnamed friends from the Other Railway. In the episode, Bill and Ben take their place due to the impracticality and high cost of constructing several single-use engines.
  • In production notes for the episode, Donald and Douglas are noted for possible use as Percy's friends, along with Bill and Ben. Bill and Ben were likely chosen because they, like Percy’s friends in the original story, are not owned by the Fat Controller.
  • This is the only episode where Bill and Ben are not part of The North Western Railway.
  • The story Percy tells at the beginning is a reference to the then-unadapted third series episode Percy's Promise. References are also made to the first series episodes, The Sad Story of Henry and Down the Mine.
  • The events of this episode are mentioned by the narrator in the special, Tale of the Brave, Percy in Big World! Big Adventures! during the song Where in the World is Thomas? and by James in the twenty-third series episode Chucklesome Trucks. Two different CGI recreation of the scene where Percy plunges into the water was featured in the latter; the first one would be in a fantasy, and the other really happened.
  • In the restored version, Bill and Ben leave the shed a few seconds earlier, Percy looks at Henry throughout saying "I'm not afraid of water. I like it," his speed as he leaves the shed and puffs through the valley is a little slower, and Henry looks up as Percy talks to him instead of at Percy and then to his right side instead of his left before the scene transitions to Thomas.
  • The "DANGER" sign is reused from Down the Mine or the unaired pliot of said episode.
  • Two pictures show Percy frowning and covered in mud and his left (viewer's right) cylinder is loose while he is at the harbour with Thomas. The first one is from this episode's Buzz Book adaptation, and it shows both at the quay in the same spot when they talked about the board. Another one from the view master version shows them at a warehouse. These may have been deleted scenes towards the end of the episode.
  • In the scene with Thomas and Percy at the harbour, a truck with the letters "LMS" on it can be seen. There is also a first series style truck right next to it.
  • A barge has Terrey written on it; possibly a reference to crew member Terence Permane.
  • This is the only second series episode with Henry's happy face.
  • Ringo Starr's US narration was not released on home video until 2001 when it was included on Best of Percy. This recording was also used on a DVD that came with the Take Along play set based on this episode.
  • A rare picture, as seen on the viewmaster box, shows Percy in the sea with his train missing the last two trucks and the brake van.
  • When Percy is pulled out of the sea, Diesel makes a cameo prior to his debut in the next episode.
  • When George Carlin's narration aired on the Shining Time Station episode, "Schemer Goes Camping", the last few seconds of the episode were cut.
  • The scene of Percy plunging intro the sea and the Fat Controller scolding Percy was featured in a episode in the fourth series of the ITV drama series "Soldier Soldier".
  • When a majority of second series episodes were repeated on Mondays in 1989 beginning with Bertie's Chase and Saved from Scrap on 6th March, this episode along with Pop Goes the Diesel somehow followed on 13th March, before reverting back to the normal order with Old Iron and Thomas and Trevor on 20th March. This led to a noticeable continuity gap in April when Thomas' sister show TUGS started on Tuesdays from 4th April-27th June 1989
  • When the episode was repeated on 2nd July 1991, an image of Percy stranded in the harbour water was used for the sneak peak in Radio Times.


  • Ben's nameplate is peeling off when Henry puffs in.
  • When Henry enters the shed, his tender bounces.
  • In the restored version, Bill and Ben's whistles and chuffing sounds are still heard after they leave.
  • The narrator says that Percy ran off to the harbour singing, but he is already at the harbour.
  • When the camera pans down on Thomas, several trucks in the background are derailed.
  • In both US narrations, "One day" appears to be spoken by Percy instead of the narrators.
  • Percy looks cross when he chuckles about his driver not knowing his plan.
  • During Percy's trip to the harbour, his brake van changes. Additionally, his left cylinder is hanging off.
  • Before Percy plunges into the sea, the shot of him sliding down the quayside is placed before the shot of him sliding past the sign. Because of this, his facial expression also changes from shocked to smiling.
  • In the close-up of Percy being pushed, a reflection of a hand can be seen in the water pushing the train. Additionally, Percy's eyes are wonky.
  • Before Percy goes straight into the water, his brakes are applied despite his driver and fireman having jumped out. Then right about when he falls into the water, his wheels are moving again.
  • Just as Percy plunges into the sea, two of his trucks become derailed, and one of them bounces.
  • When Percy is lifted out of the water, a workman appears to have some blu-tak on his neck.
  • When Percy is hanging from the cranes, he is not dirty, but when he is placed on the flatbed, he is. Also, his face is dirty when he is sitting on Thomas' flatbed, but when he is sitting on Henry's flatbed, his face is not dirty.
  • When Henry asks Percy “Did you like the water?” his eyes jitter.


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Chinese Mandarin 培西的冒险
Croatian Pero je zaronio
Czech Percyho Pád
Danish Percy Falder I
Dutch Percy Plonst Erin
Finnish Pekka Polskahtaa
German Percy nimmt ein Bad
Greek Η Βουτία του Τζέρι
Hungarian Percy Merész Tette
Italian Il tuffo di Percy
Japanese うみにおちたパーシー
Korean 바다에 빠진 퍼시
Norwegian Percy Går i Vannet
Polish Kąpiel Piotrka
Romanian Percy Intra la Apă
Romansh Parcival ristga il sigl
Russian Перси падает в воду
Serbian Persi u Vodi
Slovenian Poldi Pade v Vodo
Swedish Percy Går i Vannet
Turkish Percy Suya Dalıyor
Ukrainian П ерсі робить рішучий крок
Welsh Pyrsi'n Dysgu Gwers

Home Media Releases


DVD Packs


DVD Boxsets


  • Percy and Harold and Other Stories
  • Playtime
  • The Complete Series 2

DVD Boxsets

  • Complete Series 1-10
  • Classic Collection
  • Series One and Series Two Double Pack





DVD Boxsets







  • Thomas the Tank Engine 4





DVD Packs