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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, but instead he finds Percy telling Bill and Ben about the time he braved bad weather to help Thomas' passengers return home. Percy uses the phrase "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.

Percy finds Thomas looking at a "Danger" sign on the quay. Thomas tells Percy that they must not go past the sign, recalling when he disobeyed one 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 sign 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, the trucks seize the opportunity and bump Percy hard enough to knock his driver 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. From a nearby boat, the Fat Controller scolds Percy for his insolence. Percy begs to get out, but the Fat Controller sternly refuses, explaining that they cannot do that until high tide and hopes that this will teach Percy to obey orders. When night falls, floating cranes are brought in to pull Percy from the sea, who is now cold, filthy and unable 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, hopes there will not be a next time.




  • In concept art of Brendam for the second series, this episode is incorrectly noted as the twelfth episode, whereas it is actually the eleventh.
  • In production notes for the episode, Donald and Douglas are noted for possible use as Percy's friends, along with Bill and Ben.
  • The story Percy tells at the beginning is a reference to the then-unadapted third series episode Percy's Promise, meaning this episode takes place after that one. Another reference is made to the first series episode Down the Mine, meaning this episode also takes place after the fourth series episode Paint Pots and Queens, which is a direct continuation of Down the Mine. Another reference is made to the first series episode The Sad Story of Henry.
  • The events of this episode are mentioned by Percy in Big World! Big Adventures! during the song Where in the World is Thomas? and in the twenty-third series episode Chucklesome Trucks. A CGI recreation of the scene where Percy plunges into the water was featured in the latter.
  • 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.
  • 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 and also there is 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 original toothy smile.
  • When the episode aired on the Shining Time Station episode, Mapping It Out, Ringo Starr's narration is played a second earlier than it was on the UK version or the Best of Percy VHS.
  • 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 playset based on this episode.
  • The Fat Controller's large scale model is used when he scolds Percy after plunging into the water. As a result, he appears to be taller than the boat he is standing on.
  • 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 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.
  • When Henry asks Percy “Did you like the water?” his eyes are wonky.
  • 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. Also, because of this, he goes from shocked to smiling.
  • In the restored version, Bill and Ben's whistles and chuffing sounds are still heard after they leave.
  • 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 Henry enters the shed, his tender bounces.
  • During Percy's trip to the harbour, his brake van changes. Additionally, his left cylinder is hanging off.
  • Ben's nameplate is peeling off when Henry puffs in.
  • 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 even though his driver and fireman jumped out, and right about when he falls into the water, his wheels are moving again.
  • Percy looks cross when he chuckles about his driver not knowing his plan.
  • 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.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Chinese 培西的冒险
Croatian Pero Golubica
Czech Percyho Pád
Danish Percy Falder I
Dutch Percy Plonst Erin
Finnish Pekka Polskahtaa
German Percy nimmt ein Bad
Hungarian Percy Merész Tette
Italian Il Tuffo di Percy
Japanese うみにおちたパーシー
Korean 바다에 빠진 파시
Norwegian Percy Går i Vannet
Polish Kąpiel Piotrka
Romanian Percy Intra la Apă
Russian Перси падает в воду
Serbian Persi u Vodi
Slovak Perciho Pád
Slovenian Poldi Pade v Vodo
Swedish Percy Går i Vannet
Thai เพอร์ซีจมน้ำ
Ukrainian Персі робить рішучий крок
Welsh Pyrsi'n Dysgu Gwers

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

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