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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story.

“We had spoken of backing signals. They need extra special care, you know. Would you like me to explain?"
"No thank you, James. I know all about signals.”
―James and Percy

Percy and the Signal is the seventh episode of the second series. It is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Percy the Small Engine.

Plot

Percy works in the yard and although he works hard, he can also be very cheeky and often plays jokes. One day, Percy is feeling particularly cheeky; he startles Gordon by telling him his train is ready, which makes Gordon think he is running late. Percy however reveals a line of dirty trucks, which makes Gordon cross and tries to think of a way to get back at him.

Percy then goes to James, and tells him that the Fat Controller has sent a message for James to not leave the shed until he comes to see him. James is delighted, thinking the Fat Controller wants him to pull a special and refuses to leave when his driver and fireman try to take him out. As a result, the other engines have to do James' work as well as their own. Finally, an engine inspector arrives and tells James to leave. James tells him about the message the Fat Controller sent. The inspector points out the Fat Controller could not have sent a message as he is away. James is furious and quickly leaves to find Percy, but Percy has disappeared. When the Fat Controller returns, he tells both engines off for causing trouble.

PercyandtheSignal22.png

Sometime later, Percy is boasting to Gordon and James that he is taking trucks to Thomas' junction. He believes that the Fat Controller chose him because he is a really useful engine, though James thinks it is simply to keep him out of the way. The big engines then realise that they have a chance to give Percy a dose of his own medicine and claim they were talking about being careful with the signals at the junction, especially "backing signals". Percy (keen to show off) claims that he knows all about signals, but worries as he has never heard of backing signals before.

Percy soon arrives at a signal set to "danger," but then sees its arm move to "line clear". Percy is shocked when it moves up instead of down, having never seen anything like it before and guesses that it is a backing signal and begins reversing. Percy's driver is shocked and quickly stops him, but Percy insists that it is a backing signal. After telling him what Gordon and James had said, the driver tells him the truth. This makes Percy eager to leave before he is seen, but Gordon goes past and sees that Percy fell for the trick. Humiliated, Percy quickly and quietly finishes his work.

That night in the sheds, Gordon and James talk about signals; while they think it is funny, Percy thinks they are being very silly.

Characters

Locations

Trivia

  • In the restored version, in the scene when the Fat Controller was cross with James and Percy, the close-up of Percy looking sad is cut out.
  • Stock footage from Coal is used.
  • In a deleted scene, it is shown that Thomas also had to do James' work as well as his own branch line when Percy told him to stay in the shed.
  • This episode was reran back to back with Donald's Duck on Storytime with Thomas.
  • This episode marks the first appearance for the full exterior of Ffarquhar Sheds in the television series, as the interior was first shown in Thomas, Percy and the Coal while only the right (viewers' left) berth's exterior was shown when Percy laughed at Thomas and commented on his appearance. A deleted shot from this episode shows Percy in the same berth before pulling up besides Gordon.
  • Thomas' Special Coach was seen in the scene where the Fat Controller was telling off James and Percy, indicating that The Missing Coach was concurrently filmed with this episode.
  • At the end of the Japanese narration, Gordon and James are heard laughing at Percy when he returns to the sheds.

Goofs

  • When Percy creeps up on Gordon, the red coach's windows and roof is crooked.
  • In a deleted scene photo of Gordon looking cross, his front pilot wheels and rear trailing wheel derailed.[1]
  • At Elsbridge, Percy's left cylinder is hanging off.
  • When Gordon says "James and I were just speaking about signals at the junction," to Percy, James' face is loose.
  • In the close-up of Percy's wheels when he reverses from the signal, a wire is visible.
  • When Percy goes under the pedestrian bridge at Elsbridge, the reflection of a studio member or camera is visible in the shiny part.
  • The "lower" quadrant semaphore signal in which Percy stops at is not the sort that is meant to point upwards; it's suppose to an "upper" quadrant semaphore signal instead.
  • The wire used to change the signal is visible.
  • The signal shown in its closeup is different from the signal in the shot where Percy stops at.
  • Because stock footage is used, Percy's driver is in Henry's cab.
  • Gordon's eyes are wonky throughout the episode.
  • When Percy pulls away from Gordon at the beginning, the coal in his second truck is lifted, as is the roof on his brake van.
  • In the Japanese dub, as Gordon, Henry, and Edward passed James, Ringo Starr's narration can faintly be heard in the background.
  • In the early Swedish dub, James is referred to as Gordon when he says, "More likely, he wants you out of the way."
  • When Percy tells James to stay in the shed, steam can be heard, but no steam shoots out, but in the next shot, there is a lot of steam.
  • When James leaves the sheds, the track rocks back and forth.
  • When Percy is backing up to the sheds, no workmen are seen operating the turntable.

Quotes

Inspector: Show a wheel, James. You can't stay here all day.
James: The Fat Controller told me to stay here. He sent a message this morning.
Inspector: He did not. How could he? He's away for a week.
James: Oh. Oh! Where's Percy?!
Narrator: Percy had wisely disappeared.

Percy: I say, you engines, I'm to take some trucks to Thomas' junction. The Fat Controller chose me especially. He must know I'm a really useful engine.
James: More likely, he wants you out of the way.
[Gordon looks across to him]
Gordon: James and I were just speaking about signals at the junction. We can't be too careful about signals, but then, I needn't say that to a really useful engine like you, Percy.
James: We had spoken of backing signals. They need extra special care, you know. Would you like me to explain?
Percy: No, thank you, James. I know all about signals.

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In Other Languages

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Language Title
Chinese 培西和信号
Croatian Pero i Signal
Czech Percy a Signal
Danish Percy og Signalet
Dutch Percy en het Sein
Finnish Pekka ja Opastemerkki
French Pierre et le Signal
German Percy und das Signal
Hungarian Percy és a Tolatójelzés
Italian Percy e il Segnale
Japanese パーシーとしんごう
Norwegian Percy og Signalet
Polish Piotrek i Semafor
Portuguese Percy e o Sinal
Romanian Percy şi Semnalul
Russian Перси и симофор
Serbian Persi i Znak
Slovak Percy a Signál
Slovenian Poldi in Signal
Spanish Percy y la Señal
Swedish Percy och Signalen
Thai เพอร์ซีชอบแกล้งคนอื่นเลยโดนบ้าง
Ukrainian Персі і сигнали
Welsh Pyrsi a'r Signal

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