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“Ah, here comes number 68! Really slow and always late!”

Philip's Number is the eleventh episode of the twenty-first series.


Gordon teases Philip by taunting "Here comes number 68! Really slow and always late!" He then teases him by suggesting that he has broken down sixty-eight times, or he has sixty-eight loose rivets in his radiator. Philip is very unhappy, but Thomas tries to assure him that Gordon is only teasing, and his number does not make a difference as long as he is really useful. But Philip does not believe this at first, because Thomas is number one, and Philip does not even know why he is number 68.

When Philip arrives back at Knapford Station, the Fat Controller tells him to take some spare parts to the Steamworks. Before he goes, Philip asks the Fat Controller if he knows why Philip is number 68. The Fat Controller says that all he knows is that Philip held that number when he first came to Sodor, but agrees to check the records later. He then jokingly states that maybe there were sixty-seven other Philips before him. Philip thinks about it, but as he leaves the station, he begins hallucinating about multiple clones of him all at once, each one bearing a number between 1 and 67. His daydream is interrupted by Toby, who asks if he is okay. Philip says he is fine, and as he leaves, he is more determined than ever to find the reason why his number is what it is.

Philip delivers the spare parts to the Steamworks, and he eagerly asks Victor if he knows why he is number 68, making Victor reverse away in discomfort. Kevin suggests that 68 is Philip's number because he is 68 years old, but Victor denies this, saying Philip is a very young diesel. Then he suggests that Philip ask the diesels, so Philip heads for the Dieselworks.

Upon arriving at the Dieselworks, Philip asks Paxton and Sidney if either of them knows why Philip is number 68. Sidney asks if Philip has sixty-eight wheels, but as Paxton begins counting Philip's wheels, Sidney declares he knows. But as Paxton and Philip ask, Sidney forgets his thought, leaving Philip sad.

Philip still does not know why he is number 68, but he is sure it means something as he passes Knapford Station, Brendam Docks, and Dryaw Soccer Field. He sees numbers everywhere, and he begins seeing his number in the clouds, and imagining a bunch of trucks floating in the air forming the number 68.

Later, Philip passes a field when some sheep break through the fence and stroll out onto the tracks. Philip stops and tries to scare the sheep away. He blows his horn, which awakens Farmer McColl, and he realizes his sheep have escaped. But Philip hears Gordon coming with the Express, and he is uncoupled from his trucks. He races off to warn Gordon, switching onto the Express track and blasting his horn. Gordon sees Philip as he rounds a bend, and both engines screech to a halt. Gordon, believing Philip was being silly, asks Philip what he is doing, to which Philip breathlessly tells him of the broken fence and the sheep on the track, and Gordon thanks Philip for warning him.

That evening, Farmer McColl is leading his sheep back into their field just as the Fat Controller arrives on Winston. He asks what happened, and Gordon explains that Philip stopped a terrible accident. Philip explains that he just saw the sheep on the line, but Gordon says that he is being modest and that he was extremely brave. Both the Fat Controller and Farmer McColl praise Philip, and Farmer McColl explains that Philip saved his whole flock of sheep, which just happens to be a total of sixty-eight sheep. This reminds the Fat Controller that he found some information relating to Philip's number, but before he can explain, Philip tells him that it does not matter to him anymore. Philip declares that now he has found his own reason why he is number 68: He has saved sixty-eight sheep, and no other engine ever has done that. The Fat Controller agrees, and Gordon apologizes to Philip about teasing him because of his number. He then calls Philip number one when it comes to being brave, but Philip misses the meaning, declaring that everyone knows he is number 68, and it is great.





US and CAN

  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • Kerry Shale as Gordon and Kevin
  • William Hope as Toby, Farmer McColl and the Photographer
  • Steven Kynman as Paxton
  • Bob Golding as Sidney
  • Rasmus Hardiker as Philip
  • David Bedella as Victor
  • Christopher Ragland as the Troublesome Trucks
  • Keith Wickham as Sir Topham Hatt and the Knapford Station Announcer


  • Going by production order, this is the sixteenth episode of the twenty-first series.
  • Farmer McColl has his US voice in the UK dub.
  • The transition of the image going around in circles is a reference to the transitions from the "Batman" 1960's TV show.
  • On the Nick Jr. US airing, this episode was paired with A Most Singular Engine.
  • Philip and Gordon's near collision, as well as Gordon telling the Fat Controller that Philip "stopped a nasty accident" could be a reference to the first series episode, Percy Runs Away.
  • A shortened version of the episode, narrated by Joseph May as Thomas, can be found on the official YouTube channel and formerly on the Nick Jr. US website.
  • At the beginning of the episode, the butterfly has the number 68 painted on its wings.
  • This episode marks Stafford's last appearance in an episode to date, though he is mentioned in the twenty-fourth series episode, Kenji on the Rails Again.


  • William Hope and Christopher Ragland are not credited in the UK dub for voicing Farmer McColl, the Photographer and the Troublesome Trucks.
  • In one shot of Paxton talking to Philip and Sidney, the wheel under his cab is missing. 
  • When Gordon stops in front of Philip, his piston valve is clipping into his running board.
  • Victor is on standard gauge track in the Sodor Steamworks.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese O Número do Philip
Chinese Mandarin 菲利浦的变号
Indonesian Berapa Nomor Philip?
Japanese フィリップは68ばん
Korean 왜 68번이에요?
Latin American Spanish El Número de Philip
Polish Numer Filipa
Russian Счастливый №68
Turkish Philip'in Numarası
Vietnamese Bí Mật Về Con Số 68 Của Phillip

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