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“I'm sorry too. I only raced off because I thought I saw the mermaid.”

Skiff and the Mermaid is the twenty-sixth episode of the twentieth series.


Skiff and Captain Joe work at Arlesburgh and give tours to tourists. One day, Skiff overhears the Fat Controller talking to the Museum Manager about a mermaid. Skiff tells Duck that there will be a mermaid coming the following day. Duck is confused and asks what a mermaid is and Skiff explains. Duck says that mermaids do not exist, but Skiff tells him that he has heard a lot of tales about mermaids. Skiff says he would love to see one, before Duck leaves.

Skiff spends the rest of the day looking out towards the sea, hoping he will be the first one to spot "the mermaid." Then, Oliver and Toad arrive. Toad asks why Skiff is staring out to sea, and Skiff explains that a mermaid is soon arriving. Oliver tells Skiff that unexpected things can happen and that Toad once spotted a whale stranded on the beach, which, despite not believing him at first, turned out to be true.

The next morning, Skiff is up and about early, since he did not want to miss seeing the mermaid. But by lunchtime, there is still no sign of her. Duck then arrives with the Fat Controller and his grandchildren at the Maritime Museum. The Fat Controller tells the manager that the Mermaid is on its way at the exact moment. Skiff tells Duck that the mermaid will be coming and Duck says that it might be true. Stephen and Bridget arrive beside Skiff and Joe asks if they are ready for their harbour trip. The Fat Controller tells the children to not get into Skiff before they get their life-jackets. The children ask Skiff what he likes best of land or sea, to which Skiff responds by saying he likes both parts. Stephen says he likes the sea, but does not like getting his face wet; Skiff chuckles and agrees, but adds that he is getting used to it. Then Skiff thinks he has spotted the mermaid out at sea and calls for the anchor to be dropped on board. Without warning, Skiff blows along the rails towards the sea. Once out at sea, Skiff orders the Fat Controller to control him by his sail, but the Fat Controller does not understand what instructions Skiff ordered. Skiff cannot see any sign of the mermaid and starts being doubtful of where it might be.

At Arlesburgh, Captain Joe and the grandchildren try to look for Skiff and the Fat Controller from the lighthouse. Duck tells Toad that they are out there, somewhere. Joe is sure that they are okay and says that the Fat Controller is a very resourceful man.

Out at sea, the Fat Controller manages to fend off some seagulls, but loses the second oar as well. The alarm goes off at the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre, and Captain and Harold are called to the rescue.

Somewhere isolated, Skiff and the Fat Controller have reached land. Skiff apologises for going off without his captain and tries to explain about seeing the mermaid, but the Fat Controller mumbles about how much time it could take for them to be found again. Skiff is sure that they have not gone very far and that they can sail back to Arlesburgh once the tide has gone out.

It does turn out that Skiff was right, that they had not gone so far at all. Harold tells Captain via their radios that he has spotted Skiff and the Fat Controller at Bluff's Cove. The Fat Controller is delighted that they have been found and Skiff agrees.

Skiff and the Fat Controller arrive back at Arlesburgh, where his grandchildren are happy to see him. Skiff then explains that he raced off because he thought he saw the mermaid. The Fat Controller says that Skiff got it all wrong, before Thomas arrives with "the mermaid" figurehead, for the front of the Pirate Ship and the Fat Controller explains that it is his mermaid.

That night, Toad says that the mermaid is beautiful and Skiff agrees, but says he wished he had seen a real mermaid. Skiff also says that he now knows that things like mermaids do not exist. Toad is picked up by Oliver and he calls goodnight to Skiff before he leaves and Skiff says "night" back. As the moon reaches in front of the clouds, a whale's tail appears in the water; Skiff is fascinated by it and says "wow."





US and CAN

  • Steven Kynman as Duck
  • Joe Mills as Oliver and Toad
  • Jamie Campbell Bower as Skiff
  • Kerry Shale as Harold
  • Keith Wickham as Captain, Sir Topham Hatt, the Museum Manager and the Man
  • Teresa Gallagher as Stephen Hatt, Bridget Hatt, the Woman and the Children
  • Matt Wilkinson as Captain Joe


  • Going by production order, this is the sixteenth episode of the twentieth series.
  • As the episodes air out of production order, this episode, along with Hugo and the Airship and The Missing Breakdown Train, which both lack the mermaid figurehead on the pirate ship, aired after Blown Away and The Railcar and the Coaches, in which the figurehead is visible on the ship.
  • A reference to the nineteenth series episode, Toad and the Whale is made.
  • It is revealed that the Fat Controller was once a boy scout.
  • The scene where the Fat Controller makes a face on a rock and talks to it is similar to the movie Cast Away, in which the protagonist paints a face on a volleyball so he has someone to talk to.
  • This episode marks Captain's only appearance in the twentieth series.
  • On the Nick Jr. US broadcast of this episode, it was paired with The Missing Breakdown Train.
  • This episode marks the last of a few things:
    • Oliver's last appearance in an episode until the twenty-fourth series episode, The Great Little Railway Show and his last speaking role in an episode. He was supposed to appear in the twenty-first series, but he was dropped in favour of Samson.
    • Toad's last appearance in an episode. He was supposed to appear in the twenty-first series, but he was dropped in favour of Bradford.
    • Skiff's last speaking role until the twenty-fourth series episode, Nia's Bright Idea.
    • Captain Joe's last speaking role.
    • The last episode until the twenty-fourth series episode, James the Super Engine, where Thomas appears, but only cameos.
    • Captain's last appearance in an episode until the twenty-third series episode, Steam Team to the Rescue.
    • The final episode narrated by Sky du Mont in German-speaking countries.
    • The final episode narrated by Yuriy Hrebelʹnyk in Ukraine.
    • The final episode dubbed in French and Ukrainian.
    • The final episode dubbed in European Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Slovenian, Serbian, Czech and Greek until the twenty-second series episode, Number One Engine.
    • The final Thomas and Friends episode released on a Complete Series DVD in the UK, since that country stopped doing DVD versions of the Complete Series releases, and The Complete Series 21, which featured The Christmas Coffeepot and Over the Hill, alongside all eighteen of its own episodes, didn't get a DVD release (most likely due to a decrease in sales of the Complete Series DVDs after Series 20's release, which had all of its episodes on it, except for the two Glynn's Christmas ones). Instead series 21's Complete Series release was released exclusive to Amazon Prime, and it seems very unlikely that the DVD version will come out in 2022, just for the 5th anniversary of Thomas' 21st television series.


  • In the last scene, Toad's coupling hook is missing the three-chain link. 
  • When Skiff was talking to Duck we can see he is pulling slip coaches but not leaving it in the station. 
  • In the German dub, Toad has Oliver's voice when he says "Who?" In the German credits and Christian Stark is credited for voicing Thomas, but Thomas does not speak in this episode.
  • The Nickelodeon US airing with The Missing Breakdown Train credits William Hope and Glenn Wrage for voicing Edward and Cranky, respectively, but neither appear in both episodes.
  • When Captain Joe goes to get the life jackets for Stephen and Bridget, he goes inside the station, but when Skiff and the Fat Controller race past him, he suddenly appears closer to the lighthouse.
  • In the shot of Skiff talking to Toad at dusk, some of the rails of the quay are missing.

In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Skiff e a Sereia
Czech Skiff a mořská panna
Dutch Skiff en de Zeemeermin
French Skiff et la sirène
German Skiff und die Meerjungfrau
Greek Σκιφ και η Γοργόνα
Hebrew סקיף ובת הים
Hungarian Skiff és a sellő
Japanese スキフとにんぎょ
Korean 스키프와 인어
Polish Szyper i Syrena
Portuguese O Skiff e a Sereia
Romanian Skiff şi Sirena
Russian Скифф и Русалка
Serbian Skif i sirena
Slovenian Skif in morska deklica
Spanish Skiff y la Sirena
Turkish Skiff ve Denizkızı

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US DVD Boxsets