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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story, the Malaysia DVD, the Philippine DVD or the UK VHS.

“Edward says we need a--a depot station!"
"Of course! The question is..."
"What is a desperation?"
"It's when engines tell the Fat Controller something's wrong.”
―Percy, Gordon and Henry

The Deputation is the seventeenth episode of the second series. It is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, The Twin Engines.


Heavier than normal snow has fallen on the Island of Sodor and while the other engines hate it, Donald and Douglas are used to the conditions and clear the lines. They soon encounter one snow drift which is deeper than the rest and they are backing to charge it a second time when they hear a whistle; it is Henry who nearly buried. The twins promise to get him out.

Henry is rescued and returns to the shed, but both Donald and Douglas are upset. The Fat Controller will be returning soon and after backing into and wrecking a signal box and destroying the Spiteful Brake Van between them, they are worried that he will send them away which would lead to them being scrapped. The other engines agree that Donald and Douglas both deserve to stay and decide something has to be done; however, no-one can think of what.

Percy talks to Edward about the situation and he suggests that the engines nominate someone to talk to the Fat Controller, a deputation. Percy relays this to the others, which they agree to and try to think of someone to be their "disputation". Gordon nominates Percy to do the job, much to Percy's horror.

The Fat Controller returns and a nervous Percy stammers through his speech about allowing the twins to stay. The Fat Controller realises what is going on and tells him that he understands.

Later in the sheds, the Fat Controller responds to the engines' request. He begins by telling them that although he understands their feelings, he does not appreciate them interfering with his decision making. He then surprises everyone by awarding Donald and Douglas with new coats of paint as a result of their good work in the snow, and announces that their names will be painted on them and warns them not to make any further mistakes. The engines realise that the Fat Controller is allowing both twins to stay and are overjoyed, drowning out the rest of his speech with happy whistles.




  • A pre-filmed deleted scene from Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree is used; the viewer can tell because in the first shot, greenery appears in the snow in the top left corner.
  • This episode marks the first time the works unit coach is used without the Breakdown Train.
  • The "Chorus of Whistles" at the end of the episode is re-used in Bowled Out, Thomas and the Special Letter and Paint Pots and Queens.
  • Christmas decorations are seen on Tidmouth station behind Percy when he is talking to the Fat Controller, which suggests that this episode was filmed alongside Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree.
  • This episode marks the first time one of Percy's smug face mask is used that would later be used again in the fifth series episode Happy Ever After.


  • When Donald and Douglas leave the yard back-to-back, a truck is being derailed.
  • When rescuing Henry, the twin that says "Losh sakes, Donald. It's Henry!" is actually Donald himself.
  • When Gordon says "A lot of nonsense about a broken signal box," his right buffer is bent.
  • When James remarks about the Spiteful Brake Van, there appears to be a spot of paint above his right eye (viewer perspective left).
  • When Percy reverses to tell the engines about a deputation, the track in front of him bounces upward.
  • During the long silence, Douglas' tender is derailed.
  • Gordon and Percy's eyes are off-centre for the majority of the episode.
  • The Fat Controller says that the twins' names would be painted on, but they instead received nameplates.
  • Donald and Douglas are seen with nameplates in a few scenes. In the scene where the twins rescue Henry, Donald has his on one side, but not on the other.
  • To the left of the watermill, there is green grass that is not covered in snow.
  • Donald does not have his snowplough on and is not steaming in the opening scene.
  • It is said that Donald and Douglas had a van between their tenders, but they actually had a coach.
  • During the long silence, Percy's cab roof is lifted at the back.
  • The captions with the Amazon Video release mistakenly refer to Henry as James when he cries for help while stuck in the snowbank at the beginning of the episode.
  • When the engines whistle, Douglas is missing his left eyebrow and James' eyes stop rolling.
  • In the Finnish dub, Douglas' English name is used by accident twice.


[Donald and Douglas come across a snowdrift, until they hear a call for help]
Narrator: Presently they came to a drift which was larger than most. They charged it, and were just backing for another try. When…
Henry: [whistles twice]
Douglas: Losh sakes, Donald! It’s Henry! Dinna fash yourself, Henry! Wait a while! We’ll have you ott!

Donald and Douglas: He’ll send us back for sure.
Percy: It’s a shame!
Gordon: A lot of nonsense about a broken signal box.
James: That spiteful Brake van too. Good riddance. That’s what I say.
Henry: They were splendid in the snow. It isn’t fair.
Narrator: They all agreed that something must be done, but none knew what. Percy decided to talk to Edward about it.
Edward: What you need, is a Deputation. [explains to Percy about it]
[Percy returns to the sheds to spread the word to the other engines]

Percy: Edward says we need... a... a depostation!
Gordon: Of course! The question is...
Henry: What is a..... desperation?
Percy: It's when engines tell the Fat Controller something's wrong.
Duck: Did you say "tell the Fat Controller"?
Narrator: There was a long silence.
Gordon: I propose that Percy be our... uh... disputation.
Percy: I?! I can't!
Henry: Rubbish, Percy! It's easy.
Gordon: That's settled, then.
Narrator: Poor Percy wished it wasn't.

The Fat Controller: Hello, Percy. It's nice to be back.
Percy: [jumps] Uh, uh, yes, Sir! Yes, Sir! Please, Sir!
The Fat Controller: You look nervous, Percy. What's the matter?
Percy: Please, Sir, they've made me a "desperation," Sir, uh, to--to speak to you, Sir. I-I don't like it, Sir.
Narrator: The Fat Controller pondered.
The Fat Controller: Do you mean a deputation, Percy?
Percy: Yes, Sir, please, Sir. Uh, it's Donald and Douglas, Sir. They say, Sir, that if you send them away, Sir, well, they'll be turned into scrap, Sir. That would be dreadful, Sir. Uh, please, Sir, don't send them away!
The Fat Controller: Thank you, Percy. That will do.

The Fat Controller: I had a – er – deputation. I understand your feelings but I do not approve of interference. Donald and Douglas, I hear that your work in the snow was good. You shall have a new coat of paint.
Donald and Douglas: [whistles] Thank you, Sir!
The Fat Controller: But your names will be painted on you. We’ll have no more mistakes.
Donald and Douglas: Thank you, Sir! Does this mean that the both of us…?
Narrator: The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt smiled.
The Fat Controller: It means…
Narrator: But the rest of his speech was drowned in a delighted chorus of cheers and whistles. The twins were here to stay.


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese A Reivindicação
Chinese 委派代表
Croatian Delegacija
Czech Deputace
Danish Skal Donald og Douglas Rejse?
Dutch De Afgevaardigde
Finnish Lähetystö
German Hilfe für die Zwillinge
Hungarian A Küldött
Italian Tutti per Due
Japanese みんなのだいひょう
Norwegian Deputasjon
Polish Delegacja
Romanian Delegaţia
Russian Делегация
Serbian Odbor
Slovak Odposlanstvo
Slovenian Deputácia
Spanish La Delegación
Thai หัวรถจักรฝาแฝดดีใจ
Ukrainian Делегація
Welsh Dirprwyaeth

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