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“I wonder if my special funnel would win a prize. There's not many quite like it, after all."
"Your funnel is nothing compared to my splendid wheels!”
―Peter Sam and Sir Handel

The Great Little Railway Show is the third episode of the twenty-fourth series.

Plot

One morning, the Fat Controller receives a call asking if he can spare an engine. He speaks to Percy (who has just arrived after his mail run) and asks him if he can pick up some trucks from Brendam Docks and take them to Ulfstead Castle for a railway show for little engines. Percy then brags to Gordon that he will be going to the show.

While performing his other duties, Percy speaks to Peter Sam, Sir Handel and the Arlesdale Railway engines, telling them to come to Ulfstead Castle for the show. News of the show is quickly passed throughout the Island by Philip, Oliver, Paxton and Rosie.

At the Blue Mountain Quarry, all of the narrow gauge engines have disappeared, leaving Owen and Merrick without anyone to take their trucks. Meanwhile, at Arlesburgh West, the Small Controller is swarmed by a mob of angry passengers, complaining that there are no engines.

Later at Knapford, Gordon complains that Philip has not collected his coaches. Henry and Bertie then arrive and complain that Rosie and Thomas also never showed up for their jobs. Hearing the commotion, the Fat Controller tells the three that he has had calls from the Thin and Small Controllers saying that all of their engines have gone missing. Just then, James arrives, indignant as to why he has not been invited to the railway show. Sir Topham Hatt puts two and two together and goes to telephone the other controllers.

At Ulfstead Castle, all of the small engines have shown up for the railway show and are queued up outside of the castle. Several more engines including Skarloey, Rusty, Nia, Bill, and Ben have shown up, while Duck, Oliver, and Ryan have brought the miniature engines, Rex, Mike and Bert on their flatbeds. Gordon and James then arrive carrying the railway controllers onboard, who ask why all of the engines are here instead of doing their jobs. Percy, confused, states that everyone is there for the little railway show - to which the Thin Clergyman explains that the Fat Controller was referring to model engines, rather than small working engines. Percy apologises for wasting everyone's time, and Sir Robert Norramby states that all of the different engines at the castle will make the show much more exciting. The other controllers agree, with the condition that the engines all get their jobs done and go to the show in rotation. The Thin Clergyman sets up his layout of Sodor and runs his models of the engines. By the end of the show, Percy is pleased to find out that a model of him has won the prize for best in show.

Characters

Locations

Cast

UK

US

  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • Kerry Shale as Henry, Gordon and Mr. Percival
  • Rob Rackstraw as James, Owen, the Thin Clergyman, Fergus Duncan, the Announcer and a Passenger
  • Christopher Ragland as Percy
  • Yvonne Grundy as Nia
  • Rasmus Hardiker as Bill and Philip
  • Matt Wilkinson as Ben, Rusty and Merrick
  • Keith Wickham as Skarloey, Sir Handel, Bert, Bertie and Sir Topham Hatt
  • Steven Kynman as Peter Sam, Willie and the Crowd
  • Mike Grady as Sir Robert Norramby

Trivia

  • This episode marks the first of a few things:
  • This episode marks the only appearances of Oliver, Bill, Ben, Paxton, Sir Handel, Peter Sam, Rusty, Bert, Mike, Merrick, Owen and Fergus Duncan in the twenty-fourth series as well as Skarloey and Willie's only speaking roles in the same series, and their last appearances in the show to date.
  • The fantasy sequence is a parody of the Meet the Contenders videos.
  • The Thin Clergyman's models are based off of Wilbert Awdry's real models of Thomas, Henry, James, Percy and his Ffarquhar layout. A mirrored image of Michael White's replica model railway of Ffarquhar is used for this episode.
  • Every non-defunct railway on the Island of Sodor is featured in this episode in some form except for the Culdee Fell Railway, due to it not being in the television series.
    • This also makes this episode the second time standard, narrow and minimum gauge have all appeared in an episode, the first time being the twentieth series episode, Tit for Tat. It is also the first time engines running on all of these gauges speak in the same episode and the first time engines on all three gauges are seen in the same shot.
  • The Netflix release uses a title card structure similar to the one used in the twenty-third series, while the other episodes of the series do not.
  • This is the only episode in the twenty-fourth series to feature Steven Kynman as a part of the voice cast.
  • Rusty's line "Trusty Rusty coming through!" is a reference and a shout-out to the seventh series episode, Trusty Rusty.
  • Originally, Duncan was to appear in the episode, however he was later dropped as this would require Tom Stourton to come in to record only one line of dialogue.[1]
    • Had Duncan been retained, this episode would have also been the only episode of the twenty-fourth series to feature Tom Stourton in the voice cast.
  • This is the last episode to be written by Michael White.

Goofs

  • James and Percy's models on the Fat Controller's desk in the opening change position between scenes without being moved.
  • When Percy tells Gordon about the railway show, there is a building clipping through platform 3.
  • Peter Sam has Sam's whistle.
  • There are a few errors in the Netflix captioning:
    • Philip is misspelt as "Phillip".
    • Owen saying "Empty wagons coming up!" is incorrectly shown as "50 wagons coming up!"
    • Rusty saying "Trusty Rusty, coming through!" is incorrectly shown as "Dusty Rusty, coming through!"
    • Peter Sam asking "Which way to the funnel competition?" is incorrectly shown as "Which way to the engine competition?"
  • In one scene, the engine behind Ryan turns from Rex to Mike.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Italian La Piccola Esposizione Ferroviaria
Polish Wielki Pokaz Małych Lokomotyw
Russian Большое железнодорожное шоу
Spanish El Gran Espectáculo de Pequeños Ferrocarriles

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