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“Arthur, it's, eh, 'fruitless' for me to say more, but Thomas, you must help clean up this mess.”
―The Fat Controller

The Spotless Record, later shortened to Spotless Record, is the ninth episode of the seventh series.


A new tank engine named Arthur has arrived. The Fat Controller explains that he is to shunt trucks and pull freight, and that he was chosen because he has a spotless record. Percy is confused, so Thomas explains that it means Arthur has never been naughty or had an accident.

Later, Thomas and Percy are bumping trucks around. They know this is naughty but they are having fun. Thomas asks Arthur to join in, but he declines. Arthur's first job is to take a train of fruit to market. The trucks sing at him, which he thinks is very rude. This gives Thomas an idea; he tells Arthur that the Fat Controller does not like the trucks singing, and that he should tell them to stop. Arthur is convinced that he can keep the trucks in order and sets off while Thomas chuckles at his little joke.

Arthur is out on the main line when the trucks start singing again. Arthur crossly tells them to stop and that trucks should do as they are told. This leads to the trucks deciding that if they cannot sing, they will try and teach Arthur a lesson instead. When they come to the top of Gordon's hill, the trucks use their weight to pull Arthur down at high speed. But up ahead, Duck has stopped at a level crossing. Arthur tries to stop, but it is too late as he crashes into the back of Duck's train, completely destroying Arthur's trucks, damaging Duck's brake van and squashed fruit flies in all directions. Arthur is very upset now that his spotless record has been ruined.

Thomas arrives with the Fat Controller on board. Arthur tells him how he told the trucks to stop singing, but they pulled him down the hill. Thomas feels ashamed and admits to the Fat Controller that it was his fault since he told Arthur to stand up to the trucks. The Fat Controller orders Thomas to help clean up the mess. Harvey arrives with the breakdown train and everyone works hard to clean up the mess.

That evening, Arthur is being cleaned when Thomas arrives. He apologises for tricking Arthur, and he is grateful that Thomas owned up. The two engines decide that spotless records can be broken, but then mended again, just like friendship.




  • Going by production order, this is the twentieth episode of the seventh series.
  • In a picture of Thomas and Arthur at Tidmouth Sheds, James is not on the turntable.
  • In both of Michael Angelis' dubs, this is the last episode in which an engine says, "Peep! Peep!" as they are whistling until the twenty-fourth series episode Nia's Bright Idea, while in Michael Brandon's dub, Thomas says "Oh Arthur, what a mess" instead.
  • Prior to being released for digital download on Amazon in 2016, Michael Brandon's dub of this episode had only been broadcasted on television.
  • This was the only with two things:
    • The only episode where Arthur has been seen with one of his angry expressions and his surprised expression, although the latter was used in the DVD game, Arthur's Tricky Travels.
    • The only episode where the term "Foolish Freight Cars" was mentioned in the US dub. They were only referred to as such in Michael Angelis' re-dub, whereas Michael Brandon's dub uses their more familiar term "Troublesome Trucks" instead.
  • This is one of several episodes from the seventh series to have its title card read on Nick Jr. and PBS half-hour ninth series airings.


  • When Arthur enters Maron, the end of the set can be seen at the top right.
  • In Michael Angelis' US re-dub, the Fat Controller still refers the trucks as such in the line, "He's here to shunt trucks and pull freight."
  • In the first three close-ups of Arthur, his left eyebrow is scratched.
  • When Thomas explains what a spotless record is, James is hurrying past in the background, but soon after, he and his train disappear.
  • When the shot fades to Thomas and Percy whizzing past Arthur, smoke is venting up from beneath the tracks before Thomas runs on them.
  • At the docks, Percy pushes trucks past Thomas on the tracks right next to him. A few seconds later, Salty pushes trucks past Thomas on the same track, but in the other direction.
  • When Salty comes past Thomas, the building to the left has no roof.
  • Both tracks where Thomas and Arthur stand while talking about the troublesome vans lead to dead ends in both sides.
  • When Arthur starts his journey, he is actually pushing his trucks further towards the end of the siding.
  • When the trucks start singing during the journey, they are passing through the level crossing, but in the close-up of Arthur, he has jumped back before the crossing. To disguise this, the signal box next to the crossing was removed.
  • In the aforementioned close-up of Arthur, the track behind him leads to bushes.
  • When Arthur passes the windmill, the vans are missing their faces.
  • The trucks' faces keep swapping sides and disappearing.
  • In the shot of Arthur's wheels while he is braking, the signal pole can be briefly seen. However, in the next point of view shot, the trucks pass the signal again. In addition, he is wearing his smiling face mask.
  • Arthur's first few wheels are lifted up during the collision, but in later shots, they are back on the tracks.
  • Arthur's driver was splashed in fruit in the close-up shot, but in the next shot with Arthur, he is only covered with fruit on his front half. In the shot after that, he and the signalman do not have fruit on them.
  • When Thomas pushes the flatbeds and trucks with the damaged trucks' parts, two of the trucks and one of the flatbeds briefly jerk up.
  • When this episode first aired on CITV, the Radio Times still referred to Arthur by his original name, Clarence.
  • In the first two close-ups of Arthur at the water tower, James spins on the turntable twice.
  • In the second close-up of Arthur at the water tower, his eye mechanism can be seen moving between his face and smokebox.


  • Percy: Uh what's a spotless record?
  • Thomas: It means he's never made quite a mess.


  • Trucks: Chuff chuff chuff! You tug and huff! But you're so rusty you can't even puff!
  • Arthur: Stop singing! Trucks should do as they're told!


  • Thomas: Peep peep, what a mess!/Oh Arthur, what a mess!
  • The Fat Controller: What happened here?
  • Arthur: The trucks were singing. I told them to stop but they made me go too fast.
  • Thomas: Please, sir. It's my fault.
  • Narrator: Thomas told the Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt what he had done.
  • The Fat Controller: Arthur, it's fruitless for me to say more, but, Thomas, you must help clear up this mess.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Chinese Mandarin 完美纪录
Czech Čistý štít
Danish Et uplettet rygte
Hungarian A makulátlan múlt
Italian La Locomotiva Senza Macchia
Japanese アーサーのきろく
Korean 무사고 기록 (EBS)
아서의 무사고 기록 (Adongmoonhak)
Polish Nieposzlakowana Opinia
Romanian Un Record Impecabil
Russian Незапятнанная репутация
Serbian Čist zapis
Swedish Den fläckfria meritlistan
Turkish Lekesizlik Rekoru
Welsh Llechan Lân

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  • The Complete Series 7

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