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“The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt chose me because I'm as red as a rocket and twice as grand!”

Thomas and the Firework Display is the eleventh episode of the eighth series.


Tonight is the Fat Controller's harvest fireworks display, for which he decides to give James the job of collecting the fireworks from the depot. This upsets Thomas because he wanted that job, but James tells him that he was chosen because he is as red as a rocket and twice as grand.

At the Coaling Plant, Thomas is furious about James' job and angrily shunts some trucks around. James arrives at the depot to collect the fireworks and chuffs off to Knapford Station. But along the way, James breaks down and his driver goes to phone for help.

Thomas arrives at Knapford Station, where Gordon is letting off people from all over the island to see the fireworks, and seeing the children happy makes Thomas happy. The Fat Controller gives Thomas the news that James has broken down and that Thomas must push him to the station or the fireworks will be cancelled. Realising that this would make the children sad, Thomas heads off to find James.

Thomas finds James and calls him busted boiler, teasing him that he does not look really useful now, which makes James cross and embarrassed. Thomas tells James that he must look out for things ahead for him, as he can not see ahead. James forgives Thomas after hearing that the children would be upset if the fireworks do not get to Knapford and they start on their way.

Back at Knapford Station, the Fat Controller sees that it is late and near the children's bedtime, so he decides to cancel the display. While heading towards Knapford, James is confused that a signal they have reached is red. Thomas thinks a passenger train is coming and James realises that Gordon is taking the children home, so they try blowing their whistles loudly, but it does not work because no one can heard them.

As Gordon is just about to leave, Thomas has an idea to let his driver set off a firework. Gordon and the Fat Controller see it, realising it is a signal from Thomas and James and that the fireworks display is on again. The signal then turns green and Thomas and James arrive at the station.

At Tidmouth Sheds, Thomas and James watch the fireworks. James tells Thomas that they are both Really Useful Engines and Thomas says that they are most useful when they work together.




  • Going by production order, this is the first episode of the eighth series.
  • Stock footage from Thomas and the Rumours and Emily's New Route is used.
  • In the All Aboard with the Steam Team and Songs from the Station DVD dubs, the timing of when James asks, "Why would the signal be red?" is a few seconds earlier than in other DVDs with Michael Angelis' dub and the US, UK and Australian television broadcasts.
  • In the US dub, on the Songs from the Station VHS and DVD, the trucks say "Oh" after Thomas biffed them the last time. This is absent on the PBS airing.
  • The ending shot of Thomas and James watching the fireworks at Tidmouth Sheds is similar to the ending shot of the sixth series episode, Scaredy Engines, when Thomas and Percy are also watching fireworks at Tidmouth Sheds. Also, the shot of Thomas puffing across the countryside at sundown is similar to the final shot from Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
  • In the individual version of the episode, the music is omitted at the end of the episode.
  • This episode and Percy Gets it Right share the same opening shot while also being stock footage.
  • This episode marks last with two things:
  • This was the first eighth series episode to air on CiTV, as they were broadcast in production order.


  • When the driver lights the rocket, there is a thin wire used to pull the rocket.
  • In all of the night shots, light can be seen coming from the back of Thomas' headlight.
  • In the closeup shot of Thomas pushing James and the firework train into Knapford station, Thomas is not making any smoke.
  • When Thomas says "And good work, James!" the trucks he is pushing disappear.
  • Because stock footage is used, Annie and Clarabel appear in their old liveries.
  • In the Polish dub, Gordon's English name is used by accident.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Thomas e a Queima de Fogos
Chinese Mandarin 托马斯和烟火表演
Croatian Tomica i Vatromet
Czech Tomáš a Ohňostroj
Danish Thomas og Fyrværkerriet
Dutch Thomas en het Vuurwerk
Finnish Tuomas ja Ilotulitus
French Le Feu D'Artifice
German Thomas und das Feuerwerk
Greek Ο Τόμας και τα πυροτεχνήματα
Hungarian Thomas és a Tűzijáték
Italian Thomas e i Fuochi D'artificio
Japanese トーマスとはなびたいかい
Korean 불꽃놀이
Latin American Spanish Thomas y el Espectáculo de Fuegos Artificiales
Norwegian Thomas og Fyrverkeriet
Polish Tomek i Pokaz Sztucznych Ogni
Romanian Focuri de Artificii
Russian Томас и фейерверки
Scottish Gaelic Tòmas Agus an Iomhaigh
Serbian Tomas i Vatromet
Spanish Fuegos Artificiales
Swedish Thomas och Fyrverkerierna

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  • Songs from the Station

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