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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Railway Series book, the magazine story, the other book, the Ladybird book or the DVD.

"Hush! I can hear something!"
"Probably the wind."
"No, listen!"
"Over here!"
"Och! It's Thomas! Come on, the poor wee engine must be frozen to the frames in there!”
―Thomas, Donald, and Douglas

Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree is the twenty-sixth and final episode of the second series. It is based on the book of the same name.


It is the 23rd of December and the final preparations are being made for a carol party to be held at Tidmouth. All the engines are working hard setting up the decorations. This year, the Fat Controller wants the carol party to be extra special.

The Fat Controller is waiting very impatiently when Thomas arrives. The Fat Controller tells Thomas that their Christmas tree has come and Thomas has to fetch it while Duck watches over Annie and Clarabel. Thomas asks the Fat Controller if he and the other engines can sing carols too, and the Fat Controller promises to think about it. Thomas is very excited and rushes off, collecting the tree safely. But on the way home, he gets stuck in a snowdrift. Thomas knows that he must get back in time and whistles for help, but cannot get out of the heavy snow. Suddenly, an avalanche erupts and buries Thomas and the tree.

Back at the yards, the engines are waiting for Thomas. His delay begins to make them cross, but they are quieted by the Fat Controller, who tells them that snow has knocked the telephone lines down and they must assume that Thomas is stranded. Everyone now feels sorry, and Donald and Douglas puff away to save him. They soon reach a snow drift much deeper than the rest. A cry for help is heard, and Donald thinks he hears something, but Douglas thinks it may be the wind. Hearing the cry carefully, they realize that they are at the drift where Thomas is buried.

Time passes as the workmen dig through the snow to free him. Thomas' driver and fireman, who had taken shelter in a nearby cottage, join the rescue, and Thomas is freed from the snow. Thomas follows the twins home and arrive just as night falls. The Fat Controller rewards the engines by granting permission to sing carols. The engines happily chuff away to the station. Lights come on, and the Fat Controller declares three cheers for Thomas and his friends.

Harold soon joins the party and drops off Father Christmas, much to everyone's joy. As the carols begin, Thomas tells Percy that although getting stuck in the snow was no fun, it was all worth it for the celebration and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas.




  • Father Christmas' large scale figure is a dressed-up Fat Controller. His small scale figure is the Fat Controller's overalls figure from Coal repainted.
  • Stock footage from the first series episode, Thomas, Terence and the Snow is used, along with mirrored stock footage from the first series episode, Thomas' Train.
  • This episode marks the last occurrences of several things:
  • This is the only Ringo Starr-narrated episode released in the US without him properly re-recording certain lines. In this version, due to Starr's departure before he had a chance to re-narrate certain lines, all lines mentioning the Fat Controller were omitted but were not re-narrated with "Sir Topham Hatt" in their place, leaving some large sections of pauses in some places. The one line that was not omitted was the UK name for Santa Claus, Father Christmas. This version can only be found on the VHS release of Shining Time Station's Christmas Special: Tis a Gift, which was first released on 27th October 1992.
  • A deleted scene shows Thomas laughing when he is pulled out of the snow drift.
  • George Carlin's dub of this episode was not featured on an episode of Shining Time Station. It first appeared on Thomas' Christmas Party and Other Favorite Stories on 24th August 1994.
  • Daisy and Henrietta are the only characters introduced in the first two series not to appear in this episode.
  • A scene of Donald and Douglas passing the watermill was originally going to appear in this episode, but it was cut and used as the opening shot in the second series episode, The Deputation.
  • Some of the passengers are represented by 1:32 scale Scalextric and Marklin figures.
  • The Ladybird Book is far different to the episode, and is actually closer to the original book instead, featuring scenes of Donald and Douglas passing Percy, Toby and Duck as well as mentioning how they wanted to rest at a station.
  • This episode's Korean title was just a transcription to Hangul of the "Christmas Party."
  • This episode first aired on 17th December 1986 and was repeated on 13th July 1988 for the 1988 repeat double-bills. This episode was not shown on further repeats after 1988.


  • When Thomas leaves Tidmouth Station to pick up the tree and when he and the Scottish Twins pass the Water Mill, his train has an SR 25 Ton Brake Van. When he is in the valley, it is replaced with a BR 20 Ton Brake Van.
  • In one scene, Donald has Edward's angry face on.
  • When the narrator says, "Then they set off once more to finish their long journey," on the left side of the screen, the space between the leaves and the tree is green.
  • In the aerial shot of the station when the lights come on, Bertie is stationary, at the back of the shot and missing a Christmas hat, and Terence's eyes are also noticeably misaligned, as they are horizontally pointed away from each other. Not long after, there is a close-up of both of them with Trevor, and Bertie is now wearing a hat.
  • In the aerial shot of the station, Annie and Clarabel do not have hats on, but later gain them.
  • In the aerial shot of the station, James is only seen briefly positioned behind Thomas on a branched track leading towards the Ffarquhar Sheds turntable. Once the celebrations begin he is not shown again, especially in the last shot of Thomas and Percy together as James' view is obscured due the camera's angle.
  • A wire was used to hold Harold when he lands. This is due to the fact that prior to the model where the rotors rotated while flying, the flying model had a transparent disc and flew by being held to wires.
  • BoCo's left eye is scratched, and his face moves a bit.
  • When the narrator says, "Everyone cheered and the party began," Thomas was next to Harold instead of in front of the station. Then, at the end of the episode, he is in his original position again. Edward is also seen in the station instead of in front of the station and Henry, Gordon and BoCo have disappeared.
  • Donald and Douglas' nameplates are missing in several scenes.
  • In the restored version:
    • Camera tripods are seen in the shot of the telephone lines and when Donald and Douglas set off to find Thomas.
    • In the shot of Thomas and Percy towards the end, a blue light behind them was covered up. This is likely to be a crew member standing in the background.
  • When the engines head to the Christmas party, Thomas' head lamp is not on, and the other engines are not wearing head lamps at all.
  • Thomas' eyes are misaligned throughout the episode.
  • In the shot of Bill and Ben with Diesel, Ben's nameplate is loose.
  • When the Fat Controller tells the engines they can go enjoy the carols, Donald and Douglas are missing their nameplates, Donald's left eyebrow (viewers' right perspective) is missing, and Thomas' face is crooked.
  • In the overhead shot of the station, none of the trucks next to Annie and Clarabel have faces, but when the shot of Trevor, Terence, Bertie, Annie and Clarabel is shown, a truck next to Annie gains a face.
  • When Donald and Douglas set off to rescue Thomas, the Fat Controller was standing by the track opposite them. In the next shot, the Fat Controller has already got back to his car on the other side of the turntable long before the twins run round it.
  • When Thomas says, "Happy Christmas, Percy!", his face moves.
  • The narrator says the engines were grumbling about Thomas being late, but Henry and Gordon are clearly smiling.
  • In the close-up of the people near the tree, some of them have some missing paint marks.


  • The Fat Controller: Quickly, now. Our Christmas tree has arrived just in time! I want you to fetch it, Thomas. Duck can look after Annie and Clarabel until you get back.
  • Thomas: Will we be able to sing carols, too?
  • The Fat Controller: We'll see.
  • Thomas: It would be nice to sing carols again.


  • The Fat Controller: [to the engines whistling impatiently] Silence! Thomas left the works safely, but snow has brought the telephone lines down. We must assume he is stranded!


  • Thomas: [in snow] Help!
  • Donald: Hush! I can hear something.
  • Douglas: Probably the wind.
  • Thomas: Help!
  • Donald: No! Listen!
  • Thomas: Over here!
  • Donald: Och! It's Thomas! Come on! The poor wee engine must be frozen to the frames in there!


  • The Fat Controller: [to the engines] As a reward for all your hard work, you may go and enjoy the carols. Be quick now!


  • The Fat Controller: 1! 2! 3!
[the station then lights up as if it were magic, with decorations and Christmas lights]
  • The Fat Controller: Ladies, Gentlemen, and children! I give you three cheers for Thomas the Tank Engine and all his friends who have made this occasion possible!


  • Thomas: [last line] It's no fun getting stuck in the snow. But it was worth it for this party. Happy Christmas, Percy! Happy Christmas, everyone!


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Thomas e a árvore de Natal perdida
Chinese Mandarin 托马斯和失踪的圣诞树
Czech Tomáš a Zmizelý Vánoční Strom
Danish Thomas og det Forsvundne Juletræ
Dutch Thomas en de Verdwenen Kerstboom
Finnish Tuomas ja Kadonnut Joulukuusi
French Thomas et le sapin de Noel manquant
German Der fehlende Weihnachtsbaum
Greek Το χριστουγεννιάτικο δέντρο
Hungarian Thomas és az Eltűnt Karácsonyfa
Italian La notte di natale
Japanese きかんしゃたちのクリスマス・キャロル
Korean 크리스마스 파티
Latin American Spanish Thomas y el árbol de Navidad perdido
Norwegian Thomas og det Bortkomne Juletreet
Polish Tomek i Zaginiona Choinka
Romanian Thomas şi Bradul Dispărut
Russian Томас и пропавшая ёлка
Serbian Tomas i Božićno Drvo
Slovenian Tomaž in Pogrešana Novoletna Jelka
Swedish Thomas och den Glömda Julgrannen
Turkish Thomas ve Kayıp Yılbaşı Ağacı
Ukrainian Томас і зникла ялинка
Welsh Tomos a'r Goeden Nadolig

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets




  • Thomas' Christmas Party and Other Favorite Stories
  • Thomas' Christmas Wonderland and Other Thomas Adventures
  • Thomas' Snowy Surprise and Other Adventures
  • Ultimate Christmas

DVD Boxsets


  • The Deputation and other Stories
  • The Biggest Ever Christmas Collection
  • The Complete Series 2

DVD Boxsets





DVD Boxsets














DVD Packs




  • Thomas and Friends Season 1-4