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“The third one has to be brave, Thomas! The third one has to make the troll go away!"
"What are you talking about, Percy?!"
"In the story, the third goat is the one who makes the troll go away! And you're the third!”
―Percy and Thomas

Three Steam Engines Gruff is the eighteenth episode of the twentieth series.

Plot

It is autumn and Thomas meets Toby along his branch line, who finds the trees look spooky. Thomas moves along and sees a broken fence. He informs Trevor of the fence, who says he will tell Farmer McColl about it.

That night, Thomas tells the other engines about the fence. Percy is nervous as he sets out to pull the mail train. He is making his deliveries and comes across a bridge on the branch line, and all of a sudden, hears a moaning sound. Frightened he runs back to the Sheds to tell the others. He runs in so fast, that he rockets right into Henry, who rolls further into his berth. Gordon is not amused nor interested. Percy, however, is very apprehensive toward the sound he heard.

The next morning, Percy tells Toby and Thomas about it. Thomas assures him there is probably nothing to worry about. Toby, on the other hand, is baffled and scared by this, and is not looking forward to crossing the bridge on the way to the Quarry.

Later, Thomas is nearing the bridge and decelerates, puzzling Annie and Clarabel. Thomas tells them what he is up to, but suddenly hears the moaning sound Percy told him about, hollers, and dashes away.

Thomas, Percy and Toby meet up at Ffarquhar, and discuss the sound they heard, and make an assumption. Percy, remembering the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff, thinks it is a troll. Toby, agreeing, reminds the others about how the littlest goat survived by going across the bridge first and telling the troll to eat his bigger brothers. The engines are all very scared and do not want to be consumed by the "troll".

Toby claims first, and Percy second, leaving Thomas to go third. At the bridge, Toby, Henrietta and Percy hurridly cross, leaving Thomas on the other side. Slowly proceeding across, Thomas, Annie and Clarabel hear the noise and listen more carefully, and realise it is a cow. Toby and Percy are surprised too, and they fetch Jem Cole, Farmer McColl and Trevor to rescue the cow, who was the escapee from the broken fence. Thomas takes her back to Farmer McColl's farm.

That night, Thomas, Percy and Toby tell the other engines about their adventure. Edward, Henry, Gordon and James laugh, but Toby and Percy are agitated and say it is not that funny. Thomas, not having any hard feelings, says it was a little "a-moosing."

Characters

Locations

Cast

UK

US

  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • William Hope as Edward and Toby
  • Kerry Shale as Henry and Gordon
  • Rob Rackstraw as James
  • Christopher Ragland as Percy and Trevor
  • Teresa Gallagher as Annie and Clarabel
  • Maggie Ollerenshaw as Henrietta
  • Keith Wickham as the Welsh Bird Watcher

Trivia

  • This episode is based around the fairy tale of The Three Billy Goats Gruff; the story is also mentioned in the episode by Percy and Toby.
  • This episode marks Trevor's first speaking role since the ninth series episode, Henry and the Flagpole, also his only appearance in the twentieth series.
  • This is the first episode that Jem Cole is referred to by name since the seventh series episode, The Refreshment Lady's Tea Shop.
  • In the Nick Jr USA broadcast of the episode, it is paired with Henry in the Dark.

Goofs

  • When Percy bumps into Henry at Tidmouth Sheds, Henry is sent backwards. But when Gordon is speaking to Percy, Henry has moved to where he was previously, without any indication he moved.
  • The bridge on the Watermill has two lines, but in this episode there is only one.
  • The Dutch dub incorrectly credits Lee Pressman as the episode's writer.
  • When Thomas, Percy and Toby are at Ffarquhar Station, the gates at the level crossing are missing.

In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Czech O Třech Statečných Parních Lokomotivách
Dutch Als de Drie Geitjes
French Un Grognement dans la Nuit
German Die Geschichte vom Unheimlichen Troll
Hebrew שלושה קטרים וטרול
Hungarian Három Félős Mozdony
Japanese おそろしい ようかい
Polish Bajka o Trzech Koziołkach
Portuguese As Três Locomotivas Assustadas
Romanian Trei Locomotive Arţăgoase
Russian Три труса
Serbian Trol i tri parni lokomotive
Slovenian Osorne tri parne lokomotive
Spanish Tres Trenes Asustados
Turkish Üç Huysuz Buharlı Lokomotif

Home Media Releases

UK

US/AUS

  • Extraordinary Engines

US DVD Boxsets