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- “Young Winston is heading for trouble. Big trouble.”
Wayward Winston is the third episode of the seventeenth series.
One day, Thomas is taking the Fat Controller and his family to Ulfstead Castle when they come across some very bumpy track. The Fat Controller decides that the bumpy stretch of track must be repaired as soon as possible.
Soon, workmen start to repair the bumpy line. Each day, the Fat Controller inspects the workmen's progress in Winston. The Fat Controller is still unable to operate Winston properly which causes the other engines to tease Winston. Winston also finds himself frequently having to remind the Fat Controller to apply the handbrake. Winston tells Percy that he sometimes wishes that he could go without a driver. Percy tells Winston not to be so silly and Winston and the Fat Controller travel further up the line. When they stop again, the Fat Controller forgets Winston's handbrake again, but this time, Winston does not remind him and he starts to roll away. Just then, Thomas pulls up with a train of stone. The Fat Controller jumps in Thomas' cab and orders him to chase after Winston.
Winston zooms through Wellsworth Station and past Gordon and Emily being closely followed by Thomas and the Fat Controller. Gordon predicts that Winston is heading for big trouble, but Winston is having the time of his life. When a signalman sees Winston without a driver, he tries to switch the runaway track inspection vehicle off of the main line, but inadvertently switches Thomas instead. The signalman then makes an emergency telephone call to another signalbox to explain what is happening. The man in the next signalbox switches Thomas back onto Winston's line. Meanwhile, Bertie pulls up to a nearby crossing, then reverses just as Winston rolls past. The gates start opening again and Thomas zooms through just before they hit him. The Fat Controller yells out to Bertie to stay where he is and not move.
Soon, Winston rolls up to a junction and sees Paxton about to pull onto his line ahead. Winston's signal suddenly turns red, but he cannot stop without a driver. He calls out for Paxton to watch out, and he slams on his brakes. Paxton stops just in time, but is puzzled by what the big rush is. Winston is no longer enjoying his experience and wishes that he had a driver after all.
Winston nears Tidmouth Sheds and is horrified to see a line of trucks ahead on his line. Winston shuts his eyes and prepares for a collision, but instead he starts to make spluttering noises. He rumbles to a stop just in front of the trucks; he has run out of fuel. Then, Thomas and the Fat Controller pull up, and The Fat Controller is very cross with Winston for going off without him. Winston points out that it was not all his fault; the Fat Controller had forgotten to apply the handbrake. The Fat Controller accepts the blame for his part in the incident and Winston admits that he should have reminded him. Winston now realises that he does need a driver, after all.
All of the engines are happy when the work on the bumpy line is complete. They are all glad not to be bumping along like Winston anymore. Winston no longer minds the engines teasing him and is just pleased to have the Fat Controller back in the driving seat.
- Annie and Clarabel
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Lady Hatt (not named; does not speak)
- Stephen Hatt (not named; does not speak)
- Bridget Hatt (not named; does not speak)
- James (cameo)
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Kirk Ronan Junction
- Knapford Iron Bridge
- Gordon's Hill
- Three-Track Level Crossing
- The Works
- Ulfstead Castle (mentioned)
- Ben Small as Thomas
- Keith Wickham as Henry, Gordon, Percy, Bertie and the Fat Controller
- Teresa Gallagher as Emily, Annie and Clarabel
- Matt Wilkinson as Winston
- Steven Kynman as Paxton (uncredited)
- Martin Sherman as Thomas and Percy
- Kerry Shale as Henry, Gordon and Sir Topham Hatt
- Jules de Jongh as Emily
- Steven Kynman as Paxton
- Matt Wilkinson as Winston
- Teresa Gallagher as Annie and Clarabel
- Keith Wickham as Bertie
- Going by production order, this is the eighth episode of the seventeenth series.
- This episode was released before King of the Railway, meaning that the audience would not know what Ulfstead Castle was.
- Keith Wickham takes over the role of Bertie in this episode onwards.
- In the UK version, the narrator's lines "Sir Topham Hatt was still not used to driving Winston" and "As he and Sir Topham Hatt left for the day..." are omitted. Also, some dissolves are missing.
- This episode marks the debut of Kellsthorpe in CGI, which was last seen in the tenth series.
- This also marks Paxton’s first speaking role in a episode.
- Winston going down the track alone is similar to Toad in the fifth series episode, Busy Going Backwards.
- Winston's wonder of going without a driver is similar to Thomas' from the second series episode, Thomas Comes to Breakfast.
- Steven Kynman is not credited in the UK credits for voicing Paxton.
- After Winston goes over the peak of the hill, a track disappears.
- When Thomas is switched off the main line, his headlamp is on his left (viewer's right) lamp iron, whereas in the rest of the episode, the lamp is on his right. His brake pipe is also on the left side of his buffers. Additionally, Sir Topham Hatt's suit is also mirrored, meaning that the whole shot was likely flipped and edited slightly to avoid breaking the 180-degree rule of filmmaking.
- Thomas is switched down the siding at the junction, but in the next shot he is on a two-track branch line.
- When Thomas is switched back to the main line, the points were not set for the line he takes.
- In one of the scenes of Thomas chasing Winston, smoke is coming from his tanks, not his funnel.
- When Gordon passes Winston with the Express, he is not coupled to the coaches.
- “Here comes Wobbly Winston!"
"Stop, start, start, stop! Make up your mind, Winston!”
- ―Henry and Gordon teasing Winston
- “Ha, ha! No driver!”
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