U.S. Title: Terence the Tractor
Air date: November 20th, 1984
Autumn arrives on the island of Sodor, turning the fields and trees from green to brown. One day, Thomas is running along his branch line when he spots a tractor ploughing the fields. Later, Thomas gets a chance to talk to the tractor who is friendly and introduces himself as Terence. Thomas cheekily tells Terence he has ugly wheels, but Terence explains they're caterpillars and allow him to go anywhere as he doesn't need rails to run. Thomas is indignant, telling Terence he likes his rails as he leaves.
Winter soon comes, and the landscape is blanketed by snow. Thomas' driver is worried that a heavy fall is coming, but Thomas isn't scared of something like snow. However the countryside is covered with snow and Thomas is angry to arrive at the station to find his snow plough waiting for him. Thomas' driver explains that the tank engine will need to wear it for the next journey, but Thomas is certain snow (which he calls 'silly soft stuff') won't stop him. He is fitted with the snow plough which is very uncomfortable, making Thomas cross causing him to shake and bang it throughout his journey. By the end of the day, the plough is so damaged the driver has to remove it. He tells Thomas that's he a very naughty engine as he shuts him up in the shed for the night.
The next morning, Thomas' driver and fireman arrive early to try and fix the snow plough but can't make it fit. Thomas is very pleased that he doesn't have to wear it and boasts to Annie and Clarabel who are worried about the snow, as is Thomas' driver knowing the snow will be deep in the valley. Thomas isn't concerned at all, and rushes into a tunnel thinking of how clever he is... and comes out to find a massive snow drift which he runs straight into.
Thomas is stuck, and attempts to reverse out are useless. The guard goes for help as the driver, fireman and Thomas' passengers try to dig him out, however more snow falls until Thomas is nearly buried. Thomas is very upset, believing he'll wind up frozen and realises its his own fault since he wouldn't have got stuck if he'd been wearing his snow plough.
A bus arrives to pick up the passengers, and none other than Terence (who doesn't mind snow) arrives to rescue Thomas. After taking the now-empty Annie and Clarabel away, Terence returns for Thomas who has had most of the snow dug off him but still can't move. A chain is attached to the two, and Terence is finally able to pull Thomas free after a lot of effort.
Thomas is now able to move on his own again, and picks up Annie and Clarabel while thanking Terence for the rescue and praising his caterpillars. Thomas' driver hopes Thomas has learned his lesson and will act more sensible in future. Thomas promises to try, as he humbly heads back to the shed.
Tropes featured in the episode (YMMV here):
- Added Alliterative Appeal: "Snow is silly soft stuff! It won't stop me!"
- An Aesop: What you might find strange about others may turn out to be really useful to them.
- Big Damn Heroes: Terence rescuing Annie, Clarabel, and especially Thomas from the snow, thus gaining Thomas' respect.
- Break the Haughty: This was heavily brought upon Thomas as he was stuck on the snow after claiming that it won't stop him as well as claiming that he doesn't need a snowplough, which he deliberately broke because it was uncomfortable.
- Catchphrase: Thomas' "cinders and ashes" was said for the first time, and became more frequent in the later series.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Bertie the Bus makes his first cameo appearance before being officially introduced in the next episode.
- Easily Forgiven: Terence showed no hard feelings for Thomas' initial rudeness in the beginning.
- Fantastic Racism: Thomas wasn't initially receptive of Terence for being a tractor with "ugly wheels".
- Hate at First Sight: How Thomas and Terence met, but this is one-sided on Thomas' part since he was being rude to Terence.
- Help, I'm Stuck!: Towards the end of the episode, Thomas gets stuck in the snow and Terence has to pull him out.
- Humble Pie: Thomas gets a taste of it after the snow accident, and gratefully thanks Terence for pulling him out.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Thomas.
- Miles Gloriosus: Thomas as it concerns the snow.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Thomas felt bad for not wanting his snowplough after being stuck in the snow, and even cried about it.
- Perpetual Smiler: Terence.
- Single Tear Of Remorse: Thomas let one out after realizing that he shouldn't break his snowplough.
- Tempting Fate: Thomas spends his time boasting about snow doesn't stop him, until he reaches the large snow drift.
- What the Hell, Hero?: After breaking his snowplough, Thomas' driver gives him this rebuke:"You're a very naughty engine."