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Recap / Thomas the Tank Engine S1 E1 "Thomas and Gordon"

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U.S. Title: Thomas Gets Tricked

Air date: October 9th, 1984

Thomas is a blue tank engine who acts as a station pilot for the bigger engines. His job is to fetch coaches for the other engines and then take them away when the engines need to go to the sheds and rest. Thomas thinks no engine works as hard as he does and is often very cheeky to the bigger engines, especially Gordon, the big blue engine who pulls express trains.

One day, Gordon returns from a long journey and wants a rest, so he finds a siding to sleep in. Then Thomas comes up in his cheeky way, telling Gordon to wake up and work harder. This wakes the big engine up, but instead of falling back asleep, he plots revenge on Thomas to show him what hard work really is.

The next morning, Thomas' crew is unable to make him start. Gordon impatiently waits outside the station for Thomas to bring him his coaches. Finally, Thomas starts. He hurries to get the express coaches and brings them to the station platform behind Gordon. Gordon then enacts his plan and quickly backs down and couples to his train. Thomas usually pushes from behind to help the trains get a good start, but they always uncouple him from the train first. This time, however, Gordon has rushed him so much, Thomas' crew forgot to uncouple him and Gordon quickly starts off, with little Thomas behind. Gordon races through the Sudrian countryside as fast as he could to show Thomas how hard it is to pull the express. It is not long before Thomas is quite out of breath.

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After a while, the two blue engines come to a stop at a station. Thomas had never gone that fast before and is very tired and feels very silly. He has a nice long drink from the water tower and puffs wearily home. Thomas learned to never be cheeky to Gordon again.


Tropes featured in the episode:

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: While Thomas debuts in this story from The Railway Series, it is aired before the stories of The Three Railway Engines (which he later cameos in) so this episode revolves around the title character.
  • An Aesop: Never tease others to make yourself feel important.
  • Bowdlerise: A few examples.
    • In the UK, the narration states that Thomas "likes to whistle rudely at him [Gordon]." while in the US, it's "Thomas likes to tease Gordon with his whistle."
    • In the UK narration, it states that Gordon began making his plan and says "Yes, I will." while the US narration states that Gordon began making his plan to teach Thomas a lesson for teasing him.
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    • In the ending the UK narration states that Thomas returns home slowly learning never to be cheeky to Gordon again, but in the US narration, it is dubbed "'Maybe I don't have to tease Gordon to feel important,' Thomas thought to himself".
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Thomas, whom the narrator describes as "cheeky" and "fussy".
  • Break the Haughty: Gordon does this to Thomas.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Thomas teasing the big Gordon can be seen this way, which leads to Gordon's payback.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The narrator introduces Thomas this way:
    "He's a cheeky little engine with six small wheels, a short stumpy funnel, a short stumpy boiler and a short stumpy dome."
  • Downer Ending: After getting tricked by Gordon, Thomas humbly returns home, learning the lesson of never teasing him again.
  • Establishing Character Moment: What you all need to know about Thomas is that he's a mischievous engine who teases other engines like Gordon.
  • Insulted Awake: This happened with Gordon after Thomas disturbs his sleep for the second time, leading to his plan to pay him back.
  • Karmic Trickster: Gordon.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Gordon pulling Thomas along the line after Thomas' teasing.
  • No, You: Happens when Thomas arrives late to prepare for Gordon's express.
    Gordon: Hurry up, you!
    Thomas: Hurry yourself!
    Gordon: *Plotting his plan* Yes, I will.
  • Pilot: The first episode of the series. However, if we were to put the railway series into account, this episode takes place after "Edward, Gordon, and Henry" in the books. But this is entirely justified due to Thomas being the Breakout Character.
  • The Prankster: Thomas.
  • The Rival: Gordon to Thomas.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Thomas.

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