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Recap / Thomas The Tank Engine S 3 E 23 Bulgy

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Air date: June 23rd, 1992 (UK), March 24th, 1993 (US)

Adapted from: Oliver the Western Engine, "Bulgy"

A special holiday is being celebrated and many visitors are traveling on Duck's Branch Line. At Tidmouth, Duck meets a double-decker bus, who threatens that one day rails will be ripped up. Duck warns Oliver, who takes his threat with a pinch of salt and nicknames the bus "Bulgy". But later, Oliver becomes concerned when another bus comes to help Bulgy. Then the two Great Western engines see Bulgy pretending to be a railway bus and are furious. Duck chases after him and finds Bulgy stuck under a bridge. Duck cautiously crosses the bridge and takes Bulgy's passengers home, but Bulgy never learns sense. And when no one believes him anymore, he is turned into a henhouse.


Tropes featured in the episode:

  • Evil Counterpart: Bulgy is Bertie's opposite in just about every way.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Bulgy's hatred of trains.
    • Duck mentions that Bertie makes jokes about the railway, but doesn't want to see it scrapped.
  • Foil: Bulgy serves as this to Bertie. As mentioned by Duck, while Bertie sometimes cracks jokes about the railway and has a slight rivalry with Thomas, he is still good friends with the engines and doesn't want the railway to be ripped up. Bulgy, however, is mean to the engines and desires for their rails to be turned into roads.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: Duck tries to reason with Bulgy by mentioning Bertie, but Bulgy thinks Bertie's too small to be useful.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: Bulgy gets stuck under a bridge when he attempts to take a shortcut to get Duck's passengers home faster. He is eventually dislodged and turned into a henhouse.
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  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Bulgy tried to beat Duck in a race by taking a shortcut, which involved him trying to drive under a bridge. The bridge wasn't high enough, and he got stuck underneath.
  • Jerkass: Bulgy is incredibly rude, cold-hearted, and discriminatory.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Bulgy gets stuck under a bridge. Then he starts telling lies again and is turned into a henhouse.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Bulgy gets a fake "Railway Bus" banner to steal Duck's passengers and doesn't accept their return tickets. His plan was to make the passengers think railway services were no good, but they quickly catch on.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: While Bertie had been introduced long before this episode, this was the first instance of a double-decker bus being featured in the show.
  • Short Cuts Make Long Delays: Bulgy's shortcut winds up getting him stuck under a low bridge.


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