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Recap / Thomas The Tank Engine S 4 E 2 Sleeping Beauty

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Air date: April 16th, 1995 (US,) October 17th, 1995 (UK)

Adapted from: Duke the Lost Engine, "Sleeping Beauty"

This episode is part two of Thomas' story about the Mid-Sodor Railway. After the Railway closes down, Duke is left in his shed to sleep until he is needed again. Decades pass and one day a team of people approach the Fat Controller with the intention of finding Duke. The railway has since been overgrown by nature, but the team has maps that will lead them to Duke.

After many hours the search ends, quite by accident, when one of the team members falls through the roof of Duke's shed, having not realized he was standing on it and age had weakened the roof to where it could collapse. Duke wakes up and asks the men if they are vandals, but they assure him that they are there to rescue him and reunite him with Stuart and Falcon. After digging him out of the shed, they take Duke to his new home, the Skarloey Railway. Falcon and Stuart - now Sir Handel and Peter Sam - reunite with their old friend, who complained that they woke him up and started to tell them about the good old days.


Tropes featured in the episode:

  • Cobweb of Disuse: Duke is covered in cobwebs as a result of spending decades sleeping in a shed that was buried by an overgrowth of vegetation.
  • Composite Character:
    • The Fat Controller takes the role of the Small Controller from Duke the Lost Engine in their search for Duke.
    • Skarloey's train was used to represent Bert's train from the original story and also he was used to represent an Arlesdale Railway engine despite not being introduced until they were in Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure.
  • Floorboard Failure: A rescuer searching for Duke unknowingly stands on the roof of his shed, which collapses under his weight, causing him to fall inside and find Duke.
  • Happy Ending: The story ends on a happy note when Duke gets a new home on the Skarloey Railway with his old friends, Stuart and Falcon.
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  • Insult of Endearment: After Stuart and Falcon leave, Duke says "impudent scallywags" with a smile on his face.
  • Previously On…: Because this is the second part of the story, Thomas first briefly retells the previous episode for clarity.
  • Rip Van Winkle: Duke spends several decades sleeping in his shed. He is awakened when one of the rescuers searching for him falls on him after the roof he is standing on collapses under his weight.
  • Stock Footage: Footage from "Granpuff" is used.
  • Title Drop: When the rescuers find Duke asleep in his shed, they say, "We found him! We found our sleeping beauty!"
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Thomas continues his story about Duke.

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