"What's the matter, Percy?"
"Nothing exciting ever happens, that's the matter.
It's just coal, coal, coal and trucks, trucks, trucks! I'm bored, bored, bored!
— Percy complaining to Bertie
A Surprise for Percy/
A Big Surprise For Percy

David Mitton


Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Michael Angelis (UK)
Alec Baldwin (US)

Air date

October 24th, 1998

Previous episode

"Sir Topham
Hatt's Holiday

Next episode

"Make Someone Happy"

A Surprise for Percy, retitled A Big Surprise For Percy in American releases, is the twenty-first episode of the fifth season.


Percy has been working at the coal mines for several weeks and is fed up with the work. Toby and Bertie try to cheer him up, to no avail. Then one day, Percy is pulling some trucks up to the yard, when they break away. Percy and Bertie chase after them and workmen manage to put chocks under the trucks wheels after they slow down going up a hill. After that, Percy decides that you should never let yourself be taken by surprise.




  • Stock footage from Put Upon Percy is used.
  • When the trucks first sing, music is used in the US version but not the UK version.
  • Much of the footage during the runaway is sped up.
  • In the US narration, the narrator laughs after the line "...but on that hill your still to slow", but in the UK version, the narrator doesn't.
  • In a rare picture, a truck's left (our right) buffer is missing.


  • The backdrop is visible during a close-up of Percy struggling up the hill.
  • Just before the truck's coupling breaks, Percy's piston appears to be broken.
  • In the bird's-eye shot of the trucks, a wire can be seen pulling the trucks forward.
  • When Percy pulls the trucks up the hill, in some shots his first red stripe is out of place.
  • In one scene Sir Topham Hatt and Bertie park at the end of the stone wall, but in the next scene they are nowhere to be seen.
  • The trucks should have derailed at bends due to their speed.
  • There was a brakevan coupled to the runaway trucks. So why didn't the guard use the handbrake?
  • Throughout the runaway, Bertie is smiling. Wouldn't he worried about the trucks rolling into the village?
  • In real life, the men would have needed more than two wooden blocks to keep the trucks from rolling back into the village.
  • In a close-up of the trucks racing up hill, the brakevan is at the wrong end of the train.



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