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Down the Mine is the twenty-fifth episode of the first season.
One day while Thomas is waiting at the junction, Gordon, who is in disgrace after refusing to pull a goods train and falling into a ditch, pulls in with some trucks. As soon as Gordon stops, Thomas cracks a joke about ditch water. Before Gordon can respond, Thomas leaves with his coaches.
Annie and Clarabel are shocked at Thomas' behaviour, and scold him for it. Thomas is pleased with his clever joke though and runs off to go to the lead mines, leaving his coaches still in shock. The mine was made a long time ago by miners who made tunnels under the ground. The roofs of the tunnels are strong enough to hold up trucks but not engines. At the points, there is a board warning engines not to enter the area.
Thomas has often tried to pass the board, but has always failed. This time however, he has made a plan. When Thomas' fireman leaves the cab to change the points, Thomas bumps the trucks hard and knocks his driver off the footplate allowing him to pass the board. Then he moves over the unsafe rails, which collapse and leave him crashing into a chasm, and feeling very silly.
Then the Fat Controller arrives, having seen everything. After telling Thomas off for his naughtiness, he begins to think about how to get Thomas out. A crane would be too heavy for the ground to support, so he decides to call in Gordon to pull Thomas out. Thomas feels uneasy about this, given how much he laughed at Gordon for his own accident.
Shortly afterward with a winch attached to his buffer beam, Gordon heads to the rescue feeling much happier after hearing about Thomas's situation. Arriving at the mine, Gordon promises to get Thomas out "in a couple of puffs." A long cable is fastened between them and after a lot of hard work and pulling, Gordon is able to finally get Thomas out of the chasm.
Thomas tells Gordon how sorry he is for his cheekiness earlier. Gordon accepts Thomas' apology and tells him that he found his joke very funny. Now both engines are in disgrace, so they agree to form an alliance and help each other in the future. With that, the two engines are coupled together and head back to the shed.
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Gordon the Big Engine.
- This story is based on a real event that took place at Lindal-in-Furness in 1892. Though in this particular event, the collapsing mine hole was miles deep and all that was recovered of the engine was its tender.
- Stock footage from Thomas and the Guard and Thomas and Bertie is used.
- The buffers of the truck Thomas bumps into are lowered specifically so that Thomas can hit them properly.
- After the Fat Controller tells Thomas he's a naughty engine, in the UK narration, Thomas says, "Please get me out sir, I won't be naughty again!" In the US narration, he says, "Please get me out, I won't do it again!"
- Some of the trucks at the mine have "N. E." written on them.
- According to crewmember Christopher Noulton, the Gordon model used in the pilot was rebuilt by him for the second season for use as a stand-by model. It was later cut up and used as scrap set dressing.
- When Thomas shunts Annie and Clarabel his eyes look wonky and Annie and Clarabel are missing their names.
- The sign says: "Danger! Engines must not pass this board!" But when Thomas passes the board it says: "Danger! Engines must not pass this point!"
- The unsafe rails were broken before Thomas ran over them.
- When the Fat Controller says "Let me see," the man to the right is losing his cap's brim.
- In the close-up of Thomas down the mine, after the Fat Controller suggests that Gordon could pull Thomas out, a hair is stuck on Thomas' side.
- In the first scene of Gordon coming to Thomas' rescue, he is on the branchline.
- When Gordon goes under the bridge something blue appears above it.
- When Gordon and Thomas leave the mine, Thomas' wheels drag along the line for a few seconds before he blows his whistle.
- Buzz Book - Thomas Down the Mine
- Ladybird Book - Thomas and Bertie and Thomas Down the Mine
- Book - Thomas and the Castle
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