Harold is a helicopter who patrols the Island of Sodor, searching for emergencies.
When Harold first met Percy, he stated that railways were "slow and out-of-date", but was proven wrong when Percy beat him in a race. When Thomas' brakes failed while boarding at a station, with an inspector Harold chased him down the line. Christmas that year Harold brought Santa Claus to the party at Tidmouth Station. Harold also dropped hot drinks for Percy's crew when they were stranded in a floating river and made friends with Duck after rescuing an injured sailor.
Harold on the Big Screen
Harold was voiced by Kevin Frank in Thomas and the Magic Railroad. In the film, Harold flew by at Tidmouth Sheds, spreading sneezing powder all over Thomas, Splatter and Dodge. In earlier scripts, he didn't speak and he spread quarry dust in the quarry bowl all over Thomas, Splatter, and Dodge.
Harold speaks in a manner reminiscent of an RAF pilot, using terms such as "wizard" and "old chap" in conversation.
Throughout the second to fourth seasons, Harold somewhat tended to be full of himself as he felt that "railways are slow", but he always got his comeuppance in the end. He temporarily regained this part of his personality in the sixth season episode, A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter. Since then, he has acted a lot more mature and almost never teases the engines.
Harold is based on a Sikorsky S-55 helicopter, built in the UK as the Westland Whirlwind. He has added floats.
Harold is painted white with red lining.
- One of Harold's models is on display in Japan at the Hara Model Railway Museum (previously on display at Nitrogen Studios) and is currently missing his mouth.
- Harold has gone through several changes throughout the Television Series:
- Season 2:
- His spinning rotors were achieved using a transparent disk.
- In The Runaway and Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree, he is shown with a lamp.
- Season 3:
- His model's blades now spun when shown flying.
- His blades were flimsy and bent a bit.
- The lamp reappears only in Thomas, Percy and the Post Train.
- Season 4:
- His blades become straight again.
- Season 5:
- His blades go back to being flimsy and bent.
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad:
- His blades are straight once again.
- Season 2:
- In both of his appearances in the sixth season, Harold's unhappy expression was always visible behind his mouth on his happy face.
- Harold's theme in the second season is a musical variation on the main score of the 1955 film, The Dam Busters.
- Harold has never flown outside of The Island of Sodor.
- In the television series, Harold has never had eyebrows. However, he did have them in the magazine stories Mountain Rescue and False Alarm and in illustrations by Ken Stott.
- Harold was called Herbert in the French dub from Seasons 2 to 7.
- One of Harold's Wooden Railway models appears in an episode of CW's show Smallville entitled Nicodemus.
- "Hello. Who are you?"
- "I'm Harold. Who are you?"
- "I'm Percy. What whirley great arms you've got!"
- "They're nice arms. I can hover like a bird. Don't you wish you could hover?"
- "Certainly not! I like my rails, thank you."
- "I think railways are slow. They're not much use and quite out of date."
- A conversation between Percy and Harold in Percy and Harold
- "Bother! It's that dizzy-thing, Harold!"
- "Good morning! I always said railways where out of date, but you're so slow with the post, you should give everyone their stamps back post-haste!"
- A conversation between Harold and a behind-schedule Percy in Thomas, Percy and the Mail Train
- "Harold told me you where uh.....a wizard. He told me he can beat you at somethings but not at being a submarine. I honestly don't know what you two get up to sometimes but I do know you are a really, useful engine."
-Sir Topham Hat, after Percy taking a swim in Percy's Promise.