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This article is about 'the episode'. You may be looking for 'the Buzz Book or the US DVD'.
"Well, it wasn't anything, really. Water's nothing to an engine with determination!"
— Percy

Percy Takes the Plunge, sometimes known as Percy Takes a Plunge in the US, is the eleventh episode of the second season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episodes: Mapping it Out in 1989 and Schemer Goes Camping in 1993.


One day at the harbour, a tired Henry is looking to rest in the sheds after a hard day's work, but instead of peace, he finds Percy telling Bill and Ben about the time he braved bad weather to help Thomas' passengers return home. However, Percy is embellishing the tale, as he speaks about how he braved through flood waters using the phrase "Water's nothing to an engine with determination". Bill and Ben shower Percy with praise and Henry angrily tells them to leave, as the sheds are only for engines belonging to the Fat Controller.

The engines leave and Percy is angry, having been enjoying himself. However, Henry just tells Percy how silly his line about water and determination is. Percy leaves, but not without quickly reminding Henry of when he refused to leave a tunnel because of the rain.

Later, Percy and Thomas come across a board saying "DANGER! Engines must not pass this board". Thomas tells Percy that they must not go past it and tells him about the time he passed a board and fell down a mine. Percy cannot see a mine, not realising that the foundations of the rails have sunk and the line now leads into the sea. As a result, Percy, who is now feeling very cocky, decides that the board is stupid and makes a plan to pass it.


"I went past danger once, and fell down a mine." "I can't see a mine!"

As he brings some trucks to the harbour, Percy asks them to bump him when they arrive at the quay. The trucks happily agree, having never been asked to bump an engine before. Percy's plan is to pretend to stop at the quay and then have the trucks bump him past the board after which he can make them stop. However, Percy, in his foolishness, has forgotten that trucks are never to be trusted.

At the quay, the trucks bump Percy hard enough that both his driver and fireman fall off the footplate and push him past the board. Percy is frantic and tells the trucks he has had enough foolishness, but there is no chance of stopping and Percy is sunk downward into the sea. Later, the Fat Controller scolds Percy for his deliberate disobedience. Percy wants to get out, but the Fat Controller explains that they must wait until high tide and hopes that this will teach Percy a lesson. By the time the cranes can be brought in to rescue Percy, night has fallen. Working hard, the cranes pull Percy from the sea, who is now too cold, weak, filthy and stiff to move.

The next morning, Percy is taken to the works to be cleaned and mended along with Henry's goods train, who finds the incident very amusing after Percy's earlier boasts. Henry tells Percy he needs more determination and that perhaps he will like it better next time. Percy, however, hopes there will be no "next time".




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book The Eight Famous Engines.
  • In the restored version, Bill and Ben leave the shed a few seconds earlier.
  • References to the first season episodes, The Sad Story of Henry and Down the Mine and the then-unadapted third season episode, Percy's Promise are made.
  • The "DANGER" sign is reused from Down the Mine.
  • Two pictures show Percy frowning and covered in mud and his left (viewer's right) cylinder is loose while he is at the harbour with Thomas. The first one is from this episode's Buzz Book adaptation and it shows both at the quay in the same spot when they talked about the board. Another one from the view master version shows them at a warehouse. These may have been deleted scenes towards the end of the episode.
  • In the scene with Thomas and Percy at the harbour, a truck with the letter "M" on it can be seen and also there is a first season style truck right next to it.
  • A barge has "Terrey" written on it; possibly a reference to crew member Terence Permane.
  • Ringo Starr's US narration was not released on home video until 2001 when it was included on Best of Percy. This recording was also used on a DVD that came with the Take Along play-set based on this episode.
  • The audience would not know who Diesel is, since he was not introduced until Pop Goes the Diesel.
  • The audience wouldn't know who Bill and Ben are, since they weren't introduced until The Diseasel.


  • Percy's story is about the events of Percy's Promise, which wasn't televised until the third season.
  • The narrator says Percy ran off to the harbour singing, but he was already at the harbour.
  • When the camera is panning down on Thomas, several trucks in the background are derailed.
  • Before Percy takes the plunge, there is a shot of him already on the quayside, but in the next scene, he slides past the board.
  • When Percy slides passed the board, he is smiling.
  • When Percy pulls up next to Thomas, two trucks behind them are derailed.
  • Just as Percy plunges into the sea, two of his trucks become derailed.
  • The narrator says that Percy couldn't see that the track led to the water when it is very clear.
  • Diesel makes a cameo, but he wasn't introduced until the next episode. Bill and Ben also appear, but they aren't introduced until The Diseasel.
  • When Henry enters the shed, his tender bounces.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese うみにおちたパーシー Percy Fell into the Sea
Finnish Pekka Polskahtaa Percy Plops
Danish Percy falder i Percy Falls In
Dutch Percy plonst erin Percy Plunges It
German Percy nimmt ein Bad Percy Takes a Bath
Norwegian Percy går i vannet Percy Goes into the Water
Italian Il tuffo di Percy Percy's Dip
Croatian Pero golubica Percy Dove
Russian Перси падает в воду Percy Falls into the Water
Ukrainian Персі робить рішучий крок Percy Takes the Plunge
Slovenian Poldi pade v vodo Percy Falls into the Water
Polish Kąpiel Piotrka Percy's Bath
Chinese 培西的冒险 Percy's Adventure
Korean 바다에 빠진 파시 Percy Fell into the Sea
Romanian Percy Intra la Apă Percy Sinks
Spanish Percy se lanza al agua Percy Takes the Plunge
Hungarian Percy Merész Tette He Made a Bold, Percy
Slovak Perciho pád Percy's Fall
Czech Percyho pád Percy's Fall
Swedish Percy går i vannet Percy Goes in the Water
Serbian Persi u vodi Percy in Water
Thai เพอร์ซีจมน้ำ Percy Drowned

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