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This article is about 'the episode'. You may be looking for 'the UK VHS, the Philippine DVD, or the Malaysian DVD'.
"Of course! The question is..."
"What is a desperation?"
"It's when engines tell the Fat Controller something's wrong.
— Gordon, Henry, and Percy

The Deputation is the seventeenth episode of the second season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episode, Sweet and Sour.


Heavier than normal snow has fallen on the Island of Sodor and while the other engines hate it, Donald and Douglas are used to the conditions and clear the lines. They soon encounter one snow drift which is deeper than the rest and which has nearly buried Henry; they promise to get him out.

Henry is rescued and returns to the shed, but both Donald and Douglas are upset. They know the Fat Controller will be returning soon and after destroying a signal box and the Spiteful Brake Van between them, are worried that he will send one or possibly both of them away, which would lead to them being scrapped. The other engines agree that Donald and Douglas both deserve to stay and decide Something Has To Be Done; however, no-one can think of what.


What you need is a Deputation.

Percy talks to Edward about the situation and he suggests that the engines nominate someone to talk to the Fat Controller, a deputation. Percy relays this to the others that they need a "disputation" and they agree to this. After a long silence, Gordon nominates a horrified Percy to do the job.

The Fat Controller returns and a nervous Percy stammers through his speech about allowing the twins to stay. The Fat Controller catches on that Percy is a deputation and tells him he understands.

Later in the sheds, the Fat Controller responds to the engines' request. After informing them, although he understands their feelings, he does not appreciate them interfering in his decision making. He then surprises everyone by awarding Donald and Douglas, as a result of their good work in the snow, with new coats of paint and their names painted on them and warns them that he does not want to see any more mistakes. The engines realise that the Fat Controller is allowing both twins to stay and overjoyed, drown out the rest of his speech with happy whistles.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, The Twin Engines.
  • A deleted scene from Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree is used - you can tell because in the first shot, greenery appears in the snow in the top left corner.
  • In the UK version, Percy exclaims "I!? I can't!". In the US narration, he exclaims "Me? I can't!".
  • In the UK version, the Fat Controller says, "I had a deputation, I understand your feelings but I do not approve of interference". In the George Carlin US version, the line is changed to, "I had a deputation. I understand your feelings and I've given a lot of thought to the matter".
  • In the UK version, the twins say, "He'll send us back for sure." In the US version, they say, "He'll send us away for sure."
  • In the US version, Henry says "Help, help". This line is not used in the UK version.
  • A pre-filmed deleted scene from Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree is used - the viewer can tell because in the first shot, greenery appears in the snow in the top left corner.
  • This marks the first time the works unit coach is used without the Breakdown Train.
  • The "Chorus of Whistles" at the end of the episode is re-used in Paint Pots and Queens and Thomas and the Special Letter.
  • In Germany, this episode is named "Help for the Twins". The Italian title is "All for Two". The Croatian and Welsh name is "Delegation". In Japan, this episode is called "Representative of All". It is called "Delegations" in Finland. In Spanish, this episode is called "The Delegation".


  • When Donald and Douglas leave the yard back-to-back, a truck is being derailed.
  • Gordon's right buffer is bent when he says "A lot of nonsense about a broken signalbox."
  • When James remarks about the Spiteful Brakevan, there appears to be a spot of paint above James' right eye (viewer perspective).
  • When Percy reverses to tell the engines about a deputation, the track in front of him bounces upward.
  • During the long silence, the twin next to Duck has his tender derailed.
  • Gordon and Percy's eyes are off-centre for the majority of the episode.
  • When the engines whistle, one of the twins is missing an eyebrow.
  • Donald and Douglas are seen with nameplates in a few scenes. In the scene where the twins rescue Henry, Donald has his on one side but not the other. 
  • When Donald and Douglas are in the shed, one twin's tender is derailed.
  • To the left of the watermill, there is green grass that is not covered in snow.
  • It is said that Donald and Douglas had a van between their tenders, but they actually had a coach.
  • During the long silence, Percy's cab roof is lifted at the back.
  • After the long silence, Percy's eyes are wonky.

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


DVD Packs


  • The Deputation and other Stories
  • The Complete Second Series

DVD Boxsets

  • Classic Collection
  • Series One and Series Two Double Pack