|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Scandinavian VHS/DVD or the Croatian DVD.|
Thomas and the Guard, retitled Thomas and the Conductor in American releases, is the eleventh episode of the first season.
Thomas the Tank Engine is enjoying his new life running the branch line, of which he is very proud and considers the most important part of the railway. Thomas' new coaches, Annie and Clarabel, agree with him and Thomas loves them both very much despite them both being old and needing new paint. When taking trains, Annie can only take passengers: however Clarabel takes passengers, luggage and the guard. Thomas and his coaches often sing to each other while taking trains and journeys often proceed smoothly. Annie and Clarabel know how important pleasing the Fat Controller is to Thomas and whenever he is cross he is not cross with them.
One day, Thomas angrily waits at the junction for Henry who is running late (and not for the first time) so he can pick up passengers. Eventually Henry feebly arrives, complaining that his system is not working properly. As far as Thomas is concerned, Henry's only problem is his own laziness. Thomas, keen to be on time, leaves as soon as his guard blows the whistle but goes so fast he does not give the guard time to get aboard, leaving him behind. The guard waves his red flag, but it is no use and the tank engine is well on his way and out of the station.
Thomas sings to his coaches as usual, but Clarabel does not sing as she is very upset that her guard was left behind. Annie tries to tell Thomas that they haven't got a guard aboard, but Thomas is in a hurry and does not listen. The two coaches try to brake, but cannot without a guard. Eventually Thomas stops when he reaches a signal set to "Danger". He and his crew wait to find out what is the matter from the guard, but he does not come and Annie and Clarabel finally cry that he has been left behind.
Soon the passengers notice a figure running up behind them; it is the guard, who has been trying to catch up to Thomas. He is very hot following the chase and has a drink to cool down and tells everyone what happened. Thomas is very sorry that he left the guard behind, but the guard assures Thomas it was not his fault. The signal drops and Thomas and his crew decide to make up for lost time.
With the guard back aboard, both Thomas and his coaches feel reinvigorated and manage to reach the end of the line in record time.
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Tank Engine Thomas Again.
- There are some differences in the Ringo Starr US and UK narrations. Some differences are:
- Ringo Starr said, "...but Clarabel could take passengers, baggage, and the conductor." In the US version.
- The line, "You're too fat! You need exercise!" is changed to "You're too slow! You need exercise" in the US version.
- Pre-filmed footage from Thomas and Bertie and stock footage from Thomas and the Breakdown Train is used. Footage from the former wasn't cut properly, as Bertie can be seen for a split second on the top-left corner after Thomas, Annie, and Clarabel enter the tunnel.
- In the UK version, the guard says, "It wasn't your fault Thomas". In the US version, the conductor says, "We all make mistakes".
- The shots of Thomas going under the bridge (near the end of the episode) and eventually arriving at Ffarquhar were featured in the show's original opening credits.
- In the opening shot, studio equipment is visible in the top-left corner.
- In many scenes, Clarabel is facing the wrong way.
- When Henry puffs into the junction, his brake coach is facing backwards.
- In the UK version, the guard says, "It wasn't your fault Thomas", even though the situation wasn't explained. In Tank Engine Thomas Again, the guard accidentally tripped over an old lady's umbrella before Thomas took off. So it really was Thomas' fault in the episode.
- When Thomas says "You're too fat! You need exercise!" he lets off steam. The scene then cuts to Henry briefly; but in the next scene the steam has gone and Thomas lets off more.
- In the close-up of Thomas leaving the junction, Annie and Clarabel aren't coupled behind him.
- In a close-up of Thomas' driver, his cap's brim is broken.
- The guard only has his red flag when he is said to have had two flags.
- The guard is alternatively bearded and clean-shaven between scenes.
- Annie still appears sad when Thomas begins moving again after the signal changes,
- At the end of the episode which shows a close-up shot of Thomas, a camera connector is on his front.
- When Thomas says "Bother that signal! What's the matter?" the background is different showing buffers in the left corner.
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