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"Harold wants to get rid of us."
"He doesn't need tunnels!"
"Don't worry; he's just counting sheep!"
"Counting sheep? Pah! He's counting how many engines he can get rid of!
— Gordon, Henry and Percy

Thomas and the Rumours, retitled Thomas and the Rumors in American releases, is the seventeenth episode of the fifth season.


Some children are upset that their playground has been closed, but before Thomas can tell the others, Percy butts in with news that Harold has been hired to show a special visitor around Sodor. A few days later, Gordon is going to collect his train when he sees Harold and goes down the wrong line into a tunnel being bored. Thomas is worried that Gordon will be scrapped, but the Fat Controller laughs and says Harold was hired so the man could find a new site for the playground from the air, and the man declares that the sand cleared from the tunnel will be perfect for the playground.




  • Stock footage from Trucks! is used.
  • This episode was adapted from the magazine story, Rumours and Speculation by Andrew Brenner. However, BoCo and Daisy were replaced with Thomas and Henry for unknown reasons.
  • When Gordon puffs onto the wrong line, the music in the UK dub fades in later and fades out earlier than the US dub and other international versions.
  • The episode was released on the Spooks and Surprises VHS a day before it aired on TV.
    • Gordon is seen pulling Red Express Coaches for the final time.


  • When Thomas puffs into Tidmouth Sheds, the decals on one of the milk wagons beside him are incorrectly placed higher up.
  • When Percy first appears, he rushes in from a dead end.
  • When Percy is on the turntable, part of its fencing is snapped.
  • Studio equipment can be seen in the top-left corner in the close-up of Henry before he enters the tunnel.
  • When Thomas puffs out of Callan, a signal tilts slightly to one side.
  • When the children tell Thomas about the playground, one child looks happy.
  • The title card for the US version uses the UK spelling of rumours.
  • When Thomas passes the playground, there is a sign saying: "Playground closed until further notice," at the back of the playground. However, when Gordon passes the playground, the sign is gone.
  • Percy's roof is lifted during the evening scenes at Tidmouth Sheds.
  • Percy's eyes are wonky when Gordon replies about counting sheep.
  • The special visitor's small scale model is wearing a grey suit while his large scale model is wearing a yellow suit.
  • Henry's eyes are wonky when Harold leaves the sheds at the end of the episode.


  • Henry: "The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt has chosen Harold because he thinks he's more important than me, well he's not! Harold can't fly through tunnels!"
  • Percy: "I know what he's doing! He's counting sheep!"

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
French Thomas et Les Remeurs Thomas and the Rumours
Spanish Thomas y Los Rumores Thomas and the Rumours
Brazilian Portuguese Thomas e Os Rumores Thomas and the Rumours
Dutch Thomas en de Praatjes Thomas and the Gossip
German Gerüchteküche Gossip Factory
Norwegian Thomas og Ryktene Thomas and the Rumours
Japanese トーマスとうわさばなし Thomas and the Rumours
Hungarian Thomas és a szóbeszéd Thomas and the Rumours
Italian Non Dar Retta Alle Dicerie! Do Not Listen to the Rumours!
Danish Thomas og Rygterne Thomas and the Rumours
Chinese 托马斯和谣言 Thomas and the Rumours
Korean 소문 Rumour
Slovenian Tomaž in Govorice Thomas and the Rumours
Swedish Thomas Och Ryktena Thomas and the Rumours
Russian Томас и слухи Thomas and the Rumours
Romanian Thomas şi Zvonurile Thomas and the Rumours
Slovak Thomas a Povesti Thomas and the Reputation
Polish Tomek i Plotki Thomas and the Rumours
Thai หัวรถจักรระแวงเฮริคอปเตอร์ Engine Suspicion the Helicopter

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


DVD Packs


  • Spooks and Surprises
  • The Complete Series 5

DVD Packs

  • Classic Collection
  • Series Five and Series Six Double Pack


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