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Thomas and the Trucks, retitled Trouble for Thomas in American releases, is the sixth episode of the first season. In the US, it aired on the Shining Time Station episode, And the Band Played Off in 1989, it re-aired in Jingle, Jingle, Jingle in 1991 and in the Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales episode, Wildlife in 1996.
Thomas is bored with his job of shunting coaches and complains to the other engines about it night after night. The engines get incredibly annoyed, for they have to listen to Thomas' grievances all night long. One night, Edward comes to the shed and feels sorry for Thomas. He offers Thomas his train of trucks while Edward would shunt coaches. With this, Thomas happily agrees.
The next morning, their drivers agree and Thomas sets off happily for the yard. Troublesome Trucks are very silly and noisy, talk a lot and often do not attend to what they are doing. They also often play tricks on engines who are not used to them. Edward had warned Thomas to be careful before his journey, but in his excitement, Thomas did not listen. Thomas soon starts to pull the train, but the trucks were not ready. Despite their cries to stop, Thomas just puffs out of the station stubbornly.
Thomas goes faster and faster along the journey, but the increasing speed makes the trucks grow very angry. Thomas eventually slows down at Gordon's Hill, but as he applies his brakes at the top, the trucks begin to push Thomas down the hill. Thomas loses control of the trucks as they rush into Maron. He swerves into the goods yard and barely stops at some buffers, preventing an accident.
The Fat Controller arrives and questions Thomas' speed. When Thomas explains what had happened, the Fat Controller advises Thomas that he should learn more about trucks, so that he can become a Really Useful Engine.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Henry (does not speak)
- Gordon (does not speak)
- James (cameo)
- Stephen Hatt (cameo)
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Henry's Tunnel
- Gordon's Hill
- The Viaduct (deleted scene)
- Hackenbeck Tunnel (deleted scene)
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Thomas the Tank Engine.
- Stock footage from Thomas' Train is used, as is a deleted scene from Edward and Gordon.
- A unique jazz sounding version of Thomas' theme is used in this episode.
- This episode marks the first time the phrase, "really useful engine" is used.
- At the beginning of the A Big Day for Thomas release of this episode, Mr. Conductor's whistle from Shining Time Station can be heard.
- In PBS Kids Sprout airings of the episode and on Thomas and Friends Classic Volume 1, the music at the end is played twice.
- In some American releases on PBS Kids Sprout, Best of Thomas and Thomas and Friends Classic Volume 1, the episode's audio is out of sync.
- At the beginning, because of an alternate shot, Gordon is in the middle of the shed with Thomas and Henry to the left and James and Edward to the right, but in the close-ups, Thomas is in the middle, Gordon and James are on one side and Edward and Henry are on the other. This appears to be unused footage shots for the episode Edward and Gordon, as the engines are all in the same positions. Because of this alternate shot, Edward is smiling while the others are frowning.
- The narrator says that the guard blew his whistle and a whistle sound is heard, but the guard is only holding a green flag.
- In the close-ups of Thomas pulling a truck, the rest of the train is missing.
- When Thomas hits the buffers in the siding, there is a second track because the same truck close-up is used.
- On early American home video releases, when Thomas puffs up Gordon's Hill, a technician's voice is heard saying "Look out for the train!" and the music and sound effects are briefly muted as it is said.
- Throughout the episode, when Thomas is pulling the trucks, they change their position rapidly. The number of the trucks also change, such as when Thomas leaves Knapford, he has three vans. However, when he goes through Henry's Tunnel, he has two vans for the rest of the episode.
- In the restored version, the scene of the trucks bumping Thomas is not cut properly, so the buffering sound effects are out of sync.
- When Thomas hits the buffers on the siding, the close-up shows him with black buffer housings and a different-looking brake pipe.
- In the close-up of Thomas hitting the buffers, his buffer beam is black as opposed to red.
- When Thomas comes out of Henry's Tunnel, the tracks bounce and the first van on his train becomes a utility van.
- The narrator refers the siding as the goods yard, when Thomas bumped into the buffers.
- When the narrator says, "When he opened his eyes..." Thomas' eyes are wonky.
- In a rare picture, the edge of the set can be seen behind Thomas and the trucks.
- In a deleted scene, a truck overlaps a small portion of James' face.
- For a brief second, when Thomas flies through Elsbridge, a hand can be seen in the top right corner of the screen.
- In a deleted scene, Thomas doesn't have a lamp on his running board.
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