Percy and the Problem with James
Season 5, Episode 7
Air date December 26th, 2015
Written by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Directed by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Episode guide
Bert Tries His Best
Thumper and the Avalanche


One day, Percy backed down into Knapford Station, to collect some trucks for Ffarquhar. James was at the platform beside him, snickering. Percy looked to him with a confused expression. "What's so funny?" "I was just remembering the time you let those trucks run away at Ulfstead Mine," James laughed, "It was so funny when the trucks blabbed about it!" Percy blushed, embarrassed. "I, uh-" "I know, it must be embarrassing. Just make sure it doesn't happen again with those trucks!" Percy was fuming. "Why-" James' guard blew the whistle as he climbed into the brake coach. "Oh, I'm sorry, Percy, but I have to go now! Don't crash!" James laughed as he puffed away. Neville puffed in at another platform, smiling. "Hello Percy!" Percy just rolled his eyes as he set off for the branch line. Neville was a bit hurt. "What did I do?" James' comments about Percy had put him in a bad mood for the rest of the morning.

Soon, Percy had shunted his trucks into a siding, and had to shunt some empty stone trucks to take to Ffarquhar Quarry. The little engine was so cross that he decided to take his anger out on the trucks. "Bossy boiler…" muttered Percy as he biffed some trucks into place. They grunted as they bashed into each other "Ow, that hurts!" "Stop it!" "Give it a rest, will you?" they groaned. "No." muttered Percy under his breath, "It's not fair. I'm always the one getting picked on!" Daisy purred into the station, looking over and frowning at the green saddletank engine. "Hello Percy. You seem rather stressed." she observed. Percy just grunted in response as he shunted the brakevan. "Would you like to talk about it?" Daisy asked kindly. Percy had to admit he was surprised; Daisy didn't usually ask an engine about their problems. The guard gave his whistle as Percy backed down onto the trucks. "," Percy said stubbornly and he puffed away to the quarry. "Something's not right," muttered Daisy to herself, "Maybe he'll open up sometime." In a few minutes, Mavis was filling up on diesel fuel when she saw Percy puffing into the quarry with his trucks. She smiled. "Well done, Percy! Empty trucks! Just what I need!" "Yeah, sure..." Percy muttered as he came to a stop. Mavis rose an eyebrow; this didn't sound like Percy. "Percy, are you all right?" Percy sighed with exasperation. "If you must know, no. I don't want to talk about it..." The little engine was uncoupled, and reversed onto a different track. "I have to go, Mavis, so I can't really talk," Percy said quickly as he backed down the branch line. Mavis blinked. "Percy...?"

In the afternoon, Percy was still fuming as he puffed into Knapford with some passenger coaches. "Stupid James..." "Are you talking about me?" Percy looked to his right and groaned; James was there as his connection to the Main Line. This didn't make Percy feel any better. James smirked as Percy puffed into the station. "Well, hello Percy! You didn't lose any trucks this time, right?" he joked, "I must keep track of your progress." Percy let off steam indignantly and covered James in quarry dust. "Oh, my paintwork!" cried James indignantly, "How dare you!" "Serves you right," grinned Percy. James was fuming. "Why would you do such a thing?!" he moaned, "I just got a fresh coat last week!" "Because I'm not vain, and I care about more things than my appearances." Percy said as his guard blew his whistle. James was stunned. "W-what?!" "You heard me," smiled Percy as he puffed away. James was furious. "The nerve!" he grumbled, "How dare he say such things! I have self-respect!" "He's got a point you know." said Donald from the other platform. James glared at the Caledonian twin crossly. "What business do you have with this?" "Well, I've been eyeing the way ye've been acting lately, and Percy's right. Ye have been snobbier than usual lately. I say the wee engine was right to put ye in yer place," and Donald puffed away too. James was taken aback by Donald's words.

That night, Percy puffed up to Ffarquhar Sheds, yawning. "Percy, stop!" "Huh?" He opened his eyes to find that the sheds were under repair. "What's all this?" he demanded. "It turns out there's a hole in the roof," said a workman, "We're not allowing any engines to sleep there until it's repaired." Percy was cross. "Where am I supposed to sleep then?" "Try Tidmouth Sheds," replied a workwoman, "I'm sure they have a berth open." Percy felt mixed emotions; on the one hand, it had been a while since he had slept at Tidmouth. On the other, James was probably there, and he wasn't looking forward to that. But he did need a place to rest, and he didn't have any other options. "Oh, alright..." Percy sighed as he puffed away.

Soon, Percy puffed on the turntable of Tidmouth Sheds. The other engines were surprised. "What are you doing here, Percy?" asked Gordon. "Ffarquhar Sheds is out of commission," explained Percy as the turntable started to turn, "So I'm spending the night here." The saddletank engine backed into a berth. "Well, welcome to Tidmouth Sheds again, Percy!" said Henry. "A lovely place to rest after a long day of shunting." added Gordon. Percy couldn't help but smile. "Thank you for the hospitality!" The engines chuckled. Well, everyone except James; he didn't like the idea of Percy spending the night. "It's not right to have a tank engine here!" he fumed, "This shed is for splendid engines such as myself! Not dirty shunters..." The other engines glared at him. "And who made you the boss of us?" Henry demanded. "Indeed. Percy can sleep here if he wishes to," agreed Duck crossly, "You have no say in any of this." That shut the red engine up. Percy was glad that his friends stood up for him, but he was still furious with James.

The next morning, Percy returned to the branch line, but all he could think of was James and his mean-spirited attitude. "First he kept on scaring me with that Scrap Monster, then he teases me about my incident at Ulfstead, and now he says I can't sleep at Tidmouth! Something has to be done," he exclaimed. "I don't think it's right either, but he'll learn eventually." said his driver consolingly. "He hasn't learned anything!" spluttered Percy, "Isn't there something we can do to... speed things up?" "Hmm… maybe there is a way we can put that bossy boiler in his place…" Percy was intrigued. "Really? What's your plan?" "You'll see," winked the driver. Percy didn't like being in suspense, but anything to get back at James was fine with him. In the afternoon, Percy was taking a goods train to Wellsworth. As he braked at the platform, Emily was at the other platform, waiting for her passengers to disembark. "Hey Percy! Has Ffarquhar Sheds been repaired yet? I haven't got anywhere else to sleep tonight," she said. "I'm sorry, Emily, but from what I've heard, they're still working on the hole," replied Percy. "Oh..." Suddenly, Percy's driver got an idea and ran to Emily's driver. They had a quick conversation, and then Percy's driver ran back to his engine. "What was that all about...?" Percy asked in confusion. "I haven't the faintest idea," Emily replied.

That night, Percy backed into Tidmouth Sheds again. The engines still gave him a warm welcome, which Percy appreciated, but he still had a lingering question on his mind. "Driver, what was with your conversation with Emily's driver earlier? It was most peculiar." Percy's driver smiled. "Well, it's the plan I had in mind." The number six engine blinked. "How did you know Emily wouldn't know about Ffarquhar?" "I didn't; I just hoped my plan would fall into place and luckily it did." "Oh." "Anyway, the plan is to have Emily take James' berth so he'll have to sleep somewhere else. Then we'll see who 'isn't worthy'." Percy grinned broadly. "That sounds perfect, driver! When is she coming?" Percy asked. "Right about now, actually." his driver replied. "How do you know that?" "I don.t." "Is there anything you do know?" asked Percy, with a hint of irritation. Just then, Emily backed down into a berth, thankfully interrupting the awkward conversation. "Hello everyone." puffed Emily as she let off steam. "Hello Emily," peeped Percy. "Glad to have you," agreed Henry. Emily smiled. One by one, the other engines returned to Tidmouth Sheds. Percy smirked; as his driver said, all was going according to plan. Soon, a familiar whistle blew, as expected. James puffed onto the turntable, expecting to find a berth. He looked from left to right in the shed, but there weren't any berths at all. James was shocked. "Somebody has to get out of their shed to make room for me!" cried the red engine. "I'm not moving. I'm perfectly comfortable." said Percy modestly. James glared. "You should get out! I need a place to sleep!" "So do I," retorted Percy, "I'm too sleepy to move..." "I'm not moving to a smelly old goods shed either." grunted Gordon. "But what about me?" spluttered James. "Sleep at Knapford," suggested Emily, "It's nice there. Murdoch and Harvey kept me in good company while I was there." "What?! No!" "Why not?" asked Emily. "Because it's dirty and they're chatterboxes! They'll keep me awake all night!" James spluttered, but before he could say anything else, his driver pulled the regulator. "Come on ol' boy, you have to sleep someplace." he sighed. "No, I hate Knapford Sheds. Please!" whined James as he puffed away. "What was all that about?" Emily asked. "It was just James being picky," Gordon quipped. Percy let out a quiet giggle of triumph.

At Knapford Sheds, James winced as he puffed between Harvey and Murdoch. The two engines were pleasantly surprised to find him there. "Oh ello there James!" said Harvey, "What are you doing here?" "I have to sleep here; Tidmouth's all filled." explained James grumpily. "Well that's new," murmured Murdoch, "Just don't make too much noise with your... complaining." "I quite like noise. Especially the Docks." chuffed the crane engine. James sighed as he tried to go to sleep, but Harvey started to chat about the time he rescued Percy when he first arrived. "It was tough, and I was under a lot of pressure since the railway inspectors were there, but I managed to pull him up!" Harvey said, "Then everyone saw I was a Really Useful Engine!" James only rolled his eyes. Murdoch noticed this. "There's no need to be rude, James. Harvey may tell boring stories but-" "My stories aren't boring!" Harvey protested. "To be honest, they kind of are..." replied Murdoch. "You can't do better!" challenged Harvey. That caused an argument between Harvey and Murdoch about who could tell a better story. James groaned as he shut his eyes.

The next morning, James yawned; he had barely slept all night with the arguing that had occurred. "Botheration!" he sighed as he puffed into Tidmouth. He yawned and closed his eyes as he backed down onto a line of coaches, thinking they were for his morning passenger run. "Um... James?" said a voice. James opened a sleepy eye and yawned. "Yeah?" he asked. "Those are my coaches." James opened his eyes in surprise to find Emily in front of him, glaring at him. "What the? What makes you so sure?" "Well... the color green tipped me off," muttered Emily. James then looked back, and they were indeed Emily's coaches. "Oh..." The shunting engines giggled. "Shut up!" James spluttered. "Maybe you should get a bit more rest," suggested Emily, "You don't have another train for a while anyway." "Fine..." muttered James. James was embarrassed as he puffed into the shed. As he had expected, Percy was still in the shed, and he had heard everything. "Hello Rusty Red!" laughed Percy, "I noticed you backed down onto the wrong coaches!" James looked over and groaned. "So how was your night?" Percy asked cheekily. "Not very well, thanks to you I bet," grumbled James. Just then Gordon puffed into the shed for a rest before collecting the Express. "Who is this?" asked Gordon pompously. "Take no notice. He's not worthy of our shed." whispered Percy. "Oh no, of course not! He's not able to sleep here because he's a bossy boiler!"James pretended he didn't hear them."Right, but that's not all! He hates being dirty! Well, with all our soot we'd be no good for him!" continued Percy. Gordon chuckled. "Indeed! James, you really should consider someplace where we aren't such a bother to your beauty sleep!" "And let's not forget none of us are red! He's a special guest!" laughed Percy. James could only grunt furiously as the two engines laughed.


  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Percy
  • Emily
  • Duck
  • Donald
  • Daisy
  • Mavis
  • Harvey
  • Murdoch
  • Neville
  • Edward (cameo)
  • Douglas (cameo)
  • Charlie (cameo)
  • Philip (cameo)


  • Knapford
  • Ffarquhar
  • Ffarquhar Quarry
  • Ffarquhar Sheds
  • Tidmouth Sheds
  • Wellsworth
  • Knapford Sheds
  • Tidmouth


  • References to the sixth season Harvey to the Rescue, the special Tale of the Brave, and the eighteenth season episode Missing Gator are made.
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