|Season 5, Episode 1|
|Air date||November 12th, 2015|
George Strikes Again
Henry Saves the Day
Wintertime on the Island of Sodor is often very beautiful, with snow coating the tracks like a blanket. This is one of the reasons the North Western Railway is so busy every Christmas; tourists love seeing a rare opportunity to see places like the Sodor Suspension Bridge, the Watermill, and the forests covered in snow. But despite these beautiful conditions, the weather can be quite harsh. Snowstorms are usually expected around this time of year; one nearly cost the last Christmas train.
Bear rolled into the Sodor Airport, his driver gently applying the brakes. Snow lightly fell to the ground. He looked up at the sky, frowning. "These clouds worry me... Are there any reports of a storm?" "I believe so," said Harold, who was taking on fuel, "Though it may be a while. We're still not sure of which way the wind's going to turn." "I hope we don't get yet another storm," Bear said worriedly, "We've been getting too many, if you ask me." "Agreed," sighed Harold, "But weather's quite unpredictable, you know. We've had hurricanes... hailstorms..." "When was that hailstorm?" Bear asked. "Oh. It was one way back, right when the railway was new. It...made construction difficult. Edward told me once." "Oh. That doesn't make me feel much better, but okay. Goodbye Harold!" The BR Class 35 honked his horn as he set off for his next destination. Harold frowned as he looked up at the sky. "Something's happening. Better look for people who need rescuing; there's always a few around the stormy season." Harold's arms spun around and around until he took to the sky, hoping that this storm wouldn't be as bad as the previous ones.
At Tidmouth Station, Percy was puffing in with a small passenger train. He came to a stop, feeling pleased with himself. "This run is one of the best I've had in a while! No mistakes at all." "That won't be for long, Percy." Percy looked up, to find Hiro, coming with a goods run from the Mainland. "What do you mean, Hiro?" "There's already bad snow in London, Percy, and it's coming this way. We better be wary. I must apologize for the abrupt end to my warning, but I must turn around for the journey home." And Hiro puffed to the turntable. Percy was worried. He looked up at the sky and saw some clouds heading their way, and they weren't white and puffy; they were gloomy and dark. “Driver, is there more snow coming?” he asked worriedly. His driver nodded grimly. “I’m afraid so. The weather report this morning confirmed it.” Percy felt a bit scared. Just then, Gordon puffed alongside him with the Express, getting ready to set out for the Main Line. Percy wanted another opinion so he decided to ask Gordon too. "Excuse me, Gordon?" The big engine looked over, already looking unimpressed. "What? I haven't got much time to chat." "Is there going to be any...extreme weather soon? Because Hiro mentioned some." Gordon frowned. “I heard a snowstorm was coming,” he said gravely. “A snowstorm?! Oh dear…” cried Percy, "Will it be the worst?" "We can't say for sure but it'll probably be up there," Gordon said “Will we be safe in our sheds tonight?” Percy continued, "Will we be able to sleep without worrying about the roof caving in?!" “I should think so,” murmured Gordon, “Though we’ll have to see.” Percy didn't feel much better, but he didn't want to worry anyone. So he just stayed quiet as his guard blew his whistle and the train set off, to Knapford.
They weren't the only ones worried; all over Sodor engines and vehicles worried more and more that this could be the worst snowstorm yet. "Do you think it's true?" asked Duck to Oliver at Haultraugh. "I wouldn't put it past the weather at this point. I appreciate snow I suppose but this is ridiculous." "Quite right, Mr. Oliver." agreed Toad. Both Coaling Plants had to rush out various deliveries of coal to all the stations and places that needed it. "I feel like I'm going to burst with all this coal!" complained Hector. Molly sighed. "I know, Hector, but just try to get through it. We'll be resting soon enough." But whoever the engine, every one had the same thought. "Just let this end!" complained James at Knapford, "Too much snow is bad for everyone!" "I have to agree," said Edward, "Snow makes ice, and ice is very slippery. Be careful while going to Barrow today, James." "I will," James said sincerely as he set off with his coaches. Edward looked over to Thomas, who was at the other platform with his coaches. "Make sure to keep that snowplough on, Thomas. We don't need to be worried sick over you again," the blue engine said worriedly, "And remember to keep your eye on the tracks. We don't need an engine out of commission right now." Annie, Clarabel and Old Slow Coach chuckled as Thomas rolled his eyes. "Edward, I'm not a little green tank engine anymore like I was when I first arrived. I've learned to use my snowplough by now." "We'll see," whispered Old Slow Coach to the other two coaches. Annie and Clarabel giggled. Thomas pretended he didn't hear them. "Good," Edward said, relieved as he started to puff away, "But heed my warnings anyway, Thomas. This snow is getting worse after all." Thomas just sighed. Just then, Percy arrived beside Thomas. “Thomas, aren’t you worried?” the little engine asked. Thomas looked over. “Worried about what?” “About the snowstorm. Both Hiro and Gordon confirmed it, and the driver said the weather report this morning confirmed it too.” Thomas frowned. “Really? I thought it was going to stop soon... Oh dear. I hope it isn’t a serious snowstorm…” “I think it could be,” said Percy, “And that’s why I’m worried. What if our water tanks freeze up? What if the tracks are completely blocked forever?! What if the whole island freezes into a giant snowball?!” Thomas laughed. “I don’t think that’ll happen Percy…” “Are you sure?” “Very sure…” Percy smiled bravely, glad to know that Thomas could always comfort him. Thomas whistled as his pistons pumped. "I'll see you tonight, Percy. I don't think Ffarquhar will be that safe to sleep in tonight." "Agreed," Percy cried.
That evening, Percy puffed into Tidmouth Sheds, to find the rest of the Steam Team, besides Toby, and Duck there. "What's going on?" Percy asked in confusion. "We're here because apparently the Fat Controller called us here for an announcement." explained Henry, "Something about the oncoming snowstorm." "Oh my..." Another thought struck Percy. "Where's Toby?" "He's at Knapford Sheds," replied Thomas, "So don't worry, he's safe." Percy was relieved. Duck giggled as he noticed Winston, driving onto the turntable. "Winston, you're not supposed to stop here!" "I can't help it, sir. It seems... my brake could be jammed." The Fat Controller sighed. "I'll take a look at that later, Winston. Right now we have more important matters to discuss." He walked up to the engines, turning concerned immediately. "There is going to be a major snowstorm tonight-" The engines all gasped, cutting him off before he could finish. "W-what are we going to do?!" cried Percy. "Are all the rolling stock going to be alright?" burst out Duck. "What about the water towers? And the Washdowns?!" James spluttered. "*ahem*" The engines looked down to find their controller glaring at them. They immediately silenced. "Now, despite these conditions, the railway will run tomorrow. Just keep warm tonight and try not to bang around your snowplough..." James snickered at Thomas, who merely grinned cheekily. Winston then drove away with his owner inside it. But as soon as he had left, a mighty wind soared through the yard. James gulped. "You sure we'll be okay?" Edward smiled. "I'm sure... Just go to sleep, okay?" "Right Edward," chorused the other engines. But they couldn't get to sleep. And neither could anyone else on the island. As night fell, snow pelted roofs and fields, Everyone was worried about the damage it would cause. Water pipes froze and wind blew around trees. Roads and rails became icy, and your field of vision was severely limited, even with headlights.
By the next morning, the blizzard had cleared. The sun was rising up again, and the sky was clear once more. In Tidmouth Sheds, Percy yawned as he woke up. He couldn't help but notice that his boiler didn't feel very warm and a chilling absence in his firebox told him that his fire was out. But he didn't seem to care as he looked over to find his friends still asleep. "Good morning everyone!" he cried in the loudest voice he could achieve. The other engines' eyes immediately popped open. Everyone glared at Percy as a couple groaned. “Percy, keep the noise down,” complained James, “I barely got a wink of sleep last night.” “Why?” wondered Percy. “Because of all this snow… It makes a heck of a wind outside.” “Oh… I didn't mind it really." Thomas chuckled, but noticed that the doors to the shed were closed. "What's taking our crews so long?" he asked aloud. "...you're right, Thomas. They were supposed to be here by now," Duck said worriedly. “Maybe they all slept in,” suggested Henry. "If so, that's a big coincidence," replied Emily, "I think I have a better solution, though it isn't as optimistic." "Well, spit it out. I haven't got all day," Gordon said pompously. Emily glared and sighed. "I think the doors could've frozen overnight. In a blizzard such as this, it doesn't seem unlikely." Henry gulped. "S-so... We-we're trapped inside the shed?" "Until help arrives, yes," Emily said solemnly. None of the engines felt very comfortable with Emily's theory, but it seemed to be right. "Well, what do we do?" asked Gordon solemnly. "Simple. We have to wait until help arrives..." Edward said.
Outside the shed, Duck's crew ran into the yard, shocked to find the doors of the sheds were completely covered in snow. "What do we do?" cried the fireman. "Let's get the Fat Controller," suggested the driver, "He'll probably have ideas." So they went to the Fat Controller's office at the station. The stout gentleman was sipping some coffee when a knock came at his door. "Come in," he said wearily. Duck's crew walked in, surprising the Fat Controller. "What are you doing here? Shouldn't Duck be taking that supply train by now?" Duck's driver nervously chuckled. "Well... sir, I hope this doesn't really interrupt any of your plans but... the engines are snowed in at Tidmouth." "What?!"
Meanwhile, at Arlesburgh Sheds, Donald, Douglas and Oliver were all awake and ready to start work on the Little Western. "I'm almost due for a passenger train up to Arlesburgh Junction," Oliver said. Donald chuckled to himself, but couldn't help thinking that something was missing. "Does it feel a bit empty to anyone else?" he asked. Oliver was confused. "What do you mean?" "Like something should be here but it isn't," Donald continued, "...Like...an empty berth in the shed or something." Douglas suddenly gasped. "I think I know what you mean, Donal'! Yon Duck's not here!" "So? He went to sleep at Tidmouth. Nothing wrong with that. It's the closest shelter he could get in that blasted storm," Oliver said. "Yes, but shouldn't he be taking that train of supplies up to Bluff's Cove for the school?" replied Douglas worriedly. "Maybe he's delayed." "I dinna think so, Oliver. I think somethin' must've happened to Tidmouth Sheds in that snowstorm." "Maybe it was snowed in!" cried Donald. Oliver's face fell. "That's not good. What'll happen to the railway with eight important engines gone?" "Maybe we can cope," Donald suggested confidently, "We could have Hiro come back to help us and maybe some engines who have no work to do can help." "I don't think that'll be enough," said Oliver, "I think we'll have to dig them out somehow..." "I have an idea,” called a voice. Donald, Douglas and Oliver looked over to find Toad. The brakevan blushed lightly from the attention. “What’s your idea, Toad? You usually have good ideas,” said Oliver. Toad chuckled. “Well… my idea was to get Donald, Douglas, and possibly Terence to help get the engines out of the shed. Terence can plow in front of the doors so they can be opened. And maybe you can take a works unit coach, like you usually do with these jobs, and have workmen melt any ice. If they’re actually frozen over, of course.” Oliver’s face brightened instantly. “Toad, that’s brilliant! Donald, Douglas, you’re great with snow after all!” Donald and Douglas looked to each other and winked. “Aye, we are.” “Then go get Terence and maybe we can get them out of there before the day is over.” Oliver said. “Right away!” cried Donald. Donald and Douglas whistled and stormed away, to find Terence.
The Fat Controller groaned as he surveyed Tidmouth Sheds. "Oooh no... I should've known this would happen." "Don't worry, sir," said Edward's fireman, "You'll think of something, won't you?" "I suppose I could have Pip and Emma run Gordon's express... Maybe Hiro can do Henry's jobs... Bear can try and do James' on top of his own... But besides that, I can't think of anything." the stout gentleman sighed. "You could close down the railway..." suggested Thomas' driver uncertainly. The Fat Controller shook his head. "I'm afraid that would be incredibly risky. We have people depending on us for their business and randomly shutting down would be detrimental." "Let's get some shovels and try digging them out ourselves," said Duck's driver. The men nodded and ran back to the office to get some tools. The Fat Controller, meanwhile, walked to his office, thinking about arrangements. Inside, Henry was worried. "What if we never get out of here, Edward?" "We'll be out of here soon, I assure you. Just how long is the question," replied Edward, but even he was starting to have his doubts.
A half hour later, at Knapford Station, Annie and Clarabel were impatiently waiting to be collected by Thomas. "Where is that tank engine?" Annie asked indignantly, "He isn't usually this late." "I have no clue," murmured Clarabel, "But maybe Stanley can tell us." Annie was surprised as Stanley backed down onto them. "Stanley? Where's Thomas?!" "He's snowed in with the others at Tidmouth," the silver engine explained, "Great Waterton's being looked after, so the Fat Controller chose me to take you for this run. I hope you don't mind." "Oh we don't," Annie said. But when Stanley wasn't looking, Annie and Clarabel shared a worried look. "I do hope Thomas is alright," Clarabel said quietly as Stanley puffed away.
Meanwhile, in the yard beside Tidmouth, Rocky was lowering Terence onto a wellwagon, who had already had his snowplough attached. "What exactly is going on again? I was simply rushed here by a lorry and nobody told me what I'm needed for." "You, Donald and Douglas are to clear the snow by Tidmouth Sheds," explained Rocky, "It's an urgent job, I can imagine." As if on cue, Donald and Douglas rushed in with a works unit coach. "All ready, Terence?" asked Douglas triumphantly. "All ready," Terence said, "Since I'm chained down and all." Donald and Douglas whistled and puffed away with the wellwagon, determined to help their friends. As the twins made their way through the snow, their snowploughs cut through drifts and Terence would often get splashed with snow in the face, but the trio struggled on to the sheds. "We're coming to the rescue laddies!" cried Donald.
The eight engine's crews were tirelessly trying to dig some kind of hole in the snow. "We're getting nowhere with this," Emily's fireman sighed sadly, "We might as well get a bulldozer." Suddenly they heard two familiar whistles. "It's Donald and Douglas!" cheered the men as the Caledonian twins came to a halt beside the turntable. Even in the sheds, the eight engines were delighted to hear that Donald and Douglas had arrived. "Amazing! We'll be saved after all!" cheered Percy. "My paintwork hurts..." groaned James. "Paintwork can't hurt," retorted Thomas. "Mine can...maybe." Outside, Terence was unloaded from his wellwagon. "Let's get to work." the tractor smiled as he started to push some snow out of the way. Soon, everyone watched as Terence began to plough away the snow in front of the shed doors. "Soft stuff, this is. I love it," he said as some snow fell on top of him. Donald and Douglas blinked as Terence stopped. "All clear!" he sang out, "Try and open the doors, someone." "I will," Thomas' fireman offered. He ran over to Thomas' berth and pulled on the door with all his might. Everyone was confused to find that it didn't move. "What's going on?" asked Terence, "I ploughed the whole place!" "I think the hinges are frozen," Donald suggested worriedly, "We're going to need a heater or something." "I know! Let's pour some hot water under the door," suggested James' driver, "I read somewhere that if you pour hot water onto ice, it'll melt." "We better hurry when we do it though; if we don't do it fast enough, the hot water will just freeze into ice." "Okay, so where do we get that water?" asked Percy's fireman. "Hmm... I'll get some from the station." "I'll go with you," agreed Emily's driver. So the people ran to the station to get some hot water. They soon returned with many buckets. "You sure this is gonna work?" Thomas' driver said suspiciously. "Sure," replied Percy's fireman as the hot water fell onto the ice. The ice melted, and quickly, Thomas' crew pushed open the doors. Thomas blinked as the sunlight hit him. "Wait, I'm free?! How did that happen!?" "Hot water. Works every time," replied his fireman. Thomas was pleased. "We're saved everyone!" he cheered. Soon, the rest of the engines were released from their shed, and the railway was back in business.
That night, as the engines returned to their sheds after a quick day's work, Percy couldn't help but chuckle. "I do like my shed, but that was ridiculous!" The other engines laughed. "I'm sure this is one snowstorm we won't forget anytime soon," Edward remarked. The others murmured in agreement as they fell asleep, one by one. As much as it was nice to be out and about again, the engines still liked their home all the same.
- Donald and Douglas
- Annie and Clarabel
- Old Slow Coach
- The Fat Controller
- Toby (does not speak)
- Pip and Emma (do not speak)
- Harvey (cameo)
- Murdoch (cameo)
- Neville (cameo)
- Connor (cameo)
- Logan (cameo)
- Henrietta (cameo)
- Bertie (cameo)
- Jacob (cameo)
- Jeremy (cameo)
- The Windmill
- Sodor Suspension Bridge
- The Watermill
- Henry's Forest
- Sodor Airport
- The Coaling Plant
- Crosby Coaling Plant
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Farmer McColl's Farm
- Knapford Sheds
- Tidmouth Bus Depot
- Bluff's Cove
- Arlesburgh Sheds
- Tidmouth Yard
- Barrow-in-Furness (mentioned)
- Ffarquhar (mentioned)
- Arlesburgh Junction (mentioned)
- A flashback to the eighteenth season episode Last Train for Christmas is made.
- This episode is a preview for the fifth season.
- BoCo was in the original script, replacing Emily at the sheds, but the creator found him unnecessary and went with Emily instead.