|The "Special" Visitors|
|Season 1, Episode 7|
|Air date||January 18, 2017|
James and the Railway Inspector
The Joke's on Them
In the summer, work can get very busy for Sir Topham Hatt's engines. Although it is rough for them sometimes, the job that every engine does not mind doing is taking visitors around the island, for the engines love to see everyone's happy faces when they see the many sights of Sodor and it makes them feel proud for giving them a splendid ride. Sometimes, the engines like taking visitors just to get attention, but even if the visitors pay more attention to the scenery than them, the engines are still happy to show them around and letting them know that the island is a really special place indeed.
Early one morning, the engines were waking up from a good night's rest. They were all feeling bright and cheerful and were ready for the day.
"I'm not sure why," puffed Thomas, "but I feel like today is going to be exciting."
"Hmmmm, why do you say 'exciting'?" asked Edward.
"I can't really explain why, Edward," replied Thomas. "It just does for some reason."
"Well, I don't know what your version of exciting is, Thomas, but I know what my version feels like," puffed James.
"And what is that, James?" asked Thomas.
"Taking some very important visitors today, that's what it is," replied James boastfully. "Sir Topham Hatt is bound to let me take some famous people around the island. I deserve it, you know."
"Oh get over yourself, James," muttered Gordon. "Just because you made a good impression with that railway inspector does not mean you instantly get the next visitor that comes to see the island."
"Well you can't be too sure of that, can you Gordon?" retorted James. "For all you know, Sir Topham Hatt will…"
Before James could continue, he and the other engines happened to notice Percy looking rather glum.
"What's the matter, Percy?" asked Thomas. "Are you feeling alright?"
"Hmmm? Oh yes, I feel fine," replied Percy. "I was just thinking about something."
"What is it?" asked Thomas.
"Well, it has to do with taking visitors around the island," explained Percy. "I couldn't help but think about what they really want to see when they come to the railway."
"What do you mean by that?" asked Edward.
"Well, have any of you noticed that the visitors mainly want to see the sights of Sodor and not really us engines?" asked Percy.
The engines thought for a moment. "You do have a point there, Percy," admitted Edward, "but what's so bad about that? They're still pleased with us when we get them to their destinations and they let Sir Topham Hatt know that too."
"I know that, Edward," replied Percy, "but since we have been doing this for years and do what we can to make them happy, it would be nice for visitors to compliment us and spread the word about us to other people, especially famous people."
"Well, it would be nice if famous people knew about us, I'll admit that," puffed Thomas, "but I'm sure people tell their friends and family about us regardless and let them know we are just as famous as the sights of Sodor."
"Thomas is right, you know, Percy," added Henry. "Even if people do not always say it, I'm sure they're letting other people know about us and getting them to come and see us. Though I have to admit, it would be nice if someone famous came to the island and knew who we were. It has been a while."
"Well I think we might find out if one does come," chuffed Emily, "because look who just arrived."
Everyone looked over and saw Sir Topham Hatt walking over, and was looking very happy.
"Good morning, everyone," he said. "I have an announcement to make. I received some news last night that some very special people I know are coming today and want to see the railway." The engines were delighted. "They have heard about my railway and want to see all the sights and meet all of you as well." This made the engines, especially Percy, very excited indeed.
"Who will take them, sir?" asked Thomas.
"Oh funny you should ask Thomas," chuckled Sir Topham Hatt. "The visitors specifically asked for you."
The engines were surprised. "Me, sir?" pondered Thomas.
"Yes," said Sir Topham Hatt. "They have heard about you many times and want the chance to ride with you, Annie, and Clarabel today and I told them you would be delighted to."
Thomas was pleased. "I would, sir," he replied. "I would be very delighted. Ummm, by the way, sir, who are the visitors?"
"Oh, let's just say they are very good friends of mine and they are very special to me," Sir Topham Hatt grinned. "They will be arriving at Vicarstown later this morning. I want you to make sure they have a splendid time and I'll meet you all at Ffarquhar Station later this afternoon. Oh, and before I forget, Percy will take care of your branch line while you're taking them. Now I must be off now and make some preparations for this evening. Good luck, Thomas, and do your best all of you!"
"Yes sir," replied the engines, and Sir Topham Hatt drove away.
After he left, the engines were both surprised and excited. "See Percy?" said Thomas. "I told you there were people who have heard about us, and according to Sir Topham Hatt, they are special too."
"I know," puffed Percy excitedly, "and you're lucky to take them, Thomas. I mean, it's not everyday that you get to take someone famous."
"Hmph," grunted James enviously. "If they wanted to ride with Thomas, then they cannot be that important or special."
"Well, that's not what Sir Topham Hatt said," protested Thomas. "Considering what he was saying about them, they must be very famous and special and if they want to ride with me, they will. Though I am curious about who they are since Sir Topham Hatt didn't really say too much about them."
"You'll find out soon enough," chuffed Edward. "Right now, you should probably get ready to go and meet them. You want to make a good first impression you know, especially if they are just as special and famous as Sir Topham Hatt made them."
"Oh right, of course. Good point, Edward," puffed Thomas. "Good-bye, everyone, and look out for us today."
"Good-bye, Thomas," called the engines, and with that, Thomas went to collect Annie and Clarabel and set off for Vicarstown.
Once out on the main line, Thomas told the coaches all about what Sir Topham Hatt said.
"Oh, how exciting!" remarked Annie. "This is a real treat!"
"I can hardly wait to see them," added Clarabel. "It's very rare for us to take special passengers. I wonder who they could be."
"Me too," agreed Annie. "I'll bet it's someone like…like...oh, Alicia Botti. Or Dowager Hatt, or-or…"
"The Queen!" exclaimed Clarabel excitedly.
Thomas and Annie laughed. "Oh I don't think it'll be the Queen herself, dear," chuckled Annie. "She's much too special and famous to ride with us."
"I know," smiled Clarabel. "I was just putting out some ideas."
"Well, I don't know who they are as well," puffed Thomas, "but perhaps they will be just as special and famous as those people. It certainly would be a delight."
"Indeed," agreed the coaches, and Thomas continued on his way.
Soon they arrived at Vicarstown, feeling more excited than ever. They looked all around the station to see if they could see anyone who looked smartly dressed or important, but they couldn't see them.
"Hmmmm, I wonder if they're here yet," wondered Thomas.
"Excuse me," came a voice, and then a man and a woman stepped out in front of Thomas. "Hello there. Are you Thomas the Tank Engine?"
"Yes I am, sir," replied Thomas.
"Oh this is terrific! This is a real pleasure to meet you, Thomas," the man said excitedly.
"It-it's a really pleasure to meet you too, sir," replied Thomas, who was confused, "but...who exactly are you?"
"Oh right, yes of course, I almost forgot," said the man. "My wife and I are your special passengers!"
Thomas, Annie, and Clarabel were very surprised. They looked at the man and the woman they looked like ordinary people, and did not show any sign of being famous, important, or special.
"You, sir?" exclaimed Thomas. "You are Sir Topham Hatt's special visitors?"
"Why yes, we are," replied the man. "Is there something wrong?"
"Oh um, of course not," replied Thomas. "It's just...well...you two look…."
"Like we are not that famous or special?" finished the man.
"Oh no, no, no. Nothing like that, sir," stammered Thomas nervously. "It's...it's…" But the man laughed.
"Oh, it's okay, Thomas," he smiled. "I'm just teasing you. I know we do not look that famous, and you are somewhat right, but let's just say Sir Topham Hatt tends to think highly of us and we are great friends." Thomas was puzzled.
"Shhh, dear," whispered the wife. "You don't want to spoil Sir Topham's surprise, do you?"
"Oh yes, good point dear," replied the man. Thomas was even more curious.
"Ahem, well I think we have done enough talking here," said the man. "Now, I believe it is your turn to talk, Thomas. Would you be alright if you could answer any questions we may have about the railway?"
"Ummm, yes sir," replied Thomas. "I would be happy to."
"Excellent!" said the man. "Well, come along dear. We better get on board." And they walked towards the coaches.
"Oh, I say," remarked the man. "Are these two coaches Annie and Clarabel? The two coaches you earned after rescuing that engine?"
Thomas, Annie, and Clarabel gasped. "Yes...sir?" replied Thomas confusedly.
"Wow," remarked the man. "They look very smart. I can see why Sir Topham Hatt gave them to you. You certainly deserve these splendid coaches. Don't you think so dear?"
"Yes, I have to agree they look very smart indeed," agreed the woman.
Annie and Clarabel forgot to be surprised and blushed instead. "Oh-ho-ho-ho," grinned Annie. "Why thank you."
"Yes, indeed," added Clarabel. "You're too kind, ho-ho-ho."
Thomas, however, was still puzzled. He did not expect anyone, such as these people, to know about something like this. "How does he know how I got Annie and Clarabel?" he thought. "I don’t think even someone famous would know that."
"Alright, Thomas," called the man. "We're all set and ready to go. Lead the way, little fellow!"
"Yes sir," called Thomas, and set off to give the "special" visitors their tour of the railway.
Once out on the main line, the man and woman were enjoying their time. Thomas, meanwhile, was trying to figure out who they were. As they puffed along, Thomas could see Henry's Tunnel in the distance and noticed there was a red signal, so he slowed down and stopped just outside the tunnel.
The man leaned out of Annie's window. "Ooh," he exclaimed. "I've heard of this tunnel. Isn't it named after an engine on this railway?"
Thomas gasped. "Uhhh….yes sir, it is," he replied.
"I thought so," said the man, "and wasn't it Henry? The engine who was closed up in it for being afraid of the rain and later had an encounter with an elephant?"
Thomas paused for a second. "Y-y-y-yes sir," he replied, feeling quite surprised.
"Ooh, I knew it," said the man excitedly. Just then they heard a whistle coming from the other end of the tunnel. "Ah, and I take it that's him?"
"Yes again, sir," replied Thomas, and at that point, Henry emerged from the tunnel.
"Hello Thomas!" he called.
"Hello Henry!" called Thomas.
"Hello Henry! It is nice to meet you!" called the man. "It seems quite coincidental that my wife and I are meeting you at your tunnel! Ha ha, have a good day!"
Henry was surprised. "Oh, uh, thank you….sir," he called back, not expecting to hear something like that from a ordinary person.
Thomas was very surprised now. At last, the signal dropped and Thomas was on his way again.
As the man and woman were talking and admiring the views, Thomas was still curious. "First, that man knows how I got Annie and Clarabel. Now, he knows about Henry and his tunnel?" he thought. "How does a seemingly normal person like him know about all of this? He must be famous somehow." But he couldn't figure out how.
After a while, Thomas needed to take on more water. He soon found a water tower and began refilling. As he did, James puffed up.
"Oh look, it's the 'special' express," he scoffed jealously. "How do your passengers feel riding with you, a little tank engine?"
"They're enjoying it very much James," replied Thomas, "but it's strange. They seem to be regular, ordinary people, yet they seem to know a lot about the railway."
"Huh," puffed James. "How could they if they are not famous?"
Before Thomas could answer, the man leaned out of Annie's window again. "Oh, hello there," he said to James. "Are you James?"
James gasped. "Um, yes I am sir," he replied.
"I remember hearing about you," added the man. "It was because of your accident on your first day, Thomas got these two lovely coaches in return. Is that correct?"
"Ummmm, uhy-y-yes," stammered James. He was feeling a little embarrassed.
"Oh don't worry," said the man. "I know you have done a few other things. Didn't you also take the express a few occasions?"
James smiled. "Why yes sir, I did," he replied proudly.
"I knew it," said the man. "Must be better than having a few encounters with tar wagons and bees and such, right?"
James blushed with embarrassment again. "Yes," he replied sheepishly. "Much better than that."
"Oh-ho, I'm just teasing you a little bit, James," said the man. "I know deep down, you are still a really useful engine. Have a good day!"
"Why thank you sir," replied James, feeling slightly better, as the man closed his window.
"See what I mean?" puffed Thomas.
"I do," remarked James. "It's odd how he knows that. Do you know who it is?"
"No, I don't," replied Thomas. "They're apparently not revealing themselves until I get to Ffarquhar."
"Hmmm, that's strange," puffed James thoughtfully.
"Well whoever they are," Annie cut in, "they certainly have good manners towards coaches."
"Indeed, they do," chuckled Clarabel. James and Thomas rolled their eyes.
At that point, Thomas was refilled with water and on his way again.
"Well, good-bye James," said Thomas.
"See you later, Thomas," said James, "and if you find out who they are, ask them if they remember anything good about me!" Thomas couldn't help but laugh at this as he puffed away.
Thomas was making good time and although he was still trying to figure out who the visitors were, he was glad that they were having a good time at least. Along the way, Thomas was approaching Emily with her coaches going the other way.
"Hello Thomas!" she called. "How are your visitors enjoying their journey?"
"Very much, Emily," replied Thomas, "and…" But just then, the man leaned out of the window again.
"Oh, you must be Emily," he remarked. "The engine that saved Thomas from a collision with that other engine, um, Oliver, right?"
"Oh," gasped Emily. "Why yes sir, I am."
"Ha! I knew it," said the man enthusiastically, "and I see you have your rewarding and lovely coaches as well. Very smart indeed."
"Thank you, sir," replied Emily cheerfully.
"You're very welcome, ma'am," said the man. "Enjoy the rest of your day!"
"I will sir!" replied Emily, and she puffed away, curious about how the man knew that. Annie and Clarabel felt jealous about the man's remark about her coaches, but Thomas just smiled.
Soon Thomas was approaching Gordon's Hill. As he was, he waited for the man to say something, and of course, he did.
"Wow, this is a huge hill," he remarked. "This is Gordon's Hill, isn't it?"
"Yep, you're correct sir," replied Thomas.
"I figured it must have been," said the man. "It's so big and steep. I can see why it's named after him, and why he got stuck on it that one time too."
Thomas chuckled. "A little fun fact," he puffed. "He still does!"
"Oh, ha ha!" smiled the man. "Well I guess he must keep that name somehow."
"Ha ha ha! Yes I guess so," replied Thomas, who felt a little bit more comfortable with talking to the man.
Soon they arrived at Wellsworth station. The man and woman decided they wanted a little break from riding and enjoy some refreshments.
"We won't be too long, Thomas," said the man. "You can have a little rest in the meantime."
"That's alright, sir," said Thomas. "Take all the time you need."
"Thank you, Thomas," said the man. "Say," he added. "I believe I've heard about this station. Doesn't it have a nickname?"
"Yes it does, sir," replied Thomas.
"I thought so," said the man. "Isn't it--" Just then, Edward puffed in.
"Hello everyone," he said.
"Edward's Station!" exclaimed the man. "Oh ho, and this must be him." Edward gasped.
Thomas laughed. "Yes he is, sir," he said. "This is Edward, and this is his station."
"Oh this is such a coincidence meeting you here, Edward," said the man. "It must be nice having a station to yourself, isn't it?"
"Ummm, yes it is, sir," replied Edward, who was trying to understand what was happening. "It's very nice, indeed."
"That's great to hear," said the man. "Well, if you two will excuse us, my wife and I are getting some refreshments. See you in a few minutes." And they went inside the station building.
Edward was still surprised. "I take it they are your special visitors, Thomas?" he asked.
"Yes they are," replied Thomas.
"I figured," puffed Edward. "Henry, James, and Emily told me about them when I passed them earlier."
"Well, whoever they are," chuffed Thomas, "they certainly know a lot about us engines."
"And coaches," added Annie and Clarabel.
"Do you know who they are, Edward?" asked Thomas. "Since you've been on the railway the longest, I figured you would know something about them."
"Unfortunately, I don't, Thomas," replied Edward. "The only person who would know a lot about the railway and us engines is Sir Topham Hatt and that's pretty much it." Thomas frowned. "Well, on the bright side," added Edward, "at least Percy will be getting his wish, but I think he'll be getting more than he bargained for."
Thomas and the coaches laughed. "Yep, he most likely will," chuffed Thomas.
At that point, the man and woman walked out of the building with their refreshments. "Well, we're ready to go when you are, Thomas," said the man, "but before we do, I have one more question and it's for Edward."
"Yes sir?" asked Edward. "What is it?"
"Don't you also help Gordon up his hill a lot as well?"
Edward chuckled. "Yes sir, I do on many occasions. He thinks he's the fastest and strongest, but really, he's just the fastest."
"So does that make you the strongest?" asked the man.
Thomas and Edward laughed. "I guess you could say that, sir," he smiled. Just then they heard a familiar whistle.
"And I can assume that's him coming up?" asked the man again.
"Yep, it sure is," said Edward, and that point Gordon came around the bend rushing towards them.
"Make way! Express coming through!" he called.
"Hello Gordon!" called the man.
Gordon was surprised. "Um….hello?" he said confusedly, as he whooshed through the station and disappeared .
"It's alright, sir," said Edward. "He usually doesn't have time to talk when he's in a rush like that."
"Oh I know," said the man. "I figured he was in a hurry, but he probably won't be for long right? You know, because of his hill?"
"Ha ha! That's probably true," said Edward, and they all laughed.
"Well, my wife and I still have a tour and Thomas needs to take us," said the man. "It was nice meeting you again, Edward, and have a nice day!"
"It was nice meeting you as well, sir," said Edward. "Enjoy the rest of your trip! And good-bye, Thomas!"
"Good-bye, Edward," replied Thomas, and he puffed away.
Then the stationmaster came up. "Hello Edward, Gordon is stuck on his hill again."
"Huh, of course," muttered Edward.
After Wellsworth, Thomas continued on his way to his branch line, trying to make up for some of the time they lost while at the station. Soon they arrived at Knapford station, and the man and his wife were impressed.
"Such a large station," remarked the woman.
"And so many engines," added the man. "I'll bet I can guess all of them." Thomas just rolled his eyes and smiled as he continued on.
At last, they were heading along Thomas' Branch Line. The man and woman were getting excited.
"So this is your famous branch line, right Thomas?" asked the man.
"Yes it is, sir," replied Thomas proudly. "The one and only."
"Ah, this will be exciting," said the man. Thomas felt pleased. He showed them every part of his branch line and just as Thomas expected, the man asked many questions and knew so many things about it. They even passed Terence the tractor.
"Hello Thomas," he called. "Do your visitors by any chance know who I am?"
"Yes we do," called the man. "You're Terence. The tractor who pulled Thomas out of that snowdrift with your brilliant caterpillar wheels."
"Ha ha! That's correct sir," chuckled Terence. "Well have a good day, you all." And Thomas continued on his way, now even more curious than ever.
Eventually, they arrived at Ffarquhar station. Percy was there delivering goods.
"Hello Thomas," he puffed. "Are your special visitors here?"
"Yes they are, Percy," said Thomas, "and…"
"Oh great!" said Percy. "Do they know a lot about the railway like Sir Topham Hatt said?"
"Oooh they do Percy," puffed Thomas. "A little too well if you ask me."
Then the man and woman walked up.
"Oh hello there," said the man. "You must be Percy, Thomas' best friend."
Percy gasped. "Um yes I am, sir," he replied.
"I told you I knew him," the man gloated to his wife, "and don't you also take the mail train all the time as well?"
"Yes I do, sir," replied Percy proudly. "All the time and never late, well most of the time."
The man and woman laughed. "That's good to know, and good job. Will all of you excuse us for a few minutes? I need to speak to the stationmaster."
"Of course, sir," said Thomas and Percy, and the man and woman went inside the station.
Percy was surprised. "Wow, they really DO know a lot about the railway. Do you know who they are, Thomas?"
"No I don't," replied Thomas, "but I hope to find out soon because this is really making me curious. They seem like they're ordinary people and yet, they know almost everything about the railway. They must be famous somehow."
"I agree," puffed Percy, just then Bertie bustled in.
"Hello you two," he said. "I've come to pick up Sir Topham Hatt and his visitors and take them to a special event he planned for them. Are they here yet?"
"Well his visitors are," said Thomas, "but we haven't seen Sir Topham Hatt yet."
"Oh, well that's alright. At least I have a chance to talk to you Thomas," said Bertie. "I have a question about you're visitors: who are they?"
Thomas sighed. "I still don't know, Bertie. I take it other engines have told you about them as well?"
"Yes they have," chuckled Bertie. "They sound like a couple of know-it-alls."
"They certainly seem like that," puffed Thomas. "You are not wrong about that, Bertie."
Just then the man and woman walked out of the station. "Well I just talked with the stationmaster and Sir Topham Hatt will be arriving here soon," said the man, then he noticed Bertie. "Ah, you're Bertie the bus, aren't you?"
"Yes sir," said Bertie.
"Ha ha, I could tell," said the man. "You're the bus that Thomas likes to race all the time, right?"
Bertie chuckled. "Yes I am sir, and almost always beat him too." Thomas grunted, as the man, woman, and Percy laughed.
Then Thomas decided it was time to finally ask something. "Sir," he said to the man. "I know you and your wife are Sir Topham Hatt's special visitors and seem to be regular people, but you also seem to know a lot about this railway as well. So I have to ask you one more time: who are you?"
The man smiled and was about to say something, but just then Toby arrived with Henrietta.
"Hello everyone," said Toby.
"We're here with a few guests," added Henrietta, and then Sir Topham Hatt, Lady Hatt, and their grandchildren stepped out of her.
"Ah good afternoon, everyone," said Sir Topham Hatt.
Stephen and Bridget looked at the two visitors.
"Mom! Dad!" they exclaimed and ran towards them.
Everyone was surprised.
"Mom? Dad?" exclaimed Thomas. "Wait, does that mean…"
"Ha ha," chuckled Sir Topham Hatt. "I think it's time to tell them, don't you think so, Charles?"
"I believe so," said the man. Everyone was still puzzled.
"Everyone," announced Sir Topham Hatt. "I want you all to meet…my son, Charles Hatt."
The yard was speechless. No one could believe what they just heard.
"Y-y-y-y-your son, sir?!" exclaimed Thomas.
"Yes Thomas," replied Sir Topham Hatt. "This is my son, and I'm proud to call him that."
"My father here has told me so much about his railway, Thomas," said Charles. "He even read a book series when I was little that was all about you and the other engines."
"Oh!" remarked Thomas. "So that's how you knew about us! No wonder you seemed to know everything about us engines!"
"Yes, that's correct, Thomas," smiled Charles. "My wife and I have always wanted to come and meet you all, but we have been so busy on the mainland with work and could never find any time to visit. So we chose a day to finally come and luckily, today worked out perfectly."
"Well, it was very nice of you two to finally make it here," chuffed Thomas, "and I think I speak for the Sodor Railway when I say it is a great honor to meet you at last, Charles." Everyone agreed.
Charles smiled. "Thank you very much, Thomas," he said, "and thank you for giving us such a splendid ride. My wife and I enjoyed it very much."
"You're welcome, sir," said Thomas proudly.
"That's excellent to hear you enjoyed your ride with Thomas, Charles," said Sir Topham Hatt. "Now I have a special dinner planned back at my manor for all of us and Bertie here will be taking us there."
"Oh good!" said Charles. "That sounds wonderful. Thank you father." And they all proceeded to Bertie.
"Wait, sir," said Thomas, and Charles stopped. "Just out of curiosity, sir, since you have pointed out who all of the engines are, do you know Toby and Henrietta?"
Charles laughed. "Why of course I do," he smiled. "You're the tram engine my father saved from that old railway and saved your lovely coach, Henrietta, from being a henhouse."
"Yes that's correct, sir," smiled Toby.
"And thank goodness he did too," puffed Henrietta.
"Ha ha, I'll bet," said Charles.
"And I think our daughter, Bridget, here remembers that you're electric as well," smiled Charles' wife.
"Mom!" whined Bridget, but Toby couldn't help but laugh at this, although he was a little offended.
"Yes ma'am, that's right," he replied modestly. Sir Topham Hatt's family laughed.
"Well, we must be going," said Sir Topham Hatt. "We'll probably stop by Knapford Station later tonight to see everyone again, so in the meantime, enjoy your afternoon everyone. Good-bye for now."
"Good-bye, sir!" replied everyone, and Bertie drove away to Topham Manor.
"Well, what do you think of that?" remarked Percy.
"It certainly is quite amazing," agreed Toby.
"I never would have guessed it," added Henrietta.
"It certainly explains a lot," chipped in Annie.
"I wonder what the others will think of this," chuffed Clarabel.
"Me too," said Thomas. "I'm sure they're all talking about it by now." And he was right.
Back at Knapford Station, Henry, James, Emily, Edward, and Gordon were telling the other engines all about their encounters with the visitors.
"The man said he it was a coincidence to meet me at my tunnel," said Henry.
"He knows about how I rescued Oliver and earned my coaches," said Emily.
"He knows my name," added Gordon, "and according to Edward, knows about my hill."
"Well that can't be as bad as me," huffed James. "Aside from knowing that I pulled the express, he knows about my accident on the first day and about the tar wagons and bees!"
The other engines were very curious about this. They all wanted to know who the special visitors were as well. Just then, Thomas, Percy, Toby, Annie, Clarabel and Henrietta arrived, and everyone's full attention went to them.
"Thomas," said Edward. "Have you finally figured out who the visitors are?"
"Yes we have Edward," replied Thomas proudly, "and you all won't believe this." He paused impressively. "The woman is obviously the man's wife, and the man...is Sir Topham Hatt's son, Charles Hatt!"
Everyone in the yard gasped. They couldn't believe what they just heard.
"Sir Topham Hatt's son!" remarked Edward. "I can't believe it! Even I would not have guessed that!"
"So that's how they knew about us," said Gordon.
"Well why did Sir Topham Hatt have to tell him all about my accidents?" complained James.
The three tank engines laughed. "We were surprised when we found out too," admitted Thomas.
"Yes," agreed Percy, "and guess what? We're all meeting them later this evening!"
The engines were delighted.
"Oh how exciting!" chuffed Emily.
"I can't wait to finally meet them!" added Henry.
"I can't wait to give them a piece of my mind," grunted James.
"Oh, so what made them finally come here?" Edward asked Thomas.
"We'll tell you," said Thomas, and then he, Percy, and Toby told them what Charles had told them.
Afterwards, the engines were surprised. "Well it was certainly nice of them to finally come and see us," said Edward. "I always wanted to meet them."
"I think you're speaking for all of us there, little Edward," puffed Gordon.
"And also, Percy," added Henry. "Looks like you got your wish today. You wanted a visitor that knew about us engines more than the railway, and you got it."
"I know, Henry," smiled Percy, "and it was great. I just never expected them to be related to Sir Topham Hatt!" And everyone laughed. Just then, Sir Topham Hatt and his family arrived.
"Ah hello everyone," he announced. "Nice to see many of you here. I'm sure by now, you all know who these special visitors are, but let me properly introduce them. Ladies, gentlemen, engines, and coaches, meet my son, Charles Hatt and his wife, Lily Hatt!"
Then then the yard was filled with the sounds of welcomes and whistles. It was so loud that even Sir Topham Hatt had to silence them.
"Thank you, father," said Charles, then he turned to the engines. "Hello Sodor Railway! I had the great privilege of seeing your railway and meeting some of you along the way. As Thomas here might have told you, I have actually known most, if not all, of you since I was a child and it was a pleasure to finally come to the Island of Sodor to meet all of you. I cannot tell you how happy I am that this is happening right now. You all run a very splendid railway and certainly make very memorable memories along the way, and even if you don't believe it, there are many people in this world who know a lot about you and want to come and meet you." This made the engines feel very happy and pleased, especially Thomas and Percy, and even James forgot to be cross. "So to sum this up, I want to tell each everyone one of you: it is a great and tremendous honor to finally meet all of you and you all are really useful engines."
"And it is a tremendous honor to finally meet you too!" replied the engines. "Welcome to the Island of Sodor, Charles and Lily Hatt!" And once again, the yard was filled with the sounds of cheers and whistles. Sir Topham Hatt didn't even mind this time, for he and Charles could understand that today was indeed a very proud day for his engines and the Island of Sodor.
- Annie and Clarabel
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Stephen Hatt
- Bridget Hatt
- Charles Hatt
- Lily Hatt
- Oliver (does not speak)
- Lady Jane Hatt (does not speak)
- Dowager Hatt (does not speak)
- Duck (cameo)
- Donald and Douglas (cameo)
- Bill and Ben (cameo)
- Stanley (cameo)
- Charlie (cameo)
- Connor (cameo)
- Caitlin (cameo)
- Diesel (cameo)
- Daisy (cameo)
- Stafford (cameo)
- Alicia Botti (mentioned)
- Queen Elizabeth II (mentioned)
- Several reference to television series episodes are made in this episode:
- The references about Annie and Clarabel refer to Thomas and the Breakdown Train.
- The references about Henry refer to The Sad Story of Henry and Henry and the Elephant.
- The references about James refer to Thomas and the Breakdown Train, James and the Express, Dirty Objects, and Buzz, Buzz.
- The reference about Emily refers to Emily's New Coaches.
- The references about Gordon and Edward refer to Edward and Gordon.
- The reference about Terence refers to Thomas, Terence and the Snow.
- The reference about Bertie refers to Thomas and Bertie.
- The references about Toby and Henrietta refer to Toby and the Stout Gentleman and Thomas in Trouble.
- Another reference to the previous episode was made as well.
- This episode also marks the first of few things:
- The first official appearance of Sir Topham and Lady Hatt's son, Charles Hatt.
- The first appearance of Terence since the television series special, The Great Discovery, and the first time he has spoken since the television series episode, Happy Ever After.
- The book series that Charles Hatt mentions is the Railway Series.