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A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book.
"It made me feel like a Really Useless Engine!"
— Percy
A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter/
A Bad Day for Harold

David Mitton


Phil Fehrle


David Mitton
(story idea)
Simon Nicholson


Michael Angelis
Alec Baldwin
Michael Brandon

Air date

September 19th,
2002 (UK)
October 24th,
2002 (AUS)
January 16th,
2003 (US)
November 19th,
2005 (Michael
Brandon US

Previous episode

No Sleep for Cranky

Next episode

Elizabeth the
Vintage Lorry
Elizabeth the Vintage
Quarry Truck

A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter, retitled A Bad Day for Harold in American releases, is the fourth episode of the sixth season.


Percy is getting annoyed that Harold keeps on delivering the mail, even though it's his job, but Harold just says it's what friends are for. One morning, Percy is happily delivering the mail, but gets stuck at a broken signal. He could not go past it as it was stuck at danger, so Harold had to be called to take the mail for him. At first they load a few bags in his net, but Harold demands that all the mail should be loaded in so he isn't slow, like Percy. So they load all the mail into the net, and Harold begins to set off.

Just as Harold sets off with the mail, the signal is fixed. Everyone tries to call Harold back, but he does not hear them. But his net is far too heavy for him. While he is up in the air, his engine starts to rattle and the heavy mail causes him to lose control. The mail net gets stuck in a tree and Harold falls down into a haystack. Percy was shocked and puffs over to Harold and asks if he is alright. Harold tells Percy to get someone to pull him out of the haystack, which he does at once.

Back at Tidmouth Sheds, some of the engines were teasing Harold. The helicopter thanks Percy for helping him out of the haystack and Percy said that is what friends are for.




  • In a picture of Harold flying through Misty Valley, Toby and Henrietta are not present.
  • This is one of the few episodes of the sixth season to be narrated by Michael Brandon.


  • When Percy stops at the broken signal, the steam disappears and then reappears due to a film cut.
  • In some close-ups of Percy at the broken signal, the track beside him stops at the background.
  • When Harold crashes into the haystack, he is smiling and his rotor blades have disappeared.
  • Studio equipment and a crew member are visible in the reflection of James' carriage windows when he passes the camera.
  • In the shot of Percy beside the haystack, Harold looks as if he landed on the haystack.
  • In a close-up of Thomas, a camera's shadow can be seen on James.
  • In the shot of Percy passing the church, he has three mail cars. In all the shots after that, he has two.

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
Norwegian En dårlig dag for helikopteret Harold A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter
Japanese うんのわるいハロルド Unlucky Harold
Spanish Un mal día para Harold el helicóptero A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter



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