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A Bad Day for Sir Handel

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"Whatever next! Those aren't coaches, they're cattle trucks!"
"Ooh! What a horrid engine!"
"It's not what I'm used to!
— Sir Handel insulting the coaches
A Bad Day for Sir Handel

David Mitton


Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Reverend W. Awdry
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Michael Angelis (UK)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

October 23rd,
1995 (UK)
April 29th,
1996 (AUS)
October 28th,
1996 (US)

Previous episode

Four Little Engines

Next episode

Peter Sam and the
Refreshment Lady

A Bad Day for Sir Handel is the sixth episode of the fourth season. In the US, it first aired in the Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales episode For The Birds, in 1996.


As always, Skarloey and Rheneas like working on the railway that weaves around the lakes and long mountain sides. Their coaches are filled with visitors and both engines are proud to run the line, no matter the weather. They will never let their passengers down, but they, however, are old and they tire themselves out easily. Their drivers understand this, and they then tell them that there is more than enough work for them on the railway, and the manager is sending two more engines to help run the line. Both Skarloey and Rheneas are pleased with the news, and they promise that they will give them a big welcome.

The new engines, Peter Sam and Sir Handel arrive on the Skarloey Railway. Peter Sam is kind, but Sir Handel is bad-tempered and insults Skarloey and the sheds. Then Sir Handel is chosen to pull the train to the top station. He does so grudgingly, and, after insulting the coaches by calling them "cattle trucks" and surprising Gordon with his knowledge of coaches, makes his way to the top station. There, he is angry to discover by his driver that he is expected to go to the quarry and collect trucks, and refuses to do so, punctuating his point by deliberately derailing himself (as there was a small rock too close to one of the two rails). In the end, Peter Sam helps Sir Handel back on the rails and the Fat Controller puts Sir Handel in the shed as punishment. He scolds him for his naughty actions and warns him to behave himself the next time he comes out of the shed.





  • When Sir Handel and Peter Sam first arrive, Percy is passing with a train of trucks. However, when Sir Handel looks at Skarloey, Percy is reversing for some reason, and a tar wagon has joined his train.
  • Gordon is missing his brake pipe.
  • In the UK version, when Sir Handel backs onto his coaches and stops, he can still be heard puffing for another four seconds.
  • Gordon has Duck's whistle sound for the rest of the season.
  • When Sir Handel goes off-camera on the mountain ledge, the steam platform blows steam too late.
  • When the Fat Controller says "You're a very naughty engine", a fly crawls on the workbench beside Sir Handel.
  • Sir Handel and Rheneas swap whistle sounds.
  • The coaches are cross before Sir Handel calls them "cattle trucks".
  • In a picture of a deleted scene, a wire is visible beneath Sir Handel.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Un Mal Día para Sir Handel A Bad Day for Sir Handel
Brazilian Portuguese Um Dia Ruim para o Sir Handel A Bad Day for Sir Handel
Norwegian En dårlig dag for Sir Handel A Bad Day for Sir Handel
Japanese わがままなきかんしゃ Selfish Engine
Welsh Teimlo'n Hurt Feeling Hurt
Czech Handelův špatný den Sir Handel's Bad Day
Polish Zły Dzień Pana Handla Poor Sir Handel's Day
Finnish Sir Handel ja Kurja Päivä Sir Handel and the Miserable Day
Hungarian Sir Handel Rossz Napja Sir Handel's Bad Day
Italian Una Giornata No Per Sir Handel A Bad Day For Sir Handel
Dutch Een slechte dag voor meneer hendel A Bad Day for Sir Handel
Danish En Dårlig Dag for Sir Handel A Bad Day for Sir Handel
Chinese 汉德尔先生糟糕的一天 Sir Handel's Bad Day
Slovenian Silvester ima slab dan Sir Handel has a Bad Day

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