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A Better View for Gordon

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Step Into Reading book or the Philippine DVD.
"You're just a small red engine with ideas above your station!"
"I can't see any. Where are they?"
"Any what?"
"'Ideas above the station,' the sky is empty."
"Like your smokebox, Percy!
— Gordon, Percy and James arguing

A Better View for Gordon is the third episode of the fifth season.


One morning, Gordon is complaining, which makes James cross. James asks why Gordon complains all the time, and Gordon tells him that he's a big engine, and that he shall complain whenever he wants, and he then tells James that he's just a small red engine with ideas above his station, and that one day he'll show them just what a big engine can really do.

Later, Gordon is ordered by the Fat Controller to pull an empty express train to Kirk Ronan to test the new station building. Along the way, he begins to feel sick. His driver tells him that he must go to the works when his pipes are clogged. Gordon soon arrives at the station. He's impressed, but his mood soon changes when in front of him is a blank wall and a set of buffers. Gordon is bored by the blank plaster wall in front of his buffers, and says that important engines should have a panoramic view so that people could see him.

On the return journey, Gordon tries to build up speed, but he then breaks down and comes to a complete stop in a siding. Gordon's driver tells him that something inside of him is broken, and that he'll have to go to the works. When James arrives to collect his coaches, he tells Gordon that he was too puffed up in his smokebox and it serves him right.

Gordon is repaired in time for the opening of the new station, but still acts puffed up. When he approaches Kirk Ronan, neither the driver and fireman can apply his brakes. Something is jammed and Gordon loses control and crashes through the wall. His crew and the Fat Controller suffer minor injuries. The Fat Controller tells him that he knew he wanted a panoramic view, but this is not the way to achieve it.

Upon his return from the Works, Gordon arrives back at the station for its second official opening, and this time he arrives safely. Gordon is delighted to discover the broken wall has been turned into a panoramic window. The Fat Controller tells him that it's here to stay, and he trusts that he'll always see through it from the safety of his own rails.




  • The Hindi narration of this episode credits Michael Angelis as the narrator.
  • Gordon's crash at Kirk Ronan was inspired by the world famous Gare Montparnasse derailment at Paris, France, on 22nd October 1895 when the Granville-Paris Express overran the buffer stop at its terminus at the also well known station.
  • The incident is also similar to the accident at Harcourt Street Station in Dublin where a goods train bashed through the buffers, and then through the station wall. It is also similar to the accident at Chester Station in the Welsh Borders where a Virgin Voyager Class 221 bashed through the buffers, which caused one person to be injured.
  • The incident is also similar where An EMD F3 Locomotive #19L, leading the Super Chief, loses brakes at Los Angeles' Union Passenger Terminal (LAUPT). The train crashes through a steel bumper post and a concrete wall and stops with a third of the locomotive 20 feet above Aliso Street. No injuries, but the engineer loses his job.
  • Gordon is seen pulling Red Express Coaches for the final time until the twentieth season episode, Henry in the Dark.
  • In the UK narration, the narrator says "And he puffed away.", while in the US narration, the narrator says "Then he puffed away.". 
  • Four lines added in the UK version, after The Fat Controller says "You will do as you are told.", after Gordon says "What a boring view!", "What happened?" and "Yes sir, Sorry sir.", the narrator says "Came the blunt reply.", "He grunted.", "He explained." and "Muttered Gordon.". These are absent in the US version. 
  • In the UK version, Gordon's driver says "Now you really can enjoy your run as long as your pipes will let you.", but in the US version, he says "Now you can really enjoy your run as long as your pipes will let you.". 
  • This is the first episode written with three writers.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Kirk Ronan station in the television series replacing Knapford.
  • The barrel that The Fat Controller is standing on when he's talking to Gordon near the beginning is the "Best Quality Diesel Oil" barrel from Bowled Out.


  • When Gordon leaves for Kirk Ronan, his crew and the Fat Controller are still standing there.
  • When Gordon approaches Kirk Ronan, he lets off steam. In the next shot, it has disappeared and he lets off more steam.
  • The title card of the Norwegian narration says "Let's Have a Race by Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell."
  • When James is talking to Gordon at the siding, James' dome is scratched.


  • Gordon: One day I'll show you just what a big engine can really do!


  • Percy: So what can a big engine really do?
  • Gordon: Not speak to silly little green engines for a start.


  • Gordon: (about his speed) Come on! Come on! I can go faster than this! Sick, me?! Never!


  • The Fat Controller: (after the crash) Well, Gordon, I know you wanted a panoramic view, but this is not the way to achieve it.
  • Gordon: Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Mejoras Para Gordon Enhancements for Gordon
Norwegian Et Bedre Syn for Gordon A Better View for Gordon
Japanese ゴードンのまど Gordon's Window
Polish Lepszy Widok dla Gabrysia Better View for Gordon
Italian Aria di Guai Air of Trouble
Swedish Bättre Utsikt för Gordon Better View for Gordon
Slovenian Lepši Razgled za Gorazda The Most Beautiful View for Gordon
Hungarian Jobb Kilátás Gordonnak Improved Visibility Gordon
Russian Гордону лучше видно Gordon is Better Seen
Greek Ο Τζόνι και η πανοραμική θέα Gordon and the Panoramic Views
Romanian O Privelişte Mai Bună Pentru Gordon A Better View for Gordon
Slovak Lepší Pohľad na Gordona A Better View for Gordon
German Schöne Aussicht für Gordon Nice View for Gordon
Dutch Een Beter Uitzicht voor Gordon A Better View for Gordon
Chinese 更清楚地了解高登 A Clearer Understanding of Gordon
Korean 잘난 척 대장, 고든 Smug Boss, Gordon
Brazilian Portuguese Uma Visão Melhor Para Gordon A Better View for Gordon
Danish En Bedre Udsigt for Gordon A Better View for Gordon
Thai กอร์ดอนได้เห็นวิวสมปรารถนา Gordon Has Views of Realization

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