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- “What a boring view! Important engines like me should have a panoramic view, where I can see people, and people could see me!”
- ―Gordon complaining about Kirk Ronan station
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 is a big engine, and that he shall complain whenever he wants, and he then tells James that he is just a small red engine with ideas above his station, and that one day he will 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. At first he does not want to do it since Henry usually likes doing it, but the Fat Controller does not care, so he tells him to do as he is told. 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 is 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 will 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 Gordon wanted a panoramic view, but this is not the way to achieve it.
Upon his second 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 is here to stay, and he trusts that he will always see through it from the safety of his own rails.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Henry (does not speak)
- Thomas (cameo)
- Edward (cameo)
- Duck (cameo)
- Stephen Hatt (cameo)
- Jeremiah Jobling (cameo)
- Mrs. Kyndley (cameo)
- The Vicar of Wellsworth (cameo)
- The Storyteller (cameo)
- Nancy (cameo)
- 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 and flew out a station concourse window at its terminus at the also well known station. There have also been several other incidents similar to this:
- The accident at Harcourt Street Station in Dublin where a goods train bashed through the buffers, and then through the station wall.
- The accident at Chester Station in the Welsh Borders where a Virgin Voyager Class 221 bashed through the buffers.
- And also where an EMD F3 Locomotive #19L, leading the Super Chief, lost brakes at Los Angeles' Union Passenger Terminal (LAUPT). The train crashed through a steel bumper post and a concrete wall and stopped with a third of the locomotive 20 feet above Aliso Street.
- 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 for the fifth season.
- 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.
- 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.
- When Gordon was boasting on the turntable, his right buffer is crooked.
- When Gordon’s crew attempts to apply his brakes, a wire can be seen out the cab window.
- The Hindi narration of this episode credits Michael Angelis as the narrator.
- Gordon: (to James) You're just a small red engine with ideas above your station!
- Percy: I can't see any, where are they?
- Gordon: Any what?
- Percy: "Ideas above the station", the sky is empty!
- James: Like your smoke box, Percy!
- 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!
- James: (after Gordon breaks down) Well, well, well, so much for knowing about everything! You got too puffed-up in the boiler, so it serves you right!
- (after the crash)
- The Fat Controller: Well, Gordon, I know you wanted a panoramic view, but this is not the way to achieve it.
- Gordon: Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.
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