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Busy Going Backwards

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Malaysian DVD.
"A pond's the only place for a toad, I suppose..."
— Oliver
Busy Going Backwards

David Mitton


Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Britt Allcroft
David Mitton
David Maidment


Michael Angelis (UK)
Alec Baldwin (US)

Air date

October 14th,
1998 (UK)
December 23rd
1998 (Australia)

Previous episode

Make Someone

Next episode

Duncan Gets

Busy Going Backwards is the twenty-third episode of the fifth season.


Toad is bored with looking at everything from behind, and the trucks are cross that he does not appreciate looking after them. So when Oliver takes a goods train up Gordon's Hill, the trucks break away and go careering down the line. After narrowing avoiding collisions with Gordon, James and Henry, Toad is finally diverted into a pond. Toad now appreciates seeing everything from behind.




  • A rendition of "William Tell Overture" is heard throughout the runaway.
  • The picture of Duke from Bulldog can be seen in the signal box.
  • In Germany, this episode is called "Toad and the Reverse". The Italian title is "Back All!". The Japanese title is "Toad Backwards or Toad of Retrospective". The Spanish title is "In Reverse and Not the Other Way Round". In Sweden, this episode is titled, "Toad's Dream".


  • When Toad rolls to the bottom of Gordon's Hill, from his point of view, the edge of the scenery can be seen.
  • When Toad switches lines to avoid Gordon, the track ends in bushes.
  • In the distant shot of Toad being switched to the track with the buffers, seconds before the camera cuts, Toad and the front two trucks derail.
  • A string can be seen when Toad goes out of the siding.
  • The rails to the buffers are broken as Toad leaves the siding.
  • Before Toad switches to another track to avoid James, he was on the middle track. In the closeup of Toad shutting his eyes, you can tell this is repeated as you can see Toad was on the right track, not the middle track.
  • When Toad swerves away from the buffers and back onto the main line, the mechanism pushing him and the trucks is seen.
  • Toad would not have been able to reach the buffers that he thought would stop him as the points weren't even connected to the rest of the track.
  • When Toad swerves at the siding, some studio equipment is seen.
  • When Oliver rushes under the Wellsworth footbridge, part of the fencing is bent.
  • The narrator says "they diverted him onto old sidings" when he should have said "they diverted him onto an old siding".
  • There is no way Oliver could turn around as quickly as he did after the trucks broke away.
  • James is seen going through Wellsworth heading west when Oliver passes him, but later James is seen coming along the middle line heading east.  James' trucks change several times during the episode.
  • When Toad falls into the pond, in the shot from his point of view, studio equipment can be seen in the top left corner.
  • Oliver's trucks keep changing throughout the duration of the episode.
  • Toad and the trucks would have derailed at bends due to their speed in real life.
  • The trucks and Toad travel much further than they would have in real life.



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