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"No! I.. I can't race! Not after what happened with my coupling rod!"
— Connor

Cautious Connor is the twelveth (fithteenth in Australia) episode of the twentieth season.

Plot

There are some fast engines on the Island of Sodor like Gordon and Spencer, but there are also two streamlined engines named Connor and Caitlin who come from the Mainland and are even faster than Gordon and Spencer. One day, Connor races into Ulfstead Castle and arrives at the station before Stephen does, Stephen says to Connor that he reminds him of him back in his days at the Rainhill Trials and won every race, Connor laughs and says to Stephen that he probably still has it in him, then Stephen puffs out of the castle station and makes the sound of a rocket while Connor also leaves the station.

Meanwhile, Connor is waiting at the Vicarstown Bridge for the drawbridge to lower down while a ship crosses the Walney Channel, Connor starts speeding up once the bridge is lowered, but as he speeds along the line worrying that he's late to bring his passengers, he hears something clanging and stops to see what it is, the driver and fireman go out and see that one of Connor's coupling rods had become loose which nearly caused him to derail, Connor suggests that he was probably going too fast.

Connor is sent to the steamworks and is given his new coupling rod, but he starts fearing at going high-speeds, but Victor tells him that his coupling rod can't just loosen when going too fast, but at any speed, Connor sadly leaves the steamworks and goes to Ulfstead Castle to deliver passengers, he tells Millie of how he broke down on the Mainland and then says that he's going to be much careful from then on, but this makes Stephen and Millie worry.

Thomas is chuffing along the line when he sees Connor going very slow, Thomas asks Connor why he's going so slow in which Connor explains about his coupling rod and from now on, he's going to be more careful, but Thomas suggests that Connor should go and get checked over again at the steamworks, Connor agrees and Thomas chuffs away going more further away than Connor. Connor continuously repeats "Better safe than sorry!" on his way to the steamworks to be re-checked.

Connor returns to the steamworks and tells Victor that he's going very slowly, but he still thinks something's wrong with him, with Victor saying there's nothing wrong with him and he's a very fast streamlined engine who should be going at high-speeds again, but Connor is still worried about risking again. So Connor continues to drive slowly, even slow vehicles like Skiff overtake him, Thomas passes Connor and smiles sheepishly, with Annie saying to Thomas that he's so impressive and then she, Clarabel and Thomas start laughing at Connor, but Thomas' laugh quickly turns into a worry and tells Annie and Clarabel that it's not funny as they need Connor to go back into being his normal self again. Annie and Clarabel agree this time, but as Clarabel says that Connor's racing days are probably over, an idea flies into Thomas' funnel.

Connor puffs slowly into Ulfstead Castle, he is very pleased with himself, but the passengers are not happy and start saying that it is a terrible railway, Thomas then puffs into the castle station and tells Connor that he thinks he might be up for a challenge, which Connor tells Thomas that he's always ready for a challenge, so Thomas says to Connor let's have a race, but Connor starts worrying about his coupling rod loosening again and having an accident so he tells Thomas he can't race, but Thomas tells Connor that he meant Stephen, Stephen then puffs up and begins the race, but Stephen is driving very slowly and Connor stays and doesn't move from the platform and then tells Stephen that he's much too faster than him, but Stephen continues to race and comes back to the station after driving round a circle, Stephen tells Connor about his days in the Rainhill Trials and how the engines he competed against, their parts would snap off and some would even explode which worries Connor more. Stephen then tells Connor that the engines wouldn't give up and would continue racing and put their parts back together like the heroes they were. Stephen tells Connor isn't fast now he no longer goes fast along the track, but Connor offensively replies that he loves going fast and Stephen tells Connor to go out and prove it, so as the stationmaster blows his whistle, Connor is determined to beat Stephen and rushes out of the station, after his departure, Thomas says to Stephen that his plan worked very well and then asks if the engines at the trials really put themselves back together, in which Stephen responds that it was just a joke he made up so Connor can be himself again.

From then on, Connor is back as himself again and races at high-speed again at bang-on time.

Characters

Some passengers also speak. They are voiced by Keith Wickham.

Locations

Trivia

  • This was one of the five episodes that was incomplete at the time Arc Productions went bankrupt, and was finished off by Jam Filled Toronto after Jam Filled Entertainment bought the aforementioned studio.
  • The incidents Stephen described about the early steam engines during his time were real; many early concepts of steam engines ran and experienced the risks of numerous failings and exploding.
  • Stephen's inspirational speech marks the first time an engine is indirectly described with a near-death experience; since all engines refer to being scrapped as "death," it follows that his telling of an engine exploding is almost as crippling.
  • Stephen saying "Greased lightning" could be a reference to the song from the musical Grease.
  • Going by the Channel 5 guide listing, this is the fifteenth episode of the twentieth season.

Goofs

  • When Spencer first appears on screen, his coaches aren't textured and are just plain grey.
  • In the shot before Connor says "Finally!" the tracks leading to the Vicarstown Bridge disappear.
  • Following his accident, Connor worries about his coupling rod coming loose again, while it was actually his driving rod that came apart.
  • While Connor is at the Steamworks being fixed, the engineers fixed his middle driving rod, not his back driving rod that had been damaged.
  • When Stephen comes up to Connor saying "That's right pal," Stephen go forwards despite the fact that the points are set for him to go to the other track instead of forwards.
  • In the overhead shot of Skiff overtaking Connor, just before the camera angle changes, Skiff and Captain Joe disappear.
  • In one shot of Connor at Ulfstead Castle his eyebrows aren't attached to his forehead.
  • In the end scene Millie takes the turn from the dual gauge track which is only standard gauge.
  • The narrator states that Connor and Caitlin are faster than Spencer but Spencer is an A4 and A4's are the fastest steam engines.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Connor el Cuidadoso Connor the Careful
Japanese コナーははやくはしらない I Don't Know Connor At All
Polish Ostrożny Kacper Careful Connor
Romanian Connor cel Precaut Connor the Safe
Hebrew קונור הזהיר Cautious Connor

Home Media Releases

UK/US

Episode

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