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- “You're not cross with me sir, even though my flags are drooped and I'm covered in coal dust, quarry dust and fish?!”
Dirty Work is the fourth episode of the eleventh season.
James has barely returned from the repair yard when news comes of a special; an engine is needed to take the Mayor of Sodor to the Festival of Light at the Scottish Castle. James volunteers and Thomas, Percy and Emily get to do goods work. They ask James for help, but James says it is more important to look his best than to help his friends and James leaves for the washdown.
While James is being washed, Percy who still has lots of work to do stops by on his way to the quarry. He asks James for some help, but James says no. Later while James is getting polished, Thomas arrives with some Troublesome Trucks which biffed him. He asks James for some help, but again, James says no. While James was getting his funnel cleaned, he starts to smell something bad which turns out to be Emily pulling heavy trucks of fish. Emily asks James for some help, but once again, James refuses to have help from a different engine. James is cleaned and decorated with flags and arrives at the castle, but is shocked to discover the others have not yet finished their work. James feels terrible for bailing out on his friends and goes out to help them.
James finds Thomas who is still having trouble with his trucks and helps, but is soon covered in coal dust. Next, he finds Percy struggling to pull his trucks of stone out of the quarry. James helps him by pushing him and got covered in quarry dust. Lastly, he finds Emily who cannot go any further with her heavy load. James pushes her and her load and knows he would be covered in fish.
Thomas, Percy and Emily make it to the festival. James arrives with the Mayor, but is worried about what the Fat Controller might say after getting all dirty again. But to his surprise, the Fat Controller is proud of James for helping his friends and bringing the Mayor to the castle safely. The engines believe that even though James is dirty, he is still the star of the show.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The Mayor of Sodor (does not speak)
- Sodor Brass Band (do not speak)
- Henry (cameo)
- 'Arry and Bert (cameo)
- Refreshment Lady (cameo)
- Lord Callan (cameo)
- Going by production order, this is the twenty-second episode of the eleventh season.
- A few differences were made in the DVDs compared to the PBS and Nick Jr. television airing, Hopes and Dreams:
- The beginning of the episode was filmed on a different set.
- The scene of James was filmed on a different set.
- The scene of James passing Henry was filmed on a different set.
- An alternate angle of the engines at Tidmouth Sheds was used and Emily has a different happy face.
- An alternate angle of James leaving Tidmouth Sheds is used and Emily has a different mad face.
- An alternate angle of Emily arriving at the yards is used, a workman on the platform is moved, there is more coal in the trucks in the television version and less on the DVD version and the last coal truck is uncoupled in the DVD version.
- An alternate angle of James wondering where Thomas, Percy and Emily are is used and the clouds are in a different position.
- An alternate angle of James leaving the Scottish Castle; James leaves the castle later in the television version and leaves earlier in the DVD version.
- An alternate angle of James buffering up to Emily is used and his face is clearer in the television version whilst in the DVD version, he has coal dust on his face.
- This episode marks Lord Callan's last appearance until the nineteenth season episode, Two Wheels Good.
- When James buffers up to Percy's trucks at the quarry, James' steam platform can be seen. When he buffers up behind Emily's trucks, a pipe in the rails used for James' steam can also be seen.
- In the first scene of Emily with the fish, she has a brake van. But when James helps her, it is uncoupled and parked on a different track.
- In the DVD version, when James arrives at the sheds, his eyes are wonky.
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