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- “Is that part of the surprise?"
"That is for me to know and you to find out.”
- ―Thomas and Emily
Don't Tell Thomas is the ninth episode of the eighth season.
It is winter on the Island of Sodor and Christmas was coming, in which Thomas enjoys annually. The stationmaster's decorating of the station and the children's snowmen are a beautiful sight. Unfortunately, there had been heavy snow so Thomas had to work hard to clear all of the lines of snow. As a result, all of the engine's journeys and jobs were done on time. All of the Fat Controller's engines are so pleased that they want to thank Thomas for all the hard work, with a surprise party.
After clearing the last lines of track, Thomas looks forward to seeing his friends, whom he misses. Thomas puffs to the station and sees Harold and Toby. When Thomas tries to say hello, Harold warns Toby to keep the details away from Thomas about the planned surprise party, who is left out for not being part of the secret. When Thomas arrives at another station, he sees Percy with colourful presents loaded in his trucks. Thomas asks him if they are part of the surprise, Percy bursts to tell Thomas about it but he puffs off immediately, making Thomas cross.
Later that afternoon, Thomas waits a signal and sees Emily with a Christmas tree loaded on her flatbed truck. Thomas asks her if it is part of the surprise, but Emily, crossly tells him that it is something for her to know and for him to find out. She then puffs away and Thomas, while pulling Annie and Clarabel, follows her on the same line. Emily turns towards one of the branch lines. But as Thomas approaches, the points change, making him stay on the main line.
Back at Tidmouth Sheds, everyone is excited about the surprise. Just as Thomas arrives, Henry warns the other engines not to tell him about the surprise. Thomas is still furious that he does not know what it was, so he just exits to sulk in a siding. Later, it is time to show Thomas the surprise but the engines are unsure where Thomas has gone. Edward convinces Harold to find Thomas, and when Harold finds Thomas, he convinces him to go to Wellsworth, where Thomas collects the children. Thomas then arrives at a country village station and discovers the surprise turns out to be a Christmas party is being held especially for him.
- Toby (does not speak)
- Gordon (cameo)
- Annie and Clarabel (cameo)
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Three Tier Bridge
- Bulgy's Bridge
- Upper Brendam
- Killdane Junction
- Going by production order, this is the sixteenth episode of the eighth season.
- A CGI re-enactment of this episode was going to appear in the fifteenth season episode, Percy the Snowman, but was dropped for unknown reasons.
- This was the first episode of the series to feature every member of the Steam Team together.
- This was the only episode of the eighth season where the Fat Controller does not appear and where Harold appears.
- In one shot at the sheds when the engines are discussing Thomas' surprise, Thomas can be seen next to Percy.
- When the camera turns above Annie and Clarabel, its shadow can be seen.
- When Thomas is ploughing the snow, a piece of string can be faintly seen in the snow pulling him along the track.
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