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"This is absurd! None of us know what job Dowager Hatt wants us to do next!”
”We’re all stuck here, waiting for her to finish pruning her pelargoniums!"
―James and Henry

Dowager Hatt's Busy Day is the third episode of the twenty-first season.


In the early morning at Tidmouth Sheds, the engines were ready for work. But then the Fat Controller arrives with a nasty cold. Luckily, his mother, Dowager Hatt arrives, scolding him for coming to run the railway while he's ill.

His mother substitutes him and gives the engines their jobs, but she orders Thomas to collect her new hat from Brendam Docks rather than pulling Annie and Clarabel on his branch line, tasking Emily with the job, who had to take scrap to scrap yard. Dowager Hatt tasks Gordon with Emily's job, sending Edward to collect a cake for her friend Lady Toffington, and Percy to pull Gordon's express. This creates a lot of confusion and delay!

Emily tells Dowager Hatt that there are certain engines that have their certain jobs and other engines that don't. With Emily's help, Dowager Hatt puts everything right. She puts Gordon back on express duty and sorts the engines back to their regular duties.

In the afternoon, the Fat Controller soon gets back from resting, feeling a lot better, he joins his mother to have some tea in his office: however, Thomas arrives with the hat (after waiting at the docks all day), causing Dowager Hatt to push her son into his office before he can question Thomas! Emily is glad that everyone is back doing their proper jobs, except for Philip who is working at the Ulfstead mine as the lights go off leaving him in the dark.



Voice Cast




  • This marks the third time that Emily has taken Annie and Clarabel. The first time was in the seventh season episode, Emily's New Coaches, and the second time was in the seventeenth season episode, No Snow for Thomas.
  • Several references to past episodes are made:
  • The episode plot is similar to the tenth season episode, The Green Controller.
  • This episode marks the first of several things:
    • This is the first episode where Rob Rackstraw gives James a British accent in the UK dub.
    • Sukhmani Kaur's first episode as assistant production manager.
    • Gavin Ebedes' first episode as supervising editor.
    • Eddie Chandler's first episode as associate editor.
    • Alan Kennedy's first episode as director of post-production.
    • The first episode to have the writer's name in all uppercase letters.
  • Going by production order, this is the fourth episode of the twenty-first season.


  • Both Donald and Douglas do not have crews.
  • Emily’s brake pipe changes positions in between shots of her talking to Dowager Hatt and the scene where Percy is pulling the express up Gordon’s Hill.
  • When the engines are stuck at the junction, Donald has Duck's whistle sound at one point and Henry is missing his leading wheels.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese トップハム・ハットきょうのおかあさん Sir Topham Hatt's Mother


External Links

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