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Down the Mine

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Buzz Book, the Philippine DVD, the 1992 VHS, the 1985 UK VHS or the Indian DVD.
"Down a mine, is he? Ha, ha, ha! What a joke!"
— Gordon
DowntheMine5
Down the Mine
Director(s)

David Mitton

Producer(s)

David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona

Writer(s)

Reverend W. Awdry
(original)
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton
(adapted)

Narrator

Ringo Starr (UK/US)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

December 25th,
1984 (UK)
May 8th,
1987 (AUS)
May 21st,
1989 (US)
November 28th,
1991 (George
Carlin US
)

Previous episode

Off the Rails/
Gordon Takes a Dip

Next episode

Thomas' Christmas
Party

Down the Mine is the twenty-fifth episode of the first season. In the US, it aired on the Shining Time Station episodes, Too Many Cooks and Wrong Track.

Plot

One day while Thomas is waiting at the junction, Gordon, who is in disgrace after causing trouble and falling into a ditch, pulls in with some trucks. As soon as Gordon stops, Thomas cracks a joke about ditch water. Before Gordon can respond, Thomas leaves with his coaches.

Annie and Clarabel are shocked at Thomas' behaviour, and scold him for it. Thomas is pleased with his clever joke though and runs off to go to the lead mine. The mine was made a long time ago by miners who made tunnels under the ground. The roofs of the tunnels are strong enough to hold up trucks but not engines. At the points, there is a board warning engines not to enter the area.

Thomas has often tried to pass the board, but has always failed. This time however, he has made a plan. When Thomas' fireman leaves the cab to change the points, Thomas bumps the trucks hard and knocks his driver off the footplate allowing him to pass the board. Then he moves over the unsafe rails which collapse and leave him teetering into a chasm, and feeling very silly.

Then the Fat Controller arrives, having seen everything. After telling Thomas off for his naughtiness, he begins to think about how to get Thomas out. A crane would be too heavy for the ground to support, so he decides to call in Gordon to pull Thomas out. Thomas feels uneasy about this, thinking about how he had teased Gordon earlier

Shortly afterward with a winch attached to his buffer beam, Gordon heads to the rescue finding the situation very funny. Arriving at the mine, Gordon promises to get Thomas out "in a couple of puffs". A long cable fastened between them and after a lot of hard work and pulling, Gordon is able to finally get Thomas out of the mine.

Thomas apologises for his earlier cheekiness, Gordon accepts telling Thomas he found his joke was funny. Now both engines are in disgrace, so they agree to form an alliance and help each other in future. With that, the two engines are coupled together and head back to the shed.

Characters

Locations

Trivia

  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Gordon the Big Engine.
  • This story is based on a real event that took place at Lindal-in-Furness in 1892. Though in this particular event, the collapsing mine hole was miles deep and all that was recovered of the engine was its tender.
  • According to a SiF interview with Steve Asquith, this story was the pilot episode of the series. The aired episode is a completely different version. Season one and pilot editor Michael Dixon stated in another SiF interview that the original pilot had simpler sets, fewer characters, and flatter lighting.
  • Stock footage from Thomas and the Guard and Thomas and Bertie is used.
  • In the shot of Thomas leaving Knapford, his model from the original pilot cut is used. The scenery in Knapford is slightly different in this shot as well.
  • The buffers of the truck Thomas bumps into are lowered specifically so that Thomas can hit them properly.
  • Some of the trucks at the mine have "N. E." written on them.
  • According to crew member Christopher Noulton, the Gordon model used in the pilot was rebuilt by him for the second season for use as a stand-by model. It was later cut up and used as scrap set dressing.
  • A CGI recreation of the scene where Thomas falls down the mine was made for Blue Mountain Mystery.
  • In the Welsh version, Thomas is not seen bumping into the trucks.
  • The following events of this episode were later continued in the fourth season episode, Paint Pots and Queens.

Goofs

  • When Thomas shunts Annie and Clarabel his eyes look wonky and Annie and Clarabel are missing their names.
  • The sign says: "Danger! Engines must not pass this board!" But when Thomas passes the board it says: "Danger! Engines must not pass this point!"
  • The hole is supposed to be the result of a mine tunnel roof collapsing under Thomas' weight.  However, the hole appears to have been already dug out for Thomas to drop into it.
  • When the Fat Controller says "Let me see", the man to the right is losing his cap's brim.
  • In the close-up of Thomas down the mine, after the Fat Controller suggests that Gordon could pull Thomas out, a hair is stuck on Thomas' side.
  • When Gordon and Thomas leave the mine, Thomas' wheels drag along the line for a few seconds before he blows his whistle.
  • Lower Tidmouth is not on Thomas' Branch Line.
  • The sign is different at one point when Thomas is passing it in the Welsh version.
  • Thomas' siderods are in different positions after he is pulled out of the mine and when he and Gordon puff away.

Merchandise

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Norwegian Nede i gruva Down in the Mine
Welsh I Lawr y Pwll Down the Mine
German In der Mine In the Mine
Italian La Locomotiva Sprofondata The Sunken Engine
Japanese あなにおちたトーマス Thomas Falls into a Hole
Finnish Alas Mine Mines
Croatian Rudnik The Mine
Brazilian Portuguese Rumo à Mina Towards the Mine

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