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Duncan Gets Spooked

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"Never mind him Peter Sam, He'll be frightened if he really saw a ghost."
— Rusty explaining to Peter Sam

Duncan Gets Spooked

David Mitton


Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Britt Allcroft
David Mitton
David Maidment


Michael Angelis (UK)
Alec Baldwin (US)

Air date

October 31st, 1998

Previous episode

Busy Going Backwards

Next episode

Rusty and
the Boulder

Duncan Gets Spooked is the twenty-fourth episode of the fifth season.


After Rusty helps Peter Sam to the water tower with his train, Peter Sam's trucks break away and fall into a ravine. Sir Topham Hatt punishes Peter Sam by making him work in the yards until he can trust him again. Duncan chortles that Peter Sam's trucks will return to haunt him, so Rusty tells him of an engine who tried to cross the same ravine and fell into the swamp below. Duncan is dismissive, but Peter Sam's driver gets an idea. He and Duncan's crew plan to teach Duncan a lesson and take him across the bridge. After seeing the ghost heading towards him, (though it is just an engine formed by fireflies) Duncan is spooked and runs back to the safety of the shed.




  • This is the first episode to use the new large scale models of the Skarloey Railway engines, although Duncan, Peter Sam, and Rusty's small scale models were used in the shed scene. However, in the fourth season, larger than normal models of the narrow gauge engines were used in close-ups of the human characters.
  • The ghost engine uses Skarloey's model and Percy's whistle sound.
  • The shed that Rusty, Peter Sam and Duncan were at was really the shed from Rheneas from the previous season.
  • There are some differences in the US and UK narrations. Some differences are:
    • In the US version, the lines "...and once there, whistled good bye", "...and he puffed away" and "The Moon was full, and..." are omitted.
    • When the trucks break away from Peter Sam, a "boing" sound is heard in the UK, while an actual "snap" is heard in the US version.
    • In the UK narration, after Duncan complains that Skarloey will take his favourite place in the shed, Duncan's driver says, "We can't go back until we've collected all the trucks." In the US narration, he says, "We have to collect our cars first."
    • In the UK version, the narrator says: "As the engine crossed the Old Iron Bridge, he suddenly lost control..." In the US, the narrator just says: "Suddenly, the engine lost control..."
    • During Rusty's story, in the shot when the ghost engine appears and disappears, there is the sound of an explosion heard in the background in the UK narration. This sound effect is not heard in the US narration.
    • When the trucks fall into the ravine, music is heard in the US version, but not in the UK version.
    • In the UK version, the Fat Controller says to Peter Sam: "You will shunt trucks in the yards 'til I can trust you again." In the US, he says: "You will work in the yards until I can trust you again."
    • In the US version, Duncan doesn't say "Pah!" Apart from the first line mentioning the word in the UK, the other lines have the word replaced by "Rubbish!" as well as the line "Pah! Nonsense!"
    • In the UK, the narrator says: "'Let's break away!' they giggled." In the US, the narrator just says: "Let's break away!"
    • In the UK narration, the narrator says: "'We'll do it tonight,' they said." In the US narration, the narrator just says: "We'll do it tonight."
    • The line "It's the ghost! Take me back! Take me back! Please!" is said sooner in the UK than in the US.
    • In the UK version, the narrator says: "'Noooo!' wailed Duncan. 'I'm asleep!' and refused to open his eyes." In the US version, the narrator says: "'No! I'm asleep!' And Duncan refused to open his eyes."
  • The Italian title is "Trick for Duncan". The Japanese title is "Events on the Night of the Full Moon". In Sweden, this episode is titled "It Spooks for Duncan".
  • The engine formed by the fireflies resembles Rheneas.


  • When Skarloey passes by in the first scene, a red wire is visible underneath him.
  • In the UK narration, the narrator says that Rusty whistled goodbye, but Rusty is a Diesel and does not have a whistle.
  • Peter Sam's trucks come off the bridge coupled. When they fall into the ravine, they fall one by one uncoupled.
  • Duncan's face moves when he cries "Whoo-oo-oo!"
  • As the Ghost Engine falls off the bridge, he rotates during his descent. But in the shot of him landing in the swamp, he has stopped rotating, which would be physically impossible.
  • When the fireflies form the engine, the end of the tracks is visible.
  • Seven trucks are allowed up the incline in this episode. In Trucks!, only five were allowed.
  • Brakevans should have been added to Peter Sam and Duncan's trains.
  • Sir Topham Hatt blames Peter Sam for the trucks breaking away, but it was not Peter Sam's fault.
  • It's unlikely that fireflies would get into the shape of an engine.



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