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“Look! It's Duncan the musical engine!”

Faulty Whistles is the twenty-sixth and last episode of the sixth season.


Duncan waits a junction one morning for Peter Sam to deliver his goods to take to Strawberry Grove. Duncan is also given the job to take the headmaster and the new organ.

Peter Sam has steamed overnight all the way to the morning to deliver Duncan his goods, but as he approaches the junction his whistle is knocked off by a branch. As a result, Peter Sam cannot run anywhere without a whistle as it would be unsafe. Duncan brags that an engine is not one without a whistle and lets off a big blast with his whistle, but the other engines ignore him. Duncan becomes cross while he sets off with his goods because he thinks the other engines are jealous with his whistle. On the way, he whistles at some sheep, but they are busy eating to grab any attention. Duncan becomes frustrated and thinks he needs to whistle louder and longer. He approaches a crossing where Elizabeth is carrying the Farmer's Prize Bull. As Duncan approaches the crossing, he whistles loud and long, startling the bull. Elizabeth scolds Duncan but he takes no notice and finds it fun, not knowing that his whistle had become loose. When he sees Terence ploughing a field, he prepares to give him the same surprise, but he blows his whistle so hard, it simply flies off and lands out of sight.

Because his whistle is nowhere to be found, Duncan's driver tells him they are stuck and cannot move anywhere. Luckily, one of Duncan's trucks is carrying an organ destined for Strawberry Grove School, and Headmaster Hastings plays the organ in lieu of Duncan's whistle, which alerts every person at stops during the delivery, but Duncan does not think so. When Duncan reaches home, he is teased by Rusty as being a "musical engine" while Rheneas and Skarloey whistle along. Peter Sam, having been in the works for a new whistle, tells Duncan that he was brave to go on and make his deliveries without a whistle, which cheers Duncan up. The headmaster makes one last "toot" on the organ and the all the other engines whistle back in reply, except Duncan who just remains happy for himself.




  • This episode appears to be a loose adaptation of the Railway Series story, Mike's Whistle. Peter Sam and Duncan take the roles of Duck and Mike respectively. The actual story was adapted in the twentieth season episode of the same name.
  • The organ plays the song "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain" while Duncan puffs on the cliffside.
  • When Duncan delivered his trucks, music is played in the UK version but not in the US version.
  • Headmaster Hastings is named after the episode's writer, Ross Hastings.
  • This is the first time Farmer Finney is acknowledged in the television series.
  • This was the first season finale where Thomas does not appear.
  • This was the last episode of a few things:
  • A deleted scene shows where Duncan's whistle landed.


  • Peter Sam and Duncan have the same whistle sound.
  • When Elizabeth is carrying the bull, her eyes are wonky.
  • For the first shot of the camera "pulling" Duncan, at the bottom of the screen a wire is bouncing up and down.
  • Duncan's driver's hair is blonde for most of the episode, but becomes brown when he is looking for Duncan's whistle.
  • The narrator says "The rest of the engines just ignored him," but Peter Sam was the only one there.
  • In the close-up of Duncan's whistle flying off, there is no one in his cab.
  • Because Terence's regular sized model is used, he is not to scale with Duncan.
  • When Peter Sam crosses the bridge at the beginning of the episode, his cab is empty and his whistle is missing.
  • Contrary to the title card, the episode is misnamed "Faulty Whistle" on the back cover and in the DVD menu of Percy's Chocolate Crunch and Other Thomas Adventures.


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