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- “Are you lost?"
"Would you like some help?"
"No, thank you. I'm not lost.”
- ―Oliver, Toad, and Gordon
Gordon Takes a Shortcut is the fifteenth episode of the twelfth season.
Some workmen and a group of railway inspectors are waiting at Knapford. Gordon tries to take a shortcut to beat Stanley there, but when he ignores advice from Duck, Oliver, and Toad he ends up getting lost. After banging into Ben's log truck, spilling logs onto Stanley's line, he realizes that trying to take a shortcut had not been such a good idea after all. Gordon knows he must stop Stanley from hitting the logs, so he asks for advice from the other engines on how to get down to Stanley's line. He manages to stop Stanley just in time. The two go to Great Waterton, and as a sign of friendship, Gordon allows Stanley to take the inspectors.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Rocky (does not speak)
- Three members of the Railway Board (not named; do not speak)
- 'Arry and Bert (cameo)
- A sampled recording of the story with Pierce Brosnan's original narration is featured on Dino Athanassiou's website.
- Stock footage from Gordon and the Engineer is used.
- This episode marks Oliver and Toad's first speaking roles since the seventh season episode, Snow Engine as well as the latter's first appearance since that episode.
- Going by production order, this is the tenth episode of the twelfth season.
- This episode aired before The Great Discovery premiered in the UK due to Season 12 originally supposed to be shown after The Great Discovery but was brought forwards for unknown reasons, meaning the audience may have not known about Stanley or Great Waterton.
- Harvey appears in the annual story of this episode, which means he may have originally played a role in this episode.
- This episode aired before Edward Strikes Out in Australia, meaning the audience would not know who Rocky is.
- This episode marks the last appearances/or speaking roles of several characters:
- Ben's last appearance until the seventeenth season episode, Percy's Lucky Day and his second and last appearance without Bill.
- The last episode until the seventeenth season episode, Luke's New Friend, and thus, the last episode in the model series, where Thomas does not appear at all.
- Oliver's last appearance until Tale of the Brave and Toad's last appearance until the eighteenth season episode, Signals Crossed as well as their last speaking roles together until the eighteenth season episode, Toad's Adventure.
- 'Arry and Bert's last appearances until the fourteenth season episode, Victor Says Yes as well as their last appearances in the model series.
- Duck's last speaking role until the seventeenth season episode, Henry's Hero, and thus, his last speaking role in the model series.
- This was the only episode this season written by Wayne Jackman and the last episode written by him to date.
- Duck's face is smaller than usual.
- Toad's face is bigger than usual in some scenes.
- Stanley's whistle sound has changed since The Great Discovery.
- Gordon's tender shakes when he arrives at the Logging Station.
- One of the vans in the siding with 'Arry and Bert is derailed.
- When the narrator says, "But Gordon didn't know which track to take to find Stanley," Ben's eyes are wonky.
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