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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the German VHS.
"Listen, Bill. Can you hear something?"
"What sort of something?"
"Something different."
"I can't hear anything different."
"Exactly! Everything is the same; sounds the same, looks the same. What we need is a surprise!"
"Surprise what?
— Bill and Ben

David Mitton


Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Andrew Brenner
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Michael Angelis (UK)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

November 21st,
1991 (UK)
May 5th,
1993 (US)
December 24th,
1992 (Australia)

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Percy, James and the
Fruitful Day

Heroes is the twenty-fourth episode of the third season. In the US, it first aired on the Shining Time Station episode Mr. Conductor's Evil Twin


Bill and Ben are bored at the China Clay Company and are delighted to be asked to work at the harbour for the day, but they unwisely ask the trucks for advice. As a result, the yard gets in a mess, causing Gordon to be late with the Express. The next day at the company, a rockslide devastates the quarry, but Bill and Ben get all the workmen out just in time. The next day, the Fat Controller arrives on board Edward and praises the twins for saving the day. Bill and Ben think that being called "heroes" is quite a nice surprise.




  • In Norway, this episode is named, "Bill and Ben Become Heroes". The Italian title is "What a Surprise!". In Japan, this episode is called "Bill and Ben, We did It!'. The Danish title is "Bill and Ben are Heroes". The Finnish title is "We Are a Hero".
  • This episode is adapted from the magazine stories, In a Muddle and Heroes by Andrew Brenner.
  • The fanfare heard at the very end of the episode is almost identical to one heard in ​TUGS episode High Tide.


  • In the second shot of Bill and Ben shunting trucks at the harbour, a truck with half a load of coal is visible. When the twins shunt this truck the load shifts, revealing it to be a wooden prop made to look like coal.
  • When the twins say "Thank goodness we're here," a bug crawls from Bill's line of trucks to Ben's and back.
  • The roof of the building is made of cardboard, as seen when it absorbs the water from the water tower.
  • In the British narration, the Fat Controller says "Hooray, hooray, hooray" without enthusiasm.
  • When the twins enter the harbour, the track on the bridge bobs up and down.
  • When the quarrymaster comes to tell the twins to go and work at the harbour, the coat on his small scale model is a different colour than the one on his large scale model.
  • When the narrator says "The twins had let the trucks tell them to put things," the camera shakes.



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