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No Joke for James

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Buzz Book.
"Some jokes are funny but not this one, James!"
— The Fat Controller
NoJokeforJames21
No Joke for James
Director(s)

David Mitton

Producer(s)

Britt Allcroft
David Mitton

Writer(s)

Andrew Brenner (original)
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton

Narrator

Michael Angelis (UK)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

October 26th,
1991 (UK)
November 19th,
1991 (US)

Previous episode

The Trouble with Mud

Next episode

Thomas, Percy and
the Post Train
/
Thomas, Percy and
the Mail Train

No Joke for James is the eleventh episode of the third season. It first aired on Shining Time Station in the episode, Oh, What a Tangled Web in 1991.

Plot

One morning, James is boasting to Thomas and Percy that he is the smartest and most useful engine on the line. Thomas disagrees and thinks that all of The Fat Controller's engines are useful, and Percy tells James that he's getting all puffed up. Later, James boasts to Gordon that he's the pride of the line, but Gordon tells him that he saw him pulling trucks this morning, and that he's only a goods engine. James then tells Gordon that The Fat Controller has plans for him, but he is only making it up, as Gordon believes him.

Later, Thomas is shunting new coaches in the yard. James asks if the coaches are for him, but Thomas tells him that they're for Gordon's express, and that he'll fetch James' trucks next. James then tells Thomas that The Fat Controller told him that he's to take the coaches, and that Gordon is to pull the trucks. James is then coupled to the coaches, and he steams out of the yard, just as Thomas arrives with Gordon's trucks, leaving Gordon and his driver cross when Thomas tells them what James had said.

James is enjoying himself enormously, but when James sees The Fat Controller at Elsbridge, The Fat Controller scolds him for his trick, and that he is to go straight to his shed until he is wanted. Gordon and Henry tease James by asking each other who will pulling the express, and they tell each other that James is stuck in the shed for being silly. A few days later, James apologizes for Thomas, and Thomas tells him that the trucks are pleased to have him back. James then shuts trucks in the harbour for the rest of the day.

As James and his crew are ready to head home, a railway inspector arrives and tells James' driver that he's to attend an important meeting with The Fat Controller and that he mustn't be late and he asks for a ride in James' cab. James then takes the inspector to Knapford just in time. The inspector tells The Fat Controller that James gave him a spendid ride, and that he must be proud of him. The Fat Controller agrees and calls James a Really Useful Engine.

Characters

Locations

Trivia

  • In the first shot of James shunting at the harbour, he is pushing a truck that has N. E. written on it.
  • The man who was late for a meeting with Sir Topham Hatt is Jeremiah Jobling.
  • In a few rare photos, Gordon arrives next to Thomas on his left rather than his right. Also, in one of them, he is smiling rather than frowning.
  • The Dutch title of this episode is "James is Not Funny". In Germany, it is called "James Does Not Joke with You". And the Italian title is "Jokes By James". In Japan, this episode is called "James, I'm no good" or "Mischief is Not Good, James". It is called "James' Trick" in Finland.
  • At Brendam, James passes a scrap Terence model at one point.
  • The models of Izzy Gomez and Big Mickey from TUGS can be seen.
  • This episode was adapted from the magazine stories The Express and A Passenger for James.

Goofs

  • In the first scene and the scene where James pulls up beside Gordon, studio equipment is slightly visible in the top center.
  • When James talks to Gordon, James' eyes are wonky.
  • When James first arrives at the Sodor Shipping Company building, Thomas is seen shunting two salt wagons and a tanker. Then, the train is coming backwards, and Thomas disappeared!
  • Studio equipment can be seen when James arrives at the Sodor Shipping Co.
  • When James says "Actually Thomas", the smoke coming from the chimney in the background disappears and reappears.
  • James' driver says that he and James ("just us two", in his own words) will go home after James shunts at the harbour. He was obviously forgetting the fireman.
  • In the restored version, the first shot at the harbour shows James pushing three trucks. Two of them are derailed as they are seen bumping across the sleepers.
  • When Thomas and James are talking, Edward is seen pulling a goods train on another line, then in the next shot, he is nowhere to be seen.
  • When James talks to Gordon in the background, there are red express coaches in then they turn into salt wagons.
  • James' driver should have known not to let James pull the express.

Quotes

  • James: "Look at me! I am the smartest, most useful engine on the line."
  • Thomas: "Rubbish! We're all useful. The Fat Controller says so and he's Sir Topham Hatt, head of the whole railway!
  • Percy: "You know what, James?"
  • James: "What?"
  • Percy: "You're getting all puffed up!"

Gallery

Episode

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