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Oliver Owns Up

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"Hello Oliver! Are you being a 'Good-Gracious' engine? Beg pardon, of course, but we really don't like this sort of surprise."
— Duck
Oliver Owns Up

David Mitton


Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Reverend W. Awdry
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Michael Angelis (UK)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

June 16th,
1992 (UK)
September 8th,
1992 (JAP)
March 16th,
1993 (AUS)
July 9th,
1993 (US)

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Oliver Owns Up is the twenty-second episode of the third season. In the US, it aired on the Shining Time Station episode Schemer's Special Club.


Oliver is still new to Sodor and tells Duck how very grateful he is that Douglas rescued him and Toad from being scrapped on the Other Railway. That night, Gordon, James and Henry praise Oliver. Unfortunately, Oliver, who has never been complimented by big engines before, soon becomes puffed up in the smokebox.

After pulling some coaches to Tidmouth, Oliver is told by the Fat Controller that he must learn how to handle trucks. Every wise engine knows that you cannot trust trucks. However, Oliver is so confident in himself that he ignores the other engines' warnings. Duck tries to convince Oliver, but Donald suggests that Oliver should learn for himself. After arranging some loaded trucks and then shunting empties to the hopper, he goes back to take the loaded trucks. But, the loaded trucks do not want Oliver, preferring Duck, Donald or Douglas instead.

Oliver bosses the trucks about and takes them anyway. But the trucks decide to show Oliver who is boss by forcing him down the tracks. Oliver puts his weight against the trucks, but they still push him on, unaware of the danger ahead - he is heading towards the turntable. Then the inevitable happens - Oliver ends up bunker-first in the turntable well.

Duck is very concerned about Oliver's predicament, as now Donald and Douglas will have to work without the use of the turntable. That night, the breakdown train rescues Oliver. The Fat Controller says that Oliver has a lot to learn about the troublesome nature of trucks, and Oliver agrees.

Once home from the works, Oliver is a much wiser engine and knows how to handle trucks.




  • This episode is based on the story Resource and Sagacity from The Railway Series book Oliver the Western Engine.
  • As Oliver falls into the turntable well, his cab windows are blacked out. This is probably to hide the weights used to make him drop before his driving wheels reached the well.
  • In the restored version, the shot of Oliver crossing the Three Tier Bridge is slowed down, and the edge of the set behind him is visible.
  • This is one of the few Season 3 episodes to use the train brake sound effect from Fox Film sound effects library (also on "The International Sound Effects Library").
  • This is the only episode to date to feature a Utility Wagon with a face. It can be found at the left of the screen in the shot where the camera is following Thomas at Brendam before focusing on Oliver.
  • Oliver's accident was based on a real life event that happened to an engine of his own class.


  • When Oliver crosses the bridge, it bounces. In the same scene, his eyes are off-center.
  • In the scene where the engines are in the sheds, James has some sort of wire wrapped around his funnel. He is also off the rails.
  • The trucks are facing away from Oliver when he takes them away, but when they force him forward, they are all facing him.
  • When the narrator says "Oliver heard nothing", the tracks lead to a dead end.
  • When the trucks start to push Oliver, his wheels are not moving. Then, in the next shot, his wheels are moving backward. Then, in the next shot, his wheels are moving forward. Then, when he approaches the turntable, his wheels are not moving again.
  • When Oliver's buffers hit the bottom of the turntable, the sound effect for it is out of sync.
  • There are more berths than the usual six in Tidmouth sheds.
  • When the narrator says "Every wise engine knows that you cannot trust trucks", a van on the left of the screen has a crooked face.
  • When Oliver arrives with his red coaches at the station, the track he is on bounces.
  • In some foreign versions of the episode, the narrator mistakenly says "Now Douglas and Duck can't use the turntable."
  • When Oliver returns to collect the trucks after leaving them to be filled, his coupling chain is tangled with his middle lamp iron.
  • Oliver whistles on the Breakdown Train with no driver.
  • Duck is smiling after Oliver has his accident.

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
Norwegian Oliver blir klokere Oliver Gets Wiser
Japanese ちょっとちがうよオリバー Slightly Wrong, Oliver
Italian Oliver si Ricrede Oliver Changes his Mind
German Oliver gesteht Oliver Confesses
Polish Lekcja dla Olka Lesson for Oliver
Spanish Una Lección para Oliver A Lesson for Oliver
Hungarian Oliver Vallomása Oliver's Testimony
Slovenian Oliver prizna svojo zmoto Oliver Admits his Mistake
Finnish Oliverin Opetus Oliver's Instruction
Chinese 奥利弗的坦白 Oliver's Confession
Dutch Oliver in de Val Oliver and the Fall



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