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"Show some respect for your elders!
Sorry, Gordon. We're racing!"
―Glynn and Stephen talking to James and Gordon

Over the Hill is the fifteenth episode of the twentieth season.

Plot

Glynn, a coffee pot engine, used to run the Ffarquhar branch line before Thomas came along. Once Thomas met him on his siding, Glynn was moved many times until he was forgotten. It was not until Thomas learned about Marion's 'talking Christmas Tree' that he found him again. The Fat Controller and the Earl both agreed to have Glynn put back in service.

One winter morning, the Earl decides to gives Glynn a tour of his estate, unaware that he leaves Stephen behind. Stephen tries to get the Earl to notice him, but the Earl is too busy discussing his plans with Glynn. Before he came along, Stephen had felt like a king, but now he had lost his crown. They tour many sights of the estate, including the Dinosaur Park and Ulfstead Mine, both times with the Earl paying no attention to Stephen.

Back at the castle, Glynn and Millie talk about the new Railway Museum the Earl is planning to open up. Stephen agrees, saying that Glynn should become an exhibit while Millie says that Stephen should be an exhibit himself, being the famous Rocket and all. Stephen brags about his place in the Rainhill Trials, but Glynn misinterprets this and points out it is the reason he is so famous. Outraged, Stephen challenges Glynn to a race to Knapford, the loser becoming an exhibit in the museum. Glynn is skeptical about this, but agrees.

When the race begins, Stephen cuts in front, but with one line and the same speed, Glynn cannot overtake Stephen and Stephen cannot race ahead. When they reach Gordon's Hill, they find two separate lines, but are still going slow. This annoys James and Gordon, who want them to get out of their way. Glynn and Stephen take no notice... as they are actually too delved into a deep conversation about railways' part in history..

By now, everyone has heard about their race, and Stephen has recognized Glynn as his friend. Upon reaching Knapford, the Fat Controller berates them for racing on the mainline, delaying both Gordon and James. They both claim it is their fault, when Thomas pulls up with the Earl, who claims he had a part in this. The Earl finds out the race was a tie, and is happy that they will be working together at the castle. Despite agreeing with the Fat Controller about racing on the main line, he decides to have a yearly race elsewhere every year. Everyone cheers for Glynn and Stephen, who are now firm friends.

Characters

Locations

Cast

UK

US

  • Kerry Shale as Gordon
  • Rob Rackstraw as James
  • Bob Golding as Stephen
  • Miranda Raison as Millie
  • Olivia Colman as Marion
  • Keith Wickham as Glynn and Sir Topham Hatt
  • Mike Grady as Sir Robert Norramby

Trivia

  • Stock footage from The Christmas Coffeepot is used.
  • References to The Christmas Coffeepot, The Adventure Begins and King of the Railway are made.
  • A ragtime remix of the original Thomas & Friends theme is heard at the beginning of the episode.
  • During Glynn and Stephen's race, a slow remix of Jingle Bells plays.
  • The music that plays during the start of Glynn and Stephen's race is extremely similar to the Survivor song, "Eye of the Tiger."
  • The episode's title makes a reference to the phrase "over the hill," which means older and past one's prime; this describes both Stephen and Glynn being older designs for engines, and as such, not as strong or fast as the newer engines.
  • Stephen brings up the Rainhill Trials, the first and most famous of all railway competitions. He also mentions how he won against four other competing engines, which historically happened but was eluded upon his described monologue in King of the Railway.
  • The Earl reminds Stephen how Glynn's type had "long and productive" lives, which was the case for one of his earlier cousins, the Novelty, which raced Stephen many years earlier.
  • A fade effect is missing in the UK narration.

Goofs

  • Rob Rackstraw and Kerry Shale are credited in the UK credits despite none of their characters speaking in that dub. This is because they voiced Gordon and James in the US dub.
  • Although Stephen mentions four competitors from the Rainhill Trials, it was essentially two; one of them could not be repaired in time after arriving, and the other was not even a steam engine and thus disqualified.
  • When Glynn and Stephen puff into Knapford during their race, Edward can be seen next to Henry, but when everyone cheers for the two engines after the race, Edward has disappeared.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Sobre la Colina Over the Hill
Romanian Sus pe deal Up the Hill

Home Media Releases

UK

US

Episode

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