|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story or the UK video.|
Play Time is the seventh episode of the thirteenth season.
Alicia Botti is going to perform at the Town Hall and Thomas is given the job to collect her from the docks. On the way, Thomas meets Percy who tells him that a new engine named Charlie has also arrived at the docks and that Charlie is more fun than Thomas. Thomas meets Charlie at the docks and Charlie tells him that his friends on the mainland think that Thomas is even more fun. The Fat Controller tells Charlie to pick up some trucks at the Sodor Steamworks for the concert at the Town Hall.
Charlie challenges Thomas to a race to the Steamworks. Thomas declines, but when Charlie says that he isn't fun, he agrees and the two set off for the Steamworks - not to the Town Hall. After going to the Steamworks, Charlie tells Thomas to race him over the Fenland Fields. Thomas agrees and they race across the rickety track. The bumpy track starts to shake the coupling between Thomas and Annie loose, but Thomas does not know it. After the race, Thomas sees Gordon taking some important people, including the Fat Controller, to the Town Hall. Thomas realises he is late and rushes away. Unbeknownst to Thomas, the loose coupling comes undone and he leaves Annie, Clarabel, and Alicia Botti behind.
When he arrives at the Town Hall, the Fat Controller scolds Thomas for being late and leaving Miss Botti behind. Thomas then rushes back to find them only to be challenged to another race by Charlie. Thomas, knowing that now isn't the time for racing, refuses and continues looking for his coaches. Suddenly, he hears Alicia Botti singing. Thomas rushes towards her voice and finds her singing to some people on a bridge. Thomas takes her to the Town Hall and Alicia Botti praises him for her exciting ride.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Alicia Botti
- Edward (does not speak)
- Gordon (does not speak)
- James (does not speak)
- Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)
- Toby (cameo)
- Henrietta (cameo)
- The Mainland Controller (mentioned)
- The Mainland Engines (mentioned)
- Town Hall
- Henry's Tunnel
- Sodor Dairy
- The Viaduct
- Sodor Steamworks
- The Fenland Track
- The Watermill
- Knapford (mentioned)
- Sir Topham Hatt's first name is revealed Alicia Botti calls the Fat Controller "Bertram."
- This episode was seen in select US theaters.
- Stock footage from Hero of the Rails is used.
- In Germany, this episode is called "Funny or Useful?" In Norway it is titled "Fun on Rails". In Poland its name is "Fun". The Swedish title is "Let's Play". The Japanese title is "Fun Charlie". In Denmark it is called "Speed Over the Area". The Finnish title is "Play Thomas".
- Alicia Botti has regained her Italian accent from Thomas, Percy and the Squeak which she did not have in Toby's Triumph.
- Thomas could have simply reversed down the line that he had used.
- Why is Percy having a washdown while he's delivering the mail?
- Charlie should have known better than to ask for another race, when losing coaches, a passenger, and guard stranded on the main line is much more serious.
- Thomas' guard could have simply walked to a signal box to alert the signalman.
- Why didn't Annie shout at Thomas to alert him that the coupling had snapped?
- Charlie was going too fast when he and Thomas arrived at the Steamworks. He should have fallen into the pit, considering the transfer table was on Thomas' line.
- Charlie is mysteriously coupled to the flatbeds with out any assistant engine.
- When Thomas is looking for Annie and Clarabel, Charlie is facing the same direction as Thomas, but Charlie is said to be going to the Town Hall, which is where Thomas just came from.
- Brakevans should have been added to Percy, Edward, James, and Charlie's trains.
- When Thomas and Charlie race into the Steamworks, the points change far too quickly when the two engines go onto separate tracks.
- The narrator said that Charlie was coupled up to Edward's flatbed, but Charlie was actually coupled up to two flatbeds.
- Thomas and Charlie's crew should have known better than to let them play without working.
- Shouldn't Thomas have felt the lack of Annie and Clarabel's weight when the coupling came undone? His crew should also have noticed.