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The Fat Controller's Bedtime Story

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The Fat Controller's Bedtime Story is a segment in the UK Thomas and Friends magazines. Since early 2012, bedtime stories have been published without titles. For the first few months, the section featured previously released stories, but starting on April 25th, 2012, new stories were frequently featured, although repeats of stories are still published on occasion. The new stories usually focus on characters introduced in the CGI series. Each story features at least one image usually taken from a CGI episode.

The stories are now being published in the US magazines with titles.

Issue 639

"Two fires in one day and I'm still not needed."
— Flynn
TheFatController'sBedtimeStory(Issue639)
Issue

Thomas & Friends 639

Published

April 25th, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on April 25th, 2012.

Plot

At the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre, Flynn is feeling very sorry for himself. He tells Thomas that there have not been any fires for days and if he does not have anything to do, he worries that the Fat Controller will send him away. Thomas assures him that it is not his fault that he is not busy all the time and the important thing is that he is there when he is needed. This cheers Flynn up.

Then, a siren wails and Belle rolls up. The Fat Controller emerges on the Search and Rescue Centre's balcony and tells the engines that there is a fire at Farmer Trotter's Pig Farm. Belle volunteers to go and races off before Flynn can speak. He inquires as to what he can do, but no one is there to hear him. Then the siren wails again and the Fat Controller reappears. He calls over to Harold and tells the helicopter that there is a fire on a hillside near Bluff's Cove. Flynn tries to inquire again, but everyone has gone again. Now Flynn is even more upset; there had been two fires in one day and he still was not needed.

Then, Bash and Dash came rushing up. They tell Flynn that there is a forest fire on Misty Island and that all of the Jobi Wood will be lost if it is not stopped. Flynn thinks he should tell the Fat Controller, but Bash and Dash tell him there is not time. Flynn races through the Misty Island Tunnel and soon reaches the fire. He cannot put the fire out by himself, but he does manage to keep the fire at bay. After a while, he starts to get tired and his tanks start to run dry.

Then, Harold appears overhead with a big tank of water which he dumps on the fire. Behind Flynn, Belle appears as well. She adds her two powerful jets to the fire and soon the fire is out. The Fat Controller arrives on Thomas just in time to see the last swirls of black smoke raise into the sky. Bash and Dash tell the Fat Controller that Flynn had managed to keep the fire under control single-handily. The Fat Controller tells him that he is a really useful engine and Flynn blushes with pride.

Characters

Trivia

  • After this story, readers are given the chance to win a TrackMaster Flynn.

Issue 641

"What do hedgehogs like to eat with their cheese?"
"This isn't the time for jokes, Charlie. I'm trying to be really useful!"
"And I'm trying to be really funny! The answer is
prickled onions!"
— Charlie and Thomas
TheFatController'sBedtimeStory(Issue641)1
Issue

Thomas & Friends 641

Published

May 23rd, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on May 23rd, 2012.

Plot

One spring day, Thomas is at Brendam Docks collecting a new hat for Lady Hatt when Charlie chuffs up. He tells Thomas is favourite joke, but Thomas does not think it is the right time for telling jokes. Despite initially not being interested in Charlie's joke, Thomas cannot help smiling when he hears the punchline. The Fat Controller arrives and he is definitely not smiling; Percy has overslept and has therefore not collected his milk train from the Dairy. He orders Charlie and Thomas to collect and deliver the milk. Charlie tells another joke before setting off, prompting the Fat Controller to jokingly declare that Charlie needs an audience.

As Thomas and Charlie travel to the Dairy, rain clouds form overhead. Charlie knows a joke about rain, but before he has a chance to tell it, rain pours down. At the Dairy, Charlie is splashed with a big, muddy puddle.

After completing their job, the two engines head to the washdown. Charlie is washed and polished until he shines like a star, giving Thomas an idea. He rushes to share his idea with Sir Topham Hatt who is very impressed with Thomas' idea.

Two days later, it is the Fat Controller's birthday party. Everyone is having a wonderful time, when the Fat Controller introduces their star entertainer. The audience gasp as Charlie rolls forwards and starts sharing his best jokes with the crowd. Charlie continues to tell his jokes until he had used them all up. He had found an audience and made the Fat Controller very happy indeed.

Characters

Trivia

Goofs

  • Percy should not have been able to oversleep as he should have been woken by his crew or the firelighter.
  • In the sentence "We don't know shouted the audience", the quotation marks are in the wrong place.

Quotes

  • The Fat Controller (referring to Charlie): "That engine needs an audience!"

Gallery

Issue 642

"We just think that we're more useful than you smaller engines!"
"That's a very silly thing to say!
"
— Henry and Percy
TheFatController'sBedtimStory(Issue642)1
Issue

Thomas & Friends 642

Published

June 6th, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on June 6th, 2012.

Plot

Henry and Gordon are boasting to Percy and Toby about how they are superior to the little engines. Percy and Toby are annoyed and determined to show the bigger engines just how useful they can be. Toby has a plan and suggests to Percy that they hide for the day and see how the railway copes without them. Percy agrees and the two hide in the bushes near the shed.

Later that morning, Henry is making an urgent delivery when he is suddenly stopped in his tracks. A branch from a tree is hanging low over the railway and Henry is too tall to squeeze under it. His driver insists that they go back. Across the Island, Gordon is having problems of his own. It was raining hard and Gordon is having trouble getting up the hill; his wheels keep slipping on soggy leaves. After a short while, Gordon goes back to the station. Another engine will have to pick up his passengers today.

Later that afternoon, Percy and Toby emerge to find Henry and Gordon at the Sodor Steamworks looking very cross. Thomas, who is passing by, tells Toby and Percy that the two big engines have not been able to complete their jobs. Just then, the Fat Controller rushes in. He asks Percy to take Henry's urgent delivery as he will be small enough to fit under the low-hanging branch. The Fat Controller then asks Toby to pick up Gordon's passengers as he is too light to slip on the wet leaves. Henry has to admit that the smaller engines can be useful as Toby and Percy just smile to one another.

Characters

'Arry or Bert makes a brief cameo in one of the photographs.

Trivia

Goofs

  • A lighter engine is more likely to slip on wet leaves than a heavy engine.

Gallery

Issue 643

"I know I'm one of the newest engines on the Island, but I would love to be painted!"
"Well, I don't suppose he'll choose a big, ugly engine like her!"
"Those two big pumps are just hideous!
"
— Belle overhears Emily and Rosie loudly whispering
TheFatController'sBedtimeStory(Issue643)1
Issue

Thomas & Friends 643

Published

June 20th, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on June 20th, 2012. According to the front page of the magazine, this story is titled Beautiful Belle.

Plot

The Fat Controller has asked an artist to paint some pictures of engines to put on his new office wall at the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre. On the day the artist is due to arrive, the Fat Controller tells his engines to look their best as the cleanest and shiniest engines are sure to be chosen. All of the engines want to be on the Fat Controller's office wall and they are all very excited - especially James. When James comes back from the wash-down he refuses to do any more work as he is worried about becoming dirty. Belle expresses her wish to be painted, but she then overhears Emily and Rosie whispering about her appearance, calling her "ugly". Belle is embarrassed; she knows her water pumps are really useful and had never thought of them as ugly before.

Suddenly a siren goes off and the manager of the rescue centre calls out for help. None of the engines volunteer, except Belle who decides if she will not be chosen for the picture, she might as well be really useful instead. Thomas and Percy volunteer to go with her to the site of the emergency. The fire is in an old shed near the fuel store and has to be put out quickly. Belle points her pumps at the flames as Thomas and Percy carry more water to the site. By the time the fire is under control, all three engines are covered in thick black soot. Belle is now surer than ever that they will not be chosen for the picture.

At the Search and Rescue Centre, the artist has arrived and the Fat Controller orders Belle, Thomas, and Percy to line up with the other engines who were all moving backwards and forwards, trying to catch the artist's eye. The artist walks down the line dismissing the engines one-by-one - even James who is horrified. When the artist comes to Belle, he calls her beautiful and says she looks like a hard-working engine. The artist then declares that he will paint Belle, Thomas, and Percy.

A few weeks later, the artist returns with the pictures. When the Fat Controller sees them, he is delighted that the artist chose his two hard-working little tank engines and his beautiful Belle.

Characters

Quotes

  • The Fat Controller: "I am so glad the artist chose you - my two hard-working, little tank engines and my beautiful Belle!"

Gallery

Issue 644

"CRANKY! Can you swing your hook over here, please?"
"I'm busy!"
"But it's urgent! Pleeeeese!
"
— Salty and Cranky
TheFatController'sBedtimeStory(Issue644)1
Issue

Thomas & Friends 644

Published

July 4th, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on July 4th, 2012.

Plot

One night, Salty is in his shed whilst a big storm sweeps across the island. The next day, Salty wakes to find the storm has caused a lot of damage. A couple of the engine sheds have had their roofs blown off, Cranky had very nearly toppled over, and some small boats had been washed ashore. Salty moves to the edge of the docks to take a closer look at the stranded boats. Suddenly, he sees a big wooden trunk on the shore - it is a treasure chest. Salty knows he cannot reach it himself and he calls to Cranky for help. Cranky is reluctant to help at first as he does not believe in treasure, but he knows that Salty will keep bugging him if he does not.

Soon, Cranky has hooked the chest and is lifting it into the air. He drops it roughly and the lid cracks open. Gold coins spill all over the dockside - Salty and Cranky cannot believe their eyes.

Later on, the Fat Controller arrives to check the docks and Salty shows him his discovery. The Fat Controller knows just what to do with the treasure - which angers Salty, who believes that since he found it, he should be able to keep it.

A few days later, Salty sees the old engine sheds that have been damaged by the storm being knocked down. In their place, shiny new sheds are being erected. The Fat Controller tells Salty that the gold coins paid for the new sheds and the other engines thank Salty who is happy that his treasure was used to help everyone, after all.

Characters

Trivia

Gallery

Issue 645

"I ran across a big rock and all the coal I was carrying has spilled everywhere. Can you help me, please?"
"Not today. I don't want to ruin my clean cabin with grubby coal!
"
— Edward and Henry
TheFatController'sBedtimeStory(Issue645)2
Issue

Thomas & Friends 645

Published

July 18th, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on July 18th, 2012.

Plot

Henry is puffing along the main line when he passes Toby, who seems to be in a spot of bother. Toby explains that he is stuck in some mud and asks for Henry's help. Henry declines, stating that he does not want to get muddy and he puffs away.

Later on, Henry comes across Edward, who is in a spot of trouble himself. Edward explains that he had hit a big rock and spilled some of the coal he is carrying. He asks for Henry's help, but Henry wants to stay looking his best and refuses.

The next day, Henry is making his way along the track when Whiff is suddenly coming straight towards him. Whiff jams on his brakes and stops before hitting Henry, but lots of the rubbish he is carrying flies all over Henry. Whiff aplogises, but cannot stop as he has to make a collection. Henry is left covered in rubbish, worrying that he will not be able to pick up his passengers in such a state. Then Edward and Toby rattle by. This time, Henry asks them for help. Edward and Toby refuse to help as they are worried they might get grubby. The two engines grin at each other and chuff away, leaving Henry feeling very miserable.

A few minutes later, Edward and Toby return. Henry is delighted to see them again. They explain that you should always help a friend, whether it means getting dirty or not. As Edward and Toby's drivers help to clean Henry off, the green engine smiles and decides that his friends are right; helping friends is more important than staying clean.

Characters

Trivia

Goofs

Gallery

Issue 646

"Cranky! Where is the crate with Percy's parts?"
"How should I know?
"
— Thomas and Cranky
Issue

Thomas & Friends 646

Published

August 1st, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on August 1st, 2012.

Plot

The Fat Controller gave Thomas a very important job. He is to go to the Docks and collect some new parts for Percy. He must do it as quickly as possible as Percy needs to do his mail rounds. Thomas speeds off to the Docks. Once there, Thomas sees lots of crates and does not know where to begin looking for Percy's parts. Thomas tries to ask some dock workers, but they are too busy to help. Thomas calls up to Cranky, but the crane is no help either.

Thomas rolls up to a pile of crates that he has just watched being unloaded from a ship. None of the crates are labelled. Then Thomas sees a green crate. He assumes that because Percy is green, the green crate must be for him. Thomas' driver and a few dock workers load the crate onto Thomas, who then races to the Steamworks.

At the Sodor Steamworks, the crate is unloaded and opened. Inside, there are no parts for Percy - only apples. The Fat Controller is very cross and Percy is worried that his post will not be delivered. Thomas has a great idea and his carriages are soon loaded with Percy's post. Thomas steams across Sodor making Percy's usual deliveries. Afterwards, Thomas puffs to the docks and, after asking many different people and having a good look around, he finds Percy's new parts. Thomas feels sad though as he enjoyed doing Percy's post round. He then makes his way back to the Steamworks.

Characters

Issue 647

"Well, it was Captain who saved the day."
"I was just doing my job!
"
— Thomas and Captain
TheFatController'sBedtimeStory(Issue647)2
All in a Day's Rescue
Issue

Thomas & Friends 647

Published

August 15th, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on August 15th, 2012. In the US, it was titled All in a Day's Rescue and published on June 18th, 2013.

Plot

The Sodor Search and Rescue Centre is being cleaned up for an open day. The Fat Controller is to bring a group of passengers to the centre to see how everything works. Thomas is given the special job of bringing the passengers in Annie and Clarabel.

Thomas puffs along the track and is so busy chatting to Annie and Clarabel that he does not notice a piece of broken track. As he clatters over the rail, Annie and Clarabel wobble dangerously. Thomas screeches to a halt, but it is too late. Clarabel's rear end is left hanging dangerously over the water's edge.

Luckily, Captain hears the commotion and speeds into action. Captain races along the shore and stops beneath Clarabel. Quick-thinking Captain has an idea and orders the passengers in Clarabel to jump onto his deck. One-by-one, the passengers lower themselves onto Captain who takes them straight to the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre. He then alerts Rocky who lifts Clarabel back onto the tracks. Thomas takes the rest of the passengers to start their tour. The visitors do not seem to be at all upset by their little adventure and they end the tour by having tea and cakes with the Fat Controller.

Later, Thomas apologises for the incident, but the Fat Controller explains that the visitors thought the whole escapade was part of the tour. He goes on to tell Thomas that the visitors thought it was the best Search and Rescue Centre they had ever seen.

Characters

Goofs

  • Thomas is not pulling Annie and Clarabel in the image; he is pulling a tree on a flatbed. This is because the image is taken from the fifteenth season episode, Tree Trouble.

Gallery

Issue 648

"You were right, Spencer. Last one to the bottom really is a rotten egg!"
— Thomas
TheFatController'sBedtimeStory(Issue648)3
Issue

Thomas & Friends 648

Published

August 29th, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on August 29th, 2012.

Plot

Spencer is looking for someone to race so that he can prove to everyone that he is the fastest engine there is. First, he asks Thomas who declines as he has to take some trucks to the bakery. Next, he asks Stafford who says that he has to help Thomas with his bakery trucks. Spencer puffs all over the island, but no one will race him.

Finally, he sees Thomas and Stafford again; they are shunting trucks up Gordon's Hill. Spencer is desperate to have a race and begs the two engines to race him. Thomas and Stafford are getting annoyed, but Spencer still persists with his request. Stafford becomes distracted by Spencer and biffs into Thomas' truck too hard. Flour falls out of the truck and onto Spencer's line. Butter comes flying out of another truck and lands in front of Thomas. The two engines roar down the hill, unable to stop because of the butter. Spencer thinks they are racing and declares that the "last one to the bottom is a rotten egg". However, the dusty flour slows Spencer down and Thomas and Stafford reach the bottom of the hill in first place. As Stafford slows to a stop, he bumps into the trucks again and this time, eggs fly out. They land right on top of Spencer and Thomas laughs; the last one to the bottom really is a rotten egg.

Characters

Trivia

Goofs

  • It is unlikely that the butter would be able to fly out of a truck and in front of the train. It is also unlikely that flour would have caused much of a problem for Spencer.

Gallery

Issue 649

"Welcome to the Blue Mountain Fair! There are enough rides for everyone! Come and join the fun!"
— Luke
TheFatController'sBedtimeStory(Issue649)2
On with the Show!
Issue

Thomas & Friends 649

Published

September 12th, 2012 (UK)
January 1st, 2013 (US)

This bedtime story was first published on September 12th, 2012. In the US, it was titled On with the Show! and published on January 1st, 2013.

Plot

Luke is very excited; a big village fair has been planned nearby. There was going to be a variety of rides and Luke could not wait to see the children's smiling faces.

That night, a terrible storm sweeps across the island. A tree is blown down and smashes the roof of Knapford station sending glass, wood, and metal everywhere. The Fat Controller is pleased that no one is hurt, but concerned about the amount of delay that will be caused. Everyone starts to work on repairing things, but the fairground rides will not be delivered to the mountains in time for the fair.

When Luke hears the news, he is very upset and is determined that there must be a way. Then he has an idea which he tells to Thomas who, in turn, tells the Fat Controller who thinks it is a splendid idea. By Saturday everything was ready.

Thomas collects the children from Tidmouth Junction, but the little tank engine will not tell the children where they are going. Soon they arrive at the Blue Mountain Quarry where Luke welcomes them to the Blue Mountain Fair. It is not long before Owen is lifting trucks full of children up and down the incline. Merrick has a big swing hanging from his hook. He gently moves from side to side as the children giggle happily. Thomas takes carriages of children onto the quarry turntable and spins them around and around. Finally, all of the narrow gauge engines give train rides around the quarry. The train rides are the most popular attraction of all, especially Luke, who all the children love. The children declare it the best fair ever and seeing all of their smiling faces, Luke gives the biggest smile of all.

Characters

Trivia

Goofs

  • Having a fair at the quarry would be against health and safety regulations.

Gallery

Issue 650

"What a wonderful bell!"
— Alicia Botti
BigBelle(2012magazinestory)1
Issue

Thomas & Friends 650

Published

September 26th, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on September 26th, 2012.

Plot

Belle has just helped to extinguish a small fire at Brendam Docks and is now travelling back to Knapford through the countryside. The day is drawing to a close and everything is peaceful and quiet. Belle is a little bored; there are no more fires and all her friends are finishing up their last jobs. Belle decides to ring her bell. Unfortunately, as she does so, she pulls up at Maithwaite. Thomas is standing at the platform and he gasps. The people at the station cover their ears, they are not happy with Belle spoiling their quiet evening. Thomas tries to explain that now is not the best time for her to ring her bell, but Belle races away before Thomas can tell her.

As Belle passes Farmer McColl's Farm, she hears the sheep, cows and dog calling. She sees this as an opportunity to join in by ringing her bell. She rings it loudly and Farmer McColl comes running from the farmhouse. He tells Belle that his hens are nesting and must not be disturbed. Belle is embarrassed and puffs hastily away.

At Knapford, Belle is surprised to see crowds of people and flags hanging gaily across the platform. The Fat Controller is there wearing a new top-hat and looking very smart. He tells Belle that Spencer is due to arrive at any moment with the famous opera singer, Alicia Botti. He then asks Belle to ring her bell to welcome the famous visitor. She rings her bell loudly as Spencer glides into the station. Alicia Botti leans out of the window and remarks what a wonderful bell Belle has. All the people cheer and Belle feels as proud as puff.

Characters

Trivia

  • The image is taken from the fifteenth season episode, Big Belle.
  • After the story, readers are given the chance of winning a TrackMaster Belle by answering the question; "How many water cannons does Belle have?".

Goofs

  • It is said that Belle meets Thomas at Maithwaite, but the image shows Belle meeting Thomas at Knapford.

Issue 651

"Kevin can't help! I've been clearing up his mess all day!"
— Victor
SteamySodor50
Trouble in the Steamworks!
Issue

Thomas & Friends 651 (UK)
Thomas & Friends Issue #54

Published

October 10th, 2012 (UK)
August 22nd, 2013 (US)

This bedtime story was first published on October 10th, 2012. In the US, it was titled Trouble in the Steamworks! and published on August 22nd, 2013.

Plot

Victor and Kevin are always kept very busy at the Sodor Steamworks. One morning, Victor and Kevin are fixing Skarloey. As usual, Kevin is not being careful and bumps into Skarloey who falls straight into the inspection pit. Victor is upset; getting him out just makes more unnecessary work. Then James arrives and says that he has an important job the next morning and needs polishing. Victor tells him that he must come back later.

That afternoon, Victor and Kevin are fixing Thomas when the clumsy crane knocks Thomas with his crane-arm, denting the tank engine's boilerplate. Victor is annoyed again and Kevin rushes to fetch a new boilerplate for Thomas. Just then, James returns and Victor tells him that he is still too busy to polish him. James suggests that Kevin sees to him, but Victor snaps that Kevin is not capable of helping James as he has been cleaning up his messes all day. Kevin, who is returning with Thomas' boilerplate, overhears Victor. Upset, Kevin decides to leave the Steamworks. Victor has a very hard job and does not want to make it any harder for him by being clumsy.

That evening, James returns once more. Muttering to himself, he does not see Victor and bumps the little engine off the rails. Victor needs Kevin's help, but James tells Victor that Kevin had left earlier after hearing what Victor had said. Victor feels terrible and asks James to look for Kevin. James finds Kevin and brings him back to the Steamworks. Victor apologises and says that he did not mean the things he said.

After Kevin puts Victor back onto the rails, Victor decides it is time to give James his polish. He asks Kevin to help with the very important job and Kevin happily agrees.

Characters

Trivia

  • The image of James is from the thirteenth season episode, Steamy Sodor.

Goofs

  • Skarloey would have been severely damaged if he had been knocked into the inspection pit, but no damage is mentioned.
  • It seems unlikely that James could bump into Victor as they are different gauges.

Gallery

Issue 652

"You look like you're wearing a smelly yellow hat...with ribbons!"
"Don't make fun! That's rude!"
"You've been rude to us all day!"
"Just ignore him, James. It's not worth getting cheesed off about!
"
— Percy, James, and Thomas after James is covered in stinky cheese
TheFatController'sBedtimeStory(Issue652)1
Issue

Thomas & Friends 652

Published

October 24th, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on October 24th, 2012.

Plot

Thomas, James, and Percy are to collect and deliver goods from the Sodor Dairy. Thomas and Percy are pleased with having such an important job, but James thinks it is too important for little tank engines to do. He goes on to call Thomas and Percy "weak". Percy tells him not to be rude, but Thomas insists that they just ignore James.

James races off too fast for Thomas and Percy. He has to wait for them to catch up when he remarks that tank engines are too slow to be really useful. Percy is upset, but Thomas reminds Percy to just ignore James.

When they arrive at the dairy, everyone is given jobs; Percy is to take the butter, Thomas is to take the milk, and James is to take trucks of Sodor's famous stinky cheese. James is not happy; stinky cheese is not important - he wants to take the milk churns. Thomas says he does not mind taking James' cheese instead. James reverses so that the churns can be loaded into his trucks, bashing Thomas out of the way in the process. Percy tells James that he is being rude, but Thomas tells Percy not to upset himself. Then they all set off, with Percy leading the way.

Just then, Percy's wheels hit a stone on the track and some butter flies out of his truck and onto the tracks. Thomas slides on the butter and comes off the rails. Stinky cheese flies everywhere, but the biggest, stinkiest piece lands on James' funnel. It drips down his face and the sides of his boiler. Percy laughs and says it looks like James is wearing a smelly yellow hat with ribbons. James tells Percy not to be rude. Percy snaps back telling James that he has been rude all day. Thomas tries to calm the situation by insisting that it is not worth getting "cheesed off" about.

Characters

Trivia

Goofs

  • Butter is unlikely to derail an engine.

Gallery

Issue 653

"Feel free to have your photos taken with myself and the other engines!"
— Henry
TheFatController'sBedtimeStory(Issue653)2
Henry the Tour Guide
Issue

Thomas & Friends 653 (UK)

Published

November 7th, 2012 (UK)
February 28th, 2013 (US)

This bedtime story was first published on November 7th, 2012 in the UK. In the US, it was titled Henry the Tour Guide and published on February 28th, 2013.

Plot

One day, the Fat Controller gives Henry the special job of giving some very important visitors a tour of the Island. The Fat Controller instructs Henry to take them to all of the sights so that they can get some good photographs. Soon Henry collects his passengers and heads off.

First, Henry takes the visitors to Farmer Trotter's Pig Farm, as the big engine knows the visitors will have a good view of the pigs from the tracks. However, Henry cannot believe his eyes; there are no pigs to be seen. Henry concludes that they must be in their sheds and decides to move on to the next destination.

Henry soon pulls in at the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre where he can show the visitors all of the exciting rescue vehicles. Henry begins to tell the visitors that they will see Harold, but halfway through his sentence, he realises Harold is not there. Neither were any of the other rescue vehicles. A passing worker informs Henry that they are all out on emergency calls. Henry begins to worry; the tourists had still not seen anything. Luckily, Henry knows just where to go next.

It is not long before Henry arrives at the Quarry. He loves to see everyone working hard and it is a very big and exciting place. As Henry pulls up, he sees all of the workmen resting. Henry had arrived during their lunch break. The poor green engine does not know what to do. He knows that he will be in trouble with the Fat Controller and, even worse, he is running low on coal. Henry makes his way to the Sodor Steamworks to pick up more coal before he takes the tourists back to Knapford.

Henry pulls sadly into the Steamworks, thinking about how he is the worst tour guide ever. Thomas and Percy were there and had just been repaired. Henry has a great idea and calls the visitors out of the carriages. As they gather round, Henry welcomes them all to the Steamworks and tells them that they can have their photographs taken with himself, Thomas, and Percy. The visitors are very excited as they run up to each engine; they looked very small next to the large steam engines. As the cameras flashed away, Henry smiles. Maybe he is not such a bad tour guide after all.

Characters

Gallery

Issue 654

"Now that's what I call a perfect storm!"
— Percy
Issue

Thomas & Friends 654

Published

November 21st, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on November 21st, 2012.

Plot

Percy is waiting patiently for his driver at Knapford. It is a cold and windy day and Percy is glad that his fireman had stoked up his firebox. Just then, the driver arrives on his bike and the stationmaster calls out to tell the driver that there is a severe weather warning for tonight. The stationmaster then tells the driver to make sure that Percy is in his shed before the storm arrives. Percy is worried; he does not like the idea of a severe storm. He does not like getting wet and he certainly does not like wind whistling around his bufferbeam. It is a long way to Vicarstown and Percy does not want to get caught in the storm. The driver leaps onto the footplate and starts talking to the fireman about the storm.

As soon as the driver releases the brake, Percy puffs away as fast as he can. He zooms over Gordon's Hill, through Crovan's Gate, and arrives at Vicarstown in record time. The driver admits that even Gordon and the express would have struggled to keep up with him. The crates that Percy has to pick up are loaded onto his flatbed by Cranky and Percy zooms away before the crane can even say goodbye.

Percy arrives back at the sheds just as the sun dips behind the roof. Percy is exhausted, but is worried that he will not be able to sleep with the storm and he has a lot of work to do in the morning. But then Percy's eyes drooped and he was soon fast asleep. Suddenly there was a loud banging, scraping, and squeaking. Percy shook himself awake, thinking it is the hurricane.

Suddenly, all of the engines keep saying "morning". A shaft of light enters the shed and Percy is very confused. The unsettling noise turns out to have been the door opening. As Percy exits the shed, he expects to see fallen trees and debris everywhere, but he is wrong. The driver explains that the storm had moved out to sea and passed the island. Percy is relieved; he may have hurried around, but he did manage to get a good night's sleep. Percy agrees that it had been the perfect storm.

Characters

Goofs

  • Percy goes to Vicarstown and meets Cranky. But Cranky is located at Brendam Docks.

Issue 655

"I don't care what Gordon says, little engines are definitiely better on the ground!"
— Toby
Issue

Thomas & Friends 655

Published

December 5th, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on December 5th, 2012.

Plot

Gordon puffs past Toby, who is staring in wonder at a very tall mountain. Gordon boasts that he has been up the mountain before and bets that Toby would be too scared to go with him to the top. Toby does not want to appear silly and scared, so he agrees to follow Gordon up the mountain.

A while later, the two engines are puffing up the steep slopes of the mountain. Tired Toby convinces himself that, if he does not look down, he will think he is on a normal track and not high up. Shortly, Gordon stops. Toby is curious as to why, but the big engine tells Toby that they have reached the top. Toby is very pleased with himself, but in his excitement, he glimpses down and freezes in fright; he cannot believe how high up they are. Gordon tells him it is time to go back down, but Toby will not budge an inch. Gordon has an idea and his driver calls for Hiro.

Soon, Hiro arrives and suggests that Toby couples up to him and he will lead Toby down; the tram engine would not have to do anything. Toby protests that his wheels would still be moving and declines. Hiro can see how frightened Toby is and goes to find Thomas, who he hopes can persuade Toby. When Thomas arrives, he tries to reason with Toby and tells him that if he lets Hiro lead him down, he will not be able to see anything at all. This worries Toby even more. Thomas thinks for a minute and then races off.

Thomas returns a while later with Toby's bird friends from his shed. Toby is happy to see them and when the birds fly off, Toby follows without even knowing. Before he realises what has happened, Toby is at the bottom. He admits that he was so busy looking at the birds that he did not look down. He goes on to say that he does not care what Gordon says, little engines are better on the ground.

Characters

Goofs

  • Toby has been high up a mountain before, most notably in the episode Toby and Bash. In fact, one of the images used in this story is from that episode.
  • It is unlikely that the birds would follow Thomas.

Issue 656

"Happy holidays, little engines!"
— Thomas
Issue

Thomas & Friends 656

Published

December 19th, 2012

This bedtime story was first published on December 19th, 2012.

Plot

Thomas and Percy cannot wait; tomorrow is the annual Christmas celebrations at Tidmouth. Percy is upset that the narrow gauge engines will not be able to attend the celebrations as their tracks do not go as far as Tidmouth. Thomas cannot stop thinking about the narrow gauge engines.

Next morning, Thomas sees a flatbed loaded with boxes of colourful fairy lights all alone. Thomas thinks that the fairy lights would brighten up the Blue Mountain Quarry. Since the flatbed is not being used, Thomas thinks it will be fine to take it. On the way back, he spots another flatbed. This one has a Christmas tree on it. Thomas thinks it would be perfect for the little engines and he pushes it all the way to the Blue Mountain Quarry. Rheneas is working there and is very pleased to have a Christmas tree. Rheneas asks Thomas if he is sure it is okay for them to have a tree. Thomas assures him that the flatbed was on its own and that no one was using it.

Thomas puffs back to Knapford, happy to have done a good deed. When he arrives, the Fat Controller looks very concerned. He asks Thomas if he has seen the Christmas tree and fairy lights for the celebrations in Tidmouth that evening. Thomas has to admit that he had taken them. He tells the Fat Controller that he wanted the little engines to have a celebration too. Thomas races to the quarry and returns the flatbeds as fast as he can.

The Fat Controller tells Thomas that he realises he was only trying to be kind, but in future he must ask before taking something that does not belong to him. The Fat Controller turns his attention to the boxes of lights on the flatbed and says that he can spare a box or two for the little engines.

Later that night, when everyone else is at Tidmouth, Thomas puffs to the Blue Mountain Quarry. All of the little engines are there when Thomas, who is covered in fairy lights, arrives. Thomas wishes the little engines a happy holiday and the little engines all think that Thomas makes the best Christmas tree ever.

Characters

Trivia

Goofs

  • In the second image, Thomas and Rheneas are supposed to be at the Blue Mountain Quarry, but they are actually at the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre. Also, there is no explanation as to why Rheneas is on a flatbed.

Issue 657

"Phew, you stink!"
— James to Whiff
Issue

Thomas & Friends 657

Published

January 9th, 2013

This bedtime story was first published on January 9th, 2013.

Plot

One day, Whiff is rolling happily around the island collecting rubbish from the stations. Thomas and Percy smile at seeing him work so hard and Emily thanks him for doing a splendid job. However, Whiff passes James outside Knapford station and the red engine is not so friendly towards Whiff. James tells Whiff that he stinks and he is not to come near him as he does not want to smell as well. Whiff is sad; he might be smelly, but he is doing a really useful job and he wants to be friends with all of the engines. James chuggs away, still complaining and screwing up his nose. Whiff sighs and puffs on his way.

By the middle of the afternoon, Whiff had completed his jobs for the day and the Fat Controller gives him the rest of the day off. Meanwhile, James is at the docks waiting for a big delivery to arrive. Cranky is busy lifting rubbish high above James for Whiff to collect the following day. James is just about to complain about the smell when one of Cranky's loads splits open and James is covered in loads of rubbish. James is horrified; he is now the smelliest engine of all.

At Whiff's shed, the Fat Controller comes running in. He asks Whiff to help clear some rubbish after an accident at the docks. Whiff does not mind the extra work and soon arrives at the docks. James admits that he cannot even smell Whiff anymore because he is so smelly himself. Whiff smiles and sets to work. When he had finished, James' cheeks were as red as his paintwork with embarrassment and he races off to the wash-down.

That evening, Whiff is back in his shed when he hears a puffing noise. He rolls forward to investigate and finds James who thanks Whiff for his help earlier. James admits that being smelly does not mean that you cannot be really useful - or a great friend. As James puffs away, Whiff peeps with delight knowing that he had made a brand new friend.

Characters

Issue 658

"I guess I can be really useful in winter, too!"
— Harold
Issue

Thomas & Friends 658

Published

January 30th, 2013

This bedtime story was first published on January 30th, 2013.

Plot

Harold is feeling very bored. During the winter, there is not as much work for him because it is cold and rainy outside and not many people visit Sodor. Even the climbers do not go climbing when it is wet so there are not even any mountain rescues for Harold to perform. Just then, Harold spots Thomas coming towards him and calls out hello. Thomas says he is too busy to stop and whooses straight past. So do Gordon and James. It seems that everyone is being really useful except for the helicopter.

The next morning, Harold awoke with a shiver. Outside, everything is covered in deep snow. Harold does not want his fuel to freeze up, but there is still nothing for him to do. Harold decides to try and find some engines to see if there are any jobs he can do for them, but he cannot find a single one. It is not long before the Fat Controller comes running to Harold's shed. He explains that the snow has caused chaos and the tracks are too slippery for the engines to run on and no deliveries can be made. Nobody can get along by road either as it is too icy. The Fat Controller then asks Harold to help with everyone's work. Harold beams with happiness.

By evening, Harold is not beaming anymore; he is exhausted. He had picked up Lady Hatt from the Mainland, collected crates from Brendam Docks, taken milk from Farmer Trotter's farm to the dairy, and delivered new parts to Victor at the Steamworks. During the day, the snow had begun to melt and slowly the railway lines were cleared so the engines can go back to work. Now that he is no longer needed, Harold heads home to his shed, alone again.

Suddenly, Harold sees some lights in the distance and realises that it is Thomas steaming along. Harold calls hello, expecting Thomas to zoom straight past again, but to Harold's surprise, Thomas slows to a stop. Behind Thomas is the rest of the Steam Team too. Thomas explains that Harold had done their jobs so well that there is nothing left for them to do and they have come to keep Harold company. Harold concludes that he can be really useful in the winter after all as he welcomes all of his friends.

Characters

Goofs

  • Harold could have spoken to his fellow rescue team members if he was feeling lonely.

Issue 659

"This will be the biggest fish I've ever caught!"
— The Fat Controller
Issue

Thomas & Friends 659

Published

February 20th, 2013

This bedtime story was first published on February 20th, 2013.

Plot

The Fat Controller is going fishing for the day. He travels to the Docks on Thomas, who promises to come back to see what the Fat Controller catches later. As Thomas is doing his jobs for the day, he wishes he could reel in some fish of his own.

That afternoon, Thomas returns to the Docks and sees that the Fat Controller has caught loads of different fish which he has kept in a bucket of water, ready to throw back when he has finished. Then the Fat Controller calls out; he has something on the line which is too heavy for him to reel in. A workman tries to assist him, but it is still too heavy for them. Thomas suggests that he can help reel it in, so the Fat Controller climbs into Thomas' cab and reverses. Sure enough, the Fat Controller, with Thomas help, manages to reel in the "big fish" which turns out to be a big bag of rusty scrap metal. The Fat Controller does not mind, he had still caught plenty of other fish. The Fat Controller gently tips his fish back into the sea as Thomas peeps with delight at being able to do some fishing after all.

Characters

Trivia

Goofs

  • Thomas has been fishing before and should know that "engines don't go fishing".
  • Whilst trying to reel in the "big fish", it is likely that the fishing line would have snapped.

Issue 660

TheFatController'sBedtimeStory(Issue660)
Issue

Thomas & Friends 660

Published

March 13th, 2013

This bedtime story was first published on March 13th, 2013.

Plot

Emily has been given the very important job of transporting a very old, fragile, and priceless vase to the Sodor Museum. Emily steams proudly to the docks and tells one of the workers that she is to pick up a vase for the Fat Controller. The dockworker soon returns with a package. Emily is surprised; the package is smaller than she thought it would be. Together, the dockworker and the driver secured the package to Emily's flatbed.

Emily makes her way very carefully to Knapford. Although the vase is tied to the flatbed, it does not feel very secure to Emily. Unfortunately, Emily does not hear Bash and Dash race up behind her. They are having a race. Dash, who is leading, crashes straight into the back of Emily's flatbed. The impact causes the package to be shaken loose and it topples to the ground. Emily's driver opens the package and shows it to Emily; the vase has smashed into hundreds of pieces. Dash feels awful and suggests that it may be repairable. Emily does not think it will be and worries about what to tell the Fat Controller, who is sure to be very cross.

Emily rolls nervously into Knapford where the Fat Controller is waiting. She immediately tells the Fat Controller the truth and her driver shows him the broken vase. The Fat Controller bursts out laughing. He explains that he had received a phone call informing him that the priceless vase for the museum is not going to be delivered until tomorrow. The smashed vase turns out to be one that Lady Hatt had ordered from a shop. Emily sighs with relief and is extremely happy when the Fat Controller says that she can still deliver the priceless vase the following day.

Characters

Issue 661

TheFatController'sBedtimeStory(Issue661)1
Special Delivery!
Issue

Thomas & Friends 661 (UK)
Thomas & Friends #57 (US)

Published

April 3rd, 2013 (UK)
March 20th, 2014 (US)

This bedtime story was first published on April 3rd, 2013. In the US, it was titled Special Delivery and published on March 20th, 2014.

Plot

One spring day, it is raining heavily and Percy has to take his second mail run of the day. One of Percy's mail stops is at McColl Farm where Farmer McColl comes running. One of his ewes is about to give birth and the vet cannot get to him because the road is flooded. He asks if Percy can take them to the vet. Percy excitedly agrees and Farmer McColl gathers some soft straw and loads it into one of Percy's empty mail coaches. Then Farmer McColl and a farmhand carefully lift the pregnant ewe into the coach and set her down on the soft hay.

Percy puffs as fast as he can and is soon near the vet's house. Just as he rounds a corner, Percy has to slam on the brakes; a landslide lay across the line. Farmer McColl comes running to the front of the train and tells Percy's driver that he will have to run to fetch the vet. Farmer McColl runs off and Percy's driver goes to the mail coach to comfort the sheep. As he strokes the sheep, she calls out loudly. Percy's driver can see that the ewe is about to give birth. Percy's driver continues to comfort the sheep until she gives birth to two lambs.

Just then, Farmer McColl and the vet run up soaking wet. The vet examines the two lambs and tells Farmer McColl and the driver that they both appear to be healthy. As Farmer McColl heaves a sigh of relief, the two lambs snuggle into their mother's warn woolly coat. Farmer McColl gently picks up one of the lambs as he thanks Percy and his driver for their help. Farmer McColl then tells the little green engine that he is going to call the lamb he is holding "Percy". Percy is delighted.

Characters

Goofs

  • Thomas and Percy are supposed to be in the shed, but the corresponding image shows them inside the Sodor Steamworks.
  • The driver is said to shovel extra coal into Percy's firebox, but that is the job of Percy's fireman.

Issue 662

TheFatController'sBedtimeStory(Issue662)2
Issue

Thomas & Friends 662

Published

April 24th, 2013

This bedtime story was first published on April 24th, 2013.

Plot

Sir Topham Hatt asks Gordon to take Dowager Hatt and Lady Hatt on a tour of the island. The next day, as Gordon picks them up, he tells them to call out when they want him to stop. Lady Hatt and Dowager Hatt eagerly climb aboard and Gordon sets off. Soon Gordon approaches Farmer Trotter's Pig Farm and he waits for his two passengers to call out to him. Gordon is surprised that neither Lady Hatt nor Dowager Hatt want to see the animals and he carries on. Soon they approach the quarry and Gordon is sure that Lady and Dowager Hatt will want to see that, but once again they do not call out to him. Gordon passes the Docks, the Steamworks, and Tidmouth Sheds, but is not requested to stop once. Gordon returns to Knapford where Dowager and Lady Hatt step off his train and head off.

The next day, the Fat Controller is not happy with Gordon. He explains that both his mother and his wife had called out for Gordon to stop, but Gordon had been going too fast to hear. Gordon is disappointed, but has an idea and asks the Fat Controller to fetch his wife and mother and give them a whistle. That afternoon, Gordon sets off on his tour again with Dowager and Lady Hatt, but this time he asks them to blow on the whistle when they want him to stop. Both Lady and Dowager Hatt are very pleased with their whistle-stop tour.

Characters

Trivia

  • In the image that shows the Fat Controller telling Gordon off for going too fast, Sir Topham Hatt is smiling.

Gallery

Issue 663

"A steamie can whistle as much as he wants!"
— Peter Sam
Don'tBotherVictor!42
Issue

Thomas & Friends 663

Published

May 15th, 2013

This bedtime story was first published on May 15th, 2013.

Plot

There is nothing Peter Sam likes more than blowing his whistle. One day, Salty tells Peter Sam a story about legendary engine who blow his whistle so much that he ran out of whistles. Peter Sam just scoffs; steam engines cannot use up all of their whistles.

That afternoon, Peter Sam is on his way back to the engine sheds when a fierce storm breaks out. As rain lashes his face and leaves swirl around him, Peter Sam decides to seek shelter under some trees. A few hours later, the storm has subsided and Peter Sam sets off again. Peter Sam's driver declares that the storm passing deserves a big whistle. Peter Sam agrees, but when he tries to whistle, no sound comes out. Peter Sam tries again, but still no sound comes out. Suddenly, Peter Sam remembers Salty's story with a panic. He worries that he will never be able to whistle again.

That evening, Peter Sam arrives at the sheds looking very sad. Peter Sam informs the Thin Controller that he has used up all of his whistles and can no longer peep. The Thin Controller thinks this is very strange and sends Peter Sam to the Sodor Steamworks.

At the Steamworks, Peter Sam wails that he will never be able to whistle again to Victor who is sure he can fix the faulty whistle. A workman climbs up to inspect Peter Sam's whistle and soon comes down with a handful of soggy leaves. The workmen explains that the leaves must have blown in there during the storm and they had been clogging the whistle so that no sound came out. Peter Sam is delighted that he is not out of whistles and he lets out the biggest peep he can to prove it.

Characters

Goofs

  • An image shows Salty speaking to Peter Sam at Brendam Docks, but Peter Sam cannot go to Brendam Docks.

Gallery

Issue 664

Issue

Thomas & Friends 664

Published

June 5th, 2013

This bedtime story was first published on June 5th, 2013.

Plot

Cranky is hard at working lifting crates on and off the ships that come into Brendam Docks. Being so high, Cranky can see vehicles arriving from miles away. Down below, Edward and Percy are talking to each and then they suddenly burst out laughing. Cranky is so high that he cannot hear what they are laughing about. He asks, but Percy and Edward both insist it was nothing and puff away still chuckling to themselves.

Later on, Cranky looks down and sees Thomas, Gordon and Henry in deep conversation. Cranky cannot hear a thing and when he asks what they're talking about, Thomas insists that it's not important and the three engines carry on talking.

By the evening, Cranky is very upset; he'd seen people and engines talking and laughing, but he had not been a part of any of it. He feels very left out and lonely. Then, Percy arrives and sees that Cranky is looking sad. Cranky explains the situation and Percy is sympathetic; it's not nice for anyone to feel sad and lonely.

That night, at Tidmouth Sheds, Percy tells all the other engines how Cranky is feeling and they all promise to call up to Cranky more often. Percy also has another idea and the next day he returns to the docks with Rocky who lifts Percy high into the air. Cranky has never been so close to a steam engine before and Percy tells him that he doesn't have to be lonely any more. Cranky realises that he does have good friends, after all.

Characters

Issue 665

"This is hopeless!"
— Sir Topham Hatt
HerooftheRails207
Issue

Thomas & Friends 665

Published

June 26th, 2013

This bedtime story was first published on June 26th, 2013.

Plot

The Fat Controller is at the Animal Park looking worried. He tells Thomas that he was supposed to take some photos of the animals to show the Duke and Duchess of Boxford before they arrive for a special visit later on. Thomas wonders what the problem is, but the Fat Controller explains that he was trying to take a photograph of a lion when it roared loudly. Startled, he had dropped his camera through the bars and into the lion's enclosure.

An hour later, the Fat Controller and a zoo keeper are trying to lure the lions into their hut at the back of the cage so that another keeper can run in and pick up the Fat Controller's camera quickly. The lions are not cooperating and are more interested in the Fat Controller's camera than returning to their huts. Thomas feels very sorry for Sir Topham Hatt and puffs away to try and find another camera.

It is not long before Spencer pulls up with the Duke and Duchess of Boxford. Spencer toots loudly to let everyone know he has arrived. The noise scares the lions so much that they run into their hut at last. One of the keepers quickly fetches the Fat Controller's camera and returns it to its owner. The Fat Controller is happy to have his camera back, but not so much when he discovers that it is broken from where he had dropped it. The Fat Controller is disappointed to have lost all his photographs and explains the situation to the Duke and Duchess. Thomas then pulls up; he has found another camera for the Fat Controller. The Duke and Duchess were delighted; now they can have photographs of all of them with the animals. Then, the Duke takes the first picture of the steam engine who had saved the day.

Characters

Goofs

  • Spencer is said to toot his horn, but Spencer has a whistle not a horn.
  • Thomas has a dirty liquid on him in one image, this is because the image is taken from the sixteenth season episode, Thomas and the Rubbish Train.

Issue 666

"Well, Thomas, it seems like you've been having problems with Troublesome Tracks, instead!"
— Sir Topham Hatt
TroublesomeTruckCGIpromo
Issue

Thomas & Friends 666

Published

July 17th, 2013

This bedtime story was first published on July 17th, 2013.

Plot

The Fat Controller gives Thomas the job of taking some trucks of coal from the quarry to the docks. Thomas is not happy to be working with the troublesome trucks.

At the quarry, Thomas is coupled to three trucks. The trucks are laughing naughtily which makes Thomas nervous. Thomas asks them to behave and they set off. It's not long before Thomas finds himself shaking along the rails. Thomas, who is worried that he will derail, tells the trucks to stop. However, the trucks protest their innocence.

Soon, Thomas arrives at the docks where the coal is emptied out of the trucks. Thomas then has to return the trucks to the quarry and he warns them not to shake him anymore. The trucks tell Thomas that they were not shaking him at all. On the journey back, Thomas keeps jolting along the rails. He thinks that the trucks are holding him back deliberately and threatens to take them to see the Fat Controller if they do not behave. Thomas continues to jolt and soon he has had enough and steams to Knapford.

At Knapford station, Thomas tells the Fat Controller what has happened. The angry trucks tell the Fat Controller that they did not do anything. Then, Henry bustles in and tells them all that the track between the quarry and the docks needs repairing and that he has been shaking and jolting on the wobbly rails. Thomas feels foolish, it was not the trucks' fault after all. Thomas apologises to the trucks and the Fat Controller chuckles.

Characters

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