Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

The Man in the Hills

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the figure.
"You said you would bring the best present of all. Now, Mr. Percival has no presents at all and we're all late!"
— Sir Handel

The Man in the Hills is the sixteenth episode of the twelfth season.


It's Mr. Percival's birthday, and Thomas is working with the little engines to get the preparations done. Thomas has a special party tent, Duncan has the decorations, Rusty has the flowers and Skarloey and Rheneas have banners and balloons. Sir Handel tells them that he plans on telling Mr. Percival a tale of the Man in the Hills, his favourite kind of stories. Thomas has never heard of the Man in the Hills. Sir Handel describes him as being tall and white all over, and he lives in the hills. Thomas thinks that finding him would make the party even better. Freddie offers to help, but Thomas declines.

Thomas pulls up to the dairy, and finds a tall man in white. Thomas thinks it's the Man in the Hills, and tells him to come with him. Upon arriving at the Wharf, the man reveals himself as the diary man. Skarloey and Rheneas find Thomas' mistake funny, and offers to help. Once again, Thomas turns down the offer. He then goes to the flour mill, and finds another man in white. Thinking it's the Man in the Hills, Thomas takes him to the Wharf. There, he reveals that he's the miller, and that he hasn't finished the cake, and the dairy man hasn't finished the ice cream. The little engines are cross with Thomas for setting them behind schedule. They cheer up when Thomas entrusts them with his special jobs, as he has to set things right. He sends the men back to their respective locations and soon the cake is finished and acquired.

At a junction, Freddie takes Thomas on a shortcut to the party. At the Green Hills Junction, Thomas finds a sketch of a tall white man on a rock; the Man in the Hills. Thomas instructs Freddie to takes Mr. Percival and the engines to the rock. Everyone is very happy, and as Sir Handel tells his story, Mr. Percival has the best birthday ever.




  • The "Man in the Hills" is based upon the Long Man of Wilmington, which is on a steep hillside north west of Eastbourne, East Sussex in Southern England.
  • Going by production order, this is the eleventh episode of the twelfth season.
  • This episode aired before Fearless Freddie in Australia, meaning the audience wouldn't know who Freddie is.
  • This episode marks the last of a few things:
    • Freddie's last appearance to date.
    • Sir Handel and Peter Sam's last appearances until Blue Mountain Mystery.
    • Rusty's last speaking role until Blue Mountain Mystery.


  • When Thomas arrives at the Dairy, his steam platform is visible.
  • Thomas lacks his crew when the dairy man and the miller climb into his cab and in the shot of the cake inside his cab.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
German Der Mann in den Bergen The Man in the Mountains
French L'homme de la colline The Man on the Hill
Italian L'uomo delle Colline The Man of the Hills
Indonesian Pria di Bukit Men on the Hill
Spanish El Hombre de las Colinas The Man of the Hills
Czech Muž z hor Man of the Mountains
Slovak Muž z hôr A Man from the Mountains
Chinese 山中人 Mountain Man
Thai ชายลึกลับในหุบเขา Man of the Mystery Valley
Croatian Čovjek s brda The Man from the Hills

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