Donald and Douglas (now 9 and 10 respectively) realise that they only have numbers painted on their tenders, so no one would tell them apart otherwise. The inspector introduces them to Duck who shows them around and at night the twins put Gordon and Henry in their place when the two were teasing them about their whistles. One afternoon, Douglas is shunting in the yard and worries about being sent away, unfortunately forgetting to shunt Thomas' Special Coach. The twins decide to swap tenders so as to convince the Fat Controller that they have nothing to do with the coach going missing, but he is not fooled and severely reprimands Douglas.
- This episode was based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, The Twin Engines.
- In an interview with David Mitton released on SiF shortly before his death in 2008, he confirmed that the episode was in production and half way through filming when Britt Allcroft decided that it would be too confusing for children to understand, so the crew filmed Thomas, Percy and the Coal as a whole new episode so as to stop the season being short of an episode. It is assumed that Donald and Douglas swapping tenders to fool the Fat Controller is what would have made the plot hard to comprehend for children. David also mentioned that he was in possession of all the original footage filmed for this episode.
- Six screenshots are all that is currently publicly visible of the filmed footage:
- A scene of Douglas shunting the coach can be seen in the 1989 annual.
- A close up of Douglas from the opening is seen in various books, posters, and on Douglas' Take-Along card (it is also seen on the cover to the New Zealand rerelease of The Deputation and Other Stories on VHS).
- Various stills of the twins confronting Gordon and Henry at the sheds can be seen in a Japanese book and other merchandise.
- Another confirms Duck as a character, one shows an image of one of the Scottish twins beneath the coal hopper with Duck by his side, and the final shows a portion of the opening.
- Recently Britt Allcroft's nephew stated that she also had the original footage.
- This is the first episode known to have been cancelled. However, the series pilot was never broadcast, but was re-shot as the twenty-fifth episode of the first season.
- Presumably, this episode was meant to air between Better Late Than Never and Break Van. Therefore, the episode Cows was meant to air first.
- The opening shot was used as stock footage in Break Van.
- Had this episode been filmed, it would have been the first and only appearance of Thomas' special coach in the TV series. It would also have been the first episode where engines swap tenders. However, in the tenth season episode, It's Good to be Gordon, Gordon and Henry swap tenders, thus becoming the first episode with a tender swap instead.
|<< Season 1||Season 2||Season 3 >>|
|#01||Thomas, Percy and the Coal||#10||The Runaway||#19||Daisy|
|#02||Cows||#11||Percy Takes the Plunge||#20||Percy's Predicament|
|#03||Bertie's Chase||#12||Pop Goes the Diesel||#21||The Diseasel|
|#04||Saved from Scrap||#13||Dirty Work||#22||Wrong Road|
|#05||Old Iron||#14||A Close Shave||#23||Edward's Exploit|
|#06||Thomas and Trevor||#15||Better Late Than Never||#24||Ghost Train|
|#07||Percy and the Signal||#16||Break Van||#25||Woolly Bear|
|#08||Duck Takes Charge||#17||The Deputation||#26||Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree|
|#09||Percy and Harold||#18||Thomas Comes to Breakfast||Cancelled:||The Missing Coach|