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- “The passengers don't like being bounced around like peas in a pod!"
- ―Sir Robert Norramby and the little boy
The Switch is the ninth episode of the seventeenth season.
At Ulfstead Castle, Luke meets Sir Robert Norramby, the Earl of Sodor, and his private engine Millie for the first time. Luke introduces himself and the Earl tells Millie to show Luke where the stone is needed. Millie notices that Luke has a dirty face, leading Luke to explain about his job at the dusty quarry. Millie tells Luke to stay at the castle for the day and she can show him around. Luke would like to take Millie up on her offer, but he has work to do at Blue Mountain Quarry. Millie explains that she has work to do as well, delivering plants to the groundskeeper and taking visitors on tours of the grounds. Millie and Luke's conversation soon takes a sour turn as Millie thinks that Luke is implying that her work is not as heavy and as complicated as his. Then, Luke has an idea and suggests that they swap jobs for the day. The Earl thinks that it is a great idea and Mr. Percival also agrees to the switch going ahead.
Millie arrives at Blue Mountain Quarry nervous, but excited. Rheneas is not sure that Millie is up to the job, but Peter Sam reminds him that Mr. Percival has approved it and asks Millie to take some trucks over to Owen. Millie struggles, just as Rheneas anticipated. Although Rheneas is ready to take over, it is not long before her determination kicks in and she soon has the trucks moving.
Meanwhile, at Ulfstead Castle, Luke is being loaded up with supplies for the groundskeeper. Luke is smug about his light load and sets off to locate the groundskeeper's lodge. Luke has difficulty finding the lodge amongst all of the greenery. Everything looks the same, not like the busy quarry at all. Soon, Luke winds up back where he started after doing a loop of the entire estate.
Over at the quarry, it is not long before Millie comes across a tunnel. Millie is not used to tunnels and does not want to go through it. She is used to big open spaces, not dark confined ones. Rheneas offers to push Millie through, but Millie is determined to do it on her own. She plucks up her courage and charges straight into the tunnel and out of the other side. Now, Millie loves the tunnels.
Back at the castle, Luke has another job to do; he is to take some visitors on a tour of the castle's grounds. Soon, Luke comes across a deer on the line. Luke blows his whistle to get the deer to move aside. Luke thinks he has done the right thing, but the passengers all groan loudly due to Luke scaring off the deer.
At the quarry, Rusty pulls up with a load of gravel for Luke and is surprised to see Millie, who explains the situation. Rusty asks Millie to take the load of gravel from him. Millie puffs round to the front of the trucks and is coupled up as Skarloey comes pounding along. Some of the rocks in Skarloey's hoppers bounce out, causing Millie to get covered in dust.
Luke, meanwhile, is still speeding around the Earl's estate with his carriage full of passengers. When he pulls up at the station, the passengers are not pleased and neither is the Earl. He explains that the passengers do not like being bounced around like peas in a pod. He tells Luke that he needs to learn to take things easy.
Millie is now adjusting to her work at the quarry and is pleased to find out that she is not as feeble as she had thought, she is not afraid of tunnels and she is not worried about getting a little bit dusty. Luke now realises that he needs to take things a little slower in order to see everything at the castle.
After they have both finished work, Millie and Luke meet each other outside Ulfstead Castle. Luke asks Millie if she liked working at Blue Mountain Quarry. Millie admits that she loved it there and asks Luke whether or not he liked doing her duties at the castle. Luke says that it had been very peaceful, but he is pleased to be going back home and Millie agrees with him. Luke and Millie both return to their own jobs, very pleased to have each made a new friend.
- Peter Sam
- Sir Robert Norramby
- A Little Boy
- Owen (does not speak)
- Skarloey (cameo)
- The Teacher (cameo)
- The Schoolchildren (cameo)
- The Blond-haired Boy (cameo)
- The Welsh Bird Watcher (cameo)
- The Great Railway Show Judge (cameo)
- The Female Puppet Show Entertainer (cameo)
- Mr. Percival (mentioned)
- The Groundsman (mentioned)
- Ben Small as Rheneas
- Steven Kynman as Peter Sam and the Passengers
- Michael Legge as Luke
- Miranda Raison as Millie
- Mike Grady as Sir Robert Norramby
- Teresa Gallagher as the Little Boy and the Passengers (uncredited)
- This is the second episode to have exactly the same cast in both the UK and US versions.
- It is also the only episode with the same cast in the US and UK versions to have different transcripts between said versions.
- This episode is similar to the cancelled Jack and the Sodor Construction Company episode, Jack and Alfie Swap.
- This episode marks the first of two things:
- The first episode of the CGI Series and the first since the twelfth season episode, Mountain Marvel, to feature no standard gauge engines whatsoever, much less Thomas or the Steam Team.
- The first episode since the thirteenth season episode, Buzzy Bees, not to have Keith Wickham as part of the voice cast.
- This episode aired before King of the Railway premiered in the UK, this means that the audience would not know about Millie, The Earl of Sodor, or Ulfstead Castle yet.
- Going by production order, this is the seventeenth episode of the seventeenth season.
- Miranda Raison and Mike Grady join the voice cast.
- This episode is similar to the story The Prince and the Pauper, in which a person of royalty (Millie), meets someone of a lower class (Luke), and they decide to switch places.
- Teresa Gallagher is not credited in either the UK or US credits, despite voicing some passengers and a little boy.
- In the first shot of Luke, he does not have his lamp nor his lamp-iron, but he gains them in the next shot.
- When Luke first arrives at Ulfstead Castle, Millie and the Earl are nowhere to be seen, but in the next shot they are pulling up in front of Luke.
- When Millie struggles to pull the trucks that Peter Sam asked her to take to Owen, she moves forward and backwards, but her wheels do not spin with her movement. In the exact same scene, there was no puffing sound effects in the UK version, but it is heard in the US version.
- When Luke is leaving the quarry, he is pulling slate trucks, but later at the castle they mysteriously have become V-tipper trucks.
- When Rusty first pulls up alongside Millie, he is only pushing one truck, but when Millie buffers up to them, there are two, and they have moved over the points.
- Before Millie backs up to Rusty's trucks, there is no perpendicular crossing in front of her, but afterwards, there is.
- When Peter Sam tells Rheneas that the Thin Controller has approved of Luke and Millie's switch, the chain on his coupler seems to be upside down.
- In both shots of Luke in front of the Earl's estate, the station platforms are no where to be seen.
- When Luke is first shown showing visitors around the estate, he is not seen pulling a coach until the passengers groan after Luke scares off the deer.
- When Millie arrives at the quarry, her wheel spokes do not spin.
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