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- “Dirty or clean - I'm a famous machine!”
One morning, Thomas is being cleaned when a muddy Gordon arrives. Thomas tells Gordon to have a wash down, but Gordon does not care and leaves. A strong wind is blowing and Gordon's driver tells him to slow down, but that only makes Gordon more cross at being dirty and late. In the goods yard of the next station, Gordon sees a sign saying "All trains must wash down daily".
James is just finishing with his wash down and Gordon's driver tells him it is his turn now, but Gordon lets off steam and mud flies all over James. Gordon's driver tells him that he is a very naughty engine and now he has to wait until James gets another wash, but Gordon does not and leaves to pull the express. The Fat Controller is waiting for Gordon at Knapford and tells him that, because he is muddy, Henry will have to take the express. Gordon is then ordered by The Fat Controller to get cleaned up at once.
Gordon leaves to get a wash down and then shunts trucks for the rest of the day. While James is getting ready to pull the express, Gordon warns him about the hills being slippery and says that he may need help, but James denies this and leaves. Earlier, a storm swept across Gordon's Hill, blowing leaves onto the tracks. Though the storm is over, the hill is still slippery.
When James sees the signal that the line his clear, he picks up speed as he tries to pull the train over the hill by himself like last time. But halfway up, his wheels begin to slip and instead he rolls back down the hill. Gordon sees everything and decides to help James up the hill, then thanks to Gordon’s pushing from behind; James makes it to the top.
That night, Thomas asks the Fat Controller if Gordon can pull coaches again. The Fat Controller says, "yes”, as long as he stays clean. After he leaves, Gordon states that "Dirty or clean, he's a famous machine," even though there is no one else left awake or around to hear him.
- Gordon's Hill
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Lower Suddery
- Knapford Yards
- The Washdown
- Sodor Shipping Company
- Henry's Forest
- This episode is very loosely based on the story Leaves from The Railway Series book, Gordon the Big Engine. Thomas' line "Please Sir, can Gordon pull coaches again now?" is taken from Paint Pots and Queens.
- The episode can be seen in a Japanese game, Magical Adventure.
- In the episode, the express coaches of James' train are red, but in a few rare photos, they're green.
- A reference to the first season episode, Troublesome Trucks is made.
- In the early UK narration, the music in some scenes are omitted:
- In the scene when Gordon angrily let off steam and the driver talking to Gordon.
- When the narrator said "Gordon saw everything."
- The music at the end of the episode is omitted, though a little bit of it is slightly heard when the credits started.
- The cleaners washing Thomas all have skinny flesh-coloured wires for necks.
- When Gordon says "Baaah!", studio equipment can be seen in the top left corner.
- As Gordon says "Mind my eyes!" his right eye is wonky.
- As the passengers board the express, one of the coaches has a hole in the roof.
- When James first sets off with the express, his wheels slip.
- When James is sliding back down Gordon's Hill, a wire can be seen attached to his rear coach pulling him back down the hill.
- Gordon's eyebrows are missing at the beginning.
- When Gordon and James are at the bottom of Gordon's Hill, a signal above them is set for stop.
- In a rare picture of James climbing up the hill, his eyes are wonky.
- The signals at the bottom of Gordon's Hill are incorrect as the yellow Distant Signal is above the red home signal.
- In the Norwegian version, James is referred to as Henry when he says, "Trucks will be trucks."
- Books - Gordon's Trouble with Mud
- Buzz Books - The Trouble with Mud
- Magazine stories - The Trouble With Mud! and Leaves on the Line
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