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- “You wouldn't have a problem if you were an express engine. You'd go really fast and get the job done in double-quick time like me!”
Thomas Tries His Best is the thirteenth (twentieth in Australia) episode of the ninth season.
The engines are very busy delivering items to help set up the fair and all are looking forward to it, especially Thomas. However, that afternoon, he is told by the Fat Controller to take some of Farmer McColl's chickens from Dryaw to Brendam. When Thomas arrives at Dryaw, Farmer McColl is not there; his lorry has a flat tyre, so Thomas must wait. Then, James arrives and tells Thomas that he can go over to the fair and be back before Farmer McColl turns up. Thomas agrees with James and leaves Dryaw to see the children at the fair.
However, Thomas begins to panic and worries that Farmer McColl might come whilst he is gone, a red signal might hold him up, and the Fat Controller will be cross if he is late with the chickens. Thomas puts his job first and reverses back to Dryaw. By the time Farmer McColl arrives at Dryaw with the chickens, it is already evening. Once the chickens are loaded up in his vans, Thomas leaves for Brendam.
At Abbey, Thomas meets Gordon, who tells Thomas that if he goes fast he will be on time to see the fair. So when their signals turn green, Gordon departs with the express, closely followed by Thomas who speeds away. However, Gordon's next signal is green whilst Thomas' is red. Thomas brakes hard and the chickens get very cross. As soon as he stops, Thomas remembers that he was told to go slowly with the chickens, which he does for the rest of the journey. By the time he gets to Brendam, it is already night and Thomas knows he will not be able to go to the fair.
However, it turns out that Thomas can go to the fair as a new generator is needed to run attractions at the fair. Once there, the generator is unloaded and put to work, bringing the fair back to life. Thomas is very happy that, against all the uncertainties, he is at the fair.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The Dockyard Manager
- Edward (does not speak)
- Henry (does not speak)
- Percy (does not speak)
- Cranky (does not speak)
- Farmer McColl (does not speak)
- Toby (cameo)
- Emily (cameo)
- Henrietta (cameo)
- Butch (cameo)
- Big Mickey (cameo)
- Stephen Hatt (cameo)
- Bridget Hatt (cameo)
- A deleted scene of Thomas asking Emily to take the chickens is shown in the tenth season interactive segment, Farmer McColl's Farm.
- Going by production order, this is the twentieth episode of ninth season.
- During the scene where Thomas reconsiders his actions, the UK narrator speaks in the third person as himself but in the US version, the narrator speaks in the first person as Thomas. Thomas also does the line in the Japanese version.
- At the beginning, Thomas has Percy's whistle sound, and Gordon has Henry's.
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