“Well, little Thomas, now you know what hard work means, don't you?”
Thomas and Gordon, retitled Thomas gets Tricked in American releases, is the first episode of the first season and the first episode of Thomas & Friends altogether. It was first aired in the UK on 9 October 1984.
Thomas is a blue tank engine who acts as a station pilot for the bigger engines. His job is to fetch coaches for the other engines and then take them away when the engines need to go to the sheds and rest. Thomas thinks no engine works as hard as he does and is often very cheeky to the bigger engines, especially Gordon, the big blue engine, who pulls express trains, because Thomas likes to tease Gordon with his whistle.
One day, Gordon returns from a long journey and wants a rest, so he finds a siding to sleep in. Then Thomas comes up in his cheeky way, telling Gordon to wake up and work harder, and runs off, laughing. This wakes the big engine up, but instead of falling back asleep, he vows to teach Thomas a lesson by showing him what hard work really is.
The next morning, Thomas' crew is unable to make him start. Gordon impatiently waits outside the station for Thomas to bring him his coaches. Finally, Thomas starts. He hurries to get the express coaches and brings them to the station platform behind Gordon. Gordon then enacts his plan to teach Thomas a lesson for teasing him and quickly backs down, couples to his train and hurries his passengers to get in. Thomas usually pushes from behind the big trains get to help them get a good start, but is always uncoupled from the coaches first. This time, however, Thomas' crew forgot to uncouple him and Gordon quickly starts off, with little Thomas behind. Gordon races through the Sudrian countryside as fast as he can to show Thomas how hard it is to pull the express. It is not long before Thomas is quite out of breath.
After a while, the two blue engines come to a stop at a station. Thomas has never gone that fast before and is very tired and feels very silly. He has a nice long drink from the water tower, and puffs wearily home; having learned never to be cheeky to Gordon again.
In the original version of the episode, the studio equipment and the ends of the sets are not visible, but they are in the restored version.
Music cues from this episode were used in some audiobooks of Thomas & Friends, which were only released in Germany.
A clip from this episode was used in the 1995 CiTV special "Simply the Best."
In the first shot of Thomas, studio equipment is reflected off of his smokebox and the edge of his boiler is chipped. In the same shot when he starts rolling his eyes, his face moves just a little bit.
In the first shot of Thomas' wheels, the paint on his middle wheel is chipped and his smokebox is scratched.
When we see Gordon first pulling the express, we can see the reflection of some studio equipment in the lake.
When the narrator says "It was nearly time for the Express!" there are no coaches on the track next to Gordon. When Thomas puffs in, they suddenly appear.
Gordon was waiting outside platform 2 for his coaches, but when Thomas puffs in, Gordon and his coaches are outside platform 3 and 4.
In one scene, there is a set of points leading from the track outside platform 5 to the track outside platform 4. In the next scene, it disappears.
Just before Thomas reaches the water tower, the background shows trees and bushes instead of Wellsworth.
When Gordon backs down on his train and shouts, "Get in quickly please!" something can be seen moving behind the station.
When Gordon and Thomas leaves Knapford Station they then go through Henry's tunnel, but that would be impossible since Henry's tunnel is located on the opposite end of the line. And when they exit the tunnel, the tracks bounce in the air.
When Gordon is sleeping in the siding, his buffers are crooked.
When Thomas stops inside Knapford at the beginning, Henry is in his new shape.
When Thomas wakes Gordon up the second time, the buffers in the siding in front of Gordon are not connected to the track, Thomas moves a little and his smoke vanishes due to a film cut.
In a rare picture, there is no one in Gordon's cab as he and Thomas cross the viaduct.
When Henry leaves the station, Gordon's eyes are a bit wonky.
When Thomas says "Hurry (up) yourself!" the coaches cannot be seen in front of him.
When Henry and James puff out of Knapford, two of Henry's wheel arches are missing.
When Thomas puffs into Knapford in the opening scene, Henry has no coaches. In the next scene, he leaves the station with coaches, a van and a brake van.
A small white mark is visible on Thomas's tank.
In the restored version:
The top of the set can be seen over the church when James and Henry pass by.
Studio equipment can be seen as Gordon pulls Thomas around the bend.
In the closeup of Thomas being tired out, the train in front of him is missing.
When the train crosses the viaduct, the edge of the set is visible.
Just before Thomas starts puffing to the water tower, the track ends behind him.
In the closeup of Gordon smiling, there is studio equipment in the background, Thomas and the express disappear, his tender bounces a little, and the tracks behind him end.
When Thomas backs onto the turntable, a camera stand is visible.
On the Amazon Prime digital release of the Classic Series, this episode features an excerpt of one of Ringo Starr's narrations when Gordon stops at Wellsworth.
When Thomas puffs up to the coaches at Knapford, a workman is seen next to the coaches, but in the shot where Thomas puffs backwards, the workman disappears.