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“This is the best birthday picnic ever!"
"Thomas, this is your best idea yet!”
―Dowager and Sir Topham Hatt

Thomas and the Birthday Picnic is the eighth (seventh in Australia) episode of the ninth season.

Plot

It is Dowager Hatt's birthday and the Fat Controller decides to take her out on a birthday picnic. Thomas, who is to take the Hatts out for the day, decides to go to Shen Valley. Thomas arrives at Knapford station with Annie and Clarabel and the staff load up the picnic hamper and the birthday cake aboard Clarabel. Dowager Hatt looks very serious, making Thomas feel nervous. However, Thomas is no longer nervous once Percy cheers him up.

Thomas sets off for Shen Valley, hopeful that Dowager Hatt will love it. However, at Shen Valley, the Hatts are not impressed. The fields have just been ploughed; now, they must go elsewhere. Thomas decides to go to the Scottish Castle, but they cannot picnic there as it is closed for maintenance. Thomas sets off again, this time going too fast, making the journey uncomfortable for the Hatts. The Fat Controller tells Thomas to stop and once he does, the Fat Controller demands to know where they are going. But Thomas does not know as he has run out of ideas. The Fat Controller decides to cancel the birthday picnic as lunch-time has passed and Dowager Hatt wants to go home. Thomas heads back to Knapford, hopeful to have a good idea before they get home, but to no avail. Once the Hatts leave the train, Thomas heads sadly back to Tidmouth Sheds.

All the other engines hear what happened, but Percy hopes that Dowager Hatt will enjoy her birthday cake. Thomas quickly realises that in all his sadness, he forgot to let the staff unload the cake from Clarabel. Now Dowager Hatt cannot even have her birthday tea. Thomas hopes that an idea will come to him. As does Percy, who tries to blow his whistle, but only to make a faint whistle due to stone dust clogging it. Gordon tells Percy to blow his whistle hard and gives a long low note. Emily prefers high toots and blows two high toots of her whistle. Henry is proud of his whistle being slow and strong. All of the whistling finally gives Thomas a brilliant idea.

Later, the Fat Controller receives a phone call from the Knapford stationmaster, informing him that Thomas and the engines have a special surprise. At Knapford station, the Hatts are delighted to see the decorations and the food all set up, including the birthday cake. Thomas blows his whistle and one by one, all of the Steam Team whistles to the tune of "Happy Birthday." Dowager Hatt is very happy with her birthday picnic surprise and the Fat Controller congratulates Thomas for such a splendid idea.

Characters

Locations

Trivia

  • Stock footage from Thomas to the Rescue is used.
  • This is the first episode written by Sharon Miller.
  • This episode marks Dowager Hatt's first speaking role since her debut, as well as the first time she is referred to by name.
  • Two British Railways posters are visible at Knapford's office. One for the "Coronation Scot" and one for "Battle of Britain." These can also be found in Mighty Mac.
  • This episode marks the final appearance of the Sodor Suspension Bridge until the sixteenth season episode, Whiff's Wish, excluding stock footage appearances in Emily Knows Best and Seeing the Sights.
  • Going by production order, this is the seventh episode of the ninth season.

Goofs

  • When Percy says "Don't worry!" he tilts to the right briefly.
  • When Thomas leaves Knapford Station in the second scene, he has Molly's whistle sound.
  • When Thomas passes a white bridge with green beam supporters, Thomas' weight pushes the track down slightly.

Merchandise

In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Chinese 托马斯和生日野餐
Croatian Tomica i Rođendanski Piknik
Czech Piknik k Narozeninám
Danish Thomas og Fødselsdagsudflugten
Dutch Thomas en de Verjaardagspicknick
Finnish Tuomas ja Syntymäpäiväretki
German Der Dicke Kontrolleur und das Geburtstagspicknick
Hungarian Thomas és a Születésnapi Piknik
Italian Thomas e il Picnic di Compleanno
Japanese バースデーピクニック
Korean 토마스와 소풍
Norwegian Thomas og Landturen
Polish Tomek i Urodzinowy Piknik
Portuguese Thomas e o Piquenique de Aniversário
Romanian Thomas și Picnicul
Russian Праздничный пикник
Scottish Gaelic Cuirm Chnuic na Cailliach
Serbian Tomasov Rodjendanski Izlet
Slovak Piknik k Narodeninám
Spanish Thomas y el Picnic de Cumpleaños
Swedish Thomas och Födelsedagspicknicken
Thai ปิกนิกวันเกิด

Home Media Releases

UK

DVD Packs

US

DVD Boxsets

AUS

DVD Boxsets

JPN

DK

NOR/SWE

FIN

CZ

GER

NL

MYS

HUN

SPN

DVD Boxsets

THA

Episode


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