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Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree

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"Hush! I can hear something!"
"Probably the wind."
"No, listen!"
"Och! It's Thomas! Come on, the poor wee engine must be frozen to the frames in there!
"
— Donald and Douglas
ThomasandtheMissingChristmasTree20
Thomas and the
Missing Christmas Tree
Director(s)

David Mitton

Producer(s)

Britt Allcroft
David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona

Writer(s)

Christopher Awdry
(original)
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton
(adapted)

Narrator

Ringo Starr (UK/US)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

December 23rd,
1986

Previous episode

Woolly Bear

Next episode

A Scarf for Percy

Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree is the twenty-sixth episode of the second season. In the US, this episode was first released on the VHS release of Shining Time Station's 1990 Christmas special 'Tis a Gift.

Plot

It is the twenty-third of December and the final preparations are being made for a carol party to be held at Tidmouth.

Thomas is sent to collect the Christmas tree, but on the way back runs into a snowdrift and is covered by an avalanche. The engines grow angry waiting for Thomas to return, but soon the word spreads and the engines feel sorry for him.

Donald and Douglas go to the rescue and save Thomas and the precious cargo. The tree arrives on time and everyone is delighted when Harold arrives with the guest of honour, Father Christmas.

Characters

Locations

Trivia

  • This episode is based on the story of the same name, released alongside the series in 1986.
  • Father Christmas seems to be a dressed up model of the Fat Controller.
  • Stock footage from Thomas, Terence and the Snow is used, as is mirrored stock footage from Thomas' Train.
  • This is the last episode narrated by Ringo Starr and the last episode produced by Robert D. Cardona.
  • In Ringo's US narration, all lines mentioning the Fat Controller have been omitted.
  • The scene of Thomas puffing past the watermill with Donald and Douglas is extended in the restored version.
  • In the restored version, Thomas' eyes move at the very last second at the very end.
  • When George Carlin narrates, Thomas says "Happy Holiday, Percy; Happy Holiday, everyone!", instead of Happy Christmas.
  • Deleted scenes show that Henry, Gordon and Duck may have been intended to play larger roles in this episode.
  • A deleted scene shows Thomas smiling when he is pulled out of the snow drift.
  • A deleted scene shows Thomas next to Henry and Gordon at Tidmouth instead of BoCo.
  • In a rare still taken from the episode, Thomas is already wearing his Santa Claus hat when he passes the Watermill with the tree.
  • The Italian title of this episode is "On Christmas Eve". It is called "The Missing Christmas Tree" in Germany. In Japan, this episode is called "The Engine's Christmas Carol". The Welsh title is called, "Thomas and the Christmas Tree".

Goofs

  • As Thomas crashes into the snow, he looks more annoyed than surprised.
  • When the engines whistle loudly, Henry and Gordon are smiling and Donald has Edward's cross face.
  • When the narrator says "Then they set off once more to finish their long journey", on the left side of the screen the space between the leaves and the tree is green.
  • If Thomas was returning with the Christmas tree, then the twins should have come up in front of him.
  • In the aerial shot of the station when the lights come on, Bertie is stationary, at the back of the shot and missing a Christmas hat. Not long after there is a close-up of him with Trevor and Terence, now wearing a hat.
  • In the aerial shot of the station, Annie and Clarabel do not have hats on, but later gain them.
  • Daisy and Henrietta were not present at the Christmas party. Diesel, for some reason, was.
  • A wire is used to hold Harold when he is landing.
  • BoCo's left eye is scratched.
  • When the narrator says "Everyone cheered and the party began", Thomas is now next to Harold instead of in front of the station. Then, at the end of the episode, he is in his original position again. Edward is also seen in the station instead of in front of the station and Henry, Gordon, and BoCo have disappeared.
  • Something can be seen in the shed when Thomas says "Happy Christmas everyone!"
  • Donald and Douglas' nameplates are missing in several scenes.
  • A camera tripod is seen when Donald and Douglas set off to find Thomas.
  • When the engines head to the Christmas party, Thomas' head lamp is not on and the other engines are not wearing head lamps at all.
  • In the restored version, in the shot of Thomas and Percy towards the end, a blue light behind them is covered up. This is likely to be a crew member standing in the background.
  • Thomas' eyes are wonky throughout the episode.
  • In the shot of Bill and Ben with Diesel, Ben's nameplate is loose.
  • While Ringo Starr's US narration has all lines mentioning the Fat Controller omitted, the footage remains unchanged.  As a result, some of the scenes of the Fat Controller appear to be longer than necessary, and one shot of him is shown with no accompanying dialogue.
  • In the overhead shot of the station, Terence's eyes are wonky.
  • In the overhead shot of the station, none of the trucks next to Annie and Clarabel have faces, but when we see the shot of Trevor, Terence, Bertie, Annie and Clarabel, a truck next to Annie gains a face.
  • When Donald and Douglas set off to rescue Thomas, the Fat Controller is standing by the track opposite them. In the next shot, the Fat Controller has already got back to his car on the other side of the turntable long before the twins run round it which cannot be possible.

Gallery

Episode

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