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- “We won't shunt like common tank engines. That was Thomas's job. We are important tender engines. You fetch our coaches and we pull them. Tender engines don't shunt!"
"Oh, indeed? We'll see about that. Engines on my railway do as they are told!”
- ―Gordon and Sir Topham Hatt
Trouble in the Shed is the sixteenth episode of the first season.
At Knapford, there is no sign of the morning train, causing the passengers to become angry. The Fat Controller is told by the stationmaster that Henry is refusing to leave his shed, so he goes to find out what is going on. Gordon tells him that he, James, and Henry will no longer fetch their own coaches or shunt in sidings, declaring that tender engines do not shunt. The Fat Controller is very angry that the bigger engines are trying to tell him what they are willing to do and leaves for Wellsworth to enlist Edward as a station pilot to ensure that the day's trains run as normal, noting to himself that life at the yard has not been the same since Thomas left to run his branch line. Edward is happy to shunt the coaches and the rest of the day's trains run as usual.
Next day, the Fat Controller visits the yard to see how Edward is getting along. To his dismay, he sees Gordon puff by and wheeshes loudly at Edward, who tells the Fat Controller that the big engines have been insulting and wheeshing steam at him, thinking he is a traitor since he is a tender engine as well. The Fat Controller assures Edward that tender engines do shunt, but decides that he must bring a new tank engine to the yard to permanently fix the problem.
Visiting the engine workshop, the Fat Controller is shown all kinds of engines. Soon he sees a smart green saddletank and knows this is the one he wants. The Fat Controller asks the engine if he is willing to work hard. The engine eagerly responds that he is. With that, the matter is settled. The Fat Controller names him Percy and takes him back to the yard.
The Fat Controller asks Edward to get Percy acquainted with the yard and the pair set off for work. Edward is very impressed by his hard work and loud wheeshing - something he learned in the workshop so as to be heard, which frightens Henry when he attempts to insult Edward again. The Fat Controller then decides to send for Thomas and calls all three engines to the yard for an announcement. He tells them that he has shut up the big engines in the shed as punishment for their little mutiny until they learn to behave and that, in Gordon, Henry, and James' absence, the two tank engines and Edward will run the railway.
Edward and Thomas are put in charge of the main line, while Percy takes care of the branch line as well as looking after Annie and Clarabel. While there are fewer trains, the passengers understand that the three engines are doing their best to keep the railway running and that the big engines were in the middle of learning a lesson.
In the sheds, Gordon, James, and Henry are left cold, lonely, and miserable. The three finally start to realise just how silly they have been.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Henry (does not speak)
- James (does not speak)
- Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)
- Workshop Engines (wheels and buffers only; do not speak)
- Märklin Engine (cameo)
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Troublesome Engines.
- The engines under the tarps in the workshops are predecessors (from left to right) Gordon, the Märklin engine, James, Henry and Edward, the latter three without their tenders.
- Stock footage from Thomas' Train is used.
- The scene of Sir Topham Hatt putting his hat on is cut in the restored version.
- The close-up of Sir Topham Hatt confronting the engines at Tidmouth Sheds was used for the "Next Story Coming Up Soon!" card in between double bills and early American videos. This was also used in HBO's parodic news series, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," in a YouTube exclusive segment on endorsements.
- In the UK version of this episode, the big engines in the earlier night told Edward that he had "black wheels". This insult is a play on the word "blackleg," which is an insult for someone who works during a strike, i.e. a strikebreaker. However, the insult might seem odd coming from the big engines, as James actually has black wheels. In both US versions, the insult was changed to "grey" wheels. The change was likely made because many viewers in the US would not understand the play-on-words, making the insult seem as if it had possible racial implications.
- Just before Gordon hisses, he is passing Edward, but when he stops hissing, he is passing Edward again.
- In a close-up of Gordon, his buffers are crooked.
- In the close-up of Sir Topham Hatt talking to Edward at Tidmouth Sheds, the viewer can see he has some small holes in his chin.
- Sir Topham Hatt is smiling when he scolds the big engines that engines on his railway do as they are told/no engine on his railway is too important for small jobs.
- In the shot of Edward being "wheeshed" by Gordon, Sir Topham Hatt is not seen on the platform.
- When Gordon passes Edward, he "wheeshes" at him, but in the next scene, Gordon is too far away to be able to "wheesh" at Edward.
- When Edward and Percy shunt, Edward's trucks push the buffers out of place.
- When Henry comes out of and reverses back into the shed, he is in his new shape.
- Because stock footage is used, the background in a close-up of Sir Topham Hatt is Knapford.
- In the close-up of Edward, Henry, and Percy at the sheds when Percy "wheeshes" at Henry, The berths Henry, James, and Gordon were in are closed, Henry and Edward are off the rails, Percy's left eye is not a perfect circle, the track on the left of Henry comes to end, and two things happen with Edward:
- His tender is missing.
- He has Thomas' whistle sound.
- When Percy is running with Annie and Clarabel under the bridge, the first shot has them both facing backwards (with Annie positioned incorrectly) while the second shot has them both facing forwards (with Clarabel now positioned incorrectly).
- Henry, Gordon and James keep changing positions in the shed throughout the episode.
- When Thomas and Edward pass each other, Thomas' brake coach is backwards.
- Some of the people shouting at Knapford have blu-tak on their shoes.
- In the close-up of Henry looking angry and the close-up of him looking surprised, one of his wheel arches is missing.
- When Edward meets Percy, his tender is tilted.
- When Percy arrives at Knapford Station, there is a random piece of track beside him with no entrance or exit route.
- In the final scene, Henry, Gordon, and James had all moved one shed to the left.
- In the American version of the episode, when Sir Topham Hatt says "We'll see about that", George Carlin smacks his lips.
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