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"Never trust domeless engines! They aren't respectable!"
— Gordon

Gordon and the Famous Visitor is the fourth episode of the third season. It first aired on the Shining Time Station episode Win, Lose or Draw in 1991.


It is an important day at the yards, and everyone is busy and excited making notes and taking photographs. A special visitor had arrived and was now the centre of attention. Duck explains to Thomas and Percy that he is a celebrity, a very famous engine. Thomas, Duck, Percy and the other engines are very pleased about the Visitor, but Gordon is jealous as he thinks it is a lot of fuss about nothing.

The next morning, the visitor heads back to his railway, and Thomas tells Gordon that the engine is famous since he went 100 mph before Gordon was even thought of. Gordon is unamused and tells Thomas that the visitor has no dome and that domeless engines are not respectable or trustworthy, and that 100 mph would be easy for him.

Later that day, Duck takes some trucks to Wellsworth and tells Edward what Gordon had said about the visitor. Edward tells Duck not to take any notice, since Gordon thinks that no engine should be famous but him. Moments later, Gordon thunders past the two engines on the main line as his wheels pound the rails. Duck watches and tells Edward that Gordon will knock himself to bits.

Gordon's driver tells him that he is not running a race, but Gordon takes no notice. Gordon then notices that the top of his boiler feels funny as something feels loose and decides to slow down, but it is too late. On the viaduct, he meets a teasing wind that makes him think it will push him off. But the wind has other ideas as it curls around his boiler and blows Gordon's dome off and into the valley below. Gordon is most uncomfortable as he feels silly without his dome, and to make matters worse for him, he is made into a laughing stock at Knapford Station by some trucks.

On the journey home, Gordon asks his driver to find his dome, but he tells Gordon that they will never find it and they will have to go to the works for a new one. Gordon is most upset and hopes that the sheds are empty tonight, but all the engines are there waiting. As Gordon turns around on the turntable, he hears a voice saying: "Never trust domeless engines. They aren't respectable."




  • This episode is based on the story Domeless Engines from The Railway Series book, Duck and the Diesel Engine.
  • Stock footage from Time for Trouble is used.
  • In a picture of a deleted scene, Thomas, Percy and Duck were at the other end of Tidmouth Sheds.
  • In a picture of a deleted scene, City of Truro's tender can be seen at the left of Gordon (viewer's right).
  • In a rare photo, Gordon is pulling red express coaches instead of green ones.
  • In a rare photo, Edward and Duck are at the station instead of the yard and Gordon races through the station on the left track rather than the middle.
  • In the UK and international versions, when the narrator said "Gordon was most uncomfortable" the music is omitted.
  • In a picture of a deleted scene, Gordon is seen crossing the viaduct in the opposite direction without his dome. Another photo features him on the viaduct with his dome, smiling.
  • This is the first time a real-life engine appears in the series.
  • There is a digger from TUGS next to Gordon when he arrives at Tidmouth Sheds.
  • Although City of Truro's name is never mentioned, it is seen on the banner at Tidmouth Sheds and his nameplate.
  • When first repeated on CITV in 1993, Duck's conversation with Edward at Wellsworth was cut out to fit the timeslot.
  • Henry is the only steam engine not present at the sheds during the City of Truro's visit (minus Gordon, who came to the sheds a few seconds later at the beginning of the episode).
  • In the restored version, the shot of Gordon going under Wellsworth bridge is slowed down.


  • In the close-up on Thomas and Duck at the sheds, Duck is derailed.
  • In one shot of Gordon talking to Thomas and Duck, he does not have any eyebrows.
  • Because of stock footage, Gordon seems to pass through Wellsworth twice.
  • When Gordon says "It feels as if something is loose," he hits a tree branch on the right. (Gordon's left)
  • After Gordon loses his dome, his coaches disappear.
  • When Gordon goes through Knapford, he is tilted to the right. In the same scene, the coach to the far left is seen with exposed wires around its buffers.
  • When Gordon races through the station, only one distant signal on its own can be seen, which is incorrect. Distant signals without home signals are only ever seen out on the open line.
  • When Thomas says "Who's that?" to Duck, Duck's right wheel is derailed.
  • When Duck talks to Edward, Edward's whistle is crooked.
  • When Henry passes Edward and Duck at Wellsworth, his eyes are wonky.
  • In the last shot of the episode, Gordon's eyes are wonky.


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DVD Boxsets






Season 3
1. A Scarf for Percy 2. Percy's Promise 3. Time for Trouble 4. Gordon and the Famous Visitor 5. Donald's Duck
6. Thomas Gets Bumped 7. Thomas, Percy and the Dragon 8. Diesel Does it Again 9. Henry's Forest 10. The Trouble with Mud
11. No Joke for James 12. Thomas, Percy and the Post Train 13. Trust Thomas 14. Mavis (episode) 15. Toby's Tightrope
16. Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party 17. Buzz, Buzz 18. All at Sea 19. One Good Turn 20. Tender Engines
21. Escape 22. Oliver Owns Up 23. Bulgy (episode) 24. Heroes 25. Percy, James and the Fruitful Day 26. Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure
Canceled: Gordon Goes Foreign