Main page

"Hello Oliver! Are you being a 'Good-Gracious' engine? Beg pardon, of course, but we really don't like this sort of surprise."
— Duck

Oliver Owns Up is the twenty-second episode of the third season. In the US, it aired on the Shining Time Station episode Schemer's Special Club.


Oliver is still new to Sodor and tells Duck how very grateful he is that Douglas rescued him and Toad from being scrapped on the Other Railway. That night, Gordon, James and Henry praise Oliver. Unfortunately, Oliver, who has never been complimented by big engines before, soon becomes puffed up in the smokebox.

After pulling some coaches to Tidmouth, Oliver is told by the Fat Controller that he must learn how to handle trucks. Every wise engine knows that you cannot trust trucks. However, Oliver is so confident in himself that he ignores the other engines' warnings. Duck tries to convince Oliver, but Donald suggests that Oliver should learn for himself. After arranging some loaded trucks and then shunting empties to the hopper, he goes back to take the loaded trucks. But, the loaded trucks are comfortable where they are and don't want to move. They say that they do not want Oliver, preferring Duck, Donald or Douglas instead.

Oliver bosses the trucks about and takes them anyway. But the trucks decide to show Oliver who is boss by forcing him down the tracks. Oliver puts his weight against the trucks, but they still push him on, unaware of the danger ahead - he is heading towards the turntable. Then the inevitable happens - Oliver ends up bunker-first in the turntable well.

Duck is very concerned about Oliver's predicament, as now Donald and Douglas will have to work without the use of the turntable. That night, the breakdown train rescues Oliver. The Fat Controller says that Oliver has a lot to learn about the troublesome nature of trucks, and Oliver agrees.

Once home from the works, Oliver is a much wiser engine and knows how to handle trucks.




  • This episode is based on the story Resource and Sagacity from The Railway Series book Oliver the Western Engine.
  • As Oliver falls into the turntable well, his cab windows are blacked out. This is probably to hide the weights used to make him drop before his driving wheels reached the well.
  • In the restored version, the shot of Oliver crossing the Three Tier Bridge is slowed down, and the edge of the set behind him is visible.
  • This is one of the few third season episodes to use the train brake sound effect from Fox Film sound effects and from Season 1 & 2 library (also on "The International Sound Effects Library").
  • This is the only episode to date to feature a Utility Wagon with a face. It can be found at the left of the screen in the shot where the camera is following Thomas at Brendam before focusing on Oliver.
  • A reference to Escape is made in this episode.


  • The Russian title is misleading as it says that Edward made a mistake instead of Oliver.
  • When Oliver crosses the bridge, it bounces. In the same scene, his eyes are off-centre.
  • In the scene where the engines are in the sheds, James has some sort of wire wrapped around his funnel. He is also off the rails.
  • The trucks are facing away from Oliver when he takes them away, but when they force him forward, they are all facing him.
  • When the narrator says: "Oliver heard nothing", the tracks lead to a dead end.
  • When the trucks start to push Oliver, his wheels are not moving. Then, in the next shot, his wheels are moving backward. Then, in the next shot, his wheels are moving forward. Then, when he approaches the turntable, his wheels are not moving again.
  • When Oliver's buffers hit the bottom of the turntable, the sound effect for it, is out of sync.
  • There are more berths than the usual six in Tidmouth sheds.
  • When the narrator says: "Every wise engine knows that you cannot trust trucks", a van on the left of the screen has a crooked face.
  • When Oliver arrives with his red coaches at the station, the track he is on bounces.
  • In some foreign versions of the episode, the narrator mistakenly says "Now Douglas and Duck can't use the turntable".
  • When Oliver returns to collect the trucks after leaving them to be filled, his coupling chain is tangled with his middle lamp iron.
  • Oliver whistles on the breakdown train with no driver.
  • Duck is smiling after Oliver has his accident.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Norwegian Oliver blir klokere Oliver Gets Wiser
Japanese ちょっとちがうよオリバー Slightly Wrong, Oliver
Italian Oliver si Ricrede Oliver Changes his Mind
German Oliver gesteht Oliver Confesses
Polish Lekcja dla Olka Lesson for Oliver
Spanish Una Lección para Oliver A Lesson for Oliver
Hungarian Oliver Vallomása Oliver's Testimony
Slovenian Oliver prizna svojo zmoto Oliver Admits his Mistake
Finnish Oliverin Opetus Oliver's Instruction
Chinese 奥利弗的坦白 Oliver's Confession
Dutch Oliver in de Val Oliver and the Fall
Danish Oliver Bliver Klogere Oliver Becomes Wiser
Greek Ο Όλιβερ δίνει το καλό παράδειγμα Oliver Gives the Good Example
Russian Оливер признает ошибку Oliver Admit Mistakes
Ukrainian Олівер запишався Oliver Puffed Up
Romanian Oliver își Primește Răsplata Oliver Gets his Reward
Slovak Lekcia pre Olivera Lessons for Oliver
Czech Lekce pro Olivera Lessons for Oliver
Swedish Oliver blir klokare Oliver Becomes Wiser
Serbian Oliver Uči na Greškama Oliver Learns from Mistakes
Korean 더욱 현명해진 올리버 Smarter Oliver
Thai รถสินค้าลองดีกับหัวรถจักรหน้าใหม่ Long Car With a New Engine

Home Media Releases


DVD Packs



DVD Boxsets



  • The Complete Third Series
  • Escape and other stories

DVD Boxsets



DVD Boxsets



DVD Boxsets





  • Edward, Trevor and the Useful Party









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