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This article is about 'the episode'. You may be looking for 'the Buzz Book, the UK DVD, the US DVD, or the Philippine DVD'.
"Well, it wasn't anything, really. Water's nothing to an engine with determination!"
— Percy

Percy Takes the Plunge, sometimes known as Percy Takes a Plunge in the US, is the eleventh episode of the second season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episodes: Mapping it Out in 1989 and Schemer Goes Camping in 1993.


One day at the harbour, a tired Henry is looking to rest in the sheds after a hard day's work, but instead of peace, he finds Percy telling Bill and Ben about the time he braved bad weather to help Thomas' passengers return home. However, Percy is embellishing the tale, as he speaks about how he braved through flood waters using the phrase "Water's nothing to an engine with determination". Bill and Ben shower Percy with praise, and Henry angrily tells them to leave, as the sheds are only for engines belonging to the Fat Controller.

The engines leave, and Percy is angry. He had been enjoying himself. However, Henry just tells Percy how silly his line about water and determination is. Percy leaves, but not without quickly reminding Henry of when he refused to leave a tunnel because of the rain.

Later, Percy and Thomas come across a board saying "DANGER! Engines must not pass this board". Thomas tells Percy that they must not go past it, and tells him about the time he passed a board and fell down a mine. Percy cannot see a mine, not realizing that the foundations of the rails have sunk, and the line now leads into the sea. As a result, Percy, who is now feeling very cocky, decides that the board is stupid, and makes a plan to pass it.

As he brings some trucks to the harbour, Percy asks them to bump him when they arrive at the quay. The trucks happily agree, having never been asked to bump an engine before. Percy's plan is to pretend to stop at the quay and then have the trucks bump him past the board after which he can make them stop. However, Percy, in his foolishness, has forgotten that trucks are never to be trusted.

At the quay, the trucks bump Percy hard enough that both his driver and fireman fall off the footplate, and push him past the board. Percy quickly realises his mistake and tells the trucks to stop, but there is no chance of that, and they happily push Percy into the sea.

Later, as Percy sits in the water, the Fat Controller scolds the tank engine for his deliberate disobedience. Percy begs to get out, but the Fat Controller explains that they must wait until high tide, and hopes that this will teach Percy a lesson. By the time the cranes can be brought in to rescue Percy, night has fallen. Working hard, the cranes pull a cold, weak and filthy Percy from the sea.

The next morning, Percy is taken to the works to be cleaned and mended by Henry, who finds the incident very amusing after Percy's earlier boasts. Henry tells Percy he needs more determination and that perhaps he will like it better next time. Percy, however, hopes there will be no "next time".




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book The Eight Famous Engines.
  • In the restored version, Bill and Ben leave the shed a few seconds earlier.
  • References to the first season episodes, The Sad Story of Henry and Down the Mine, and the then-unadapted third season episode, Percy's Promise are made in this episode.
  • The "DANGER" sign is reused from Down the Mine.
  • A picture from this episode's Buzz Book adaptation shows Percy frowning and covered in mud while he is at the quay with Thomas and his piston is lose. This may have been a deleted scene towards the end of the episode.
  • In the scene with Thomas and Percy at the harbour, a truck with the letter "M" on it can be seen, and also there is a first season style truck right next to it.
  • A barge has "Terrey" written on it; possibly a reference to crew member Terence Permane.
  • Ringo Starr's US narration was not released on home video until 2001 when it was included on Best of Percy. This recording was also used on a DVD that came with the Take Along playset based on this episode.


  • When Henry orders Bill and Ben to leave the shed, he states that it is for "the Fat Controller's engines". However, Bill and Ben are owned by the Fat Controller. This is an artifact from the original story: the engines Percy was talking to were engines from the Other Railway.
  • The narrator says that Percy ran off to the harbour singing, but he was already at the harbour.
  • When the camera is panning down on Thomas, several trucks in the background are derailed.
  • Before Percy takes the plunge, there is a shot of him already on the quayside, but in the next scene, he slides past the board.
  • In the restored version, Bill and Ben's whistles and chuffing sounds are still heard after they leave.
  • Percy is smiling when he slides past the board.
  • Just as Percy plunges into the sea, two of his trucks become derailed.
  • Diesel makes a cameo, but he wasn't introduced until the next episode.
  • When Percy is lifted out of the water, a workman has blu-tak on his neck.
  • When Henry enters the shed, his tender bounces.
  • During Percy's trip to the harbour, his brakevan changes.
  • During the episode, Percy's left (viewer's right) cylinder is loose.
  • Ben's nameplate is peeling off when Henry puffs in.
  • In the close-up of Percy being pushed, a reflection of a hand can be seen in the water pushing the train. Also, in this scene, Percy's eyes are wonky.
  • Before Percy goes straight into the water, his brakes are applied even though his driver and fireman jumped out and right about when falls into the water, his wheels are moving again.
  • Percy is telling Bill and Ben about the events from Percy's Promise, even though that episode was released after Percy Takes the Plunge.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese うみにおちたパーシー Percy Fell into the Sea
Finnish Pekka Polskahtaa Percy Plops
Danish Percy falder i Percy Falls In
Dutch Percy plonst erin Percy Plunges It
German Percy nimmt ein Bad Percy Takes a Bath
Norwegian Percy går i vannet Percy Goes into the Water
Italian Il tuffo di Percy Percy's Dip
Croatian Pero golubica Percy Dove
Russian Перси падает в воду Percy Falls into the Water
Ukrainian Персі робить рішучий крок Percy Takes the Plunge
Slovenian Poldi pade v vodo Percy Falls into the Water
Polish Kąpiel Piotrka Percy's Bath
Chinese 培西的冒险 Percy's Adventure
Korean 바다에 빠진 파시 Percy Fell into the Sea
Romanian Percy Intra la Apă Percy Sinks
Spanish Percy se lanza al agua Percy Takes the Plunge
Hungarian Percy Merész Tette He Made a Bold, Percy
Slovak Perciho pád Percy's Fall
Czech Percyho pád Percy's Fall
Swedish Percy går i vannet Percy Goes in the Water
Serbian Persi u vodi Percy in Water
Thai เพอร์ซีจมน้ำ Percy Drowned

Home Media Releases


DVD Packs


DVD Boxsets


  • The Complete Second Series
  • Percy and Harold and Other Stories
  • Playtime

DVD Boxsets







DVD Boxsets





  • Thomas the Tank Engine 4





DVD Packs