Sir Handel, named after the Skarloey Railway's first owner, Sir Handel Brown I - but previously known as Falcon, after the works where he was built - is a narrow-gauge tank engine.
Bio in the Railway Series
Falcon was built at Falcon Works in Loughborough, England for theMid Sodor Railway as an 0-4-0ST, causing him to bounce until he was rebuilt with a rear pony truck at Loughborough in 1910.
When the Mid Sodor Railway closed in 1947, he and Stuart were sold to the aluminum works at Peel Godred for an expansion project. They were sheeted at the project's close for almost a year, then both were purchased for a total of fifty pounds by the Skarloey Railway and renamed Sir Handel and Peter Sam respectively.
Sir Handel did not cope well with the worn track on the railway and would often derail - sometimes deliberately. He was given a pair of special wheels with broad tyres to cure this problem, dubbed "steamroller wheels" by the other engines.
In 1982, Sir Handel visited the Talyllyn Railway to help while Talyllyn was being mended. Sir Handel had plenty of adventures there, like pulling a wedding train and having to wear an eye-patch after colliding with a tree at Nant Gwernol.
When Peter Sam was brought back from the Talyllyn Railway early during a visit in 1995 Sir Handel became jealous and, as a protest, deliberately knocked out his firebars. He was sent to the shed and began to fear that he would never come out after weeks went by and no one came to see him. When The Thin Controller came in one day Sir Handel confessed and asked for a second chance. Sir Handel got his firebars later that day - no one bothered to tell him that they had only just arrived.
Bio in the television series
Falcon and Stuart lived with Duke until their line was closed and they were bought by the Skarloey Railway and were renamed Sir Handel and Peter Sam respectively.
Upon arriving, Sir Handel had many adventures. He was derailed by his own coaches when he stopped too quickly in front of some sheep. Sir Handel was also very pompous and refused to do his job well, so he was sent to the sheds for a while to repent. After coming back out, he got into a fight with George the steamroller, which ended in a race with George smashing Sir Handel's trucks. Once George had left, Sir Handel became even more conceited then ever and believed that he had made George go away.
Sir Handel did not reappear until years later, apparently because he was working in the stone quarry. When he returned, he had a much different attitude. He did his jobs without complaining, and had trouble getting up hills. He is also wiser in most situations, but in some cases he is still pompous. He is generally of the opinion that he knows best and should be in charge. This can sometimes lead him into trouble with the other engines and the trucks. However, he always gets the job done. According to Mr. Perkins, Sir Handel can be cheeky sometimes.
He currently works on the Skarloey Railway, and at the Blue Mountain Quarry, with Skarloey, Rheneas, Peter Sam, Rusty, Duncan, and Luke.
Sir Handel, named Falcon is his younger days while being brought up under the instruction of Duke, has been prone to moody tantrums, being stubborn, and thinking that he knows better than others. He has broad wheels which hold well to the rails and has been said to give a smooth ride, perhaps contributing to his arrogant self-importance and his belief that he is a grand engine. He has been known in the past to take a disliking to the narrow gauge coaches (often referring to them as "cattle trucks"), feigning illness, and think that he should be in charge. However, Sir Handel works to get things done and is proud to also be a reliable, helpful, and good-hearted engine. He has a habit of getting too big for his wheels.
Sir Handel is based on the Talyllyn Railway's Sir Haydn. Albert and Proteus share the same basis.
In the Railway Series, Sir Handel was painted dark blue until coming to work on the Skarloey Railway, where he was painted in the Skarloey Railway's red livery and blue-and-yellow lining. In the television series, he is painted dark blue with red and yellow lining.
In The Thomas Way DVD, the Mr. Perkins segment features a re-illustrated version of Trucks!. In this, Sir Handel is painted dark blue, like in the television series.
- Season 4 - Granpuff, Sleeping Beauty, Bulldog, You Can't Win!, Four Little Engines (does not speak), A Bad Day for Sir Handel, Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady, Trucks!, Rock 'n' Roll(cameo), Special Funnel, Steam Roller, Passengers and Polish (mentioned), Gallant Old Engine(cameo), and Bowled Out (cameo)
- Season 10 - Follow that Flour (cameo), A Smooth Ride, Duncan Drops a Clanger, Thomas' Tricky Tree, Fearless Freddie, Which Way Now? (cameo), and Missing Trucks (does not speak)
- Season 11 - Thomas and the Big Bang, Duncan Does it All, Sir Handel in Charge, and Wash Behind Your Buffers (cameo)
- Season 12 - Henry Gets It Wrong (mentioned), Mountain Marvel (cameo), The Party Surprise(cameo), and The Man in the Hills
- Season 16 - Don't Bother Victor! and The Christmas Tree Express (cameo)
- Season 17 - Luke's New Friend
- Season 18 - Disappearing Diesels (cameo) and Long Lost Friend (cameo)
- The Great Discovery (does not speak)
- Blue Mountain Mystery
He also made cameos in one fifth season and two sixth season songs.
- Keith Wickham (UK/US; sixteenth season onwards)
- Naoki Tatsuta (Japan; fourth season)
- Bunkō Ogata (Japan; tenth - eleventh seasons)
- Shōto Kashii (Japan; sixteenth season onwards)
- Daniel Montoya (Germany)
- Jan Kulczycki (Poland)
- Helge Winther Larsen (Norway; sixteenth and seventeenth season only)
- Per Skjøldsvik (Norway; Blue Mountain Mystery onwards, excluding the seventeenth season)
- Miguel Ángel Leal (Mexico; Blue Mountain Mystery onwards)
- Fernando Castro (Spain; Blue Mountain Mystery onwards)
- In the Railway Series, Sir Handel along with Peter Sam did not have buffers when they first arrived on the Skarloey Railway until The Little Old Engine.
- Sir Handel's Brio model incorrectly depicts him as an 0-4-0.
- In various merchandise and books, Sir Handel's name is often misspelt as "Sir Handle".
- During production on the fourth season, Sir Handel had Rheneas' face and vice-versa.
- Sir Handel's television series model is currently on display in the Hara Model Museum in Japan.
- Until New Little Engine, his last appearance in the Railway Series, Sir Handel seemed to never have a coal bunker.
- The Reverend W. Awdry's model of Falcon was at the Reverend Teddy Boston's Cadeby Light Railway, before the railway finally closed in 2005.
- Sir Handel's large scale model used in the tenth season lacked a whistle, yet he was still heard whistling on many occasions. This was fixed when he returned in Blue Mountain Mystery.
- Sir Handel is named after the original owner of the Skarloey Railway.
- During the fourth season, Sir Handel had quite a few derailments in some episodes. This may have been inspired by a similar accident which occured to his basis Sir Haydn on the Talyllyn Railway.
- Sir Handel has been through many changes through the series. These include:
- Season 10:
- No visible whistle.
- Darker blue livery.
- Black trailing wheels and buffers.
- Season 16:
- Grey buffers and trailing wheels.
- Visible whistle.
- Handrails across his saddle tank as in The Railway Series.
- Sanding gear.
- More rivets on his bufferbeam and cab.
- Black siderod guards.
- His blue livery became a more vibrant shade than it was in the tenth season.
- Season 18:
- Permanent headlamp.
- Season 10:
- The new engines looked very smart. One was called Sir Handel, and the other Peter Sam.
- "What a small shed!" grumbled Sir Handel. "This won't do at all! We're much too smart for this old shack!"
- "I think its nice," said Peter Sam.
- "Humpf!" grunted Sir Handel. ''What's that rubbish?"
- "Shh!" said Peter Sam. "That's Skarloey the famous old engine. I'm sorry, Skarloey," he whispered. "Sir Handel's upset now, but he's quite nice really."
- Skarloey felt sorry for Peter Sam.
- Sir Handel and Peter Sam arrive at the Skarloey Railway, "Sir Handel", "Four Little Engines".
- Peter Sam told them about the television as well. And they were pleased and excited too, all except Sir Handel.
- "I don't hold with it!" he grumbled. "Vulgar, I call it. Fancy traipsing about making an exhibition of yourselves. I won't do it, I tell you! Telly something indeed. Just let the Thin Controller come here, I'll tell him something!"
- Skarloey said nothing, he just winked at Peter Sam. But next day, when the Thin Controller did come to explain about the television, Sir Handel kept strangely quiet.
- "Now," said the Thin Controller at last. "I want every engine to take part."
- "I..I..I don't feel well." quavered Sir Handel.
- "You poor engine," said the Thin Controller gravely. "You can stay in the shed."
- Sir Handel smiled broadly.
- "And your driver and firemen can take you to pieces. That would make a very interesting picture. Just what we need!"
- Sir Handel's feelings were beyond words.
- Sir Handel complaining about television, "Little Old Twins", "The Little Old Engine".
- Next day, the workmen put up a fence between road and railway, and went away taking George with them. This was because they had finished their work, but Sir Handel thought he had made George go away. He was more conceited than ever, and talked ever lastingly about steamrollers.
- "Oh dear!" whispered Skarloey one evening. "He's worse than ever, I'm sorry my plan was no good."
- "Never mind," said Rusty. "We'll think of something else!"
- But they had no need to do that, for some boys came and asked Mr. Hugh if they could look at the engines. Almost at once, one called out...
- "...Look! Here's Sir Handel. He raced a steamroller last week, but the roller nearly beat him too! It was most exciting!"
- Sir Handel never mentions Steamrollers now!
- Sir Handel thinks he sent George the Steamroller packing, "Steam Roller", "Gallant Old Engine".
- ERTL (normal, Falcon, and metallic; discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (reintroduced 2008 and 2012, discontinued)
- Take Along (discontinued)
- Nakayoshi (discontinued)
- Wind-up (Japan only)
- Pocket Fantasy (discontinued)
- Motor Road and Rail (discontinued)
- TrackMaster (normal and "Sir Handel in Charge")
- My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
- Thomas Engine Collection Series (discontinued)
- Mini Die Cast Collection (discontinued)
- Departing Now (discontinued)
- Trading Cards (discontinued)
- De Agostini (discontinued)
- Brio (discontinued)