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The Flying Kipper

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the train or the Philippine DVD.
"The Kipper is due."
"Who cares? This is good cocoa!
— The guard and fireman
The Flying Kipper

David Mitton


David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona


Reverend W. Awdry
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Ringo Starr (UK/US)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

December 11th,
1984 (UK)
April 30th,
1987 (AUS)
April 2nd,
1989 (US)
August 7th,
1990 (JAP)
August 13th,
1993 (George
Carlin US)

Previous episode


Next episode

Whistles and Sneezes

The Flying Kipper is the nineteenth episode of the first season.


One night after his day's work, Henry is chosen to take "The Flying Kipper", a special goods train of fish that markets across the Island. His driver tells him that his special coal is working so well that if he pulls the Flying Kipper nicely the Fat Controller will let him pull the express! Henry arrives at the quay ready to pick up the Flying Kipper. Everything goes very smoothly and Henry leaves the harbour without a hitch. Soon Henry comes to a yellow signal indicating caution. Henry's driver prepares to stop, until he sees the signal is down meaning that the line ahead is clear. They didn't know that a signal was been forced down with the heavy snow and he's being diverted a siding due to frozen points. In the siding is a goods train, it has to wait for the Flying Kipper go past and the engine's crew is enjoying cocoa in the brakevan. The crew leave the brakevan, but Henry crashes into it, along with a good load of cocoa being ruined! After the accident, The Fat Controller sends Henry to Crewe and reassures him that the accident was not his fault. He return with a new shape and a larger firebox, he doesn't need special coal anymore. He is often seen pulling the express which makes Gordon very jealous, but that's another story.




  • One of the workmen resembles Ringo Starr.
  • One of the passengers resembles Sir Alec Guinness.
  • While the narrator talks about the harbour, Marklin is seen moving in the background.
  • This episode is based on The Railway Series book, The Flying Kipper, Henry the Green Engine.
  • A reference to Coal is made as a foreshadow to Whistles and Sneezes.
  • In the restored version, much of the footage is zoomed in during Henry's trip with the Flying Kipper.
  • There are differences between the US and UK narrations. Some differences are:
    • The screeching noise is shortened in the US narration.
    • In Ringo Starr's narration, Henry says "Hurrah!". In George Carlin's narration, Henry says "Hooray!". 
    • In Ringo Starr's narration, he says "Men hustled and shouted loading the vans with crates of fish!". In George Carlin's narration, he says "Men hustled and shouted loading up the crates of fish!"
    • In Ringo Starr's narration, the vans say "Trock-trick! Trock-trick!". In George Carlin's narration, the vans say "Trickety-trock! Trickety-trock!".


  • Henry is in his new shape when he crashes.
  • Henry's eyes jitter in the close-up of him in the shed.
  • In the US version, the term "guard" is used at one point.
  • The track beside the goods train disappears and reappears several times.
  • In two scenes, Henry's lamps are obviously small light bulbs, as they stick out.
  • As Henry collides with the goods train, a hand appears to be pushing his tender.
  • Henry's lamps are removed for the crash and then put back on after he derailed.
  • When Henry crashes he is still on the track, but in the next shot he is on top of the trucks.
  • In the last close-up of Henry, the red stripe on his cylinder is attached to his running board.
  • In the last close-up of Henry, a small gap can be seen between Henry's eye and his face mask.
  • The arrangement of the trucks in the Flying Kipper changes when Henry is diverted onto the siding.
  • Henry gains two lamps after he leaves the harbour, and loses one near his left side that was seen before he left the harbour.
  • Play the scene of Henry approaching the brakevan in slow motion: the goods train moves slightly before the crash.
  • In the last close-up of Henry, he is in his old shape. In the previous episode, there was a nearly identical close-up of Henry in his new shape. From this, it can be judged that the episodes were filmed concurrently and the editors mixed up the footage.


  • "Come on! Come on! Don't be silly! Don't be silly!" puffed Henry to the vans.
  • The vans shuddered and groaned.
  • "Trock-trick! Trock-trick! All right! All right!"
  • "That's better! That's better!" puffed Henry.

- Henry pulls out of the harbour.

  • The Fat Controller came to see him.
  • "The signal was down, Sir." said Henry.
  • "Cheer up, Henry. It wasn't your fault. Ice and snow caused the accident. I'm sending you to Crewe, a fine place for sick engines. They'll give you a new shape and a larger firebox. You'll feel a different engine, and you won't need special coal anymore. Won't that be nice?"
  • "Yes, sir." said Henry doubtfully.

- Henry and the Fat Controller.


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