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"You said you would bring the best present of all. Now, Mr. Percival has no presents at all and we're all late!"
— Sir Handel

The Man in the Hills is the sixteenth episode of the twelfth season.


Thomas arrives at the Wharf with a birthday tent for Mr. Percival's birthday party. Sir Handel tells him about someone known as "the man of the hills". Thomas is very excited, and thinks that finding him would make the birthday surprise even more spectacular. Freddie and Skarloey attempt to help him, but Thomas is too excited to listen.

Later, Thomas returns with two men in white: a dairyman and Dusty Miller, both he mistaken to be "the man in the hills". After they explain Thomas' mix-up, Sir Handel realises that Thomas' mistake has set them behind schedule. Everyone is very cross with Thomas, but he is determined to set things right. As the sun sets, Thomas is doing the last of his jobs before heading off when he meets up with Freddie, who has forgiven him and leads Thomas down a line he hasn't been down before.

Thomas is surprised by what he sees: a white sketch of a man on a rock, who is the real "man in the hills". Excited, Thomas brings everyone to the rock, and joins in as the celebration begins.




  • The "Man in the Hills" is based upon the Long Man of Wilmington, which is on a steep hillside north west of Eastbourne, East Sussex in Southern England.
  • Going by production order, this is the eleventh episode of the twelfth season.
  • This episode marks the last of a few things:
    • Freddie's last appearance to date.
    • Sir Handel and Peter Sam's last appearance and Rusty's last speaking role until Blue Mountain Mystery.


  • When Thomas arrives at the Dairy, his steam platform is visible.
  • Thomas lacks his crew when the dairy man and the miller climb into his cab and in the shot of the cake inside his cab.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
German Der Mann in den Bergen The Man in the Mountains
French L'homme de la colline The Man on the Hill
Italian L'uomo delle Colline The Man of the Hills
Indonesian Pria di Bukit Men on the Hill
Spanish El Hombre de las Colinas The Man of the Hills
Czech Muž z hor Man of the Mountains
Slovak Muž z hôr A Man from the Mountains
Chinese 山中人 Mountain Man
Thai ชายลึกลับในหุบเขา Man of the Mystery Valley
Croatian Čovjek s brda The Man from the Hills

Home Media Releases



  • The Complete Twelfth Series

DVD Boxsets


DVD Boxsets