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This article is about the episode'. You may be looking for the Railway Series book, the other book, the Ladybird book or the DVD'.
"Hush! I can hear something!"
"Probably the wind."
"No, listen!"
"Och! It's Thomas! Come on, the poor wee engine must be frozen to the frames in there!
— Donald and Douglas

Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree is the twenty-sixth episode of the second season. In the US, this episode was first released on the VHS release of Shining Time Station's 1990 Christmas special 'Tis a Gift in 1990.


It's the twenty-third of December and the final preparations are being made for a carol party to be held at Tidmouth. All the engines are working hard setting up the decorations. This year, the Fat Controller wants this carol party to be extra special.

The Fat Controller is waiting very impatiently when Thomas arrives. The Fat Controller tells Thomas that their Christmas tree has came and Thomas has to fetch it while Duck watches over Annie and Clarabel. Thomas is very excited and rushes off, collecting the tree safely, but on the way home, crashes into a snow drift and gets stuck. Thomas knows that he must get back in time, and whistles, but can't get out of the heavy snow. Suddenly, an avalanche erupts and buries Thomas and the tree.

Back at the yards, the engine are waiting for Thomas. His delay begins to make them cross. The Fat Controller quiets them down and tells them that snow has knocked the telephone lines down, and they must assume that he is stranded. Everyone now feels sorry, and Donald and Douglas puff away to save him. They soon reach a snow drift much deeper than the rest. A cry for help is heard, but Douglas thinks it's the wind. Hearing the cry again, they realize that they are at the drift where Thomas is buried.

Time passes as the workmen decide to free him. Thomas' driver and fireman, who had taken shelter in a nearby cottage, join the rescue, and Thomas is freed from the snow. Thomas follows the twins home, and arrive just as night falls. The Fat Controller rewards the engines by granting permission to sing carols. The engines happily chuff away to the station. Lights come on, and The Fat Controller declares three cheers for Thomas and his friends.

Harold soon joins the party and drops off Father Christmas, much to everyone's joy. As the carols begin, Thomas tells Percy that it's no fun getting stuck in snow, but it was all worth it for the celebration. Thomas then wishes everyone a Happy Christmas.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name, released alongside the series in 1986.
  • Father Christmas seems to be a dressed up model of the Fat Controller.
  • Stock footage from Thomas, Terence and the Snow is used, as is mirrored stock footage from Thomas' Train.
  • This is the last episode of the following:
  • This is the only Ringo Starr narrated episode to be released in the US without him formally re-recording certain lines. Thus, all lines mentioning the Fat Controller were simply omitted rather than changed to mention Sir Topham Hatt as had been done for Ringo's other US releases.
  • Deleted scenes show that Henry, Gordon and Duck may have been intended to play larger roles in this episode.
  • A deleted scene shows Thomas smiling when he is pulled out of the snow drift.
  • A deleted scene shows Thomas next to Henry and Gordon at Tidmouth instead of BoCo.
  • George Carlin's narration of this episode was never featured on an episode of Shining Time Station. It first appeared on Thomas' Christmas Party and Other Favorite Stories.
  • In the US narration, Thomas says "Happy Holiday" instead of "Happy Christmas".
  • Daisy is the only vehicle introduced in the first 2 seasons that did not appear in this episode.
  • In both Ringo Starr narrations, when Donald and Douglas first hear Thomas yell "Help!", Donald says "Hush" to Donald. In George Carlin's narration, he says "Listen".


  • As Thomas crashes into the snow, he looks more annoyed than surprised.
  • When the engines whistle loudly, Henry and Gordon are smiling and Donald has Edward's cross face.
  • When the narrator says "Then they set off once more to finish their long journey", on the left side of the screen the space between the leaves and the tree is green.
  • In the aerial shot of the station when the lights come on, Bertie is stationary, at the back of the shot and missing a Christmas hat. Not long after there's a close-up of him with Trevor and Terence, now wearing a hat.
  • In the aerial shot of the station, Annie and Clarabel don't have hats on, but later gain them.
  • A wire was used to hold Harold when he lands.
  • BoCo's left eye is scratched.
  • When the narrator says "Everyone cheered and the party began", Thomas was now next to Harold instead of in front of the station. Then, at the end of the episode, he is in his original position again. Edward is also seen in the station instead of in front of the station and Henry, Gordon, and BoCo have disappeared.
  • Donald and Douglas' nameplates are missing in several scenes.
  • In the restored version, a camera tripod is seen when Donald and Douglas set off to find Thomas.
  • When the engines head to the Christmas party, Thomas' head lamp isn't on and the other engines are not wearing head lamps at all.
  • In the restored version, in the shot of Thomas and Percy towards the end, a blue light behind them was covered up. This is likely to be a crew member standing in the background.
  • Thomas' eyes are wonky throughout the episode.
  • In the shot of Bill and Ben with Diesel, Ben's nameplate is loose.
  • While the "'Tis a Gift" VHS features Ringo Starr's US narration with all lines mentioning the Fat Controller omitted, the footage remains unchanged.  As a result, some of the scenes of the Fat Controller appear to be longer than necessary, and one shot of him is shown with no accompanying dialogue.
  • In the overhead shot of the station, Terence's eyes are wonky.
  • When Sir Topham Hatt tells the engines they can go enjoy the carols, Donald and Douglas are missing their nameplates, Donald's left eyebrow (viewers perspective right) is missing, and Thomas' face was crooked.
  • In the overhead shot of the station, none of the trucks next to Annie and Clarabel have faces, but when we see the shot of Trevor, Terence, Bertie, Annie and Clarabel, a truck next to Annie gains a face.
  • When Donald and Douglas set off to rescue Thomas, the Fat Controller was standing by the track opposite them. In the next shot, the Fat Controller has already gotten back to his car on the other side of the turntable long before the twins run round it.
  • Thomas' face moves when he says "Happy Christmas, Percy".


  • The Fat Controller: Quickly, now. Our Christmas tree has arrived just in time! I want you to fetch it, Thomas. Duck can look after Annie and Clarabel until you get back.
  • Thomas: Will we be able to sing carols, too?
  • The Fat Controller: We'll see.
  • Thomas: It would be nice to sing carols again.


  • The Fat Controller: [to the engines whistling impatiently] Silence! Thomas left the works safely but snow has brought the telephone lines down. We must assume he is stranded!


  • Thomas: [in snow] Help!
  • Donald: Hush! I can hear something.
  • Douglas: Probably the wind.
  • Thomas: Help!
  • Donald: No! Listen!
  • Thomas: Over here!
  • Donald: Och! It's Thomas! Come on! The poor wee engine must be frozen to the frames in there!


  • The Fat Controller: [to the engines] As a reward for all your hard work, you may go and enjoy the carols. Be quick now!


  • The Fat Controller: One! Two! Three!
  • [the station then lights up as if it were magic, with decorations and Christmas lights]
  • The Fat Controller: Ladies, Gentlemen, and children! I give you three cheers for Thomas the Tank Engine and all his friends who have made this occasion possible!


  • Thomas: [last line] It's no fun getting stuck in the snow. But it was worth it for this party. Happy Christmas, Percy. Happy Christmas, everyone! (US: Happy Holidays, Percy! Happy Holidays, everyone!)


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Thomas y el Árbol de Navidad Perdido Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
Norwegian Thomas og det bortkomne juletreet Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
Welsh Tomos a'r Goeden Nadolig Thomas and the Christmas Tree
Brazilian Portuguese Thomas e a Árvore de Natal Perdia Thomas and the Christmas Tree was Lost
Italian La Notte di Natale On Christmas Eve
German Der Fehlende Weihnachtsbaum The Missing Christmas Tree
Japanese きかんしゃたちのクリスマス・キャロル The Engine's Christmas Carol
Danish Thomas og det forsvundne juletræ Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
Hungarian Thomas és az Eltűnt Karácsonyfa Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
Dutch Thomas en de verdwenen Kerstboom Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
Chinese 托马斯和失踪的圣诞树 Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
Korean 크리스마스 파티 Christmas Party
Slovenian Tomaž in pogrešana Novoletna jelka Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
Russian Томас и пропавшая ёлка Thomas and the Missing Tree
Ukrainian Томас і зникла ялинка Thomas and the Disappeared Tree
Romanian Thomas şi Bradul Dispărut Thomas and the Missing Tree
Finnish Tuomas ja kadonnut Joulukuusi Thomas and the Lost Christmas tree
Slovak Thomas a zmiznutý vianočný strom Thomas and the Disappearance of the Christmas Tree
Czech Tomáš a zmizelý vánoční strom Thomas and the Vanished Christmas Tree
Swedish Thomas och den Glömda Julgrannen Thomas and the Forgotten Christmas Tree
Polish Tomek i Zaginiona Choinka Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
Thai ต้นคริสมาสหายไป Christmas Tree is Missing

Home Media Releases



DVD Boxsets


  • The Complete Second Series
  • The Deputation and other Stories

DVD Boxsets



DVD Boxsets












DVD Packs