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Thomas and the Special Letter is the twenty-second episode of the fourth season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station special, One of the Family in 1995 and re-aired on the Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales episode, Wish You Were Here in 1996.
After taking his last train of the day, Thomas meets up with Percy and Toby and it turns out that all three engines have been asked to report to the big station after the day's work is done. Thomas thinks something is happening, and is surprised to see BoCo, Mavis, Donald, Douglas, Bill, Ben and Oliver all travel past, also heading for the station; Thomas, Percy and Toby are now very curious and follow the others.
Arriving at the station, Sir Topham Hatt silences the excited engines to tell them he recently received a letter from a five-year old girl who lives in the big city. She writes that she and her friends would like to meet Thomas and his friends and invites him to their local station. Sir Topham Hatt tells the engines that a lot of children would like to meet them so they will give them the chance and the first eight are going to travel to the big city. The engines blow their whistles excitedly again, prompting Sir Topham Hatt to command them to be quiet again. While the eight engines are gone, the rest will all be running the line.
Oliver is due to take charge of Thomas's branch line, and Thomas shows him what to do using some coaches (as Annie and Clarabel will be going with Thomas to the city). Thomas is getting more and more excited and boasts about his race with Bertie however, then makes a huge mistake when he tries to show off but crashes through some buffers, rolls down a hill and smashes through a brick wall. No one is hurt, but Thomas' front is damaged from the impact.
Sir Topham Hatt is called, and sends some workmen to repair Thomas but warns that if they don't get finished in time they'll have to go to the city without him. Thomas is very sad, worried that he's going to miss out on the trip.
The next day at 8:00 AM, the engines are ready to leave (with Percy and Toby traveling on flatbeds) but there is no sign of Thomas yet. The Fat Controller agrees to wait one more minute for Thomas before they must leave. Thankfully Thomas arrives just in time, and the fleet of engines leave for their trip to the city.
Arriving at the city safely, the engines are lined up in a wonderful shed where many children come to meet them. Thomas tells Percy how glad he is that the little girl wrote to Sir Topham Hatt, noting "isn't it wonderful what happiness a letter can bring?"
- Donald and Douglas
- Bill and Ben
- Annie and Clarabel
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Henrietta (cameo)
- Jeremiah Jobling (cameo)
- The Vicar of Wellsworth (cameo)
- Refreshment Lady (cameo)
- Tom Tipper (cameo)
- The Crovan's Gate Policeman (cameo)
- Duke (portrait; cameo)
- Bertie (mentioned)
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Sir Topham Hatt's Office
- Shunting Yards
- Hackenbeck Tunnel (mentioned)
- The Big City (warehouse only)
- Going by production order, this is the twenty-first episode of the fourth season.
- At the sheds, the audio of the engines whistling was reused from The Deputation.
- This episode is based on the story The Fat Controller's Engines from The Railway Series book, The Eight Famous Engines.
- Behind the scenes footage for this episode was filmed for the 1995 documentary The Thomas the Tank Engine Man and it was revealed by David Mitton on the set that the engines were still heading to London like in the book that this episode originated from.
- This is the 100th episode of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.
- A reference to the first season episode, Thomas and Bertie is made in this episode.
- The picture of Duke from Bulldog can be seen in Sir Topham Hatt's office.
- According to a post on Britt Allcroft's Facebook page, this episode partially inspired Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
- The Mainland is referred to as "The Big City" in this episode; this also marks the first brief appearance of The Mainland in the television series.
- Some of the events from this episode were later mentioned in The Great Race.
- Douglas was actually the one who spoke when the narrator said that Donald spoke.
- In Toby's third close-up, his face is loose.
- Annie is facing backwards during the close-up of Thomas' driver.
- When Thomas and Percy first leave Elsbridge, Toby isn't in his siding, but Henrietta is still there. In addition, they went the opposite way when they went to the station, rather than follow the other engines.
- As Henry leaves Elsbridge, one of his bogie wheels is loose.
- In the Big City shed, Percy's cab roof is lifted slightly.
- In the scene of the engines waiting for Thomas, James has a different whistle sound.
- When Thomas went through the buffers, rails were seen on the ground, showing how he moved straight.
- Donald, Duck and Gordon have the same whistle sound and Douglas has a different whistle sound.
- During the panning shot of the engines when Sir Topham Hatt reads the little girl's letter, James and Gordon's eyes are wonky.
- When Thomas starts talking to Oliver, some of the steam from his funnel disappears, indicating a film cut.
- In the American narration, the British term truck is used.
- When James leaves Elsbridge, his eyes are wonky.
- In the close-up of Thomas at Tidmouth Sheds, Percy's right lamp iron is bent.
- In the shot of Thomas going down the embankment, he is seen going through the fence again, only it is already broken in that shot.
- BoCo and Mavis have Daisy's horn sound from the previous episode and the Diesel's horn sound.
- Henry's lamp is not on the lamp iron.
- The overhead shot of the engines in the Big City shed appears to be mirrored, as indicated by the fact that Thomas, Henry and Duck's lamps are on the wrong sides of their fronts and that Toby's bell is on the wrong side of his roof.
- Take Along (discontinued)
In Other Languages
|German||Ein ganz spezieller Brief||A Very Special Letter|
|Norwegian||Thomas og det spesielle brevet||Thomas and the Special Letter|
|Spanish||Thomas y una carta muy especial||Thomas and a Very Special Letter|
|Japanese||トーマスととくべつなてがみ||Thomas and the Special Letter|
|Finnish||Tuomas ja tärkeä kirje||Thomas and an Important Letter|
|Dutch||Thomas en de speciale brief||Thomas and the Special Letter|
|Danish||Thomas og Brevet||Thomas and the Letter|
|Hungarian||Thomas és a Különleges Levél||Thomas and the Special Letter|
|Italian||Una Lettera Speciale||A Special Letter|
|Welsh||Tomos a'r Llythyr Arbennig||Thomas and the Special Letter|
|Slovenian||Tomaž in prav posebno pismo||Thomas and a Special Letter|
|Russian||Томас и специальное письмо||Thomas and a Special Letter|
|Ukrainian||Томас i особливий лист||Thomas and a Special Letter|
|Chinese||托马斯和特别来信||Thomas and the Special Letter|
|Greek||Ένα ξεχωριστό γράμμα||A Special Letter|
|Romanian||Thomas şi Scrisoarea Specială||Thomas and the Special Letter|
|Slovak||Thomas a Špeciálny List||Thomas and Special Letters|
|Czech||Tomáš a Zvláštní Dopis||Thomas and Special Letter|
|Swedish||Thomas och Särskild Skrivelse||Thomas and Special Letter|
|Polish||Tomek i Specjalny List||Thomas and the Special Letter|
|Thai||โธมัสเกือบพาดโอกาสสำคัญ||Thomas is Almost Missed an Important Opportunity|
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