Episode Title : Thomas & Gordon | Airing Date : October 9th, 1984
Synopsis : In this episode, we discover the fictional Island of Sodor, where the series takes place, and meet some of our main characters : anthropomorphic steam engines. Thomas, a small steam-engine, loves to brag to and tease Gordon about how hard he works, but strong, powerful, self-important Gordon decides to take him on a ride he’ll never forget.
The episode begins with the narrator describing Thomas as “a cheeky little engine with 6 small wheels, a short stumpy funnel, a short stumpy boiler and a short stumpy dome”. We then learn that Thomas enjoys playing tricks on other engines, especially Gordon who is “the biggest and proudest engine of all” (translation : Gordon is a pretentious asshole who thinks he is better than every other engine on the planet). The narrator then describes Thomas in further details and explains his job. But, you see, Thomas thinks “no engine works has hard as he does”, though he does the same job as a lot of other engines.
Thomas loves teasing Gordon and saying that Gordon doesn’t work as hard as he does. We are informed by the narrator that Gordon is very tired after a hard day of work. What does Thomas do when he sees that Gordon is asleep ? He whistles to wake him up and says “Wake up, you lazy bones ! Do some hard work for a change !”, then goes away laughing. Thomas is far from a great role model for children. There is a difference between teasing people now and then and Thomas harassing Gordon simply because he is a bitter, jealous and mean little engine.
There is another disturbing scene in this episode : Gordon is rightfully annoyed at Thomas and decides to get his revenge. Those are the eyes of a murderer planning his next crime ! The way Gordon looks at Thomas is frightening…I mean, is he plotting to get back at him or tear him apart ?
In the end, Gordon gets his revenge. Thomas is in charge of getting the coaches ready for bigger engines. He helps push the big engines to get them started but is always uncoupled first. This time, Gordon starts very quickly so Thomas doesn’t have time to be uncoupled. Thomas can’t get away as Gordon goes faster and faster. The little engine is quite obviously in pain as he is not as strong as Gordon. This, dear reader, is the child-friendly equivalent of a torture technique used, for example, in the Roman Empire (and many other civilizations) : the victim/accused/culprit was attached to a horse or a chariot and the poor lad was dragged on the ground. Well done, writers !
Disclaimer – None of the comments made in this article are too be taken seriously. This is, obviously, an exaggeration meant to be humorous.