|Agree to Disagree|
March 12th, 1989
Agree to Disagree is the seventh episode of the first season of Shining Time Station.
Tanya asks Matt to come play with her and the balloons. Matt kindly turns her down twice saying that he is busy reading a book. Tanya then goes looking for Stacy.
Tanya asks Matt once more to join her, but he gives her a snarky answer. Mr. Conductor appears and tells the kids to keep it down. Tanya tells him she’s upset because Matt isn't interested in playing with her, and remarks that he is very different than her. Mr. Conductor explains that sometimes being different means that we can help each other. He tells the story of how Terrence's differences once helped rescue Thomas when the engine was stuck in the snow.
Stacy comes in and says hello to Mr. Conductor, but the conversation is cut short when Mr. Conductor hears Schemer coming and disappears. Schemer arrives carrying a large stack of cardboard boxes left over from restocking his vending machines. Stacy convinces Schemer to give them to the kids to amuse themselves with.
Stacy notices Matt still intently reading a book and asks him about it. Matt begins to tell her about it when he is interrupted by Tanya's balloon bursting. Stacy sees that Matt is upset and tries to calm the situation by saying that it was simply an accident, but Matt tells her he's finished reading and that he's going to instead build a fort. Stacy suggests that Tanya help him, but Tanya refuses, saying that she intends to build a fort of her own.
Matt begins building his fort out of the boxes. Tanya is working on her own fort, and decides that she needs some music from the jukebox to work by. Inside the jukebox Didi and Tito banter about song selections until Tanya inserts a nickel. They discover that the selected song is "Abilene", which the band begins to perform.
An upset Tanya visits her grandfather in his workshop and explains what is troubling her. He ells her that the trick is to do some things on your own that you want to, but you can still do things together. He uses railroaders as an example. Harry remembers when he was a young engineer on the Mount Cavalier line. One day he had to work with a fellow named Mike who came from Europe and was Tanya's age. He thought Mike disliked him, until it turned out that Mike's English wasn't very good, which made him very shy. In the end, they became good friends.
Outside the workshop, Schemer notices Matt moping and tells him that his depressed attitude will have a negative impact on the arcade's business. He guesses that Matt and Tanya had a disagreement, and offers Matt some advice: play stupid and pretend to not know what she is so upset about. After Schemer leaves, Mr. Conductor walks out to inform Matt that sometimes Thomas and his friends disagree, and reminds him of Thomas’ race with Bertie the Bus, which he tells Matt the story.
Despite Matt prefering to read, Mr. Conductor says that Tanya probably likes to read too, only today she wanted to do something else.
Tanya leaves and approaches Matt, only to change her mind and instead watch a movie in the Picture Machine. Afterward, Tanya looks towards Matt and walks huffily away just as Stacy enters the arcade. Stacy tells Matt that Schemer told her about their argument. He doesn't understand why Tanya doesn't want to do what he likes to do. Stacy explains that it's the difference in people that we like which makes life exciting. Stacy adds that Tanya is entitled to be herself just as Matt is, and that's what fairness is all about.
A bus horn is heard and Stacy leaves to get ready for the passengers. Tanya re-emerges from the workshop just as the balloon man from the party enters the station. Recognizing Tanya, he asks who her friend is, and Tanya introduces him to Matt, but sarcastically adds that he isn't much fun. This angers Matt and the two kids begin to argue. The balloon man intercedes by engaging them in a funny balloon game. The game ends in a tie. As the Balloon man leaves, he notices Matt's book, "The Trans-Con Express," and tells him that the book is one of his favorites. Matt asks Tanya if she wants to read with him which she agrees.
- Mr. Conductor
- Stacy Jones
- Harry Cupper
- Tanya Cupper
- Matthew Jones
- Balloon Man
- J.B. King (mentioned)
- Thomas (mentioned)
- Terence (mentioned)
- Bertie (mentioned)
One autumn day, Thomas meets Terence the Tractor and he teases him about his caterpillar tracks, thinking them ugly. Winter later comes with heavy snow, and Thomas is required to wear his heavy, uncomfortable snowplough. He bumps and bangs all day long, until it needs to be taken off for urgent repair. The following day, the Driver and Fireman find they cannot fix it in time, and Thomas has to do without his plough - much to his delight and relief. But when Thomas runs into a deep snowdrift and gets stuck, he soon finds that both his snowplough and Terence are really useful after all! Terence pulls Thomas free of the snowdrift and Thomas thanks his new friend and his special caterpillars.
Bertie the Bus challenges Thomas to a race to see who‘s the fastest. During the race, Thomas faces obstacles such as stations, signals and a slow start. Bertie, on the hand, has stops, traffic lights and level crossings. When it’s all said and done, Thomas reaches the finish line and wins the race. Nonetheless, Thomas and Bertie become best friends and keep each other very busy.
Jukebox Band Segment Song
Cartoons and Songs
- Mr. Conductor gives Tanya the nickname "Tanya Banya" in this episode.
- The title of Mr. Conductor's book is a play on John le Carre's novel title "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold".
- The song "We Do Things Differently" was released on video as part of "Shining Time Station Singsongs Vol. 1."
- The phone conversation in the scene where Stacy is speaking to J.B. King on the telephone is actually a sped-up version of T.S. Elliot reading a few lines from his poem "Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer".
- The Bend-Ems figure of Schemer is modelled after his appearance in this episode.