| Just Wild About|
April 30th, 1989
Just Wild about Harry's Workshop is the fourteenth episode of the first season of Shining Time Station.
Mr. Conductor's curiosity is drawn to the sound of Schemer's singing coming from Harry's workshop. He cautiously keeps an eye on Schemer from where he's hidden behind the workshop door as Schemer is taking tape measurements of the back wall. Matt and Tanya arrive and say "hi" to Mr. Conductor who shushes them. Schemer thinks that the kids are addressing him, so he invites them inside, saying that he needs some design ideas. Inside the workshop, Schemer points to the filing cabinet and asks whether he should replace it with a rotating hot-dog wheel or a char-roasted chicken grill. Tanya tells him that he's not supposed to be in her grandfather's workshop, but Schemer retorts that it won't be a workshop for very long.
Stacy enters the workshop looking for the kids and asks Schemer what he's doing there. Schemer boasts that he's the future owner and operator of a full-service snack bar of leisure food that will soon be opening at the station. When Stacy asks what he's talking about, Schemer produces a memo from the railroad's headquarters acknowledging his proposal to open up a snack bar in the workshop's floor space. Stacy is visibly upset and exits the workshop followed by Matt and Tanya.
Stacy telephones headquarters and request to speak to J.B. King, Esquire, just as Mr. Conductor appears carrying a net and wearing a pith helmet. He compliments Stacy for defending Harry's workshop, then sparkles away. On the phone, Stacy insists that Shining Time Station does not need a snack bar even if other stations have one. In addition she defends Harry Cupper and his workshop as being the heart and soul of the station, before abruptly and politely ending the call.
The kids are concerned that Stacy may get fired for speaking like that to her boss, but Stacy says that she doesn't care; sometimes you must stand up for what you believe in. They notice Mr. Conductor appear on the Information Booth and go over to speak to him. He's going butterfly hunting, and mentions that the size of a butterfly for him is comparable to the size of an eagle for them. He plans to play a game of cards with any butterfly he catches before letting it go. Mr. Conductor notices that Stacy is preoccupied with something and asks her about it. She wonders if she should call Mr. King again to explain herself better. Mr. Conductor advises against it, explaining in a roundabout way that she shouldn't try to explain herself too well and to let J.B. King think about what she said to him. The kids are puzzled and Mr. Conductor elaborates by saying that when people know exactly what you mean, it's easier for them to disagree with you. But if they aren't sure what you mean, they can never quite sure whether they disagree with you or not. It reminds him of when Duck the Great Western Engine first arrived on the Island of Sodor, and tells them the story.:
One day in the sheds, Percy is eager to tell a disinterested Gordon and James some news. Both quickly tire of Percy's usual manner and the tank engine tells them that as the work in the yard is getting too hard for him, the Fat Controller is planning to bring a new engine in to help. James is unimpressed, telling Percy that if he worked harder instead of chatting, the yard would be a happier place. Percy then leaves to do his work.
As he works, Percy notes to himself that, since he accidentally reversed at a signal, the larger engines now consider him to be a "silly little engine" and often order him about. Percy wants to teach them a lesson, but does not know how to do it. He then works very hard all day and by the afternoon he is worn out. After bringing the express coaches to the station, he sees the Fat Controller on the platform who notes that Percy looks very tired, which Percy confirms. The Fat Controller cheers Percy up by telling him the new engine is bigger than him and can probably manage the work alone. He then offers to send Percy to help Thomas and Toby on the branch line to help them build the new harbour which cheers Percy up straight away.
Soon the new engine arrives. The Fat Controller asks the engine his name and the engine introduces himself as Montague, but tells the Fat Controller he is often called "Duck" due to his supposed waddle. While he does not believe he has a waddle, he admits to liking Duck better than Montague. With that, the Fat Controller agrees that the new engine will be known as Duck. Percy arrives and the Fat Controller asks Percy to show Duck around.
Duck does his work quietly as he brings coaches to the station, leading Gordon, James, and Henry to decide to boss him about like they do to Percy. Gordon and Henry then start to leave the station on either side of Duck, quacking and blowing steam at him. Percy sees everything and is cross, but Duck just wants to wait until the larger engines get tired of their teasing. Duck then asks Percy if the larger engines boss him about and Percy confirms they do. Duck decides to take charge and put a stop to it and tells Percy what they will do.
That afternoon, the Fat Controller sits at his desk looking forward to having toast for tea. Suddenly he hears a horrible noise coming from the yard and, looking out his window, he sees Percy and Duck blocking the turntable and preventing an angry Gordon, James, and Henry from reaching the sheds. The Fat Controller grabs his hat and rushes to the yard.
At the sheds, Gordon, James, and Henry are furious and start whistling loudly when the Fat Controller arrives and commands silence before demanding an explanation from Duck and Percy. Duck politely explains that, as a Great Western engine he likes to do his work without any fuss but wants the other engines to know that he will only take orders from the Fat Controller. The three larger engines start whistling angrily and the Fat Controller orders them to be quiet again. The Fat Controller then scolds Duck and Percy for their actions and then tells off the larger engines for causing the disturbance and telling them that Duck is quite right that he is the one to give orders, not them. With that, the three engines quickly fall back into line.
Soon Percy is sent to Thomas' line, leaving Duck to do the work alone, something he manages easily.
After the tale, Tanya says that she failed to see what the story had to do with explaining yourself to others. Mr. Conductor agrees then hastily goes off to go butterfly hunting in a field of wildflowers. Schemer exits the workshop and locks the door with a large padlock before heading to his arcade. Harry ambles into the station and Stacy tries to intercept him before he reaches the workshop, explaining that they have a problem. He tells Stacy that they can discuss it inside the workshop and then sternly questions why there's a padlock on the door. After Stacy explains Schemer's plan to him, Harry is livid and confronts Schemer. When Schemer confirms his plans to replace the workshop with a snack bar, Harry storms off.
Just then a man wearing a trench coat and fedora enters the station. He doesn't say a word when Schemer greets him, and only nods to affirm that he's waiting for a train. Schemer invites him to play a tune on the jukebox. As the man heads to the arcade, Stacy continues to defend Harry's presence and his workshop at the station; Harry keeps the station running properly, he helps the passengers and he makes gadgets for Stacy and toys for the kids. Schemer interjects to say that today's railroads do not run on toys, gadgets or stories; they run on cheeseburgers and scrambled eggs. Stacy angrily makes the point that Harry also keeps everything in working order, but Schemer retorts that Stacy can manage that all on her own. Stacy has had enough and as the station's manager, kicks Schemer out.
The man breaks his silence to ask Stacy if the jukebox works. He inserts a nickel and inside the jukebox, the puppets are all arguing about who is right in the snack bar debate. Tito interrupts to remind them that the man is waiting for them to play something. The band refocuses their attention to the task at hand and plays their rendition of "Union Train."
After the song, Tanya suggests that Schemer is a bully for trying to take Harry's workshop away. Stacy explains that although she's been angry at Schemer before, she doesn't think he's a bully. A bully pushes people around who are weaker than they are. Schemer's problem is that he doesn't know how to get along and work with other people. Adding that what goes around comes around; Stacy gives a nickel to the kids to watch a movie about bullying in the Picture Machine.
Harry and Schemer walk into the station at the same time and nearly bump into one another, but carry on without exchanging a word. Schemer announces that he has spoken to his lawyer and that only the railroad’s main office can tell him what to do. An incensed Harry wants to have words with him, but Schemer offers him a piece of candy from his vending machine as a symbol that there are no hard feelings. Schemer is alarmed when his vending machine suddenly begins to malfunction and spit out its contents. Schemer asks Harry to have a look at the machine, but Harry steadfastly refuses. Schemer goes off to find somebody else to repair it while Stacy talks to Harry to say that he should fix the machine anyway as a show of good faith. Harry does not find Stacy's suggestion funny and stomps over to the vending machine. He yanks the machine's plug out from the wall and declares it “fixed.” Stacy chases after Harry and the drama attracts the attention of the passenger who follows behind them out of the station.
Mr. Conductor appears and Tanya tells him that her grandfather is very upset. Mr. Conductor empathizes with Harry, adding that no one wants to be replaced or told they're not useful. Mr. Conductor then tells the story of how Percy felt the same way when he met Harold the Helicopter.
Percy was enjoying working at the new harbour on Thomas' Branch Line. He liked the branch line work rather than shunting for the mainline engines at the big station. Along the branch line was an airfield and Percy would hear the planes flying overhead. The loudest though was a helicopter. Percy complained about the noise it would make.
One day Percy stopped with his train at the airfield. The helicopter was there and they began by introducing each other. The helicopter's name was Harold and it was not long before the two start trading insults. When they finished, Harold flew away and Percy set off for the quarry. Percy found Toby and vented off his feelings about Harold.
On Percy's trip back to the harbour, they hear Harold's unmistakable buzzing. Percy's crew encourage the two to race each other. Percy had never been allowed to go that fast before. The trucks wailed and begged Percy to stop, but it was no use. They had to slow down when they reached the wharf and Percy was sure that they had lost the race. But when the fireman climbed onto the roof of the cab, he could see Harold still looking for a place to land.
In celebration of Percy's victory, the fireman sung a little song about the race. Percy loved it.
After the tale, Tanya says that it's nice that Percy and Harold became friends, but doubts if Harry and Schemer will ever be. Mr. Conductor answers that it'll never come to pass as long as Schemer wants Harry's workshop. He adds that he and Harry are alike; each is a traveling man. The more they travel, the more they like to know that they have one special place somewhere that they can call home. Mr. Conductor then says goodbye and sparkles away when he hears Schemer approaching.
Schemer is furious that a repair man he consulted wants to charge $40 an hour plus parts to repair his vending machine. Stacy returns with Harry, insisting that she won't let Schemer take over his workshop, and that they won't let him be so greedy, insulting and very insensitive to Harry. Schemer is unmoved by what was just said. Stacy tells everyone that it's her job to ensure that the entire station runs properly, and that she has to figure out a way for all of them to work well together. Schemer dismissively says that he doesn't have to take this and goes off to call headquarters.
Schemer is interrupted by a voice telling him that won't be necessary, and we see that it's man in the trench coat. He flashes a badge and introduces himself as P. C. Flanagan, Chief Holdings Inspector for the Indian Valley Railroad. He's been observing the station goings-on and finds it all very interesting. He tells Schemer that he likes his jukebox and asks about his ambitious proposal to open up a café at the station. He also asks to see the letter from headquarters, and when Schemer hands it to him, the Inspector ceremoniously stamps it "null and void" much to Schemer's dismay. He explains that the letter is rescinded and Stacy, Harry and the kids are happy to hear the news. He addresses Harry next, saying that the Indian Valley Railroad is lucky to have a man like him on its payroll and apologizes for everything, adding that the workshop is his for as long as he wants it. Harry is overjoyed and shakes the Inspector's hand in gratitude. The inspector then turns his attention back to Schemer. He compliments his ambitions, but counsels that he needs to have more modesty and exercise more sense.
Harry tells Schemer to unlock the workshop door so that he can retrieve his tools to fix his vending machine. As Schemer removes the padlock, he tells Harry that he's learned something from this misunderstanding; the station doesn't need a snack bar but instead needs someone who can fix arcade machines. Schemer then hands the padlock key over to Harry. Back at the Information Booth, Stacy expresses her thanks to Mr. Flanagan and credits him for saving Harry's workshop. The Inspector says that she should credit herself as the things she said made a lot of sense, and that it was good the she held her ground and stood up for what she believed in. The episode ends with Matt and Tanya hugging Stacy to congratulate her.
- Mr. Conductor
- The Inspector
- J.B. King (mentioned)
- Percy (mentioned)
- Duck (mentioned)
- Harold (mentioned)
Percy is excited Sir Topham Hatt is getting a bigger engine to help him out. Montique A.K.A. Duck the Great Western Engine is the one he’s been waiting for. When he does arrive, the big tender engines start ordering him about. In protest Duck and Percy block the entrance to the shed. Sir Topham Hatt soon puts everyone into their place.
Harold is a helicopter. He thinks railroads are not much use and quite out of date. Percy has something to say to that. Percy with his stone cars makes the trip in record time and beats the helicopter on his old branch line.
Jukebox Band Segment Song
- Union Train
Cartoons and Songs
- What Goes Around Comes Around
- Cartoons used in the song:
- The episode's title is a play on words of a 1921 Broadway song "I'm Just Wild About Harry."
- Harry mentions the "Silver Comet", another engine in the roster of trains working the Indian Valley Railroad.
- The Jukebox Puppet Band's rendition of "Union Train" is featured on the CD complication of "Jukebox Sleepytime Singsongs."
- The song "What Goes Around Comes Around" was released on video as part of "Shining Time Station Singsongs Vol. 1."
- William Duell who played Inspector Flanagan in this episode sadly passed away at the age of 88 in Manhattan on December 22, 2011.
- When Stacy talks to J.B. King on the telephone, the voice is actually a sped-up version of T.S. Elliot reading a few lines from his poem "The Naming of Cats".