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Just Wild about Harry's Workshop

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"Never beat a Monarch Butterfly in a game of cards - they get angry!"
— Mr. Conductor
JustWildAboutHarry'sWorkshopTitleCard
Just Wild About
Harry's Workshop
Director(s)

Matthew Diamond

Producer(s)

Britt Allcroft
Rick Siggelkow

Writer(s)

Ellis Weiner

Conductor

Ringo Starr

Air date

April 30th, 1989

Previous episode

Finders Keepers

Next episode

Promises, Promises

Just Wild about Harry's Workshop is the fourteenth episode of the first season of Shining Time Station.

Plot

Matt and Tanya arrive and say "hi" to Mr. Conductor. Schemer thinks that the kids are addressing him, so he invites them inside, saying that he needs some design ideas.

Stacy enters the workshop. 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. He produces a memo from the railroad's headquarters acknowledging his proposal to open up a snack bar in the workshop's floor space.

Stacy telephones headquarters and request to speak to J.B. King, Esquire. 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. In addition she defends Harry Cupper and his workshop before abruptly and politely ending the call.

The kids are concerned that Stacy may get fired for speaking like that to her boss, they notice Mr. Conductor appear on the Information Booth and go over to speak to him. Mr. Conductor notices that Stacy is preoccupied with something and asks her about it. Tanya wonders if Stacy 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. He elaborates that 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.

After the tale, Tanya says that she failed to see what the story had to do with explaining yourself to others. Harry ambles into the station and Stacy tries to intercept him before he reaches the workshop, explaining that they have a problem. After she 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. Stacy continues to defend Harry's presence and his workshop at the station; 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 he isn't a bully. 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. 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, 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. Stacy chases after Harry and the drama attracts the attention of the passenger who follows them.

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.

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. 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. Schemer is unmoved by what was just said and dismissively 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 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 that he can use the workshop again. 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.

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. Stacy expresses her thanks to Mr. Flanagan. 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.

Characters

Thomas stories

Percy is excited Sir Topham Hatt is getting a bigger engine to help him out. Montague 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:

Trivia

  • 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".

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Episode

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