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"They like television more than my stories. Maybe I should start telling my stories on TV."
— Mr. Conductor.

Mr. Conductor Gets Left Out is the twenty-first episode of the third season.

Plot

It's a beautiful day today, but the kids can't agree on what to do to spend it. Becky wants to go to a traveling zoo, Dan wants to go to a baseball card show, and Kara wants to go on a canoe ride. Mr. Conductor settles the dispute by suggesting they each go on their respective outing, and meet at the fairgrounds for a story later. Before the kids can set off, Schemer announces to them that he has a special surprise underneath a large orange cover that he wants to show them. The surprise turns out to be three small Pay TVs with over 600 channels. At first the kids are unimpressed, even after Schemer shows them a few channels. However, after a few other channels that appeal to their interests, the kids are suddenly interested. Before long, the kids are hooked to the TVs, much to the dismay of Stacy and Billy. Nothing can distract them, whether it's a humorous goat escape in the train yard, or a famous baseball player arriving at the station. Mr. Conductor manages to temporarily distract them with one of his Thomas stories, but the kids are back to watching TV before he's done and only Billy is next to him, much to his chagrin. He assumes that they like television more than his stories and thinks he probably should start telling them on TV.

As the kids continue to watch TV, Dan takes interest in an advertisement for a toy robot. A second ad claims that the toy robot is available at Barton Winslow's general store, and Dan goes off to order one by using the ticket desk's phone. Then Becky and Kara take interest in an advertisement for a demanding baby doll, also available at the general store, and they go off to order one by using the same phone as the one Dan used. Later, Stacy is shocked when she sees the kids' eyes rolling, so she eventually shuts down the TVs by pulling the plug on them, snapping the kids out of their trance. Now, Becky, Dan and Kara start to set off on their original plans, but Stacy and Billy inform them that the traveling zoo and the baseball card show are now closed, and the canoes have been put away, much to the kids' disappointment.

Finally, the toys that the kids ordered earlier arrive, and they are excited to receive them. However, the toys turn out to be a lot smaller than advertised, and they require foreign batteries to operate, to the kids' further disappointment. However, they decide to make the most of it, by building a fort with the huge boxes that the toys came in, much to Schemer's dismay as they're not watching TV anymore.

Characters

Thomas Story

Bill and Ben are sent to help BoCo at Wellsworth Yard, and tease him as usual. However, they eventually quarrel after a mishap with the turntable and continue to bicker about each other to BoCo. Edward and BoCo make a plan to get the twins back together. When the twins are sent to take BoCo's freight train, they realize their foolishness and are back together.

Jukebox Band song

  • New River Train

Cartoons and Songs

These segments were used on the TV's:

  • Casper The Friendly Ghost - There's Good Boos Tonight (1948)
  • Sudden Fried Chicken (1946)

Trivia

  • This is the last appearance of Barton Winslow. He first appeared in the Season 2 episode Win, Lose or Draw.
  • An edited version of the Shining Time General Store ad from the Shining Time Station home videos is used in this episode.
  • "One Good Turn" was the last story from Season 3 of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends to debut on Shining Time Station. All stories in subsequent episodes of the show would be stories that originally debuted with narration by Ringo Starr.
  • While classic Hollywood cartoons in the public domain were also used as backdrops for Picture Machine and Anything Tunnel songs, when shown on the TV sets, their original soundtracks can be briefly heard.
  • The Pie Face game and Envirobot advertisements seen on the All-Toy Commercial channel were both real products, the former being produced by Hasbro in 1968, the latter by Ideal (under its real name, Robot Commando) in 1959.
  • The "24 Hour Crybaby Channel" scene reuses footage from the Magic Bubble music video "I Can Do It" from Schemer's Alone.
  • For unknown reasons, the person who cameoed as Mel, Barton Winslow's assistant, is uncredited during the closing credits.
  • This is the only episode where Barton Winslow does not have his motorcycle and jacket or act like a "Cool 50s Dude".

Gallery