Dirty Work, retitled Diesel's Devious Deed or Diesel's Devilish Deeds in American releases, is the thirteenth episode of the second series.


Diesel, the newest engine on the Island of Sodor, is having a hard time having been made to look silly in front of the trucks, who delight in teasing him. Duck sees what Diesel has gone through and stops the trucks from their joking. Duck apologises for the trucks' behaviour, but Diesel is still furious and accuses Duck of making the trucks laugh at him. The big engines are nearby and, knowing that Duck would never do that, tell Diesel so. Henry reminds Diesel that while he, James, and Gordon have their differences with Duck, they would never tell the trucks about them.

By now, Diesel's hatred of Duck has grown to such a point that he wants him to be sent away and inspired by the engines' words about trucks, makes a plan, for he will tell lies about Duck. Going into the yard the next day, Diesel tells the trucks that he laughed at the joke about him the day before and tells them some about the bigger engines and claims that he heard them from Duck. Before leaving he tells them not to tell the bigger engines he told them. The trucks find these jokes hilarious and laugh at the bigger engines and tell them that they came from Duck in order to get revenge on him for forcing them to behave.

Gordon, James and Henry, believing that Duck was the one who told the humiliating stories about them, hold a meeting and agree that Duck needs to be paid out. They decide that since Duck prevented them from entering the sheds that they will do the same to him. Later Duck returns to the shed after an extremely hard day's work. However, when he tries to get back inside for a rest, the bigger engines instead let off a lot of steam at him. They tell him that, after telling tales about them to the trucks, they no longer trust him and want Diesel to replace him. Duck denies this and an argument ensues, but it is for not long as the Fat Controller arrives to intervene and see what the commotion is. He is told of the bigger engines' accusation against Duck and tries not to laugh. The Fat Controller gives Duck a chance to explain himself and Duck tells the Fat Controller that his only wish at this point is that he had thought of those names himself. Diesel comes forward and when the Fat Controller asks him what he knows, Diesel feigns shock at Duck's "actions," but claims ignorance otherwise.

The Fat Controller apologises to Duck for the inconvenience and says that until he gets to the bottom of the incident that he must go to work with Edward at Wellsworth for a while, while kindly reassuring Duck that Edward will be happy to see him. Duck, beginning to cry, agrees and puffs away, while Diesel smirks with triumph.



  • Tidmouth Sheds
  • Knapford Yards
  • Wellsworth (mentioned)


  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Duck and the Diesel Engine.
  • A reference to Duck Takes Charge is made by the big engines.
  • In the Welsh narration, the trucks singing Pop Goes the Diesel at the beginning of the episode is omitted from the narration.
  • In this episode, Diesel is seen squirming while he is eavesdropping on the argument at the shed, but in a few photos from this episode, he is smirking instead.
  • This is the first episode of a few things for the trucks:
    • This is the first episode to feature Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Vans and GWR Ventilated Vans with faces.
    • This is the first episode to imply tankers and flatbeds are sentient.
  • This marks the last time an engine cries in tears until the 2011 special, Day of the Diesels.
  • In the Welsh version, when Diesel sulks, the trucks are heard laughing at him. Also when Duck apologises to Diesel about the trucks being rude to him, the music cue used when the narrator says, "Diesel lurked up" is used.
  • Unlike all other episodes, the audio for the very beginning of this episode is heard during the last second of the TV series' intro.


  • The truck Duck bumps are being pulled by fishing wire.
  • A pole is lying across the rails in front of Duck and Diesel in a shot.
  • When Henry reminds Diesel, his coupling hook chain is upside down and his pompous/unimpressed face mask has a crack in the left socket.
  • The camera wobbles when James says "Disgusting!" in the yard.
  • The lines at the large yard with the trucks all lead to the brick wall in the background; this means the trucks are trapped in there.
  • When Diesel speaks to the trucks, none of them have faces, but when Diesel sniggers away they do.
  • The lighting subtly changes between Gordon and Henry passing the trucks.
  • When Duck turns on the turntable, the top of his face almost comes loose.
  • When Gordon accuses Duck of calling him a galloping sausage, he has marks on his right cheek and left side of his chin.
  • In the close-ups of Gordon, James and Henry at Tidmouth Sheds, all three are missing their tenders.
  • When Henry passes the trucks, he has a different whistle sound.
  • Throughout the Brendam Warehouse scene, Diesel is missing his eyebrows.
  • When the engines bar Duck from entering the shed, Gordon, Henry and James' eyes are wonky.
  • When the narrator says "Duck was horrified," Gordon can be seen to Duck's left. However, in the following shot, Duck is steaming towards where Gordon, James and Henry are.
  • In Ringo Starr's US narration, during the shed scenes, an odd hissing and squeaking sound can be heard. This is absent on the Better Late Than Never and Other Stories VHS however.
  • When Henry says, "Nonsense! Duck would never do that," part of his left (viewer's right) eyelid is chipped off.
  • When the narrator says "Diesel squirmed and hoped he didn't," Diesel's face is crooked.
  • When Gordon, Henry and James pass the trucks, Gordon's and Henry's tenders fade away.
  • In the scene after Gordon, Henry and James passing the trucks, the truck next to the two laughing trucks is gone.
  • When James says "Keep out!" his face is off-centre from his smokebox.
  • Henry's eyes are wonky when he is on the turntable.
  • When the trucks laugh and the narrator says "' Ha ha ha ha!' guffawed the trucks!" the van furthest to the right of the screen has a crooked face.
  • In the Welsh version, at the shed scene, Ringo Starr's voice can be faintly heard.


  • Ladybird Books - Pop Goes the Diesel/Dirty Work/A Close Shave

In Other Languages

[Hide] View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese A Intriga de Diesel
Chinese 肮脏的工作
Croatian Prljavi Posao
Czech Špinavá Práce
Danish Diesel Laver Balladen
Dutch Een Vuil Zaakje
Finnish Kieroilua
French L'Acte Sournois de Diesel
German Schmutzarbeit
Hungarian Hazugság
Italian Soprannomi
Japanese ディーゼルのわるだくみ
Korean 능청스런 디젤
Norwegian Bakvaskelser
Polish Brudna Robota
Romanian O Treaba Murdară
Russian Прозвища
Serbian Prljave Posao
Slovak Špinavá Práca
Slovenian Umazano Delo
Spanish El Complot de Diesel
Swedish Bakverk
Thai ดั๊กถูกใส่ร้าย
Welsh Bai ar Gam

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


DVD Boxsets


DVD Boxsets







  • Thomas the Tank Engine 4






Latin America

DVD Boxsets




DVD Packs





Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.