Down the Mine is the twenty-fifth episode of the first series.
One day while Thomas is waiting at the junction, Gordon, who is in disgrace after recently causing trouble by falling into a ditch, pulls in with some trucks. As soon as Gordon stops, Thomas jokes about him smelling of ditch water. Before Gordon can respond, Thomas leaves with his coaches.
Annie and Clarabel are shocked at Thomas' rudeness, and scold him for it. Thomas is pleased with his clever joke though and heads off to collect trucks at the lead mines, leaving his coaches still in shock. The mine was made a long time ago by miners who dug tunnels under the ground, the roofs of the tunnels are strong enough to hold up trucks but not engines. At the points, there is a "Danger" board warning engines not to enter the area.
Thomas has often tried to pass the board, but has always failed. This time however, he has made a plan. When his fireman leaves the cab to change the points, Thomas bumps the trucks hard and knocks his driver off the footplate allowing him to pass the board. Then he moves over the unsafe rails, which collapse and leave him lodged in a small chasm and feeling very silly.
Then The Fat Controller arrives, having seen everything. After telling Thomas off for his naughtiness, he begins to think about how to get Thomas out. A crane would be too heavy for the ground to support, so he decides to call in Gordon to pull Thomas out. Thomas feels uneasy about this, given how much he laughed at Gordon for his own accident.
Shortly afterwards with a winch attached to his buffer beam, Gordon heads to the rescue feeling much happier after hearing about Thomas' situation. Arriving at the scene, Gordon promises to get Thomas out "in a couple of puffs". A long cable is fastened between them and after a lot of hard work and pulling, Gordon is able to finally get Thomas out of the chasm.
Thomas apologizes to Gordon for his cheekiness earlier. Gordon accepts Thomas' apology and tells him that he found his joke funny. Now both engines are in disgrace, so they agree to form an alliance and help each other in the future. With that, the two engines are coupled together and head back to the shed.
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Gordon the Big Engine.
- The events of this episode directly continue into the fourth series episode, Paint Pots and Queens.
- The events of this episode are also mentioned by Thomas in Percy Takes the Plunge, James in Journey Beyond Sodor, Diesel in Big World! Big Adventures! during the song Where in the World is Thomas? and Thomas in Deep Trouble.
- Furthermore, there is a full-on flashback to this episode in Blue Mountain Mystery. The scene where Thomas falls down the mine was recreated in full CGI.
- Stock footage from Thomas and the Guard and Thomas and Bertie is used.
- When originally broadcast in the United Kingdom in January 1985, it was paired with Off the Rails. Early VHS releases instead pair it with Thomas' Christmas Party, as do Norwegian and Swedish broadcasts.
- Some of the trucks at the mine have "N.E." written on their sides, which is likely a reference to the livery worn by LNER rolling stock (including locomotives) during World War II.
- The buffers on the truck Thomas bumps into are lowered specifically so that Thomas can hit them properly.
- According to Britt Allcroft, this episode and the third series episode, All at Sea are her favourite episodes.
- In the Welsh version, Thomas is not seen bumping the trucks.
- The Korean title of this episode shares the same name as Thomas and Gordon.
- This is one of the few times in the classic series where the Fat Controller is refered to as Sir Topham Hatt in the Latin American dub.
- When Thomas leaves Knapford to go to the lead mines, Thomas' model from the unaired pilot is used.
- Pictures of this episode were used for the end credits section of Mister Moose's Fun Time.
- When Thomas shunts Annie and Clarabel, his eyes look wonky and Annie and Clarabel are missing their names.
- In the sign's close-up, it says: "DANGER: Engines must not pass this board," but when Thomas passes the board, it says: "DANGER: Engines must not pass this point" instead.
- When Gordon and Thomas leave the mine, Thomas' wheels drag along the line for a few seconds before he blows his whistle.
- When the narrator says "But he (Thomas) didn't want to meet Gordon just yet," a small piece of hair is seen on the left side of Thomas' smoke box.
- Thomas' side rods are in different positions both before and after he is pulled out of the mine.
- When Annie and Clarabel say "He's dreadfully rude. I feel quite ashamed," Annie is facing the wrong way.
- Due to reusing footage from the unaired pilot, Thomas' splashers briefly lose their lining.
In Other Languages
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- Tales from the Past Engines Pack (discontinued)
- Thomas and Bertie and Thomas Down the Mine (discontinued)
- Thomas Down the Mine (discontinued)
Home Media Releases
- Further Adventures of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends
- Coal and other stories
- Troublesome Trucks, Coal and other stories
- Bumper Special
- Down the Mine and Other Stories
- Your Favourite Story Collection
- Chases, Races and Runaways
- The Complete Series 1
- Better Late Than Never and Other Stories (Ringo Starr's narration)
- Thomas and His Friends Help Out
- Thomas and His Friends Get Along
- Best of Gordon
- The Early Years (Ringo Starr's UK narration)
- Thomas and Friends Classic Volume 1
- Ultimate Thomas Collection
- Thomas and His Friends Help Out/Thomas' Trackside Tunes Double Feature
- Totally Thomas Volume 2
- Totally Thomas Volume 3
- Best Tales on the Tracks
- Thomas' Useful Stories
- Best of Collection
- Coal and other stories
- The Complete Series 1
- Thomas the Tank Engine Volume 6
- The Complete Works of Thomas the Tank Engine 1 Vol.7
- The Complete DVD Box 1
- I Love Thomas DVD Collection
- Try to Get Along
- Thomas and His Friends Vol. 3
- Toby and the Elegant Men and 4 Other Adventures
- In The Mine
- Lots of Little Helpers