Matt and Tanya arrive and say "hi" to Mr. Conductor while he silently watches Schemer work on something in the workshop. After Mr. Conductor tells the kids to be quiet, worried that Schemer might find out what he's doing, Schemer thinks that the kids are addressing him, so he invites them inside, saying that he needs some design ideas. When 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 reveals 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 requests to speak to J.B. King's lawyer, 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, and 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 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 the station's manager kicks Schemer out.
The man breaks his silence to ask Stacy if the jukebox works. Stacy nods "Yes", the man says "good" and 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 believes 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 together. 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 adds 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.
Cast and Characters
- Ringo Starr as Mr. Conductor
- Didi Conn as Stacy Jones
- Leonard Jackson as Harry Cupper
- Nicole Leach as Tanya Cupper
- Brian O'Connor as Schemer
- Jason Woliner as Matthew Jones
- Peter Baird as Grace Bass
- Craig Marin as Rex
- Olga Marin as DiDi
- Alan Semok as Grace Bass
- Vaneese Thomas as Grace Bass
- Wayne White as Tex
- J.B. King (mentioned)
- Thomas (mentioned)
- Henry (mentioned)
- Gordon (mentioned)
- James (mentioned)
- Percy (mentioned)
- Toby (mentioned)
- Duck (mentioned)
- Harold (mentioned)
Percy is the laughing stock of the yard following his signal mishap, until Sir Topham Hatt cheers him up by sending him to help build the new harbour while a bigger tank engine arrives to shunt the yard. The newcomer, Duck (alias Montague), is soon friends with Percy, until Gordon, James and Henry start ordering them about. Duck decides to take action “the Great Western way”, and he and Percy block the paths to the shed, refusing to let the big engines in. Sir Topham Hatt arrives where Duck gives his reasons for their actions, stating that he and Percy will only take orders from their controller, not from the other engines. Sir Topham Hatt understands and is quick to tell the big engines: “This is my railway and I give the orders!”
Percy enjoys working at the new harbour, helping Thomas and Toby bring stone trucks for the men. Close by is an airfield, their noisiest resident being a helicopter. Percy meets the helicopter one day, who introduces himself as Harold. Harold is proud of flying and reckons railways are slow and out of date. Percy is cross, but later on, when he sees Harold flying close by, the pair embark in a frantic race to the harbour. At the last minute Percy thinks they’ve lost, but his Driver spies Harold hovering close by, unable to find a place to land! Percy is declared the winner and his Driver sings a song in his honor.
Jukebox Band Segment Song
- Union Train
Cartoons and Songs
- What Goes Around Comes Around
- Cartoons used in the song:
- Ants in the Plants
- The Little Stranger
- Hunky and Spunky
- The Cobweb Hotel
- Small Fry
- 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" was featured on the VHS release, A Jukebox Lullaby, as well as the cassette tape compilation 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".
- Mr. Conductor tells Duck Takes Charge to Stacy, Matt and Tanya in this episode.
- Mr. Conductor tells Percy Proves a Point to Matt and Tanya in this episode.