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Full episode details for Shining Time Station Season 2 (1991)

Scare Dares

Production #22 (2.01) - First Aired: 1991-NOV-18 (US)
Written by Ellis Weiner
Directed by Stan Swan

Summary by M. Cooper

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Episode Characters/Stars:

  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)

  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)

  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)

  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)

  • Matt Jones (Jason Woliner)

  • Dan Jones (Ari Madger)

  • Tanya Cupper (Nicole Leach)

  • Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)

  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)

  • Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)

  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis: It’s Halloween at Shining Time Station. Matt and Tanya’s cousins Kara and Dan come to visit. Mr. Conductor’s cousin takes up residence. Billy Twofeathers is hired as the new engineer. Dan worries that the others won’t like him unless he’s unafraid, so he tries taking foolish dares to prove himself.

Matt and Tanya (who have grown since their last appearance) are writing to their cousins Dan and Kara about the recent goings on at Shining Time. The station is busier than ever. Harry Cupper was transferred to Fort Farley, so a new engineer named Billy Twofeathers has been hired. Schemer is still his old self, and Stacy has never been happier running the station.

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The events of the Season 1 special "'Tis a Gift" are mentioned. Mr. Nicholas needed help in his workshop after returning to the North Pole, so Mr. Conductor went with him. His cousin, who also goes by Mr. Conductor, has arrived to take his place. According to Tanya, "there's always a Mr. Conductor living here, or else it wouldn't be Shining Time Station."

Dan and Kara come to visit the station just in time for Halloween. Kara appears first with Matt and Tanya in their Halloween costumes. Tanya is a witch, Matt is a king, and Kara is an engineer (as she wants to be one when she grows up). Kara is introduced to Stacy, who gives her a warm welcome. Dan however is not there, so the kids go off to look for him. Dan appears, but without a costume. Stacy encourages him to explore and look for one. Dan looks in on Billy playing a mysterious tune on a carved whistle. Shyly, he hurries away before Billy can notice him.

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Meanwhile, Schemer is getting into the Halloween spirit too by selling pumpkins in his arcade. They're all rotten, so he's painting them orange. Stacy lectures him about his dishonest idea, but Schemer likes to think of it as giving the pumpkins a disguise. To him, the spirit of Halloween is about making money selling costumes and pumpkins and getting free candy. Stacy mutters something, and when Schemer leans in to listen, she yells "BOO!" "Now that's the spirit of Halloween," she says to the easily-frightened Schemer, who has gotten orange paint all over his hands thanks to her joke.

In the Jukebox, the band discusses dressing up in costumes, with Rex and Tex remembering about going as each other one year. They all hurry to their dressing rooms to get into costume.

Mr. Conductor descends from the ceiling dressed as a spider in front of Dan and Kara, mistaking them for Matt and Tanya. When he realizes his mistake, he disappears, saying with a disembodied voice that he's only in their imagination. The kids explain that they're related to Matt, Tanya, Stacy and Harry and have been told all about his stories and magic. Mr. Conductor, now knowing they like stories, trains and magic, properly introduces himself. He's dressed as a spider because he's going trick-or-treating, "here, there and everywhere." Kara asks if the Island of Sodor celebrates Halloween. Mr. Conductor replies that they even have ghosts.

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To explain this, he tells them the story of Percy's ghostly trick on Thomas. He disappears afterwards to go trick-or-treating in the Tropics. Dan boasts that Thomas was silly to be afraid of ghosts. This makes Kara think that nothing scares him.

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Midge Smoot arrives and asks Stacy if she's heard about anything lately. She's been visiting her sister in Doodlehaven and wants to catch up on the latest gossip. Stacy tells her that "Every day is a different story," leaving her wondering what the story is and who's telling it. She sets down her hat on the ticket counter and runs off to look for a story.

Kara, wanting to see if Dan really is unafraid of anything, dares him to snatch a banana off Midge's hat. Wanting to prove himself, he sneakily places it amongst Schemer's rotten pumpkins. An hour later, Midge realizes the banana is missing. Schemer discovers it among his  pumpkins and attempts to eat it. Believing Schemer took it, Midge angrily snatches it away from him. Schemer blames the kids for stealing it and Midge scolds him, telling him to pick on someone his own size. He stoops down to her level, and she bops him on the head with the banana.

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Kara and Dan are busy hanging streamers along the bench in front of the signal house mural. Kara tells Dan he could have gotten into trouble for stealing the banana. Dan protests she made him do it, but she replies he didn't have to. As she goes off, Mr. Conductor appears outside his front door dressed in a kilt. He asks Dan if he's found a costume yet. Dan recalls that Stacy told him he could find one around the station, but so far he hasn't found anything yet.

Mr. Conductor replies that ideas have a way of coming from least expected places. He then introduces Dan to the mysterious Anything Tunnel in the mural, which plays an animated music video about secret fears and kids who like to tease others by daring them to do things.

 

Dan protests that people won't like him if they know he's afraid. Mr. Conductor replies that he likes him anyway, and admits he was afraid of both him and Kara until he got to know them. Dan, confused, says that Mr. Conductor didn't have to be afraid of him. Mr. Conductor replies he knew he didn't have to be, and he isn't afraid now, but he still was. As a final joke, he plays a loud tune on his bagpipes as he disappears.

Later that evening, the kids arrive at the station for trick or treating. Kara introduces Stacy to her friend Becky. Dan still hasn't appeared, so Becky and Stacy go look for him at the front of the station. Mr. Conductor appears dressed as a cowboy. He's running late for trick or treating in Abilene, Kansas, because he stopped by the Island of Sodor to visit Percy. The little green engine was frightened from buffer to buffer. When Tanya asks what he was afraid of, Mr. Conductor tells the story of how Percy thought he saw a dragon. Afterward, Mr. Conductor explains that everyone gets afraid, even engines. Then he sparkles away singing about Abilene.

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Stacy and Becky return with Dan, who still doesn't have a costume. Matt asks if he's afraid of missing trick or treating. Kara replies Dan told her he wasn't afraid of anything. She dares him to open Billy's desk drawer to prove he isn't afraid. As he goes inside Billy's office, Billy himself appears, causing the other kids to run outside.

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When Billy asks Dan why he's in the workshop, Dan admits he went in on a dare. Wisely, Billy tells him that one can get into a lot of trouble taking dares. Billy unlocks the desk drawer and pulls out the wooden flute. Reassuring Dan it's nothing to be scared of, Billy plays a simple tune on it. Billy then tells Dan about his Native American tribe where it's a tradition for a man to carve a flute and make his own special song, which he plays for the woman he wants to marry and to their children as a lullaby. He gives the flute to Dan, but he can only make faint sounds, causing them both to laugh. Billy tells him music can turn sorrow to happiness, and then helps him come up with a costume.

Meanwhile, Schemer feels uneasy in the dark, quiet station, so he puts a nickel in the Jukebox. The band doesn't play immediately, as they are admiring Didi's ghost costume. Schemer tries shaking the machine, but causes a Jack O'Lantern on top of the Jukebox to fall on his head. The band plays "Midnight Special," but flee in terror when "Didi" is revealed to be an actual ghost!

The kids return to the station, only to be frightened by Dan in his new costume. When asked if he wants to do one more dare, he says he's done taking dares from anyone. Schemer suddenly appears frantically trying to get the pumpkin off his head. This scares the kids away. When he finally gets the pumpkin off, he nonchalantly puts it on the ticket counter, calling Halloween "baby stuff" that he's far too dignified for.

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Suddenly, the pumpkin begins eerily glowing, causing him to run away screaming. Mr. Conductor appears from behind the pumpkin laughing, congratulating himself on his well-played trick.

Episode Morals:

  • Everyone is afraid of something.

  • Taking dares only leads to trouble.

  • Meeting someone new can be scary, but you should still try getting to know them.

 

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:

  • Midnight Special

Featured Anything Tunnel Song:

  • "What Am I Afraid Of?"

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Stories:

  • Percy's Ghostly Trick (Ghost Train)

  • Thomas, Percy and the Dragon

Episode Notes:

  • For Halloween, the Jukebox Puppet Band dresses as Zorro (Tito), a princess (Grace), Robin Hood (Tex and Rex), and Carmen Miranda (Didi)

  • This is the first appearance of George Carlin as Mr. Conductor. The first Mr. Conductor (as played by Ringo Starr) went off to help Mr. Nicholas at the North Pole in the Christmas Special “’Tis a Gift’.

  • This is the first appearance of Tom Jackson as Billy Twofeathers, who replaces Harry as the resident station engineer.

  • This is the first appearance of Erica Luttrell as Kara and Ari Magder as Dan. They are both Tanya and Matt’s cousins in the show.

  • This is the first appearance of Danielle Marcot as Becky.

  • This is the first episode to use a story from Series 3 of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. "Percy's Ghostly Trick" is also the first story narrated by Carlin that was originally told by Ringo Starr. 

  • This is the first time the window behind the ticket booth is shown from the outside.

  • The song "What am I Afraid of?" was released on video as part of "Shining Time Station Singsongs Vol. 1."

  • This season features a new series opening with a larger purple font for the credits and illustrations of a bird and butterfly and the sign "Welcome to Shining Time Pop. 5,007 give or take". The new closing also features the sign "You're leaving Shining Time. Come back soon."

Oh, what a Tangled Web

Production #23 (2.02) - First Aired: 1991-NOV-19 (US)
Written by Sean Kelly
Directed by Stan Swan

Summary by J. Gratton

Episode Characters/Stars:

  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)

  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)

  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)

  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)

  • Dan Jones (Ari Madger)

  • Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)

  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)

  • J.B. King (Mart Hulswit)

  • Felix Perez (Aurelio Padron)

  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis:  Everyone gets the acting bug when Felix Perez anticipates the arrival of a new actor for his Shining Time Stars Community Theater. Dan and Kara blur the lines between acting on stage and pretending in real life which results in lies and deception. They convince Becky that they have important jobs at the station which leads to trouble when Schemer then blackmails Dan and Kara into becoming his 'personal assistants' using the fear of Stacy and Billy finding out against them. Mr. Conductor then has to work hard to convince them to tell the truth and that you don't need to tell lies in order to impress someone.

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J.B. King is intently searching for Mr. Conductor inside the station and calling out for him, going as far as using his authority as Indian Valley Railroad Superintendent to order him to reveal himself. Mr. Conductor does appear above Mr. King as he's looking for him beneath the waiting room bench. Mr. Conductor vanishes as Stacy and the kids emerge from the workshop and Stacy is surprised to find Mr. King in that position.

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Mr. King regains his composure and tells her that his inspection revealed that the station is mice-free. He informs her that the Sunset Flyer has been rerouted and won't arrive until the next day, and that he had decided to drop in to inspect the station. Stacy reassures him that everything is in good hands as the sound of a bus horn is heard. As J.B. King leaves the station, he bumps into bus driver Felix Perez who apologizes in Spanish and receives the same from the superintendent.

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After exchanging greetings, Felix is disappointed to learn that there are no passengers needing a ride into town. He asks if anyone special got off the Sunset Flyer, and Stacy tells him that the train has been delayed until tomorrow. When Dan asks if he was expecting someone, Felix reveals that he was waiting for an actor who'll add a touch of realism in his new play. Dan is puzzled and asks his aunt if Felix is either a bus driver or an actor. Stacy replies that Felix is indeed a bus driver, an actor and also a director. Felix chides her for never coming to audition for one of his plays. Stacy bashfully doesn't want to discuss it and returns to her ticket desk.

Felix asks Dan and Kara to envision a marquee with the words "The Shining Time Stars Community Theatre presents Stacy Jones and Felix Perez in Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare." Felix dashes over to Stacy's desk and on bended knee recites a few of Romeo's lines from the play. Stacy begins to answer the next few lines as Juliet, then realizes that she was caught up in the moment and playfully slaps him, saying that working at the station doesn't give her enough free time to act any more.

Felix insists that Stacy would be perfect as Juliet just as he is to play Romeo. Schemer comes in boasting that be has real acting talent and was born to play Romeo. He misquotes a few lines from Shakespeare's Richard III: "Some horseradish, some horseradish. My kingdom for some horseradish". Felix tries to tell him that those lines come from a different play, but Schemer is unapologetic. As he leads Felix away, Schemer asks when he'll be able to start and how much money he'll get, then adds his demands for his own dressing room along with a personal assistant.

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Stacy interrupts by asking Felix for a ride into town to buy some wood polish. She shouts out to Billy that she's going to town and asks the kids to stay with Billy and to answer the telephone if it rings. As she and Felix leave, an exasperated Schemer exits by the platform entrance.

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Dan wonders if it would be fun to act in a play, and Kara adds that Stacy used to be an actress and found it hard. Dan disagrees, thinking that acting is nothing but pretending. He spies Becky coming into the station and Kara suggests that they fool her by acting as if they had real jobs. Becky greets her friends and asks them if they want to come out to play. She's left puzzled when Dan addresses her as a "young lady" in a different tone of voice. Kara explains that Dan is under a lot of pressure as the Assistant Manager at the station.

Unbeknown to them, Schemer is listening to this exchange through the station window. When Becky expresses her doubts to Kara, Dan tells her that it's not the proper way to talk to the Assistant Engineer. Dan and Kara suddenly have a cool attitude towards Becky when she still expresses her doubts about their jobs. As her friends ignore her, Becky adds that she's having a big party that evening with all of her friends and that there will be lots of treats. Her house is small, and she'll need a lot of space for the party. Dan offers her the station to host her party. When Becky doubts that she'd ever get permission to have the party at the station, Dan interjects by giving her permission as the Assistant Manager. Mr. Conductor appears behind Becky gesticulating to Dan and Kara before vanishing again as she thanks them.

Dan answers the telephone and speaks to J.B. King on the line. Dan introduces himself as his new Assistant Station manager as Schemer listens in disbelief at the station's archway. J.B. King tells Dan to pass on the news to Stacy that the Sunset Flyer is back on schedule and to update the timetable accordingly. Hearing Dan speak to Mr. King convinces Becky that they indeed have real jobs, and since she doesn't have one she informs them that she's leaving to write invitations and will have to get back to them later about the party.

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Kara realizes that they've created a mess by letting Becky believe that they have real jobs and has been given permission to have her party at the station. Dan hopes that Becky will forget just as Schemer announces that Becky might but he won't as he mocks their job titles. The kids tell Schemer that they'll do anything if he doesn't tell on them. He then recruits them as his personal assistants, and won’t tell on them as long as they play along. Schemer gives Kara a rag to polish the arcade machines, and equips Dan with a feather duster to dust his shoes.

Inside the jukebox Rex and Tex get into an argument about lying by claiming that one of them never lies. Tito interrupts the arguing by suggesting that Rex and Tex go "lie" down, and begins cackling at his pun.

Mr. Conductor appears dressed in naval gear to inform the kids that he's off to sail in the regatta on Swan Lake. He asks the kids if they can take a break from cleaning to listen to a story, and Kara replies that they can since Schemer is nowhere to be seen. Mr. Conductor tells them that the story will interest them and goes into how Diesel made up stories to get Duck into trouble. Mr. Conductor tells them afterwards that Sir Topham Hatt did not believe any of Diesel's lies and brought Duck back to make a happy ending.

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Kara says that there is a big difference between telling lies to get someone in trouble compared to only pretending. Mr. Conductor counters that convincing Becky that they had jobs got them into trouble anyway. The kids are ashamed and Kara asks if he can use his magic to make the lie go away. However, he cannot help them and counsels them to use their own magic by telling Billy and Stacy the truth, and disappears.

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A hand rings a tiny bell and Schemer is seen laid out in a deck chair sipping drinks and ordering Dan and Kara about in an posh British accent. He's in the mood for music and orders Kara to play a song on the jukebox using her last nickel. Inside the jukebox Didi leads the band to sing a rousing rendition of "Mama Don't Allow".

As Schemer snores away in his deck chair, Mr. Conductor appears complaining that the swans prevented him from putting his boat in the water to join the regatta. He asks the kids if they've spoken to Stacy and Billy yet, but they haven’t had a chance to. Mr. Conductor asks the sleeping Schemer to roll over out of earshot as he tells them the story of how James' boastful made-up stories were eventually found out. At the end of the story, Mr. Conductor tells them that it will work out for them too, but suddenly sneezes and disappears in a cloud of gold dust. as Stacy and Billy come into the station.

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Stacy scurries to put on her Stationmaster cap just as J.B. King rushes in asking if the Sunset Flyer has arrived yet. Billy and Stacy are confused and still believe the train wasn't going to arrive until the next day. J.B. King informs them that he left a message about the change two hours ago with the new Assistant Station Manager Dan Jones. Stacy and Billy call the children over and Billy points out Dan to a surprised Mr. King. Stacy asks Dan to explain himself and he and Kara sheepishly confess to the game they were playing to fool Becky. Stacy tries to calm J.B. King down by reassuring him that everything is under control, just as J.B. King hears and notices Schemer asleep in his deck chair.

Mr. King marches over to demand an explanation, only to have Schemer ask in his British accent for J.B. to scratch his foot for him. Schemer realizes who he's speaking to and leaps to attention and tries to explain it as a managerial retreat for important business people such as himself and Mr. King. An infuriated J.B. King bellows at Schemer to put a sock in it. He summons Stacy to tell her that the only thing under control in the station is his temper, and leaves in a huff. Stacy then looks down on the kids with disappointment.

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Later, Dan is explaining everything to his aunt and Stacy explains that there's a big difference between acting on stage and pretending in real life. She tells him that he'll have to inform Becky that the party is off. Dan thinks that Becky will hate him for deceiving her, but Stacy disagrees, explaining that Becky likes Dan and Kara because they're her friends and not because they have important jobs at the station. Dan apologizes and gives his aunt a hug, while Stacy comments that his problem is that he's too good of an actor.

Meanwhile inside the workshop, Kara confesses that she only wanted to feel like a grown-up engineer would. Billy tells her that a real grown-up engineer would always tell the truth and ask for help, and recounts a cold winter when he had to throw the switch for the Highball Express, but it was frozen solid and would not move despite his efforts. He wired head office for help and they advised him to put hot coals around the switch to thaw it out, and he managed to switch the track just as the train roared through.

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Billy tells the impressed Kara that if he hadn't called for help, there would've been an accident. Billy then looks at the time and tells Kara that she should go home for dinner.

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Kara, Dan and Becky converge at the ticket counter and begin to apologize to one another at the same time. Becky confesses that she made the story up about having a party because it seemed Dan and Kara didn't have time for her. Dan and Kara admit that they were only pretending to have jobs. They all realize that they believed one another's deceptions when they hear Sunset Flyer's whistle indicating its arrival. Felix, Schemer and J.B. King enter the station with Schemer eagerly anticipating the arrival of his co-star. When Schemer asks Felix for a reminder about the character he'll be playing, Felix tells him that his character's name is McDonald who has a farm as Schemer beams with delight.

Felix tells Schemer to wait as he goes to get his co-star from the platform. Mr. King has a bouquet of flowers to present to the co-star just as we see Felix leading a squealing pig into the station and introduces a shocked Schemer to his co-star as Stacy and the kids laugh. J.B. King compliments the pig and offers the flowers to it. The kids ask Felix why he has a pig in his play. Felix replies that the performer needs to convince the audience that they are what they are pretending to be. Stacy jokingly comments that the kids are all good at doing that. Schemer begins to rehearse his lines with his porcine co-star and the episode concludes with Schemer trying to get the pig to repeat "E-I-E-I-O."

Episode Morals:

  • Making up tales to deceive or impress people will only result in getting you in trouble.

  • Real friendship does not require you to try and impress one another.

 

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:

  • Mama Don't Allow

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Stories:

  • Diesel's Devious Deed (Dirty Work)

  • No Joke for James

Episode Notes:

  • This episode reveals that there's a "Shining Time Stars Community Theatre" in town.

  • Mr. Conductor reveals another local Indian Valley landmark: Swan Lake

  • The camera angles used for the Jukebox Puppet Band performance in this episode are interesting as they give the viewer the perspective of looking at performers on an elevated stage.

  • The episode's title is often mistakenly attributed as being a line by Shakespeare. The line was actually written by Sir Walter Scott in 1808 for the poem Marmion. The relevant lines from the poem reads "Oh what a tangled web we weave; When first we practice to deceive."

  • This is the first appearance of Felix Perez, owner and operator of the Perez Pronto Bus Company.

  • When Dan receives a call from J.B. King, the voice heard on the other end is actually sped-up audio from a scene between Stacy and Harry from Promises, Promises (see Season 1: Promises, Promises Episode Notes).

The Magic is Believing

Production #24 (2.03) - First Aired: 1991-NOV-20 (US)
Written by Brian McConnachie
Directed by Stan Swan

Summary by J. Gratton

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Episode Characters/Stars:

  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)

  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)

  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)

  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)

  • Dan Jones (Ari Madger)

  • Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)

  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)

  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

  • Amazo (Keith Knight)

  • Jake Scoop (Albert Schultz)

Episode Synopsis: When Billy's old magician friend, Amazo the Great, visits Shining Time Station, it's painfully evident that he's lost his confidence to perform magic. Meanwhile, Jake Scoop, a reporter from the Indian Valley Gazette hangs around the station looking for a big story as the kids and Billy help Amazo get his "magic" back.

The episode opens with Dan and Kara watching Mr. Conductor playing paddle-ball inside a cardboard box. He claims to have once done 500 paddles in a row until the elastic band broke and the ball flew into his aunt Lily's spaghetti. Mr. Conductor encourages the kids to play paddle-ball on their own, and all three friends become engrossed in the game.

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Stacy notices a stranger looking around the station who introduces himself as Jake Scoop, new ace reporter for the Indian Valley Gazette. He’s at the station on a hunch that there will be an important news story happening there that day. Hearing that, Dan tries to impress Jake with his paddle-ball skills, but the reporter tells him that it’s not newsworthy enough compared to the big story that he's looking for. Kara asks Jake what he’s referring to by saying “big story.” He explains that it’s something extra that makes a story alive and exciting, or something that people didn’t know about.

Kara offers Mr. Conductor as an example, and when asked, Dan explains that he’s a little man playing paddle-ball in the cardboard box in the arcade. Not seeing anyone, the reporter asks Dan just how “little” Mr. Conductor is. Dan indicates that he’s about 18 inches tall. An incredulous Jake shows him the correct stature of a little man, and that someone the height Dan described can only be a baby. Jake asks Dan if there is a baby in the box playing paddle-ball, and Dan answers truthfully that there isn’t! Jake is disappointed saying that he may have been mistaken to think that there would be a good story at the station. As he leaves, a passenger carrying a suitcase enters the station from the platform followed closely by Billy Twofeathers.

Billy and the passenger recognize one another and after exchanging greetings, is introduced to Stacy and the kids as Billy's old friend, Kevin Knowles, also known as the world-famous magician “Amazo the Great.” The kids and Stacy ask him to show them a magic trick, but he declines saying that he's just passing through on a long journey home. The children, however, persist until he gives in, and Kevin retrieves a pair of magic Chinese linking rings from his case. He announces that the separate rings will be magically linked together on the count of three.

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When neither his first and second attempts work, the kids snicker with Kara commenting that he’s awful. Billy senses his friend’s embarrassment and ends the demonstration by offering to show Kevin around the station.

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Stacy chides the kids for laughing at Amazo, but Dan counters that he couldn’t actually do magic. Stacy asks if they ever failed an attempt to do something, and if anyone laughed at them. They reply that they have with Kara adding that although she hated it, Kevin is a grown-up. Stacy explains that grown-ups have feelings too as she leads them towards the jukebox. Inside, Didi comments how sad Kevin was and this inspires Tito to suggest using their own magic to lift the man’s spirits, and play “Nine Hundred Miles.”

Inside the workshop, Kevin confides to Billy that he lost his ability to do magic ever since he made a mistake on stage and the audience laughed at him. He’s now afraid to face an audience out of fear that they’ll laugh at him again, just as the children did. Billy tries to reassure his friend by saying that the people were making him nervous and perhaps he was trying too hard. Billy then performs a magic trick of his own; making a coin vanish, then reappear from behind Kevin’s ear. Kevin asks him how he did it, and Billy reminds his friend that he taught him the trick.

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In the arcade, Becky joins Dan and Kara and asks them why they look so glum. When they explain that they hurt a magician’s feelings, Becky firmly states that she does not believe in magic or magician parlor tricks. Mr. Conductor’s voice is heard asking if she really doesn’t believe in magic. Becky is surprised and asks Kara how she was able to change her voice as she tries to find its source when we hear Mr. Conductor repeat the question. This frightens Becky until Mr. Conductor reveals himself in the cardboard box.

Believing him to be a battery-operated doll, Becky is shocked when he dodges her grasp and yells at her to stop as she reaches out to grab him. Mr. Conductor introduces himself to the now convinced Becky who asks if he’s a magician like the one in the station. Kara adds that Amazo is not very good, but Mr. Conductor defends him by saying that they shouldn’t give up on people just because they slip up now and then and wonders what would have happened to Edward if they did that. He elaborates by telling them the story of “Old Iron” Edward and afterwards tells the “new-timers” not to sell the “old-timers” short as they still have a few tricks up their sleeves, as he magically pulls out his paddle-ball from his own sleeve and disappears.

The kids begin to rethink their opinions about Amazo, and Kara repeats what Billy said about him being a great magician while Dan wonders if he was simply tired. When they see Jake looking around the station again looking for a big story, they tell him that a great magician is visiting the station and point to him standing nearby. Jake immediately recognizes Amazo the Great and bluntly asks him if he’s back because something went wrong. Kevin is unsure what to answer when the kids come to his aid by saying he’s the greatest magician there is.

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Jake suggests that he prove it by putting on a show for the townsfolk. Kevin politely declines saying that he’s not ready. Jake asks if he has a case of stage fright, and the kids come to Kevin’s defence once more by saying that it'll be the best show ever seen, and that he can make the impossible happen. Jake likes the idea and plans to spread the word about the upcoming magic show and tells Kevin that he could be the next big story as he leaves.

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Kevin notices the kids rifling through his suitcase and shouts at them to be more careful with his magic props. They apologize and Becky asks if he can teach them how to do a magic trick. With Dan as an assistant, Amazo pulls out a red silk handkerchief asking him what color the sky is. When he answers "blue," Amazo pulls on the handkerchief and it suddenly changes from red to blue before reverting it it back to its original color. He shows Dan how the trick was done; the handkerchief is red with a hidden blue lining that when turned inside out, makes it appear to magically change colors. With his mood lifted, Amazo leaves the kids telling them to practice their new trick.

Mr. Conductor appears inside of Amazo’s top hat, and Becky asks him if he'd be able to help Kevin with his magic in case something goes wrong during the show. Mr. Conductor expresses his surprise at her request and tells her to have faith in Kevin - if he believes that he can do it, he will. Mr. Conductor asks if they remember what happened to Edward and tells them how Edward's crew had faith in him and encouraged himself to pull an important train despite a mechanical problem. After the story the kids are glad for Edward, but are still concerned about Amazo needing Mr. Conductor's help. Before he vanishes, Mr. Conductor retorts that Amazo has enough magic inside of him if only they give him confidence by believing in him.

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On the night of the show, many people are entering the station and taking their seats. Stacy notices Jake Scoop and asks if he’s going to write a report on the show. Jake replies that he has a feeling that Amazo will be a failure, but Stacy tells him that a big part of magic is to believe in it, then asks if he believes in magic himself. Jake replies that he only believes in what he sees. Stacy advises him to watch the show as it is about to begin and takes her seat.

The kids are seated in front with Kara holding a large cardboard box on her lap. She reveals that Mr. Conductor is hiding in the box ready to help Amazo out if he's needed. The show opens to applause and Schemer tries to warm up the audience by asking a riddle: What is green, has six legs and if it drops from a tree on your head, it'll squish you like a bug. Schemer is about to reveal the answer when Becky replies correctly, “a pool table". Schemer becomes impatient when Dan asks if Becky won anything for guessing the correct answer. Schemer counters that he’s only trying to tell jokes as the audience begins to get aggravated.

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Billy watches what’s unfolding from the workshop doorway and pops back in to tell Kevin that it’s time to see some real magic. Kevin tells his friend that he can’t go through with it. Billy encourages him by confiding that he has a gift to share with people, and that they will believe in magic when they see him perform. As he helps Amazo put on his cape, Billy counsels him to not think about the audience but to concentrate on his magic.

Schemer introduces Kevin with great fanfare as the Great Amazo. As the magician makes his way to the front of the audience, Becky thanks him for showing them how to do the handkerchief trick and boosts his confidence by telling him that he can do real magic. Kara says that they still have Mr. Conductor ready to help out, but when Becky peeks into the box, the kids are shocked to discover that it’s empty as the show begins. Amazo performs the Chinese ring trick with perfection by locking and unlocking them. He continues to astound his audience with other magic tricks as Jake looks on intently. For the show’s finale, Amazo conjures up a rabbit to appear in a pot.

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The following day, Stacy is excited as she runs into the station telling everyone that there’s a story about Amazo’s performance in the Indian Valley Gazette, and begins to read the article out aloud: "People fortunate enough to be at Shining Time Station yesterday evening were treated to the rare talents of a world-class magician.” Billy interrupts to add that everyone’s belief in him helped Amazo believe in himself, and reveals that Amazo has already been booked for another show at Lucy’s Leap. Schemer, thinking only of himself, impatiently asks Stacy if anyone else was mentioned in the article.

Stacy scans and finds a reference which she reads out: "an otherwise perfect evening was almost ruined by a snarly man who yelled at us to be quiet and kept wanting us to give him money." As Billy grins, Schemer wonders deadpan who the article is referring to as the kids laugh and point at him. Billy tells Schemer that he has something to make him feel better, and pulls a coin out from behind Schemer's ear. Schemer is dumbfounded and asks Billy to get more money out of his ear, but under the condition that anything found belongs to him. Billy looks into Schemer's mouth with a look of concern. The episode ends as Billy begins pulling out an endless string of colored chains out of Schemer’s mouth as Stacy and the kids break out in laughter.

Episode Morals:

  • Believing in someone helps the person believe in themselves.

  • When you believe in yourself, you can accomplish just about anything.

 

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:

  • Nine Hundred Miles

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Stories:

  • Old Iron

  • Edward's Exploit

 

Quotes of Note:

  • Mr. Conductor: If you believe in somebody, believe in them all the way.

Episode Notes:

  • Another member of the Conductor Family is named in this episode: Mr. Conductor's Aunt Llily.

  • This is the first time Becky is introduced to Mr. Conductor.

  • This is the first appearance of reporter Jake Scoop, who writes for the main news source in the show, The Indian Valley Gazette.

Win, Lose, or Draw

Production #25 (2.04) - First Aired: 1991-NOV-21 (US)
Written by Jill Golick
Directed by Stan Swan

Summary by J. Hunter

Episode Characters/Stars:

  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)

  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)

  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)

  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)

  • Dan Jones (Ari Madger)

  • Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)

  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)

  • Barton Winslow (Gerry Parkes)

  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis: It’s the day of the Indian Valley Coloring Contest, and Becky is beginning to feel jealous of how good Kara’s drawing is compared to hers. But with Mr. Conductor’s and Billy’s help, Becky soon learns some important lessons about jealousy, pride, practice, and cheating. And during all this, Schemer tries to win the contest by using a special kind of ink that he took from Billy. But when Billy reveals that it’s not what Schemer thinks it is he learns about cheating the hard way.

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Barton Winslow, owner and proprietor of the local general store, stops by Shining Time Station to deliver crayons and paper for Kara, Dan, and Becky, as well as entry forms for the Indian Valley Coloring Contest. Schemer pops in and comments that Barton is giving stuff away, to which Barton replies that everything has already been paid for by the kids. While Stacy thinks the kids should have stopped by the store to pick up their purchases, Barton reveals that the store will be closed for the day because he is going to compete in a motorcycle race.

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Just as he leaves, the kids arrive and collect their crayons and paper. As they start drawing their entries for the contest, Billy Twofeathers stops by and shows them something he just acquired; a bottle of ink. It’s a special kind of ink that, as Billy puts it, does something “magical” whenever you write with it. Billy says nothing more, however Schemer overhears and the conversation and his curiosity about this magical ink is piqued.

After that, Kara shows Becky the picture she’s drawing of Billy and asks what she thinks of it. When Becky says that she thinks it’s alright, Kara asks to see what she’s drawing. Becky replies her drawing’s not ready. She then walks over to the ticket counter and proceeds to tear up her drawing.

At that same moment, Mr. Conductor appears and comes across Becky’s torn up picture. Wishing to see what it was, he magically repairs it, revealing a drawing of Stacy. Becky, however, is still upset and thinks that Kara might be cheating. Mr. Conductor thinks Kara should be reported to the contest judges, but Becky says she isn’t sure Kara is cheating. Asking why Becky would say something like that about a friend, Mr. Conductor tells her the story of what happened when Thomas and Percy said things they didn’t really mean about each other.

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Afterward, Becky concedes that Kara’s not cheating, but she still thinks that her picture is not good enough, and that the only way she could win would be by magic. She begins imploring Mr. Conductor to make her an even better picture using his magic. Mr. Conductor is hesitant at first, but then finally gives in and uses his gold dust on another piece of paper, which becomes an stunning portrait of Stacy, much to Becky’s pleasure.

Meanwhile, Schemer stops by Kara and Dan and begins making fun of what they are doing. But when Kara tells him that there is a prize for the best drawing, Schemer immediately tries to get the kids to draw a portrait of him, but to no avail. Finally, he walks away, convinced that nobody is able to “capture the rugged, good looks of his exceptionally cute face”. Spying the bottle of ink in Billy’s workshop, Schemer has a 'genius time' moment.

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He attempts to obtain the ink bottle but in doing so, he is almost caught by Billy and tries to bluff him into thinking there’s nothing in the workshop he is looking for. After Billy leaves, Schemer sneaks into the workshop and takes the ink and an ink pen.

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After that, Kara is seen showing her drawing to Billy and Stacy. Then Becky walks up and shows her portrait of Stacy (the one made by Mr. Conductor’s magic) to them, much to their surprise. After Stacy congratulates the both of them, and that they should be proud of their work, Becky walks away not feeling the satisfaction she thought she would get. She then sits in front of the Jukebox and lays the portrait and her drawing side by side, contemplating what she should do next.

Inside the Jukebox, Didi and Rex feel sorry for Becky and wonder why she’s feeling so upset, even though she has the winning picture. Tito says he knows why and tells them about when he was little and just learning to play the piano. One day, while he was practising, his piano starts talking to him and playing on its own. After the piano plays tune after tune for him, Tito’s mother congratulates him and says that all his practice is starting to pay off, even though he’s not actually practising. Eventually, Tito begins to feel guilty about tricking his mother. He starts to play his own tune, which, surprisingly, turns out pretty good.

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And the piano, who is also surprised at how well Tito did, tells him that if he keeps it up, he’ll be just as good as him. Tito ends his story, but then reveals that he made it all up to keep the other band members quiet, much to their enjoyment. Suddenly, a nickel comes down the chute and the band quickly gets into position to play a song, which is “Arkansas Traveller”. During the song, Schemer is seen drawing a self-portrait, using Billy’s ink.

After the song, Mr. Conductor appears next to Becky, wondering if she has won the contest, to which Becky replies that it hasn’t taken place yet. She then proceeds to tell Mr. Conductor about how proud Kara is about her drawing, which is making her more upset (and more jealous). Mr. Conductor compares her situation to Gordon’s when a famous engine came to the Island of Sodor.

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Once the story is done, Becky admits to being jealous of Kara, to which Mr. Conductor says that he’s glad that she finally sees it. He prepares to leave saying that he’s going to go practice his bicycle jumping at Mt. Careful, much to Becky’s surprise. Mr. Conductor tells her that he’s only going to jump over mole-hills and says “never make a mountain out of a mole-hill”. He wishes Becky good luck and disappears. Kara comes up with a big envelope and tells Becky that is time to turn in their drawings.

Becky says that her drawing still isn’t ready. Kara leaves the envelope with Becky, telling her that it’s there when she’s ready. After Kara leaves, Schemer sneaks up while Becky is still making up her mind and slips his drawing into the envelope.

Becky goes over to the workshop and finds Billy searching all over the place, looking for his ink. He asks her if she has seen it. Becky says she hasn’t and Billy chuckles, saying that it has “disappeared” sooner than he thought. Then Becky’s attention is drawn towards Billy’s painting, which he describes as a tree. Becky disagrees, saying that it doesn’t look like a real tree. At this, Billy begins to explain to her that the painting is a representation of how he feels when he’s walking through the forest. From the sound of leaves rustling through the wind, to the different shades of color that make it look cool and inviting, these are the things that give him that feeling of peace and he paints that. With this newfound understanding, Becky decides to enter the drawing of Stacy she made, instead of the one Mr. Conductor gave her.