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Full episode details for the Shining Time Family Specials (1995)

Once Upon a Time

Production #67 (FS.01) - First Aired: 1995-FEB-28 (US)
Written by Sean Kelly
Directed by Wayne Moss

with Outdoor Scenes Directed by Frank Vitale
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 Magder)

  • Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)

  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)

  • Mayor Flopdinger (Jerome Dempsey)

  • Ginny (Barabara Hamilton)

  • Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)

  • J.B. King, Esq. (Mart Hulswit)

  • The Jukebox Puppet Band and Manager J.J. Silvers

  • Ned Kincaid (Special Guest Ed Begley Jr.)

  • Lily (Chantellese Kent)

  • Lily's Mother (Susan Stackman)

  • One-Man Band (Washboard Hank)

Episode Synopsis: It's Founder's Day on the Indian Valley Railroad. Becky wishes she could meet a real cowboy from long ago. Her wish comes true in the form of Ned Kincaid, a cowboy from 100 years ago. But the wish also has unintended consequences, such as Stacy falling in love with Ned, and Schemer being jealous.

Episode Morals:

  • Don't play near railway tracks or on railway equipment.

  • Be careful what you wish for.

  • If you are afraid someone doesn't like you because of how much time they spend with someone else, talk to that person about it.

 

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Songs:

  • Lonely Cowboy

  • Buffalo Gals Medley

  • What's New Pussycat?

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Stories:

  • Rusty to the Rescue

  • Thomas and Stepney

 

Episode Notes:

  • This is the first of the 1995 1-hour family specials. All four specials were broadcast in prime time slots.

  • Though similar to the season 2 and 3 opening credits, the Family Specials credits are slightly different. In these credits, Mr. Conductor appears and does various things on the credits, such as dusting them, balancing on them, etc.

  • This is the last appearance of Mayor Flopdinger.

  • This is the first televised appearance of the Jukebox Puppet Band's manager J. J. Silvers. Silvers previously appeared in the direct-to-video release "A Day in the Life of the Jukebox Puppet Band".

  • This is the only appearance of the new jukebox as well as its puppet band, the Rat Pack.

  • In her Founder's Day costume, Ginny bears an uncanny resemblance to Britain's Queen Victoria!

  • J.B. King's and Mayor Flopdinger's Founder's Day costumes remind us of Sir Topham Hatt's attire.

  • The telephone voice of Schemer's mother is actually Stacy and Harry's conversation from Season 1's Promises, Promises.

  • Continuity goof: While the Jukebox Puppet Band also dresses up in historic costumes for Founder's Day, when they actually begin performing they suddenly revert back to their normal outfits. 

  • The outdoor scenes were taped in the Tottemham, Ontario Canada area and mostly along the South Simcoe Railway (tourist). The steam locomotive featured in the special is the South Simcoe Railway's No.136, a former Canadian Pacific Railway engine built in 1883.

South Simcoe Railway's pride & joy - Former C.P. engine No.136

Second Chances

Production #68 (FS.02) - First Aired: 1995-SEP-25 (US)
Written by Brian McConnachie
Directed by Wayne Moss

with Outdoor Scenes Directed by Frank Vitale
Summary by A. Younger, J. Gratton

Episode Characters/Stars:

  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)

  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)

  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)

  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)

  • Dan Jones (Ari Magder)

  • Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)

  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)

  • Ginny (Barabara Hamilton)

  • Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)

  • Felix Perez (Aurelio Padron)

  • J.B. King, Esq. (Mart Hulswit)

  • Schemee (Johnathan Shapiro)

  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

  • Max Okowsky (Special Guest Jack Klugman)

  • Kit Twofeathers (Bucky Hill)

  • Luke Sledgebolt - Snarlyville Slashers Coach (Jefferson Mappin)

Episode Synopsis: Kit, Billy's nephew, comes to Shining Time to stay with his uncle. While he makes friends with Becky quickly, Kit has some trust issues. But with help from his Uncle Billy, Becky, and Max, an old retired baseball player, Kit may just get a second chance. Meanwhile, Schemer's baseball team, the Scooters, goes up against their toughest rival, the Snarlyville Slashers.

Episode Morals:

  • Everyone deserves a second chance. But, once you get one, it is important not to waste it.

  • Never run away from your problems. Talk it out with somebody and stand up for yourself.

 

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Songs:

  • Down in the Valley

  • Skip to My Lou/Freight Train/Pick a Bale of Cotton

  • Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Stories:

  • Granpuff

  • Sleeping Beauty

 

Episode Notes:

  • This is the first appearance of Kit Twofeathers and the last appearance of Dan Jones.

  • The name of Schemer's baseball team is different in this episode than it is previously. In the season 2 episode "Field Day", it was "the Schemer Team". In this episode, it's "the Scooters".

  • The outdoor scenes were filmed in Tottenham near the South Simcoe Railway. Max's shack is actually the railway's ticket office.  

  • This is the first time we see the Jukebox Puppet Band outside of the jukebox.

  • This is the first time we see Mr. Conductor visit the Jukebox Puppet Band inside the jukebox.

  • NITPICK: Hmmm... The signature on Max's baseball looks nothing like Jim Thorpe's authentic signature. 

  • The portrait seen hanging on the wall near the right station exit is actually classic promotional artwork by artist Roger Couillard, for the Canadian Pacific Railway's "The Canadian" scenic dome trans-Canada train. 

One of the Family

Production #69 (FS.03) - First Aired: 1995-OCT-23 (US)
Written by Brian McConnachie
Directed by Wayne Moss

with Outdoor Scenes Directed by Frank Vitale
Summary by A. Su

Episode Characters/Stars:

  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)

  • Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)

  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)

  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)

  • Kit Twofeathers (Bucky Hill)

  • Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)

  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)

  • Ginny (Barabara Hamilton)

  • Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)

  • Harry Cupper (Leonard Jackson)

  • J.B. King, Esq. (Mart Hulswit)

  • Schemee (Johnathan Shapiro)

  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

  • Sister Conductor (Special guest Teri Garr)

Episode Synopsis: During the annual Soap Box Derby race, Kara's grandfather Harry Cupper visits Shining Time Station at the same time as Mr. Conductor's mischief-making sister.

Episode Morals:

  • Always stop, look and listen to what other people want to say to you.

  • No matter what you do, always give your best shot, never give up, and follow your heart.

 

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Songs:

  • If My Friends Could See Me Now (sung by Teri Garr)

  • Long Long Ago

  • This Land Is My Land

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Stories:

  • Toad Stands By

  • Thomas and the Special Letter

 

Quotes of Note:

  • Kara: (to Mr. Conductor) I told him I'm too old for this.
    Mr. Conductor: If you say so.
    Kara: There are other things i want to do!
    Mr. Conductor: Of course!
    Kara: I'm growing up.
    Mr. Conductor: Naturally...Does that mean you're too old for a Thomas story too?
    Kara: No...
    Mr. Conductor: Well, in that case (blows whistle).

 

Episode Notes:

  • This is the first and only appearance of Sister Conductor.

  • Dan's absence in this episode is explained as being away at summer camp.

  • This is the return (and final) appearance of Harry Cupper.

  • This is the last appearance of Billy Twofeathers and Schemee.

  • Harry almost mentions Ringo Starr's Mr. Conductor character from Season-1 when he first meets Sister Conductor: Harry: Have we met? Say...are you any relation to....oh never mind!​

Queen for a Day

Production #70 (FS.04) - First Aired: 1995-NOV-20 (US)
Written by Sean Kelly
Directed by Wayne Moss

with Outdoor Scenes Directed by Frank Vitale
Summary by A. Younger

Episode Characters/Stars:

  • Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)

  • Schemer (Brian O'Connor)

  • Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)

  • Kit Twofeathers (Bucky Hill)

  • Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)

  • Becky (Danielle Marcot)

  • Ginny (Barabara Hamilton)

  • Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)

  • Felix Perez (Aurelio Padron)

  • J.B. King, Esq. (Mart Hulswit)

  • The Jukebox Puppet Band

  • The Queen (Special Guest Jeannette Charles)

  • Prince Michael (Special Guest Andrew Sardella)

  • Biff the Thief (Richard McMillian)

  • Bull the Thief (Ron Gabriel)

Episode Synopsis: There's a royal commotion at Shining Time Station. When two jewelry thieves disconnect her coach from her train, the Queen of England, and her grandson, Prince Mickey, end up in Shining Time. But everyone seems oblivious to the fact that this English woman really is the Queen. Meanwhile, the thieves try whatever they can to get their hands on the Queen's jewels.

Episode Morals:

  • Everybody is special, in their own special way.

  • Sometimes, it's okay to just be a kid.

  • Don't steal.

 

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Songs:

  • The Lovely Ohio

  • Greensleeves/Scarborough Fair

  • Mrs. Murphy's Chowder

Featured Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Stories:

  • Paint Pots and Queens

  • Special Attraction

 

Episode Notes:

  • This is the final episode of “Shining Time Station.” While stills of the station’s interior set would be used in the spin-off series "Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales," the only performer from the original cast to appear would be George Carlin as Mr. Conductor.

  • For some reason, Mr, Conductor does not reveal himself to Kit in any of the Family Specials.

  • The characters of Stacy Jones, Billy Twofeathers and Mr. Conductor would appear one last time in the 2000 film "Thomas and the Magic Railroad," though Mr. C would be played by Alec Baldwin and Billy by Russell Means.

  • Schemer sings a few notes of “King of the Forest” from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” when he tries on the Queen’s jewels.

  • Jeannette Charles (The Queen) is a Queen Elizabeth II look-alike actress. Though the episode never explicitly states who the Queen is, it can be assumed that it is the current (at the time of writing) Queen, Elizabeth II of England. Prince Michael (Mickey) is a fictional character, but could have some basis in the Queen's real grandchildren, Prince William and Prince Harry. Check the Interviews section of this site for SiF's interview with Jeannette Charles.

  • Though included in the opening credits, neither Tom Jackson (Billy Twofeathers) or Ari Magder (Dan) appear in this episode.

  • The exterior scenes were taped mostly around Tottenham, Ontario, Canada. The coaches and diesel shunter are from the South Simcoe Railway. We've identified several of these locations in the picture below:  

Several scenes were taped next to Tottenham Pond, along the South Simcoe Railway, with the Caledon Trailway Path running parallel to the tracks. The scene where Kara, Becky & Kit practice their lines, and the scene where they meet Prince Michael were taped near the north point of the pond ("a" on the picture). The storage tanks evident on the imagery (© Google Earth) can be seen in the scene's background.

 

The same pond can also be seen in the scene where HM The Queen looks out of her coach, and the scene where Biff and Bull head toward Shining Time Station on a rail handcart.

 

The South Simcoe Railway's main depot and station is located just north of the road seen at the top of the imagery. 

One scene featured in the special's music video was one with J.B. King pointing out a monument to the Queen. The monument is in fact the Tottenham War Memorial.

The chase scenes were taped north of Tottenham on 7th Line road near Beeton. Referring to the satellite image above, a) is the railway crossing where Stacy and J.B. King intercepted the thieves with the Diesel shunter. b) is the road turn-off that Schemer and the Queen pass by, and c) is the railway overpass (Canadian Pacific Railway MacTier Sub-Bridge) that the motorcycle and Ginny's stolen truck meet one another.

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