|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the car.|
They have their uses. They can save the wear on a poor car's wheels!
Caroline the Car is the twenty-first episode of the Engine Friends miniseries.
Stepney has been enjoying his visit on Sodor and one day, he is busy talking to Thomas, Percy, and Toby. Stepney compliments the engines and that Sodor has lots of things that make the Island feel important, especially enjoying long runs. Percy offers Stepney to help with his goods trains, in which both their drivers agree and the two tank engines set off for their deliveries. Stepney delivers his loaded trucks to the harbor and then leaves to take some "empties" the quarry.
Later, Stepney stops at a red signal by a cricket field where a game had just started. A batsman hits a "six" when the signal drops and the ball lands in one of Stepney's trucks. Stepney does not realise this and starts. The cricketers shout at Stepney to stop but he does not hear them, and gets on with his journey. But the cricketers need the ball for their game, so they climb into their old car Caroline to chase after Stepney.
Stepney does not hurry but his driver sees Caroline chasing after them with the desperate cricketers inside and mistakes them for joyriders and Stepney speeds up, much to Caroline's annoyance as she easily overheats when travelling at high speed. When Caroline finds that Stepney has disappeared into a tunnel, she hopes the players will give up and take her home but instead her driver forces her over the hill and onward to the next station.
Stepney has placed his train in a siding, when Caroline wearily arrives at the station with the cricketers who tell Stepney's crew that they need their ball back. The ball is found in the third truck hidden under some hay, then the are ready to return to the cricket field. But Stepney's driver notes Caroline is completely exhausted and they decide to roll her onto a flatbed so she can rest during the return journey. The cricketers (along with Caroline) ride back to the field in a brake van. Stepney and his crew enjoy and watch the rest of the game. Caroline, pleased, changes her mind about trains being silly.
One Summer's Day, Bertie asks Thomas and Percy if they have noticed something different about the Fat Controller. Percy tells Bertie that he saw the Fat Controller staring into the clouds this morning and he wonders why. It is Lady Hatt's birthday and the Fat Controller has a new outfit to wear especially for the birthday party. Lady Hatt tells him not to be late and her husband tells her that he will be spic and span and right on time.
The Fat Controller is leaving work early to attend the party at Kirk Ronan. He tells the stationmaster that he will be taking the car when the engines are busy. He thinks it is reliable, but it is not. His mood soon changes when his car becomes stuck in a pothole with a flat tire. He decides not to risk changing it because it will dirty his suit and it will never do for his wife's party.
The Fat Controller then sees Caroline and explains the situation and hitches a lift in her, but Caroline does not like going fast and she breaks down. George the Steamroller then arrives and insults Caroline, but his driver is more polite to the Fat Controller and offers him a ride to Thomas, who is just down the line, and he agrees, promising Caroline that he will send for help. George enjoys rolling along the road, but not the Fat Controller, who quickly becomes covered in oil. Worse is to follow; George cries for help, slips out of control due to a malfunction, and ends up into a muddy ditch close to where Thomas is taking on water and the Fat Controller catapults and ends up waist-deep in the mud.
Thomas had never seen the Fat Controller in such a mess and he asks Thomas' driver for a ride, but Thomas' fireman had taken ill, so the Fat Controller offers to be Thomas' relief fireman. He works hard and coal dust and soot fly everywhere and at last, Thomas arrives at Kirk Ronan, just in time. The Fat Controller quickly buys a bunch of flowers for the party and as the clock strikes three, the Fat Controller arrives, tired but triumphant. He gives his wife the flowers and she is most grateful and she knew it was her special birthday party, but she did not know it was 'fancy dress'. Everyone laughs and then the party begins.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Lady Hatt
- Toby (does not speak)
- Jem Cole (cameo)
- The Vicar of Wellsworth (cameo)
- Mrs. Kyndley (cameo)
- Refreshment Lady (cameo)
- Henry (stock footage cameo)
- James (stock footage cameo)
- Duck (stock footage cameo)
- Donald (stock footage cameo)
- Bulgy (stock footage cameo)
- Bulgy's Bridge
- Knapford Harbour
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Shunting Yards
- Toryreck Shed
- Elsbridge Cricket Field
- Road Beside Rail and Canal Runby
- Hackenbeck Tunnel
- Kirk Ronan
- Topham Hall
- Sir Topham Hatt's Office
- This episode is an adaptation of the fourth season episode, Train Stops Play , and the fifth season episode, Lady Hatt's Birthday Party.
- These two episodes are also Caroline's only speaking roles in the television series.
- Stock footage from Stepney the Bluebell Engine is used.
- This is because both Caroline the Car and Stepney the Bluebell Engine are adaptations of Train Stops Play