Ryan's Second Chance is the third episode of season 4.
Ryan is a GNR N2 Tank Engine. Unlike his brothers and sisters, Ryan never actually worked on the Great Northern Railway, or the London and North Eastern Railway. The other GNR N2s were built from 1920 to 1929, but Ryan was built much later. He was built by the National Railway Museum in 1979 to commemorate fifty years since the last N2 was built. Upon his completion, he was given a special purple coat of paint, instead of the common green given to his kind. For a long time, Ryan had life handed to him on a silver platter. The museum life was all he knew. Every day he would be polished and washed, and would pull passengers around the yard, for all the visitors to see the engines on display. Then, at the end of the day, he would be given a fresh wash before going to his shed. Throughout his life, Ryan received nothing but praise. I am sorry to say that because of this, he became quite overconfident and very spoiled.
One day, not too long ago, Ryan was resting in the shed before his next train with an old Stirling single engine named Scott, who used to pull the Express on the GNR, and was now on display at the museum.
"Look, Ryan," Scott said, "Manager's coming. Who's that he's with?"
The manager walked over to the two engines with the visitor. "I say," the visitor said, "Is that a Stirling Single?"
"Yes," said the manager, "This is Scott. He used to be our express engine, way back when. He's just on display nowadays."
"We have an engine just like you on our railway."
"Really?" Asked Scott.
"Yes. Her name is Emily."
"Emily? Ha, I remember her! She was my youngest sister. The last one built before we were drawn from production. Glad to hear she's still in service."
"Excuse me, Sir," Ryan interjected, "But who is this man?"
"I am Luther Remington," the man said, "I'm here on account of Sir Topham Hatt, of the North Western Railway."
"Ew, that old railway?" Ryan said quietly to Scott, "I've heard that the engines they have the oldest engines running there! Did you know they even have a steam tram on their railway?"
"Ryan!" Snapped Scott, "Be polite."
"Sorry," said Ryan, though he wasn't that sorry.
"Well, Ryan, the reason Mr. Remington is here is that he needs some help," said the manager.
"Yes," said Mr. Remington, "You see, one of our tank engines, Thomas, has been causing trouble lately, so Sir Hatt sent him on a job building his new branch line, but he needs some help running Thomas' line. He wanted me to take a look at some engines. I think you might be just what we need."
"So, you're interested then?" Asked the manager.
"Absolutely! I think Ryan will be perfect!"
"Very well. Let's see if we can make a deal."
"Excellent!" Said Mr. Remington, as he and the manager left.
Ryan was appalled. "I don't want to go to Sodor!"
"I'd love to!" Said Scott, "Steam is appreciated here. If you haven't noticed, there are more and more diesels here. You're dodging a bullet."
"Huh! Manager would never scrap me!" Ryan said.
"Only because you're a showcase of the past, like the rest of us. Almost all of my brothers and sisters have been scrapped."
"But they were scrapped because they couldn't be useful anymore. You were preserved to be looked at, not work. I do actual work."
"You're just as much a museum piece as I am, when it comes down to it."
"But you're much older than me. A lot of the diesels are even older than me."
"But that doesn't make you modern. Heck, your sister is in preservation, just like me, and the rest of your siblings are long gone. If I were on Sodor, I'd be more than a display for people to look at. Old engines like me are actually used on Sodor!"
"No wonder no one goes there."
"Just keep this in mind: just because you were built recently, you're not modern. Why, when you were built, we had just finished building that replica of Stephenson's Rocket. He's not modern though."
Just then, Mr. Remington returned with the manager.
"We've got a deal!" Said Mr. Remington. I'll call Sir Topham Hatt, and we'll be on our way!"
Ryan was dismayed, but as he was leaving with Mr. Remington, the manager called out to him, "Show those Sodor engines the Great Northern Way!"
"Well, London Northern Eastern way," interjected Scott.
This gave Ryan an idea. "That's just it! I know what I can do!" He thought, "I'll show those Sodor engines just what a Great Northern engine can do!"
Mr. Remington drove him to Vicarstown Station, where Ryan met his new driver and fireman, who drove him to Knapford. Ryan was full of confidence as he approached the station. Up ahead, he saw a stout gentleman talking to a blue tank engine. Near them stood some shining express coaches, but oddly, they were not on the tracks.
"Oh, enough Thomas!" Said the stout gentleman, who was of course, Sir Topham Hatt, the Fat Controller, "It wasn't Gordon or Emily who caused this accident! It was you!"
"But, but, I..." stammered the tank engine, Thomas.
"Perhaps you should spend some time shunting trucks in the construction yard!" The Fat Controller boomed.
"The construction yard? What do you mean, Sir?" Asked Thomas.
"I'm sending you to work on the new branch line, Thomas. Maybe that'll help you think about being a little less cheeky."
Ryan chuckled to himself. "That must be Thomas. No wonder this Fat Controller wants me to run his line for him. This is going to be easy," Ryan thought, "That tank engines can't manage at all!"
"But Sir, what about my branch line?"
"Branch line?" Steamed Ryan confidently as he puffed in, "I think that's where I'm meant to be working!"
"Ah, Ryan, my new tank engine! You're here!"
"New tank engine?" Thomas muttered, "But..."
"Come on, Ryan," said the Fat Controller, "Let's get started."
Ryan smiled. "This won't be hard at all!"
Ryan went to rest in a shed while Thomas started to leave for the Harwick Branch Line.
"Don't worry, Thomas!" Ryan called confidently, "I'll take good care of your Branch Line!"
Thomas avoided eye contact as he steamed gloomily away.
After resting for a good long while, Ryan went to go collect his coaches.
"Hello!" He said to the yard manager, "Where are my coaches?"
"You're pulling Annie and Clarabel. They're by the coal hopper," replied the yard manager.
"Sure thing!" Said Ryan. He looked around the yards until he saw Annie and Clarabel, who were resting peacefully. "Oh, hello there!" He said, "You must be Annie and Clarabel."
"Oh, hello!" Said Annie, "Who are you?"
Ryan interrupted her by bumping right into their buffers. "My name is Ryan!" He said triumphantly. "And I'll be your engine today! Ready?" And he set off, laughing.
"But where's Thomas? We usually have Thomas!" Clarabel said anxiously, but Ryan didn't listen. He set off for Elsbridge Station. Toby the tram engine was there.
"Are you Ryan?" Toby asked.
"That's me!" Ryan said proudly, "So, you're the steam tram, eh? Goodness, this railway is out of date. And that's coming from someone who lived in a museum!"
Toby glared at Ryan. "Yes, I suppose so. Anyways, we'll really need your help with Thomas at Arlesburgh."
"I think you'll find that this branch line will never have run smoother without me!"
"Right," said Toby suspiciously, "Well, off you go."
Ryan looked around. "What a state this station is in! If the rest of the branch line is in as horrid condition at this station, then you definitely need me, even without Thomas!"
"I beg your pardon!" Snapped Henrietta, "How dare you insult our station!"
"I'm just giving constructive criticism. Another thing you need." Ryan steamed away. Toby and Henrietta were shocked! Annie and Clarabel were shocked too.
"Excuse me, um, Ryan, was it?" Asked Clarabel.
"That's my name. Don't wear it out."
"Um, yes, but that's really no way to speak."
"Quite right, Clarabel," said Annie, "I know you're new here, but you must show some respect!"
"I am. I'm helping here after all. You all should be honored! I mean, after all, I am a Great Northern engine!"
"Yes, but this is not the Great Northern Railway!" Said Annie.
"It's the North Western Railway," said Clarabel, "And on the North Western, we respect each other... most of the time."
"I'm just doing what I was sent here to do," Ryan said smugly, "Make this railway better!"
"Not really," interjected Annie, "You were sent here to..."
Ryan came to a sudden stop as they arrived at Maithwaite Station. Daisy was there, dropping off her passengers.
"For once, a modern engine!" Ryan said, "This railway has too many old, out of date museum pieces on it, eh?"
"Like you?" Said Annie.
Daisy eyed the newcomer, "Weren't you built in the twenties?" She asked, recognizing his design.
"Nope. '79," he said, "They don't come fresher than me! Modern engines like us are what hold railways together. Well, I don't know if I can actually even call you modern. You were built, what, 1960? Eh, semi-modern, I guess."
Daisy glared sharply. "Alright, you look here," she snapped, "Just because you were built recently doesn't mean you are modern. Would you call a replica of the Rocket 'modern?'"
"Furthermore, you've no right to stick your fancy museum funnel onto our railway and call us all out of date!"
"Thank goodness I won't have to deal with this branch line for much longer if it's ridden with engines like you!"
"Sir Topham Hatt is sending me to run the new branch line once it's finished, and I sincerely am glad that I won't have to work around the likes of you for very long!"
Daisy stormed off, quite offended.
"What's her problem?" Asked Ryan. He hadn't meant to offend her. He was just saying what he thought was true.
"Engines don't like being called old and out of date!" Said Annie.
"Especially Daisy," added Clarabel.
"But, I didn't call her out of date," protested Ryan, 'I called her 'semi-modern.' It was the other engines who are out of date. I was really complimenting her, if anything."
"But you can't just go around telling people all their faults, especially when you've only just arrived."
"But I'm helping them by telling them what they're doing wrong! I'm just being honest! They should appreciate me."
Annie and Clarabel realized that they weren't getting very far, and didn't say anything. Nether did anyone else for the rest of the day, or that night at Ffarquhar Sheds.
"So..." Said Ryan, breaking the silence, "How was your day, everyone?" No one answered. "That bus, though, am I right? Was he not just the loudest thing ever?" Still nothing. "The coal is okay here. Water's not too bad, either." Still nothing. "Okay, why is no one talking to me?"
"Because you're a stuck-up, spoiled little brat, maybe?" Muttered Daisy, under her breath.
"What was that?" Ryan asked.
"Alright, let's not start up a fight," said Percy, "But all the same, Ryan, you can't expect anyone to want to talk to you if all you talk about is how great you are, or how inferior we are. If you want any chance of making any friends whatsoever, you've got to accept others as they are, and that you're not better than everyone."
Ryan was about to respond, when the Fat Controller arrived in Winston. "Evening, everybody. How was your first day, Ryan?"
"Um, it was alright, I suppose."
"Excellent! Tomorrow, Percy, you'll take Annie and Clarabel, and Ryan, I'd like you to take trucks from Ffarquhar to Knapford Harbour."
"Trucks?!" Gasped Ryan, "B-but...!"
"You'll need to get some experience for your new branch line."
"N-new branch line? B-but..."
"Well, Daisy can't handle the goods and passengers all by herself! She'll need someone to run the line with her!"
"Wait, what?" Gasped Daisy, "I have to run the branch line with him?"
"Quite right, Daisy!" Boomed the Fat Controller, "You'll handle the passengers, and he'll handle the goods."
"B-b-but..." Stammered Daisy and Ryan.
"Well, normal jobs for everyone else. That'll be all!" And he and Winston left.
"I don't want to pull trucks!" Gasped Ryan.
"I don't want to work with him!" Exclaimed Daisy.
"I want to go back to York!" Ryan complained.
"I want to get away from having to work with him!" Daisy pouted.
Henrietta interrupted, "Well, neither of you are getting what you want, so I suggest you make the best of what you've got."
"She's right," said Toby, "Do at least try to get along!"
The two engines groaned.
"You're going to have to live with each other for a long time," added Percy, "I'd try not to start out on the wrong wheel."
"We already did!" Said Daisy crossly.
Ryan thought for a moment. "Maybe they're right," he said.
"Don't you take their side!" Snapped Daisy, "We're not supposed to want this!"
"See?" Chuckled Toby, "You're already agreeing on something!"
"I will not agree with anything he says, and I will not work with a stuck-up, spoiled, fancy-funnel, cocky, condescending, infantile, whiny, immature, snooty, patronizing, complaisant, audacious, disrespectful, insolent, la-dee-da, little brat of a tank engine!" Daisy snapped, as she left the shed, "And I won't sleep in a shed with him either!"
The other engines looked on as Daisy left in a huff. There was a long, awkward silence. Everyone looked over to see an utterly shocked Ryan.
- Annie and Clarabel
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The National Railway Museum Manager
- Luther Remington
- Winston (does not speak)
- This episode takes place during the Thomas and Friends special, Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure.
- Scott the Stirling's name is based of Scott Sterling of BYU TV's Studio C.