Desperate Times
Season Five, Episode Twelve
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Air date Saturday 19th October, 2013
Written by WildNorWester
Directed by WildNorWester
Episode guide
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Darkest Hour Winds of Change

Desperate Times is the twelfth and final episode of Season 5, and the sixty-fourth episode overall.


At the Tidmouth water tower, Thomas is taking on water when Eric arrives, and the two talk about the lack of passengers. Both engines are worried, as nothing like this has ever happened before. Thomas' guard arrives, and he leaves for the station. Thomas arrives at Haultraugh, and Duck also arrives shortly after. He explains that Charles West was interviewing Inspector Davidson at the bridge, when they found out that something had hit it from underneath. Because of this, it is not the railways fault, and West is going to report it on that evening's news.

At Callan yard, Douglas is collecting his slow goods, and the final lorry, from Sodor Road Freight, is late, much to the annoyance of Mervyn Burns, the manager. After he leaves, Douglas talks to the lorry, Hugh, whom encourages him to stand up for himself, as no one deserves abusive treatment. Meanwhile, Thomas leaves his coaches on a siding and talks to James at the Coaling Plant. Thomas tells James about the orange lorry, and they begin to argue. James agrees to ask around, but none of the engines he speaks to seem to have seen an orange lorry.

At the sheds that evening, Henry speaks to Patrick about his container train delaying the Flying Kipper, the night before the bridge collapsed. Patrick tells him that the delay was caused by one of the containers being broken, and it had to be taken off the train. However, Patrick couldn't recall the colour of the container. At Knapford, Henry wants to speak to the Fat Controller, but he is in a meeting, so the stationmaster offers to relay a message. Henry explains about the broken container, and Edward, on the track next to him, mentions that he took the container to the yard at Brendam to be fixed, and it was indeed bright orange. Relieved, Henry leaves the station with his passenger train.

The next morning, at Callan, The Fat Controller, Inspector Davidson and Mervyn Burns talk to Hugh about the bridge collapse. The records show that Hugh was bringing the container from Harwick to the docks, to be loaded onto Patrick's container train, and he would've had to pass under that bridge to get there. Hugh explains that it was raining that night, and he was hurrying after being delayed, to meet with the tight schedule. Hugh swerved after seeing something on the road, and he struck the bridge. His driver examined the container briefly, as he didn't have time to do a full inspection. The Fat Controller asks why he didn't come forward earlier, and that his manager would understand, but Hugh claims he was frightened. Hugh then rants at Burns about their unfair treatment, and Douglas backs him up. Burns is speechless, and drives off in his BMW, narrowly missing Oliver.

A police investigation finds that Sodor Road Freight has been smuggling contraband between England and Ireland, and Mervyn Burns, as well as the rest of the management team, is put behind bars. Charles West does all he can to get the story out, and passengers flock back to the railway, in light of the new evidence. Goods customers come back too, and the engines find themselves worked off their wheels once more. While all of this had been going on, the bridge was being repaired, and on the morning of Christmas Eve, the first train travels across it. That night at the sheds, the Fat Controller makes a speech about the recent events, and everyone now knows that the railways future is assured.



  • WildNorWester's message was to thank everyone for their support, watching and making the entire series for him to end Sodor: The Early Years. WildNorWester also said about a feature-length for Sodor: The Modern Years called Winds of Change.
  • Stock footage is used from Darkest Hour.
  • This is the last episode of Sodor: The Early Years. This is also the last episode where WildNorWester voices Gordon and Sir Stephen Topham Hatt. Generations113 and AFB take over those respective roles from Winds of Change onwards.
  • The logo on the container when Hugh crashes into the bridge is for 'Universal Exports'.  In the Ian Fleming novels, this is the name of the dummy company set up by MI6 to provide cover for their agents, including James Bond 007.

Voice Actors