Duck Takes Charge

Original UK title card

No. of season: 2
No. of epsiode: 8
No. of series: 34
Director: David Mitton
Producer: David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona
Writer: Reverend W. Awdry (original)
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton (adapted)
Narrator: Ringo Starr (UK/US)
George Carlin (US)
Original air date: 18th September 1986 (UK)
27th April 1988 (AUS)
30th April 1989 (US)
28th May 1991 (JPN)
10th September 1993 (George Carlin US)
7th April 1998 (GER)
17th January 2008 (HUN)
Previous: Percy and the Signal
Next: Percy and Harold/
Percy Proves a Point

Duck Takes Charge is the eighth episode of the second season and the thirty-fourth episode of the series. In the US, this episode aired on the Shining Time Station episodes Just Wild about Harry's Workshop in 1989 and Stacy Says No in 1993. In this episode, Percy was having a hard time, so the Fat Controller buys a tank engine named Duck to do his work.


One day in the sheds, Percy is eager to tell a disinterested Gordon and James some news. Both quickly tire of Percy's usual manner and the tank engine tells them that as the work in the yard is getting too hard for him, the Fat Controller is planning to bring a new engine in to help. James is unimpressed, telling Percy that if he worked harder instead of chatting, the yard would be a happier place. Percy then leaves to do his work.

As he works, Percy notes to himself that, since he accidentally reversed at a signal, the larger engines now consider him to be a "silly little engine" and often order him about. Percy wants to teach them a lesson, but does not know how to do it. He then works very hard all day and by the afternoon he is worn out. After bringing the express coaches to the station, he sees the Fat Controller on the platform who notes that Percy looks very tired, which Percy confirms. The Fat Controller cheers Percy up by telling him the new engine is bigger than him and can probably manage the work alone. He then offers to send Percy to help Thomas and Toby on the branch line to help them build the new harbour which cheers Percy up straight away.

Soon the new engine arrives. The Fat Controller asks the engine his name and the engine introduces himself as Montague, but tells the Fat Controller he is often called "Duck" due to his supposed waddle. While he does not believe he has a waddle, he admits to liking Duck better than Montague. With that, the Fat Controller agrees that the new engine will be known as Duck. Percy arrives and the Fat Controller asks Percy to show Duck around.

Duck does his work quietly as he brings some coaches to the station, leading Gordon, James, and Henry to decide to boss him about like they do to Percy. Gordon and Henry then start to leave the station on either side of Duck, quacking and blowing steam at him. Percy sees everything and is cross, but Duck just wants to wait until the larger engines get tired of their teasing. Duck then asks Percy if the larger engines boss him about and Percy confirms they do. Duck decides to take charge and put a stop to it and tells Percy what they will do.

That afternoon, the Fat Controller sits at his desk looking forward to having toast for tea. Suddenly, he hears a horrible noise coming from the yard and, looking out his window, he sees Percy and Duck blocking the turntable and preventing an angry Gordon, James, and Henry from entering the sheds. The Fat Controller grabs his hat and rushes to the yard.

At the sheds, Gordon, James, and Henry are furious and start whistling loudly when the Fat Controller arrives and commands silence before demanding an explanation from Duck and Percy. Duck politely explains that, as a Great Western engine he likes to do his work without any fuss but wants the other engines to know that he will only take orders from the Fat Controller. The three larger engines start whistling angrily and the Fat Controller orders them to be quiet again. The Fat Controller then tells Duck and Percy that he is pleased with their work, but scolds them for causing the disturbance. He then tells off the larger engines for making the disturbance, and tells them that Duck is quite right that he is the one to give orders, not them. With that, the three engines quickly fall back into line. Soon Percy is sent to Thomas' line, leaving Duck to do the work alone, something he manages easily.



Fun FactsEdit


  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book, Percy the Small Engine.
  • A "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus" poster is seen at Knapford.
  • In Ringo Starr's narration, when the big engines were quacking, actual quacking noises are heard, in George Carlin's narration, its him shouting duck noises.
  • In the US, this episode aired before Percy and the Signal, meaning that American viewers would not understand the latter being mentioned.
  • The final frame of this episode was used as the credits backdrop on all the odd-numbered episodes in Season 2.
  • Inside Sir Topham Hatt's office, there is a picture of a Black 5.
  • A first season-style truck can be seen when Duck leaves the yard with Percy.
  • This marks the only time that Duck is referred to as Montague until the seventeenth season episode, The Thomas Way.
  • The closeup of Sir Topham Hatt folding his hands at Knapford was used for the "Next Story Coming Up Soon!" card in between double bills.


  • In the panning shot of Percy, Gordon, and James, the Breakdown Train, on the far left, is derailed.
  • In the first close up of Gordon, his eyes look wonky.
  • When Percy puffs away to get the coaches, studio equipment is slightly visible at the top of the screen.
  • In the Norwegian version, the narrator says Percy was getting some trucks, when he was in fact getting some coaches into Knapford station.
  • When Percy and Duck first puff away, a crew member's shadow briefly passes in front of them.
  • Henry's front right break pipe is tilted before He and Gordon leave Knapford.
  • Duck's eyebrows are missing when the engines "wheesh" him. Henry also has a different whistle sound in the UK version.
  • The narrator says, "Duck and Percy calmly sat on the points..." but they are not; Percy is on the turntable and Duck is on a line outside a berth.
  • Percy's roof is lifted up when Duck says "We'll do it later."
  • When the narrator says "Gordon, James and Henry were furious," the three engines are facing away from the sheds. Gordon is also missing his tender and his eyes are slightly wonky.
  • In the close up of Henry at Tidmouth Sheds, James disappears.
  • When the Fat Controller yells "Stop that noise!" the two men standing in front of Percy are out of scale, as they are half his height.
  • In a picture of Percy and Duck at Knapford the branch line coaches Duck shunted to platform two have been replaced with a brake van and some express coaches can be seen at platform one even though the line was clear when Percy puffed through the station.


In Other LanguagesEdit

Language Name Meaning
Finnish Ankkanen ottaa ohjat Duck Takes Control
French Duck prend les choses en main Duck Takes the Lead
Japanese ダックしごとをもらう Duck Gets A Work
German Duck Übernimmt Duck Takes Over
Croatian Patka preuzima Duck Takes Over
Italian Il nuovo arrivato The Newcomer
Portuguese Pato assume o comando Duck Takes Charge
Dutch Duck Valt Aan Duck Attacks
Norwegian Duck klarer brasene Duck Handles It
Spanish La Llegada de Duck Duck's Arrival
Welsh Ffrind Newydd Prysi Percy's New Friend
Slovenian Cene postane glavni Duck Becomes the Main
Russian Новичек Newbie
Ukrainian Качур стає головним Duck is the Main
Chinese 负起责任的达克 Responsibility of Duck
Korean 새로 온 기관차 덕 Newcomer Locomotive Duck
Romanian Duck Preia Comanda Duck Takes Command
Hungarian Kacsa Igazságot Szolgáltat Duck's Justice
Slovak Káčer preberá velenie Duck Takes Command
Czech Kačer přebírá velení Duck Takes Command
Swedish Duck Klarer Brasende Duck Manages Bracing
Polish Jak Kaczor Sobie Poradził How Duck Coped
Serbian Patek preuzi masfar Duck Takes Over the Main
Danish Duck fører an Duck Leading the Way
Thai ดั๊กมาแล้ว Duck Ago

Home Media ReleasesEdit


DVD Boxsets


VHS/DVD Boxsets





  • The Complete Second Series
  • Thomas, Percy and the Coal

DVD Boxsets








  • Thomas the Tank Engine 4






DVD Packs





v - e - d Thomas and Friends episodes
Series 1 Thomas and Gordon · Edward and Gordon · The Sad Story of Henry · Edward, Gordon and Henry · Thomas' Train · Thomas and the Trucks · Thomas and the Breakdown Train · James and the Coaches · Troublesome Trucks · James and the Express · Thomas and the Guard · Thomas Goes Fishing · Thomas, Terence and the Snow · Thomas and Bertie · Tenders and Turntables · Trouble in the Shed · Percy Runs Away · Coal · The Flying Kipper · Whistles and Sneezes · Toby and the Stout Gentleman · Thomas in Trouble · Dirty Objects · Off the Rails · Down the Mine · Thomas' Christmas Party
Series 2 Thomas, Percy and the Coal · Cows · Bertie's Chase · Saved from Scrap · Old Iron · Thomas and Trevor · Percy and the Signal · Duck Takes Charge · Percy and Harold · The Runaway · Percy Takes the Plunge · Pop Goes the Diesel · Dirty Work · A Close Shave · Better Late Than Never · Break Van · The Deputation · Thomas Comes to Breakfast · Daisy · Percy's Predicament · The Diseasel · Wrong Road · Edward's Exploit · Ghost Train · Woolly Bear · Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
Series 3 A Scarf for Percy · Percy's Promise · Time for Trouble · Gordon and the Famous Visitor · Donald's Duck · Thomas Gets Bumped · Thomas, Percy and the Dragon · Diesel Does It Again · Henry's Forest · The Trouble with Mud · No Joke for James · Thomas, Percy and the Post Train · Trust Thomas · Mavis · Toby's Tightrope · Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party · Buzz, Buzz · All at Sea · One Good Turn · Tender Engines · Escape · Oliver Owns Up · Bulgy · Heroes · Percy, James and the Fruitful Day · Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure
Series 4 Granpuff · Sleeping Beauty · Bulldog · You Can't Win · Four Little Engines · A Bad Day for Sir Handel · Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady · Trucks! · Home at Last · Rock 'n' Roll · Special Funnel · Steam Roller · Passengers and Polish · Gallant Old Engine · Rusty to the Rescue · Thomas and Stepney · Train Stops Play · Bowled Out · Henry and the Elephant · Toad Stands By · Bulls Eyes · Thomas and the Special Letter · Paint Pots and Queens · Fish · Special Attraction · Mind That Bike
Series 5 Cranky Bugs · Horrid Lorry · A Better View for Gordon · Lady Hatt's Birthday Party · James and the Trouble with Trees · Gordon and the Gremlin · Bye George! · Baa! · Put Upon Percy · Toby and the Flood · Haunted Henry · Double Teething Troubles · Stepney Gets Lost · Toby's Discovery · Something in the Air · Thomas, Percy and Old Slow Coach · Thomas and the Rumours · Oliver's Find · Happy Ever After · Sir Topham Hatt's Holiday · A Surprise for Percy · Make Someone Happy · Busy Going Backwards · Duncan Gets Spooked · Rusty and the Boulder · Snow
Series 6 Salty's Secret · Harvey to the Rescue · No Sleep for Cranky · A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter · Elizabeth the Vintage Lorry · The Fogman · Jack Jumps In · A Friend in Need · It's Only Snow · Twin Trouble · The World's Strongest Engine · Scaredy Engines · Percy and the Haunted Mine · Middle Engine · James and the Red Balloon · Jack Frost · Gordon Takes a Tumble · Percy's Chocolate Crunch · Buffer Bother · Toby Had a Little Lamb · Thomas, Percy and the Squeak · Thomas the Jet Engine · Edward the Very Useful Engine · Dunkin' Duncan · Rusty Saves the Day · Faulty Whistles
Series 7 Emily's New Coaches · Percy Gets It Right · Bill, Ben and Fergus · The Old Bridge · Edward's Brass Band · What's the Matter with Henry? · James and the Queen of Sodor · The Refreshment Lady's Tea Shop · · The Spotless Record · Toby's Windmill · Bad Day at Castle Loch · Rheneas and the Roller Coaster · Salty's Stormy Tale · Snow Engine · Something Fishy · The Runaway Elephant · Peace and Quiet · Fergus Breaks the Rules · · Bulgy Rides Again · Harold and the Flying Horse · The Grand Opening · Best Dressed Engine · Gordon and Spencer · Not So Hasty Puddings · Trusty Rusty · Three Cheers for Thomas
Series 8 Thomas and the Tuba · Percy's New Whistle · Thomas to the Rescue · Henry and the Wishing Tree · James Gets a New Coat · Thomas Saves the Day · Percy's Big Mistake · Thomas, Emily and the Snowplough · Don't Tell Thomas · Emily's New Route · Thomas and the Firework Display · Gordon Takes Charge · Spic and Span · Edward the Great · Squeak, Rattle and Roll · Thomas and the Circus · Thomas Gets It Right · As Good as Gordon · Fish · Emily's Adventure · Halloween · You Can Do It, Toby! · James Goes Too Far · Chickens to School · Too Hot for Thomas · Percy and the Magic Carpet
Series 9 Percy and the Oil Painting · Thomas and the Rainbow · Molly's Special, Special · Thomas' Milkshake Muddle · Mighty Mac · Thomas and the Toy Shop · Respect for Gordon · Thomas and the Birthday Picnic · Tuneful Toots · Rheneas and the Dinosaur · Thomas and the New Engine · Toby Feels Left Out · Thomas Tries His Best · The Magic Lamp · Thomas and the Statue · Henry and the Flagpole · Emily Knows Best · Thomas' Day Off · Thomas' New Trucks Duncan and the Old Mine · Bold and Brave · Skarloey the Brave · Saving Edward · Thomas and the Golden Eagle · Keeping Up with James · Flour Power