Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

"Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree" is the second Christmas episode of Thomas & Friends, aired as the show's second season finale. It was notably the last episode to be narrated by Ringo Starr and produced by Robert D. Cardona.


It is December 23 (the day before Christmas Eve) and the final preparations are being made for a carol party to be held at Tidmouth. All the engines are working hard setting up the decorations. This year, the Fat Controller wants the carol party to be extra special.

The Fat Controller is waiting very impatiently when Thomas arrives. The Fat Controller tells Thomas that their Christmas tree has come, and Thomas has to fetch it while Duck watches over Annie and Clarabel. Thomas asks the Fat Controller if he and the other engines can sing carols too, and the Fat Controller promises to think about it. Thomas is very excited and rushes off, collecting the tree safely. But on the way home, he gets stuck in a snowdrift. He knows that he must get back in time and whistles for help, but he can't get out of the drift. Suddenly, an avalanche erupts and buries him and the tree.

Back at the yards, the engines are waiting for Thomas. His delay begins to make them cross, but they are quieted when the Fat Controller who tells them that snow has knocked the telephone lines down and they must assume that Thomas is stranded. Everyone now feels sorry, and Donald and Douglas puff away to save him. They soon reach a snow drift much deeper than the rest. A cry for help is heard, and Donald thinks he hears something, but Douglas thinks it may be the wind. Hearing the cry carefully, they realize that they are at the drift Thomas is buried in.

Time passes as the workmen dig through the snow to free Thomas. His driver and fireman (who had taken shelter in a nearby cottage) join the rescue, and he is freed from the drift. Thomas follows Donald and Douglas home and arrive just as night falls. The Fat Controller rewards the engines by granting permission to sing carols. The engines happily chuff away to the station. Lights come on, and the Fat Controller declares three cheers for Thomas and his friends.


Sir Topham Hatt shakes hands with Santa Claus.

Harold soon joins the party and drops off Father Christmas, much to everyone's joy. As the carols begin, Thomas tells Percy that although getting stuck in the drift was no fun, it was all worth it for the celebration and wishes everyone a Happy Christmas.


Ringo Starr's narration was used on the VHS release of The Deputation and Other Stories; before being released (either restored or unrestored, depending upon the edition purchased) on the VHS, DVD and digital download releases of The Complete Series Two.

George Carlin's version of the episode was released in "Thomas' Christmas Party", "Thomas' Christmas Wonderland", "Thomas' Snowy Surprise", and "Ultimate Christmas" on VHS and DVD with "Thomas's Christmas Party" and "Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure".


  • This was the only Ringo Starr-narrated episode released in North America without him properly re-recording certain lines. In this version, due to Starr's departure before he had a chance to re-narrate certain lines, all lines mentioning the Fat Controller were omitted but were not re-narrated with "Sir Topham Hatt" in their place, leaving some long pauses with music and sound effects present. The one line that was not omitted was the UK name for Santa Claus, Father Christmas. This version can only be found on the VHS release of Shining Time Station's Christmas Special "'Tis a Gift", which was originally released on October 27, 1992.
  • Father Christmas is a dressed-up model of the Fat Controller.
  • Stock footage from "Thomas, Terence and the Snow"/"Terrence the Tractor" is used (as is mirrored stock footage from "Thomas' Train"/"A Big Day for Thomas").
  • The episode was paired with "Woolly Bear" when it was first broadcast.


Voice actor Role(s)
Ringo Starr Narrator
George Carlin (US)


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