Tucker and James
Season 6, Episode 21
Written by Stephen Patton
Directed by Stephen Patton
Episode guide
Express Reassess
James and the Red Balloon

Spam Jam is the twenty-first episode of the sixth series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book, Tucker the Spamcan Diesel.


Tucker has a second chance and works on the Main Line, however halfway in the journey he approaches Gordon's hill but climbs it with ease and soon gets to work. Tucker arrives at the Knapford yards to collect some trucks and take them to the quarry and delivers the stone throughout the island.

The engines are very fond of him, except James, who although doesn't dislike him, doesn't like how loud and nosy he is. One day James shouts at Derek for getting to close to his red paint but Henry tells Derek to ignore Gordon and comforts Derek by telling him that he also had flaws when he was first built.

Later that same day after Tucker had brought some trucks and is waiting for James to pass by with his slip coaches at Wellsworth before going home. He meets Edward who explains that Gordon will pull a non-stop Express from Knapford to Vicarstown, and Edward explains to Tucker what a non-stop service is and Gordon takes once daily. When James rushes by, Edward realizes that James didn't have Rose and Harry, Tucker thinks that he may have forgotten one but the Fat Controller explains sternly by saying that all Express trains must have a brake coach and not having one is against railway regulations. However before he can continue Edward interrupts and the three of them are shocked to see that the last two slip coaches have somehow detached from Gordon's train, luckily the guard brakes them to a stop at Wellsworth, suggesting the coupling must have broken. Rose and Harry argue about he is seemed to blame about the broken coupling. The Fat Controller stops the argument and doesn't care who's fault it was. As Edward is busy with a stopping train The Fat Controller asks Tucker if he could quickly give them to James, Tucker agrees and is quickly coupled up and pushes the slip coaches. James meanwhile had stopped at Cronk with Basil, the passengers are angry at being late and Gordon is just about to go all the way back to retrieve the coaches when Tucker bustles in pushing the last two slip coaches. The slip coaches are happy to be hitched back to James' train, the passengers reboard and James quickly hurries away. That evening, James apologizes for being so sharp with Tucker and Tucker accepts James as a new friend but is mainly happy to be part of the Fat Controller's Railway after his old number is eraced into a new "9".

Plot Summary

Tucker the Diesel was feeling quite well as cruised along the Main Line. Then he reached Gordon's Hill. He was speeding down the other side. He loved coasting down like a slide. He arrived at Knapford Yards and to do he had to take the freight cars to the Quarry where Mavis the Diesel Engine worked. Tucker introduced himself to her. Mavis thought it was very nice to meet him. Tucker took the stone cars to the harbor before the ship left. He soon became friends with Thomas and the others, including James.

James didn't dislike Tucker, but he sometimes thought he was such a nosy diesel of all. “Careful with your attitude,” he snorted. “this is my special paintwork.” “Sorry,” said Tucker. “Don't blame him,” grunted Henry. “you're getting all puffed up.” “I've gotten much worse, thank you,” laughed Tucker. “Considering the fact I couldn't get failed.” Henry related to Tucker's problems. “You know,” he said. “you're not the only one. When I was first built,” he began. “I was a complete hybrid of so many engines.” And Henry told him about his history.

Later at Edward's Station, Tucker had to wait for James to pass before returning to Tidmouth Sheds after he took the Goods Train to Brendam. “He's coming back with the nonstop service,” said Edward. “What does that mean?” asked Tucker. “It means that it goes directly from Knapford to Vicarstown without any stops between. James takes it once a day.” Just then, they heard James' whistle. “Here he comes now,” said Bear. James rushed through the station. But he had one Slip Coach was Basil. “That's strange. Where are Rose and Harry?” asked Edward. “Maybe he just left them behind,” replied Tucker. “That would be against railway regulations.” The three engines knew that voice. It was Sir Topham Hatt. “All passenger trains are required to have a break coach so...” But before he could finished, Tucker interrupted. “I think I found those two coaches, Sir.” “Blimey!” exclaimed Sir Topham Hatt. There, slowly into the station were Rose and Harry. They were from James' train. The passengers were mad! “This is all your fault!” complained Harry. “No it is not!” argued Rose. “My coupling must have broken!” “It's your fault!” “No it's my coupling!” “Silence!” called Sir Topham Hatt. “I don't care who's fault it is. We must get the passengers back to the train I care about. Oh dear, this will be difficult. By the time, James realizes he may already by at Cronk. So who will help Rose and Harry?” “Maybe I can help, Sir,” said Tucker hopefully. Sir Topham Hatt was surprised, but typically agreed. So Tucker pushed Rose and Harry along the line, fiercely as he flounced by Edward with Aurora, Ariel and Anna.

He charged up Gordon's Hill. The passengers were anxious, so were Rose and Harry. “We're already late, we mustn't be dreadfully late,” they said. “I'm trying, I'm going as fast as I can,” panted Tucker as he ran down the other side of the hill. As he approached Maron, no sign of James. “Bother!” muttered Tucker. “Must keep going.” They were getting closer to Cronk. The bridge was lifted up to let the ship going through. Tucker stopped and waited for the bridge to close down. The ship moved out of sight as the bridge lifted from the air and closed. Tucker rushed across along his way to Cronk.

Fortunately, James had stopped there, wondering what had happened. “How did we not notice this?” said the Driver. “Maybe the coupling had snapped. Anyway, we're pretty far away from the last two Slip coaches I'm afraid.” Basil was cross, and so were the passengers. “We're already late!” they grumbled. Poor James felt very embarrassed. “I hope one of the other engines would bring them here.” That was quite fortunate. The Conductor waved a red flag. There in the distance was Tucker with Rose and Harry. Tucker was exhausted, but relieved to see James. “Well what do you know!” cried James' Thrilled Driver. “That diesel has chased after us all this way to give us back our coaches.” “My brother and sister!” cried Basil happily. The passengers were very pleased. “What a useful diesel,” they said. The Slip Coaches were coupled up, and James raced out of the station.

Later that evening, the two engines returned to the Sheds, James spoke to Tucker. “I'm sorry I was rude to you,” he apologized. “Thank you for saving my passengers.” “Oh, don't worry about it,” smiled Tucker. “it was so grateful to help and feel useful.” “Well you're not a bad diesel anymore,” said James. “right now, you definitely are a useful diesel.” “Thank you,” replied Tucker.

He is happy now. His old number was replaced by a No. 9. He has his new Nameplates, and the NWR has written. Sir Topham Hatt agreed he could become the member of the Main Line. Tucker befriends with Bear. He likes pulling the Flying Kipper, the Goods Train and the Express. The engines don't think he's rudder than ever anymore, and they never complain.



<< Series 5 Series 6 Series 7 >>

#01 Lady Returns #10 A Friend in Need #19 What's in the Name #28 Thomas, Percy and the Squeak #37 Alfred's Important Passenger
#02 Impatient Crovan #11 Max-imum Overdrive #20 Express Reassess #29 Thomas the Jet Engine #38 Signal Failure
#03 Salty's Secret #12 Henry Sees Red #21 Tucker and James #30 Edward the Very Useful Engine #39 Thomas and the Swan
#04 Harvey to the Rescue #13 Thomas, Lady and the Snowplough #22 James and the Red Balloon #31 Dunkin Duncan #40 It's Only Snow
#05 No Sleep for Cranky #14 Twin Trouble #23 Jack Frost #32 Rusty Saves the Day
#06 A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter #15 The World's Strongest Engine #24 Gordon Takes a Tumble #33 Faulty Whistles
#07 Elizabeth the Vintage Lorry #16 Scaredy Engines #25 Percy's Chocolate Crunch #34 Duke The Proud Engine
#08 The Fogman #17 Percy and the Haunted Mine #26 Buffer Bother #35 The Missing Tender
#09 Jack Jumps In #18 Spam Jam #27 Toby Had a Little Lamb #36 Liz’s Chocolate Bunnies
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