Fame and Misfortune
Season One STMY, Episode Five
Vital statistics
Air date Saturday 18th of October, 2014
Written by WildNorWester
Directed by WildNorWester
Episode guide
Previous Next
The Missing Engine Doncaster Drawn

Fame and Misfortune is the fifth episode of Season 1 of Sodor: The Modern Years. It is the sixty-ninth episode overall.


One morning, Tornado is waiting at Knapford station with the express. While he and James are exchanging small talk, one of the passengers recognizes Tornado as the engine who appeared on the previous night's episode of Top Gear. The passengers get excited, and James asks what Top Gear is. Tornado and James' driver explain what Top Gear is, the latter as he and James are heading to East Knapford station. James starts feeling jealous of Tornado. In his opinion, the engines who've been there for decades and featured in The Thin Clergyman's books, are more deserving of that sort of attention.

A couple of days later, James is delivering some trucks to the steam works. He's just picked up the rest of his train and is heading for the mainline, when Tornado arrives at Crovan's Gate station with the express. As a result of this, James has to wait for the mainline track block to become clear before he can move off. He was hoping to get out onto the mainline before the express arrived. Now, he has to wait for Tornado to pass. Much to James' consternation, it takes Tornado seven minutes to depart the station.

In the sheds that night, Tornado apologizes to James, explaining that some persistent rail fans delayed him. Hearing this, James snaps. He tells Tornado off, saying that he is able to get his jobs done, as there's no one fawning over him. James then departs in a huff, leaving a stunned Tornado behind. Henry reassures the express engine, telling him that it will soon blow over.

The next morning, James is complaining to Diesel, about what he perceives to be Tornado's name-dropping. When Diesel points out that the stories about them are enduring, James departs in a huff. Realizing that he's in a bad mood, the trucks decide to play tricks on James. By the time they reach Wellsworth, the red engine is well and truly fed up with them. He bumps them hard, causing a train separation, and tells them off.

Unbeknownst to James, a teenager on the platform, who was showing off his new smartphone, filmed the whole thing. Later that afternoon, James is bewildered to hear his passengers giggling at him as he picks them up. Eric tells him he heard them saying something about James being on YouTube, to which the other engine replies that he's only been on his wheels.

In the sheds that evening, James' driver brings him a laptop, and shows him the footage of his accident that has been uploaded to YouTube. James protests, but Diesel reminds him of what he said earlier - that he wanted to be famous. Other engines have a bit of a laugh, except Tornado. He knows exactly how James feels.

The next morning, an embarrassed James is greeted by Tornado at the water tower outside the sheds. Tornado explains about how a mishap with his boiler test made the evening news, and tells James that the Fat Controller has asked him to take a cancer charity fundraising special. Due to the popularity of the fundraiser (mainly from rail fans), it's ended up being 16 coaches long. The Fat Controller would like to have it double-headed, and Tornado asks James if he'd like to take it - after all, there's going to be lots of rail fans there.

A couple of days later, Tornado and James are taking the rail fan special. As the cameras flash and passengers crowd around, James muses that, although he doesn't mind the right sort of attention, fame isn't all it's cracked up to be.



  • Top Gear's "Race to the North " in which Tornado took part in is the main basis for the episode.
  • A synthesized version of the Top Gear theme plays when James' driver is telling him about the show.
  • Diesel references the Railway Series story, Dirty Work.
  • This is the last episode where Bulletflash01 voices Eric and it's also the last episode to have him as part of the voice cast. Glenn Streeter takes over voicing Eric from Season 2 STMY onwards.
  • The episode's title is a play on the phase 'Fame and Fortune'.
  • During the harbour scene, when James is talking to Diesel, horn effects from the show TUGS can be heard in the background. This is a deliberate shout-out to TUGS, and foreshadowing Ten Cents' apperence the following season.


  • During the shed scene, Bear disappears between a close-up shot of Tornado and a wide-angle shot of the whole shed. WildNorWester confirmed that there were supposed to be sound effects of Bear moving off during the intermediate shot. However, these were left out.

Voice Cast



Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.