Ode to George Carlin
Season One STMY, Episode Three
Vital statistics
Air date Saturday, 4th of October 2014
Written by WildNorWester/NickInAmerica (original story)
Directed by WildNorWester
Episode guide
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Ode to George Carlin is the third episode of Season 1 of Sodor: The Modern Years. It is the sixty-seventh episode overall.


One drizzly afternoon in 2009, Geoff asks to Ivo Hugh why Duncan seems a bit down. Ivo Hugh replies that Duncan's favourite comedian 'passed away'. Geoff asks Duncan how he came to know George Carlin, so Duncan tells him the story.

In 1998, he'd returned from work to find some of the workmen, as well as some of the other engines, watching George Carlin performing on TV. Duncan found the performance utterly enthralling, and is soon laughing at the jokes. As time goes on, Duncan gets to see more of Carlin's performances. The other engines also start to 'come around', and listen to Carlin too.

One morning, in 2009, Duncan and Rheneas are discussing recent events on the North-West Railway. Rheneas mentions that one of Duncan's comments is similar to that of George Carlin, and this gets Duncan thinking. He hasn't heard anything from Carlin in a while, so he asks his driver about it when he arrives. Duncan's driver sadly tells him that George Carlin had passed away last year.

Duncan's driver remembers something, which he hopes will cheer Duncan up. He tells Duncan that he thinks "George Carlin liked you too." Duncan is surprised by this, but his driver only tells him to wait and see.

The next morning, Duncan is surprised to see his driver arrive, as they're supposed to have the day off. His driver's granddaughter, Clair, is also with them. Duncan's driver brings up the topic of the TV series, but Duncan doesn't really care much for it. Clair shows Duncan the episode 'Home at Last', with the American narration. Duncan is very surprised to hear George Carlin's narration. This changes Duncan's opinion of the TV series, and he watches all of the episodes narrated by Carlin.

A week or so later, the Thin Controller comes to see Duncan. He tells him that his twin on the Tallylyn Railway has been repainted to look like him, and asks if Duncan would like to do the same. Duncan instead asks to be painted in the livery he has in the TV series, as a tribute to George Carlin. A couple of days later, Duncan's repaint is done. The other engines are a bit shocked by the new livery at first, but they understand why Duncan chose the colour. It's something they can't argue with.



Images from the comic were used to depict George Carlin performing.

As mentioned in the episode titles and video description, this episode is adaptation of this comic by NickInAmerica on Deviantart. NickInAmerica (aka NickOnAquaMagna) also provided the voices for George Carlin and Duncan.

There are a few differences from the comic, the main one being the inclusion of Geoff the works diesel. In the original comic, the story starts in the 1990s, before the new millennium dawns. However, as STMY season 1 takes place in 2009, this first part of the narrative needed to be told as a flashback.

Geoff, as a character who 'lives' at the steamworks, knows the Skarloey Railway engines well enough to tell when one of them is feeling down, but not well enough to know about the Duncan/Carlin connection. Hence, his questioning of Ivo Hugh and Duncan provided a means to launch into the flashback.

The other main difference from the comic is that the episode opens with Duncan correcting Ivo Hugh's use of the euphemism 'passed away', which occurs on page 6 of the original comic. Again, this change was made to facilitate the flashback structure of the narrative. Given that Duncan had been feeling down about Carlin's death, it was only natural that this would be when Geoff would notice something up with the little engine.

The other changes were mostly minor. These included Thomas passing when Duncan was making his remarks about the TV show (and looking annoyed), and a bit more detail about Duncan's repaint.

In order to depict George Carlin, NickInAmerica provided the original images that had been used to represent Carlin in the comic. These were added to TV set models made by WildNorWester, which were then filmed.



  • This was the first episode of Sodor the Modern Years to be produced and completed.
  • A still from Diesels and Dukes can be seen at one point on the television.
  • This was the first story to be adapted from another medium since Bad Apple.
  • Instead of the usual closing theme, a different tune is heard over the closing credits.  This is a cover version of 'Armadillo Blues', a piano piece written and performed by George Carlin during the credits of Carlin on Campus.  This cover version was performed by Steven Shilling, who allowed WildNorWester to use it for this episode.  This same version of 'Armadillo Blues' is heard during the episode, when Duncan is thinking about how George Carlin "Tells it like it is".
  • In the opening credits, the box surrounding the footage is red rather than blue, as it is an episode based on the Skarloey Railway.
  • The episode was released privately to TobyAndMavisForever before it's offical release, and she did a teaser review on it.

Voice Cast



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