Very Important Sheep is the ninth episode of the nineteenth series.
One beautiful spring evening, Percy is about to set out for his mail run when the Fat Controller pulls up. He tells the engines that tomorrow morning, there will be a Spring Fair at Maithwaite station. Thomas is to take passengers to and from the fair and Percy is to collect Farmer McColl's new spring lambs and ewes and take them to the fair. Percy promises that he will collect them bright and early once he has finished delivering the mail.
But the next morning, Percy is running late. His mail run took longer than usual to complete and he is low on water. After Gordon refuses to let him go first at the water tower, Percy hurries to collect his livestock wagon, but he bumps the truck too hard. When the shunter couples the wagon to Percy, he pulls away not noticing that a hole has appeared in the back of his wagon and he also forgets to take his brake van with him.
Percy collects the very important sheep from Farmer McColl and carefully sets off on his way. But once he stops at a water tower, a lamb leaps through the hole in the wagon and onto the tracks. Still unaware of the problem, Percy carries on his way, not knowing that every time he stops or slows down, a few sheep escape from his wagon.
A while later, Thomas is puffing on the same line with Annie and Clarabel. He has to stop suddenly when he finds a lamb wandering on the track in front of him. His driver picks up the lamb and places it inside Annie, who is not very happy. But Thomas reminds her that it would be too dangerous to leave the lamb on the tracks. A little further down the line, they find another sheep and pick it up too. After finding many more sheep on the line, Annie has run out of room. So her passengers are forced to squeeze into Clarabel, while she carries the very comfortable sheep. Thomas remembers what the Fat Controller said to Percy the previous night and concludes that they must be Percy's sheep.
Meanwhile, Percy finally pulls up to the fair where Farmer McColl is waiting. But Farmer McColl is shocked to find the wagon completely empty. Percy does not understand how the sheep have disappeared until he is told about the hole in his wagon. As he apologises to Farmer McColl, Thomas pulls up behind him. Farmer McColl is delighted to see his very important sheep safe and sound. As the sheep are led away, Percy thanks Thomas for helping him and Thomas tells him that the sheep have been riding in style. Annie hopes that she never has to carry livestock again. But to her disgust, a piglet wanders along the platform next to her, causing Thomas and Percy to both laugh.
- Annie and Clarabel
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Farmer McColl
- The Blond-haired Boy
- A Little Girl
- A Knapford Station Yard Workman
- Edward (Cameo)
- Henry (Cameo)
- James (Cameo)
- Emily (Cameo)
- Rosie (Cameo)
- Stanley (Cameo)
- Diesel (Cameo)
- Trevor (Cameo)
- Jem Cole (Cameo)
- Farmer Trotter (Cameo)
- The Teacher (Cameo)
- The Bird Watcher (Cameo)
- The Schoolchildren (Cameos)
- Dowager Hatt's Friends (Cameos)
- The Lady with the Big Hat (Cameo)
- The Welsh Bird Watcher (Cameo)
- The Grumpy Passenger (Cameo)
- Albert's Wife (Cameo)
- The Great Railway Show Judge (Cameo)
- The Female Puppet Show Entertainer (Cameo)
- Tidmouth Sheds
- M.C. BUNN
- Knapford Station Yard
- McColl Farm
- Tower Windmill
- Crowe's Farm
- Farmer Trotter's Pig Farm
- John Hasler as Thomas
- Keith Wickham as Gordon, Bertie, the Fat Controller and a Knapford Station Yard Workman
- Nigel Pilkington as Percy
- Teresa Gallagher as Annie and Clarabel
- Matt Wilkinson as Farmer McColl
- Oliver McCue as the Blond-haired Boy
- Ashna Kapur as the Blonde-haired Girl
- Going by production order, this is the eighth episode of the nineteenth series.
- The plot is similar to the magazine story, Really Useful Rosie.
- This episode marks the first appearances of two characters:
- Oliver McCue and Ashna Kapur join the UK voice cast.
- On the PBS Kids and Season 19 (Digital Download) airing, the episode is paired with Toad and the Whale. On the Nick Jr. US airing, this episode was paired with Mucking About.
- The "me" and "ewes" exchange between Percy and the Fat Controller may be a subtle reference to a scene from the 1995 film Babe.
- This episode's US airdate coincided with the 71st anniversary of the franchise.
- Nigel Pilkington's name is misspelled as "Nigel Pilkinton" in the UK credits. The same error also occurs with the Helping Hiro UK credits.
- In the US dub, Percy mentions that he needs to fetch his trucks, but he only picks up one truck.
- The narrator states that there is not enough room for the sheep and passengers in Annie's carriage, but Annie is the carriage.
- When Thomas sees the sheep on the tracks, his brakes are heard being applied, but his wheels are still moving.
Annie: "Clattering carriages!"
Clarabel: "What ever is the matter, Thomas?"
Thomas: "There's a lamb on the track."
Annie: "A lamb?!"
Percy: "Oh, thank you, Thomas! They escaped from my wagon. Are they alright?"
Thomas: "I think they're quite comfortable, Percy! They've been travelling in style!"
Annie: "They certainly have! I hope I never have to carry livestock again!"- A piglet arrives beside her- "Oh, dear!"