Samson, Boco, and the Man in the Hills
Samson, Boco, and the Man in the Hills Still
Written by:

Matt Michaud

Some attributes
Date Aired June 30, 2015
Previous Episode Logan Leaves his Mark
Next Episode Culdee Fell

"At last, you all will see that I am the strongest tank engine on Sodor!"

Samson, BoCo, and the Man in the Hills is the eighth episode of the third season.


Due to his many mistakes, Samson the cabless tank engine is stationed at Crovan's Gate Mine. He is displeased with the work, and complains that it is beneath him. Skarloey and Rusty try to bring him down to earth, but Samson is too haughty. They remind him, however, about the many accidents he has had recently on the dual gauge tracks at the mine, and his most recent blunder, causing Sir Handel to crash into his trucks and be severely incapacitated, leaving the latter in a raging fervor. Samson claims to have forgotten about that incident, but Sir Handel, sitting nearby on Madge's flatbed, is still furious. Samson starts to feel a bit down, but Rusty tries to cheer him up by saying he might be able to work his way up to higher work. Rusty's words having lifted his spirits a bit, Samson returns to his duties.

Elsewhere, Arthur is pulling a train down his branch line, near the Transfer Yards. Madge drives by with Sir Handel. Arthur asks what happened, and Sir Handel simply reminds him that Samson is working at the mine. Arthur understands gravely, and Madge departs. Suddenly, Arthur sees a strange figure engraved in a rock, taking the form of a man with a crook. Mighty Mac rolls alongside. The two halves tell Arthur that the figures have been popping up all over the place, which intrigues Arthur greatly.

Back at the mine, Samson is doing his best to work well, and is finally not making a mess of things. He asks the foreman if he may be allowed to have some more variety in his jobs, but is not allowed. He is disappointed, but is soon focused on his work again.

Elsewhere, on top of a cliff near the mine, two of Sir Frederick Aura's henchmen have found another carving of the "man in the hills." They discuss their plans to force the shepherd who has recently obtained Proteus' lamp out of hiding. Their plotting is interrupted by a horn, and they hide quickly, as BoCo clatters past.

BoCo arrives at the mine to collect some trucks. He and Charlie tease Samson about his mistakes before he leaves with his train. Unfortunately, he overheats on the way out. He is distraught about his mishap, but is distracted by an explosion, causing some rocks to fall, and causing the carving of the Man in the Hills where the two henchmen were hiding earlier to be revealed. BoCo is puzzled about what it is.

At the mine, the foreman asks Samson to collect BoCo's trucks and bring them back to the mine. Samson asks if he can just take the train the rest of the way, and take BoCo, too, but the foreman tells him that another engine will collect BoCo. He is disappointed, but sets off anyways. When he arrives, he prepares to take the trucks back, but the two men have set off another bomb, causing many rocks to fall down. Samson is forced to push BoCo onwards, and is very excited to be able to prove himself, but the challenge is daunting. They nearly make it out, but a pile of rocks fall across the tracks. BoCo breaks hard, but his sparks set off some dynamite. Samson backs away, and the dynamite blows the rocks away. They make it out of harm's way, only to crash into a pile of rocks, damaging BoCo, but not nearly as bad as if he had been left in the rockslide, which BoCo is very grateful about.

Later, the Search and Rescue Team rescues Samson and BoCo. Many people question their experience, but they keep the incident on the down low, mostly because they are not even sure what happened themselves! Samson has been moved to more important odd jobs, and BoCo is quickly mended, but something is still not quite right.

Back in the valley where the explosions had happened, Belle and Flynn are putting out some fires. The foreman asks why both Belle and Flynn came, and the two fire engines explain that it is their duty to ensure Sodor's safety, as well as some detective work going on. A rude workman tells the two fire engines that they are not needed, but Belle assures him that they need to investigate the rockface to ensure that everyone can rest at ease. She tells him that they need to make sure the accident wasn't "on [the workem's] end." Flynn agrees with her, and the workman is at a loss for words. The foreman tells them that the event must have been caused by the rockface itself, because none of them were doing any detonating. However, after seeing the faded engraving of the Man in the Hills, Belle thinks that the explosion was manmade. She speculates that it has nothing to do with the quarry workers, because the dynamite was rather unsophisticated. A workman asks what she is implying, and she tells him that she is sure that the explosion was intentional, and meant as an attack. Flynn is still wondering who could or would even do that, and when Red Knight and Lola Lovefray enter, he realizes that he is not the only one asking that question.

In a post credit sequence, BoCo meets up with Arthur. The tank engine is impressed and intrigued about BoCo's experience. BoCo tells him that he doesn't even know, but the Search and Rescue Team and the Ministry of Defence are investigating. Arthur thinks it is a good idea to talk to Edward about the incident, and thinks it may relate to an incident of the past, but BoCo does not let him finish, assuring him that Edward has already heard, as Samson has probably told just about everyone on the Island by this point. Arthur tries to tell BoCo that he is the only engine Edward confides with, but BoCo tells him that all he saw was a man carved in a rock. Arthur is surprised, as he saw the same thing earlier. They see Thomas, who has experienced the same thing, as he was one of the first engines to see the original carving. He tells the two engines about the story Sir Handel told a while ago on the Thin Controller's birthday. BoCo is surprised that it was Sir Handel who told him, thinking Duke or Skarloey would be more likely. Arthur says that Sir Handel is a bit more wise than the engines all think he is, but not by all that much, and thinks that maybe they should talk to him.

In a warehouse, Aura's two henchmen are confiding about their mission, when Richards enters. They boast about accomplishing their mission, when Richards lost the shepherd when he was first seen. As they speak, they are shot right down by Richards. On his radio, Aura speaks up. He tells his henchmen that the action was "co-lateral," in regard to their failure. He declares that the shadows are no longer their haven, and they must start working in the light, before giving strict orders to find Proteus' lost headlamp.


The Loudspeaker Foreman, a shunter, Aura's Henchman, BoCo's driver and two workers also speak.


  • This episode was originally titled "Samson, BoCo, and the Railboat." This was because Sailor John and Skiff were to play a large role in the episode, until TheScotsmanReturns, who had seen Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure informed EE93 that the script was not in any way canonical to the film, thus forcing a rewrite.
  • This episode marks the first appearance and speaking role of Samson as well as the first non-speaking appearences of Sam, Ernest, Kevin, and Porter and the first speaking roles of Belle, Flynn, and Charlie.
  • There are references to Samson Sent for Scrap in the beginning as well as re-made scenes from said episode, Samson at Your Service and Marion and the Dinosaurs.
  • Oliver's 2014 model is seen in this episode onwards.
  • Arthur references Blunderbuss when talking to Sir Handel.