- "I'd prefer some peace and quiet, it just seems like I'm constantly thrust into perilous circumstances when it's the least desirable option!"
- ―The Thin Controller, Swashbuckler
Mr. Roger Sam, better known as The Thin Controller, is the adventureous and stern head of the Skarloey Railway.
The Thin Controller has been in charge of the Skarloey Railway for many years, overseeing operations at the Wharf, Railway Tourism, and the Blue Mountain Quarry. He has seen a fair bit of action during his term, filled with thrills, adventure, and foreboding!
In 2009, The Thin Controller pursued a masked thief to an Abandoned Gunpowder Warehouse. He confronts the thief regarding some stolen maps, only to have the masked figure begin sparring with him. He is saved by an unknown force which reveals a sword for him. The two fight and are evenly matched until an explosion allows the thief to disappear. Following this incident, the Thin Controller confides in his engines and close friends the thrill he felt from this adventure, also asking them to keep this from his wife.
The Thin Controller was shocked to witness the dangerous implications of Sir Handel's discovery. Large quantities of D. Fusit Gunpowder, hidden away in an old shed, needed to be disposed of. Not knowing how exactly to go about it, The Thin Controller decided to store it away in Duke's creaky old shed for the time being. Unfortunately, Bertram's runaway cars smashed into the stock hold and blew it to smithereens. The Thin Controller, recognizing that there had been a "Double Whammy" of misfortune, was thankful no one had been hurt, and tried to move on from the experience.
After a few months time, The Thin Controller acted upon his hunch that more warehouse of gunpowder were hidden along the line, and were a hazard to the safety of the railway. Reluctantly, he let Duncan lead the investigation party. After a fortress containing more of the dangerous materials was discovered and infiltrated, the Thin Controller was thrilled to discover an old line of cannons lined up along the walls. Sparks from Duncan's funnel, quite unfortunately, lit up the entire keep, causing the cannons to go off and fire away at Sir Handel and Fearless Freddie, who were resting at Ember Gorge. After this adventure, The Thin Controller decided to leave the matter alone for a while.
The Thin Controller helped mend Mighty Mac's feud when Mighty had broken down on a bridge, reminding them that "two hearts must burn together."
Bombarded by rifle fire, the Thin Controller was very exasperated when his Lake Excursions were struck by the likes of Dex and Winslow, the dim-witted hunters. To protect his traffic, he ordered to have "no hunting signs" put into place by Rusty, and eventually brought the ruffians to the authorities for the damage they had caused.
During a summer celebration, a mysterious whistle was heard close to the Skarloey Railway Sheds. Since all the engines were present, it was obvious that the whistle came from an outsider. The Thin Controller, believing he has heard this mysterious whistle before, assembled an investigation party with Rheneas, Skarloey, and Duncan. When Rheneas derailed due to mysterious occurrences, The Thin Controller allowed Skarloey to continue the hunt.
The Thin Controller had a large role to play in the Munitions Incident. After clearing out what was believed to be the last gunpowder warehouse (thanks to the assistance of Rusty), the Thin Controller returns to find that the Ministry of Defense had deceived him and are planning to build a large military outpost as opposed to simply disposing of the hazardous materials. When disaster strikes, The Thin Controller and Darren hurry to the rescue to save Derek's driver and General Zen. After rescuing a wounded Zen and eventually escaping on board Harold, The Thin Controller warns the General about the dangers of fire, and leaves the scene, none the worse for his recent adventure.
Due to the frequency of these discoveries, the Thin Controller is suspicious that someone is gathering the gunpowder in secret for a specific purpose...
When The Thin Controller's university friends arrived looking for him at the Blue Mountain Quarry, they accidentally set off explosives, damaging Duke and Sir Handel. They were arrested, along with another friend of his, after causing a disturbance at Crovan's Gate Works. However, when his friends were arrested, they were told that a certain "well dressed man" had arrived about their being bailed out. However, when the Thin Controller came towards them, Vegard claimed that their purpose was to warn the Thin Controller of a dark terror that had been behind many of the occurrences on the railway. Disbelieving, and angered due to the damage Vegard and the others had caused, The Thin Controller left them behind, though with guilt. Recent Events, however, have caused The Thin Controller to wonder if Vegard was indeed telling the truth....
Due to a mishap caused by Duncan, The Thin Controller was forced to put on a Production of Hamlet with his narrow gauge engines as the cast and crew. In addition to being cast as the lead by a theater-enthralled Bertram, he was onstage during Peter Sam's poorly place stand up routine, an awkward love scene with Duncan, and quite humorously "broke a leg" during a poorly choreographed sword fight scene with Skarloey.
His wife Roxanne is currently quite upset due to discovering his swashbuckling habits. Before departing for the Fat Controller's meeting, he romantically compared his love to his wife to that of the personalities of his engines. Following this, the two set off in Madge to collect the Small Controller en-route to the meeting.
Once their reason for convening was revealed, The Thin Controller was quite surprised by Sir Topham's revelation regarding the Little Western Extension's true purpose. The surprise further escalated when the lumberjacks began a rebellion against Carlo Debris. The Thin Controller hobbled away from the madness onto an upper balcony where he and Sir Frederick Aura were cornered. Aura tossed the disabled Roger a flagpole to spar with, citing that he knew what he could do with it. Before he could question it, the two systematically fought the advancing lumberjacks. Not long after this, Madge and Roxxane barged in to rescue the Thin Controller.
Outside the burning warehouse, the Thin Controller expressed his growing guilt about leaving Shay, Weaver and Vegard in jail after they warned him of such dark occurrences. His wife reassured him however that he made the correct decision.
Later on, he was finally able to get the cast off, but he still felt uncertain. He could not shake off his past, was nervous throughout the day, and anxious overall (Granted, there was a guy trying to shoot him). He eventually found himself meeting with Thomas, who was facing the opposite problem of an uncertain future. He told the tank engine about what he had done during the Munitions fire, that no one truly told him to do it, and went home with him. This would become more frequent later down the line.
The Thin Controller is sophisticated, sensible, and just. He prefers tranquility but secretly fancies a brush with adventure from time to time. He is also an avid fencer, but he keeps this a secret. Although he is not as young as he used to be, he is still healthy in mind, body, and spirit. He holds his engines very close to his heart, particularly Rheneas and Skarloey. He wants things to slow down, but a great deal of chaotic events never cease to befall him. This has left him anxious, nervous, and with potential PTSD, if his behavior at the Sodor Day grounds was of any indication.
- Season 1: Lift Bridge (cameo), Snow Blind (remastered version cameo), Shepherd's Pie (cameo), Double Whammy, Will Power (cameo), Cannon Fodder
- Season 2: Two Hearts Burn Together, Pigeon Hunting, Scot-free (cameo), Mavis and the Tornado (cameo), Rosie, Just Another Wild Goose Chase, Munitions, Blunderbuss, Luke and Millie's Blue Mountain Adventure, All the World's a Stage, Swashbuckler, Thomas and the Fortune Teller, Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
- Season 3: Samson, BoCo, and the Man in the Hills (mentioned)
- He has a wife, five children and a dog.
- In their younger years, Vegard saved the Thin Controller's life.
- In the second season and some re-mastered episodes, The Thin Controller had it's own music theme.