Mr. Conductor was a character in the children's series Shining Time Station and in Thomas and the Magic Railroad. Mr. Conductor was a small man who lived in the signal box in Shining Time's mural. He was played in the first season by Ringo Starr, in the second and third seasons and in the family specials by George Carlin, and in the movie by Alec Baldwin.
In the show, Mr. Conductor was used to introduce the Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends stories, which would usually be related to some problem that the other characters were facing.
Mr. Conductor was able to appear and disappear at will using magic dust. He lived in a signal box in the mural, which seemed like merely a painting to outsiders, but actually seems to have space inside.
Throughout the series, there have been three characters with the name Mr. Conductor.
Mr. Conductor I
Played by Ringo Starr, the first Mr. Conductor was discovered by Matt when he was cleaning up the station. Stacy knew that he was there, but preferred not to mention him to other people. He was initially afraid of Harry, the station's engineer, but in the end the others convinced him that if he tried to talk to Harry, they could be friends. In the episode "'tis a Gift", Mr. Conductor left for the North Pole with Mr. Nicholas. J. B. King, Esquire, the head of the Indian Valley Railroad, decided to keep the station open when he learned that Mr. Conductor lived there.
Mr. Conductor II
The second Mr. Conductor, played by George Carlin, was the cousin of the first. When compared to the original, this Mr. Conductor had a more brightly-colored outfit, and more-known sense of humor; as he is occasionaly seen playing tricks on Schemer. (This is most likely due to the fact that the actor, George Carlin, was a comedian.) In a few cases, after some gold dust landed on a drawing of him, an evil twin was created, who caused trouble at the station, and could only be turned back into a picture by using magic dust or glue. For a brief time after the series ended, Mr. Conductor hosted a series called Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales.
Unlike the past Mr. Conductor (Ringo Starr) and the future Mr. Conductor (Alec Baldwin), he was the only one out of the two who had a deeper-pitched whistle that sounded more like an actual train whistle, which was altered further during the TV Specials, and Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales.
Mr. Conductor III
The third Mr. Conductor was played by Alec Baldwin (the former season 5-6 narrator of the Thomas series). No specific relation to his previous counterparts was mentioned, although the "Conductor Family" was mentioned in passing, and that his uniform was similar to the former Mr. Conductor (George Carlin). Mr. Conductor had to watch over the engines on Sodor while Sir Topham Hatt was away, but he found that his gold dust supply was diminishing, and he might not be able to return to Shining Time. While being pursued by Diesel 10, who wanted to destroy the steam engines, Mr. Conductor had to solve the riddle to create more gold dust. Eventually with the help of C. Junior, Lily, Lady, and Burnett Stone, he found the source of the gold dust.
Mr. Conductor has been seen to have other family members occasionally.
Sister Conductor was Mr. Conductor's sister, played by Teri Garr in the hour-long special "One of the Family". She flew around in a small plane, and enjoyed interacting with the puppets in the jukebox. Mr. Conductor was not too fond of his sister at first, thinking that she was reckless. The two reconciled toward the end of the episode, when the two dropped a toolkit from her plane to repair Kara's soapbox racer.
Mr. Conductor, Junior was a character in Thomas and the Magic Railroad and was played by Michael E. Rodgers. Junior was the cousin of Mr. Conductor (Baldwin). He enjoyed relaxing on the beach, but was called by his cousin to bring his gold dust reserve to the Island of Sodor. At the end of the film, Mr. Conductor thought that Junior was worthy enough to take on the business, and directed him to a railroad with a beach for him to look after.
Unlike his relatives, who all used whistles, Junior preferred a party horn; even though he had a whistle as well.
Relation with Other Characters
J. B. King, Esquire
J. B. King, Esquire was the superintendent of the Indian Valley Railroad. He initially wanted to close down Shining Time Station in favor of a new, larger station in Snarlyville, but when he discovered that Mr. Conductor lived in the station, he decided to leave it open. Later, in the episode "All's Fair", Mr. King explains that when he was a boy, he missed his train home, and he was aided by Mr. Conductor. Although Mr. Conductor would not speak directly to Mr. King, he did acknowledge him from time to time.
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