"The tugboat, for its size, is the most powerful craft afloat. And the Starr Tugs are the power behind the docks and waterways that make up the Bigg City Port."
From the makers of Thomas the Tank Engine comes a short-lived sister series. Set in Bigg City Port in The Roaring Twenties, it chronicles the adventures of the Star Tugs, a fleet of Thomas-esque boats with faces as they compete for contracts with their biggest rivals, the Z-Stacks.What really sets this show apart from Thomas is the maturity of the stories. There are dangerous perils that the Tugs have to deal with, such as being crushed by a wayward ocean liner, or the risk of being scrapped.
This show provides examples of:
The Ace: Hercules, the largest and strongest of Captain Star's fleet.
Warrior and Big Mac in "Warrior" when they stop Izzy from capsizing after he runs aground.
Zebedee of all characters in "High Winds" when he helps the Star Tugs dock the Princess Alice liner during a windstorm.
British Accents: Ten Cents has a Cockney accent, while Sunshine is a Geordie. Big Mac is Glaswegian, Top Hat has an upper-class accent, while Hercules has a sort of Cary Grant thing going on. And yet it's set in America...
Everything Is Better With Explosions: Billy Shoepack thinks so. Also, many episodes have some sort of explosion or another. Given that co-creator David Mitton had once worked on Thunderbirds (where things exploded pretty much on a regular basis), this is hardly surprising.
Expy: The Pirates in control of Sea Rogue and his uncle are clearly based on The Mysterons.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Up River", Billy Shoepack uses his dynamite to free Sunshine from a log jam. Unfortunately, the force of the explosion turns the logs into a massive battering ram heading straight for Bigg City.
The Smurfette Principle: There are three female characters with lines in the show (Lillie, Sally and Pearl). The liners are always referred to as "she" but that may just be because of the nautical term, as they don't appear to be sentient like the other ships.