Tugs was a British children's programme which ran from 1988 to 1989, focusing on the lives and rivalries of two tugboat fleets, the Star Fleet and Z-Stacks. The series employed animation techniques similar to that of Thomas & Friends, and was redubbed and heavily edited for segments of Salty's Lighthouse.
- Narrator/Captain Star: The 1920s. Bigg City Port was the biggest harbour in the world. It was a time of change and great opportunity. Nobody knew it better than the hard-working tugs, whose strength and big hearts made them popular with everybody from tramp steamers to ocean liners. Important jobs in the port often kept them working night and day. My tugs, the Star Fleet were no exception. I had three harbour tugs: OJ, a paddle-steamer. Warrior and Big Mac. A railway tug, Top Hat. One little switcher, Ten Cents. And Hercules, my ocean-going tug. They were a good crew, striving to be the best in the port. Not always succeeding, but proud of their work. I remember the day we got our first big break. It started like most, at dawn.
- Narrator: An alligator tug called Billy Shoepack worked up river, delivering essentials like gasoline, ropes, fuses and dynamite from Mittsfield to the logging camps. Why an alligator tug? Well, you can see, he's just as low in the water. And in Billy's case, just as dangerous.
- OJ: Why, look who's here! It's Shoepack, the alligator tug!
- Billy: Hey, Star Tugs! Don't you wish you carried somethin' more excitin' than wood?
- Big Mac: No thanks. Just get that stuff away from here, you're welcome to it.
- OJ: Dynamite's excitin' stuff! Makes lovely big bangs! Pretty harmless if you know how to handle it, like I do.
- OJ: You're not unloading next to us, are you?
- Billy: 'Fraid so, OJ. Don't worry, if it goes up, we all go up! [laughing]
- Big Mac: Eh?!
- Billy: No, it's safe. Only jokin'.
- Big Mac: You better be...
- Zug: It's blocked the river!
- Zorran: 'Course it's blocked the river, you idiot!
- Zug: I'm trapped! This side, what can I do?
- Zorran: Wait here and claim salvage.
- Zug: But...help could be ages getting here!
- Zorran: You've got company! All the Stars are on your side. I've had plenty of time to see who was there, haven't I? That means Z-Stacks have got all the harbour to ourselves, haven't we? Captain Zero will be pleased!
- Zug: [now scared] D- d- don't leave me here!
- Zorran Sorry, Zug. We'll have to manage without you!
4th of July/Regatta
- Ten Cents: Ah, well, that's it, Lillie. Now you can show us the way home.
- Sunshine: What would we do without you, eh?
- Lillie Lightship: Nice to be appreciated, boys. You'll be in the Regatta parade I suppose. I never see any of it from out here.
- Ten Cents: Pity, that.... We'll stick a light and foghorn on Sunshine and anchor him here so you can.
- Sunshine: Hey, do you mind? I'm in the parade too, you know!
- Grampus: They're going to blow me up today.
- Ten Cents: Huh?!
- Bluenose: That is correct!
- Big Mac: What?! But he's been a hero out there with Lillie and you lot are going to blow him up?! That's some kind of thanks.
- Bluenose: Ah, you civilian types may not understand this, but we Naval types know when we are past it. Instead of rottin' in some breaker's yard, we volunteer us for gunnery practice! Targets, you know!
- Ten Cents: But that's not fair! He's still a useful submarine, he does lots of things for us!
- Bluenose: Helpful for you, maybe! For us, he's old and out of date! Now I can't stand around here jawin' with you all day, my work's important. Big Mac will understand that, won't you, sir? Come on, Grampus, back to base! Target practice at 1400 hours!
- Ten Cents: Grampus! Grampus, don't go! Dive and hide!
- Grampus: It's no use, they'd catch up with me again somewhere. Thanks for all the fun we've had together. Bye, Ten Cents. Bye!
- Ten Cents: Bye...
- Big Mac: Listen, we can't let this happen. I'll handle the barges, you go off and find O.J., tell him about Grampus. He'll know what to do... We'll save our mate Grampus if it's the last thing we do.
- Grampus: If the modern Navy's gonna be like him, I'd be better off down with the fishes...
- Top Hat: Slow down! You know better than to travel at that rate of knots!
- OJ: You alright? You look as if you've seen a ghost.
- Big Mac: Well.... Well, I... I saw something.... No, I can't tell you, you'd only laugh...
- Top Hat: Oh, come on, we weren't even serious.
- Big Mac: Well... I have seen ghosts!
- Top Hat: What?! You've seen what?
- Big Mac: Ghosts! You know Scuttlebutt's story of those tugs that sank in the great storm of 1912.
- Warrior: And they come back to get you....
- Ten Cents: Oh, Big Mac... You're not takin' Scuttlebutt's story for real, are you?
- Big Mac: Well I'm not goin' out there 'til the fog lifts.
- Ten Cents: Well I never thought I'd hear that from a harbour tug!
- Sunshine: Well, he- He could have seen something.... It could be ghosts! You never know.
- Ten Cents: Don't be ridiculous. Really...'
- Top Hat: (asleep, dreaming) No! Go away, ghosts! No, don't hurt me! Please! Plea- Oh, Grampus...
- Grampus: What are you doing here, Top Hat? What's this about ghosts?
- Top Hat: Did I say 'ghosts'? I must've been dreaming. I lost my bearings in the fog and moored here for the night....
- Grampus: [chuckling] Here? That is funny.
- Top Hat: What's so funny?
- Grampus: You're only 500 yards away from the Star Tugs Pier! It's there! Look!
- Johnny Cuba: And don't try anything fancy! Or you'll find yourself at the bottom of the harbour with cement on your hull!
- Ten Cents: Look who's here! The Z-Stacks' hero!
- Sunshine: Hiya, Zebedee! Congratulations.
- Zebedee: Yeah... Not bad, was it?
- Ten Cents: You were great.
- Zebedee: Captain Zero's over the moon now that Johnny Cuba can't get out of....
- Ten Cents: Yeah. Thanks for helping us with Scuttlebutt Pete.
- Zebedee: Er, just forget about that, will you? Captain Zero wouldn't be pleased to hear about that....
- Ten Cents and Sunshine: Oh dear...
- Zebedee: Yeah, nor Zorran neither.
- Sunshine: We won't tell, don't you worry.
- Zebedee: Yeah, you better not, I've had enough troubles today.... Well, I'll see you fellas, eh?
- Ten Cents: Oh, er, Zebedee... If you ever think of leaving the Z-Stacks...
- Zebedee: What? You crazy? Today was today, okay?!
- Ten Cents: Oh. Yeah, well... Just a thought.
- Zebedee: Yeah? Well, you think too much...
- Narrator: After that day, things continued much as they were. But Zebedee showed that everyone must have a good streak in them somewhere. Even Z-Stacks.