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Tugs (stylised as TUGS) is a British television series produced by Tugs Ltd., for Television South (TVS) and Clearwater Features Ltd. and first broadcast on ITV from 4 April to 27 June 1989. It was created by Robert D. Cardona and David Mitton, who had previously produced the first two series of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends. Set in the Roaring Twenties, the series focuses on the adventures of two anthropomorphized tugboat fleets, the Star Fleet and the Z-Stacks, who compete against each other in the fictional Bigg City Port: "the biggest harbour in the world".
The theme tune and incidental music was composed by Junior Campbell and Mike O'Donnell, who also wrote the music for Thomas & Friends (from 1984 to 2003).Despite a second series being planned in advance, when TVS Television lost its franchise to Meridian Broadcasting, the series did not continue production past 13 episodes. Following the initial airing of the series throughout 1989, television rights were sold to an unknown party, while some models and sets from the series were sold to Britt Allcroft. Modified set props and tugboat models were used in Thomas & Friends from 1991 onwards, with footage from the original programme being heavily dubbed and edited for use in the American children's series Salty's Lighthouse.
After Clearwater's liquidation in 1990, Mitton joined The Britt Allcroft Company to continue working on Thomas & Friends in 1991, while Cardona went on to direct Theodore Tugboat, a similarly natured series set in Canada. All thirteen episodes of the show were released on VHS between 1988 and 1990.