30 May 1989 (UK)
High Tide is the tenth episode of TUGS.
Big Mac arrives at the briefing covered in coal dust from smokestack to hull, having worked all night. Top Hat rudely teases him for it, and Warrior defends him until Captain Star begins the briefing. He sends Top Hat to pick up Lord Stinker, much to his disgust. Top Hat tries to argue his way out of it, but fails. After Top Hat leaves, Sunshine speaks in his defense that he is still a hard worker. O.J. remarks that while the other Star Tugs acknowledge this, it's his attitude that's the problem. Sunshine is then sent to help Ten Cents, who is already working, and O.J. to pick up a new propeller from Lucky's Yard, where Sunshine will help him after finishing his work. Big Mac and Warrior are sent to pick up steel, and Captain Star warns them to be careful, as the highest tide in years is taking place.
As Big Mickey, the port's largest crane, is preparing for the move to the new location, Big Mac and Warrior run into Zebedee and Zak, who are also competing for the steel contract. Big Mickey loads the steel and wishes Big Mac and Warrior luck as they begin their trip to the new steelworks location. Shortly after, Zebedee and Zak decide to cut through the canal, seeing as it's too narrow for both them and the Stars to go through at the same time. Big Mac and Warrior find out about this, but they don't worry about losing the contract because with Zebedee's tall load, the high tide, and low bridges, the Z-Stacks are sure to get their due.
Meanwhile, Top Hat is also going through the canal with Frank, Eddie and Lord Stinker. He spots the two Z-Stacks, and they argue over who will pass and who will turn back. Zebedee and Top Hat both try to go through, and find out who'll make it through, but then Top Hat backs away, seeing that Zebedee's load will hit the railway bridge. Zebedee can not reverse, and winds up ramming his load into the railway bridge. As he and Zak go for help, Puffa, (though not mentioned by name) pulling the mail train, makes his way toward the bridge, which has been weakened by Zebedee's steel. Top Hat has an idea. He plans to prop the bridge up with Zebedee's load. The steel is put into place, and it holds up long enough for the mail train to pass. Unfortunately, the steel collapses along with the bridge soon after, just as the Goods Engine makes its way towards it. Lord Stinker has an idea: to attempt to catch the train by waiting in front of the broken rail. His idea works, and no serious damage is caused to the goods engine or its wagons. The Steel Company is not happy about the damage the Z-Stacks have done to their steel rig, and the Star Fleet are given the steel contract as the bridge is rebuilt, whilst the Steel Company are paid for supplying metal.
- Top Hat
- Ten Cents
- Big Mac
- Lord Stinker
- Big Mickey
- Captain Star
- Frank and Eddie
- Zug (cameo)
- Zip (cameo)
- Fire Tug (cameo)
- Scuttlebutt Pete (cameo)
- Mighty Mo (cameo)
- Izzy Gomez (cameo)
- S.S. Vienna (cameo)
- Puffa (does not speak)
- The Goods Engine (does not speak)
- Captain Zero (mentioned)
- This episode marks Big Mickey's first speaking role.
- This episode marks Frank and Eddie's first speaking role.
- Stock footage from Sunshine and Pirate is used.
- A deleted scene shows Top Hat looking happy with Zebedee, even though in the episode, the two were cross with each other when they charged towards the bridge. This can be found on the back of the Japanese VHS of the episode.
- This is the Goods Engine's only distinct role.
- Zorran is the only Z-Stack to not appear in this episode.
- This is the only episode in which Ten Cents is not part of the main storyline.
- The body of the truck at the front of the Goods Engine was previously used in Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.
- The Japanese title of this episode is called "Top Hat's Outstanding Performance".
- In the close-ups of Zebedee moving toward the bridge, his load is either not moving, or moving at a slower pace than he is.
- Sunshine never goes to help O.J. with the propeller, even though he promised that he would be there.
- Warrior's background keeps changing when he and Big Mac are speaking to Zebedee and Zak.
- When Big Mac arrives covered in coal, the coal makes a dark circle around his mouth. In a later shot, the dark circle is gone, due to Big Mac wearing a different face.
- In a close up of Big Mac saying, "You be careful, Warrior." his eyes look wonky.
- As Zebedee and the steel rig head towards the bridge, in one shot Top Hat reverses with his load, but when it cuts back to Zebedee, he is still there.
- When Top Hat and Zebedee charge at the bridge, Top Hat is not moving in one of the shots.
- When Top Hat and Lord Stinker move the steel rig into place, Top Hat's bow ropes are missing, then in another shot, they're back again.
- When the bridge collapses completely, a small flame can be seen at the end of the tracks, which disappears in the next shot.
- In the first shot of Puffa, he has two mail coaches, but in the next shot he only has one.
- The bridges wobbles when Puffa first crosses it.
- When Big Mac says "We've as much right to go for this contract as you have." and "Zak's engine doesn't sound too healthy, Warrior." he is already hooked up to his barge and facing the other way.
- In one scene, the reflection of the lighting equipment of the studio can be seen in the water.