Zorran is regarded as the cunning leader of the Z-Stacks and is Captain Zero's first tug of the fleet. He is renowned for his deviousness and scheming prowess. He is a harbour tug alongside with Star Fleet rivals O.J., Big Mac, Warrior, and his Z-Stack companions Zak and Zebedee. He speaks with an East Sussex accent.
Zorran is looked up to in fear from most of the other tugs, because they know that he is a tug not to be messed with in the best of times! However, though being able to generally get what he's looking for, Zorran is depicted as a very pragmatic tug, who will be devious only as far as common sense and necessity allows.
The majority of the episodes portray him as a leading antagonist in someway. Although he is undoubtedly the most intelligent Z-Stack, his plans usually end up backfiring: either through the incompetence of the other Z-Stacks or his own overconfidence. Zorran has shown to regularly employ fellow Z-Stacks Zip and Zug to carry out his operations, which more often than not results in adverse consequences.
The other Z-Stacks are secretly afraid of him, but Zorran himself doesn't appear to be afraid of anyone other than Hercules, and has even been known to show insolence towards his boss, Captain Zero ("We're not smiling, Captain Zero!") Despite his maligned characteristics, there is a very good reason for Zorran's role as the head Z-Stack - he's easily, when not scheming, the most competent and sensible of the fleet, best shown in the episode Munitions when he's given responsibility for overseeing a large delivery of explosives. Zorran ensured the other Z-Stacks followed all correct safety precautions and saw that the job was carried out efficiently. Later at the naval pool he sided with O.J. when arguing with officious Navy tug Bluenose over common sense against orders, and when a massive fire broke out he urged rival tug Ten Cents to escape the danger. True to his opportunistic nature, however, Zorran then sat back to enjoy the impromptu fireworks display as Navy tramper Kraka-Toa blew herself apart. He has also been shown to scold the other Z-Stacks for messing up, such as in Bigg Freeze when he told off Zip and Zug for making the wrong judgement and put the work contract on thin ice for both Star and Zero fleets.
Despite his cunning and sinister behaviour, Zorran, at times, has been known to portray rather cowardly tendencies. This is shown best at times such as when he is in the presence of Hercules or confronted with a situation beyond his control. He is on the receiving end of Burke and Blair's teasing in Quarantine, which leaves him nervous. He can be superstitious, as shown when he was overwhelmed by the sight of the White Fleet; coincidentally, however, Izzy Gomez and most of the Star Fleet were also terrified.
If there is one example of bravery from Zorran, it is when he had been ordered by Fire Tug to push a fire barge towards Kraka-Toa; he may have been skeptical about this idea, but he was willing to help out nonetheless. To his credit, he only backed away from the danger at Fire Tug's command.Although he is a steam tug, Zorran's deep, aggressive whistle sounds more like air-horns fitted to modern diesel tugboats.
Behind the Scenes
He is also shown to be able to raise his hat a little when rolling his eyes upwards. This was a modelling error, but the producers liked it so much that it was deliberately not fixed.
He was voiced by Chris Tulloch, who designed the tugs himself, including Ten Cents. Tulloch gives Zorran a neutral Cockney accent. He's one of the few characters whose voice actor can be definitively identified. In Salty's Lighthouse, he, along with Zug, was voiced by Scott McNeil. His original TUGS actor was credited as writer, director and art director.
Though designed by Chris Tulloch, Zorran was built by former Thomas & Friends model maker, Jeremy King.
Like the rest of the Z-Stacks, Zorran is based off the Moran Fleet of New York City.
- After Tugs' production ended, Zorran's model was purchased by The Star Tugs Company, an organisation which aimed to restore and preserve the models.
- The gap in Zorran's front teeth is the result of a dental disorder called Diastema.
- In Salty's Lighthouse, he has a much more evil sounding voice.
- It is currently unknown if Zorran’s other face masks still exist.