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"No problem! That bunch of clapped-out sardine cans are gonna find they missed a boat, or my name's not Zorran!"
— Zorran, "Sunshine"

Zorran is the cunning leader of the Z-Stacks and is Captain Zero's first tug. He is renowned for his deviousness and scheming prowess. He, alongside his Z-Stack companions Zak and Zebedee, is a harbour tug.

Zorran 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 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, this shows he has a kinder side to the Star Tugs. 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 slipping up, such as in Bigg Freeze when he told off Zip and Zug for making the wrong judgement and putting 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.

Audio Files


Although he is a steam tug, Zorran's deep, aggressive whistle sounds more like air-horns fitted to modern diesel tugboats.


The majority of the episodes portray Zorran as a leading antagonist in someway. Because of his position as the fleet's leader, he often comes up with devious tricks and schemes to undermine his rivals. 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. He currently mocks the Star Fleet, mostly the Star switchers, but they pluck up courage to fend him off.

Although Zorran is described as a clear villain by his rivals, he is not necessarily evil. He does has a moral compass and does know when to play fair when necessary. He agrees with the rest of the Star Fleet on their mutual dislike for Bluenose, even standing up to him when he orders his barge to be moved even though it was already being unloaded. In the Buzz Book, Kidnapped, he agreed to help the Star Fleet search for Sunshine, and even punished Zip and Zug when they were the main reasons he got lost.



Books and Annuals

Salty's Lighthouse


  • Mixed Signals
  • Let's Party (Cameo)
  • Too Young to Be Included (Cameo)
  • Taking Off
  • Blackout (Cameo)
  • Eight is Too Much
  • One Bad Day (Cameo)
  • Hands Off! (Cameo)
  • Salty Come Lately
  • Knot So Nice
  • Backwards Day (does not speak)
  • Banana Splits
  • Clear the Decks
  • Claude in Charge
  • The Favorite
  • Strike Up the Band
  • Blankety Blank
  • The Last of the Red Hot C-Gulls
  • Farley Frog (cameo)
  • Boss Man (cameo)
  • Who Took My Crayons (does not speak)
  • High Spirits (cameo)
  • Some Guys Have all the Luck (cameo)
  • Sound Off
  • If the Clue Fits, Wear It (does not speak)
  • The Big Birthday Splash (cameo)
  • Stop the Music
  • Let's Wing It
  • No Strings Attached (cameo)
  • Bivalve Blues (cameo)


  • After TUGS' production ended, Zorran's model was purchased by the Star Tugs Company, an organization which showcases the models.
    • It is currently unknown if Zorran’s other face masks still exist.
    • The face mask he currently wears is his surprised face. Jeremy King donated an original resin copy of Zorran's smirking face to The Star Tugs Company at an exhibition.
  • The gap in Zorran's front teeth is the result of a dental disorder called Diastema.
  • Zorran's name could be derived from the name of the Moran Fleet, the real life tugboat fleet that inspired the Z-Stacks.
  • In Salty's Lighthouse, he has a much more evil-sounding voice than in TUGS despite being friends with the Star Fleet.
  • According to Chris Tulloch, Zorran's eye mechanism was built too big and it would always lift his hat whenever he moved his eyes up. The crew decided to leave this as it suited Zorran's character perfectly.
  • In a Interview, one of the crew members joked about Zorran's facial basis being based on American filmmaker and actor; Quentin Tarantino. However, Zorran's face is actually based of English comedian and character actor; Terry Thomas.


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