"The only thing better than experience is, more experience!"
Otis is a paddle-driven harbor tug.
Otis is the only one of his kind remaining in Snugboat Harbor, and Captain Star's eldest tug. He can be described as "slow, but versatile". He is indeed capable of a variety of tasks, but is sometimes restricted by his age and mechanical condition.
Prior to an overhaul during the year of the heat wave, Otis' aged engine was the cause for a number of mishaps, including an accident that resulted in the sinking of the Fultan Ferry. Otis' weakness and age has often placed him on the receiving end of jokes and insults from the Star Fleet and Zero Fleet alike. As the Star Fleet's 'wise elder', Otis possesses unbeatable wisdom. He has extensive knowledge and experience of harbor life and manoeuvres, and because of this, Captain Star often places him in charge of large operations, such as ocean liner docking manoeuvers. On various occasions, Otis has demonstrated his ability to devise swift and clever strategies to help himself and his fellow Stars out of predicaments. He does not stand for nonsense, and is quick to correct the younger tugs if they make mistakes. Despite his occasionally harsh approach, Otis cares for his brothers as a grandparent would for their grandchildren.
A possible basis for Otis is the Eppleton Hall, built by Hepple & Co of South Shields in 1914. Eppleton Hall originally worked in 1914 for the Lambton and Hetton Collieries Ltd. She later worked for France Fenwick, Wear and Tyne Ltd until 1964, and after fifteen years was donated to the USA National Park Service. She is still afloat at Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco, to this day.
Behind the Scenes in TUGSEdit
Otis' model was later modified and repainted to be used in the series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends as a prop for harbor scenes, making Otis the first Star Tug to appear in the program. However, it only made random cameos on the narrow gauge railway such as Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady and disappeared after the fifth season. This was the fate of many other TUGS models (with the exception of Bigg Basil because he was the only character to make it through all the seasons starting with Season 3).
Chris Tulloch noted that O.J.'s model was one of the most reliable. This may have been for many reasons. But, according to Tulloch, the vast majority of main characters (those with machinery inside them) would often threaten to "turn turtle" and would have to be fixed firmly to a chassis to keep them upright. However, due to O.J.'s paddle-wheels, he rarely had this balance problem. The chassis was still used on O.J. to keep him from bobbing up and down like a toy boat.
Voice Actors Edit
- In TUGS, Otis' original name was O.J. It is believed that he was re-named to avoid any confusion with O.J. Simpson, whose trial was still a hot-button topic at the time.
- His name is covered with a black censor bar in the series to hide his original model nameplate O.J. Although sometimes his name was left uncensored.