In the Sudrian Chronicles, the TUGS characters will all be making appearances both in their own adventures in New York City in the Roaring 20's, and their adventures on the Island of Sodor's waterways after their second chance at life in the modern books.
When I revealed the Star Fleet would be a part of the series, all 8 original members of the fleet appeared and were accounted for. What surprised most people (in a good way!
) was the addition of four female tugs to the famous fleet. In addition, I teased that there would be female Z-Stacks appearing as well!
To top all of it off, Captain Star's Sudrian Chronicles Biography mentions that his daughter takes over the fleet for him during World War II. Why not his son, you ask? The reason for this is a very interesting one.
For those of you who don't know, TUGS eventually made it to the USA... as a low-budget late 90's dub called Salty's Lighthouse, basically a TUGS version of Shining Time Station, but not as faithful to the original series.
In the series, more females were added to it to appeal to younger kids, and this was extended to the TUGS cast, namely by making the previous male characters of Sunshine, Captain Star, and Little Ditcher females!
Personally I didn't like the changes, but after thinking it over, I figured I could sneak in a reference or two to the series! Salty has been requested as a character, and I can confirm that I've been working to adapt him into the Sudrian Chronicles! Sunshine will remain male in the series, and there is a possibility of a female version of him appearing as his sister in tribute to the character's alternate take. Captain Star will be male in the series, but as stated before, his daughter will take over.
Captain Star's son will be appearing in the series, and will come to play in Season 2. I will not disclose anymore info on his fate and whether or not he will make it out of the war. His daughter was chosen to take over to give a fitting successor to the business!
As for the TUGS, Women had gained a LOT of rights, and with the end of World War I, began taking up "un-ladylike" things such as cutting their hair short, voting, smoking and drinking. They would also talk like men, and swear like them too! In short, the woman of the 1920's was a far cry from the stuffy Victorian lady of yesteryear, and the original TUGS never seemed to cover this element of 1920's society, the exceptions being Sally Seaplane being a female aircraft, and Lillie Lightship sporting the make-up, lipstick, and hair of the era!
The female TUGS were added to give a fresh spin on the culture and society of the 1920's. There will be MORE female tugs, engines, and humans in these roles across the Sudrian Chronicles universe, and I can't wait for all of you to meet them!
Keep in mind that this was from the START of things and that I don't add diversity to the series to score "points" or mark off a "checklist". I do it because it gives new material to work with to craft a unique take on the Awdry's Famous Engines!