Engineering parts need to be taken to Scuttlebutt Pete, the dredger, so he can start work early. Ten Cents is ordered to take on the job, as he is the first tug to return to the Star Dock. He delivers the barge loaded with goods, and after encountering Zip and Zug, moors the barge – noticing a mysterious figure moving in an old warehouse.
That foggy night, a stranger to the port steals Ten Cents' barge.
Zip and Zug discover it is missing the next morning, and are sure that Ten Cents has stolen it. They head out to tell Captain Star, who tells them how he has already received a complaint from the client. He then speaks sternly to Ten Cents about the matter. Ten Cents tried to explain that he had delivered the parts, but Captain Star sends him to do dredger detail as punishment.
As Ten Cents is working with Scuttlebutt Pete, Grampus, the midget submarine, pops up. He says how he has heard the whole story, which Ten Cents certainly does not find amusing. Zak and Zebedee happen to come by and taunt Ten Cents. Sunshine, who has just arrived, informs Ten Cents he has to do more work for the Z-Stacks, which is part of the punishment. Ten Cents must tow an oil barge. After more taunting from Zak and Zebedee, he heads off, annoyed.
That night, Grampus can not sleep due to the loud music coming from the Bridge Café Band, and goes out for a nosey round the harbour. He encounters the unknown tug, who stole the barge the previous night, which Ten Cents was blamed for. Grampus sees he is stealing Ten Cents' oil barge, and worries who it could be. Through the night, even more barges disappear.
The next morning, a big meeting is held between the Star Fleet and the Z-Stacks at The Star Dock, on how to try and catch the “Pirate”. Captain Star and Captain Zero have come up with a plan, which will see all the tugs going out in pairs, to camp out in designated areas, and try and spot and nick the Pirate.
Meanwhile, Grampus is searching where he lost the Pirate the night before. He sees an old warehouse that hasn't been used for years and goes inside. The “Pirate” tug is being ordered by two sinister, green-eyed tugs to steal another barge. He must do so to keep his uncle from being scuttled. Grampus sees everything, luckily not being spotted.
That night, Captain Star and Captain Zero’s big plan is put into action. Top Hat is paired with Warrior, which he is not in the least satisfied.
Ten Cents and Sunshine are paired together also. Sunshine is comforting Ten Cents' feelings. Suddenly, Grampus emerges and warns them of what he had seen. Their so called “Pirate” is a tugboat called Sea Rogue, who is forced into stealing the barges. Ten Cents and Sunshine are very surprised.
Also paired are Zip and Zug, who see Ten Cents and Sunshine leaving their posts with Grampus, out to find Sea Rogue, but think they are out to steal barges. Zip and Zug then follow.
The green-eyed tugs then plan their escape, putting out lightships, lighthouses, and covering up bell buoys to remain undetected.
Meanwhile, Sea Rogue is found by Ten Cents and Sunshine. He explains about his uncle. They come up with a big plan to capture the villains.
Zip and Zug find the old warehouse and are chased out by the green-eyed tugs. Grampus goes to save Sea Rogue’s uncle. Ten Cents, Sunshine and Sea Rogue take the chance to charge the villains, and put their green lights out once and for all. Warrior sees that something is going on. Not paying attention, he bumps into the flare barge, causing it to go off.
The next morning, a slightly singed Warrior and Top Hat take the villains away, Grampus goes off for a nice rest, and Sea Rogue and his uncle head for home. Hercules tells Ten Cents and Sunshine that they did a good job and that Captain Star is sorry for not believing Ten Cents about the missing barges. Zip and Zug are nearby, and they boast to Ten Cents and Sunshine that nothing scares them. Zug then clumsily bumps into a flare barge behind him, and both he and Zip run away in fright, which Ten Cents and Sunshine find a great joke.
- Ten Cents
- Top Hat
- Sea Rogue
- Scuttlebutt Pete
- Captain Star
- Sea Rogue's Uncle
- The Pirates
- Captain Zero
- Big Mac (does not speak in TV Version)
- Hercules (speaks only in video version; minor cameo in TV version)
- Big Mickey (cameo)
- Mighty Mo (cameo)
- Little Ditcher (cameo)
- Frank or Eddie (cameo)
- Lillie Lightship (cameo, only appears in Video version, minor speaking role in Japanese Version)
- A Buoy (only speaks in Video version)
- Fire Tug (cameo)
- The episode marks the first and only appearances of Sea Rogue, his uncle, and the pirates.
- The episode marks the first appearance of Grampus and Scuttlebutt Pete.
- This is the first episode where Zebedee speaks.
- This is the first time explosions are used in the series.
- This is the second and final episode where Captain Zero speaks.
- This is the first episode not to feature O.J.
- There are some deleted scenes seen in the TV Version of this episode. The scenes are:
- Sea Rogue entering the harbour.
- Ten Cents charging towards Sea Rogue.
- A close up of one of the stolen barges.
- A close up of Sea Rogue's uncle inside the warehouse.
- A scene of Zip and Zug being chased by the Pirates.
- Two scenes of Ten Cents and Sunshine in the morning.
- In the Japanese Version the beginning is a bit altered, with scenes such as Captain Star telling Ten Cents to go to Scuttlebutt Pete and the music in those scenes is lower than the original version.
- In the televised version, after Grampus leaves his dock, the music plays whilst Captain Star is narrating. However, in the VHS Version, it isn't heard until Captain Star has finished speaking.
- In the televised version, the narrator (Captain Star) speaks when Grampus surfaces after nearly crossing Sea Rogue's path.
- In the televised version, after Grampus leaves the warehouse, Captain Star's narration is different to the VHS Version.
- In the televised version, Captain Star says: "Grampus lost the thief in the mist. Next morning I called an urgent meeting with Captain Zero." In the VHS Version, this is changed to: "Grampus lost the barge snatcher in the mist, and spent the rest of the night worrying who it could be." and "Next morning, I told Captain Zero Stars and Z-Stacks had to get together on this."
- In the televised version, Zorran's line of "We're wasting time! Ten Cent's barge is the only one that's gone!" is different to the VHS Version and after saying: "Quiet! We've decided to set a trap!" Captain Star says: "Captain Zero?"
- In the televised version, Ten Cents says: "Let's get that Pirate!" He'll be sorry he crossed me, I'll tell ya!" In the VHS Version, he says: "Well's let get the Pirate! He'll be sorry he crossed me, I'll tell ya!"
- In the televised version, since Hercules does not appear, Grampus says: "Bye, Ten Cents, Sunshine. I'm off to get some rest." In the VHS version, when Hercules does appear and congratulates Ten Cents, Sunshine and Grampus, he says: "Thanks, Hercules. Well, I'm off to get some rest."
- In the televised version, the narrator speaks when Ten Cents, Sunshine and Sea Rogue charge for the pirates and after Zug hits the flare barge.
- A lot of scenes were cut from the TV Version, such as Top Hat and Warrior being paired up.
- Ten Cents and Sunshine swap their end lines in the TV version.
- This episode marks the first time underwater footage is used. The second time is in Quarantine.
- This episode marks the first time a tug is seen out of the water. The second time is in Trapped.
- This episode was the first one to show the Star Dock sign.
- Pre-filmed footage from Jinxed is used.
- Although Pirate was first broadcast in 1989, the VHS version was made in 1988.
- The Japanese title of this episode is "Fear and Loathing Pirate Ship".
- The US promo copy called this episode "Pirates".
- TVS (Television South) broadcast the VHS Version in 1988 before the TV Version was broadcast in 1989.
Junior Campbell & Mike O'Donnel