Clearwater Features

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Clearwater Features Ltd
Name-only unit
IndustryEntertainment, Children's Programming
Founded1979; 40 years ago (1979)
Defunct31 December 1990; 28 years ago (1990-12-31)
ProductsThomas The Tank Engine, TUGS

Clearwater Features Ltd. was a British film production company (based first in Battersea and then at Shepperton Studios) that produced the first two series of the children's television series Thomas the Tank Engine from 1984-1986. Clearwater is also known for creating the hit children's TV show TUGS. The company was founded in the early 1970s by Gerry Anderson alumni Ken Turner and David Mitton, and produced television commercials as well as miniature effects for films and TV shows. Turner left the company in 1979, to be replaced by American-born director and producer Robert D. Cardona.

The production logo of Clearwater Features was a pink Cadillac parked at a film studio with palm trees, based on Clearwater, Florida, and it appeared on every ending of every episode of Thomas The Tank Engine from series 1 and 2, and also appeared on a flag of a barge in the TUGS Episode 4th of July.

The company closed down on New Year's Eve 1990 because of TUGS' conclusion. When the studio closed, David Mitton became part of The Britt Allcroft Company, and Robert D. Cardona went to live in Canada. Britt Allcroft, returning home from the US, purchased the models and sets which were used for TUGS, and the show Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends remained in production by The Britt Allcroft Company and later Gullane Entertainment from 1984 until 2003, but was later produced in 2003 by HIT Entertainment.

Key people[edit]


TV series[edit]


Periscope lens system[edit]

The Clearwater Periscope lens system was a type of television camera developed in 1985 by Clearwater Features for use on the children's television series Tugs and Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. The cameras were used together with live action model animation,[1] to produce the image of character movements at eye level.[2] Only two of these camera systems were ever made.[3]


  1. ^ Clearwater Films Inc. (1985). "TUGS publicity pack": 2. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
  2. ^ "Behind The Scenes! - Other articles on behind the scenes". Retrieved 2008-12-13.
  3. ^ Clearwater Films Inc. (1985). "TUGS publicity pack": 3. Retrieved 2008-12-13.