- “Two cranes working in perfect harmony!"
"Don't you mean three cranes? ...What?"
"So NOW you speak? You've been standing there silent all these years, Big Mickey, and you've never said a single word!"
"Well, you've never said a single word to me either!"”
- ―Salty, Big Mickey and Cranky, New Crane on the Dock, twenty-first season
Thomas & Friends
Big Mickey originally worked at Knapford Harbour before coming to Brendam Docks. During his days there, he used to unload the mail from the mail boat into Thomas and Percy's mail vans, for them to deliver all over the island. One of his jobs also involved a grapple bucket.
Sometime later, he was shifted to Brendam Docks and worked alongside Cranky, where he was used to unload cargo from ships. Big Mickey once had to unload a boiler from a ship, but he accidentally swung it and knocked Edward onto his side.
In the twenty-first season, he took everyone by surprise after not making communication with anyone for many years and became part of the dockside crew with Cranky and Carly.
As Big Mickey was said to be silent for a long time, mainly because Cranky has "never said a single word to him", very little is known about him (casting aside his known persona from TUGS), although it can be assumed that he is not the best at communicating, as Salty put it.
Big Mickey is based on the 350-ton Hammerhead Crane. He most strongly resembles the US Navy's "League Island Crane" built in 1919 by the McMyler-Interstate Company for the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. At a height of 100 feet and a weight of 3,500 tons, it was the world's largest crane at the time. It was scrapped in 1996 following the yard's closure.
During Seasons 3-5, Big Mickey had cool grey paintwork, however, since the sixth season, he now has warm grey paintwork.
Behind the Scenes
Big Mickey and his model were carried over from Thomas & Friends' sister show, TUGS. He was the yard's biggest crane and voiced by the late Timothy Bateson. Originally stationed at the Steel Company dock and later used by the navy. In the episode Munitions, a fire causes his dock to collapse and he sinks. After the show's cancellation, his model was refurbished and modified with a warmer shade of grey paint and losing his megaphone.
- Rob Rackstraw (UK/US)
- Big Mickey had many modifications throughout the television series. These include:
- Season 3 (from TUGS):
- He had cool grey paintwork.
- His megaphone was removed.
- His top railing became thinner.
- His walkway became more detailed.
- Season 6:
- He gained riveted steel sides.
- His hoist end became covered.
- His wheelhouse walkway became square.
- He gained a new base.
- Hero of the Rails:
- His crane arm became taller.
- His paintwork became more cream coloured.
- Season 21:
- He gained a face.
- Season 3 (from TUGS):
- In episodes of the twenty-first season prior to New Crane on the Dock, Big Mickey was always positioned facing away from the camera to hide his face.
- Big Mickey is currently the only TUGS character to be referred to by their original name in Thomas & Friends.
- Big Mickey is one of three characters to have been given a face after debuting without one, the other two being Henrietta and Butch.
- Thomas Engine Collection Series (discontinued)