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.
Later, when Gator was leaving Sodor, Big Mickey loaded him onto a ship while Cranky was being repaired after his crane arm broke.
In the twenty-first series, 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 personality from TUGS), although it can be assumed that he is not the best at communicating, as Salty put it.
Big Mickey is based on a WWII USN 20t Tower Crane. Kobe, a faceless grey crane in Tanzania and a faceless purple crane in Rio De Janeiro are other members of this class.
During the third, fourth and fifth series, Big Mickey was painted cool grey, however, since the sixth series, he is now repainted warm grey.
Behind the Scenes
Big Mickey's original model was carried over from Thomas & Friends' sister show, TUGS. He was the yard's biggest crane and was voiced by the late Timothy Bateson. Originally stationed at the Steel Company dock, he was later used by the navy. In the episode "Munitions", a fire sparked by the navy tug, Bluenose causes his dock to collapse, leading to him sinking (his final fate differs between the TV and VHS versions; in the TV version, Captain Star said he survived thanks to landing in shallow waters, while in the VHS version, no such narration is heard, and it is assumed that Big Mickey drowns and perishes). After the show's cancellation, his model was refurbished and modified with a warmer shade of grey paint, and his megaphone was removed.
- Big Mickey had many modifications throughout the television series. These include:
- Series 3 (from TUGS):
- He had cool grey paintwork.
- His megaphone was taken away.
- His top railing became thinner.
- His walkway received more detailing.
- Series 6:
- He gained riveted steel sides.
- He gained a new hook.
- His hoist end became covered.
- His crane arm became longer.
- His wheelhouse walkway became square.
- He gained a new base.
- He became taller.
- Series 13:
- His overall size increased exponentially.
- His wheelhouse became wider.
- His crane arm became taller.
- His paintwork became more cream coloured.
- Series 21:
- He gained a face.
- Series 3 (from TUGS):
- In episodes of the twenty-first series prior to New Crane on the Dock, Big Mickey was always positioned facing away from the camera done to hide his face.
- Big Mickey is the only TUGS character to have his name carried over to Thomas & Friends.
- Big Mickey is the third character to have been given a face after debuting without one. The first two were Butch and Henrietta.
- In Brazil the faceless version of Big Mickey's model with a purple version of Kobe's body can be seen.