Cranes in TUGS

Cranes in TUGS

The children's television series Tugs' main characters, as the title suggests, were tugboats. However, a number of the minor characters were cranes, seen helping out around the port. These characters, with the notable exception of Jack, did not have faces, and they "spoke" through loudhailers.

Big Mickey

Big Mickey is described as 'the Port's biggest crane', he was once stationed at the steel works quay for loading and unloading operations when the Star and Zero fleets were competing for the steel company contract. He was later transferred to the naval dock for the loading of the naval tramper Krakatoa. He has two note-worthy appearances in 'High Tide' and 'Munitions'. Even Zorran said that "nobody tells Big Mickey what to do."

There is some debate as to the fate of Big Mickey. In the television release of 'Munitions', it's stated that Big Mickey had fallen into shallow water and survived. However this narration was deleted in the video release. According to the tugboats' reactions he perished to save them, although this may simply mean he took a big fall for them.

The model used for the Big Mickey character has enjoyed a new lease on life in the series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, where it is used in the dockside scenes, although the megaphone has been taken off. According to sources, Big Mickey is voiced by British actor Timothy Bateson. In Salty's Lighthouse he was called Big Basil and he was voiced by American actor French Tickner .

Mighty Moe

He is Bigg City Port's largest floating crane, well known for his booming voice. He is used for many salvage operations, in which he usually takes charge. Appeared for the first time in Jinxed, in which his hawser jammed whilst lifting Boomer out of the water. He appeared in other episodes like High Tide and Regatta a.k.a. 4th of July. He is voiced by American actor Sean Barrett. In Salty's Lighthouse he was voiced by Michael Donovan.

Little Ditcher

Little Ditcher is a small dirty A-frame crane, and is therefore, one of the smaller floating cranes to be found in the port. He is sometimes used dredging up-river at Mittsville or for oyster fishing in the estuary, as well as various other jobs. His size makes him unsuitable for rescue operations. He is good friends with the Star Tugs. He is voiced by actor Timothy Bateson (See's Trivia on the episode: Up River). He appeared for the first time in Trapped, and has made numerous appearances in various episodes. In Salty's Lighthouse he became a female, voiced by Lenore Zann.

Scuttlebutt Pete

Scuttlebutt Pete is a dredger and a notorious gossip - hence his name. He believes in ghosts, and enjoys voicing superstitions and telling old sea stories, particularly when the fog comes around.

Although he can be grumpy, he is a friend to the Star Tugs. However, dredger detail is an unpopular task with the tugs, and is often given out by the Captains as punishment. He speaks with a Northern Irish accent.

He made notable appearances in 'Pirate', 'High Winds' and 'Ghosts', and is voiced by American actor Sean Barrett. In Salty's Lighthouse he was voiced by Michael Donovan.

Jack the Grappler

Jack the Grappler is a garbage scooper who works at the Municipal Garbage Corporation quay for garbage barges, particularly Lord Stinker. He assisted in the organisation of the 'Municipal Garbage Corporation' float for the annual regatta. He only appears three times in the series, first in the episode Munitions as a cameo, once in the episode 'Regatta' (in which he briefly wore an Uncle Sam-style top hat) and once in the episode Bigg Freeze, in which he had a cold. He is the only crane with a face. He is voiced by Sean Barrett. In Salty's Lighthouse he became "Scoop" and featured in at least two episodes.

Other Cranes

There were other cranes whom didn't have any names but were used all around the harbour. Most of them were shore cranes owned by the Steel Company and (like Big Mickey) have made numerous appearances on Thomas and friends. In the episode Trapped, Sunshine mentions a floating crane who resided in "TopTown" (Up River) but was scrapped. This was the only mention of this crane.

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