Ricky and Mickey had similar upbringings. Their respective fathers, each named Jackson Smith, a keycutter working on Clifton's Parade, ran off to Spain and left each of them at an early age. While Mickey's grandmother Rita-Anne, who had raised him, died around 2002 after tripping on loose carpeting and falling down a flight of stairs, Ricky's version of his grandmother still lived, though she felt neglected by him. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen)
Ricky belonged to, and had assumed leadership of, the Preachers, a guerrilla band who opposed John Lumic, Cybus Industries, and the Cybermen Lumic had created. He had also learned how to use an AK-47. (WC: Tardisode 5, TV: Rise of the Cybermen, The Age of Steel)
When Ricky met Mickey by accident at the Preachers' base, Ricky immediately suspected subterfuge. Mickey gained his counterpart's grudging trust and was brought along with the other Preachers in their van. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen) He also gave the Tenth Doctor his trust, and the Preachers joined forces with the Doctor and his companions. Evading Cybermen, everyone split up, with Ricky and Mickey forming a group of two.
Ricky died while running from a Cyberman, electrocuted while trying to climb over a chain link fence as Mickey looked on helplessly from the other side. In his memory, Mickey decided to stay behind to take Ricky's role and help to liberate countries other than England from the Cybermen. (TV: The Age of Steel)
Ricky had a much more tough, take-charge demeanour than Mickey. Despite his militancy, Ricky cared deeply about his beliefs and treated his fellow Preachers with absolute respect. He also gave the Doctor and Mickey the benefit of the doubt. (TV: The Age of Steel)
Ricky was understandably confused by the idea of someone looking exactly the same as him and who shared a similar childhood. Despite looking the same, however, Mickey recognised that Ricky was braver, to which he replied, "Oh yeah, ten times", although admitted that his counterpart wasn't that bad in comparison. He also took great pride in being "London's most wanted", though didn't make a habit of mentioning it was for parking tickets, despite seeing his actions as another way of striking at the system. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen, The Age of Steel)
Behind the scenes
- It was suggested by Russell T Davies that Ricky Smith share a kiss with Jake. This was not included in the final version or, indeed, filmed. A deleted scene available on the Series 2 box set has a scene from the end of The Age of Steel showing Mickey and Jake in the van, and when Mickey mentions how he may be different from Ricky, Jake mentions how Ricky was his boyfriend before he died, much to Mickey's shock, causing him to say that he is "definitely not replacing him".
- Although Noel Clarke played both Mickey and Ricky, he was credited on both Rise of the Cybermen and The Age of Steel only as "Mickey Smith".