Just finished watching and enjoying all thirty-nine episodes of Gerry Anderson's Stingray series. This is the first color offering from the British "Supermariantion" studio and the one just before the more famous Thunderbirds show.
At a half hour each these shows are very nicely paced and don't drag as some of the Thunderbirds episodes are wont to do from time to time. The stories are told with vigor and often with dept edits which lose none of the story but keep the show running briskly.
|Tempest, Marina and Phones|
In the future of 2065 most shipping is done with remotely controlled vessels, but still there seems plenty for Tempest and his crew to do. For one thing they are constantly battling the Aquaphibians, a race of undersea people who led by the tyrant Titan are constantly plotting to bring down Marineville and if possible Tempest himself. Marina had been Titan's slave but was freed by Tempest and Phones in the debut episode.
The sea itself seems inhabited by a number of somewhat different peoples, with different looks and whatnot and Stingray finds itself coming across them regularly. Titan (with a Laurence Oliver air) is a hoot with his hyperbolic threats often coming to naught and his secret agent X-2-Zero (who looks like Claude Raines and sounds like Peter Lorre) who lurks in an old house on an island near Marineville. X-2-Zero often dons disguises and enters Marineville, but rarely accomplishes much.
I have dim memories of seeing Stingray before, as a kid, the only Anderson show I saw other than Captain Scarlet. To be honest none of the episodes in particular triggered any memories though the show's potent opening did echo in my mind. The music is a bit part of the energy of the show, especially when Stingray launches and when Marineville itself descends into the bunkers to withstand attacks (which come with some degree of regularity).
While Stingray might not have been as accomplished technically as Thunderbirds, its superior pacing makes it (for me at least) a much more enjoyable show. I'm often impressed by Thunderbirds, but I actually often enjoy Stingray.