Super submarine and its heroic captain in futuristic adventures.
"Stand by for action!"
39 episodes of 30 minute duration. AP Films: ATV: ITC. 1964-65.
Gerry Andersonís third venture into Supermarionation, and his first to be filmed in colour (even though it could only be shown in black and white on itís first run in the UK), Stingray was possibly the first puppet series to win the appreciation of an adult audience, and laid down a winning formula that would be fully realised in Andersonís next series...Thunderbirds.
Stingray was a high-tech, atomic powered, super-sub armed with sting missiles and captained by Troy Tempest. As was the norm with Anderson heroes, Tempest's physical appearence was modelled on a favourite movie actor of Gerry Anderson's wife -in this case James Garner. Based in Marineville at the headquarters of WASP (World Aquanaut Security Patrol), the crew of Stingray came under constant threat from Titan, lord of the underwater city of Titanica, who was the leader of evil Aquaphibians, (the humans were dubbed 'Terrainians') a submerged race of people who roamed the deep sea in their mechanical Terror Fish crafts, that were able to fire missiles from their gaping fish mouths. On land, Titanís agent was Artura, code named X20.
Accompanying Tempest in Stingray were co-pilot George 'Phones' Sheridan (nicknamed so because he was in charge of the ships hydrophone sonar system) -and Marina, the green haired daughter of Emperor Aphony of Pacifica. Marina was captured by Titan during a raid on Pacifica and enslaved for a year. She was rescued by Troy Tempest and Phones after helping them escape from captivity and impending execution. Like all her people, Marina was unable to speak, communicating with her own kind by means of mental telepathy, and with others by sign language. The crew received their orders from Commander Shaw, who was crippled in a sea battle and confined to a hoverchair. Shaw was based at Marineville headquarters where he was ably assisted by Sub Lt Fisher and his own daughter -Atlanta, who was voiced by Lois Maxwell, the actress who starred in the original James Bond series of movies as Miss Moneypenny.
The series drew its crossover audience thanks to superior model work by the ever-improving AP Films Company, and itís fast paced action packed storylines. There was also an unrequited love triangle, with both Marina and Atlanta vying for the attentions of Tempest. This greatly enhanced the appeal of the show to the adult section of the audience by introducing an undercurrent of emotional sophistication to the series beyond anything previously seen in what was still widely considered, at the time, to be strictly a children's genre.
With Stingray, Anderson's Supermarionation and near filmic storytelling techniques took another step nearer to the culmination of sophistication which would ultimately be displayed in Thunderbirds. Exciting, expertly produced, and vitally important for paving the way to an adult acceptance of this type of entertainment, Stingray can now be seen as an important evolutionary step for Gerry Anderson's unique brand of televisual entertainment genius.
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