Thursday, October 29, 2009
Here is my childish streak coming out. I am a huge fan of Gerry Anderson's 1960s puppet show Stingray. I have the complete series on DVD.
Stingray was the series Gerry Anderson created before Thunderbirds. It is about a submarine called Stingray and its crew. Stingray's crew battle underwater aliens and save the world countless times. Although Thunderbirds is much more popular, in my opinion, Stingray was much better because the characters were much more richly developed. Much of the character development revolves around the love triangle between Stingray's captain, Troy Tempest, his girlfriend Lt. Atlanta Shore and the mysterious and silent girl from under the sea, Marina. Perhaps a surpising element in a program for children. Personally, I think Troy is an horrible character. He is so smug about having two women in love with him. He seems to play them off against each other without being able to comitt to either.
The 1960s standards of the show are amusing; the main characters are frequently shown smoking and drinking. They are also remarkably gung-ho: "It's an unknown craft, Commander!" "Fire hydroponic missiles immediately!" Probably, having a central female character who cannot speak would not go down to well in contemporary television either.
Stingray departs from the tendency of science fiction to always have characters wearing shoes all the time. Marina is always barefoot (apart from in two episodes). We see a close-up of her feet in the episode "Hostages of the Deep", which revels that her toes are webbed like a duck. These are not created by the puppet, but are a close-up of human feet wearing prosthetics. Many of the alien baddies are also barefoot, including the mighty Titan and his spy, Agent X20.