Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gerry Anderson's Stingray 1964

In 1995 I worked for a software company named Digitalk. I was a road consultant for them which meant I traveled often and worked with their customers.

I spent a year working with a client in Baltimore. I used to board a plane on Sunday afternoon and return to Manhattan on every Friday. I loved my weekends at home in the city.

Every Saturday morning I would wake up around 6:00am, get some coffee, and channel surf on cable.

One day I discovered this teevee series entitled 'Stingray' that was on american television around 1964.

It's one of those Gerry Anderson shows featuring marionettes and lots of cool models. Anderson called this process 'Marionation' which specifically meant that the puppets were equipped with solenoids in their heads that enabled their mouths to move in perfect synchronization with the voiceover actors.

This is a shot of the submarine Stingray. The crew consisted of Troy Tempest, who was meant to look like James Garner. He piloted the ship with the help of 'Phones' who had a voice that sounded a lot like LBJ.

This is 'Marina'. She is some sort of Mermaid and can breath underwater. She's described on some sites as being a tailless mermaid, but I don't agree.

The most unique thing about her is that she is silent! She never talks but does communicate through facial expressions (the puppets had several heads to express different moods or emotions).

I think it's so 60's to have a silent female character. It's really not so sexist since she often saves the day and seems as smart and resourceful as the men. Her silence adds to her mystery. She has a pet seal named 'Oink' (I couldn't find a picture). Oink basically is around for comic relief and always responds by saying 'Oink'.

Of course the 'Stingray' crew had enemies. These were often strange undersea races who hated surface people who they referred to as 'terranians'.

This one is surface agent X-2-0. He had a voice that sounded like Peter Lorre. Peter should have been honored.

The show was kind of sophisticated and featured a love triangle between Troy, Marina, and another character named 'Atlanta', who was voiced by Lois Maxwell who played 'Miss Moneypenny' in the James Bond films.

I just wanted to share this little gem from the 60's that I used to enjoy when returning home from the road.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I really have nothing so say. So I'll say something anyway. "The Munsters" was the best teevee of the sixties ("Lost in Space" was a distant second).