35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Aquarium-Based Adventure Series,
This review is from: Stingray: The Complete Series [DVD]  (DVD)
You wouldn't think it would be possible to imbue a puppet series with all the flamboyant colour and camp of the 1960's - yet here it is.
'Stingray' is gloriously of its time. A deliciously CGI-free world of deep-sea despots, mechanical war-fish, relentless xenophobia and populist rough justice.
It's the completely believable adventures of the Marineville-based World Aquanaut Security Patrol: Troy Tempest, Phones, Atlanta, Commander Shore, exiled sea-nymph Marina, and their self-righteous policing of nasty races, skulking and scheming at the bottom of the sea.
Much fun's to be had spotting the real folk the puppets are based on: Marina is obviously Ursula Andress, Shore displays more than a hint of Spencer Tracy, evil scourge Surface Agent X 2 Zero's voice is clearly Peter Lorre - in fact there's only Tempest himself a tad unclear. I've always thought it was probably some early 60's crooner like Dickie Valentine - the jury's out.
'Stingray' has the most exciting opening credit sequence of any tv series ever. Oil rigs collapse, a whole marine base disappears underground, huge noisy war-planes raze the sky, explosions, shootings, missiles, a jarring jump from black and white to vivid colour; all accompanied by the rousing and urgent theme music - in my opinion never bettered - by Barry Gray.
On the un-PC front 'Stingray' is a joy. The 'Loch Ness Monster' episode is APPALLINGLY offensive and the WASPs seem to a have a very civilised - if unfashionable - shoot-on-site policy:
Phones: "Hey Troy, I'm picking up a small craft on the echo-finder."
Tempest: "Prepare Sting Missiles!" .
They smoke, drink, play poker and there's an underwater prison called Aquatraz (!) which makes Guantanamo Bay look like the Holiday Inn.
The 60's endorsed sexism is admirably emphatic. Both female characters have massive crushes on Tempest (of course) but instead of filling his boots, he acts so gallant, coy and condescending - he gets neither.
Personally, although Andress/Marina is desirably mute, I'd go for Atlanta. She's a hot red-head, dreamily voiced by old Moneypenny herself - Lois Maxwell, and is the daughter of Commander Shore, so there's more chance of promotion.
The only down-side to 'Stingray' is that it was commissioned for children so no-one gets even slightly killed....
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Mar 2009 10:31:41 GMT
Simon Edwards says:
Good review. Troy Tempest was inspired in looks by James Garner and Titan by Laurince Olivier (voice only I think, not sure).
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Mar 2009 15:33:34 GMT
Paul Ess. says:
Hey, thanks for that info; it's obvious of course, now you've pointed it out.
Posted on 13 Aug 2013 16:42:01 BDT
I heard Marina was supposed to be based on Brigitte Bardot!
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2014 11:12:46 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jan 2014 11:22:43 GMT
A. Holliday says:
Marina is definitely Andress - Gerry Anderson says so on the commentary (the same one where he tells us she was his ideal woman - beautiful and didn't speak!)
P.S. for what it's worth I consider this Anderson's best series - it's got the hardware of the later shows but without the humourless tedium, plus all the humour, characters and sheer silliness of the earlier shows but with a bigger budget in colour. And far more than the two plots Thunderbirds was stuck with. Great fun.
PPS Make sure you check the visiting popstar episode with XL5's Steve Zodiac puppet as a mindless idiot...
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