ITV (ended 1965)
"Stand by for Action! We're about to launch Stingray! Anything can happen within the next half hour!"
These were the words spoken by Commander Shore at the beginning of each episode of Stingray, the first Gerry Anderson Supermarionation show to be made in colour.
Set in the year 2064, Stingray is about the World Aquanaut Security Patrol (WASP) who patrol the world's oceans, helping and defeating underwater races. The pride of WASP is the revolutionary submarine Stingray, which is controlled by Captain Troy Tempest and Lieutenant George Lee Sheridan, better known as "Phones".
The WASP headquarters at Marineville, a huge complex, 10 miles inland. The heart of WASP operations is the control tower, where Commander Sam Shore, Lt. Atlanta Shore (also his daughter) and Sub-Lieutenant Fisher can control and communicate with the entire WASP organization.
When Marineville is under surface attack, Battle Stations sound. What happens next is that the whole complex sinks beneath the ground on massive hydraulic platforms. Huge concrete blast doors then protect the base, as well as WASP Interceptor and hydraulic missiles.
The WASP call is "PWOR" (Proceed With Orders Received).
The main villain of the WASPs is Titan who rules the underwater city of Titanica and has sworn to invade the surface world. His slaves are the Aquaphibians, who control mechanical fish called Terror Fish, armed with deadly missiles that have destroyed many unsuspecting victims. Titan is also assisted by Surface Agent X20, who talks incredibly like Peter Lorre. X20 can infiltrate Marineville through cunning disguises. He lives in an old house on the Island of Lemoy, where he can communicate with Titanica by pressing a button in his living room, which changes the room into a communication centre within seconds!
Before becoming a member of the WASPs, Marina, a tailless, voiceless mermaid was the slave of Titan before Troy Tempest rescued her from his clutches. Her father, Aphony is the ruler of the underwater city Pacifica. Marina and her people have been sworn to silence by Titan, who said if they were to speak again, they would be destroyed.
Occasionally, Marina accompanies Troy and Phones on their missions and sometimes Atlanta goes in place of her if they feel the mission is unsuitable for Marina. Troy has love interests for both women. Rarely seen on missions is a seal named Oink.
Each episode ended with a song called "Aqua Marina" which was composed by Barry Gray and sung by Gary Miller.
Not only was Stingray the first Supermarionation series to be made in colour, it was also the first British TV series to be made in colour! The series has also been repeated on BBC 2 over 1992-4 and 2001/2 and recently on weekday mornings over 2003/4. It has also been shown on Sky One.moreless