Stingray (1964) was the show Gerry Anderson made just before he really hit the big time with Thunderbirds (1965). He produced 39 episodes of the 21st century adventures of Troy Tempest, tall, dark and handsome (his voice based on James Garner's) captain of the titular submarine. Troy's mission: to protect the seas on behalf of WASP (World Aquanaut Security Patrol). With complex underwater model and puppet effects, this was ground-breaking television, especially as it was the first UK series to be made in colour, even though for years it was only seen in black and white. Special effects director Derek Meddings later graduated to the James Bond films, while Moneypenny herself (actress Lois Maxwell) voiced Atlanta Shore. Here, just as in the Bond films, she played second fiddle in our hero's affections, the mute Marina becoming Stingray's sex-goddess. The end credits even featured a song in her honour, "Aqua Maria", which became an international hit. As for the bad guys, half-man, half-fish Titan and his Terror Fish wage a dastardly war against humanity and the peaceful underwater citizens of Pacifica. Four decades on, the models and underwater sequences still impress and Stingray remains eccentric cult family entertainment.
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