14 January 2013
The finest TV shows and collectables of Gerry Anderson ...
Stingray saw Gerry Anderson move from the outer reaches of space to the darkest depths of the ocean. Made between 1964 and ’65, Anderson produced 39 episodes of the show and it was the first Supermarionation series to be filmed in colour. The results were spectacular and some of the underwater scenes were truly remarkable.
Like the majority of the Gerry Anderson’s output, the show focused around a key vehicle. In this case it was the Stingray, a highly sophisticated combat submarine built by the World Aquanaut Security Patrol or W.A.S.P. – you’ve got to love the acronyms in Anderson productions! It could travel up to 600 knots and submerge to depths of more than 36,000 feet, enabling it to travel to bottom of any ocean in the world.
Piloting Stingray was Captain Troy Tempest accompanied by navigator Lieutenant George Lee ‘Phones’ Sheridan who operated the sub’s hydrophone. Giving the orders is Commander Samuel Shore who spends all his time in a hoverchair and is accompanied by his daughter Lieutenant Atlanta Shore. Troy’s love interest was Marina a mute woman who could breathe underwater and had a seal pup called Oink. She also inspired the memorable end credit theme tune, which you’ll probably start humming now we’ve mentioned the song! In fact, have a watch and sing along...
Anyway, enough of that! On with the collectables...
Fairylite Stingray model. Plastic with a friction drive motor, we’re not sure this model would be waterproof so probably best not to try and recreate your own version of a Stingray episode in the bath!
In the 1990s Matchbox released a range of Stingray merchandise, as the show was being re-run on BBC. All the main characters were available as action figures, as well as a miniature version of Stingray being chased by the horrifying Terrorfish! There was also an excellent Marineville HQ play set featuring a two stage detachable rocket raise for launch, sliding ocean doors and a lift off roof for access to the control tower. This could be one to watch out for in the future!
Lincoln International Stingray remote control plastic battery-powered model with forward or reverse motion, interior lights, whistle and siren. Made in 1964 in Hong Kong.
Finally, we’ve got our absolute favourite Stingray collectable, the All Steel Aquaphibian Titan Terror Fish by Lakeside. This is a fantastic piece with moving eyes, mouth and tail, thanks to its friction power. In good condition it’s worth a few hundred.