I thought I’d write a more diversionary and entertaining piece as I am, like most people, heartily sick of the miserable and depressing news. I’ll be 66 in three weeks, joining the ranks of old age pensioners. It’s impossible not to look back sometimes.
Exactly 60 years ago Gerry (whom I met once) and Sylvia Anderson and their team of brilliant puppeteers and effects designers, among them the unmatched Derek Meddings, were completing their Stingray series for ITV. For those who don’t know, this involved the World Aquanaut Security Patrol (WASP), charged with keeping the oceans safe. These were treated much as modern science fiction shows deep space. Under water were lethal foes like King Titan of Titanica and his aquaphibian troops, but also more benign characters.
Leading the defences were Captain Troy Tempest with Lt. ‘Phones’, aided by the diaphanous and mute nymph Marina, an escapee from Titan’s domain. They operated out of Marineville, a futuristic city with buildings that dropped underground at the slightest prospect of trouble, and had subterranean silos where Stingray, a submarine that looked like a cross between a shark and a spaceship, waited to be launched with Tempest at the helm.