Hostages of the Deep was the 37th episode of Stingray to be broadcast. 37! This one really has the look and feel of an early episode so I don’t know who they were trying to fool by putting it so late in the run. I’ve never watched Stingray in broadcast order but it must feel so strange because the later episodes are just quite different from these early ones, and the progression in production and storytelling is pretty clear. Hopping from one end of the production order of the series to the other willy-nilly must be a bizarre experience for regular viewers. Or maybe I’m thinking about it too hard. Maybe the viewing public just opened their mouths and stuffed whatever Stingray goodness in that was served up to them without very much thought. Gobble gobble gobble. Anyway, what are we doing here? Oh yeah, Hostages of the Deep.
Another early episode broadcast late in the run, Sea of Oil represents the first of what I would consider a run-of-the-mill Stingray episode, following the formula of the Stingray crew investigating X incident, and discovering Y undersea race who are behind the whole affair. It’s not exactly the most outlandish story of the series, but give ’em a break, it’s only episode three. And hey, there are definitely some hidden gems in there. Can anyone else hear an “oink”?
Bizarrely, this second episode which follows on directly from the plot of the pilot episode, was broadcast incredibly late in Stingray’s first run on television. It was common practice back in the day to push early episodes to later in the broadcast order, with the supposed reasoning that initial episodes weren’t as good as later ones. So to keep viewers tuning in during those crucial first few weeks of broadcast, heavy hitters from later in the production order of episodes would be brought forward. In the case of Stingray, it was decided that the episode Emergency Marineville be broadcast second, and Plant of Doom was moved all the way to slot number 34. While fairly nonsensical in terms of the plot and it’s bearing on other episodes of the series, is this indicative of the quality of the finished episode itself? Let’s dive in…
Oh yeah, I’m standing by for action alright. How’s about some serious high definition action courtesy of the 2022 release of Stingray on Blu-ray? I got the super deluxe version. Anyone else having trouble convincing family members it isn’t just an elegantly decorated shoebox?