Stingray – 35. Trapped In The Depths

Directed by John Kelly

Teleplay by Alan Fennell

First UK Broadcast – 2nd May 1965

Did anybody else have a VHS tape from Polygram video which combined this episode with the Captain Scarlet episode, Place of Angels? I couldn’t tell you why those two particular installments were put together for a release because they don’t exactly have a lot in common. Presumably it was an experiment to see if random combinations of Anderson shows could be sold on one tape to serve as tasters, and cross-sell the rest of the series. Not a bad idea, at a time when folks had to invest quite a lot of time and money into collecting VHS tapes of a full series. Of course, I was never thinking about Polygram’s business choices when I was a child collecting second-hand VHS tapes from car boot sales on a sunny Saturday morning in a Kentish field. I just saw a stall with a VHS tape containing an episode of Stingray I hadn’t seen before with an episode of Captain Scarlet I hadn’t seen before, and handed over my pocket money. Simpler times. Anyway, none of that has anything to do with this review of the episode, I just thought I’d share that experience for anybody else who, like me, is fresh out of their quarter-life crisis and already planning their full-blown mid-life crisis. I wonder if I can get a cheap VCR from somewhere…

This Stingray episode shares a name with the Supercar episode, Trapped in the Depths. Coincidence? Yes, probably.

Atlanta has left the WASPs behind her for a spell to come and study at an underwater fish farm. Everyone needs a hobby I guess. This setup serves as another example of Atlanta’s academic curiosity, similar to what we saw in In Search of the Tajmanon. Her teacher is Professor Alexander Cordo, who shares a face with Professor Darren from The Golden Sea, right down to the specs on his nose being exactly the same. Cordo was named after filmmaker Sir Alexander Korda. A key point is raised early on in the dialogue when Atlanta is seemingly stunned by the huge population of fish at the farm, which Cordo proudly declares can produce enough food to feed millions of people. World food shortages were a grave concern among some academics during the mid-20th century with predictions that food production couldn’t possibly keep up with the demands of an exponentially growing population. But, in Supermarionation’s optimistic presentation of the future, scientists such as Cordo have developed ingenious ways of dramatically advancing the yield of agriculture, and aquaculture, so that there’s more than enough food for everyone. The same issue was addressed by Dr. Orchard’s growth serum in Alan Pattillo’s script for the Thunderbirds episode, Attack of the Alligators!, although the results were rather more disastrous in that particular case.

A precursor to Thunderbird 1’s remote control TV camera, Cordo’s camera for showing Atlanta the operations of the fish farm looks very much like what it is – a lens with a motorised fan strapped to the back. Stand By For Action, the Thunderbirds episode Martian Invasion, and the video assist production practice in action at the AP Films studio all demonstrated Gerry Anderson’s fondness for directing and operating cameras from a distance. This remote camera is another example of that vision.

Cordo explains that sea water passes through a nuclear reactor to increase its temperature, and is then pumped through coils under the sea bed covering an area of 10 square miles, essentially providing underfloor heating for a large patch of ocean. The warm water rises to the surface and the addition of sunlight makes the area a fertile area for plankton, attracting fish and allowing them to multiply and eventually be fried up and served with chips and mushy peas for ever and ever and ever. Now, this all sounds quite clever and straightforward and like the writer has done some hard research on the topic of aquaculture, so I ought to vaguely read up on the industry of fish farming and give you my hastily thrown together findings on the subject too. Firstly, it looks like Cordo is winning the award for world’s largest fish farm, with the real world record holder currently sitting at 2,200 hectares or 8.5 square miles. There are a miriad of methods for farming seafood on a large scale, all with their own environmental benefits and disadvantages. The specific research which likely inspired Alan Fennell during the writing of this episode was the work of Victor Loosanoff at the Milford lab in Connecticut. By 1962, the “Milford Method” had been developed for cultivating shellfish which, in short, takes larvae into the controlled climate of the laboratory so that shellfish can spawn in all seasons, rather than during the limited period when the natural water temperature is right for propogation. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but Alan Fennell has presumably extrapolated the basic principal of heating water to produce the right conditions to stimulate production, added in a nuclear reactor so that all energy concerns are dealt with in a suitably 1960s, retrofuturistic fashion, and bosh, infinite fish. Needless to say, if farming fish was as simple as boiling the ocean, and that method didn’t have all sorts of environmental issues attached, somebody would have done it by now – and I’ll leave my ill-informed criticism of Professor Cordo’s science at that. My apologies to any marine biologists or aquaculturists for stepping, or downright trampling, on your toes there.

Back to the plot, and apparently the remote control camera has a mind of its own and wants to go off on an adventure. Atlanta watches the screen as the accursed device goes on a joyride, with Cordo desperately trying to regain control.

Well look at that. The camera has found our beloved Stingray, or rather, a stock shot of Stingray borrowed from the episode, Secret of the Giant Oyster.

Only once Stingray has been revealed does Cordo decide to switch off the camera… probably should have done that earlier, buddy, so that your secret could have stayed secret. Atlanta is keen to contact her WASP friends… y’know, see if they wanna hang out, maybe go to the mall, get some fro-yo.

No fro-yo, I guess.

Atlanta objects to the gun in the strongest possible terms, threatening to set her boyfriend on Cordo if he doesn’t calm down. The lever directly behind her looks suspiciously like a spring doorstop.

Yes, Cordo is a baddie, and crackers, and decides to share part of his evil scheme. He’s got some underwater pals who have built him an exact replica of Stingray, but didn’t include any of the controls or mechanisms to make it go. Atlanta is quick to point out that such a rubbish mockup is about as much use as a chocolate seaweed-teapot. But Cordo has ambitions to bring about the destruction of Marineville. More on that later though.

Marina is having a small drinks party at her apartment. I guess without Atlanta around, all the usual hosting duties have fallen to Marina, because heaven knows the men wouldn’t be able to handle it. Commander Shore, Troy, and Phones discuss how swell Professor Cordo is and how much Atlanta must be enjoying life down on the farm. By pure coincidence, Troy says they’ll be patrolling near the farm tomorrow so how’s about paying Atlanta a visit…

Yes, apparently Marina now ever-so-slightly despises Atlanta and needs a special cutaway shot to her grumpy face in order to prove it. The Troy and Marina relationship has been off the table for quite some time now, with everything except the continued use of Aqua Marina over the end credits pointing firmly towards Troy and Atlanta being the key couple. Atlanta and Marina have seemingly been friends ever since they accidentally almost tried to kill each other back in Plant of Doom, and since then have been perfectly pleasant pals. So Marina’s sudden unhappiness at the prospect of Troy wanting to visit Atlanta is odd. Nobody pays any attention to the reaction though, so either the writer didn’t feel it was worth following up on, or the inclusion of this close-up was a choice by the director to add a touch of nuance to what is otherwise a pretty dry scene.

Troy’s convinced that Atlanta’s radio silence while she’s been away for two weeks is because she’s “having a whale of a time.” Get it? Cos it’s a fish farm… Can someone wheel that well-stocked drinks trolley in my direction?

Atlanta’s been tied to a chair by Cordo. As with a great deal of Supermarionation furniture, the legs on the chairs are considerably shorter than what you might find on a real chair in order to better match the proportions of the puppets, and to give them a fighting chance at sitting down. Cordo reveals some more of the dastardly plan. He’s apparently the master of an undersea race discovered by his father. This raises an interesting question as to whether Troy’s meeting with Titan in the pilot episode was supposed to represent humanity’s first encounter with an underwater civilisation. It was established in the same episode that Troy had a feeling there were people living under the sea, which Phones found laughable. Maybe Troy’s hunch was based on rumours which in turn were based on earlier discoveries such as those made by Cordo’s father.

Cordo rants and raves about Atlanta’s disrespect for the sanctity of the ocean in the same way an embittered vicar might lash out at a dog fouling the church’s footpath. But he’s going to keep the purpose of the fake Stingray to himself for a bit longer. After all, an awful lot of this dialogue so far has been fuel to get the plot going, so one wouldn’t want to dump all that information down in a single massive lump.

The real Stingray, in all its magnificence, is out on patrol with Troy, Phones, and Marina aboard. Troy gives the order to steer “green, 95.” We’ve previously established that these course directions use red and green to mean port and starboard respectively, and the number refers to the angle of turn. What a shame then, that Troy gives the order to turn right, and the model shot immediately shows Stingray turning to its left.

Phones initially complains that the course change is taking them well off their routine patrol, before realising they’re going to visit Atlanta. So was Troy perhaps telling Commander Shore a little white lie earlier when he said they’d be in the area of the fish farm during the patrol? Or is Phones just a bit thick and the fish farm isn’t actually all that far away? Both are plausible options. Troy plans to call ahead and let Cordo know they’re dropping in, as any decent, polite, welcome guest should do… I’m looking at you Aunty Muriel…

A model shot of the underwater base for the farm establishes that most of the facility is taken up with heating pipes and storage tanks. The building itself just has the one large window, suggesting there aren’t many other rooms or people down here.

Zooming in on the window, it becomes clear that the interior has been dressed with model kit pieces in order to vaguely resemble the puppet set, but without too much attention to detail because, honestly, who would be sad enough to pause their blu-ray and take a screenshot of this moment?

Inside, Atlanta and Cordo have gotten very dressed up for the dinner party they’ve thrown together at the last minute. Cordo refers to the Stingray crew as spiders walking into his web… which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. For one thing, spiders walking on a web isn’t that unusual. They’re actually quite good it. Isn’t it other insects who get trapped in webs, not the spiders who make the webs? Anyway, I’m also not entirely sure what his web consisted of. It was Troy’s choice to go and visit Atlanta so Cordo can’t take credit for organising the meeting. Maybe he invited Atlanta to come and study at the farm as a means of eventually luring Stingray down there? But there was never any guarantee that Stingray would be the chosen craft to take Atlanta to and from Marineville… although I guess Stingray is used for just about everything in the WASPs so perhaps that’s a fair enough assumption.

Atlanta doesn’t plan on keeping her mouth shut, but Cordo has thought of that. He’s wired up a gun under the table to shoot Troy at the first sign of trouble. Nice bit of kit – I should get one of those installed for when Aunty Muriel complains that the gravy’s too thick during our next Sunday lunch.

This is the chair that Troy will be sitting in. The wonders of high definition allow us to spot the single wire trailing from the back, and the pre-determined little round spot where the explosive charge has already been placed inside.

Great demo Professor Cordo, but now you’ll have to go out and buy another chair before Troy arrives.

Atlanta is positively stunned by Cordo’s madness. The man who lives alone under the ocean with a nuclear reactor, and surrounded by 10 square miles of water and fish, is crazy? Who’d have thought it?

Stingray parks up at an extremely great distance away from the building, but conveniently close to the dummy Stingray which is hidden from view by a few large plants and nothing more.

Despite being a guest at the fish farm herself, it’s fallen to Atlanta to prepare a seafood spread for the visiting Stingray crew. It’s amusing that Cordo and Atlanta are all dressed up, while Troy and Phones are sitting down to eat in their diving suits. Atlanta is understandably nervous that her boyfriend might get blasted out of his seat and Cordo threatens use of the gun if she keeps on raising suspicions. Lois Maxwell plays the scene beautifully with genuine, restrained panic in her voice, and the puppet operator matches that performance with sharp, twitchy movements. Troy becomes concerned for Atlanta, and offers to take her home to Marineville. What a nice bloke.

Cordo insists that Atlanta stays to finish the course. After all, who else would cook his dinner if she left? Also, why does Cordo have one grey eyebrow and one black eyebrow?

Now here’s an absolute treat – a truly bizarre submarine with a ridiculously extendable magnetic clamp on the front. What a mad design, probably cobbled together from all sorts of bits and pieces in the workshop. It’s far from being the most sophisticated alien sub designed by the effects team, but it’s so unusual I can’t help but love it. Oh, and it gets better…

Grupa and Noctus are back! Yes, the villains from A Nut From Marineville have either escaped or been released from jail stupidly quickly and are back in action to do more damage with another crazy scheme. Are they the same characters? Well they look the same and pretty much sound the same so I’m going to say yes, although I’m open to the possibility that it may not have been the intention in the script to bring these characters back. For the final scene of A Nut For Marineville, their costumes were in bad shape, so it’s reasonable to assume that the scenes for this episode were filmed alongside the bulk of their material in the previous episode. The set for the submarine’s interior also shares a number of features with Grupa and Noctus’ craft from A Nut From Marineville – specifically the pink arches, and spinning gold shuttlecocks, while the main control console has been pinched from X20’s submarine.

The swap is carried out with relative ease. I have to praise the model makers for creating two completely identical models of Stingray in the same scale. At that time, AP Films were still operating with only one special effects unit, compared with the two puppet units producing material for episodes simultaneously. I therefore wonder whether one of the models had to be created especially for these scenes, since they might not have had much need for two models in the same scale otherwise. Or perhaps one is just an older model that had to be refurbished, or they had one with attached skids and one without.

Back inside, Atlanta remains incredibly jittery and almost gets Troy shot again. The food on their plates doesn’t look very much like fish but heck, what do I know about fine dining?

Grupa and Noctus now have to park the dummy Stingray in the exact spot that the real one was occupying. This has required them to turn their model around 180 degrees compared with the previous shot of them picking it up, and they therefore enter this shot from the left of frame, rather than the right like they probably should have done… at least that’s my justification of it. The magnet is shut off and the lads can consider this a job well done.

Lunch is over, so Troy gets on the blower to the guv’na. Commander Shore tells Troy that he doesn’t need to report in again for another four hours, because frankly he’s already sick of the sound of his voice. Atlanta, meanwhile, has a simple request for her doting father to return a library book that’s, “VERY IMPORTANT TO ME, PERSONALLY.” I’m going to predict immediately that such a cryptic message will completely fail to sink in with Commander Shore. True, I’ve seen the episode several times before so I’m not in much of a position to make predictions, but there’s something about Commander Shore which doesn’t scream keen crossword puzzler.

Troy and Phones perform a detailed check on Stingray before they depart. Troy’s report? “Hunky-dory…” – you can see why they pay him the big bucks, can’t you? As with so many underwater shots, we’re looking at the puppet set through a fish tank. Even after all this time, I have to say that the effect is still remarkably convincing. Sure, it may be quite a bit brighter than the real depths of the ocean, but I believe it’s the closest the production team could have possibly gotten to the real thing without getting the puppets wet.

Troy and Phones’ diving suits appear to have gone through some refurbishment since they last appeared in The Cool Cave Man. In particular, you might notice some round discs have been sewn on to the thighs where the puppet wires are attached to the legs, as these areas were looking particularly tatty during the previous appearance. Meanwhile, poor Marina has lost her necklace. She was wearing it during the earlier scene aboard Stingray but since arriving at the fish farm it’s disappeared.

Cordo sadistically wishes the Stingray crew warm wishes for their onward journey to death, while Atlanta makes one final attempt to alert them all to danger. It doesn’t work. Well darn it.

Inside the airlock, a water tank is filled up in front of the camera to create the illusion of the whole room flooding. Troy and Phones discuss Atlanta’s strange behaviour, but brush it off as your common-or-garden deep sea crazies. Nothing to worry about.

Atlanta can only watch in terror as her friends swim back towards Stingray, and notice that something isn’t quite right. The dummy Stingray was seen being put down with skids extended, but now it looks positively beached on its belly.

Behold! The regular puppet set of Stingray’s interior completely emptied of all its usual junk. Now, for production purposes I completely understand why the art department chose to go this route in order to represent the interior of the dummy Stingray – in fact I think they’ve gone to a lot of effort by emptying out a set which must have been in constant use by the two puppet units. But, from the point of view of Cordo’s grand scheme, I can’t believe they’ve detailed the fake interior as much as they have! Why did his gang of aliens have to match the colour scheme so perfectly to the real thing? Even the door handles are accurate! Magnificent craftsmanship from Grupa and Noctus, I guess.

With something obviously wrong, and fake Stingray lacking any sort of hatch to get inside, the gang are forced to head back to the airlock, which immediately gets slammed shut as soon as they arrive. Phones declares that without Stingray, they’re trapped. Trapped in the depths in fact, just as the episode titles suggests. But now it’s time to point out one huge issue with the plot… if Troy and Phones swam up to the surface, they wouldn’t have to worry about their air running out and they wouldn’t be trapped. After all, episodes such as Secret of the Giant Oyster and Rescue from the Skies show characters swimming up and down from the surface to the ocean floor in a matter of minutes with relative ease. No need to worry about pressure changes or getting the bends here. Just pop up top to catch your breath lads while Marina figures out the airlock situation. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than suffocating…

Nope, instead we’re going to head into the commercial break with a strong sense of doom and gloom. Maybe Cordo has a giant dome over the top of the fish farm to trap everyone inside… but that would be flippin’ stupid.

Troy, Phones, and Marina head for the window to get some help from inside. Apparently they fail to immediately spot that Atlanta has been tied to a chair again. Instead, Troy is focussed on the fact that Cordo is totally ignoring him. More concerned about being blanked than his girlfriend’s safety? That’s our Troy. Taking a moment to admire the set for the control room, I love the relative simplicity of all these controls for operating a nuclear reactor, an airlock, a remote TV camera, and 10 square miles of fish farm.

Cordo’s maniacal chuckling gives away that he’s done something naughty. Only then does Phones notice Atlanta’s very obvious predicament. Great detective work from the thickie twins once again.

Back at Marineville, Shore and Fisher observe that Stingray is overdue from reporting in. Earlier on, Shore specified that Troy didn’t have to make contact again for another four hours… so is the suggestion that a whole four hours and ten minutes have passed between the Stingray crew leaving the plant, and now? WASP air tanks are pretty advanced but can they really last for that long? More importantly, has it really taken four hours for Troy, Phones, and Marina to come up with a plan that wasn’t just knocking on the window?

Meanwhile, Grupa and Noctus have surfaced in the real Stingray, and have a cunning plan to avert any panic surrounding the crew’s disappearance. They mosey on up to a weather station and start signalling with a light. The weather station is, of course, the same tower seen in The Invaders, but with the number ‘4’ removed.

Just as Shore is preparing to launch a full-blown search operation, Weather Tower 7 reports in that Stingray has been spotted, and left a message saying that their radio was busted. Does the Weather Tower 7 guy sound suspiciously like Troy Tempest pinching his nose? Look, I think I’ve made enough digs at Don Mason’s performances over the course of these reviews. The simple fact of the matter is that he’s amazing as Troy, but not so hot at guest voices. Anyway, the search is called off and Stingray is assumed to be absolutely fine. Rats.

Troy begins to formulate a plan… after at least four hours of doing a whole lot of nothing apparently. Alas, I’m far too distracted by the fact Phones’ arms keep bending backwards in a way that most arms don’t do… the double-jointed freak.

Shore has clocked off for the night and returned to an empty apartment. It’s very sweet that he misses Atlanta – a further indicator that he’s a big softy under that tough exterior. We also learn that he finds the tedium of routine days utterly draining, much preferring the excitement of an emergency… I will never understand these Type-A weirdos who thrive on being in the heat of the moment and at the heart of the action… what’s wrong with putting your feet up and alphabetising cans of soup for a living?

Apparently being thoroughly bored and ready for bed reminds Shore about Atlanta’s request about the library book. Alongside two Hugo pocket dictionaries which have been seen prominently on a number of bookshelves throughout the series, we have a volume entitled Trapped In The Depths… and no, it’s not a novelisation of the Supercar episode with the same name.

Observing that the book is written by Professor Cordo, but thinking no more of it, Commander Shore decides to start reading. He becomes thoroughly engrossed in whatever that lunatic has to say about fishing and nuclear reactors and tying people to chairs.

Troy finally has his plan ready to put into action. It’s a stupid plan but hey, we know Troy Tempest plans tend to vere wildly towards the suicidal and ridiculous by now. Apparently, the lads keep a waterproof marker pen in their diving suits and have written a message on the wall for Atlanta, which they’re going to show via the remote camera. They want Atlanta to open the airlock… even though she’s clearly tied up and unable to do so. But how are they going to make sure Cordo doesn’t know what they’re up to when the message appears on the enormous screen in the middle of the room? Well, they’re just going to hope for the best… I know, it’s not exactly an award-winning plan.

Phones is able to switch the camera on and off whenever he likes, even though all the controls must surely be inside the facility. Just in case Troy wanted to make the situation any riskier, he swims up to the window in order to receive Atlanta’s confirmation. I guess Cordo completely lacks any peripheral vision – a common complaint among a miriad of characters in television shows.

With the message received, Phones switches the camera off. Maybe it’s a different camera from earlier, but it’s noticeably more silver than the prop from the opening scene.

Now it’s time for the next part of the plan… chucking rocks into the sea intake until it breaks. The floor puppeteer struggles to keep their fingers out of shot during close-ups of Troy and Marina’s hands dropping the boulders. That hole is probably big enough for Marina to swim inside and jab the inner-workings with a blunt instrument… although keeping out of a nuclear reactor is probably a wise move.

Cordo notices that there are an awful lot of rocks floating happily into the intake, but has every faith in his special crusher to handle it. His dialogue doesn’t quite match the movement of his lower lip for some reason – it looks like a simple case of the solenoid inside the puppet’s head being overly sensitive.

Troy demands larger rocks. Phones worries about their air supply. But Troy won’t give up… even if the simple act of swimming to the surface would be enough to save them.

And so the rocks get larger, while Troy and Phones get weaker and weaker trying to carry them. Apparently Marina just has to float around and watch at this point because the rocks are beyond her strength. Cordo comments on how ridiculously abnormal the current must be to shove so many big rocks down his intake, but doesn’t bother to look out of the window to see what might be happening.

Phones has another big’un to ram down the hole… yuck.

Finally, this adorable little siren starts sounding because the crushers have finally packed up and gone to live in the Bahamas.

Cordo heads for the conveniently labelled reactor plant while Marina watches Troy and Phones breathe their last breaths. If only she could have picked up some of those heavy rocks or, y’know, nudged Troy and Phones up to the surface for some air.

Nobody felt like actually building a set for the reactor plant, so here’s a brief shot of Cordo standing in front of a blank wall and looking at something.

Meanwhile, Atlanta has used her incredible scooching talents to back all the way over to the airlock control. What now?

Well that’s certainly one way of doing it. Hope that enormous bouffant hairstyle cushions your head when it hits the floor.

Yeah she’s fine. In fact she gives us a victorious little, “I did it.” Lois Maxwell really acts her socks off in these situations and it works so well.

Door now open, all Marina has to do is encourage her half-dead colleagues to swim inside. Good for her. I’d have left Troy behind to become fish food.

Cordo returns from the reactor plant with just a small dose of radiation poisoning.

Oh look at that, everybody’s feeling hunky-dory again. Troy smugly sits on the smug table, looking smug as he smugly teases the professor… smugly.

Cordo is instructed to sit in the chair of certain death while Troy delivers a lecture with his finger over the firing button. Did I mention that Troy was quite smug? He gives the order for Stingray to be brought back to the fish farm so that they can head back to Marineville, where Cordo will stand trial for being an insufferable twerp.

But before all that, we have to wrap up the business with the book. I must say, the “Commander-Shore-remembers-to-return-a-library-book-but-then-reads-it-and-falls-asleep” story thread isn’t the thrilling subplot I would normal expect from a Stingray episode, but it does add some delightful character development. Shore is only a little bit put out when he finds the whole gang looming over him… except for Marina because she’s not a significant enough character anymore to take part in this sort of thing.

Atlanta is positively exasperated that her father failed to pick up on the subtle hint in the book’s title and author… or possibly just by the fact he was supposed to return it to the library and didn’t. She was probably hoping that daddy would be tricked into paying off her backlog of late return fees.

Shore is wearing the same pyjamas as Troy wore in Loch Ness Monster which is… odd. But never mind that, it’s time for the sleepy old codger to doze off again. And how they all laugh so that the episode can be brought to a cheery conclusion.

It may not be the most extraordinary episode, but I do like Trapped In The Depths. Yes, okay, they’re not actually trapped, but apart from that it’s a fun premise with lots of interesting ingredients. The replica of Stingray is an intriguing weapon at the enemy’s disposal, as is another human agent turning traitor and working for the underwater aggressors to destroy Marineville. Professor Cordo’s madness is beautifully capped by his smooth demeanour to create a villain that is utterly credible. The return of Grupa and Noctus was a surprising treat, as was the aforementioned library book subplot. Lois Maxwell deserves top marks for her performance as Atlanta, a character who has had so many wonderful opportunities to grow over the course of the series. The fish farm’s operations being grounded vaguely in some real science adds a nice touch of gravitas to proceedings. A little more action wouldn’t have gone amiss, but certainly isn’t a necessity in a plot like this which sources its drama from the ongoing struggle of the heroes as time slowly runs out. Overall, I think it’s a solid episode which just lacks the grand visual spectacle of more memorable episodes. I guess when your main villain is essentially a mad fisherman in a control room, you aren’t necessarily going to get an exciting chase sequence at the end…

Next week, it’s time for another familiar face to return in stereo! Marineville is surprised to receive a visitor who just so happens to be the identical twin brother of their prisoner, El Hudat… it’s Ali Khali! With the intervention of X20 and Titan, the brothers become pawns in a devious scheme to restore El Hudat to power, and thus open the floodgates for Titan to take control of the land! How will the WASPs tackle this double trouble? Find out next week as we review Eastern Eclipse

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Further Reading by Century 21 Films Ltd.

Filmed In Supermarionation by Stephen La Rivière. Third edition published in 2022 by Century 21 Films Ltd.

Stingray: Adventures In Videcolor by Andrew Pixley. First published in 2022 by Network Distributing.

The Population Bomb by Dr. Paul E. Elrich. First published in 1968 by Sierra Club/Balantine Books.

The Milford Method: NOAA Fisheries’ Role in Shellfish Aquaculture, last updated by
Northeast Fisheries Science Center on November 15, 2021.

A Short History of Aquaculture Innovation by Jude Isabella and Shannon Hunt. Published in August 24, 2020 by Hakai Magazine.

5 thoughts on “Stingray – 35. Trapped In The Depths

  1. Due to the presence of Noctus and Grupa, some think this episode could in fact take place before A Nut for Marineville. (Do we need to create a ‘realistic’ order for Stingray like Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet?)

    The gun under the table is very akin to Karl Stromberg attempting to kill James Bond 007 in The Spy Who Loved Me.


    1. I wouldn’t have said it was ESSENTIAL, but I think that in the case of a series like this it is nice to see continuity not slip up too much, still no show is perfect where that is concerned.
      I agree with you about the gun under the table being compared to Stromberg’s from The Spy Who Loved Me, maybe Derek Meddings gave that as an idea to the Bond producers. 😉


  2. A truly great episode with the right balance of drama, comedy and suspense, Professor Cord’s fate, psychiatric treatment and then jail I wonder?
    I agree with you that Lois Maxwell was great as Atlanta in this episode, there is a good amount of James Bond actors have appeared in Gerry’s shows now that I think about it, makes one wonder if Sean Connery and Roger Moore would fit into a show like this.
    I love the return of Grupa and Noctus and am sure that this episode was set before A Nut For Marineville to be honest, it is a bit a slight pity that unlike other undersea races ,(besides Titan and his gang) don’t make more than one appearance, (unless you count compilations).


  3. I just realised a pretty major thing about this episode: The last time we see Grupa and Noctus they’re still happily piloting Stingray! They’ve got Stingray and the WASPs are never shown getting it back in this episode. Pretty impressive for two villains who were arrested just last episode and escaped off-screen. Are they the only villains beside Titan, X-2-0, and El Hudat to show up more than once (discounting those cameo names in Tom Thumb Tempest)?

    I wonder if it’s like the numerous SPVs seen to be dramatically destroyed in Captain Scarlet, and the WASPs just treat the theft of this Stingray model as a write-off . Maybe before Eastern Eclipse they sheepishly go to the warehouse and pull Stingray 4 out of storage. Maybe the number on the tail fin was a clue all along!


    1. In the penultimate scene when Troy has Cordo sat down in front of the gun, he orders Cordo to recall Grupa and Noctus so they can get Stingray back – it’s quite a quick piece of dialogue so you have to be listening hard but it’s there!

      Yes, they are the only other returning villains beyond the ones you mentioned.

      As for the number on Stingray’s tail fin, let’s not go down that rabbit hole!

      Liked by 1 person

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