The Ghost Ship (Stingray)
|"The Ghost Ship"|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Desmond Saunders|
|Written by||Alan Fennell|
|Original air date||18 October 1964|
"The Ghost Ship" is the 8th episode of the Supermarionation television series Stingray, originally aired as episode 3 on October 18, 1964. It was written by Alan Fennell and was directed by Desmond Saunders.
The WASPS get a report about the sighting of an ancient galleon on the sea, so Commander Shore joins the Stingray crew to investigate, and soon trouble starts when Shore and Phones go aboard the seemingly deserted galleon...
The episode opens with an ancient galleon rising up from the ocean floor to the surface. Soon, it is sailing along the ocean and firing cannons.
The World Aquanaut Security Patrol get a report about the galleon and Commander Shore is intrigued by it all and decides to get Stingray to investigate, with him joining the crew on board. Stingray arrives at the location where the galleon was last sighted. Troy Tempest sees nothing but a thick fog but soon enough he spots the galleon approaching and it appears to be deserted. After calling out to the galleon using a megaphone and getting no reply, Shore decides to go aboard, choosing Phones to go with him and telling Troy to stay aboard Stingray with Marina. Shore and Phones use hoverjets to go over to the galleon and split up to investigate the galleon. Shore hears footsteps from somewhere and he reunites with Phones to go into a room. Inside the room is a freshly prepared meal and Shore and Phones enter fully into the room and the door slams shut, which then triggers a trapdoor making Shore and Phones descend lower down the galleon. By the communication wrist watch, Shore tells Troy to stay on board Stingray still. In a lower section of the galleon now we find Shores and Phones wondering what is going on. Suddenly hearing a creaking noise, they draw their guns and a voice from the other side of a door in the room they are in suddenly orders them to throw down their guns or they will be shot on the spot.
The door opens revealing Idotee, an alien pirate, and he plans to lure Troy to the galleon to punish him for his crimes to the underwater races. Idotee orders Shore to tell Troy to come aboard or he shall kill both Shore and Phones. Troy insists on coming on board but Shore tells him to stay where he is and tells Troy to launch sting missiles to blow the galleon up. Troy disobeys and soon Idotee, angry that Shore did not obey him, launches cannon fire at Stingray and then makes the galleon go underwater. It is able to go underwater due to airlocks that Idotee added to the galleon.
Troy then plans to go aboard and give himself up to Idotee to save Shore and Phones. Before he goes with air tanks, he takes a pill from Marina as part of a plan he has.
Troy soon swims over to the galleon and gets inside to the room and is greeted by Idotee, who has now Phones and Shore tied up with an automatic crossbow aimed at them ready to fire in 20 minutes. Idotee then reveals that Shore and Phones will still die and he plans a more prolonged death for Troy. While ranting about what he will do to Troy, Troy is releasing the air from the air tanks and soon Shore, Phones and Idotee are all laughing; Troy does not laugh.
Shore then realises it is laughing gas coming from the air tanks that Troy brought and Troy took the antidote. Idotee passes out from laughing so much and Troy moves the crossbow, making the big arrows miss Shore and Phones, and soon they both pass out from laughing too.
Back at Marineville, with Idotee sent to jail, Shore yells angrily at Troy for disobeying orders but soon then reveals how pleased he is with Troy's courage and bravery to rescue his comrades and says he is proud to have Troy as a member of the World Aquanaut security patrol.
Even though the character in the episode was never named, writer Alan Fennell did pen the aquaphibian's name as Idotee in the script. The galleon was specially made for this episode by Derek Medding's visual effects model-making team, while art director Bob Bell designed the galleon's deck. Both the model of the ship and the deck would reappear in the later episode Set Sail For Adventure as Admiral Denver's galleon.
Vincent Law, in fanzine Andersonic Issue 8, compares this episode to A Nut For Marineville as both feature aliens attacking with no stated motivation, and describing the Stingray crew's approach to "the unknown usually being to shoot first". He also relates the episode to both Pink Ice and Invisible Enemy where the attackers are not even seen, and the attitude towards the villains being "blast them before they blast us." He also praise Barry Gray's flute music when "the ancient galleon appears slowly out of the fog."