I've waited a long time for Stingray - the complete series to come out on DVD. My old VHS tapes are so thin in spots, I was scared to play them any more. So for this series gift, I give Stephen J. Cannell 5 stars!
Stingray is the story of a dark mysterious stranger, who drives a super cool 1965 Black Corvette Stingray. Just call him "Ray" - a war veteran, a secret government operative, a teenage vigilante - who really knows for sure? Accepting no cash, he barters his seemingly unending bank of skills and plethora of abilities, to strangers in need, to be paid in kind in the future.
Having only two regular characters, Ray and his classic car, episode ideas were fresh, inventive and varied. Story lines ran the gamut of drug dealers, psychopaths, the price of war, minorities needing a voice, unsolved murders, greed, etc. - you name it, Stingray had it. The continuity of having some of his "clients" come back and repay their favors was a bonus to the regular viewer.
Technically the series has some really cool quick cut camera action. Awesome sound tracks and almost mini music videos, thanks to Mike Post and Pete Carpenter. The directors and photographers worked to achieve a real dark edgy feel. The three filming locations; L.A., Calgary and Vancouver gave a real road trip feel to Ray's adventures.
The heart of the series is the way Nick Mancuso plays "Ray". He is vulnerable and tortured, yet a force no bad guy in his right mind should dare clash with. The quiet angsty moments, when we get in close and get to see the real "Ray" are my favorites - Mr. Mancuso's acting style is subtle and engaging. (Reference S2 episode "The first time is forever.")I met Mr. Mancuso in Calgary in 1987, and he was a very nice man.
My only complaint with this DVD set is the loss of the licensed music tracks. For example, in "Less than the eye can see." the extended sequence when Ray is driving to find Larry Thorson, the horror of finding the diner is diminished significantly!