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Series / Stingray (1985)

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"The world runs on money. Everybody walks around with this invisible number in their heads. You hit the figure close enough, the penny drops, you own the man. In Hong Kong you can buy a murder for five bucks. In New York City a sloppy job runs you five hundred. A neat, clean, professional hit, upwards of ten grand. On skid row they'll kill you for your shoes. I take money out of the equation. My hands don't sweat, because I'm never at the pay window."

A television series created by Stephen J. Cannell that ran for two seasons from 1985 to 1987.

Ray (played by Nick Mancuso) a man with a mysterious past would help a client with their problem. They would approach him by answering an ad that ran every Friday in the New York Times offering a "'65 black Stingray for Barter Only". Ray would not take money from his clients but demand a favor that he would eventually collect.

No relation to the 1964 puppet show of the same name (about a special naval agency and evil fish-men) created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson of Thunderbirds fame (interestingly, the title was not changed when the series was screened on ITV in the UK - clearly no one could ever get the two confused!). Nor to the Corvette Summer clone from 1978. Nor to the creature that ended the life of Steve Irwin.

Compare Vengeance Unlimited and Leverage.


  • Action Series: Typical of the era, with a wandering hero causing problem for the bad guys on each City of Adventure he visits per week.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening credits are awesome, with a cool theme by Post & Carpenter, but the one sin that could be chalked against them is that it paints the series as more mystical/sci-fi that it truly is.
  • Cool Car: Ray's '65 Corvette.
  • Dark and Troubled Past/Mysterious Past: Although hints are dropped throughout the series, Ray's reasons for what he does, and what led him to it, are never explicitly revealed.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Robert Vaughn's unnamed character in "Abnormal Psych."
  • Go Among Mad People: The episode "Abnormal Psych" has Ray infiltrating a Bedlam House on behalf of his client-of-the-week.
  • Hero's Classic Car: The series is named after it.
  • Magical Native American: "The Neniwa."
  • A Simple Plan: The episode "Caper".
  • The Unreveal: While Ray has worked for the government in some capacity, he has taken steps to obscure his real identity. His current is always Ray; last name, but the name always belongs to someone else. Once it was a black special forces officer.
  • Vehicle-Based Characterization: Ray drives a black 1965 Corvette Stingray that's sleek, fast, powerful, and stealthy, much like the covert detective work Ray performs.
  • Vigilante Man: Ray only helps people who are good. He kills in self-defense or to help the innocent, but only as a last resort.
  • We Help the Helpless: The clients-of-the-week are people at the end of their rope and accosted by very powerful criminals who call the number of a specific ad in the paper's classifieds advertising a "'65 Corvette Stingray, for barter" and hire Ray.
  • You Owe Me: Ray barters for his services, a favor for a favor. Often, he'd often call in favors from previous clients (that is, those from previous episodes) to assist in his current mission.