1 9 6 4 – 1 9 6 8 (USA)
88 x 30 minute episodes
Porter Ricks was the chief ranger of Coral Key Park, Florida. He was responsible for protecting the game fish in the park.
A widower, he lived with his two boys, Sandy (15) and Bud (10), in a cottage near the beach.
The star of the series was the boys’ pet dolphin, Flipper, who (like Skippy) took the lead in their weekly adventures.
The stories revolved around Flipper and his two young companions as they went from adventure to adventure.
Also regularly seen during the first season was Hap Gorman, an old marine carpenter with endless stories about sea life and adventures. During the second season, Ulla Norstrand, an attractive oceanographer, was a regular character.
Flipper was played by a dolphin (obviously) named Mitzi, although a male stunt dolphin, Mr Gipper, did all of Flipper’s tail-walking (Mitzi never could master that trick). She was transported from location to location in a crate filled with foam and water.
The series was filmed in Florida and the Bahamas and the animal trainer on the series was Ricou Browning who had previously played the title role in the film The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954).
Underwater photography was handled by Ivan Tors, who also supervised the ambitious undersea footage in the Bond flick Thunderball (1965).
A follow-on 1995-1997 series had Keith Ricks – who had been the 10-year-old Bud in the original series – now running the Bal Harbor Research Institute in Florida.
The new series was filmed on location in Queensland, Australia.