Thursday, May 10, 2012

Daytime Heroes: Inspector Gadget (1983)

1983 brought a new player into the animation landscape. DIC was founded by Jean Chalopin & Andy Heyward, who served as the executive producers for virtually all of the studio's output in the early years. Chalopin would leave before the decade was over, though, leaving Heyward to run the show. Until it was purchased by Canada's Cookie Jar Entertainment a while back, DIC had a pretty decent track record, although you probably couldn't tell by some of their product in the final years.

One of the studio's first series was Inspector Gadget, a weekday comedy adventure series that tried to cross James Bond with not one, but two TV shows: The Six Million Dollar Man, because of Gadget's cyborg parts, and Get Smart, because of its star, Maxwell Smart himself, Don Adams, who was no stranger to toons, having been the voice of Tennessee Tuxedo in the 60's.

You had to feel sorry for Gadget's boss, Chief Quimby, who was routinely caught in explosions whenever the top secret message he gave Gadget self-destructed on him after Gadget leaves to undertake his mission. However, to cover for Gadget's shortcomings, his niece, Penny (Cree Summer), and her dog, Brain, found most of the clues, leaving Gadget to ultimately take the credit for the bust, even though he stumbled into it.

The series lasted three seasons, and has since spawned two cable sequels, Inspector Gadget's Field Trip, which was produced for the History Channel, with Gadget again voiced by Don Adams and appearing against a live-action backdrop. The other was the animated Gadget Boy & Heather, which was actually a prequel, with Adams voicing a younger Gadget. Eventually, I'll get to both of those. One sounds worse than you think.

Anyway, 5020maine uploaded the familiar opening, acquired via Retrojunk's website.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I was never really a fan of this show, though hearing Don Adams' voice gave this toon more than any other voice actor would have.

Oddly enough my dad thought this show was funny - particularly the running gag of Brain being in all these different disguises and Gadget never being the wiser.

The PSAs that usually tagged every episode also grated.

hobbyfan said...

Those PSA's, unfortunately, were required back in those days to keep the watchdog groups at bay. Like, those stuck-ups didn't have anything better to do than be self-appointed babysitters.......

I forgot there was one more series, something about Gadgetinis, which, from the sound of it, may be best left forgotten anyway......

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hobbyfan said...

You're quite welcome.