Inspector Gadget is an animated series about a clumsy, absent-minded, and oblivious detective, Inspector Gadget, who is a cyborg with various "gadgets" built into his anatomy. Gadget's main nemesis is the mysterious Dr. Claw, leader of an evil organization known as MAD. more...
This was the merchandising company DiC Entertainment's first syndicated show, and ran from 1983 to 1986 in syndication. This article pertains to the original cartoon series and its characters and plots; for information on it later spinoffs, see Inspector Gadget spinoff incarnations.
The name has passed into common parlance to refer to people similarly obsessed with gadgetry.
Cast of characters
- Inspector Gadget (Voiced by Don Adams) - Bumbling and somewhat quixotic cyborg detective, who is also the title character. The character is a cross between Adams' Get Smart character Maxwell Smart and Inspector Clouseau of the Pink Panther film series.
- Penny (Voiced first by Cree Summer, then by Holly Berger) - Gadget's niece. Inspector Gadget is her guardian and caretaker, though often she seems more suited to be his caretaker due to Gadget's clumsiness and general cluelessness. In addition, unknown to any of the recurring characters outside of Brain, she is the investigator who is MAD's true foe responsible for foiling its schemes.
- Brain the dog (Voiced by Frank Welker) - Penny's dog. He often walks upright, and communicates with Penny through a device built into his collar. Brain can communicate with humans using his voice, but has some difficulty with pronunciation. Aside from speaking in a low gruff voice, he tends to interject most words with the letter "R" similar to the way other cartoon dogs, such as Scooby-Doo and Astro from The Jetsons do. How much the humans in the show understand him is debatable, since he mostly uses pantomime to communicate.
- Dr. Claw (Voiced by Frank Welker) - The main villain in the series and leader of the evil organization known as MAD. His face is never seen by viewers, but an action figure of Dr. Claw with his face in full view out of the container was produced in the 1990s. Dr. Claw shares many characteristics with Ernst Stavro Blofeld from the James Bond films.
- Chief Quimby (Voiced first by Hadley Kay, then by Maurice LaMarche) - Gadget's boss. He appears at the beginning of each episode with his own theme music to deliver Gadget his mission, and appears again at the end of each episode to congratulate Gadget on a job well done. Again, the character is a synthesis of The Chief from Get Smart and Chief Inspector Dreyfus of the Pink Panther films.
- Corporal Capeman (Voiced by Townsend Coleman) - A nerdy sidekick who dressed in stereotypical superhero garb and, accompanied Gadget in a few episodes during the second season. He was as clueless as Gadget. The two had a student/mentor relationship, though Gadget was rarely teaching anything nor was Capeman learning. Capeman was obsessed with learning to fly and often mistakenly believed he had miraculously acquired the power of flight while in the midst of dire circumstances. His last appearance was in the series' last episode: "Gadget and the Red Rose" (#86). He was widely disliked by the series' fan base.
- Mad Cat – Dr. Claw's fat pet cat. He is always at Dr. Claw's side. In many episodes he attempted to do something simple, but failed. He didn't have a voice of any kind but would laugh when Dr. Claw laughed.
In the first season, nearly every episode saw the introduction of some supervillain who had come to be employed by Dr. Claw to commit a crime suited to their special skills. They were typically arrested at the end of the episode, and did not appear again in the series.
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