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Inspector Gadget (TV Series 1983–1986) Poster

(1983–1986)

Trivia

Don Francks, who voiced Dr. Claw in several season one episodes, asked the producers if his daughter, Cree Summer, could audition for Penny. They obliged and it became Cree's first acting role.
Dr. Claw's face was never shown throughout the entire run of the show, though his cartoon face was finally revealed via his action figure release.
Jim Carrey auditioned for the voice of Corporal Capeman.
Dr. Claw is based on Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a villain from the James Bond series. Much like Blofeld, his face is usually kept hidden and only the character's hands can be seen; he is almost always petting a cat.
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The show contains references to Don Adams's previous series Get Smart (1965):
  • The basic plot of an inept agent going up against a malevolent criminal agency with anonymous help from his close friends
  • The opening sequence has Gadget going through many doors to meet Chief Quimby, which Smart did in Get Smart (1965)'s opening sequence
  • Don Adams reused some "Get Smart" catchphrases for Gadget's character. These included "Would you believe...?" and "Sorry about that, Chief."
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The first animated TV show whose sound was in stereo.
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Season one had a "villain of the week" format while season two had recurring villains.
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When production moved from Toronto to Los Angeles in between seasons, the Canadian voice actors were replaced with US voice actors. As a result, Cree Summer and Dan Hennessey, who played Penny and Chief Quimby, were recast by Holly Berger and Maurice LaMarche.
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Second cartoon to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) to air in the USA on weekday afternoons instead of Saturday Mornings.
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In the original pilot, Inspector Gadget had a mustache. However, DIC received a letter from MGM that Gadget too closely resembled MGM's Inspector Clouseau, another bungling law officer from MGM's "Pink Panther" series. So Gadget's mustache was removed.
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According to the trading cards of the series, Inspector Gadget is said to have 14,000 gadgets in his body. Other facts include that Inspector Gadget works for INTERPOL (International Police) on worldwide missions and was surgically reconstructed as a bionic man after an accident when he was chasing a villain (presumably Dr. Claw), slipped on a banana peel, and fell down many flights of stairs.
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Penny's parents are never mentioned.
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Before it was reworked a bit for the official series, the Pilot first aired as a special on December 4, 1982 on all five Field Communications stations: WFLD-TV Chicago, KBHK-TV San Francisco, WKBD-TV Detroit, WLVI-TV Boston and WKBS-TV Philadelphia.
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MAD is known as an acronym for two things: Malevolant Agency [of] Destruction and Mean And Dirty. It has also been speculated as meaning Men Against Dogs.
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The theme song is based on Edvard Grieg's "Hall of the Mountain King" score.
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Frank Welker was unavailable to voice Dr. Claw in several episodes (Inspector Gadget: M.A.D. Trap (1983), Inspector Gadget: Basic Training (1983), Inspector Gadget: Gadget Goes West (1983) and Inspector Gadget: The Coo-Coo Clock Caper (1983)), so Don Francks instead provided the voice. The difference in voices is quite noticeable. In fact, in Inspector Gadget: Race to the Finish (1983), Francks provides some of the lines for Claw, while Welker provides the rest of the lines, resulting in the voice switching back and forth, at one point even in mid-sentence. As Francks delivers the line "More trouble than you think, little girl", Welker delivers the laughter that follows and the next line "Bye-bye, Gadget."
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Jesse White and Gary Owens were originally considered for the role of Inspector Gadget. Owens created the catchphrase of "Wowsers". But Don Adams read the lines best of all so he was hired.
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The recurring MAD agents in the series actually had names. The names were used by the production staff, though none of their names were spoken on air during the series. The following are the names of the MAD agents followed by a brief description of their appearances.
  • Fred: Large, hulking build, low brow, no visible neck.
  • Dick: Tall, thin, wiry limbs, combed-over hair, pointy nose.
  • Pops: Bald, grumpy old man with a big jaw.
  • Jarvis: Fat, balding middle-aged man with no neck.
  • Bruce: Muscular build, large chin. Resembles Buzz Lightyear.
  • Slick: Slicked-back hair with a goatee.
  • Lenny: Tall and lumbering, has a dopey-looking face with a long nose.
  • Squirt: Short and toad-like in appearance.
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According to Andy Heyward and Michael Maliani on the DVD bonus features, about 150 sketches were made of Inspector Gadget before his appearance was settled on.
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Inspector Gadget was influenced by the spy comedy _"Get Smart" (1965)_ and the "crime-fighting gadget" shows Dynomutt Dog Wonder (1976),and The Six Million Dollar Man (1974).
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Frank Welker and Don Adams recorded their dialogue in separate recordings in Los Angeles, while the rest of the first season's cast recorded in Toronto.
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Possibly by coincidence, there are 86 episodes in total (including the pilot), and 86 was the code number of Don Adams' previous role, Maxwell Smart.
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The acronym M.A.D. is essentially a parody of SPECTRE from the James Bond films, and THRUSH from the television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
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Dr. Claw's name may have been inspired by Get Smart villain, The Claw.
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Andy Heyward came up with the idea for Inspector Gadget in 1981 while working on Dynomutt Dog Wonder (1976), which was also about a bungling gadget-filled hero.
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Penny often getting captured and left in a perilous situation by M.A.D. agents throughout the series, is much in the style of Ilya Kuryakin getting captured and left in a perilous situation by THRUSH agents in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
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The sequences in which Chief Quimby is disguised or hidden in a cramped or unlikely spot, is much reminiscent of Agent 13 in Get Smart.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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