Thursday, February 12, 2009
Inspector Gadget Animated Televison Series
Inspector Gadget is an animated television series about a clumsy, absent-minded and oblivious detective, Inspector Gadget, who is a human being with various bionic "gadgets" built into his anatomy. Gadget's main nemesis is the mysterious Dr. Claw, leader of an evil organization known as MAD. This was the first syndicated cartoon show from DIC Entertainment (as well as the first from the company to be created specifically for American viewers, along with The Littles and Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats) and ran from 1983 to 1986 in syndication. This article pertains to the original cartoon series and its characters and plots; for information on its later spinoffs, see Inspector Gadget spinoff incarnations.
The series was a co-production between DIC and Nelvana, with the animation work outsourced to foreign studios such as Tokyo Movie Shinsha in Japan and Cuckoo's Nest Studio in Taiwan.
Gadget works as an inspector for the Metro City police department. His missions often take him to a different exotic locale, generally without giving any explanation as to how a crime on the other side of the earth was of any interest to the Metro City police.
The show was created by Andy Heyward, Jean Chalopin and Bruno Bianchi. The initial idea for Inspector Gadget came from Heyward, who also wrote the pilot episode, Winter Olympics (often syndicated as episode #65, Gadget in Winterland), in 1982 with the help of Chalopin. Chalopin, who at the time owned the DIC Audiovisual studio, helped him develop the format and concept for the rest of the episodes together with Bruno Bianchi, who also designed the final versions of the main characters and served as supervising director.
According to the DVD bonus film "Wowsers", a retrospective featurette with co-creators Andy Heyward and Mike Maliani on the four-disc DVD set Inspector Gadget: The Original Series, Gadget went through around 150 sketches before reaching his final design.
Peter Sauder was the head writer during the first season. In Season 2, Eleanor Burian-Mohr, Mike O' Mahoney, Glen Egbert and Jack Hanrahan (a former Get Smart writer, among many other things) took over. (Hanrahan and Burian-Mohr would later write the Christmas special Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas as well as the Gadget Boy series - see also Inspector Gadget spinoff incarnations.)(wikipedia)