1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 5 (USA)
Inspector Gadget was once just a normal rookie cop who injured himself seriously in the course of duty. The resulting operation subsequently armed him with all the gadgets he used (or tried to use) in the series.
Gadget regularly did battle with his arch-nemesis, Dr Claw and his motley crew of agents from the evil MAD organisation.
Unfortunately, like the TV detective he was based on (Maxwell Smart from Get Smart), Gadget was totally inept and constantly got himself into trouble. Don Adams (Maxwell Smart himself) provided the voice for the inspector, further reinforcing the similarity.
Inspector Gadget’s niece, Penny, used her talking computer book to solve all of Gadget’s cases. Without her, he would have been nothing. She communicated with her faithful pooch, Brain, via a wristwatch (like you do).
Brain was always the one assigned to follow Gadget to make sure he didn’t get hurt. The talking dog communicated with Penny via a red collar with a little microphone built-in.
Meanwhile, Gadget blundered on with his assortment of fantastic but impractical gadgets – “Go Go Gadget skates, Arms, Legs, Copter, Coat, Springs, Neck etc”
A French inspiration, the series was made in the US where it was syndicated to more than 50 million households.
Continuing the disturbing trend of ruining all our childhood memories by remaking the shows (poorly), a live-action Inspector Gadget movie was made in 1999 with real actors (starring Matthew Broderick as the Inspector).