Thursday, March 09, 2006


David Cornelius smacks down "Inspector Gadget."

In mild defence of the show, one thing that made it fun to watch as a kid was that most episodes involved Gadget going to some unusual location, often to foreign countries where we could get our first look (in cartoon form) at other culturea snd landmarks. The only one I remember distinctly was the trip to Paris, where Gadget tried to guard against jewel thefts and where a rich woman was, for, some reason voiced by a man with a bad French accent. But at least DIC tried to show us the world.

The other thing kids loved about the show was the fact that Gadget's niece Penny had a "computer book" -- a book that, opened up, turned out to be a vast computerized system of some kind -- that was basically omnipotent: it could jam security systems, take over and steer trucks by remote control, and get her into any place at any time. It was the '80s, personal computers were new, and were therefore portrayed in media as all-powerful magic boxes; this was the most famous example.

The only other thing I remember about "Inspector Gadget" is that it was one of those shows that kept fading out and fading back in on the same scene: they'd fade out on Gadget in trouble and immediately fade back in on said trouble. My impression was that the producers never fixed where to put the act breaks, so they would just keep fading out and in at random points and let the broadcasters break for a commercial whenever they wanted.

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