Originally aired 1983 to 1985
Brain - Frank Welker
Capeman - Townsend Coleman
Chief Quimby - Maurice LaMarche
Dr. Claw - Frank Welker
Inspector Gadget - Don Adams
MAD Cat - Frank Welker
Penny - Cree Summer, Holly Berger
"Go, Gadget, go..."
Inspector Gadget was an mid-Eighties cartoon focusing on the title character, who was working as a "secret agent" for the Metro City Police Force under Chief Quimby, tracking down the evil agents of M.A.D., trying to foil their plots to rule the world. Along with him were his niece, Penny, and her dog, Brain.
M.A.D., which stands for Malevolent Agency of Destruction, was run by the evil Dr. Claw, whom we would see every episode, but only the torso and below, never his face. His beloved pet, MAD cat, was always present on Dr. Claw's lap, and we'd often see Dr. Claw's hand, in a metal glove, petting the cat. He would always say "I'll Get you next time, Gadget... next time!" after his latest plot was foiled. (thanks ocelotbob)
Gadget, true to his name, was bionic, or something like that, and there were dozens of gadgets built into his body. Perhaps it was his arms, legs, or head stretching out with long metal extensions. Or the personal helicopter that would poke out of his hat. Gadget would always attempt to use the item uttering the phrase "Go, Go Gadget (item)" - and occasionally, the named item would activate, though just as often, something totally unrelated would activate instead.
Gadget was also competely lacking the style of secret agents such as James Bond. Instead, he was more like a bumbling fool, easily distracted or sent off on false trails. M.A.D. would easily take over the world, were it not for Penny and Brain, who actually figured out the schemes. Brain would often do the field work, reporting back to Penny, as his collar turned into a transmitter, with the image received on Penny's video watch. She was also armed with her trusty computer book to help her crack the schemes. And, as Brain was often in disguise, Gadget always became convinced that Brain was the evil M.A.D. agent.
Gadget's missions were always given to him directly from Chief Quimby, whether he was poking up out of a trash can, or disguised as a shrub. The paper with the mission would self-destruct after Gadget read it, and yet, somehow, the destruct always ended up getting the Chief, and never Gadget.
Capeman was a later addition to the series, a sidekick to Gadget who was never that big a part of the show.
The series ran in syndication. New shows were produced between 1983 and 1985, with about 80 episodes made. In 1987, Nickelodeon started airing the show, where it got great exposure and was quite popular. Eventually, about the time Nickelodeon removed it from their schedule, CBS ran it on Saturday mornings for a while.
The voice for Inspector Gadget was Don Adams, the same person who played agent Maxwell Smart in the comedic secret agent series Get Smart. Cree Summer (of A Different World fame) did Penny's voice for episodes made in 1983/1984, and Holly Berger took over that role in 1985, when the production was move from Canada to the United States. And Maurice LaMarche, who did the voice of Chief Quimby, also did the voice of Brain, from Pinky and the Brain. (thanks atesh)
A couple of video games featuring Inspector Gadget were made, and in 1999, Walt Disney released a (badly-reviewed) movie version, featuring Matthew Broderick as the bumbling Gadget and Rupert Everett as Dr. Claw.
Inspector Gadget - Yesterdayland - http://yesterdayland.com/popopedia/shows/saturday/sa1251.php
Miscellaneous Other Sites