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Perspective on Episode 21 of the Cartoon Inspector Gadget Called "Basic Training"

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Significance of the Episode "Basic Training"

Original air date of Basic Training: October 10, 1983

Basic Training is the 21st episode of season 1 of the cartoon Inspector Gadget but this one has some subtle yet interesting program differences in terms of the plot. This episode has the hero Inspector Gadget spending the majority of his time on a train where he has been instructed by Chief Qumby to board. Inspector Gadget’s main mission is to protect some top secret computer parts which Dr. Claw is planning to steal. The episode also gives viewers a glimpse of what the computer age was (at least at that time).

Basic Training Episode Synopsis Part 2

This time, Inspector Gadget’s boss Chief Quimby happens to be hiding in a cart that is full of beverages. In fact, he is hiding in a container that has either soda or coffee in it. Dr. Claw and a conductor working for him are able to put the engineer of the train to sleep and they end up hijacking the train as the train goes all the way to the headquarters of Dr. Claw and his men. The creators of Inspector Gadget sure knew how to make an animated series that is so popular that a 2015 version of the cartoon was eventually made. However, in this episode, Gadget’s niece Penny wants to find out who the agent is that is planning on stealing these computer parts so Penny puts the label C on some of these boxes. When Inspector Gadget gets separated from the train because the conductor working for Dr. Claw switches the tracks, he tries to use his arms, legs, and skates to catch up to the train but to no avail. Penny stops the train, allowing her uncle to catch up to the train at last.

A Photo of Penny and Brain in the Episode Basic Training


Episode Synopsis Basic Training Part 3

In a very interesting turn of events, Gadget is instructed by the conductor to deliver the computer parts to the 20th floor. Gadget picks up the boxes with that C label on them, takes the boxes all the way up to the 20th floor and then because of Dr. Claw, the elevator starts going down fast and would have touched the spikes were it not for the efforts of Penny who saves her uncle from certain death. But she saves him after a few efforts of using her computer book. Penny even restarts the train as Dr. Claw notices this and makes sure that Gadget does not return safely but due to an act of bravery and coincidence, Gadget uses his body to cover up a portion of the bridge that has been destroyed so that the train could get across. You could say that Gadget in a way acted like Superman, exposing his body to such high risk to save the train.

The computer symbolizes one of the main objects in the episode Basic Training.

The computer symbolizes one of the main objects in the episode Basic Training.

Memorable Quotes from the Episode Basic Training

“These aren’t computer parts. They’re boxes of cat food!”

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Dr. Claw says this when he opens up the boxes that the Inspector has delivered to him.

“Very clever Gadget. You’re not the #1 Inspector for nothing.”

Chief Quimby

"Basic Training"

Some Interesting Observations About the Episode Basic Training

  • This is the second consecutive episode that sees Don Francks doing the voice of Dr. Claw in the place of Frank Welker. He had done the voice for the episode M.A.D. Trap.
  • This is the only episode in the entire run of the series in which Inspector Gadget and Dr. Claw see each other face to face but of course, Inspector Gadget is so clueless that he does not realize that it is Dr. Claw who interacts with him.
  • Inspector Gadget tests his Gadget magnets but realizes that they are very tough to use.
  • Inspector Gadget falls into a truck full of cabbage rolls in it and eats many of them!

© 2018 Ara Vahanian

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