Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
An Episode With An Alternate Title Is What We Have Here
Every animated series has a beginning episode and for the original cartoon series Inspector Gadget, that episode is called Gadget in Winterland and this episode officially marks the very beginning of Inspector Gadget! The episode is also sometimes referred to as Winter Olympics but that’s just one of those things in animation. Contrary to popular belief, this is the very first episode of Inspector Gadget and not Monster Lake because Monster Lake is the second episode of the series. For the purposes of the review and analysis we will be using the title of Gadget in Winterland.
This First Inspector Gadget Episode Has Several Differences From the Episodes That Would Follow It
There are several things that are unique about this episode compared to all the ones that would come after the airing of the inaugural episode of Inspector Gadget. First of all, a few of the voice actors are different. Doing the voice of Inspector Gadget’s brilliant niece Penny is Mona Marshall and not Cree Summer though Cree Summer would do the voice of Penny for the other 64 episodes of the first season because Mona Marshall was not able to return for the series. Gadget in Winterland is also the only episode in which Inspector Gadget’s boss Chief Quimby appears three different times and gives him three messages and they all self-destruct. The first time that our beloved Inspector gets a call from the Chief is when they are in the cabin that they rented. The Chief is hiding in a pot that is located in the fireplace. The second message that the Inspector gets from his boss is that there is an agent that is trying to pose as the Olympic torch bearer. However, this man has been sent by Dr. Claw to get rid of Inspector Gadget by using a dangerous device. Chief Quimby tries to warn Inspector Gadget that he is not dealing with a real torch bearer. Inspector Gadget thought that he was going to get a week off and be completely off duty. However, as the creators of this show would have it, the Inspector would always get a call from the Chief and that would signal the beginning of each mission. Also, another difference in this episode compared to the others in this first season is that John Stephenson does the voice of Chief Quimby. The Chief politely apologizes for interrupting the Inspector’s vacation but as usual, something has come up.
Also, this version that viewers in the United States are most familiar with is the third version of this first episode which is a second re-dubbed version with several extra sound effects that were added.
"Gadget In Winterland" Episode Synopsis
The Gadget family has rented a cabin or chalet at a ski resort where athletes from all around the world have come to take part in the Winter Olympics. This is also the first time that we hear about the main villain Dr. Claw whose sole mission is the elimination of Inspector Gadget so that he can dominate the world with his M.A.D. organization. Dr. Claw sends two main villains in this episode to try and get the inspector and his family. They are the M.A.D. Yodeler, a doll that causes an avalanche every time he sings and the Abominable Snowbot, a huge metallic monster that is capable of unleashing massive amounts of destruction. Gadget in Winterland is also the first episode that has a winter style theme in it. An announcer or reporter asks Penny what she is doing at this Winterland event and she replies that she is here with her uncle. When the reporter sees Inspector Gadget, he tells him that he (Inspector Gadget) is the world’s most famous detective. Inspector Gadget simply tells him that he is off duty. For whatever reason, Inspector Gadget does not want anyone to know where he is or what he is doing, probably because he wants to keep some sort of secret identity. Due to Penny’s skill and clever actions, she is able to use the powers of her computer book to override the Snowbot’s controls before it can get rid of her uncle, causing it to explode.
Another Interesting Fact About the First Inspector Gadget Episode
One thing that is interesting to keep in mind about this episode is that this is the only episode of the series which had Inspector Gadget with a mustache. The creators of the show however had to change things and make sure that the main character did not have a mustache because DIC the animation company got a letter from Metro Goldwyn Mayer that was threatening to open up a lawsuit against them because Inspector Gadget looked like the character Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther movies.
© 2022 Ara Vahanian