Friday, July 11, 2014

Chief Quimby's New Series Design Revealed (And More)!

Via the French news site our first look at the redesigned Chief Qumby!

...and with this, I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief. You see, for over a year now, a question had been percolating in the back of my mind: would Chief Quimby be part of the new show? I always assumed he would, but then again, none of the synopses or press statements have even mentioned him up to this point. So the above visual certainly feels reassuring. And I think Quimby looks pretty good here, too. It is a bit odd to see him with glasses, and I miss the pipe in his mouth - will he be smoking at all? - but his original facial design seems to lend itself nicely to CGI. In fact, this redesign seems more faithful to the original facial shape than for any of the other characters. If his (season 1) personality is kept, and if the disguises and self-exploding messages are included at the start of every single episode, I think I'll be good!

(And seriously, how could the self-exploding message NOT be included? It's one of the most brilliant running gags ever conceived for a cartoon.)

On a similar note, I love Penny in the new picture above. That previously revealed image looked fine, but... here she just seems much more alive, and truly looks and feels like Penny. (Gadget, meanwhile, looks a bit generic.) Also, what's that thing floating in mid-air that Penny is controlling with her hands? A hologram? Some kind of modern-day replacement for the computer book? Man... by this point, each new image just makes me want to see more.

Now for something that might be a slight disappointment, though. The French article with the picture also contained some fresh information about the new series which - if correct - contradicts some of the previously revealed details. Let's have a look via Google Translate (and my own grammar tweaking)...

"Eh la qui va là ? Inspecteur Gadget ! Eh la ça va pas ? Ouh ouh". [French theme song lyrics.] The unforgettable theme song of "Inspector Gadget" will soon return to echo on France 3. The public broadcaster has pre-purchased from the Canadian production company DHX Media the rights to a new version of the cartoon series about the adventures of the famous inspector who delighted children in the 80s.
In 2015, the bumbling police character, assisted by the young Sophie [Penny] and dog Finot [Brain], will try to capture a new generation of children. For this, the inspector created in 1983 by Bruno Bianchi, Andy Heyward and Jean Chalopin will be revised and updated in 3D. Gadgets coming out of his trenchcoat will themselves also be updated for the twenty-first century. In short, his world will be upgraded but the plot of the series will not be changed. 
This new series of 52 episodes of 11 minutes will be delivered in June 2015 by the Canadian production but it will take a few months to France 3 for the translation, dubbing and production of a less dated theme song. The channel should therefore not broadcast "Inspector Gadget" 2.0 before fall 2015. 

So, okay... IF this new info is accurate, then we have some serious contradictions on our hands. Instead of Boomerang France, as we learned from a Turner press release back in February, the series is now apparently set to air on the public channel France 3. Note also that the planned French premiere time is no longer November 2014, but fall 2015 (!). To be specific, June 2015 is the tentative release time for Canada and fall 2015 for France. Considering the announcements we got half a year ago, I'm really surpriced to hear now that the series will not be ready for a Canadian premiere until the summer of 2015. Seriously, this feels like a major postponement.

And then, the part I feel particularly (potentially) disappointed by: The series will apparently consist of 52 episodes á 11 minutes, rather than 26 episodes á 22 minutes. As you might remember, the show presentation in DHX's distribution catalogue from January was the first source to state that 26 x 22 minutes would be the format for the new series. Back then, I expressed hope that this meant each episode would be 22 minutes long. But if this new French article is accurate -- apparently not. This is not necessarily a contradiction to DHX's distribution catalogue. In many cases, TV shows consisting of 11-minute episodes are still produced in a half-hour format, a 22-minute package containing 2 episodes (making sales and distibution deals easier, I imagine). That seems to be the case here. However, it IS definitely a change from the June 2013 press release, where the format was stated to be 26 x 11 minutes.

I've already written a little here about why I feel sceptical towards an 11-minute format. It's not that the series can't possibly work with this shorter run time - that depends on the execution. But I've kind of been hoping that this new show will be just slightly darker than the original, and have a little more room for character development and plot continuity... and that, to me, seems hard to cram into a mere 11 minutes. I hope the writers are at least given the freedom to do an occacional, full 22 minute episode if the plot requires it (this should be doable as long as the series is produced in a half-hour format anyway). Shows like Phineas and Ferb work well like that.

(Thanks to Nbu for the picture link.)


  1. Glad the Chief is back, it wasn't the same without him. He's looking like Commissioner Gordon with those glasses, I guess some eye protection is good considering his face is always getting blown off. Aw, what? They can't take his ever-present pipe away, that was practically part of his character!

    The computer book was more iconic but this upgraded futuristic floaty hologram device might be cool too once we see it in action.

    I was also hoping they'd take advantage of the full 22min for episodes but I'm sure they could still tell great stories within 11min if they use the time wisely. Darker? We can hope, they did say they were going to appeal to the adult crowd too. Some actual character development would be very much appreciated.

    1. Cortoony: Now that you mention it, he sort of reminds me of Commissioner Gordon too! At least the Gordon I remember from Batman: TAS. Eye protection -- yeah, maybe. But at the same time, I'd think it would kind of unpractical wearing glasses when your face constantly gets blown up. He'll probably have to buy a new pair every day. :P

      From another perspective, maybe the glasses are there to give the message that Quimby, like Penny, is a few years older than in the original series. I just hope he still has the same job... no one is better at getting blown up than Quimby.

      And I agree, I want to see the pipe! Funnily enough, if I remember correctly, there was never any smoke coming out of the pipe in the old show. He just had it in his mouth constantly. ;) But as you say, it's part of his character. While I'm not an expert on the spy genre, I kind of feel that this type of administrative, over-bearing "chief" character is a staple of many spy movies and series, and that pipe smoking is a part of the cliché Quimby emulates. Which is one of the reasons I think the pipe fits him perfectly.

      "Darker? We can hope, they did say they were going to appeal to the adult crowd too. Some actual character development would be very much appreciated."

      Wouldn't it, though? :) As much as I love the original series, I think there are definitely aspects of it that could be improved and/or expanded upon. Plus, as an adult who first watched the original show as a kid, I wouldn't mind seeing a revival which has also "grown up" a little - as long as they pull it off believably. I'd love to see the characters develop over the course of the new series, provided they still stay true to the essence of their personalities.

    2. I think I remember seeing bubbles come out of his pipe once. (Though I do also remember the bit in "Dutch Treat," complete with Gadget commenting "Brain doesn't smoke.")
      I do also remember he had his trademark pipe in "Inspector Gadget's Biggest Caper Ever." But besides that, it's good to see that Chief Quimby is retaining his classic design but with a wardrobe update.
      Still hoping they'll also do the classic exploding message bit with him, too!

  2. See this is more than great! Amazing! and amazing! ohhh ever love more design Sophie is sooo nice, what I like is that they have kept the colors white and red on his shirt as the original, her profile picture is more beautiful still, but has changed little Dominic Marco has captured its essence and made ​​it! Gadget as always great, and the Chief Gothier (Chief Quimby) is even more funny, I love your new design, much better than Gadget and Gadgetinis (and Inspector Gadget's Last Case, I like to wear glasses to see! a little weird but I love it. believe that the pipe was eliminated since it can encitar children Smoking, previously not had much care about such things. hopefully you have not deleted the message of destruction, other than I've noticed is that it seems they are in the police headquarters, the Gadget Mobile since it appears inside, ohh I'm worried about this, I hope I do not disappoint the Gadget Mobile, for now we know it's blue and it's a truck! . as you say, if they know how to make the time and the Phineas and Ferb series no problem, although I do not like this because you spend less time each character, and rarely appear new characters, in order ... mode animation duration is now so all new series conceived in this new format of 11 minutes, will be not to tire the kids.

    Questions, you would use that picture me with a link to your blog and all entries about the series in my blog?

    I hope your answer!=)

    1. Daniel: Yep, Dominic's redesign of Penny is looking better and better to me. :) And the Chief most certainly looks better than in both Last Case and Gadgetinis. (I noticed on your blog the other day that comparison you did between those two spinoffs - kind of interesting how both Brain and Quimby looked different, while Gadget and Penny have the same designs.)

      "believe that the pipe was eliminated since it can encitar children Smoking, previously not had much care about such things."

      You're probably right about that. In many ways, I think children's entertainment have become much freer over the past few decades, creatively speaking... but it has gotten a LOT stricter about details like smoking. But you know, in a case like this, I kinda get the urge to reply: Who the hell cares? I mean, how many children, after seeing an episode of this new Inspector Gadget series, would think, "Gee, pipe smoking looks SO cool because Chief Quimby has a pipe in his mouth! I SO gotta start smoking myself now, to be just as awesome as he is, which he is because he's smoking a pipe!" I don't know... I just don't see that as a very likely scenario. This is not the most important issue in the world to me, but the pipe should just be there as a fun detail. That's what it is.

      And yeah, that does seem to be Gadget's new vehicle in the background. I'm a bit sceptical towards the little I've seen of it myself... it looks a bit generic... although, for all we know, maybe that blue truck thing is the "Gadget Van" mode of the car, and the "Gadget Mobile" mode looks different. (Provided it is a version of the Gadget mobile, of course.)

      "...I do not like this because you spend less time each character, and rarely appear new characters, in order ... mode animation duration is now so all new series conceived in this new format of 11 minutes, will be not to tire the kids."

      Interesting point there about new characters. One element I really love from the old series (season 1) is the tradition of featuring a new, specially hired M.A.D. agent in almost every episode. Will there be time for that in the new series, with the episodes only lasting 11 minutes? In any event, I really hope the decision to go with 11 minutes was a creative one first and foremost.

      Maybe 11-minute episode shows are becoming more common... I don't know. I do think there are still a lot of series being made in the 22 minute format, though; even a number of series rebooting old shows, like "Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated" and the current CGI "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". SD: MI is actually one of the best modern reboot series I've ever seen - darker and more exciting than the original, but still with a lot of charm - and that's even a reboot of a show I never liked much in any of its earlier incarnations. Sometimes miracles do happen. In my wildest dreams, I kind of hope that the new Gadget series can live up to that type of revitalization. (The current Turtles series, on the other hand, is only so-so in my eyes.)

      "Questions, you would use that picture me with a link to your blog and all entries about the series in my blog?"

      The English here is kind of confusing (via Google Translate, I'm guessing?), but I'm interpreting it as: can you use the above image on your blog, and also link to all my blog entries about the new series? If so, the answer is of course yes. :) The image was from a news site and doesn't belong to me anyway. But I really appreciate that you want to link to my blog as well. :)

    2. Hello Mesterius! I'm glad you liked the topic covered in my blog, it's interesting. Yes, I think the same as you, Pip Chief Gothier is an essential complement with the explosive message, what does it matter if it's just an add more and now this? but today those things are very controlled but I do not see that as they make some series of drawings with foul language and all day fights, no arguments, I miss the series of quality. True, Inspector Gadget Season 1 was the best, I wish this was restored image and sound quality. I think we must be content with this new life the classics lately are adapting to such chapters as well as duration of remakes of "Maya the Bee" and "Vicky the Viking" with a duration of 11 minutes a bad capítulo.Lo with this format is that less time is devoted to each character and can not see many other gags and racing scenes with the Mobile and Gadget Mad Mobile. and already I must say that we will see less Dr. Gang in Season 2 of the original series. In another question I hope the Gadget Mobile I be like in the original series, so we have the Essene van that means also become the Gadget Mobile!. Ohh he is so little time to devote some chapters to the appearance of Dr. Gang in season 2! : (.! Ohh yeah, sorry I occasionally need to use Google Translate for some phrases, thanks for your kindness =) it's great to talk to you guys!

  3. the way, guys, one more thought on the whole Quimby's Pipe thing: My little sister took a look at the new picture above and also noticed that the pipe was missing. She immediately came up with a theory about it: "Hey, maybe he's holding the pipe in his OTHER HAND!"

    We can always hope, can't we? ;)

    1. ohh fantastic observation is true, pictured behind looks like smoke. I thought the pipe was replaced with a glasses, but this theory is great, wish it to be so. Certainly one thing I noticed is that in the movie "Inspector Gadget´s last case " Head Pipe Gothier was deleted! You can see some pictures on my blog.

    2. If he does have it, maybe it'll be a communicator, a la Zenigata's comm-pipe in DiC's unproduced "Lupin" series, from whose ashes "Gadget" rose.

    3. I had to check that stuff about Zenigata of Lupin VIII using a "comm-pipe". I couldn't remember it, even though I have the pilot posted on my YouTube channel, and now I realize why: According to, the pipe's communication function can only be seen in model sheets, not in the pilot itself. I wonder what that looks like... I have yet to see one of those Zenigata the Sixth sheets myself.

      By the way, RE: the following...

      "...DiC's unproduced "Lupin" series, from whose ashes "Gadget" rose."

      Are we really so sure about that? I know many fans are saying this online, and from one perspective it might seem kinda logical... but I have never, ever seen any documented evidence for it. In fact, from what I know, both Inspector Gadget and Lupin VIII had their pilot episodes produced sometimes during 1982, and according to several interviews with Andy Heyward, Gadget went into development sometimes in 1981. Who knows, maybe Heyward was inspired on some level by the Zenigata character, seeing that he was also an inspector... but there are also many other bumbling investigators out there which ARE obvious inspirations, like Inspector Clouseau and Maxwell Smart.

      To me, right now, this seems like a theory more than anything else.