Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Villain Retrospect - Dr Claw

Inspector Gadget was a different kind of show than the usual ones I watched.  Out of all the cartoons I watched, this was the only one I did for the humor.  There wasn't a whole lot of action, none of the villains had any names besides the good doctor, and the hero was a bumbling idiot.  A follow-up of sorts to Get Smart starring another accident-prone protagonist, Inspector Gadget was even voiced by the series' Don Adams.  It was full of slapstick humor with everyone being nearly incompetent, save for our villain and Gadget's niece Penny, and her dog, Brain.

Really the only picture I need here.
I say Dr. Claw was one of the only smart characters in the show, but that was the only thing going for him.  As leader of the villainous group, M.A.D., all he did was tell his nameless goons what to do and yell at them when they couldn't.  Normally his evil deeds were based on some kind of theft - money, treasures, gold bars, etc. - so I'm not sure what kind of end goal he had.  M.A.D. certainly wasn't an apt name for a group that was basically bank-robbers.  At the end of the episode, Dr. Claw would generally escape in a transforming vehicle similar to Gadget's, except his could fly.  Why would he escape?  I dunno, I can't remember Gadget ever really getting close to catching him, even with Penny's help.

The picture above is all you ever see of our villain. He sits in a high-backed wooden chair as a desk with one computer monitor and his ever-present pet, M.A.D.Cat (everywhere I've looked online had the M.A.D. part looking like this and just cat afterwards.  I thought it would just be one word).  He never stands up, never turns around, never does anything but wave his hand around or slam his fist on his desk, which usually scared his cat from a nap.  So even though you only see that gloved hand, he's still one of the coolest villain you'll see - or do I mean hear?  Frank Welker gives Dr. Claw his deepest rumbling voice, the same one he provides for Soundwave, and it is awesome. Dr. Claw's voice is one of the very best things in cartoons.  "Next time, Gadget!  Next time!"  I can here those dulcet tones already.

Let's get to some rankings! 
Coolness - Based on Frank Welker's voice alone, I'd give Dr. Claw a 10.  He just sounded so downright evil!  I mean there's not much more to him besides a spiked bracelet, so maybe a 3?
Effectiveness - Here's where I'm torn.  He's got good plans but he does absolutely nothing to get them done. His plans always fail, but he since he doesn't get involved, it's hard to blame it on him, either though.  I guess I'd have to give him a 4?  Sure. 4.

And no, I'm not going to post a picture of that stupid action figure.  Dr. Claw never showed off his face - NEVER!

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