Inch High, Private Eye/NBC/1973-1974 (Tiny Detective)
Inch High (voiced by Lennie Weinrib) is a pint-sized private eye in a trenchcoat who works for the Finkerton Detective Agency. His cantankerous boss, Mr. Finkerton (voiced by John Stephenson) dislikes Inch and is always looking for ways to fire him.
While on assignment, Inch rides in an electric vehicle called the “Hushmobile.” Its quiet engine makes no noise as it tails suspects and criminals like Spumoni the Great, Mr. Midas, or King Ra.
“The world’s biggest little detective. Inch High, Private Eye.”
Inch is assisted by his clever niece, Lori (voiced by Kathy Gori) who communicates with a Compact-phone stored in her purse; her hulking, dimwitted boyfriend, Gator (voiced by Bob Lutell) who drives the Hushmobile; and Inch’s loyal, St. Bernard dog, Braveheart (voiced by Don Messick) who often falls asleep on the job. On occasion, Inch teams with Super Flea (a mechanical insect) and Goldie, the world’s greatest goldfish.
Note: The 13-episode cartoon was created by Hanna-Barbera Studios. Reruns of the 30-minute animated series have been aired on USA Cartoon Express, Cartoon Network (as part of the Mysteries, Inc. block) and Boomerang.
The Inch High character is reminiscent of tiny heroes like Atom Ant (Hanna-Barbera), The Atom (DC Comics) and Ant Man (Marvel Comics).
The Finkerton Detective Agency is a spoof of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, one of the first detective agencies in the United States of America.
WORLD OF GIANTS (WOG)/SYN/1959 (Miniaturized Spy)
Mel Hunter (Marshall Thompson), an undercover agent who had been scientifically reduced to the height of six-inches.
With the aid of his full-size partner, Bill Winters (Arthur Franz) they infiltrated and busted crime organizations.
“You are about to see one of the most closely guarded secrets and one of the most fantastic series of events ever recorded in the annals of counterespionage. This is my story, the story of Mel Hunter, who lives in your world…a WORLD OF GIANTS.”
Mel usually traveled in Bill Winters’ briefcase. The interior was equipped with a plush chair with seatbelt and a trap door. Sometimes Mel would exit the briefcase and take pictures of secret plans and then slip back unnoticed to his tiny living quarters. If his partner, Bill got captured, Mel left the briefcase, cut the ropes securing his partner so both of them could get away from the bad guys.
“Good old Bill. Without him, I didn’t want to think what life would be like without Bill. Even with Bill, I’d never be safe, no matter where I am. Things most people wouldn’t notice could mean death to me.”
To escape a snarling cat, Mel pulled the trigger on a fire extinguisher. The cloud of gas scared the cat away, giving him time to climb up a phone cord on the desk above and move a rotary dial to call for assistance.
External Link: World of Giants (Episode) @ You Tube
TOM OF T.H.U.M.B./ABC/1966-69 (Miniaturized Humans)
Tom (Cartoon Character), a tiny espionage agent featured on segments of the cartoon series THE KING KONG SHOW/ABC/1966-69.
Tom’s predicament is summarized in the opening narration of the program:
“Tom, an average member of U.S. Intelligence Maintenance Department wounded in the line of duty. Tom and his faithful assistance Swingin’ Jack ran afoul of a shrinking La-Zar beam ray gun. They gave their height for their country. Thus creating the Tiny Human Underground Military Bureau. When the plan calls for small thinking, it’s a job for TOM of T.H.U.M.B.”
Tom lived in the office filing cabinet at U.S. Intelligence and reported to Chief Homer J. Chief.. T.H.U.M.B.’s chief nemesis was M.A.D. (Maladjusted, Antisocial and Darn Mean), a evil organization of sinister scientists.
External Link: Tom of T.H.U.M.B. @ TV Acres.com
FANTASTIC VOYAGE/ABC/1968-70 (Miniaturized Scientists)
C.M.D.F (Combined Miniature Defense Force), a group of scientists who belonged to a secret government project involved in shrinking matter on this Saturday morning cartoon adventure.
The members of C.D.M.F. included: Jonathan Kidd, the mission commander (Ted Knight); Guru, a turbaned mystic (Marvin Miller); Busby Birdwell, the ship’s pilot and designer (Marvin Miller); Professor Carter (Ted Knight); and Erica Stone, the team’s physician (Jane Webb).
Headquarters: C.M.D.F. (Combined Miniature Defense Force)
Project: Fantastic Voyage
Authority: Top Secret, Highest Clearance
Team: Jonathan Kidd, Commander; Guru, Master of mysterious powers; Erica Lane, Doctor, Biologist; Busby Birdwell, Scientist, Inventor, Builder of the Voyager
Mission: In their miniaturized form to combat the unseen, unsuspected enemies of freedom
Time Limit: 12 hours
The scientists traveled in a submarine called the Voyager that collapsed in size to microscopic levels to fight the enemies of our government and the world.
The Voyager had a bubble canopy on top of the ship to provide a 360 degree view and a forward observation deck to see what was up ahead.
Note: The cartoon TV series was based on the book “Fantastic Voyage” written by Isaac Asimov. In the movie Fantastic Voyage (1966),a government organization (C.M.D.F. – “Combined Miniature Deterrent Forces”) miniaturized a full-size submarine named the Proteus (USN #U91035. Exp. Oceanographic) to travel through the bloodstream of a Doctor Benes (a scientist injured by assassins) to perform delicate surgery on an inoperable blood-clot in his brain.
Crew of the Proteus included: Stephen Boyd as Grant, Proteus Communications Officer; Arthur Kennedy as Dr. Peter Duval, Surgeon; Raquel Welch as Cora Peterson, Dr. Dr. Duval’s shapely medical assistant; William Redfield as Captain Bill Owens, Proteus Commander; and Donald Pleasence as Dr. Michaels, CMDF Chief of Medical Section.
A similar plot can be found in the sci-fi film Inner Space (1987) starring Dennis Quaid as a test pilot and his ship who were miniaturized and injected into the body of a hypochondriac. (played by Martin Short).
DR. SHRINKER/ABC/1977 (Scientist Shrinks People)
Dr. Shrinker (Jay Robinson), a crazed scientist who shrunk humans via radiation with the aide of Hugo, his little assistant (Billy Barty) on a segment of the KROFFT SUPERSHOW/ABC/1976-77).
Dr. Shrinker used a large four-foot, multi-color barrel device stored in his laboratory to shrink his victims. The same machine would reverse the process.
When teenagers named Brad Fulton (Ted Eccles), B.J. Masterson (Susan Lawrence) and her brother Gordie Masterson (Jeff MacKay) crash land their plane on Shrinker’s Island, they are exposed to the doctor’s shrinking ray which reduces them to a height of six inches.
“I chase the Shrinkies. I catch the Shrinkies. The Shrinkies escape. It’s a vicious cycle and it’s driving me mad!” – Dr. Shrinker
The series follows the efforts of the three “Shrinkies” to get unshrunk and off the island, while Dr. Shrinker and his assistant Hugo try to capture them.
Note: The show resurrected the idea of a shrinking machine from the sci-fi film Dr. Cyclops (1940) starring Albert Dekker as an other crazed scientist who shrank humans and animals and kept them locked in tiny laboratory cages.