yes, she is fictitious but she is amazing and her gadgets are THE BEST.
when I was a kid, inspector gadget was one of the very few parent-approved tv shows I was allowed to watch. I was probably about 7 or 8 when my mum said, ‘I think you’ll like this show.’ and I did. because of penny.
penny was the niece of inspector gadget, an accident-prone detective cyborg (so weird when I write it out like that).
each episode of the french-canadian produced cartoon centred around the mishaps her uncle encountered as he tried to solve a crime.
while inspector gadget was bumbling through crime scenes, penny and her sidekick, a dog called brain, were quietly saving the day with the help of her gadgets — a computer book and watch, which were basically a super fancy tablet and apple watch (but with a laser) a couple of decades before they were invented.
I spent many an after-school arvo pretending to be penny, marching around the backyard with a blue book in my bag, imagining it was my satchel and computer. as a little girl it was so great to watch a cartoon showing another little girl (with the same hairstyle!) as the strong, capable character.
oh, also, the inspector always took credit for things working out, but the viewer knew it was really penny and brain’s doing. sadly satisfying.
while I was googling/reminiscing about penny, I discovered that she was voiced by cree summer, an afro-canadian actor. I think the show would have been even more awesome had penny looked more like cree. (yes please to a remake with this.)