Rudi Rat (Rudi Ratte in the original version) is one of the most recurring villains in the Austrian TV-show Die heiße Spur, or as it was later called, Tom Turbo, as well as the book series the show is based on. Along with Fritz Fantom and his aunt Freda, he is one of the three main villains in the movie Tom Turbo- Von 0 auf 111.
Die heiße Spur
During his many appearances in the show, he often works together with other villains, mostly with Fritz Fantom. He either uses his inventions to commit a crime, assisting other villains with his inventions or stealing inventions from other people to use them for crimes. Like many villains, it also depends on the episode whether he is allied with the other villains in the episode or whether they are rivals. In some cases, he is even asking Tom for help when his own inventions got stolen by other villains.
One of his most famous inventions is a watch called the XX, which became the trademark of the villain Sigi Schlitzohr who uses it to disguise himself.
In the modern episodes of Tom Turbo, he was mostly seen providing inventions for Rosso Robot, a robotic villain who was also a classic villain, despite Rosso Robot was mostly mocking Rudi and treating him as his henchman. However in one episode, Rudi betrays Rosso Robot when he realizes that the sword Rosso wanted to steal was actually a magnet that could destroy him, resulting in him using the sword to smash both Tom Turbo and Rosso Robot against a wall. He was also often teaming up with the Ferret, one of the few recurring villains who first appeared in the renamed show.
Tom Turbo - Von 0 auf 111
In the movie, Rudi lives in the same tower like Fritz Fantom and his aunt, Freda. When Freda carries a box filled with things they got from Rudi's uncle, Rudi and Fritz realize too late that the box included the Tom Tempra, a ball that could make the robot Rudi is currently building come to alive and obey them. Using his motorcycle (which has a navigator installed that is constantly mocking him), Rudi hurries to get the ball from the flea market, but he fails when the ball is bought by the Klicker family. Fritz Fantom sends Rudi back to get the ball, but each time he tries to break into their house, he fails for different reasons. Even Fritz Fantom himself is not successful either, as even when he manages to get the Tom Tempra, the ball melts a hole into the side-car of Rudi's motor cycle and rolls back to the house. Finally, the two decide to force the Klickers to hand it over. Rudi gains control over the car of Mr. Klicker's girlfriend Emma and kidnaps her. Then the two demand the Tom Tempra in return for her. Meanwhile,Mr. Klicker's two children, Karo and Klaro, have been using the Tom Tempra to make the bicycle Tom Turbo, which they originally created to help the author Thomas Brezina (Tom's boss in the show as well as the writer of the whole movie and the show in real life). When they hear that Emma got kidnapped, the kids and Tom head to the tower despite Thomas protesting against it. Meanwhile, Fritz and Rudi try to activate the robot without the Tom Tempra, with the result that it doesn't obey them and goes on rampage through the tower until it stops due to a lack of energy, leaving the two villains aware that they do need the Tom Tempra. As they get warned by Freda that someone is in the tower, Fritz sends Rudi to check. Rudi, afraid of ghosts, arms himself with a spray can of sleeping gas, but when Tom scares him with the hologram of a ghost and Rudi uses the spray, Tom just blows it back on him. Later, after the kids and Tom reunited with Mr. Klicker and saved Emma, Rudi wakes up and, together with Fritz Fantom, tries to stop them from leaving, but Tom eventually defeats them. He, Fritz and Freda are most likely send to prison afterwards.
"Tom Turbo"-Videos on Youtube
When Thomas Brezina was unable to produce more episodes for TV, he produced an episode split into several videos for Youtube.
The only episode to this date features Rudi Rat as the main antagonist, offering people a free app called Finderr (a parody on the real life app Tinderr), which is searching for people's ideal partners. However, it can hypnotize people into falling in love with any image Rudi's app shows them. In this way, Rudi is able to make Fritz Fantom and Tom Turbo fall in love. When Thomas checks the app, Rudi tries to hypnotize him and make him fall in love with a tool. However, Thomas is able to close his eyes in time and withstand the hypnosis. He then frees Tom from Rudi's mind control as Rudi realizes that finally, his dating app is used by the exact amount of people he desired. Rudi uses the app to twist the user's faces and demands money in return for restoring them back to normal. After hearing from Fritz Fantom that Rudi Rat is behind this, Tom breaks into his home, but Rudi manages to attack him apparantly turn the bycicle off. However, Tom merely pretended to be shut down and uses his tricks to read Rudi's mind and learn the secret how to turn the people's faces back to normal. When Rudi realizes that Tom is still activated, he tries to attack him with a hammer, but Tom tickles him, making the hammer fall out of his hands, before he ties Rudi up.
During the course of the show, Rudi Rat is always spotting the same design with only slight changes during the course of the show: a black cap, a black leather jacket covered with small light bulbs and a black spot on the nose, which he identifies in one episode as a nose crash helmet, which he is wearing in case of hitting his nose.
In his early episodes, he was wearing long hair, which eventually got cut short, and spotted a make-up that, combined with the spot on his nose, gave him a rat-like appearance. Despite being clean shaven for most episodes, some modern episodes and the movie feature him having a beard.
Notably, there was one episode in Die heiße Spur, where he was wearing a complete new outfit overall: Instead of his black leather jacket, trousers and cap, he wore a red-blue striped shirt, blue jeans and a green jacket as well as glasses with two lamps.
For the movie, his whole design was changed: Instead of his typical mix of a leather jacket and a cap or even the black spot on his nose, he was just wearing a long, black leather jacket. The beginning of the movie features him wearing a lab coat while working on the robot.
Rudi, like most villains of the show, is extremely greedy for money and power. However most episodes depict him to be either a henchman or a direct ally of other villains, the only cases where he was the actual mastermind behind the crimes was when he teamed up with the Ferret. Like all the other villains, he could also be featured as the rival of other villain in the episode as they both plan to steal the same object, making him the episode's second main villain.
There have been, however, episodes where he was showing his megalomaniac side, like in one episode, Fritz Fantom and another villain try to take over one of Rudi's projects, which is to blackmail the world with a machine that can turn off gravity. When they arrive, Rudi pretends to welcome them, but then uses the machine to trap them. The most defining case for his megalomania is when he betrays Rosso Robot by using the sword he was after to smash both him and Tom against a wall and telling them that he now plans to destroy them both and use their scrap to build the ultimate robot which would only obey him.
Due to Rudi being played by various actors, his basic personality changed with each incarnation, from psychotic and comedic to calm and calculating:
Rudi's earliest incarnation in Die heiße Spur features a hint of a comedic personality as he tends to scream a rather ridiculous “No!” any time he gets surprised or realizes that something isn't working as well using rather comedic gestures at some points. His plans often featured a slight bit of insanity, too.
In Tom Turbo, he was first featured as a giggling henchman, but his next incarnation was rather serious and calculating, despite being treated as an incompetent henchman by Rosso Robot, however his genius was coming through when teaming up with the Ferret, being the planner of the two.
The incarnation of the show's later episodes was, again, rather similar to the original one, featuring a hint of insanity again as this version tended to burst into insane laughter, but he was always acting far more like a cartoon villain in those episodes, mostly due to the changed tone of the show.
The movie incarnation again had a rather calculating personality, contrary to most of his TV incarnations. However, the same version tended to have some comedic and even child-like features, like being terrified of ghosts when entering a cellar or being constantly mocked by his navigator.
- Inventing: Rudi is a skilled inventor, often armed with gadgets he invented himself, but also providing other villains with his technology. Some of his inventions are either tall machines he and another villain (mostly Fritz Fantom) are using for committing a crime, or small devices he's providing for other villains, such as neck wrists that give electric shocks in order to have people obey or a helmet that hypnotizes people into stealing. Sometimes his inventions defy the laws of nature, such as a machine to turn off gravity or a clock that can revert time. When being confronted with Tom, his preferred gadget is a device to cause Tom having a short circuit by giving him electric shocks.
- Computer Hacking: Despite the term hacking is never used, Rudi is often featured as a hacker. In one episode, he was using one of his gadgets to hack a ticket machine to give him multiple tickets. In another episode, he has his niece give an amulet to a girl, but the amulet is actually an electronic device that immobilizes people and turns off security systems, allowing Rudi to break in and plunder the houses. The movie also features him hacking Emma's car by using a remote control to pilot her car to Fritz Fantom's tower.
- He, Fritz Fantom and Dr. Gruselglatz are the show's three first recurring villains and were all three lasting for a long time, even after the show has beem renamed, however Rudi and Fritz Fantom last the longest while Dr. Gruselglatz had eventually been written out.
- He and Fritz Fantom are also the only villains who had been played by more than three actors over the course of the show.
- Rudi is short for Rudolf. His first actor was actually called Rudolf Larßen.
- The two-parter episode "Drachengold" featured a new villain called Elektro-Ede working among the show's more eletronic-based villains, who bore a strong resemblance to him. It's possible that Rudi Rat was originally supposed to make an appearance in this episode, given that the other villains were the most recurring ones (Fritz Fantom, Dr. Gruselglatz and Rosso Robot), but for some reasons, the actor might not have been available so the role was replaced with a new villain.
Die heiße Spur
Movie "Tom Turbo - Von 0 auf 111"