No longer content to tour other cities, the show saw the rock and rollers touring other galaxies. In lieu of the family's trademark psychedelic touring bus, their mode of transportation in outer space was (naturally) a psychedelic touring spaceship. It didn't take long for the singing clan to meet up with a pair of good-humored teenaged aliens, Veenie (from Venus) and Marion (from Mars), who provided much of the show's comic relief. Most of the hilarious plotlines revolved around science-fiction type gags, like Danny turning himself invisible or Keith shrinking in size.
The concept for The Partridge Family: 2200 A.D. began when ABC launched another Scooby Doo-inspired series entitled Goober and the Ghost Chasers. In that show, members of the Partridge Family would appear as guest stars to help Goober, the crime-sniffing hound. It was successful enough that ABC and Hanna-Barbera decided to give the musical family their own show one year later. In 1977, Goober and the Partridges were reunited in the composite series Fred Flintstone and Friends.
"The Partridge Family in Outer Space" was the working title for this series, it was also use as an alternative title when it aired as part of Fred Flintstone and Friends.
Only 16 episodes of this series were produced.
The original idea was to make this as an updated version of another Hanna-Barbera cartoon, The Jetsons, with Elroy as a teenager and his sister, Judy, as a full-grown woman who finally has a job (a la The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show). This explains the whole space theme of the series. ABC, however rejected the idea, but hoped to make an animated adaptation of The Patridge Family, and use the rejected concept as part of that series.
Story writer Rance Howard is the father of actor/director Ron Howard (The Andy Griffith Show, Happy Days).
Several character roles were voiced by new people:
- David Cassidy's role of Keith Partridge was performed by Chuck McLennan (spelling disputed).
- Shirley Jones' role of Shirley Partridge was handed over to Joan Gerber; and also, the first name of said character is changed to Connie. Jones is the stepmother of David Cassidy (David's father Jack Cassidy, who in 1976 had sadly passed away at his home when it caught fire, married Shirley a few years after a divorce from Evelyn Ward, the biological mother of David).
- Susan Dey had initially reprised her role as Laurie, but handed it over to Sherry Alberoni on the 3rd episode.
- Despite Dave Madden's name being shown in the credits, his character Reuben Kincaid was actually performed for the cartoon by John Stephenson.
- Danny Bonaduce, Suzanne Crough and Brian Forster had retained their roles in the transition from live-action to animation (Danny, Tracy and Chris respectively).
The Partridge Family characters had all previously appeared in animated form on Hanna-Barbera's 1973 series, Goober and the Ghost Chasers. The 1973-74 season was the last for the original Partridge Family TV series, by then having moved from Friday to Saturday night.
Two episodes of this cartoon series are available as bonus features within the Partridge Family season 1 DVD set. Both have the Sony Pictures Television logo following the H-B logo. Thus, which leads me to ask you all: has this cartoon series, along with 1973's Jeannie, ever been reran in the original half-hour format in the 1980s and '90s? These two shows had previously been reran, along with H-B's own trademarked works The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show/The Flintstone Comedy Hour, Yogi's Gang and Goober and the Ghost Chasers, as part of the short-lived 1977-78 season syndicated package Fred Flintstone and Friends.
Due to ties with The Partridge Family, this is one of a few Hanna-Barbera produced series that was distributed outright by Columbia Pictures; Jeannie was another.