Goober and the Ghost Chasers followed in the footsteps of the wildly popular series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Banking on the ratings success of Scooby-Doo, network executives were eager for something similar, and Hanna-Barbera was happy to oblige for the better part of a decade, creating new shows that followed a similar format, but differentiated by some unusual twist. Of those shows, Goober and the Ghost Chasers was arguably most similar to the original.
Teenagers Ted, Tina and Gilly were investigative reporters for Ghost Chasers Magazine. Accompanied by their sometimes invisible dog Goober, they chased reports of ghostly sightings in an effort to get the latest scoop. Laurie, Danny, Chris, and Tracy from the live action Partridge Family sitcom appeared as regular guest stars in half of the series’ sixteen episodes. Because Hanna-Barbera had the actors on hand for the upcoming series Partridge Family 2200 A.D., they decided that adding them to the cast would bolster the show’s chance for success.
Ted was leader and coordinator for the Ghost Chasers, and got the story leads. He took an anti-apparition kit on assignments that contained ghost hunting tools like a haunter taunter, poltergeist powder, and host ghost scanner. His go-to device, used in almost every episode, was a specter detector that could tell real ghosts from fake ones.
Photographer Gilly took a similar approach to his job as Tina, only more so. A true professional, snapping the perfect picture came before any need for personal safety.
Because his human counterparts seemed oblivious to danger, it normally fell on Goober’s shoulders to save them — not an easy task for a dog with a healthy amount of fear. At times he turned his uncontrollable condition of becoming invisible to his advantage, but his equally uncontrollable tendency to pop back into visibility proved as much a hindrance. It didn’t help that his hat and collar remained visible, even when Goober himself disappeared from view.
Although stories were chock-full of criminals who dressed as ghosts to scare away outsiders, they also contained real ghosts. It usually turned out that some unassuming cast member impersonated a real ghost, who ultimately helped to out his impersonator.
Goober and the Ghost Chasers aired for two seasons, the second consisting entirely of repeats. Despite the popularity of the Partridge kids in their live action show, they made their last appearance in the eleventh episode of the animated series. Largely forgotten, the series never lived up to its potential, given its proven story formula and star-studded cast.
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