December 23, 2017


(NBC, September 10, 1966-January 21, 1967)

Hanna-Barbera Productions

Chris Allen – Scooter
Don Messick – Countdown, Pupstar, various
Lucille Bliss (as Lou Bliss) – Snoopy
Janet Waldo – Jenny
Daws Butler – Captain Skyhook, Static, various

            Take Our Gang (aka The Little Rascals), put them in the world of The Jetsons, and you’d get Space Kidettes (a play on the term “space cadets”).

The Kidettes look at Skyhook and Static caught in a trap.
            Space Kidettes focused on four kids—Scooter (Chris Allen), Countdown (Don Messick), Snoopy (Lucille Bliss), Jenny (Janet Waldo) and their dog, Pupstar (Messick)--who hung out in a downed rocket capsule that served as their orbiting clubhouse. They were constantly targeted by the sinister space buccaneer, Captain Skyhook (Daws Butler), who wanted a treasure map in their possession. However, the Captain wasn’t pure evil as he avoided harming the kids whenever possible; he just wanted to incapacitate them long enough to get the map. His first mate, Static (also Butler), however, had no such qualms and always suggested more permanent solutions. The rest of the time, the kids would fly around space, performing good deeds.

The Kidettes' club house.

            Space Kidettes debuted on NBC on September 10, 1966. The show was Hanna-Barbera’s attempt to appeal to a younger audience, rife with a variety of slapstick and pratfalls (usually towards the villains) that would come under fire by parent groups in the following years. Like classic serials, each episode was broken up into two parts with the first ending on a cliffhanger to be resolved in the second. Hoyt Curtin provided the series’ music, and Butler, in character, narrated the opening. The series wasn’t one of Hanna-Barbera’s most notable efforts, and it was scheduled against the strong competition of The Beatles on ABC and the studio’s own Space Ghost and Dino Boy on CBS. It was quickly cancelled after its singular 20-episode season.

The Kidettes in their ship.

            The show, sponsored by General Mills, was featured on various boxes of their cereal in cut-out pictures with accompanying stories. The episodes were later edited down to 10-minutes and paired with other General Mills-sponsored programs to form a full half-hour for syndicated reruns. They were later played in the 1980s as part of USA Network’s USA Cartoon Express.

A page from the sole Space Kidettes comic outing.

The Kidettes did manage to get some merchandise out of their short lives: including frame puzzles and jigsaw puzzles by Whitman, a magic slate, tiny trading cards as part of Monty Gum’s “Comic Heroes” set, and a Spanish card set. In 2011, Warner Archive released the edited complete series, paired with Young Samson, as part of their Hanna-Barbera Classics CollectionAlthough they never had their own comic, they were given several short stories in the final issue of Gold Key ComicsCave Kids; a series about kids living in the world of The Flintstones

“Molemen Menace” (9/10/66) – A space storm leaves the kids lost, and when they land on a nearby planet to get their bearings they end up captured by a moleman.

“Jet-Set-Go” (9/17/66) – Skyhook learns about the kids’ treasure map and kidnaps Countdown in order to learn where they hid it.

“Space Indians” (9/24/66) – Skyhook interrupts the kids’ picnic to get at their treasure, but his plans are ruined by a group of Space Indians that want his head.

“Swamp-Swamped” (10/1/66) – Skyhood decides if he can’t beat the kids, he’ll join their club and be let into the secret of their treasure.

“Space Heroes” (10/8/66) – Skyhook decides to disguise himself as the kids’ favorite TV hero in order to get close to the map.

“Space Witch” (10/15/66) – Skyhook kidnaps Snoopy for the treasure map, but ends up competing with the Space Witch for it.

“Tale of a Whale” (10/22/66) – When the kids refuse to believe Skyhook is truly evil, he feeds them to a giant space whale.

“Space Giant” (10/29/66) – Skyhook chases the kids to the planet of the space giant.

“Space Carnival” (11/5/66) – Skyhook plans to use the local space carnival to lure the kids into a trap.

“The Laser Breathing Space Dragon” (11/12/66) – Static straps a rocket to the kids’ clubhouse and sends them off to the home of the laser breathing space dragon.

“The Flight Before Christmas” (11/19/66) – Skyhook makes the kids think Santa wants their map and tricks them into a cave trap.

“Beach Brawl” (11/26/66) – The kids decide to go enjoy the same beach where Skyhook looks to dig for a giant pearl a map has led him to.

“Dog-napped in Space” (12/3/66) – Skyhook decides to kidnap Pupstar and ransom him for the map.

“Secret Solar Robot” (12/10/66) – Tired of being thwarted, Skyhook develops a giant robot to go after the map instead.

“King of the Space Pirates” (12/17/66) – Skyhook enlists the aid of a fellow pirate in his quest, but when the kids defeat them the pirate looks for revenge.

“Planet of Greeps” (12/24/66) – Skyhook is perfectly happy to be mistaken for one of the Greeps’ gods—that is until he’s tasked with stopping a volcano from erupting.

“Cosmic Condors” (12/31/66) – The kids take refuge in the nest of a cosmic condor that protects them from Skyhook.

“The Space Mermaid” (1/7/67) – When Skyhook discovers the kids are friends with a space mermaid, he plots to capture her and sell her to a circus.

“Haunted Planet” (1/14/67) – Skyhook strands the kids on a planet where he plans to scare them into giving him the map to escape.

“Something Old – Something Gnu” (1/21/67) – Skyhook and the kids end up accosted by Plutonian Pigmies while the kids are on the hunt for a cosmic gnu.

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