Thrilling Adventure Hour #47: Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, “The Return of Croach the Tracker and the Introduction of Two New Important Characters!”
By Katie Levine on November 14, 2011
Starring Marc Evan Jackson as Sparks Nevada and Mark Gagliardi as his faithful Martian companion, Croach the Tracker. Also starring Craig Cackowski, John DiMaggio, Patton Oswalt, Linda Cardellini, Hal Lublin, and Nathan Fillion.
Recorded May 7, 2011.
I love this episode. Part of the fun of Sparks Nevada is putting Sparks (and Marc Evan Jackson) behind the eight-ball. This is the first episode in what turned out to be about a six-month stint of messing with Sparks’ life. We were lucky enough to get Nathan Fillion and Linda Cardellini to play recurring characters in this new arc. Enjoy!
And stick around for the cliff-hanger at the end! The audience’s reaction to it fills me with glee.
Seven thoughts on Felton (and Sparks Nevada in general):
1. Felton has been a recurring character in the world of Sparks Nevada since the beginning, usually appearing to announce some sort of imminent danger to the town in the form of his catchphrase “Haalp!” (spelled exactly like that).
2. In my mind at least, he’s a cross between the old Western actor Andy Devine and Jack McBrayer when he gets on a talking jag. Of course, he sounds nothing like that, but that’s what’s going on in my head.
3. A lot of the fun of doing Sparks is the game of Western tropes transferred to space, and sci-fi tropes transferred to the West, and so I have to remember to say “ro-bit” rather than “ro-bot”. I think I do one of each in this episode… not consistent! “Marjun” (i.e. Martian) is usually helpfully spelled out phonetically for me.
4. It’s generally agreed by the cast that I do the best imitations of both Sparks and Croach, and should Marc Evan Jackson and Mark Gagliardi meet some horrible fate on the way to Largo, I’m ready to step in.
5. It takes a lot of passion to pull off sounding as bored as Marc Evan Jackson does as Sparks. My favorite things he does that really sell the character are the little add-ons that aren’t in the script, like adding “So…” (trails off) to the end of most of his lines.
6. If you want to hear “Haalp!” in SONG form, just wait for the all-singing episode of Sparks Nevada, coming soon to a podcast near you… (It’ll be podcast in about six months!–BB)
7. If you hear raucous laughter during a period without dialogue, it’s probably because I’m running around like an idiot. If you hear a rousing round of applause, followed by ecstatic whooping, followed by sighing, it’s probably because Nathan Fillion just walked on stage. This is the easiest way to tell us apart.