The Thrilling Adventure Hour
(originally "The Thrilling Adventure and Supernatural Suspense Hour") is a live audio theater production in the style of old time radio. The show has run monthly since 2005, with past segments distributed as a podcast
starting in 2011.
Regular segments include:
- "Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars": Earthman Sparks Nevada (Marc Evan Jackson) protects the Red Planet from robot outlaws, alien invaders, and other galactic threats. Typically the first segment of the show, and inspired it in the first place (it started out as a film script that the writers wanted to workshop).
- "Beyond Belief": Frank and Sadie Doyle (Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster) keep having to deal with the supernatural, though they'd rather just drink martinis all day. Typically the last segment of the show.
- "The Adventures of Captain Laserbeam": Aided by his Adventurekateers, Captain Laserbeam (John DiMaggio) defends Apex City from a Rogues Gallery of villains.
- "Amelia Earhart: Fearless Flyer": Earhart travels through time to stop the Nazis from screwing up history.
- "Cactoid Jim, King of the Martian Frontier": Having time-traveled from the 25th century to the 30th, Cactoid Jim (Nathan Fillion) helps deal with threats on Mars. Crosses over with Sparks Nevada, who's annoyed at how cool and humble the guy is.
- "The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock": The gentlemanly Colonel is the bulwark of Her Majesty's Royal Chrono-Patrol.
- "Down in Moonshine Holler": A Depression-era millionaire falls in Love at First Sight with the Hobo Princess, dressing as a vagrant and searching for her with his mentor Gummy.
- "Jumbo the Elephant": A Cuban elephant plays in an all-animal jazz combo and saves holidays.
- "Jefferson Reid, Ace American": A super-soldier and his friends fight the Nazis.
- "Tales from the Black Lagoon": Hollywood, 1954. An actor is framed for murder.
- "Tales of the United Solar System Alliance": A spaceship commander and his crew, some of whom are literally family.
The show also features Product Placement
for the fictional Patriot Cigarettes
("they're good for your constitution!") and non-fictional
WorkJuice Coffee ("the maximum legal dose of caffeine").
In autumn 2012, the show raised money on Kickstarter
to make a comic book
- The Ace: Cactoid Jim.
- The Alcoholic: Frank and Sadie Doyle.
- Bounty Hunter: Sparks Nevada's ex-girlfriend Mercy Laredo.
- Catch Phrase:
- Chekhov's Gun: At the beginning of one episode, Frank Doyle buys an actual gun that belonged to Anton Chekhov, Werewolf Hunter. Becomes an Averted Trope when it is packed away in Sigmund Freud's Cigar Box, and a literal razor that belonged to Occam is actually used to defeat the Monster of the Week (which also turn out not to be werewolves.)
- Christmas Episode: "Christmas on Mars".
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
Captain Laserbeam: You're teaming up with her now?
- Captain Laserbeam sometimes teams up with Phillip Fathom, basically an underwater version of Batman (with a voice straight out of The Dark Knight Saga).
- Frank and Sadie Doyle are expies of Nick and Nora from The Thin Man.
- Happily Married: Frank and Sadie Doyle, more so now than when they started out.
- Hugh Mann: The shape-shifting alien from Jupiter who impersonates both Sparks Nevada and Croach in recurring episodes.
- Insistent Terminology:
Croach: I am from G'loot Praktaw.
Sparks: Which is Mars.
Croach: I designate it G'loot Praktaw.
Sparks: Everyone I know calls it— you know what, never mind.
- Man Child: Sparks Nevada.
- Meaningful Name: Captain Laserbeam's Secret Identity is Joshua Valor.
- Monster Clown: Nightmares the Clown, a recurring character in the Beyond Belief segments, and a reference to Pennywise the Clown from It.
- Once an Episode: Captain Laserbeam has a bunch:
Captain Laserbeam: Is King Mammal playing monkeyshines at the Apex City Zoo?
- Reassuring them of his safety:
Adventurekateers: What would we do without you?
- And when he leaves them back at the base for their own protection:
Captain Laserbeam: But you'll be with me in spirit, and spirit is more powerful than one hundred lasers! Also, I'll have my one hundred lasers.
Captain Laserbeam: Can't... escape... but I must!
Captain Laserbeam: Laser willpower!
- Punny Name: Sparks Nevada.
- Rogues Gallery: Captain Laserbeam's enemies. This poster features nearly three dozen of 'em.
- San Dimas Time: In "The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock", when Queen Victoria repeatedly requires Colonel Tick-Tock to immediately leave to travel back in time to fix a problem. Lamp-shaded in one appearance where his wife Constance replies "Couldn't he leave at any time?" The Colonel explains "Quite the opposite. Were I to finish this biscuit, I would be far too late!"
- Secret Identity: Captain Laserbeam has offered more than one Suspiciously Specific Denial when asked about his.
- Snarky Non-Human Sidekick: Martian native Croach the Tracker criticizes Sparks Nevada at every turn, even as he works off his onus to Sparks for saving his tribe. This further plays into Sparks' resentment of Cactoid Jim, whom Croach praises up and down:
Croach: Cactoid Jim pronounced my name correctly on his first attempt!
- Space Western: "Sparks Nevada".
- The Spock: Croach insists on analyzing his emotions to figure out what they are, to the point of driving off his Love Interest.
- Steam Punk: "The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock".
- Time Travel: Colonel Tick-Tock. Amelia Earhart. Cactoid Jim (twice).
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: The 2012 Christmas episode's "Beyond Belief" segment has a Christmas Carol pastiche in which the ghosts get the address wrong and spend the whole night bothering Frank and Sadie.
- Zeerust: Sparks Nevada.