Thrilling Adventure Hour Wiki

Cactoid Jim as depicted in the Original Graphic Novel.

Cactoid Jim is a character in Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars and the leading character in Cactoid Jim, King of the Martian Frontier.  He is played by Nathan Fillion.  

Jim is a time traveler and the most handsome, good-natured and likeable person in existence.

Cactoid Jim gets his nickname from a resilient, low-orbiting plant, plentiful on the Martian frontier.  A Cactoid is tough enough to thrive in the toughest environments, and Jim is similarly tough.

Pre-Thirty-First Century Life

In the Cactoid Jim episode Mayors' Retreat Cactoid Jim's true origins were revealed.  Jim organized a retreat with several mayors throughout the solar system, including Derp, the mayor of Deimos, and A41397X442, the mayor of Robots. During the retreat, a hole in time opened and several people from Jim's past were able to speak to him.

Twenty First Century Life

Cactoid Jim was originally born in the 21st Century under the name James Lyons and worked as first a professional baseball player, and later an astronaut.  His initial adventures are chronicled in War of Two Worlds. Please see the entry for Jim Lyons for further information.

Harry Deacon, from the twenty-first century, was Jim's first astronaut partner.  There was a hiccup in Jim's cryo-sleep, thus he was lost and slept for five hundred years.  Jim had a wife named Elizabeth and a son named Jimmy Jr. in the twenty-first century.  Jim asked Harry Deacon to have Todd Cooper take care of Elizabeth and Jimmy Jr. in his absence.

Twenty-Sixth Century Life

After the hiccup in the cryo-sleep, James Lyons was found and awoken in the twenty-sixth century.  He then married a woman named Cynthia and had a child, Owen. He continued working as an astronaut in his new time period.  His best friends and coworkers were Mitch Snow and Ray Bogle. In 2522, while travelling in space, James flew into a black hole that was a time disturbance which landed him in the thirty-first century.

The people of Earth took the loss of Jim pretty hard, so all of humanity banded together to figure out how to find and retrieve Jim.  A general armistice was called and after five years and ten inventions, Snow and Bogle were sent to the thirty-first century to bring Jim back. They were dismayed to hear that Jim insisted staying in the thirty-first century, claiming that he was home now, and if he went back with Snow and Bogle, humanity would stop striving to be better since their goal was reached.  Jim claimed he did as much good as he could in the twenty-sixth century, and now he had too much good left to do in the thirty-first century.

Jim blessed a relationship between Cynthia and Mitch Snow before Snow and Bogle returned to the twenty-sixth century.

It was revealed that the twenty-sixth century time hole that scientists in Snow and Bogle's time opened is an open sore, which allowed Harry Deacon to appear in the thirty-first century at the same time as Snow and Bogle.

A41397X442 also told Ray Bogle that he was the inventor of sentient robots.  When Bogle found this out, he found purpose and went back to the twenty-sixth century to begin inventing.  Snow did not forgive Jim for not returning to the twenty-sixth century.

Thirty-First Century Life

The Return of Croach the Tracker & the Introduction of Two New Important Characters

After finding himself in the 31st century, Jim spent an unknown amount of time on the outskirts of Mars, helping folks and doing good.

Cactoid Jim's first appearance was In The Return of Croach the Tracker and the Introduction of Two New Important Characters! Sparks Nevada, finally accepting that Croach the Tracker would not be returning from his relationship with The Red Plains Rider, begins interviewing for a new deputy. Cactoid Jim is interviewed and Sparks quickly offers him the job. 

Later, when Croach appears and saves Jim, Sparks and others from Billy the Bot, Jim sees that Croach wants to return to his previous position as Sparks' companion. Jim steps down from his newly-acquired deputy position, but agrees to help keep the outer reaches of Mars safe.

Do the Fight Thing

Jim next assists Croach in saving Mars from the war between the Science Beings and Technology Beings in Do the Fight Thing when Red, Sparks, Rebecca Rose Rushmore and the Barkeep are locked in the Space Saloon by the Technos the Advanced.  Jim, Croach and several unnamed townspeople operate the Marshal station's giant robot together, to bring the war to a halt. Jim then gives a speech which pacifies the Science Aliens and Technology Beings into agreeing to peace, bloodlessly ending a millennia long conflict.

Space Coach

After turning down Red's request for another chance at a relationship, Sparks Nevada asked The Red Plains Rider and Cactoid Jim to guard a space coach together in Space-coach.  Red and Jim defend the coach from several threats together, growing closer as the adventure goes on.  They then figure out that two of the three people they were sent to guard had set up several nefarious plans to kill the others and keep the profits from their business venture all to themselves.  Near the end of the adventure, the remaining businessman suggests that Sparks may have sent Jim and Red on the mission together in order for the two of them to get to know each other and fall in love.

The Piano Has Been Thinking / Christmas On Mars #2

During The Piano has Been Thinking, Jim proposes to Red, and the two are quickly married.  For several months, the two are happily married, and Jim is soon elected Mayor of Mars.  Red and Jim host a Christmas party at the mayor's mansion in The full Christmas episode from December 3, 2011!

Mayor's Retreat / MurderMen

After the events of the Mayors' Retreat (detailed above), Jim is called away to Earth to help fight a MurderMan invasion when the MurderMen break the tenuous Man-MurderMan treaty.  Off-stage, he had met Chicky Sullivan, who convinced Jim to run for President of Earth.

In MurderMen, Jim is attempting to rescue the remaining crew of the Starship Olivia including Gene Peeples, his daughter Erica Peeples, and his wife/Erica's stepmother Linda Bailey-Peeples, from being ManMurdered or MurderManned. Jim saves Gene, and Red is also able to make it to them to both express her anger towards Jim and to help.  Before they can get to Linda and Erica, Linda is bitten by a MurderMan and in turn, bites Erica. The Red Plains Rider shoots and kills Erica just before she is completely turned into a MurderMan in order to keep Jim from having to kill a child on live Earth-wide live TV, which would end his political career. Red escapes back to Mars in order to avoid prosecution.

Support Your Local Marshal / Good Jim

In Support Your Local MarshalCroach the Tracker, recently resurrected from the dead and sharing consciousness with the galactic being V’stalu of the Galaxium, asks Sparks Nevada to assassinate Cactoid Jim before he is able to become elected President of Earth. In his first 100 days, Jim would become corrupted in his attempt to attain perfection for the galaxy, which would, effectively, turn everything into nothingness and destroy the universe.  After being shown the destruction he would bring, Jim agrees to let Sparks assassinate him, but Chicky Sullivan and Sparks instead hatch a plan to have Jim step down and insist the people of Earth vote for Chicky.

Good Jim immediately follows Support Your Local Marshal. Just as Croach / V'stalu announces the plan has worked, Evil Jim from the future opens a wormhole, pulling Sparks Nevada, and Red into the Wormhole, and steps out to enact his own plan.  Croach / V'stalu summons the galaxy's greatest remaining heroes, Pemily Stallwark, Miles Kaward and Mordecai Benmont Jiminy (The Barkeep). Evil Jim defeats Chicky, Pemily and Kaward, but the Barkeep convinces V'stalu to give him The Force Galactic, with which he pulls Evil Jim out of  Jim's body. Good (present-day) Jim kills his evil self, and the Barkeep finishes setting things right with his new cosmic powers.

Post Good Jim

Since these events, Jim spent some time on the plains of Mars and in the outer reaches of the galaxy trying to "find himself".  After dismantling the Punishment Soccer on Earth's moon he spent awhile splitting his time between Rebecca Rose Rushmore and The Red Plains Rider.  Later, while on Mars, off-screen just before Father Reaches of Space, Jim was captured by Jib Janeen, the Jupiter Spy who froze him in carbonite, then sold him to some aliens from planet XK9B who were mad at him.

The aliens used him as a coffee table, for a time, before selling him to some other aliens who were collectors of people frozen in carbonite for Chesh Glutterfane of planet X27991.  In Carbonite-mare, Red infiltrates Glutterfane's stronghold and rescues Jim, USSA officers Sandy Manlius and his husband Glenn, along with several other slaves and their loved ones also frozen in carbonite.

In The Once and Future Thing, Jim recounts that after being awoken, he went on to stop an army of scum and villainy from emancipating Chesh at his trial, then testified at that trial and got Chesh jailed for good, while convincing the army of scum and villainy to instead help build habitats for the needy, which turned small-scale crime into big-scale activism. He also rooted out big scale crime with equal parts smiling and shooting. He tried an experimental sun suit on a sun from a neighboring universe and now scientists can cure a supernovaing sun. He also ended things with Rebecca Rose Rushmore. Jim says that Rebecca is now more accepting of other beings. She also helped Jim realize all the anger he had inside of him towards Jib Janeen. Jim then ended the war between Earth and Jupiter, and confronted Jib. He was able to return to Mars with Jib, and made Jib apologize to Red, Sparks and Croach for what he had done to them.

Jim returned to the 26th Century via a portal opened for him from that time in order to make things right with his second wife, Cynthia, and their son, Owen. His parting words were "Adios, for now!" thus it is unknown if Jim will ever return, but possible.

Romantic Relationships


Jim married Elizabeth in the 21st century and had a son with her, Jimmy Jr. They were separated due to a cryo-sleep malfunction, but when Jim was given the opportunity to return to the 21st Century, he did not take it. (See above.)


Jim married Cynthia in the 26th century and had a son with her, Owen. They were separated due to Jim flying into a time hole, but when Jim was first given the opportunity to return to the 26th century, he did not take it. (See above.)  

Later, after being encouraged by Red, Jim eventually returned to the 26th century to make things right with Cynthia and Owen.

Rebecca Rose Rushmore

At the end of The Return of Croach the Tracker and the Introduction of Two New Important Characters!, Rebecca Rose Rushmore followed after Cactoid Jim and the two had a brief romantic interlude.  Later, after Jim's divorce from The Red Plains Rider, Jim and Rebecca were married, though Jim later proclaimed he still was in love with The Red Plains Rider. The marriage to Rebecca was probably done to increase his standings in the polls in Jim's bid for President of Earth, as Rebecca is a wildly popular author.

The Red Plains Rider

After turning down Red's request for another chance at a relationship, Sparks Nevada set up The Red Plains Rider and Cactoid Jim to guard a space coach together in Space-coach.  Near the end, it is suggested that Sparks may have done so in order for the two of them to get to know each other and fall in love.  During The Piano has Been Thinking Jim proposes, and the two are quickly married.  For several months, the Red and Jim are happily married.  Later, during MurderMen, Red is exiled when she preemptively kills Erica Peeples on live TV after she had been bitten by a MurderMan but before fully turning into a MurderMan. Jim distances himself from Red in order to stay ahead in the polls, and later divorces her. After Jim's marriage to Rebecca Rose Rushmore, Red is determined to get Jim back once she's served her time for her infractions, and in Support Your Local Marshal, two re-declare their love for one another.  

For a time, Jim was been splitting his time between Rebecca, who he is still married to, and Red, who he still loves.  He eventally discovered that he actually loved Red, and asked her to go with him back to 500 years ago to stop a robot rebellion and make a home together. Red, instead, jumped into the past and stopped the rebellion by herself.  When she returned, Red was sure that she was done with Jim forever and chose to continue her new relationship with Croach. She encouraged Jim to return to the past and make things right with Cynthia and Owen, instead.

Extra Descriptors

In addition to the usually sung descriptors of Jim in each Cactoid Jim episode (listed in each episode's wiki entry), Jim has had the following descriptors in Sparks Nevada episodes.




Although Jim does not actually appear in these episodes, he factors heavily into:

  • Mercy Killing (TAH #86): After finding out Sparks Nevada has a bounty on his head which Mercy Laredo is attempting to collect, possibly by killing him, Sparks, Red, and Croach go to the Mayor's Retreat to find Jim to have him get the bounty off of Sparks and for backup, should Mercy appear again. As Jim is already leading the mayors to defend Earth, Red uses her distress signal to call for his help when Mercy catches up to them. When he does not arrive to help, Red is extremely hurt and heads to Earth to find him.
  • Father Reaches of Space (TAH #124): Jib Janeen pretends to be Jim.  The Red Plains Rider chooses Sparks over Jib-as-Jim.  Jim is captured by Janeen off-screen.
  • The Red Plains Rider - Carbonite-mare (TAH #148): Jim, frozen in carbonite, is rescued by The Red Plains Rider. The episode ends before he is unfrozen.