The Complete “Christmas on Mars” show from December 8, 2012 is the third annual Christmas on Mars special.
In addition to a Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars segment wraparound story, the episode contains three stories:
- Tales of the United Solar System Alliance - New Frontiers
- Phillip Fathom, Deep Sea Detective - A Ferry Fathom Christmas
- Beyond Belief - Claus and Effect
- Sparks Nevada - Marc Evan Jackson
- Croach the Tracker - Mark Gagliardi
- The Saloon Doors - Annie Savage
- The Red Plains Rider - Busy Philipps
- Felton - Craig Cackowski
- Phillip Fathom - Hal Lublin
- Gene Peeples - James Urbaniak
- Lizard Man - Craig Cackowski
- Frank Doyle - Paul F. Tompkins
- Sadie Doyle - Paget Brewster
- Tom Foolery - Zachary Levi
- Mass Murderer - Matt Gourley
- Deacon Structor - Mark McConville
- Magesterio - Jeremy Carter
- Mr. Right - Parvesh Cheena
- Pemily Stallwark - Molly Quinn
- Joyce Alvarez - Alessandra Torressani
- Superintendent Hammler - Keegan-Michael Key
- Santa - Scott Aukerman
- Theodore - Jon Hamm
Sparks Nevada Wraparound Story Part One
The episode opens with The Saloon Doors singing the Christmas on Mars theme. She then narrates that the Space Saloon is closed for the evening, as its Christmas on Mars, but Sparks Nevada isn't so filled with holiday cheer.
Sparks Nevada is out on the plains on Mars, alone with his campfire, his thoughts, his horse, his bedroll, and the stars, looking forward to an evening of solitude. He had made the excuse that Felton's cattle had been rustled and he's on a stakeout.
Croach arrives, and Sparks is perturbed because he told Croach not to track him. Croach says he is there to assist with the hypercattle rustle, but Sparks tells him he wouldn't help because the rustlers can only be can seen on "The Earthington" spectrum, which Croach can't perceive. Croach is incredulous and suspicious about this claim. Sparks tells Croach to take the night off, as its Christmas Eve and he should spend it with his family. Croach says that Sparks is basically family, since Sparks has seen his feet (The Agony of the Feet). Also, as his people don't celebrate Christmas and his onus-based relationship with Sparks is akin to friendship, and as friendship shares many traits with a familial relationship, he would prefer to spend the evening with Sparks.
Croach says that he will give Sparks a Christmas present: a Christmas story to help get him into the Christmas spirit, as he now totally understands Christmas. He recounts a story he read in the USSA Trade Journal of Gene Peeples and how he overcame adversity.
Tales of the USSA - New Frontiers
Croach tells Sparks the story of Gene Peeples, now an instructor at the USSA Academy, overcoming a Lizardman from Planet 30 with the help of Pemily Stallwark and others at the academy. The events are chronicled in detail in the entry of the Tales of the USSA episode - New Frontiers.
Sparks Nevada Wraparound Story Part Two
Sparks thanks Croach for the story but tells him to leave now that it's over. Before Croach departs, The Red Plains Rider arrives, and announces that Felton's cattle were just rustled. Croach is suspicious that Sparks is surprised, as he was already there on a stakeout for Felton's cattle. Sparks has trouble explaining whether or not he's surprised or there for the stakeout at all. Red decides to join Croach and Sparks as they're both already there. When Sparks hints that he wants to be alone, Red thinks he wants to just be with Croach, and laments that she's been excluded all her life sometimes. She says she's staying, anyway, and will tell Sparks a story about someone else who thought he was a loner.
Phillip Fathom, Deep Sea Detective
The Red Plains Rider tells the story of how Phillip Fathom agreed to work on Christmas so the other superheros of Apex City and Aquapolis could spend time with their families. Fathom laments that he doesn't have friends, he only has foes. Instead, four villains teamed up to take down Phillip Fathom. Just when all hope was lost, a team-up of Apex City's mightiest heroes arrived to save Fathom and take down the villains. Fathom realized that although his parents are gone, he still has "sisters and brothers" who care about him.
The full text of the poem may be found here.
Sparks Nevada Wraparound Story Part Three
Sparks does not appreciate Red's story, and Red decides she and Croach should go track the hypercattle stampede, when Felton shows up, calling for halp. Felton (eventually) tells Sparks how his hypercattle were rustled. When Felton learns that they're telling stories around the campfire, he decides to tell a story, as Croach is able to detect that the hypercattle rustlers are headed their direction, and are about the distance of one story away.
Please see Claus and Effect for full episode description.
Sparks Nevada Wraparound Story Part Four
Sparks says the only part he liked about Felton's story was the drinking. He just wanted some solitude for a time after a year of big upheavals, defeating a cosmos-ending threat, and being dumped again. Being Marshal on Mars means you're on duty year round. As he begs for peace, the cattle rustlers arrive. It turns out that the "rustlers" are really just friends of Felton's who had taken his prized hypercattle to get her prettied up for the fair in the fall as a Christmas present.
As there's no hypercattle rustle, Croach and Red agree to take everyone and leave Sparks alone. The Saloon Doors narrates that Sparks Nevada's heart grew a little bit that day. Sparks then tells everyone to stay. He tells Croach, Red and Felton that he loves them and thanks them.
The episode ends with Sparks and Croach reading the credits in character, and leading the entire cast in singing The WorkJuice Anthem Christmas Carol.
- The Beyond Belief segment is introduced by Felton "doing characters" with the Beyond Belief theme done in a more Western style.
- The Tales of the United Solar System Alliance segment in this live show was podcasted individually in May 2013 as New Frontiers (TAH #117).
- This is the 147th episode of the Thrilling Adventure Hour.
- The prior episode is The Algonquin Four - Fun and Whimsy!.
- The next episode is The Red Plains Rider Segment - Carbonite-mare, however, this is probably not the next episode in Sparks Nevada canon, see below.
- The canonical order of the episode is a much trickier issue (and the canon status of the Christmas episodes has always been a little fuzzy, so take this entire paragraph with a grain of salt). In Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars canon, it was released between Can a Leopard Upgrade Its Spots? (TAH #144) and Carbonite-mare (TAH #148). It does not fit into continuity at the point it was released, however, as Red was off in search of the missing Cactoid Jim at that point. This is the inevitable result of the fact that Christmas episode are always released a year after they are recorded.
- In recording order, it was recorded a month after Support Your Local Marshal (TAH #112) and Good Jim (TAH #113). Because Sparks, Croach, and Red all speak of Red's divorce from Cactoid Jim, Red breaking up with Sparks again, and the defeat of Evil Jim, it makes sense to say it takes place canonically after those two episodes. This is further supported by the fact that Red does not mention being pregnant. The next Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars episode would be Sparks Nevada's "I'm from Earth" Day Special (TAH #118), another holiday episode with a fuzzy position in canon, and then Something Wicked This Way Is (TAH #119).
- If this is confusing, the suggested listening order is detailed at Sparks Nevada Universe Continuity.
This episode was recorded at Largo on December 8, 2012. It was released on December 16, 2013.
- Writers: Ben Acker and Ben Blacker
- Beyond Belief, “Claus and Effect” written by Ed Brubaker.
- Director: Douglas Petrie
- Music: Andy Paley & the Andy Paley Orchestra
- Tales of the USSA theme: Andy Paley, performed by Annie Savage and the Andy Paley Orchestra
- Christmas on Mars theme: Andy Paley, performed by Annie Savage and the Andy Paley Orchestra