Starring Marc Evan Jackson as Sparks Nevada and Mark Gagliardi as his faithful Martian companion, Croach the Tracker. Also starring Jenny Wade, Joshua Malina, Annie Savage, Craig Cackowski, John Ennis, and Colin Hanks. Recorded September 10, 2011.
Another fun episode, I think, moving along the current arc of Sparks Nevada, involving his evolving relationship with Rebecca Rose Rushmore.
Colin Hanks (as one of Los Banditos Mutantes) and Joshua Malina (as Barkeep) have a lot of fun stuff to do in this episode. Both Colin and Josh are delightful on and off stage and have become wonderful additions to Thrilling’s stable of players. Reliably great, funny, and a genuine pleasure to be around. We were excited when we first cast Josh as Barkeep, as we knew it would be a fun, short arc for the character and we have been fans of his work since Sports Night. As happened with Busy Philipps when she started playing the Red Plains Rider, the actor inspired more stories. So, Barkeep (and Josh) has been with us for nearly a year now, and we have big plans for him.
Linda Cardellini, who had been regularly playing Rebecca Rose Rushmore, was trapped in France for this episode, and we had maybe a day or two to find an understudy who could hold her own against (with?) Marc Evan Jackson. Our director Aaron Ginsburg was a writer on the short-lived (and great) Fox series The Good Guys (in which Colin starred), and Aaron had been talking up Jenny Wade from the series. We knew and liked Jenny, but we didn’t know what to expect from her performance. What we got was something really special. The way she challenges Jackson in this episode by jumping on his lines and throwing off his natural rhythms was revelatory; nobody challenges Marc Evan Jackson on his stage. Linda returned for the next show, but Jenny had made a huge impression and inspired us to create a new character for her; her story arc began this month at Largo and will be podcast in about seven months.
It was fun moving the relationship story along in Sparks as quickly as we could, knowing how we wanted things to culminate a few episodes down the line. Jackson and Jenny have a nice moment at the end of this episode which I think moves things forward emotionally in a succinct and charming way. By this time, the world of Sparks Nevada was fairly well established and we were having fun moving the pieces around in it. You haven’t heard the last of Los Banditos Mutantes, either…
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