Well for a start off it’s not an hour, it’s safe to say it’s more humorous than thrilling though it is an adventure and it is a podcast so it’s half right.
The thrilling adventure hour, performed live in Hollywood California, is a loving send up of old time radio productions where actors gather round the mike, often with script in hand, to act out that weeks episode often with the aid of “well-timed” sound effects. Unlike other such series however It doesn’t stick with one series or cast however and instead will bounce around between different shows with a few constants that will pop fairly regularly, a few finished runs and one or two rotating shows that will disappear for ages before staggering out again. Each of the basic premises are familiar to anyone who knows there way around pulp but are often twisted and warped in unexpected directions. The main shows would be Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars which is as you would guess about a law enforcement officer on the planet Mars and Beyond Belief which sees a high class couple explore the world of spooks, vampires and other spiritual problems all with a drink in hand.
Sparks Nevada plays like a cross between the Lone Ranger and Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom series with a liberal sprinkling of camp and various other sci-fi references. After saving a tribe of martians from a tidal wave via the use of his lasso, which he used on the tidal wave not the tribe, Sparks has gained the life debt or ‘onus’ (pronounced as you would guess giving you an idea of some of the jokes that inhabit martian culture) of one Croach the tracker. Together they ride across the red plains, though they are not the red plains rider who is someone else entirely, fighting alien scientists and robot outlaws as well as the notorious spiders.
The other mainstay of the show is Beyond Belief that shows high society types Frank and Sadie Doyle, happily married and very happily drunk. Often teaming up characters like Pterodactyl Jones, so named for the ghost of a pterodactyl that helps him out on cases, the two drink their way through haunted automobiles, devil clown than live in wells and the occasional mistakenly god shot on a wildlife excursion. This is perhaps one of the few shows that stands quite well as a series of stand alone episodes with pretty much everything else running together to create a steady serial with twists and turns in the overall plot.
The cast often comprises a few regulars, some of which you might recognise from the t.v. For instance ‘The Adventures of Captain Laserbeam’ stars John ‘Bender Rodriguez ’ DiMaggio as the titular superhero dram straight from the sixties who fights crime with the aid of his young aids the adventurekateers who will summon him to alert him of this week’s nefarious pun wielding villain. Unlike, say Adam West however he also has his actual one hundred lasers such as the freeze laser or the tracking laser in amongst the standard laser punch and or kick. Dealing with puns that would make Joel Schumacher groan Captain Laserbeam protects Apex city from his carefully structured list of worst foes such as number three ‘Foxy Burlesque’ or number five ‘The Waterfowl’. This is perhaps the one that gets the most repetitive but it’s all the spirit of old style comic book heroes and John does great in the part.
There are a few more series knocking around that deal with time travel and murder amongst the classic Hollywood monsters or of course such as Nathan Fillion Nazi puncher where Nathan Fillion once again displays his fantastic range to play a square jawed bombastic hero though this ended as most star fuelled runs do with the actor having to go off to work on television series, though he has since returned now as a different square jawed bombastic hero.
If you can get into the right mind set for the show it’s a great laugh and highly recommended especially seen as it’s free on itunes and at almost 200 episodes long at the time of writing.