Junior High Teacher
|Behind the scenes|
- "Cassie, I invited Illim to stay in my body. I thought together we could do more for peace than he could do alone. He is within me now with my permission. My wife died a few years ago. For a long time, I didn't care about anything. I stumbled through my life. Getting myself to school. Getting home again. When Illim gave me my freedom back, I realized I wanted to do something with it. So I decided to join the fight. What could be more important? And Illim and I, we've become friends. He's actually very good company."
- ―Mr. Tidwell to Cassie
- "When I first entered Mr. Tidwell, I was not part of the peace movement. He was an involuntary host. No. That is too nice a way to say it. He was my host, my slave. It was partly experiencing Mr. Tidwell's distress that led me to join the movement. His howls of fury and agony forced me to accept what I had done to him. At the same time I began to hear about a group of Yeerks who thought it was wrong to take an unwilling host. It didn't happen all at once. But gradually I realized that I did not want to inhabit Mr. Tidwell's body if it meant sacrificing his freedom for mine."
- ―Illim to Cassie
It is unknown when Mr. Tidwell became infested, but it was apparently sometime after the loss of his wife. At first, Mr.Tidwell was a controller like any other, enslaved by Illim. But over time, Illim became sensitive to his host's cries and anguish. They became friends, and joined the Yeerk Peace Movement, a group of controllers seeking peaceful cooperation with the Yeerks, rather than slavery. At that point, whenever Illim leaves him, he feels empty.
Mr. Tidwell encounters the Animorphs at the dance they attend, and he helps them escape the attention of Chapman when Ax becomes ill and unable to keep himself in his human morph. Mr. Tidwell takes the group aside so that he can speak to Cassie and pass along a message from Aftran 942, who has been taken captive at the Yeerk pool as a traitor. When the other Animorphs fall ill one by one, Cassie alone is left to rescue Aftran. She morphs Illim and enters the Yeerk Pool inside Mr. Tidwell, who hides Illim in a plastic bag in his pocket.
It is unknown what happened to Mr. Tidwell after the war, only that the Animorphs lost contact with him and the rest of the members during the final phase of the war.
In the TV series, Mr. Tidwell aids Tom in an attempt to escape into the mountains and starve his Yeerk out. Unfortunately, the Yeerks find out where they are hiding, and take Tom back before the Yeerk dies.