The Incomparable is a weekly dive into geeky media we love, including movies, books, TV, comics, and more, featuring a rotating panel of guests and hosted by Jason Snell.

437

Whale Logistics Movie

In this holiday season, what could be more emblematic of the spirit of Peace on Earth (of the past) and Goodwill toward men (who aren’t whalers or aquarium directors) than 1986’s “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”? We celebrate “the one with the whales”, an enjoyable romp through 1980s San Francisco that also features a soundtrack that sounds like a Christmas carol, nuclear wessels with terrible security practices, and Admiral Kirk’s to-go pizza box.

Jason Snell with Tony Sindelar, Jean MacDonald, Joe Rosensteel, Moisés Chiullan, Chip Sudderth and Scott McNulty


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436

Most Important Chimpanzee

Consult the lawgiver’s scrolls and watch out for talking dolls! It’s a madhouse! A madhouse! And also, the 50th anniversary of “Planet of the Apes.” Join us as we explore the world of spaceman Taylor (Charlton Heston) and his long journey through an empty desert into a land populated by officious orangutans, plucky chimpanzee scientists, and wry yet violent gorillas. Does it hold up? Why did such a dark vision generate kids’ lunch boxes and multiple sequels and spinoffs? And what are the intricacies of Ape Law?

Jason Snell with John Moltz, Jean MacDonald, Joe Rosensteel and David J. Loehr


435

Fun Facts!

Break the shrink wrap and lift off the lid! It’s time to get together with friends and family to play some games. In this second Incomparable Board Game Draft, we’re allowing all sorts of tabletop (non-roleplaying) games. The result: 21 more games you might want to consider playing this holiday season—some classics, some brand new.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Dan Moren, Quinn Rose, Tony Sindelar, Monty Ashley and Brian Hamilton


434

All Wormholes Go to Heaven

Rocket Surgery

Jason chose Disney’s “The Black Hole” for this edition of Rocket Surgery, and after viewing it, he’s pretty confident in his decision. But there is dissention in the ranks! Some panelists will stick up for Disney’s strange 1979 horror-as-sci-fi film, which features ranting scientists, robot ESP, laser contests, a giant rolling gumball on fire, a down-home robot prospector, and one hell of a chandelier. Oh, and did we mention there’s a black hole?

Jason Snell with Antony Johnston, Erika Ensign, James Thomson, Philip Michaels, Kathy Campbell, Monty Ashley and Steve Lutz


433

You Like Garbage

Gather ‘round the dinner table and prepare to partake in an amazing feast produced by your podcast pals. To celebrate Thanksgiving we’re drafting an entire meal, dish by dish. Kathy reveals her hands-off approach to Thanksgiving dinner. Phil has follow-up questions. Monty has a plan for immortality. Moisés implores you not to eat the Bay Leaf. And once we’re all full, Brian will bring you coffee. Pull up a chair!

Jason Snell with Kathy Campbell, Tiffany Arment, Philip Michaels, David J. Loehr, Jean MacDonald, Brian Hamilton, Monty Ashley and Moisés Chiullan


432

It’s Called a Ballute

Last week, we tackled the cinema classic “2001: A Space Odyssey.” This week, we look at its sequel, 1984’s “2010: The Year We Make Contact.” There’s no denying it—this movie carries a heavy burden, and tries to explain a lot of things that fans of the original film didn’t need to have explained. And yet, at its core is a smart, entertaining mid-80s sci-fi movie with a great cast, some kitchen dolphins, and a few questionable Russian accents. Listening to this episode will be as easy as cake, comrade.

Jason Snell with Helene Wecker, Moisés Chiullan, Joe Rosensteel and David J. Loehr


431

Overture and Apes

Pick up a femur, order a moon sandwich, and always remember to bring your space helmet with you! On its 50th anniversary, we’re discussing Stanley Kubrick’s classic “2001: A Space Odyssey.” What is the Monolith’s purpose? When and why does HAL become murderous? And why is there so much solarized stock footage of landscapes? Watch out for cheetahs!

Jason Snell with John Gruber, John Siracusa, Philip Michaels, Moisés Chiullan and Dr. Drang


430

We’re the Magnificent Seven

Sit back and let our panelists take you into the world of movie music, as we draft our favorite film scores. (Songs with lyrics not eligible!) Who is this John Williams guy and why is he hogging the limelight? If James Horner’s scores all sound the same, why do we keep picking them? This is one episode that wasn’t overproduced by Hans Zimmer.

Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Dan Moren, Joe Rosensteel, Kathy Campbell, Moisés Chiullan and David J. Loehr


429

A Juicer For People

Well, gosh! Our slow walk through all seven seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” reaches season three, full of extra slayers and friendly-but-demonic mayors and all the hallmarks of your senior year in high school. Is Faith a good addition or does she disappoint? Does Xander continue to stink or does he grow up? Was the introduction of Anya (and the vampire version of Willow) all we could wish for? Did the WB network demand all of the romance and love-triangle subplots? We talk about the season as a whole and our favorite (and least favorite) episodes.

Jason Snell with Jean MacDonald, Quinn Rose, Aleen Simms and Steve Lutz


428

Sour and Smells Like Feet

Two years ago we drank beer on a podcast and talked about it, and wouldn’t you know it, we’re back for more beer! The Incomparable’s Oktoberfest returns with five polarizing beers chosen by listener (and Almanac Brewing co-founder) Jesse Friedman and mailed to all of our houses. We open them and drink them on air—in stereo, just like the flavor of a hazy IPA!

Will we finally understand why people line up to drink Pliny the Elder? Who put coconut in our stout again? Why does Dan keep trying to ruin the podcast? Will the podcast get progressively sillier as we drink beer? The answer to that last one is “yes.”

Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Marco Arment, Jesse Friedman, Dan Moren, Brian Hamilton, Allison Truj, Kathy Campbell and Lauren Snell


427

A Lot of Rocket Metaphors

Book Club

This summer we devoured two novels by Mary Robinette Kowal, “The Calculating Stars” and “The Fated Sky.” They’re both exciting tales of space exploration, with well-rounded characters having to navigate challenges both external and internal, cultural and scientific, personal and global. They’re set in an alternate timeline where the Space Race we know happened quite a bit differently, and at the center is the world-famous Lady Astronaut, Elma York. We seriously can’t recommend these books highly enough. Listen in to find out why, and then stick around for a list of other books we really enjoyed!

Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Kathy Campbell, Marisa McClellan and David J. Loehr


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