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.

319

Squirting Milky Fluid

Get out your space pen and take the cat out of its hibernation chamber, because it’s time to take on the 1979 classic “Alien.” We discuss how the film cleverly layers sci-fi and horror movie conventions, discuss its initially slow pace, and speculate about the crew’s taste in underpants and footwear. Corporate android betrayals! Questionable parenting! Phallic concept art! Chest bursting! We break it all down.

Jason Snell with Antony Johnston, Liz Myles, Erika Ensign, Monty Ashley and Steve Lutz


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Previous Episodes

318

Creepy Hug

We discuss Playdead’s video game “Inside”, a compelling and meticulously realized side-scrolling puzzle game with some amazing surprises along the way.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Tiffany Arment, James Thomson and Dan Moren


317

You Broke Your Little Ships

On the occasion of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, we’re talking about one of our very favorite Star Trek movies: 1996’s “Star Trek: First Contact.” (What? We already did a two-parter about TOS!) Featuring zombie-like Borg, a time travel plot, and some great guest stars, it’s the definitive Next Generation movie.

Jason Snell with Brianna Wu, Jamelle Bouie, Joe Rosensteel, Scott McNulty, Dan Moren and David J. Loehr


316

Just Add Jesuits!

Book Club

After 20 years, we revisit Mary Doria Russell’s first-contact classic “The Sparrow.” It’s a story about aliens, spirituality, and why God allows terrible things to happen to good people. And boy, do terrible things happen to people in this book. (Content advisory: One of those things is sexual assault of humans by aliens.)

Jason Snell with Scott McNulty, Shannon Sudderth and Erika Ensign


315

Show Some Respect for the Chimp

Old Movie Club

Old Movie Club returns with two classic films directed by Billy Wilder and starring William Holden: The darkly tragi-comic Hollywood story “Sunset Boulevard” and the dramati-comic World War II prisoner-of-war story “Stalag 17.” Monty pitches a “Sunset Boulevard” prequel featuring a butler and a chimp. We notice the similarities between “Stalag 17” and an enormous number of sitcoms and comedy films from the following 30 years.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Philip Michaels, Steve Lutz, Shannon Sudderth, Andy Ihnatko, Dan Moren and Monty Ashley


314

Vampire Batman

Comic Book Club

There are a million stories in Kurt Busiek’s “Astro City”—and that’s why we love this comic-book anthology series. From alien invaders to creepy floating protectors to regular everyday people, the broad canvas of “Astro City” awards the reader with short stories and longer arcs. Plus: What are we reading?

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, David J. Loehr, Shannon Sudderth and Tony Sindelar


313

The Ziggurats of Yavin IV

Nope, Jason, John, Serenity, and Dan aren’t going to analyze the trailer for “Star Wars: Rogue One.” It’s not going to happen. It would take rebel podcasters, striking from a hidden studio, to bring this podcast to its knees…

Antony Johnston with Liz Myles, Chip Sudderth and Mois├ęs Chiullan


312

A Cyborg Dolphin

Rocket Surgery

Our Rocket Surgery series returns to the heady days of the ’90s, home of questionable cyberpunk movies, to watch Keanu Reeves in “Johnny Mnemonic.” How can a movie written by the godfather of cyberpunk, William Gibson, be such a disaster? We’ll fax you the answer.

Jason Snell with Monty Ashley, Joe Rosensteel and David J. Loehr


311

Chekhov with Two H’s

We review “Star Trek Beyond,” the latest installment in the J.J. Abrams-produced “Star Trek” movie universe. What are the best cast pairings? Why was Idris Elba’s character in need of simplification? When does the spin-off about Jaylah in Starfleet Academy start filming? And what is this franchise’s best destiny?

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Scott McNulty and David J. Loehr


310

I Hated Mrs. Slimer

Women instead of men! Slimer with a girlfriend! Dogs and hats living together! Mass hysteria! We review the 2016 version of “Ghostbusters.”

Jason Snell with Shannon Sudderth, Erika Ensign, Lisa Schmeiser and Helene Wecker


309

Boats in Space

Strap in and prepare for the jump to lightspeed—it’s time for us to pick the very best (and weirdest) spaceships throughout film, TV, books, and more. Let’s hope this thing where we draft spaceships doesn’t get too nerdy!

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, John Siracusa, Monty Ashley, Brian Hamilton, Chip Sudderth, Joe Rosensteel and Scott McNulty


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