Ook Club #8 – Bookgames and Critical Hits

For this eighth episode of the Ook Club, recorded in late February 2022, Liz and Ben made the most of the technical issue alluded to when we postponed our Night Watch episode and have a nice chat about the perils of podcast production, boardgames, our Reading Challenge, books and reading habits, that time we had a chat with Joanna and Francine from The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret and a couple more of of your questions! Plus some extra bits from our episode about The Watch (#Pratchat52) and from that conversation with Joanna and Francine, as featured in the Oggswatch Feast special.

As Ben mentions in a footnote, this episode was a bit delayed, but we hope you don’t mind too much – especially when it comes with such an excellent surprise as the brand-new podcast art for the show! Big thanks to the wonderful Owen Heitmann (of the Papercuts Comics Festival), who did an amazing job emulating George Rex’s style (with George’s blessing of course) and nailed the brief we gave him. We hope you love it – especially if you’re one of our Ooooook! or Eeek! tier subscribers… (We’ll say no more about that.)

We’d love some more questions from you – you can send them to chat@pratchatpodcast.com, ask in the #ook-club channel in our Discord (available to Ooook! and higher tier subscribers), or get in touch on social media using the hashtag #PratchatOokClub.

Our specific questions for you this month are pretty straightforward: how and when do you listen to Pratchat and the Ook Club? And have you used the index at the Guild of Podcasters & Recappers?

Ow Notes

  • This episode was recorded on February 25, 2022, the original recording date for our Night Watch episode #Pratchat54, and before we’d recorded its replacement, #Pratchat53 (about some shorter Discworld writings). Any references to “the most recent episode” mean the one about The Watch TV series.
  • We previously discussed the Discworld boardgames in #Pratchat30; there’s a complete list of them in the notes for that episode.
  • We mention a few other boardgames this episode, including:
    • Bardsung, a co-operative fantasy adventure which features some scenarios designed by guest writer Rhianna Pratchett.
    • Mysterium, a co-operative supernatural mystery in which one player is a ghost sending cryptic clues to the detectives investigating their murder.
  • If you’ve ever tried to teach (or be taught) a more complex boardgames, then you will probably enjoy the “Explaining a Board Game” sketch from Australian comedy weirdos Aunty Donna.
  • Wil Wheaton’s TableTop (2012-2017) was a web series in which Wheaton played card, board and roleplaying games with nerdy actors and celebrities. It was indeed part of the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel, which was founded by Felicia Day and other creatives in 2012. The channel still exists, though it’s mostly stopped making new content since 2019. There’s a TableTop episode for one of the games we mentioned this episode – Wil plays Star Fluxx in episode 16 of the first season.
  • Shut Up and Sit Down primarily make YouTube reviews of boardgames, but they also have a website with written reviews and news as well.
  • The show where the host makes his guests eat spicier and spicier food is probably Hot Ones, in which celebrities are interviewed and have to eat a hotter chicken wing with each question.
  • The mushroom paste Ben describes is XO Mushroom Sauce, made by Baishanzu, a Chinese company. There are two or three flavours, but in Ben’s household the favourite is “Five Spices”.
  • Star Trek: Discovery was the first of the new Star Trek shows made for CBS’s digital service, CBS All Access, since rebranded internationally as Paramount+. Ben’s podcast about it was re:Discovery.
  • We’ve previously talked about Paul Bettany’s audio commentary on A Knight’s Tale in Ook Club #6.
  • Video Ezy was a chain of video hire shops in Australia. They sold most of their stores to Blockbuster in the 2010s; the last Video Ezy branded shop closed in 2019, and the brand was discontinued entirely in 2021 with the removal of the last of their DVD hire kiosks in Australia.
  • I’m You, Dickhead (2014) was directed by friend of the podcast Lucas Testro. You can watch it on YouTube. The final count was 14 commentary tracks; you can now download them for free on Gumroad. (Ben and the Splendid Chaps are number fourteen; Ben is still embarrassed that he identified one of the names in the show as being about Logan/Wolverine, when it was clearly meant to be Ted “Theodore” Logan, one half of Bill and Ted, as he is partnered with a man named Preston.)
  • The premise of Yesterday (2019) is that struggling singer-songwriter Jack (played by Himesh Patel, who voices Keith in the upcoming film version of The Amazing Maurice) is hit by a bus and wakes up in an alternate reality where the Beatles never existed. He is the only one who can remember their music, and subsequently becomes incredibly famous as people think he’s written them.
  • Ben still can’t find The Amazing Maurice test footage of Maurice “auditioning”, but you can watch the main trailer on YouTube. We discussed the book in #Pratchat33, “Cat, Rats and Two Meddling Kids“; the “Crazy Old Maurice” reference is explained in the notes for that episode.
  • We previously discussed “Michigan J Frog“, the singing frog from the 1955 Merry Melodies cartoon One Froggy Evening, in #Pratchat39, “All the Fun of the…Fish?“.
  • Find The Storygraph at thestorygraph.com.
  • Garth Nix was our guest for #Pratchat51, “Boffoing the Winter Slayer“. We listed his Old Kingdom books in the notes for that episode.
  • The Ultimate Discworld Companion is the latest and final edition of The Discworld Companion, an encyclopaedic guide to the characters, locations and other things found in the Discworld books. The “Dunmanifestin Edition” – designed and published by Pratchett’s own company Dunmanifestin Ltd – is a very limited, fancy edition which includes extra material covering the Science of Discworld books. There have also been illustrated Dunmanifestin Editions of Guards! Guards! and Good Omens, as well as several other books designed by Dunmanifestin.
  • Royal Episode 13” was the thirteenth episode of the second season of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It has several sketches referring to the fact that the Queen will be watching. It’s not one of the show’s strongest episodes, but it does contain the Lifeboat Sketch (in which stranded sailors argue about which of them should be eaten) and the animated advertisement for “Crelm Toothpaste”, along with some lesser-known but still reasonably good bits.
  • Radio Morpork had in fact just come back from a break of slightly over a year when we started up in October 2017; they also had nearly a year’s break in 2018. But they still managed to be the first podcast to read every book! Check out their website, or see a listing of their episodes at the Guild of Recappers & Podcasters.
  • We mentioned several books this episode, including:
    • Lexicon by Max Barry
    • The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (now adapted for television by Apple TV+ as Shining Girls; hopefully they change the ending!)
    • The Rich Man’s House by Andrew McGann
    • Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
    • South Flows the Pearl by Mavis Gock Yen
    • Z for Zachariah (not Z is for Zachariah as Ben remembers) by Robert C. O’Brien (adapted as a film in 2015 starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie and Chris Pine – what a cast!)
  • In the brilliant 2011 film The Muppets, the main antagonist is an oil tycoon played by Chris Cooper named Tex Richman. (His motivations for opposing them are lost in the final edit, but revealed in the longer version of his song on the soundtrack album.)
  • The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret is available in all the podcast directories, and at thetruthshallmakeyefret.com.
  • You can listen to (and buy) Georgia Fields‘ music on Bandcamp.
  • “What is this, a crossover episode?” is a line uttered by Mr Peanutbutter, the enthusiastic dog character, in the first episode of the animated sitcom BoJack Horseman. It became a meme used to point out any unlikely collaboration.

Iconographic Evidence

Here’s the photo Liz took of her cat, Huxley, lying in the sun looking cute:

A photo of Liz's cat, Huxley, lying peacefully on a tartan blanket spread on a couch in the sun.

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