Three Jeopardy Alum Talk James Holzhauer and the Future of the Game

I sat down at Phinney Books on May 16, 2019, with Tom Nissley, an 8-time Jeopardy winner in 2010 and first runner-up in the 2011 tournament of champions, and Matthew Amster-Burton, a strong player who fell victim early in James Holzhauer’s run, to talk about James, his playing style, how to bet on Daily Doubles, and whether the game of Jeopardy has changed forever. (Me? I won two games by the skin of my teeth back in 2012.) Bios of Tom and Matthew below the sound link.

You can listen at Soundcloud, download the audio, or subscribe in a podcast player via this link.

Tom Nissley won $235,405 across 8 games in late 2010, and he remains the #9 all-time regular play winner. He additionally won $100,000 in the 2011 tournament of champions, placing second to Roger Craig. Tom answered the question of “how do you afford to start a bookstore these days?” by using Jeopardy money to buy a retiring couple’s store and re-open it as Phinney Books in Seattle. The store opened a sister store in a bookstore-free neighborhood in Seattle, Madison Park, just weeks ago. Tom spent a decade at Amazon and wrote the book A Reader’s Book of Days.

Matthew Amster-Burton is a food writer, novelist, and podcaster. He’s written several books, including Hungry Monkey, a journey of learning to cook and eat with his then young child; Pretty Good Number One; and Our Secret Better Lives. He cohosts the food comedy podcast Spilled Milk. Matthew had the signal pleasure of playing amazing well in a Jeopardy match aired on April 8, 2019, in which he racked up a terrific score of $17,600 before Final Jeopardy—but was also one of the first victims of James Holzhauer. 

Does Every Modern Doctor Who Feature a Hidden or Crashed Spaceship?

No, but a surprising number from the modern series. I count 31 firm "yesses," and a lot of maybes.


"Rose": Alien species on Earth with a hidden transmitter.
"The End of the World": No, just creepy skin person.
"The Unquiet Dead": No, but alien race hiding on Earth.
"Aliens of London": Yes. (Also hidden aliens.)
"World War Three": Yes. (Also hidden aliens.)
"Dalek": No, unless the Dalek is a spaceship. (Dalek is hidden.)
"The Long Game": No, but hidden alien.
"Father's Day": No. Even the TARDIS goes missing.
"The Empty Child": Yes. (Hidden nano-aliens.)
"The Doctor Dances": Yes. (Hidden nano-aliens.)
"Boom Town": Yes. (Hidden alien.)
"Bad Wolf": Yes. (Dalek ships around Earth. Hidden aliens!)
"The Parting of the Ways": Not exactly at this point, but continuation of previous episode.


"The Christmas Invasion": No. Straight out invasion.
"New Earth": No. (Hidden human!)
"Tooth and Claw": Not precisely. An alien species seems to have come to Earth. In a hidden fashion.
"School Reunion": No, just hidden aliens attempting to conquer time and space.
"The Girl in the Fireplace": Yes. (Hidden robots.)
"Rise of the Cybermen": No.
"The Age of Steel": No.
"The Idiot's Lantern": No, just a hidden alien.
"The Impossible Planet": No. Hidden devil.
"The Satan Pit": No. Hidden devil.
"Love & Monsters": No, just a hidden alien.
"Fear Her": Yes. (Hidden alien.)
"Army of Ghosts": Kind of. The hidden spaceship (and aliens) is in the Void.
"Doomsday": Not precisely.

"The Runaway Bride": Yes! Both in orbit and (kind of) at the heart of the plant, though it's more appropriately an incubation pod. (Hidden alien!)
"Smith and Jones": No, although hospital is transported to the moon.
"The Shakespeare Code": No. (Hidden aliens.)
"Gridlock": No, just enormous hidden crabs.
"Daleks in Manhattan": Not exactly: hidden Daleks.
"Evolution of the Daleks": Same.
"The Lazarus Experiment": No.
"42": No. (Alien hidden in brains?)
"Human Nature": Yes. (Aliens hidden in jars.)
"The Family of Blood": Yes. (Yes.)
"Blink": No, just hidden aliens.
"Utopia": No. (Unless you count each crazy end-of-universe person as a spaceship. They are hidden humans, not really aliens.)
"The Sound of Drums": No.
"Last of the Time Lords": No.
"Voyage of the Damned": Not exactly, though the ship does show up around Earth, hidden.

"Partners in Crime": Kind of. (The ship comes back, but the whole building is full of alien tech. And there are hidden aliens.)
"The Fires of Pompeii": Yes. (Hidden stone aliens.)
"Planet of the Ood": No. (Hidden brain.)
"The Sontaran Stratagem": Yes, and hidden Sontarans.
"The Poison Sky": Ditto.
"The Doctor's Daughter": No.
"The Unicorn and the Wasp": No, but a hidden alien.
"Silence in the Library": No — and they're not aliens, either; they're native.
"Forest of the Dead": No.
"Midnight": No. (Hidden non-alien.)
"Turn Left": No. (Phase-shifted hidden alien.)
"The Stolen Earth": Sort of? The Dalek ship is hidden initially.
"Journey's End": No.

"The Next Doctor": Yes — sort of? (Hidden Cybermen.)
"Planet of the Dead": No.
"The Waters of Mars": No. (Hidden virus.)
"The End of Time": Yes.


"The Eleventh Hour": No, just a hidden alien.
"The Beast Below": No, just a hidden space whale.
"Victory of the Daleks": Yes.
"The Time of Angels": Yes.
"Flesh and Stone": Yes.
"The Vampires of Venice": No? I guess just hidden aliens.
"Amy's Choice": No.
"The Hungry Earth": No — they were already there and not aliens!
"Cold Blood": No.
"Vincent and the Doctor": No, just a hidden alien.
"The Lodger": Yes. But no aliens, just holograms.
"The Pandorica Opens": No.
"The Big Bang": No.
"A Christmas Carol": No.

"The Impossible Astronaut": No? There's a whole control system underground for the hidden aliens, but I guess not a spaceship as such.
"Day of the Moon": No?
"The Curse of the Black Spot": Yes.
"The Doctor's Wife": No, although I guess the whole intelligent planetoid is a…ship? That they were unaware of?
"The Rebel Flesh": No.
"The Almost People": No.
"A Good Man Goes to War": No.
"Let's Kill Hitler": No.
"Night Terrors": No, just a hidden alien.
"The Girl Who Waited": No.
"The God Complex": Yes. (Alien isn't precisely hidden.)
"Closing Time": Yes!
"The Wedding of River Song": Yes! The Teselecta!!
"The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe": Yes.

"Asylum of the Daleks": Yes! And then Clara is also a hidden "alien" among Daleks.
"Dinosaurs on a Spaceship": No — wait, yes! There's a hidden craft inside the bigger craft.
"A Town Called Mercy": Yes.
"The Power of Three": Yes.
"The Angels Take Manhattan": Not exactly — more like a kind of prison?
"The Snowmen": No, and is the Great Intelligence an alien?

"The Bells of Saint John": No.
"The Rings of Akhaten": No, just a hidden alien.
"Cold War": No, just a hidden alien.
"Hide": No, just a hidden alien.
"Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS": No.
"The Crimson Horror": Yes. (Rocket as opposed to a spaceship. Hidden worm thing that's native to Earth, I guess.)
"Nightmare in Silver": Mmmm, hidden Cybermen, but not precisely a ship.
"The Name of the Doctor": No, unless you count the TARDIS.
"The Night of the Doctor": No.
"The Day of the Doctor": No. (Hidden Zygons!)
"The Time of the Doctor": No.


"Deep Breath": Yes, with disguised robots. (And Missy may also be on a hidden ship.)
"Into the Dalek": Yes! The ship is hidden from the Daleks!
"Robot of Sherwood": Yes, with disguised robots.