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Wolf 359

Life's not easy for Doug Eiffel, the communications officer for the U.S.S. Hephaestus Research Station, currently on Day 448 of its orbit around red dwarf star Wolf 359. He's stuck on a scientific survey mission of indeterminate length, 7.8 light years from Earth. His only company on board the station are stern mission chief Minkowski, insane science officer Hilbert, and Hephaestus Station's sentient, often malfunctioning operating system Hera. He doesn't have much to do for his job other than monitoring static and intercepting the occasional decades-old radio broadcast from Earth, so he spends most of his time creating extensive audio logs about the ordinary, day-to-day happenings within the station. But the Hephaestus is an odd place, and life in extremely isolated, zero gravity conditions has a way of doing funny things to people's minds. Even the simplest of tasks can turn into a gargantuan struggle, and the most ordinary-seeming things have a way of turning into anything but that. Wolf 359 is a radio drama in the tradition of Golden Age of Radio shows. Take one part space-faring adventure, add one part character drama, and mix in one part absurdist sitcom, and you get Wolf 359. New episodes are released every two weeks.

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Warning: This podcast is a series podcast

This means episodes are recommended to be heard in order from the very start. Here's the 10 best episodes of the series anyway though!

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Mission Mishaps: Cold Turkey

Mission Mishaps, Entry Six. Hephaestus Log #TRK536. Day five hundred and fifty-three. Eiffel takes the lead on cooking dinner for the crew's second Thanksgiving on the Hephaestus.

13mins

22 Nov 2017

Rank #1

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Episode 54: The Watchtower

Slowly floating towards Wolf 359, untethered and separated from everyone else on the crew, Officer Eiffel tries a radical approach to solving the aliens' riddle. However, it's only a matter of time before he realizes the situation might be more complicated, more unpredictable, and more dangerous than he ever imagined. Plus, a place where the sidewalk ends, very necessary drama, the immortal words of Marvin Gaye, a momentary road bump, and the express train to Grand Central.

44mins

18 Sep 2017

Rank #2

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Episode 50: The Hiccups Method

It’s been a few weeks since the crew aborted repairs on the Urania, and they are no closer to figuring out how to satisfy the aliens' mysterious demands. If only they had someone on board who shared some sort of connection with these beings... But convincing Captain Lovelace to try and reach out to the alien presence for answers is only half the battle - they will have to really think outside the box in order to make contact. Plus, Borg network action, intergalactic twenty questions, Ouija boards, the Avatar State, and purely academic curiosity.

35mins

25 Jul 2017

Rank #3

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Episode 53: Dirty Work

This episode of Wolf 359 contains discussions of violence and death. Listener discretion is advised.    When Eiffel picks up signs of a transmission from deep space just hours before Hera's scheduled to go through an internal reset, the crew is divided on whether he should attempt to pursue it or not. But with only the autopilot for backup and an unexpected threat waiting in the wings, they soon discover they're more vulnerable than any of them realize. Plus, above average chimpanzees, horrifying threats of bodily mutilation, Plan C, rules of project management, and elaborate pranks to teach important lessons.

43mins

4 Sep 2017

Rank #4

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Episode 48: Theta Scenario

Please be advised this episode of Wolf 359 contains mentions of violence, death, and suicide. Listener discretion is advised. As Eiffel, Minkowski, Hera, and Lovelace try to decide how to allocate their limited resources, Kepler finally reveals some of Goddard Futuristics's most deeply held secrets. Before the crew can consider the existential implications of these revelations, however, they'll need to deal with their own growing fears, insecurities, and personal conflicts. Plus, snake-filled pits, educated guesses, paradigm shifts, impractical human emotions, and the remainder of our musical program. Tonight's episode features Julia Morizawa in the role of Commander Zhang. It also features The Waltz of the Flowers, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

36mins

27 Jun 2017

Rank #5

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Episode 61: Brave New World

Please be advised this episode of Wolf 359 contains violence and the use of firearms. Listener discretion is advised. Our finale episode. Faced with a choice between finally going home and stopping Pryce and Cutter's master plan, the crew of the Hephaestus heads towards their final confrontation with their enemies, their past selves, and each other. Plus, the Doug Eiffel Fastball Special, the lies we tell ourselves, another bad plan, cool stuff with robots, and one day more.

2hr 9mins

26 Dec 2017

Rank #6

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Episode 46: Boléro

As Eiffel, Minkowski, and Hera reel from the results of their mutiny, it soon becomes clear that even worse dangers might be right around the corner. With everyone's psyche in a delicate state and the chances of survival mounting against them, the crew has to decide how to spend their last hours before the alien contact event. Plus, the Grand Ol' Opry, ooga-booga, evolution, the oncoming alien-pocalypse, and getting by with some help from your friends. 

36mins

25 Dec 2016

Rank #7

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Episode 10: Extreme Danger Bug

Eiffel decides that he wants to step up his game and play a more active role in documenting life on the Hephaestus. His newfound enthusiasm is soon tested when an unscheduled explosion puts a hole in one of the station’s walls and uncovers a mysterious, concealed laboratory on board the spacecraft. As the crew explores the hidden room and uncovers data on its previous occupants, Eiffel is forced to confront one of his fears. Plus, mobile reportage, Charlotte’s lab, the Creepus Maximus, slimy, hairy, and extremely high levels of toxicity. 

21mins

28 Nov 2014

Rank #8

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Episode 11: Am I Alone Now?

In a set of short stories, we get to see what the Hephaestus crew does when they are by themselves. Doctor Hilbert tells a joke and ponders a question. Hera plays a game. Eiffel takes a test. Minkowski sends a message. Plus, floating on a tin can, magic lamps, disappearing terrarriums, programming loopholes, and the HAL 9000 touch. 

24mins

12 Dec 2014

Rank #9

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Mini Episode 1: Are Space Suits Itchy?

Eiffel takes some time from his busy schedule to answer third graders' questions.

5mins

23 Oct 2014

Rank #10

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Episode 13: Gas Me Twice

Part two of two. The repercussions of the crew's discovery and Dr. Hilbert's actions continue to disrupt the station's Christmas plans. Cut off from Minkowski and with limited time to act, Eiffel decides to take a risk. Plus, Smokey Bear Mode, Mr. Kettle, giant fireballs, laughing gas, and crazy plans. 

19mins

25 Dec 2014

Rank #11

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Episode 45: Desperate Measures

This episode of Wolf 359 contains gun violence. Listener discretion is advised. Part two of two. The crew desperately tries to salvage their mutiny and escape the wrath of the SI-5. But as both sides try to out-maneuver each other, the danger of drastic actions causing irreparable damage becomes more and more pronounced. Plus, the hands of the enemy, disciplinary tools, recreational monster hunting, warning shots, and disgusting pieces of human garbage.

36mins

13 Dec 2016

Rank #12

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Episode 12: Deep Breaths

Part one of two. It's Christmas Day on the Hephaestus. While Minkowski does her best to approximate a traditional holiday dinner, Eiffel decides he's going to try to smoke his last cigarette. Both plans are put on hold, however, when Dr. Hilbert stumbles upon a major discovery. Plus, impenetrable darkness, the blunt approach, sanitized pagan rituals, caller ID, and the last of the real turkey.

19mins

24 Dec 2014

Rank #13

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Episode 43: Persuasion

With just over a day left before the long-anticipated alien contact event, Colonel Kepler keeps the crew working overtime to get the Hephaestus ready for anything - and everything - that might happen. As they work around the clock, however, the crew finds that Wolf 359's turbulent air space and a side project of Doctor Hilbert's might offer some unique challenges and some unexpected opportunities. Plus, Q-branch gizmos, Santa's Workshop, studly, manly things, bedtime reading, and the latest in Hephaestus Fashion. 

36mins

22 Nov 2016

Rank #14

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Episode 38: Happy Endings

Preparations are underway to deal with the next contact anomaly from Wolf 359. But the old crew of the Hephaestus is still unsure what preparations they should make to deal with Colonel Kepler and his team, and the divide in strategies is only getting sharper. Hoping to bring an end to the standstill, Dr. Hilbert decides to try a more radical approach, and seek help from an unlikely source. Plus, the Midnight Society, botanical incidents, inane military mantras, perfectly equitable solutions, and a little Easter Egg.

36mins

5 Sep 2016

Rank #15

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Episode 42: Time to Kill

In order to better study the properties of an incoming solar storm, Eiffel, Lovelace, Jacobi, and Maxwell are assigned to collect data on board a small experimental module. Separated from the Hephaestus and the rest of the crew for four days, they must find ways to occupy their minds and stave off boredom. But as time goes by and the storm draws closer, they soon discover that their expedition may be more exciting than they expected. Plus, responsible scientific surveys, vaguely horrific people, Cthulhu, episodes of The Twilight Zone, and doing things by the book. 

34mins

31 Oct 2016

Rank #16

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Episode 41: Memoria

With Hera out of commission, Doctor Maxwell attempts a difficult reconstructive procedure on the unresponsive autopilot program. Before she can even begin, however, she will have to navigate through the shifting landscape of Hera’s memory banks, a task infinitely more complex than it might appear at first glance. Plus, subjective realities, really loud pinball machines, deleted scenes, attempted crew member homicide, and a backdoor into the subconscious.

41mins

19 Oct 2016

Rank #17

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Mission Mishaps: A Little Night Music

Mission Mishaps, Entry One. Hephaestus Formal Complaint #ARB062. Day 510. Eiffel tries to boost the crew's morale with a bit of sonic artistry appreciation.

15mins

12 Sep 2017

Rank #18

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Episode 35: Need to Know

As they struggle with a demanding schedule, an expanding workload, and Colonel Kepler's growing secrecy, tensions amongst the crew members - both old and new - are on the verge of a breaking point. But when a technical glitch gives Minkowski, Lovelace, Hera, Jacobi, and Maxwell a chance to peak behind the curtain, they soon discover they might be in over their heads. Plus, the Dick Dastardly Administration, self-evident statements, basic motor control, pathological fears, and hostile assaults on the senses.

32mins

30 May 2016

Rank #19

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Episode 36: Fire and Brimstone

An accident leaves Dr. Maxwell in imminent danger and the entire station in a state of emergency. The crew scrambles to mount a rescue, but when Kepler and Minkowski disagree over which is the best way to conduct the operation and which way will get them all killed, long simmering tensions between the current and the former commanders come to a head. Can the fractured crew come together in time to prevent a catastrophe? Plus, towering infernos, strategic advantages, rank insubordination, the crazy train, and a very judicious application of explosives.

29mins

14 Jun 2016

Rank #20