The Golden Ticket - Ben Martell's recaps
The Golden Ticket - Edge of Extinction
Survivor: Edge of Extinction analysis

Is Rick really Ben 2.0?

Episode 13: Is Rick really Ben 2.0?

Published: May 14, 2019


Ben asks whether it's fair to compare Rick Devens's idol- and immunity-strewn end-run in Edge of Extinction to Ben Driebergen's miraculous saved-by-an-idol streak in Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, and explores how the show needs to adjust to re-balance the importance of the social game.

How online mafia explains Survivor

Episode 9: How online mafia explains Survivor

Published: April 15, 2019


Ben looks at the implicit majority-vs-minority dynamics and the behavior of 'caught' mafia players in online mafia games, and finds parallels to the implosion of the Kama majority in Episode 9's chaotic live Tribal Council.

Evaluating a big move

Episode 8: Evaluating a big move

Published: April 8, 2019


Ben sifts through the episode's plethora of gameplay, finds which contestants played well or poorly, then tackles the larger question of when it's ideal for a member of a large group to make a move against their allies, with historical precedents.

Why the Edge of Extinction is rigged against Joe

Episodes 5-7: Why the Edge of Exinction is rigged against Joe

Published: April 2, 2019


Analyzing the happenings of Episodes 5-7, Ben Martell questions the continued use of the two-to-three tribes expansion swap, argues that Joe's early dismissal to the Edge will actually work against his chances of returning, and picks his potential winner for the season.

Wardog in trouble

Episode 4: Wardog in trouble

Published: March 18, 2019


Ben argues against the perception that Edge of Extinction is failing, highlighting four key points in which he feels the season is a success. Among them: It will be new and interesting to see how Wardog's strategic machinations will fare following the looming return from Extinction.

CLiffhanger edition

Episode 2: Cliffhanger edition

Published: March 2, 2019


Ben Martell asks if Edge of Extinction's Episode 2 cliffhanger was really a cliffhanger, if the women-and-idols narrative is perhaps a multi-season storytelling arc, and if the Wardog is actually playing the Warthog... and more.

Editing for Extinction

Episode 1: Editing for Extinction

Published: February 24, 2019


After the premiere, Ben runs through the surprises of the first episode: From David Wright's solid debut as a returnee, to the Wardog's fulfilling his as-advertised restraint, to the underdog edits on Manu (and the relationship to Extinction), and the challenge beastliness on Kama.

The TDT EoE contestant draft

Pre-season: The TDT EoE contestant draft

Published: February 17, 2019


As the new season nears the True Dork Times writers (Ben Martell, Dan Otsuki, Pat Ferrucci, Ryan Kaiser, and Jeff Pitman) gather to draft fantasy teams of three players. Whose prediction skills will drive their team to extinction? Whose prognostication will give them an edge and a victory?

Incentivising failure

Pre-season: Incentivising failure

Published: February 4, 2019


Ben weighs in on the Edge of Extinction central twist, and argues that, if played optimally, it creates an incentive for someone to deliberately be voted out early post-merge, return, then reap the jury rewards. Which really would reinvent how the game is played, since it's the opposite of the concept for the first 37 seasons.


Ben Martell - The Golden TicketBy day, Ben Martell is a public commercial lawyer from New Zealand.

By night, he moonlights as a self-described Survivor 'expert'.

By day or night, find him on twitter at: @golden8284

Other The Golden Ticket editions:

Survivor: Edge of Extinction | Survivor: David vs. Goliath | Survivor: Ghost Island | Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers | Survivor NZ: Nicaragua | Survivor: Game Changers


See also: The full True Dork Times index of past seasons.