The title of "Ice Station Zebra" was borrowed from Scots novelist Alistair MacLean's 1963 arctic espionage thriller and the 1968 Rock Hudson-starring movie adaptation. It's also to do White's interest with American tycoon, inventor and hygiene-obsessive Howard Hughes
, who watched the flick on constant rotation in his hotel room.
"Ice Station Zebra
was Howard Hughes' favorite film. He even bought a Las Vegas TV station and explicitly told them to play nothing else from midnight to 8 a.m.," White explained. "It's not that interesting a movie. I watched it and was like, 'Hmm, OK'. I think he must have liked how clean it was in Antarctica, no germs."