Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Remembrance of the Daleks

Season 25, Story 1/4, Serial 7H: 4 x 25 minute episodes, 5th to 26th October 1988
Writer: Ben Aaronovitch, Director: Andrew Morgan, Script Editor: Andrew Cartmel, Producer: John Nathan-Turner

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Tough one this. How many funny/interesting ways can there be to tweet "wow"?

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 THE story that turned me from a viewer into a Fan!

Mark@Th3DarkMark my first ever story, yay! On the little telly in my grandparents kitchen! Although think I came in on episode 2, without a clue what it was all about! Still loved it tho!

James Wood@face_4radio  Resurrection is excellent. Revelation is basically perfect. Remembrance is absolutely awful, an absolute travesty.

Wow. I think you're probably in a minority there! Considering its so well regarded, why do you say "travesty"?

James Wood@face_4radio I never feel convinced I'm in 1963. The characters are basic and cliche ridden in portrayal. Hammy Aldred doesn't help, also deaf Keff  turns in his worst score, Davros is completely misused and Morgan's direction is supremely average.

Blimey! No punches pulled there!

Always loved this opening; really feels epic. Nowadays this would be that overused CGI zoom in on Earth! 

High above the Earth, in the second half of the 20th Century, the radio broadcasts of the human race travel out into space, words with the weight of history behind them, from John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Charles de Gaulle. 
MAW Holmes@MAW_H The Kennedy speech totally closes the loop.

Chris@KosmicKris the perfect start to the perfect story :)

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 Such a grand mood-builder. Even Keff's music works here!

James Wood@face_4radio it's a bit pretentious though.
But who might be listening...?

Particularly love the historical vocal clips. Very rare to get a pre-credits sequence in those days.

Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 Only the fourth one in the classic run (CastrovalvaThe Five Doctors, Time and the Rani being the others).

But then that rotten theme arrangement with the purple winker.
50dw50@50dw50 do we like the McCoy theme?

I used to quite like it at the time but although I'm gaining a new appreciation for it in the sense of it being used on Big Finish stuff massively evokes the time I do think it's dated very badly.

A charming revisit to Coal Hill school. Does feel special.
Ruther@Ruther2 it looks like a primary school, not a secondary, and some of the kids seem to be wearing jeans, not school uniform. Bit worried Coal Hill might fail its Ofsted. Shouldn't the Head be filling history and science teacher vacancies?

There could've been "missing" posters of Ian, Barbara & Susan up or something.  Only supposed to be weeks or even months after An Unearthly Child, so their disappearance should still be hot gossip. Maybe two unmarried teachers (assumed to be) running off together was too much of a scandal and no one speaks of them!

The Doctor and Ace have arrived just around the corner from the school, and are both a little incongruous, though admittedly - on this occasion - perhaps her more than him.

"What's she staring at?" says Ace, looking so 80s it hurts and carrying a ghetto blaster on her shoulder, inflicting mock-Guns'n'Roses on the unsuspecting ears of 1960s Shoreditch. What a total yob!
Si Hodges@SiHodges79 Given her age and origin Guns and Roses (soundalikes) seems a decent match. Much odder to later reveal her to be a fan of Courtney Pine
And don't get me started on New Adventures obsession of making her a fan of music that only emerged after she left Earth!

James Wood@face_4radio oh shit Ace has turned up. And that little girl torpedoes this story.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly My first TARDIS team. Best of the 80s, easily.

Now in his seventh incarnation, the Doctor is a small, deceptively scruffy figure in shabby checked trousers, brown brogue shoes with white spats, a light, cream-coloured, jacket and a garish sweater adorned with question marks. He wears a paisley tie and scarf, and the same pattern adorns the band of his battered straw hat. He carries a black umbrella with a red handle that seems to be molded into the shape of a question mark.

While Ace is still complaining about the creepy staring girl - who has vanished in the blink of an eye, in fact, the Doctor is intrigued by the foreboding black van opposite the school.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H  Bedford with sliding doors... nostalgic sigh...!

Ace's denial that she's packing any Nitro-9 explosives is about as convincing as a George Osborne budget. But let that sink in for a second; yer actual Doctor Who companion's gimmick is that she makes explosives as a hobby. Yeah.

Pushed to speculate, Ace suggests it could be a TV detector van, on the hunt for licence fee avoiders. Evaders. Whatever.

But the Doctor says the aerial is too sophisticated a piece of equipment for that.

Ace is more interested in getting some bacon butties though.
"Professor, I'm hungry. Lack of food makes me hungry, you know!"
"Lack of food makes you obstreperous!"

The Doctor carries cash for once.

Sylvester McCoy is already vastly more assured and authoratative than his more whimsical, scattershot approach in Season 24. The better for it, for the most part.
50dw50@50dw50 the up turn in quality in the show after the previous year is genuinely startling. Mind you, after Paradise Towers it would have been hard for it to get any worse.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly It's like the show's suddenly woken up and raised its game.

Chris@KosmicKris you can feel the freshness of Andrew Cartmel - didn't always work but it did here!

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly There's a new, original, smarter creative vision in place and the difference is instant and startling. Love it.

Great turn from Jasmine Breaks as "the Girl". It's pretty much a golden rule that children singing nursery rhymes in sci-fi are sinister.

Ace arrives at the cafe and immediately grabs the attention of a young man in a vaguely military seeming leather jacket with her ghetto blaster.

Harry's fantastic jukebox is fantastic. Listen out for some great Beatles & Elvis amongst others!

Watched by the girl, the Doctor sets about "a detailed and scientific examination" of the van that so singularly failed to grab Ace's attention. Or at least, he climbs atop it (without whoever's inside noticing), measures the aerial against his umbrella, then points at a street sign. No, me neither.

Back at the caff, the young man, whose name is Mike, demonstrates how to get served - by bellowing at the owner till he appears!
Mark@Th3DarkMark now I want a bacon butty!

Mike clocks that Ace isn't exactly familiar with the coinage.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Thruppenny bits...

The Doctor has made it to the school playground, where he observes a strange pattern of burn marks...

"She doesn't talk to strangers. Very wise." Well, quite.

That in response to "The Girl" abandoning her game of hopscotch, which the Doctor only seems to recognise after a calculation on a pocket abacus. Nope, not a Scooby Doo how that's supposed to work, but hey, isn't it eccentric? Not in the novel, by the way, so presumably a bit of business worked out between McCoy and the Director?

"Five, six, seven eight. It's a Doctor at the gate." *Brrrrr* Coincidence?

The Doctor seems to decide that the answers he needs will only come from the back of that van, so he takes a chance and jumps inside.

Never understood why Rachael just seems to accept the Doctor's appearance like that, and the novel's no clearer.

MAW Holmes@MAW_H Super-duper sciency-brain collision... they just KNOW
 this stuff...

50dw50@50dw50 she is Toos who got blown back in time ... maybe not.

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 It's because he clearly knows what he's talking about. Still could be a spy though...

Chris@KosmicKris I assumed she was a Bletchley style officer who met strange contacts and people quite regularly?

I like that! Okay, so... 

Professor Rachael Jensen is so engrossed in her work that she doesn't look up, and at first assumes him to be a colleague.

When she doesn't recognise the voice, however, she's so caught on the hop that she finds herself answering his questions before getting out any of her own.

Just as she's about to demand an explanation, a call comes over the radio...

Nearby, Ace is getting a crash course in pre-decimal currency from Mike, in something of a call back to Susan's mixup in An Unearthly Child. "Of course, the decimal system hasn't started yet!" 
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Fanwank done right.

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 Weird that with a story with this many call-backs and quality they opted to market Silver Nemesis as the anniversary story!

12 Pennies to the Shilling, 20 Shillings to the Pound. So how many half crowns to a Sergeant, then?

Turns out Mike - Sgt. Mike Smith - is the colleague that Rachael had been expecting.

Ace jumps in the back with the Doctor, while the Professor relays that "Matthews is hurt" at "the secondary source: Totters Lane." So the school is the primary source?

The junkyard is of course way too massive, and the "I.M. Foreman" lacks its' "e" but all this stuff at Totter's Lane is great.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Another plus. Nostalgia but never at the expense of a cracking good story. If it doesn't fit the exact continuity, tough.

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 The thing about the junkyard is in the original we only see one tiny corner of it - feasible that all this is off-camera.

MAW Holmes@MAW_H "E" painted out to get the Daleks off his timey-wimey trail...?

Inside the yard, Group Captain "Chunky" Gilmore is troubled at the death of a man under his command, the aforementioned Matthews. Gilmore's a fantastic Brigadier figure. Top performance from Simon Williams.
Chris@KosmicKris The whole ensemble cast is stunning, but Williams as a proto-Brig is pitch perfect.

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 It does feel as if they're setting him and his team up to be recurring. Another lost opportunity of the cancellation.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Shame they couldn't use him again in Season 26.

Might have been odd with the actual Brigadier showing up, though.

Great little crossing of swords between Gilmore and the Doctor here, as the Doctor's dry "You must be with the military..." is met with an even drier, "How do you know?"

The Doctor has the last word, of course: "I'm very perceptive."

Rachael vouches for the Doctor's scientific credentials, and while Mike escorts Ace to a safer distance...

...the Doctor gets a look at the fallen soldier. His diagnosis is made quickly: "Massive internal displacement. His insides were scrambled. Very nasty. A projected energy weapon."

Rachael dumbs it down for Gilmore: " A death ray."

Gilmore's exclamation that the idea is "preposterous!" gets short shrift from the Doctor: "What a predictable response." 

Mike breaks the news of Matthews' death to the other member of the team, Allison, who confirms that reinforcements are on their way.

The Doctor warns Gilmore that whatever killed Matthews (and let's face it, the clue's in the title), it's cornered in the shed across the way. 

How does he know it's cornered? "I've been here before..."
Chris@KosmicKris Sylvester was just stunning in this story - his dynamic with Ace was perfect.

Here come the cavalry. Gilmore has the squaddies move the crowds back before preparing an attack on the shed.

The Doctor tries to warn Gilmore that he doesn't know what he's dealing with, but the Group Captain believes his men are ready for anything. We'll see about that.

When Mike, orders a couple of squaddies to move Matthews' body, they're watched from a very alien point of view. It's one that sees everything as a target...

Mere seconds later, we're treated to the "death ray" in all its' grating, noisy, glory.

The new Dalek extermination blast is a separate bolt of energy instead of the previous beam, and instead of just turning negative, the victim's skeleton is lit up from within.
Chris@KosmicKris another plus - production values increased significantly in the McCoy era! This story could have been made today!

Johnny Spandrell@JohnnySpandrell only time we see it, I think. Every other exterminatee is a Dalek in this story.

50dw50@50dw50 in Colin's day the Dalek would have shot off his arms and legs!

Great bit of stunt work from the late Tip Tipping here.

Gilmore orders some covering fire to allow the survivors to get to safety, but the assailant remains unseen.

He's still got no time for the Doctor and Rachael's sci-fi bafflegab.

The Doctor forgets himself as Gilmore begins to try his patience: "Listen to me, Brigadier..."

"Captain, you're not dealing with human beings here."
"What am I dealing with? Little green men?"
"No, Little green blobs in bonded-polycarbite armour."
Are Dalek casings no longer made of Dalekenium, then?

The Doctor gives a final, exasperated, hiss of "humans!"
Si Hodges@SiHodges79 His bitterly spat "humans!" is sooo right!

Gilmore gives the order, and the shed is incinerated by an anti-tank rocket.

Safe to say Ace is a bit more impressed than the Doctor.
50dw50@50dw50 Ace is so established it is easy to forget that it is only her second story.

Chris@KosmicKris As a companion, it's harder to think of a better, more 'integrated' performance than this one. Ace is stunning!

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly I don't think we've had a Doctor/Companion relationship this well matched since 4th/Sarah.

Gilmore assures the Doctor that nothing even remotely human could have survived that, only to be told that that's the point...

Mike radios for an ambulance, and only just ducks in time as the death ray strikes again.

If it was only a tank they'd been firing on, they might have stood a chance...

...but guess what it is instead.
The troops and the Dalek lay into each other like two opposing sets of stormtroopers.
James Wood@face_4radio the action in this story is generally well handled. It's a shame the Daleks look so action figure- esque with shiny eyes.

The mirrored eyes are a mistake, I think.

James Wood@face_4radio however they definitely carry this story. Always a delight to see them rather than the humans.

The Doctor decides to sort this mess out himself, telling Ace to "Give me some of that Nitro-9 that you're not carrying!"
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Objectively, I think there are better eras, but this right here is 'Doctor Who' for me.

Chris@KosmicKris I'm trying to be objective and critical about this story - and I can't!! I have simple, unconditional love for it!

He sneaks up to draw the Dalek towards the Nitro-9, while Gilmore orders Rachael back to back off.

"Oi, Dalek! It's me, the Doctor. What's the matter? Don't you recognise your mortal enemy?"

I'm sure Ace's estimate of the fuse timer is on the money, and the Doctor's got plenty of time to make a comfortable getaway.

Or not.

Makes me laugh when Ace slams that van door on the way to the Doctor.

He's fine, if a little dusty. And cranky.
"You said ten seconds!"
"Nobody's perfect, Professor."

No sooner has he picked himself up than he's on the move; Gilmore and co. set about securing the wrecked Dalek, which looks great with its' "organic content".
Si Hodges@SiHodges79  It still exists in great condition too (in private hands).

Ruther@Ruther2 private green protuberances you mean.

The Doctor offers Ace a choke then tells Mike they're "borrowing" his van.

Why does Ace pronounce it "Day-lek" as if she's seen it written and not heard it? Especially when what she heard was Sylv, David-Campbell-ing it up with "Dall-ek"?

After a bit of comedy business where Ace is surprised to find herself tagged out of the driving seat mid-tunnel...

...the Doctor treats her to a pleasingly concise potted history of the Daleks, with mentions of Genesis of the Daleks, The Dalek Invasion of Earth (and Day of the Daleks), and an added bit of foreshadowing about "the Hand of Omega" thrown in for good measure.

While the Doctor and Ace go back to school, Mike introduces Gilmore to Mr. Ratcliffe, a local businessman that can shift the Dalek wreckage for them.

Rachael makes plans to get answers out of the Doctor... or set Allison on him!

When the Doctor and Ace arrive at the school, the sinister girl is still lurking about. They did well finding her didn't they?

Inside, Mr. Bronson thinks the Doctor's applying to be the caretaker. It's a post he'll actually take up in 2014!

atruedrwhofan@atruedrwhofan only the Doctor could apply for the same job with the same accent 50+ years apart!

Ruther@Ruther2 Groundkeeper Willie in the Simpsons must be a future incarnation!

Chris@KosmicKris very clever performance by Mr Bronson here! Lovely little feints and stutters that shows all is not well!

Never watched Grange Hill so Michael Sheard as the Headmaster never really meant anything to me. 

Didn't get spending all day at school then coming home to watch other people spending all day in school.

Bronson has a funny turn, as if he's under someone else's control. Wonder who that could be.

While Gilmore orders up a fresh batch of anti-tank rockets, Mike assures him the Dalek wreckage is "safe". 

It's "safe" on the back of Ratcliffe's wagon, and Gilmore's men are "safe" too.

"Mr. Ratcliffe and the Association" only released the one album of marching band tunes before their record label exterminated them.
Chris@KosmicKris I liked the way the late Dursley McLinden kept saying "The Association".

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly You can tell the character only learnt the word last week and he's terribly proud of using it.

Exploring the school, the Doctor and Ace find the science classroom. He admits that the Daleks are following him. "You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies."

Ace comes across a book about the French Revolution. It's almost as if the History teacher's been here too, isn't it?

The Doctor points out the burn marks to Ace, which she correctly guesses are the landing pattern of some sort of spacecraft.

Ace wonders how a spceship could have landed without anyone noticing - "this is Earth, 1963!" - but the Doctor points out that the human race seems pretty good at denial in the face of overwhelmning evidence.

Not sure the Zygon Gambit with the Loch Ness Monster or the Yetis in the Underground meant anything to me when I was 8, although I may have actually read the Target book of The Web of Fear not long after come to think of it...
MAW Holmes@MAW_H   Sound like prog rock album tracks.

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 So UNIT's disinformation program clearly worked then ;)

Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 They did to me at 15, loved those references to two of my fave stories

The last time the Doctor was here, he left something behind, something very dangerous - the Hand of Omega.

Ratcliffe has returned to his yard, the remains of the Dalek secured. He reports to a figure seated in a Dalek-like chair, that keeps its' back to us.
James Wood@face_4radio the Dalek Battle Computer has a cool hat.

Pretty much everyone must have thought the battle computer was Davros, mustn't they? I *must* have done too, but seen it so many times since I've forgotten 1st impressions! We taped this on original broadcast and rewatched that old VHS to death!

atruedrwhofan@atruedrwhofan John Leeson's exvellent Davros tones had me completely believing he was there.

Ratcliffe wants to know what "that Dalek machine" is, and gets an equivocal, yet literal, answer: "The machine? A tool. Nothing more."

The Doctor & Ace creep down into the cellar, observed by the Headmaster.

One of Keff McCulloch's better efforts, this creepy cellar music.

There they find a transmat: a matter transmitter.

As the Doctor starts to fiddle with the machinery, a Dalek starts to fade in.

What a great effect this is, with the Dalek insides showing in X-ray.

The Doctor knackers the transmat.

He tells Ace that he confused both halves of the Dalek into trying to materialize in the same place at the same time, annihilating each other in the process.

But he's forgotten that the Daleks always leave a standby...

Soon the Dalek guard is in pursuit - to the stairs!

The Doctor trips, and although Ace reaches the top first, she's knocked out by the Headmaster, who locks the door, trapping the Doctor.

The Doctor is horrified to see his pursuer shatter the cliche of the ages, and rise up the stairs after him! 

Such an iconic cliffhanger! 

The Dalek obviously recognises the Doctor in this incarnation.

Why didn't the Dalek just fire from the bottom of the stairs?

Phil Creighton@phil_creighton like all Remembrance cliffha
ngers, it goes on and on and on thus negating suspense. Just get on with it & exterminate!

Steve Powner@StevePowner 
Absolutely brilliant a great cliffhanger for me Doctor Who was back after season 24 being poor (quite like it now though, lol!)

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 Now THIS was the moment 9-year-old me, literally peering from behind the sofa became addicted to this show for life!

CuriousBritishTelly@CuriousUkTelly It's Who at its best here!

Chris@KosmicKris in your face all those who moan about stairs! Good old Ben A.!

Mark@Th3DarkMark take that Dalek stairs jokes!

50dw50@50dw50 only in Dr Who could the dramatic cliffhanger be that the monster can climb a flight of stairs!

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  I was 4 when this was aired. Freaked the Hell out of me. I ran up stairs for years from then on.

Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 Ahh the cliffhanger that brought me back to the fold again. I still watched the show but drifted when Davison left, Remembrance of the Daleks made me a proper fan again!

James Wood@face_4radio Deaf Keff going all out to scare away the casual viewer.

 Ace recovers in the nick of time...

...and overpowers Mr. Bronson to open the door.

The Doctor falls back to freedom.

At first the Doctor thinks school dinners are to blame for the Head's condition, but soon realizes he's under the influence of something more sinister.

They vamoose just as the Dalek finally remembers how to use its weapon.

Luckily for them, the Dalek is more concerned with getting the transmat fixed.

Outside, Gilmore's quartermaster happily lets the Doctor & Ace take anti-tank rockets...

...as long as they do the paperwork.
Si Hodges@SiHodges79 Makes you wonder if in the Who universe all UK soldiers are issued with standing orders to follow the Doctor's instructions?

Chris@KosmicKris this is an utterly perfect story (I'm completely and unashamedly biased here) - it's ripping along at a hell of a pace!

The Girl seems to spend all her time here, even when school's out.

Ace and the Doctor creep back into the school...

...and sure enough, the Dalek is soon back on the attack.

Not that it lasts long with Ace wielding a bazooka.
Si Hodges@SiHodges79 And with this scene my first proper red-blooded male crush was formed :D

"You destroyed it!" 
"I aimed for the eye-piece!"

The Gilmore gang sweep in uselessly late, and the Doctor warns them that the dying Dalek creature may not be comletely dormant yet. He'd do well to remember that himself, to be honest.

He's far more concerned that the Dalek civil war has spilled over to Earth: there are two rival factions of the creatures in the area. Both after the same thing, of course.
Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 Lovely continuity from Revelation.

He hasn't got time for Gilmore's continued inability to accept the non-terrestrial nature of the threat on their doorstep, and makes to leave, "to bury the past."

Gilmore wants Rachael's take on the Doctor. She thinks they should go along with him for now because "he knows what he's talking about, and considerably more than he's telling us." But she still wants some answers from him. Good luck with that.

He tells Ace to stay behind: "This is not your past, you haven't been born yet." Seems he's going to be burying the past with a little help from Ace's baseball bat.

Mike can put Ace up overnight, as his mum runs a boarding house (although it doesn't half sound like he says "bawdy house"!).

The Doctor's little "haven't been born yet" reference didn't go unnoticed by Rachael but Ace has been taking enigmatic lessons from the Doctor and just smiles when she queries it.

Next thing it's night time and the Doctor's gone to Harry's cafe.

But Harry's not there; his wife is in hospital, John tells him. "Of course," sighs the Doctor. "It'll be twins!"
Si Hodges@SiHodges79 GEOFFREY!!!

This "sugar" scene is rightly cited as one of the highlights of McCoy's time.  It really cements the new take on his Doctor that he's finally clicked with.
James Wood@face_4radio this scene is padding but it is also the finest in the story.

Chris@KosmicKris my favourite ever scene in any iteration of DW. This is everything DW is about, beautifully played by two fine actors.

Mark@Th3DarkMarkKosmicKris a good little philosophical break in the action.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Part of the show's return to form is allowing for characters to interact, shifting into new tones. Refreshing.
 Even though it's quite deliberately scripted/whimsical, it feels like two people having a real conversation. Been a while.

"What if I could control people's tastebuds? What if I decided that no one would take sugar? That'd make a difference to those who sell the sugar and those that cut the cane," says the Doctor.

If no one had ever used sugar, not only would John's father not been a cane cutter, his great-grandfather wouldn't have been kidnapped, chained up, and sold in Kingston as a slave - John would be African.

"Every great decision creates ripples, like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge, rebound off the banks in unforeseeable ways. The heavier the decision, the larger the waves, the more uncertain the consequences." 

"Life's like that. Best thing is just to get on with it." Love that.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly This is great n' all, but if I don't start mocking it for something I might have to punch someone. Let's watch The Web Planet.

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 Don't worry - the wobbly Imperials will be along soon ;)

I love The Web Planet! Keff is resolutely determined to let the side down if that helps...!

50dw50@50dw50 lovely scene, terrible knitwear.

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 That statement can apply to any featuring Sylv (bar The TV Movie) ;)

Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer Out of all classic Doctors, McCoy is the one I could see fighting/taking part in time war! But then we wouldnt have 8 or War

I genuinely think you can put Resurrection and Remembrance in the Time War, with Genesis as the start.

50dw50@50dw50 blowing up Skaro is very war like!

Chris@KosmicKris that's my head canon as well. Destruction of Skaro was the Time War's Pearl Harbour... Perpetrated by the Doctor!

Darth Marenghi@DarthMarenghi Russell's DW Annual article "Meet The Doctor" suggests Genesis was 'the first shot of the Time War'.

I think he's right with "first shot" but my theory's always been that they take that action because of the events of Planet of the Daleks (i.e. because the Doctor calls them in to act against the Daleks).

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly I like to think The Creature from the Pit is part of the Time War.


In the night, as soon as Gilmore's patrol moves away, the transmat blinks into life once more...

Seems the Doctor's been wandering all night; he turns up on the step of the local funeral directors with the milk.

Don't think Welshman Martin will be too sorry to see the back of the creepy casket the Doctor's come to collect.

Once he's alone with the casket, the Doctor commands it to open - and it does...

What will the glowing innards make of Ace's baseball bat?

In the corridor, Martin's on the phone to his governor: "I thought you said he was an old geezer with white hair..."
Simon Pittman@LibraryPlayer How dare they not bring back William Hartnell to shoot a mini episode showing him leaving it behind! ;-)

Ace is up too, just. She's just in time to see Mike making a start out to see his friends at "the Association." That'll be Ratcliffe and his mob, presumably. Does Mike know that Ratcliffe takes orders from a Davros-like figure in a Dalek chair?

The creepy coffin returns Ace's baseball bat after its upgrade...

...and when the Doctor gives the word, it rises into the air and hovers after him.

The floating casket is too much for poor Martin, who keels over at the sight.
Mark@Th3DarkMark like that wouldn't have attracted massive attention, down the street in broad daylight with a floating coffin!

Fake Davros warns Ratcliffe that once they possess the Hand of Omega, "there will be casualties. Many deaths."

Ratcliffe thinks he's prepared for that. "War is hell."

The Doctor takes the casket to the cemetery to make good on his plan to bury the past. 
Mark@Th3DarkMark I'm always doing that.

As the vicar is blind, he's unaware that the device is hovering, though he does comment on how silent the pallbearers are...
James Wood@face_4radio Packer the Vicar!

Yep, the vicar is played by Peter Halliday; Between him and Michael Sheard this is the stalwarts of Doctor Who! Where's Madoc, Horsfall?

Ratcliffe gets the call he's been waiting for and tells fake Davros "My man has found it.". The Dalek-like figure is ready to rain on his parade, though: "Yes, but my enemies have found your man."

Oh noes! Ratcliffe's man is none other than Mike!

He's clocked by the Dalek-controlled Mr. Bronson, who gives chase...

Keff McCulloch really lets the side down on this story. The cheap keyboard demos of doom.

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 For me this is the one story where he works. Although it would have been nice to have some Shadows-style guitar in the mix.

Maybe after Delta and the Bannermen he felt he'd played that card to be fair. Would've been nice to have had "John Smith & the Common Men" on the jukebox, though!

James Cooray Smith@thejimsmith I think Keff does a grand job here. But I don't hate any of his scores.

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 I think it really adds to the scene where Mike and Mr Bronson have a fight - would have been limp without it.

Oof! That's the worst bit of the entire score for me; Hell's teeth, Keff, give the fake synthesized drumbeat/handclap combo a rest!

50dw50@50dw50 the music had been terrible since series 17 to be honest. Bring back Dudley!

Nah, not having that. I adore most of the seasons 18 & 19 stuff & with the obvious exception of City of Death, Dudley's stuff became tired & tedious in season 17. I do like Mark Ayres & Dominic Glynn's stuff on season 26 actually. 

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly I miss the days when I didn't notice music. Now it's like an offensive smell, wafting across the action.

Bronson grabs Mike, demanding to know the location of the Renegade Dalek base. I'm being Keffed to death here. Have pity. 

When Mike gains the upper hand, Bronson's remote taskmasters terminate his employment. Terminally.

The Doctor buries lays the Hand to rest. 

For now.

As Mrs. Smith serves breakfast, Ace wonders where the Doctor's got to.

Mike says he found him wandering the streets.

Sylv's rolling his arse again. Sorry, I mean "R"s.

As if on cue, a message from the Group Captain arrives, summoning his team, and the Doctor... but not Ace.

Is it me or is there an element of collusion between Mike and the Doctor here? The sgt, scrumples up Gilmore's note with a hasty glance at the Time Lord.

The Doctor tries to sidestep Ace's outrage with a present:

(Clock the "Doctor in the House" in-joke, by the way - not to mention Sylv's script in his umbrella pocket!)

Her new super-powered souped-up baseball bat.

The Doctor tells a curious Rachael that no one on Earth is ready for the technology that upgraded the bat.

Mike rubs in Ace's grounding. "Sorry, Ace. Work to be done. Back at six. Have dinner ready." Her "Toerag" verdict seems pretty fair in the circumstances.

Despite Ace gaining an admission from the Doctor that he's up to something...

...she backs down and agrees to stay put.

Fake Davros tries to gee up Ratcliffe with some smack talk about the enemy: "Not the paltry military forces of your world. The real enemy. The Imperial Dalek faction, may their shells be blighted. Soon it will be war. Are you ready for war, Mister Ratcliffe?" 

Ratcliffe shows his true colours: "This country fought for the wrong cause in the last war. When I spoke out, they had me imprisoned." Fake Davros assures him "You will be on the right side in this war." 

The Doctor is pleased that Gilmore has secured agreement for an evacuation of the area "under the aegis of the Counter-Intrusion Measures, United Kingdom" and a D-Notice to keep events being recorded in history.

Doesn't stop him declaring Gilmore's career "massively irrelevant", though. Ever the diplomat.

The Doctor asks for a link to Jodrell bank - he gets on well with radio telescopes, as we know.

Love the way the Doctor uses a snooker table as his work area at the school. Easy to imagine Ian and Barbara on that snooker table, in the school staff room, isn't it? Playing snooker, I meant, cheeky. 

What this school needs is that lad from An Unearthly Child doing his Kenneth Williams impression. Instead we've got Zippy doing his impression of flimsy paper-headed white and tacky-gold Daleks.

Cooped up in the boarding house, Ace mooches around looking for entertainment.

She's not used to the old TV sets that took a minute or two to warm up.

She's taken aback by the contemporary attitude quite literally on display, 

Definitely think the scene of Ace's disgust at the racism is better as delivered than with any overt comment.

As Ace leaves for "a breath of fresh air", the TV finally comes to life, announcing "This is BBC television. The time is a quarter past five and Saturday viewing continues with an adventure in the new science fiction series, Doc-"
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Didn't notice this on first viewing, but when I got the video it blew my mind.

Chris@KosmicKris would this be one of the first stories written by a fan brought up with the show? The affection is so noticeable and unusual.

Kippy Woo@TygerWhoCame2T I guess Full Circle is the first 'fan-written' albeit with few if any continuity references.

Back at base, the report from Jodrell Bank isn't exactly encouraging; they've detected an object so large it can only be a Dalek mothership.

And it's smack bang on top of them, in geostationary orbit above the school.

As the Doctor tinkers with his collection of odds and sods, he blithely informs them that they're caught in the middle of a Dalek civil war.

"That spaceship up there has surveillance equipment capable of spotting a sparrow fall at fifteen thousand kilometres. Any sign of a military build-up and they may simply decide to sterilise the area..."

"Frightening, isn't it, to find there are others better versed in death than human beings?"

Having failed to tune the TV into missing episodes, Ace goes to the school to listen to Dalek FM.

The massing Daleks roll out to exterminate any aliens. That means you, Ace!

Sure enough, her escape route is cut off.

The Doctor's rigged up some sort of Dalek brain-scrambler but is a bit confuzzled himself, as he forgets how to pronounce Spiridon, instead saying "Spire-a-don". Somewhere near the planet Spire-o-graph, I reckon. Near MuhTebb-olis 3.

"At best it will interfere with the Dalek's control systems."
"And the worst?" 
"It'll do absolutely nothing!"

Good job it's ready; the transmat active again.

The Doctor tells them to bring explosives, as "that thing merely disorients and weakens them. What do you expect me to do then, talk to them sternly?" 

But Mike throws a spanner in the works: "Mum says that Ace left ages ago."

These Daleks are just going up and down stairs for fun now.

After luring her Dalek pursuer into the science classroom by annoying it with a Kefftastic drum solo...

...Ace uses the super-powered baseball bat to batter impair its' vision...

...then jumps through a window to make her escape.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly God, I love that moment. She batters her way to playground level...

...only to be surrounded by four Daleks who, instead of actually firing at her, they spend a week shouting. 
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly The school was a big part of why I loved this story. I remember dashing around identical corridors and stairwells.

As per, the Daleks spend too much time yelling "exterminate" instead of just getting on with it!
50dw50@50dw50 they are set to cliffhanger mode.

Mark@Th3DarkMark I think they have performance anxiety.

James Wood@face_4radio Ace turns her face into a kneecap, Daleks whine irritatingly as the credits roll on a poor episode.

YMMV, of course...(!)

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 Having only just discovered the concept of "fancying a girl" (ie Ace) I was traumatised by this cliffhanger!


A week later, the Daleks are still banging on, when the Doctor arrives with his 60s portable electric fire and blasts multi-coloured sparks at them.

With the Daleks stunned, Mike can get up close and personal with some grenades.

No-one is more surprised the gadget works than the Doctor himself.

So much so he almost forgets to duck in time as the grenades go off.

But seriously, was any one of them actually going to get round to pulling the trigger? All talk.

Rachael spots that one of the Daleks isn't completely dormant.

The Doctor moves in for a closer look and gets more than he bargained for.

How does that grab you!

Alison is first to react, grabbing Ace's baseball bat, and pummelling the squealing mutant to death.

The imperial Dalek mutants differ from their renegade kin; the blobby green occupant at Totter's Lane certainly didn't have a bionic claw.

Ace is fine, if a little bruised, so the Doctor sends Rachael and Alison to help Mike polish off any more Daleks hanging around the school.

The Doctor is glad Ace's tapedeck was destroyed. Her taste in music is awful. Back to Harry's jukebox!

"That tape deck was a dangerous anachronism. If someone had found it and discovered the principles of its function, the whole microchip revolution would take place now, 20 years too early, with incalculable damage to the time line."

"The Daleks have a mothership up there capable of eradicating this planet from space, but even they, ruthless though they are, would think twice before making such a radical alteration to the time line."

Sure enough the metal meanies are monitoring the preparing to send down another attack squad.

The Doctor has other ideas, and mangles the transmat with the baseball bat, destroying the big hitter in the process.

 "Weapons. Always useless in the end."

Lovely little bit of business as the Doctor lifts Rachael and Alison's dropped jaws and beckons them to follow.

Ratcliffe is rather pleased with himself when he finds Mike's tipoff was on the money.

Back at Harry's, the service is as quick as usual.

Ratcliffe gets stuck into the last resting place of Omega's Hand, releasing a burst of pulsing energy...

...which alerts his Imperial adversaries.

In Harry's, Rachael is fast approaching the end of her tether with Gilmore's high-handed ways, and she's got some choice words about the Doctor and the Daleks, too: "D'you think I'm enjoying having some space vagrant come along and tell me that the painstaking research I've devoted my life to has been superceded by a bunch of tin plated pepperpots?"

The Doctor'll take it as a compliment that only he knows what's what. Nice ear wiggle.

The Girl just happens to be passing as Gilmore sets the lads about excavating the Hand...

...and she seems to take an unhealthy interest.

Emperor on the bridge!

Shame they couldn't have made it a bit more like the comic strip Golden Emperor, really.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Ah, yes, this guy. Now you know what a Dalek having an allergic reaction looks like.

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 I love that weirdly impractical design! "BALL-DEODORANT-ON-THE-BRIDGE!"

Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 Love that design and nod to the 60s Dalek strips

Ratcliffe tells the Girl to clear off, and she sure does...

Back to the cafe, then, where Rachel & Alison are busy namedropping Quatermass. Nigel Kneale would have hated that.
Chris@KosmicKris that Quatermass reference made my fan boy parts tingle :). 
Kneale hated DW period. I like that he did.

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly To be fair, was there anything he didn't hate? I didn't discover Quatermass for years, so this meant nothing to me. Love it now, though.

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 Kneale hated everything! Kids, the establishment, fans, producers (bar Cartier), actors, other people...

Chris@KosmicKris I think that's what gave his work the punch that I liked. He was nice and angry about things.

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 Mm, without his nihilistic world view he really wouldn't have been as effective a writer.

The Doctor admits he's sent Gilmore and co. on a wild Dalek chase. With the transmat kaputski, the school's the safest place in town.

Ah, bit of the Shadows there. Jukebox to the rescue!

Chris Cwej@chriscwej why isn't John Smith and the Common Men playing on the juke box? WHY?!?!?

This is a few months after AUC, they've dropped down the chart by now. 2 to 19, I reckon! 

Chuffed that the lads have brought the Hand back to base, Ratcliffe gives "his man" a bell.

Sure enough, there's a call for Mike at the school. In case you don't get it, Keff properly loses his shit.

They call Gilmore "Chunky" because of his pistol. Errrrr...

The Doctor admits that he's diverting the army to keep them away from the impending Dalek massacre.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly There's so much more thought being put into character/plot in this one story then there has been in the past 5 years.

Interesting bit of Time Lord history, but the start of the *AWFUL* "Cartmel Masterplan"/Looms bollocks that blighted the New Adventures novels. YMMV, of course. Wrongly.

Trouble is, he wasn't expecting two different sets of Daleks.

Makes sense; he left the Hand here before the chain of events that saw them descend into civil war.

At Ratcliffe's yard (which is much more the right size for Totter's lane by the way) the Black Dalek is fed up of playing hide and seek...

...and with the Hand in the bag...

...cuts down on Ratcliffe's wage bill.

And the big reveal...

...the battle computer is really the creepy little girl. 

"You were born to serve the Daleks!"

That should've really been a cliffhanger. It really is a lovely twist. 
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Yes. Shame they didn't use it that way.

James Wood@face_4radio it is on paper, but the little girl struggles with her cumbersome dialogue.

Cumbersome? Don't think I agree with that - though Aaronovitch's repeated use of "nothing so mundane" as a stock phrase does stick out to me, it's not the Girl who gets those lines.

The Girl activates the Dalek time controller, which, like a 60s TV, has to warm up before they can use it.

The script is so vastly better than anything in the previous season, IMO.

Maybe even since The Caves of Androzani, truth be told.

Gilmore orders the Doctor rounded up...

...but he's busy reconnecting with Omega's Hand at Ratcliffe's yard.

The Doctor explains the Daleks' "obscene" battle computer to Ace. "The Daleks' major drawback is their dependency on rationality and logic. The solution? Get a human, preferably young, imaginative, plug the child into the system, and their ingenuity and creativity are slaved to the battle computer."

He knackers the Dalek spark generator time controller...

...and leaves a credit card to pay for the damage.

The Girl isn't keen to accept Theta Sigma Express.
Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 Gallifrey Express, don't leave home without it!

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Translates as "You been pwned biatches, Doctor Disco"

There's a bit of sneezy funny business as the Daleks pursue them back to the school...
Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 well more like wobble than pursue...
...where Mike first asks Ace to the pictures to see something she's probably already seen on telly...

...then accidentally outs himself as a grassy UKIPper by namedropping the Hand of Omega.

Ace takes this pretty much as you'd expect, labelling him a "lying dirty scumbag... a dirty stinking grass!"

Bizarrely, Gilmore doesn't really bat an eyelid, seemingly accepting Mike's weak "I didn't know it was the Daleks."

The renegade Daleks press home their attack.

The imperial Daleks dispatch their shuttlecraft...

...so the renegades turn tail.


The Doctor doesn't think the shuttlecraft will land at the school, despite seeing the previous burn marks.
Chris Cwej@chriscwej I believe he was a sufferer of "Guy Crayford syndrome".

Another great cliffhanger.

"I think I might have miscalculated."
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Love the "might". He's not certain yet.DON'T BLINK!

End of part 3, with the 4th wall broken! Makes for a great cliffhanger, but it's no "Merry Christmas to all of you at home!"

Chris@KosmicKris it's no John Normington but it's a good 4th wall breaker!
Hate reprises that cheat you by cutting bits out of the cliffhanger.
James Wood@face_4radio that spaceship is very impressive. Bravo JNT!


Si Hodges@SiHodges79 It looks soooo expensive! Nowadays it'd be a CGI composite...

Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 they really do wonders with the budget in this season

With the Imperial attack squad making a beeline for Ratcliffe's, the Doctor recruits Gilmore's gang for a bit of piracy.

Mike tries to justify his UKIP membership to Ace: "You have to protect your own, keep the outsiders out just that your own people can have a fair chance..." but she's quite rightly having none of it.

Gilmore places him under arrest "under suspicion of offences contrary to the Official Secrets Act." Damn right.

James Wood@face_4radio these action sequences are fantastic.

The renegade Daleks draw first blood...

...so the ranty Emperor orders the deployment of the "Special Weapons Dalek". 

The SWD is pretty badass.
James Wood@face_4radio the Special Weapons Dalek is the greatest aspect of Remembrance. So cool!

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Such a stupid idea, done so bloody well. Doctor Who in a nutshell. I like that h
e's so dangerous, they daren't even wash him.

Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 "The special weapons Dalek, when you absolutely, positively, have to kill every Dalek in the room!"

Chris@KosmicKris The greatest Dalek ever!! I loved the SWD - and I wished that all Daleks looked like this!

Steve Powner@StevePowner  I want a special weapons Dalek it would solve parking problems.

50dw50@50dw50  he was wonderful in the book "The Abomination"

Chris Cwej@chriscwej  such an awesome novelisation all round.

Was mildly disappointed; had heard for years it adds loads, but not so much, I found.  

Chris Cwej@chriscwej  I guess it's the first step in a direction continued by the Ghost Light and Fenric novelisations, and then the NAs.

Very true. It's the TV Movie of Target books! Not quite one or the other but the bridge between them!

Love the "piracy" bit, and the brolly actually comes in handy! 

The Doctor is quite the marauder, breaking into the shuttle...

...and shorting out its pilot so his friends can join him.

Mike takes advantage of his guard brewing up to make a break for it.

The Doctor shows the others, with a little help from a spare Dalek sucker stick, that his enemies plan on returning to their natural time and place - their home world of Skaro - once the Hand of Omega is theirs.

Now he's turned off the ground defences, they can just walk out of the front door. He encourages Alison to take the plunge first. "Jump!"

Mike's made straight for Ratcliffe's yard, and is immediately picked up by the waiting renegade Daleks.

Nice bit of business here as the Doctor's umbrella gets trapped in the shuttle bay doors on the way out.

Ratcliffe tips Mike the wink that if they can nick the time controller they can bargain for anything they want.

The Girl seems to know exactly what's on his mind.

Arriving back inside the school, the Gilmore gang find Mike has scarpered, but have bigger fish to fry as the Doctor plans to rewire the transmat.

As the renegade Daleks prepare to make their escape through time, the SWD arrives in the nick of time.

During the melee, Ratcliffe nicks the time controller.

Not sure why the girl can shoot electricity out of her hands, but there you go.
Mark@Th3DarkMark you mean you can't?
Not without a balloon and a fuzzy jumper.

50dw50@50dw50 all children can do that, thats why i avoid them

The SWD makes mincemeat of the meagre remaining renegade forces, and the Hand belongs to the Imperials.

As the Doctor works at rewiring the transmat...

...Ace explains her General Theory of Blob-itivity to Rachael and Alison.

"Let's go and see which 'blobs' are winning!" 

Alison asks him how he can just rewire a piece of alien machinery like that,only to be told that it's easy "when you have 900 years experience..."

Attack Squad Delta set off for a victorious return to the Imperial Dalek mothership...

...allowing Mike to come out of hiding.

On spotting that Mike has the time controller, the Doctor says you can always count on humans to mess things up. Charming.

He sends Ace after the renegade racist, warning her, "No heroics; I've got enough problems already."

As the now completely cynical Rachael contemplates retiring and writing some memoirs that would probably be subject to the 30 year rule anyway...

...Gilmore is happy to report that the Imperial Dalek shuttlecraft is off.

The departure is welcome news to the Doctor and Ace.

Some really lovely model work as the shuttle is welcomed back aboard the mothership.

The Emperor can't wait to get his mits on the Hand.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly  Getting bored being so positive, but this story is just stuffed full of all best elements of the show. Now for the big finale, the Doctor prepares to broadcast an amateur TV show from the school basement. 

How Doctor Who is that!

"This is the Doctor, President Elect of the High Council of Time Lords, Keeper of the legacy of Rassilon, Defender of the Laws of Time, Protector of Gallifrey. I call upon you to surrender the Hand of Omega and return to your customary time and place!"

President elect of the High Council of Time-Lords? You wish, mate. He must have "forgotten" that he turned the job down (after already being deposed once) at the end of his most recent trial.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly "Helloooo Stonehenge!.... Oops, sorry, wrong speech."

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 "You should kill us all on sight!"

As soon as the girl was revealed to be the battle computer it was obvious Davros was the Emperor.

25 year old spoiler there for those of you that haven't seen it. (Why not!?)
James Wood@face_4radio was he necessary in the narrative? Certainly this is the worst Doctor Davros confrontation in the canon.

50dw50@50dw50 still cool that they held him back until the end.

Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 "it was ole Davros all along","yeah and I would've gotten away with it if it wasn't for Doctor Who"

Ace arrives round Mike's and soon the desperate little Englander has her at gunpoint.

Davros and the Doctor trade insults.

They know each other so well they can even finish each other's sentences:
"The Daleks shall become Lords of Time! We shall become all - " 
"- Powerful, crush the lesser races, conquer the galaxy, unimaginable power, unlimited rice pudding, et cetera, et cetera!"

What would unlimited rice pudding actually *look* like?  A universe filled with rice pudding? Or just one bowl that magically refills itself? 

Si Hodges@SiHodges79 Just rice pudding as far as the eye can see!

Are Daleks particularly partial to rice pudding?

Riled, Davros launches the Hand...

...but despite his affected protestations, that's what the Doctor wanted all along...

...and just like he programmed it to, it annihilates Skaro by turning its' sun nova.

Don't worry, Davros, it'll be back.

Davros begs for pity, but the Doctor shows none. "Goodbye, Davros. It hasn't been pleasant." 
James Wood@face_4radio the biggest regret of this story is the mistreatment of Davros. "Emperor doing a runner so as to survive for any sequels!"

The Hand returns to do over the mothership, but you can just see a suspicious looking dot drop away like a stone before the explosion. Davros' escape pod, presumably...

The Doctor has programmed the Hand to return to Gallifrey. Because the TimeLords are obviously the best people to look after a weapon of mass destruction.

On Earth, the creepy girl uses her force lightning to kill Mike, who wrecks the bannister as he dies.

Now for the time controller, and whoever else is in the way (Ace)...

The Doctor hunts down the Black Dalek, who seems to be just trundling away down the road.

The Doctor starts to talk the hind... er.. bumper? ... off the black Dalek.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Trolls him to death. Harsh.

Clockwork Squirrel@YourUltimateFoe Hardly trolling if it's true.

Ace's turn to feel the force.

The Black Dalek just can't take losing and blows itself to dust. 
James Wood@face_4radio this scene with the Supreme Dalek is excellent What a sore loser.
Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 Talk about throwing your toys out!

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Or was it an Emergency Temporal Shift? Oooh. Nah, it died.
Its' link to the Girl is finally broken...

...and Ace comforts the weeping youngster.

Ashes to ashes, funk to funky, no idea why Gilmore's men call him Chunky.

Lovely little end scene, as unsually, the Doctor stays around for a funeral. Is Black Orchid the only other time?
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Not going in was a good choice. Adding ambiguity.

"We did good, didn't we?"

"Time will tell; it always does."
Si Hodges@SiHodges79 It's a lovely touch at the end of a magnificent story...

Chris@KosmicKris Brilliant tweet a long :) Such a wonderful story - never tire of watching it. And the most Doctor-like performance ever!

James Wood@face_4radio A hugely inconsistent tale. Words can't describe how bad Remembrance is. But numbers can. 3/10

50dw50@50dw50 best McCoy story ever! i even missed ice skating in Derby with a nice chap to watch the last episode 10/10

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly One of the very best.

Patrick Byrne@mynamespat My favourite Dalek story.

Still a fave for me, one of Sylv's best and a very enjoyable setting and characters.

Darth Marenghi@DarthMarenghi Kind of strange how Sylv looks younger in these stories now than on 1st watch... I'm getting old!

Aren't we all. Time will tell...
Coming Soon... The Face of Evil

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