The Husbands Of River Song
25 June 2016 at 08:06 #52901Kharis @kharis
Just watched this again and I think it is my new favorite episode. I’m not one to cry watching the tele, but I cried several times. The whole scene where River is explaining the Doctor is not in-love with her tore me up, it was so well done. Usually I find relationship scenes trite, predictable and shallow, but everything about their relationship in this episode resonated with true depth and was very visceral. Their final balcony scene did me in. Love all the wacky humor thrown in, which is what I love about Doctor Who; wise one minute and then silly the next. Like @puroandson said “light and comedic” then I’m crying my eyes out in the same scene.
Brilliant episode on every level.
@ichabod I agree, this the Doctor after the storm, after the crucible, made stronger and wiser.
I have to admit that this episode and ‘Heaven Sent” have been re-watched in our house an embarrassing amount to admit.25 June 2016 at 16:22 #52914GrannyM @grannym
I really enjoy reading all the comments about THoRS. I truly believe it may be one of Moffat’s finest scripts, at least so far! This and Heaven Sent will always be in my all time top 5 DW episodes. I also was not a fan of Ashildr in Hell Bent but then, I hated almost he entire episode. I’ll never believe that his memory of Clara can be completely wiped because that would mean we would never see anyone come back from the previous 3 or 4 years. When I think about the moments after the “I hate you” “No you don’t”, as they start their long night on Darillium (spelling?) I picture the first words from River as “How’s Clara?” or “Where’s Clara gone off to?” and if Missy is indeed coming back how could she never mention Clara? It just never made sense to me…but I digress 😉
I have to wonder how any future Christmas Specials could even come close to THoRS! I also wonder how Nardole can possibly be in Season 10??
I am looking forward to December after this long drought though!30 June 2016 at 12:22 #53008
@janetteb “Capaldi is so brilliant as the Doctor. Long may he wield the sonic.”
Hear, hear, say I.
Missy30 June 2016 at 12:26 #53009
missrori: Instead, I wound up despising the ungrateful, cowardly Time Lords, coldhearted Ohila, and snotty Ashildr, and hoping he calls in his favors to Rigsy and Anahson and her mum sometime!
Oh, so did, and do, I.
I too reached for the tissues, but the scene that really made tears run, was when the Doctor kisses Clara’s hand at the end of the Raven. he has never done anything as tender before. It just finished me off!
Missy17 July 2016 at 18:43 #53308
Yeah, I know puroandson — Ashildr does have reasons for her coldness. I imagine Twelve talking with Elphaba, the anti-heroine of Wicked (specifically the musical’s version of the character) about the troubles with making life-or-death choices with fantastical abilities in the heat of the moment! She has a whole song on the topic, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”: “Sure, I meant well — well, look at what well-meant did!” 😉
I too wonder how Nardole will be incorporated into Series 10, but I liked the character. And if it means that the season can be at least a little brighter than Series 9 was, I’m all for it. The word that there will be more one-part stories suggests we’ll have some “fun” stories again. Not that Series 9 was humorless, far from it, but the focus on multi-parters meant there wasn’t any fun goings-on that couldn’t be shot to heck in the final 10 or so minutes. I didn’t have any major issues with “Sleep No More”, but maybe that should have been held off for a season in order to have a fun episode prior to “Face the Raven”…18 July 2016 at 06:27 #53319
Thank you! *grins* Single episodes are much better in my opinion. also, it would be great for the Tardis to travel back in time to meet someone in History. they haven’t done this since DT’s reign.
Missy18 July 2016 at 18:03 #53325
Oh yeah @missy, I was bringing this up on TVTropes the other day: Twelve hasn’t met a “historical domain character” yet on the show! Even Eleven got to meet Vincent van Gogh and Winston Churchill, after all. 😉
(It is a different story in the comics for Twelve. In the Titan Comics title, he encounters Charlotte Bronte in “Unearthly Things”, a good one-issue story. In the Doctor Who Magazine comic, he’s so far met Field Marshal Rommel in “The Instruments of War”, Harry Houdini in “Theatre of the Mind”, and Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General, in “Witch Hunt”.)
The other big hope I have for Series 10 doing more one-off stories is that we’ll finally see some exciting, new alien worlds. In Series 8 and 9, there wasn’t a story spent exploring/dealing with an alien planet — its culture, creatures, etc. — that wasn’t already well-established in the Whoniverse (i.e. Skaro and Gallifrey); Karabraxos was as close as we got to something like that. Especially with all the teases of amazing places that the Doctor and Clara were always juuuuuust coming back from/heading off to, I’d like to see some fresh worldbuilding in Series 10.19 July 2016 at 03:12 #53331
@missy and @missrori I would also love to see 12 meet some historical figures. They were always my favourites. The mixing of fact and fiction , so to speak, usually makes for a fun episode. Exploring new worlds and planets with CapDoc would also be great.
Oh my, the waiting ,always the waiting. Christmas has not seemed so far away since I was a child, nor as exciting.19 July 2016 at 06:09 #53333
@winston and @missRori:
Didn’t you simply love Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare and Vincent Van Gogh?
Missy19 July 2016 at 16:43 #53335
@missy Yeah, those are all fan-favorites really! I think it would be neat if the promised “guest companion” in this year’s Christmas show turned out to be a historical figure. Trouble is, I can’t think of one that is perfect for the Christmas theme, since they already used Charles Dickens and I don’t think the prospect of the Doctor visiting the Nativity would go without major criticism! 😉
(grumblegrumble) With all of the ugh news in the world, Christmas and Series 10 can’t come soon enough, especially with so little expanded universe stuff besides the comics to tide us Twelfth Doctor fans over. Would a “bonus” short or two or three be too much to ask? (I loved “The Doctor’s Meditation”.) Something for Children in Need perhaps?20 July 2016 at 02:24 #53338
I am hoping that Class will be enough to satisfy my Doctor cravings until Christmas. Maybe I will start a rewatch from series 1 AG. Rose is still my favourite episode because it got me started on my love of the Doctor.20 July 2016 at 05:34 #53342
We still haven’t seen class here. Rose is still my favourite companion. The Brontes, or Jane Austen, or Charlemagne?
I fancy Richard the 111, just to see whether he really did knock off his nephews.
Missy20 July 2016 at 06:36 #53344janetteB @janetteb
Oooh making a list of possible historical companions, that is a fine way to pass the time..
Alfred the Great or Elfrida, first queen of England.
Eleanor of Aquitaine. (I think she appeared in a very early story)
And more artists, scientists, authors, really interesting people Starting from ancient Greece, the ancient philosophers who no doubt got a helping hand from the Doctor, Copernicus and Galileo or, moving forward, Newton, and as the Doctor has a predilection for the English and for “underdogs” John Harrison of Longitude fame. Voltaire, Some Enlightenment figures and then the romantics, Byron and Shelley. Maybe he visit Mary while she was telling the story of Frankenstein.
MIssy. I don’t know when Class is starting. I would be surprised also if it makes it all the way down here. Sarah Jane Adventures didn’t.
Janette20 July 2016 at 14:21 #53348
@missy As I noted above, Twelve <i>has</i> met Charlotte Bronte in the comics, in “Unearthly Things”. That story could easily be fleshed out into a one-off episode, the way some of the audio dramas and novels have wound up being adapted, if often loosely, into the series. But without Clara as the companion, it wouldn’t be the same — Charlotte’s not revealed as Bronte until the end, and the punchline is that the adventure winds up inspiring Jane Eyre, with Twelve and Clara the analogues to Mr. Rochester and Jane.
I’ve heard nothing about the launch date for Class either, and have no idea if it will air in the U.S. The Sarah Jane Adventures only aired its first season on SciFi Channel back when they were airing Who, before BBC America got first-run U.S. rights. (That said, it is available on U.S. DVD in its entirety.) I think one reason that show didn’t get a U.S. foothold is that here, children’s shows are pretty much limited to animation or broad live-action comedies these days; Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, et.al. have no interest in dramatic shows.
(Though Disney XD actually aired Who reruns last summer in a Saturday night timeslot, starting with Series 2 episodes, capping off a block of animated action shows. It didn’t take; they cut bait after “Human Nature”/”The Family of Blood”.)
I wish we’d hear more about the Christmas show soon! (bouncy bouncy) Especially as there’s so little information about anything else Who-related right now! (Titan Comics has already botched the Supremacy of the Cybermen rollout — Part Two of Five was supposed to be released today, but nope.)20 July 2016 at 18:27 #53356Anonymous @
Oh, Voltaire would be fun. He was always getting himself into trouble. 🙂
Newton has been done by Big Finish–5th Doctor and Nyssa. Byron and Marry Shelly and Frankenstein–encounter alluded to by eighth Doctor, Big Finish. Socrates–encounter alluded to by sixth doctor, Big Finish.
Mind you, there’s nothing to stop them from doing it anyway, as there have been quite a few departures from Big Finish in the television versions. For example, the fate of SJS and Gallifrey; and, in particular, the 7th Doctor was at Pompeii with Mel the day Vesuvius blew up in Big Finish, and then the 10th Doctor was there also in the TV series.21 July 2016 at 05:28 #53375
Boudica would be an interesting meeting.
Missy21 July 2016 at 09:33 #53378
@missy One of the Big Finish audios tackled Boudica, “The Wrath of the Iceni”. It was a good, if dark, Fourth Doctor/Leela adventure (Leela initially decides to leave the Doctor to fight alongside her!). As with most all Fourth Doctor audios, it’s only an hour long, so it could be adapted into the TV show without having to drop much of the plot; obviously it would have to be rethought for a different Doctor/companion team, but the basic “bones” of the story are very strong.22 July 2016 at 11:14 #53396
Really? Thing is I don’t listen to audios of the Doctor, I only like the films, so who knows?
HG. Wells would be good.
Missy23 July 2016 at 22:02 #53408
The Sixth Doctor encountered a young H.G. Wells in “Timelash” in Season 22, with the revelation of his identity the story’s “punchline” (up to the ending, he was just known as Herbert). Of course, that’s not one of the better-regarded classic serials or even Sixth Doctor serials…so maybe a new series episode could bring in the older Wells? As Twelve has said, he’s made a lot of mistakes in his life… 😉24 July 2016 at 06:18 #53415
Funny you should say that. Whilst watching the specials on Series 8, they mentioned an HG Wells episode.
Missy2 August 2016 at 07:21 #53521time-lord-alvey @time-lord-alvey
Finally caught up on all of the Doctor Who episodes, and I must say that even though the Eleventh is my favorite, I absolutely loved Twelve in Heaven Sent, Hell Bent, and The Husbands of River Song. The chemistry between Twelve and River was great, and they acted so cute together. I actually saw more chemistry between the two of them than I did in the minisodes with Eleven and River. I can’t wait for Season 10 now (and I am quite wondrous if we will see the stolen TARDIS in 1950’s diner form again).2 August 2016 at 14:53 #53525
Well @time-lord-alvey, remember that the diner TARDIS in hindsight is the diner Eleven and his friends visit in “The Impossible Astronaut”! Obviously Clara and Me were making sure the Great Intelligence wasn’t poking his nose into a particularly important time in the Doctor’s timeline! 😉 (Jenna Coleman was recently asked about returning to the show at some point; she said she wouldn’t rule it out, but it wouldn’t be for a while. But given that past companions tend to turn up when a Doctor’s about to regenerate, I think it will happen eventually and we’ll get an update on the whole business.)
I can’t get enough of what a great couple Twelve and River made either. 🙂3 August 2016 at 06:14 #53548
Didn’t they. For a children’s programme (ha, ha) the two of them positively sizzled.
Missy9 August 2016 at 11:47 #53629
Over at Tumblr there was a poster who argued that Clara is the most powerful hero in Doctor Who history because she kept the Eleventh Doctor from dying — and thus allowed him to finally make his date with River Song on Darillium as Twelve. After all, Eleven didn’t have any more regenerations when he went to Trenzalore in “The Time of the Doctor”…and he couldn’t leave…so how was he to make the meeting after getting out of it in the “Last Night” short? The Eleventh Doctor almost created a universe-destroying paradox because he couldn’t accept the end of his time with River, is the thinking.
Now I haven’t seen many Eleventh Doctor stories but I’ve read plot synopses. Question: Who’s to say the Eleventh Doctor didn’t already know that he wasn’t going to die on Trenzalore after all?
Conjecture: His whole story arc turned out to stem from he and ALL of his other lives, including Twelve’s, banding together to save Gallifrey. Twelve could not have existed unless he were given a miracle to have more lives. Which came from the Time Lords. Who only survived because Twelve helped his other lives save Gallifrey, a classic stable time loop situation. So Eleven knew he was going to keep living somehow; he just had to wait things out and let a miracle come to pass and not let others, i.e. Clara, know what he already knew.
Does this make sense? 😉10 August 2016 at 09:24 #53637
In Doctor Who, everything and anything makes sense. That’s the beauty of it.
Missy10 August 2016 at 14:21 #53640IAmNotAFishIAmAFreeMan @pedant
Over at Tumblr there was a poster who argued that Clara is the most powerful hero in Doctor Who history because she kept the Eleventh Doctor from dying
This is an example of when fans would do well to rein in the hyperbole, because exactly the same could be said of Amy who wished the Doctor back into existence, after he had deleted himself from time.
I am very firmly in the Clara Fucking Rocks school for thought, but “who is the best companion?” is as big a fool’s errand as “who is the best Doctor?” – and long may we all uphold the honour of fools!4 September 2016 at 05:46 #53844
Right, my fellow enthusiasts/nutters, I have a query.
When River is unpacking her bag to recieve the ‘head’ does she, or does she not, bring out a Fez?
I’ve looked at it in slow motion and the object looks too soft – then again?
What say you all?
Missy5 September 2016 at 03:48 #53849
@missy I thought it was a fez but now I will have to look again , just to be sure , not because I love watching it or anything. I’ll get back to you.7 September 2016 at 17:50 #53862
Yeah, it’s a fez. Someone at TVTropes playfully suggested that maybe one reason River took so long to realize Twelve was the Doctor was because he didn’t immediately snatch it up and put it on! 😀
@pedant I was chatting on Tumblr with a fellow fan on the “most important companion” question and she said that every companion the Doctor’s ever had is the most important of all because each one has an impact on his life, and helps make him a better man, and moves him towards the point he meets the next one…and the next…and the next…and the next. So in a way they’re all heroes, no matter how big or small their actions are.7 September 2016 at 20:45 #53865
@missrori I agree with what you say about every companion being the most important person in the Doctor’s life at the time. After all Rose saved 9 from the Living Plastic and the Daleks by becoming Bad Wolf and then she protects 10 through his regeneration. Martha then saves 10 by getting his heart started when the earth is on the moon and when the Master has him and etc. etc. I could go on for awhile but it proves that all the Doctor’s companions are heroes in their own special way.8 September 2016 at 07:59 #53868
@missrori @winston The companions as heroes — yes, that’s the other side of the coin, isn’t it? The Doctor turns his companions into “weapons” or at leasts into adventurers fit and willing to risk their lives to help him. But he also, apparently not by design but by the nature of his life’s special qualities and requirements, calls out the heroism innate in them, making them more than they were when they first joined him, more than they knew they were or thought they could be.
Not bad, for a daft old man rattling around the universe in a phone booth . . .9 September 2016 at 03:20 #538799 September 2016 at 11:33 #5388418 September 2016 at 09:23 #53953jgalt7 @jgalt7
i can’t believe i didn’t realize this sooner. but i was going through a couple of scenes from this xmas special cause i was bored and i really loved some of the scenes…….but the last scene. one of the comment i saw was that 24 years is a long time and they could make babies in that span……and then it hit……HYBRID.
all season, we’ve been fed the idea of a hybrid. hybrid this, hybrid that. and then they lull us thinking it was a non issue and then gives us this beautiful ending to a beautiful character who we now think was given her swan song episode…..but they insert the “one night here is 24 years”. kids, that is a very long time. river also mentioned that “her diary is nearly full”…….meaning it’s not quite full yet, there are still pages that needs to be filled. doctor 10 never read the diary……..what if, maybe, just maybe, when the doctor left river that night (after 24 years), that he left her pregnant and river only found out till after the fact, gave birth, raised him/her, and then was left orphaned after river’s “death”.
wouldn’t it be something if the hybrid is actually the doctor’s own child?18 September 2016 at 17:05 #53954Anonymous @
I love that theory! It seems like the kind of thing SM would do, and I hope he does. It would be a good ending for him and his final season on Doctor Who.18 September 2016 at 18:00 #5395718 September 2016 at 23:41 #53959IAmNotAFishIAmAFreeMan @pedant
We already know what The Hybrid is. That was explained in-text. That story is done.
However, we still don’t really know why River reacted to Clara as she did during the seance in Name of the Doctor, nor what she meant with her enigmatic final words to Eleven about how she could still be there.
If Moffat decides to go there, I think the explanation will be a lot less sci fi and quite a bit more filial.18 September 2016 at 23:50 #53961Anonymous @
Hi there and welcome to the Forum!
Yes I think the Hybrid story has been told by now. I wouldn’t agree it was a hypnotic “non issue” 🙂
“The Hybrid is me”
The connection then being with a human and the Doctor -the connections pointed to that through out the entire season. The human, Clara, being a very insistent, loud and independent person taking risks and acting like….a TL or the Doctor. To disconnect from that relationship -one which could have proven unhealthy was essential. The TLs would have attempted to locate her through time. Now that the Doctor can’t remember her, Clara is safe. With ‘Me’.
Son of Puro19 September 2016 at 08:21 #53969
@jgalt7 I love the idea too, but I’m afraid I concur with the others as far as any such child being “the hybrid” (and in fact is River still just a human to begin with?). Personally, I don’t think the Doctor having an unknown child of his own would work well — he’s sometimes a sort of fatherly presence to his companion, and people have enough of a problem with that connection. Would he be a good dad, or a distant and distracted one, or a Doctor to distracted to do his Doctorly adventuring, etc.? As it is, there are perplexed rumblings from the fans over Susan, the granddaughter, and the complete lack of interest he shows in her fate (in real world terms, the lack of interest by the more recent show runners and writers in exploring that potential relationship any further and in fact just “forgetting” it and hoping we do, too).
I look at it this way: the YA writer usually has to figure out how to get the young heroine’s parents out of the way so she can be free to have the adventure of the story. Similarly, it’s very rare to see an adult hero of many adventures with a wife and/or family. The adventurer needs to be relatively unattached as a long-term proposition, or the whole story becomes *about* issues of attachment (12/Clara, at the end, without a family tie, pushed this to an extreme with a *toxic* attachment that had to be disassembled and forgotten by one party to it). Better a rolling stone, a loose cannon, a freewheeling idiot-savant in a box, whirling around in time and space getting into trouble.
Until somebody wants to take a crack at writing the Doctor as he is now, with a child of his own . . . hybrid or otherwise.19 September 2016 at 09:27 #53973
@jgalt7: What an interesting idea. He does have a daughter though ( a David Tennant episode)I’ve been waiting for her to re-appear.
As for being explained, I can be a bit thick at times snd it still hasn’t. *rolls eyes*
Missy20 September 2016 at 13:11 #53976
@missy Hey, Missy, here are my own thoughts on the matter of the Hybrid, working from the show and all…perhaps it will help you.
We do know that the Doctor learned something about the Hybrid prophecy as a youth, in the Cloisters, but not exactly what. It may indeed have been as he claimed — that he knew no more, in the end, about its identity than anyone else did.
What the show’s explanation (seems to) be:
In the original shooting script of “Heaven Sent”, Me is capitalized in its final line, and the Doctor goes on to claim to Ashildr that she is the Hybrid. She is the last person standing in the universe at the end of all time, the conqueror of Gallifrey by default, standing in its ruins (specifically the ruins of the Cloisters, which are exposed to the elements all those years later).
But she argues that she’s really only a technical hybrid, and goes on to propose it’s either the Doctor himself — that perhaps he’s not a full-blooded Gallifreyan — or the Doctor and Clara together, suggesting the prophecy actually, if cryptically, referred to two people instead of one. She points out that Missy brought the two together to cause the Doctor grief. They had so much in common with each other (a need for adventure, a drive to help others, recklessness, dishonesty, etc.) and grew so close that they eventually, if unintentionally, egged each other on to increasingly risky heroics, which culminated in Clara’s unjust demise, which was the sort of sacrifice the Doctor might make, only it was one she couldn’t return from as he could. They had both become warriors for the sake of the side of right.
From there, the Doctor — who blamed himself for her death as much as he blamed anyone else — couldn’t bear her loss. (Although, and it bothers me that this wasn’t brought up, he might have had a fighting chance if not for the whole confession dial ordeal.) He decided he would do anything beyond reason and even his moral code to bring her back from the grave, even if he couldn’t actually keep her by his side since he’d have to keep her safe from the Time Lords. And that meant doing what the prophecy of the Hybrid foretold — he bloodlessly conquered Gallifrey on the basis of his reputation as a warrior in the Time War, burnt a billion billion of his own hearts in the confession dial to find a way out, began to unravel the web of time by extracting Clara from the moment of her death, and finally stood in Gallifrey’s ruins himself!
Now, since he wouldn’t have done all of this if he didn’t care for Clara so much — if their love hadn’t brought out the worst in each other — it is understandable to see that the two of them together were the Hybrid, thus fulfilling the prophecy. This was why he knew they not only couldn’t stay together, but one couldn’t even remember the other because it risked further desperate deeds on one or both their parts.
My personal interpretation
However, as he begins to swoon under the mind wipe, the Doctor says “I became the Hybrid.” Singular. My personal take is that, indeed, the Doctor himself became the Hybrid through his actions. Clara may have become like him, and they did go to great lengths for each other — and others — but she told him not to lose himself as she prepared to head to her fate, which she accepted, and was horrified by the desperate, universe-risking lengths he went to. She certainly did not think her life was worth risking the Web of Time or burning a billion billion hearts….
The Hybrid was destined to do what it did because it had to heal its heart(s). Her heart did not need healing…but his did. And he couldn’t find a rational way to heal himself, as she instructed, and no one on Gallifrey even acknowledged his sorrow….and if “the Doctor is not here, you are stuck with me”? Well, the Doctor doesn’t use his birth name anymore…so if “he can’t be the Doctor all the time”…all that might be left is…Me. The Hybrid.
Missy told the Doctor back in “The Witch’s Familiar” that “Everyone’s a hybrid” — of good and evil. Well, there are a lot of doctors in the universe, but then there’s THE Doctor, the definitive article you might say. The Doctor is THE Doctor, so perhaps in this story, as his good and evil sides alternately warred and collaborated with each other, he became THE Hybrid. But in the end, he chose to be the Doctor again…and answered the question of whether the Hybrid would be a force for good or evil, peace or destruction. In the end, it was a force for goodness and peace.21 September 2016 at 08:23 #53982
@missrori She certainly did not think her life was worth risking the Web of Time or burning a billion billion hearts….
True: “I was dead,” she says, and not needing anybody to do anything for her any more.
The Hybrid was destined to do what it did because it had to heal its heart(s). Her heart did not need healing…but his did.
That’s an very interesting approach — that the underlying the purpose of his actions wasn’t really to save Clara or punish the TLs, but to “heal his hearts” so that he could move on again as the Doctor, no longer the compulsive guardian of his mayfly because memory, being gone, no longer compels him.23 September 2016 at 11:30 #53998
@missrori; What a read, and you could be right, his heart’s did need to be mended. he has lost so many people.
“I’m so sick of losing” he says in The girl who died.” anyway, your theory sounds as good as any other, thank you for that. You too @ichabod
Missy23 September 2016 at 19:55 #54003
@missy Thanks for thanks; I think the full line, though, is “I’m so sick of losing people”, and refers in the first place to Ashildr — ? He doesn’t actually *lose* in the larger sense — the monster is dealt with, the people on the train are rescued and the mummy soldier is freed, etc., usually (“Sleep No More” is an exception — he and Clara get away with their lives). Of course, in the long, long, long run, he’ll lose everything — just like the rest of us, and in “Heaven Sent” he “lost” this way over and over again — but not permanently, so that doesn’t “count”.24 September 2016 at 12:10 #54018
@ichabod: I haven’t watched this episode much, so I may have got it wrong. But I thought that is what he said, because Clara tells him that he hasn’t lost he’s won, to which he tells her he meant “people.” Or words to that affect.
Missy26 September 2016 at 07:18 #5403329 December 2017 at 03:00 #62836nerys @nerys
I just rewatched this episode tonight and caught so much more than I did when it originally aired. Now I love it! (Yes, I know, I am slow to catch on.)
Question: There’s a waitress who interrupts River and the Doctor at their table. I would swear she looks just like Rosie Jane, the actress who played Bill Potts’ mom, but I don’t see her credited in this episode. Did anyone else notice the resemblance?
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