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756 of 780 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, updated and engaging man for all ages
Sherlock Holmes....makes brainy sexy. Sure he's a self described "high functioning sociopath", with no people skills; but he's brilliant, driven and dresses wonderfully. Dr. John Watson is not a patsy (not a sidekick - he's a partner); sharp, wry, worldly man of action who tolerates Sherlock's idiosyncrasies because he misses the adrenaline edge of combat and seeks...
Published on September 1, 2010 by Angela G. Birt

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE: UK Blu-rays are PAL and may not display video on US players/TVs
If you live in the US, beware that the British version of these Blu-rays are PAL encoded 1080i 50hz and may not display video on US Region 1 players/TVs. Some sellers (including one I bought from) are not describing the disc properly and causing unnecessary disappointment. The British version has a "12" in red circle bottom right, signifying the UK "mature viewing"...
Published 22 months ago by Bruce Donley


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756 of 780 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, updated and engaging man for all ages, September 1, 2010
This review is from: Sherlock: Season 1 (DVD)
Sherlock Holmes....makes brainy sexy. Sure he's a self described "high functioning sociopath", with no people skills; but he's brilliant, driven and dresses wonderfully. Dr. John Watson is not a patsy (not a sidekick - he's a partner); sharp, wry, worldly man of action who tolerates Sherlock's idiosyncrasies because he misses the adrenaline edge of combat and seeks meaning in a life after war. They are evenly matched although Sherlock draws the attention and enmity of their foes - Watson is a good second.

The writing is engaging, cheeky, smart and fast paced. It rolls current technology into the stream of consciousness. The looks of awe when Sherlock figures it out - and his amusement when he learns he's alone are priceless. The cinematography, costumes, lighting and use of text overlays to move the story along are well placed and impressive on their own.

But the intelligence of the show is its presumption in the interest of the watcher; therefore moving with alacrity, flexibility and certain undefinable element of charm missing from many US shows (the brilliant but cancelled Life with Damian Lewis excluded). I'm a US viewer lucky enough to have a friend in the UK - but this show should gain followers worldwide with the power to draw from the past literary works and latch onto the current to slingshot us into the future of TV - for thinking people.
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307 of 317 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did We Really Need Another Sherlock Holmes? A Jaded Fan Gives An Unequivocal "YES!", January 25, 2011
This review is from: Sherlock Season 1 (Amazon Instant Video)
I needed another adaptation featuring Sherlock Holmes about as much as I needed a full frontal lobotomy. Don't get me wrong--I love Holmes. As a boy, I read every story. Through the years, I've seen so many versions of Sherlock that I can't even begin to enumerate them all. I knew things looked bleak when everyone raved about last year's Guy Richie version and I found it only slightly amusing and greatly overproduced. I patently refused to accept this new BBC adaptation and refused to watch it--but I relented (I'm so weak willed) and now, hat in hand, I repent. This glorious updating is fast, smart, and riveting entertainment. What an idiot I would have been to miss it!

Set in contemporary London, "Sherlock" modernizes three classic mysteries. Episode One is "A Study In Pink" and, by itself, it is an absolutely perfect film. The way the murder is introduced, the stellar screenplay, the ingenious play on familiar characters, the droll humor, the emotional resonance, and the technological innovation to update this tale all work in perfect harmony to create an unforgettable re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes. Episode Two, "The Blind Banker," is solid but inevitably pales in comparison to the brilliant opening. And Episode Three, "The Great Game," caps this trio expertly. Just when I thought I had things figured out, "The Great Game" packs a huge wallop--the cliffhanger, and indeed the last 20 minutes, provide one of the most diabolically clever games of cat-and-mouse that you're likely to encounter. Absolutely riveting--it'll leave you gasping and begging for more!

Benedict Cumberbatch turns in a star making portrayal as Holmes. Cumberbatch, with his unorthodox appearance, has always stood out for me--but this is easily his most memorable performance. But surprisingly, it is Watson who is the real revelation here. Martin Freeman brings incredible depth as a war veteran who is alternately awed and frustrated by Holmes. While the banter is devised for maximum cleverness, there are real characters in "Sherlock." While Richie's cleverness led to a "too cool for school" vibe, the BBC version has actual emotional consequence by fully fleshing out the lead characters. As the episodes, for me, would rate 5 stars, 4 stars, and 4 1/2 stars respectively--I'll round up for just how improbably good this turned out to be. Creator Steven Moffatt is on a streak with "Dr. Who," "Coupling" and the delightfully revisionist "Jekyll" and "Sherlock" ranks with the best. KGHarris, 11/10.
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355 of 369 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, September 2, 2010
As a big fan of the original stories and of the 80's Granada show with Jeremy Brett I was expecting to be disappointed by this show. I wasn't! Though it has been transplanted to modern day London it has kept the spirit of the books, and the casting is superb, especially the lead actor who plays the cold, calculated Holmes to perfection.

It's not an easy task to move this concept into a modern day setting given the advances in forensic science since the stories were first published, but focusing on Holmes' acute intelligence, observation and deduction it still gives that sense of awe that makes you feel like you're waking around with your eyes shut.

Don't hesitate... buy or rent this today if you love Holmes!
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213 of 228 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Series, September 4, 2010
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This review is from: Sherlock: Season 1 (DVD)
One of my top favorites, great acting, directing and writing.
each episode is almost 2 hours long and it gives enough time to develop the story and characters,

I hesitated when I saw the series was in modern time, but very soon after I forgot completely and accepted the change, come to think of it that made it even more enjoyable and easier for me to relate as viewer.

Excellent series, I am beyond happy to see it return next year, and I can assure you then it will end in my shopping card too.
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76 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Possible suicides, four of them? There's no point sitting at home when there's finally something fun going on!", November 25, 2010
By 
H. Bala "Me Too Can Read" (Recently moved back to Carson, California, or as I call it... the center of the universe) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sherlock: Season 1 (DVD)
- Sherlock Holmes: "Shut up."
- Inspector Lestrade: "I didn't say anything."
- Sherlock Holmes: "You were thinking. It's annoying."

A proud man is ex-Army doctor, John H. Watson. But he is neither so proud nor his finances so sound that he'd turn his nose up at the chance to share rent on a flat, even if the flat mate should be that most peculiar and aggravating person, Mr. Sherlock Holmes. John Watson is immediately struck with the eccentricity of Holmes, and with his brilliance. And lest those Holmesian afficianados throw a fit, we first meet the Great Detective harshly applying a riding crop to a corpse in an effort to discover lividity, so at least we're reassured that certain things remain the same. Holmes still conducts his nasty experiments. Lean and saturnine, he is still very much the detached thinking machine, still the cold fish, except that, striding thru modern-age London as he does, some people assume he's a bit of a switch hitter.

Somewhere, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce are nudging each other in the ribs. After all, they did this first. In these contemporary times, Sherlock Holmes wages war on ennui, rages against boredom. He fills a role as Scotland Yard's unofficial consulting detective, a necessary tool in crime solving, even if the constabulary consider him a freakish prat. Some have wondered how Holmes would fare in the 21st Century, and the answer is: quite comfortably, thanks ever so. Holmes always was a scientific man, and very practical. Practicality dictates that Holmes would make use of today's technology, and we see him here applying the Internet and his cellie and GPS trackers and so forth. He runs his own website: The Science of Deduction. It doesn't get as many hits as John Watson's blog which is where one can read up on Sherlock Holmes' cases. To quote Holmes: "I'd be lost without my blogger." Heh.

SHERLOCK Season One compiles the three 90-minute made-for-television movies that aired on BBC One in 2010. Steven Moffat, who now runs DOCTOR WHO, is one of the masterminds behind this new series and his name is enough endorsement for me. This is a very cool re-imagining of the classic detecting icon. Some of the mythos have been stripped away. Steal away from the gaslit Victorian age. Discard the Inverness cloak, do away with the deerstalker cap, and also the notion that Dr. Watson is an utter baffled-head. What's left is the core of the detective and his fast friendship with the good doctor. Plonked in this contemporary era, Sherlock Holmes still runs circles around everyone. Only, as a nod to the sign of the times, the master sleuth has traded his pipe for heaps of nicotine patches. 221B Baker Street survives. But now it's perched atop Speedy's Sandwich Bar & Cafe.

The show works because of the casting choices. Benedict Cumberbatch makes a right proper Sherlock Holmes, even if his name sounds like J.K. Rowling made it up; Cumberbatch exudes idiosyncracy and that certain imperious air that makes you just want to kick him around the room a little. It's spot on. Martin Freeman has the less showy role, but probably the more challenging role. It's easy to do flash. Harder to play everyman and to still stand out. Freeman's Watson is not at all dull-witted, is most capable as a man of action. He's just not as good at sudoku as his flat mate. These two actors generate instant chemistry. They are compelling together.

The cases confound. The series comes rife with new material and a dark mood but with unexpected humor. There are nods to A.C. Doyle's classic mysteries. "A Study In Pink" pits Holmes against a clever serial killer who talks his victims into killing themselves, and if you haven't caught on to the word play in the episode title, this one is loosely adapted from "A Study In Scarlet." "The Blind Banker" has Holmes doing a favor for an old school chum and investigating a break-in and a rash of graffiti. His sniffing around leads him to a locked room murder mystery and a circus. This case takes a wee bit from "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" (the graffiti as cypher sub-plot). Finally, in "The Great Game," the world's sole consulting detective plays a deadly cat-and-mouse game with a mad bomber who leaves deadlines and clues via his victims. This, even as Mycroft presses him to recover missing top secret government papers. This is very loosely based on "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans" and just a whiff, just a whiff of "The Five Orange Pips." Throughout, there's emphasis on showcasing Holmes' dazzling deductive process.

Somewhere in all this, we meet Sherlock's brother Mycroft who, as he says, "occupies a minor position in the British government" (but we know better). And in the shadows - pulling strings and simply being a sodding evil sod - sits the criminal genius Moriarty who, next to boredom (and, possibly, trivia about the solar system), serves as archnemesis to Sherlock Holmes. In "The Great Game" Moriarty and Holmes finally have a proper chat. The chat ends inconclusively. Still, who needs gaslit lamps and horse-drawn cabbies, eh?

The 2-disc DVD set comes with the following bonus material: 2 audio commentaries: one for "A Study In Pink" by the show's producers/writers (Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue), another for "The Great Game" from Mark Gatiss & actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman; the unaired hour-long pilot "A Study In Pink" (later expanded and reworked into the 90-minute version that did air); and "Unlocking Sherlock" - the roughly 33-minute-long "Making Of" featurette with, among other things, cast & crew interviews, their thoughts on relocating Sherlock Holmes to present-day London, and comparison shots between the pilot and the movie.
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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overall a must-see and can't wait for more!, September 8, 2010
By 
frozen01 (Elmhurst, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sherlock: Season 1 (DVD)
I'll admit, I was skeptical at first. After all, half of the allure of Sherlock Holmes is the grittiness and fog contrasting against the elegance and splendor of the Victorian era. How would this translate in a modern era? Surprisingly well, it turns out. Although only 3 episodes have been released (and yes, it has been renewed for further seasons/series), Sherlock has already found a place in my heart (and a permanent slot on my iPod). The acting is absolutely fabulous, and it is a smart blend of action, suspense, drama, and comedy, filled with references to the novels.

A Study in Pink (Steven Moffat): Written by the mastermind behind the latest season/series of Doctor Who starring Matt Smith (my favorite year of DW to date), and other gems like Jekyll (another modern retelling, this time of Robert Louis Stevenson's Victorian horror story), A Study in Pink re-introduces you to the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. Based more off the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories than the movies that made the term "dearstalker" a household name, Holmes solves mysteries the police cannot using his powers of observation, keen ability to connect the dots, and a smartphone. Watson, an Afghan war vet once more (things never really do change, do they?), is introduced to Holmes while looking for a roommate, and finds in him a friend and partner who can satisfy his need for adventure and danger in the humdrum of post-war life. On the advice of his psychiatrist, Watson begins a blog about Holmes' cases, and thus fulfills the role of biographer to the famous consulting detective. In this story, the police are looking into a series of deaths that are believed to be suicides by ingestion of pills, but Sherlock knows are murders. The mystery takes second-stage to the characters in this one, though. While the story suffers a smidgen for it, you will still have a ton of fun watching the characters develop and the stage get set. A pitch-perfect introduction to what is surely going to be a beloved show for a long time.

The Blink Banker (Stephen Thompson): A series of mysterious spray-painted symbols links murders and disappearances to ancient Chinese artifacts. Easily the weakest of the three stories so far, but still a good time, with some particularly fine acting by Martin Freeman. The ending is especially chilling, and worth the price of admission alone.

The Great Game (Mark Gatiss): An explosion rocks London, and soon the culprit challenges Sherlock in a race against time to solve seemingly unrelated cases before the next bomb goes off. Dr. Watson shines in this episode, showing that he is not the bumbling idiot as often portrayed in the movies (but NOT in the books, mind you; while he is not Sherlock's equal in terms of training, he is nearly as smart, and certainly more world-wise). There are also some lovely moments between Sherlock and Mycroft, great character exposition with regards to how Sherlock's mind works, and the nemesis that has been winding himself into the plots and lurking in the background.
And the ending... oh, my. My friends and I are still talking about it!

This program is more like three stand-alone movies, each episode being about 1.5 hours with a satisfying conclusion to wrap it up at the end (with one minor episode 3 caveat, about which I will not go further to avoid the slightest chance of spoiling the moment). But like any movie and its sequels, it is still best to watch them in order.
(A side note: The price might seem like a bit much for only three episodes, until you realize how much you would be paying for one stand-alone movie. And this show is better than most movies I could name.)
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ten Star Production, September 16, 2010
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This review is from: Sherlock: Season 1 (DVD)
It's unfortunate that Amazon has a ratings limit, because this series is such a cut above the rest, allotting 'Sherlock' only five stars seems to be doing it a disservice.

The writing is phenomenal, managing to update Conan Doyle's characters in a way that parallels the original with the modern instead of changing Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson to fit in the 21st century. Their personas are so recognizable that everything else that you assumed epitomized Holmes - the Victorian setting, the heavy smoking/pipes, the cliched deerstalker and Inverness - is quickly forgotten. Messrs Moffat and Gatiss have done a remarkable job proving that Sherlock Holmes was not, in fact, a product of the Victorian era, as even I suspected he might be, and they've not only updated a few of Doyle's own deductions, but have written in originals that rival those of the stories.

A word on Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson, or Sherlock and John, as the case may be. Being that I read the Holmes Canon and had a precise mental image of him before ever seriously watching any adaptation, even the best Holmes actors have always been that - actors. Even Jeremy Brett took some getting used to. But Cumberbatch exudes Sherlock Holmes from every pore. He was my Holmes practically from the first twenty seconds he was on screen. Martin Freeman's Watson is fleshed out wonderfully, retaining the above average intelligence he was possessed of in the original stories, while not resorting to making him hostile or put-upon in the process. He's a loyal partner and friend, the most important person in Holmes' life and vice versa. He is no pushover by any means, but is in awe of Holmes and will do anything for him. Basically, he is ACD's Watson, just as Cumberbatch is Holmes of early Canon.

You cannot go wrong with this series, whether you are a stuffy purist Sherlockian or just looking for an entertaining mystery. It is brilliant and utterly delightful. My only gripe is the fact we only have three episodes.

ETA: There has been speculation that this DVD set contained the edited versions aired on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery. All three episodes are included in their entirety, with no cut scenes. The special features also include a commentary with Gatiss/Moffatt and the original unaired pilot.
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77 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did We Really Need Another Sherlock Holmes? A Jaded Fan Gives An Unequivocal "YES!", November 13, 2010
This review is from: Sherlock: Season 1 (DVD)
I needed another adaptation featuring Sherlock Holmes about as much as I needed a full frontal lobotomy. Don't get me wrong--I love Holmes. As a boy, I read every story. Through the years, I've seen so many versions of Sherlock that I can't even begin to enumerate them all. I knew things looked bleak when everyone raved about last year's Guy Richie version and I found it only slightly amusing and greatly overproduced. I patently refused to accept this new BBC adaptation and refused to watch it--but I relented (I'm so weak willed) and now, hat in hand, I repent. This glorious updating is fast, smart, and riveting entertainment. What an idiot I would have been to miss it!

Set in contemporary London, "Sherlock" modernizes three classic mysteries. Episode One is "A Study In Pink" and, by itself, it is an absolutely perfect film. The way the murder is introduced, the stellar screenplay, the ingenious play on familiar characters, the droll humor, the emotional resonance, and the technological innovation to update this tale all work in perfect harmony to create an unforgettable re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes. Episode Two, "The Blind Banker," is solid but inevitably pales in comparison to the brilliant opening. And Episode Three, "The Great Game," caps this trio expertly. Just when I thought I had things figured out, "The Great Game" packs a huge wallop--the cliffhanger, and indeed the last 20 minutes, provide one of the most diabolically clever games of cat-and-mouse that you're likely to encounter. Absolutely riveting--it'll leave you gasping and begging for more!

Benedict Cumberbatch turns in a star making portrayal as Holmes. Cumberbatch, with his unorthodox appearance, has always stood out for me--but this is easily his most memorable performance. But surprisingly, it is Watson who is the real revelation here. Martin Freeman brings incredible depth as a war veteran who is alternately awed and frustrated by Holmes. While the banter is devised for maximum cleverness, there are real characters in "Sherlock." While Richie's cleverness led to a "too cool for school" vibe, the BBC version has actual emotional consequence by fully fleshing out the lead characters. As the episodes, for me, would rate 5 stars, 4 stars, and 4 1/2 stars respectively--I'll round up for just how improbably good this turned out to be. Creator Steven Moffatt is on a streak with "Dr. Who," "Coupling" and the delightfully revisionist "Jekyll" and "Sherlock" ranks with the best. KGHarris, 11/10.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a Study in Classic Interpretation: A Modern Sherlock That Works, October 14, 2010
By 
This review is from: Sherlock: Season 1 (DVD)
I am a huge fan of the Holmes "canon." And, a relative purist at that. Thus, I am one of those Sherlockians addled by the Basil Rathbone adaptations: loosely based on Doyle's work ( sometimes straying altogether) and featuring a Watson so removed from my imaginings that he became almost unrecognizable in all of his befuddled tomfoolery.

I was a little skeptical of the new Sherlock when I first heard of its conception. A longtime fan of the Moffatt Dr. Who age, I was fairly certain that the writing would be up to snuff and that Moffatt and Gatiss would live up to their self-proclaimed status of Holmes aficionado. However, the casting, at first glance, seemed awkward.

Was I ever wrong! I think next to Brett, Benedict Cumberbatch has solidly secured his place as the definitive Sherlock Holmes. While those who subscribe to the iconical version of Holmes ( more of the Rathbone and William Gillette and less the Sidney Paget ), will be at first surprised by the look of Benedict Cumberbatch: his physiognomy, facial structure, almost ethereally penetrating glance and quick, languid movements are rooted in source material.

In turn, Martin Freeman perfectly fits the smart, stoic and patient role of Dr. Watson.

The chemistry between the two actors, as explored in the novels and short stories, is palpable and a joy to watch. In fact, it is their burgeoning relationship and their individual growths that dictate the series' success.

That and the fact that it is a perfect symbiosis of classic text with modern technology and setting. Drawing on The Adventure of the Dancing Men, the Sign of Four, the Final Problem, the Bruce Partington Plans, etc., Holmesians will revel in the winks and nudges toward original stories and relish each carefully construed piece fabricating the world of Holmes and Watson.

Lestrade, Mycroft and Mrs. Hudson flesh out the Holmes and Watson stories with intricate skill. The inevitable appearance of Moriarty ( as well as his carefully whispered name infusing each story ) is climactic, intense and downright finger-biting fun.

Like the Holmes stories of yore, London is a brilliantly rendered character: hansom cabs have been replaced for taxis and Simpsons (Sherlock's favourite restaurant) with a snappy Italian in Westminster) ; but the inspiration is acute.

I was especially dazzled by the scenes in St. Bart's ---perfectly mirroring the famous meeting of Holmes and Watson in A Study in Scarlet. From Sherlock's extraordinarily violent experiment on a fresh cadaver to his immediate recognition of Watson's return from war-torn Afghanistan, this is the epitome of strong and stunning adaptation.

Like the best literary adaptations ( think the gargantuan task of re-imagining Patrick O'Brian's 21 volume Aubrey and Maturin canon into the exceptional Master and Commander) , the BBC Sherlock captures the essence and spark of source material.

We could spend hours dissecting each and every ounce of minutiae and how it does/doesn't translate to a modern audience.... But the brilliance of Sherlock's mind; his method and his relationship with Watson are all century agnostic.

True devotees will revel in the style and tribute to Holmes and, moreover, in the series' ultimate proof that literary genius is timeless: regardless of medium, setting and century
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh. My. God, November 8, 2010
By 
Amanda "XD" (Charlotte, NC, United States) - See all my reviews
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That was great! I think, of all the Sherlock Holmes' adaptations and movies that I've seen, this one is the most loyal to the original. And it takes place in the present day. One of the things I loved in this one is that it follows Sir Arthur's practice of making London a character. But I digress.

The leads are fantastic, Benedict Cumberbatch is a great choice for Holmes. He adopts all of Holmes' mannersisms from the books and stories and he makes them work. Martin Freeman is great as Watson as well. He, like the original, is intelligent, practical, and the perfect foil for the sometimes myopic Holmes. I love the actors they've chosen for Mycroft and Moriarty as well. Especially Moriarty. How great was he? He was perfect. Brilliant and psychotic with widely varying moods and voices.

The writing is top-notch. It incorporates a lot of the original source material and the storylines, with just enough variation and modernity to make it interesting to watch. It's also great how they'll incorporate important quotes and events into the script. Where Holmes in the original compares one's mind to a lumber room or an attic, this one will compare his mind to a hard drive. There is enough homage in the script to make it enjoyable for long-time fans but not so much that newcomers to Holmes will be left out. Just fantastic. It's also a lot of fun to watch and I don't think I've giggled or smiled so much during a show in a long time. Well done lads.
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A Study in Pink by Paul McGuigan
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