Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: Enterprise – Season Four”

Starring: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, Linda Park
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Run Time: 1009 minutes

Season: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Well this is the end folks. Season four is the final season of “Star Trek Enterprise”. The series starred Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalock, Connor Trinneer, Dominic Keating, Linda Park, Anthony Montgomery and John Billingsley. These final episodes follows the adventures of the first Earth-built vessel capable of breaking the Warp 5 barrier. The show was no question cut off too show. Season four was one of the best seasons but luckily since being canceled it has spawned a nice new life with fans. Since being canceled though, this marks the first time that the series “Star Trek” has not had a TV show on the air since The Original Series. This is a must own for all Trekkies.

Official Premise: In the final harrowing season of Star Trek: Enterprise, timelines collide as Captain Jonathan Archer and his crew rally with humans and other species to form the Federation and prevent intergalactic war. Starfleet and the crew of the Enterprise are put to the test as they fight to avoid a deadly virus on the ship, deal with an alternate “mirror” universe, battle radical alien factions, and prevent the alteration of history – including a Nazi-occupied America. If the Temporal Cold War is not brought to an end, history and life as they know it will be forever altered.

Episodes included in this season are: “Storm Front, Part I”; “Storm Front, Part II”; “Home”; “Borderland”; “Cold Station 12”; “The Augments”; “The Forge”; “Awakening”; “Kir’Shara”; “Daedalus”; “Observer Effect”; “Babel One”; “United”; “The Aenar”; “Affliction”; “Divergence”, “Bound”; “In A Mirror, Darkly, Part I”; “In A Mirror, Darkly, Part II”; “Demons”; “Terra Prime” and “These Are The Voyages”

“Star Trek: Enterprise – Season Four” boasts the best Blu-ray presentation out of the series. The 1080p transfer on these episodes are fantastic. This season was quite ambitious and really looked great. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks are equally impressive. I am going to miss hearing that theme song circle my surround sound system, luckily these episodes have great replay value. Other audio track included are German 5.1 Dolby Digital, French Stereo Surround and Japanese Stereo Surround as well. The discs also include English SDH, French, German, Japanese and Dutch subtitles.

If you are a fan of this series, you know that they have been jam-packed with amazing new and ported special features. The real highlight to this release was “In Conversation: Writing Star Trek Enterprise”, which is an exclusive, 90-minute writing staff reunion special. It brings together series creator and executive producer Brannon Braga, along with Mike Sussman, André Bormanis, David Goodman, Chris Black, Phyllis Strong, and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens talking in great detail about behind-the-scenes stories for this series. There is also a newly produced, four-part documentary “Before Her Time: Decommissioning Enterprise,” which includes more in-depth interviews with the cast and crew.

Those two new extras and much of the rest of the extras resides on the sixth disc. Disc one includes a Deleted Scene on “Storm Front”, an Extended Scene and Script Gallery: Original Editing on “Home” and Archival Mission Logs: Enterprise Moments: Season Four. Disco two includes a brand new episode commentary track with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Mike & Denise Okuda on “The Forge”. There is also a text commentary from 2005 with Mike & Denise Okuda on “The Forge”. Disc three includes another brand new episode commentary track with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Mike & Denise Okuda on “Observer Effect”.

Disc Four includes another brand new episode commentary track with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and David Livingston on “United”. There is also a Deleted Scene on “The Aenar”. Disc Five kicks off with five commentary tracks. The first is from 2005 with Mike Sussman and Tim Gaskill on “In A Mirror, Darkly, Part I”. On the same episode, there is also an episode commentary with James L. Conway, Mike Sussman and Mike & Denise Okuda, which is brand new. Mike Sussman and Tim Gaskill have a commentary track from 2005 on “In A Mirror, Darkly, Part II”, again also on this episod is a 2005 text commentary from Mike & Denise Okuda on “In A Mirror, Darkly, Part II”. The last episode commentary is with Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating on “Demons”, which is also brand new. Lastly there is a Deleted Scene from “In A Mirror, Darkly, Part II”, Archival Mission Logs: Inside the Mirror Episodes included.

Disc Six includes yet another three commentary tracks. The first is a brand new track with Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating on “Terra Prime”. There is a 2005 episode commentary track with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Tim Gaskill on “Terra Prime”. Lastly there is a text commentary with Mike & Denise Okuda on “These Are The Voyages” from 2005. There is a four part featurette including, “New Voices”, “Memorable Voyages”, “Final Approach” and “End of an Era”. Rounding out there extras are a few Archival Mission Logs, Outtakes Photo Gallery and an NX-01 File 10. Great way to close out a series.

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: Enterprise – Season Three”

Starring: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, Linda Park
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Run Time: 1025 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

The third season was a big season for this show. It saw the series change its name from “Enterprise” to “Star Trek: Enterprise” and also got a new main title theme, which is quite a big deal especially for a “Star Trek” series. The third season was also the turning point for this show as it delivered one of the best seasons. One thing that I liked and I am sure all fans did was that it was centered around one single story arc surrounding the Xindi attack on Earth. I think that this season sealed the deal for fans of the show but unfortunately it was also the season to last. A must own for any “Enterprise” fan!

Official Premise: After a surprise attack on Earth leaves over seven million people dead, Captain Jonathan Archer (Bakula) and the crew of the Enterprise swear to find those responsible – the Xindi. Taking off into the uncharted region known as the Delphic Expanse, the crew of the Enterprise must hunt down the Xindi and stop them from enacting their ultimate plan: the total destruction of humanity. Along the way they travel to the year 2004 to prevent a bioweapon attack, fend off the mysterious Sphere-Builders, and even meet their own descendants due to a wormhole mishap, all leading up to a desperate race back to Earth to prevent its destruction.

Here are the episodes that are included in Season Three: “The Xindi”, “Anomaly”, “Extinction”, “Rajiin”, “Impulse”, “Exile”, “The Shipment”, “Twilight”, “North Star”, “Similitude”, “Carpenter Street”, “Chosen Realm”, “Proving Ground”, “Stratagem”, “Harbinger”, “Doctor’s Orders”, “Hatchery”, “Azati Prime”, “Damage”, “The Forgotten”, “E2”, “The Council”, “Countdown” and “Zero Hour”

CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Pictures have been giving this show better and better releases since the first season. Not only with “Enterprise” as well but also they have delivered impressive releases for the “Star Trek” franchise included the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” seasons. Season Three of “Star Trek: Enterprise” is easily this show’s best collection of 1080p high definition transfers. It is also backed with some impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround tracks as well.

In terms of special features, Season Three delivers the goods for sure. There are tons of great commentary tracks included. There are three Text Commentary with Mike &a Denise Okuda on the following episodes; “The Xindi”, “Impulse” and “Countdown”. There are three episode commentary tracks including Manny Coto on “Similitude”, Mike Sussman and Tim Gaskill on “Twilight” and then Mike DeMeritt on “North Star”. If that isn’t enough there are five brand new commentary tracks included. The first is with David A. Goodman and Chris Black on “North Star”; Manny Coto and Connor Trinneer on “Similitude”; David A. Goodman, Chris Black and Connor Trinneer on “The Forgotten”; Chris Black and André Bormanis on Countdown and lastly David Livingston and David A. Goodman on “Impulse”.

Some other new features include a multi-part documentary, “In a Time of War”, which is a great behind-the-scenes look on the third season. There is also another new featurette called “Temporal Cold War: Declassified”, which talks about an arc which was never explored. There are deleted scenes from three episodes, “Similitude”, “Chosen Realm” and “E2”. There are Archival Mission Logs for “The Xindi Saga Begins”, “Enterprise Moments: Season Three”, “Enterprise Profile: Connor Trinneer”, “A Day in the Life of a Director: Roxanne Dawson”, “Behind the Camera: Marvin Rush” and , “Enterprise Secrets (SD)” Lastly, there are outtakes and photo gallery included.

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: Enterprise – Season Two”

Actors: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery
Directors: Allan Kroeker, David Livingston, David Straiton, James A. Contner, James L. Conway
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Run Time: 1112 minutes

Season: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

If you are a fan of “Star Trek: Enterprise” then you will know that in season two the show starts to get its legs. The first season was more a transition and them getting their feet wet. We picked up from the “Star Trek” classic cliffhanger ending of the first season with Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) trapped in the 31st century. This season includes some great fan favorites including “Shockwave, Part II”, “Carbon Creek” and “Dead Stop”. There are plenty of connection introduced to original Star Trek series like with Klingons and even a Tribble. Speaking of other “Star Trek” series, there are several episodes this season which are directed by past cast alumni including Next Generation’s LeVar Burton, and Voyager’s Roxanne Dawson and Robert Duncan McNeill. So if you are a fan of this show that you should get ready to continue your journey abroad the Enterprise NX-01 with this impressive Blu-ray season release.

Official Premise: Where no one has gone before! Beginning with season one’s epic cliffhanger, experience the adventures of the Enterprise NX-01 crew as Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) and his crew explore the far reaches of space long before the United Federation of Planets was formed. The crew is tested as Chief Engineer Charles “Trip” Tucker III (Connor Trinneer) is abducted while Science Officer T’Pol (Jolene Blalock) struggles with a life-threatening disease. Witness the real first contact of Humans and Vulcans, the return of a familiar Star Trek alien, and the origins of Archer’s early career – all leading up to the explosive finale.

The first season of “Star Trek: Enterprise” looks good and much better than its prior TV release but wasn’t up to the par in terms of the recent “Star Trek: The Next Generation” releases. This second season aimed to improve that and quite succeeded. The show looks great within each the 26 episodes from the series’ sophomore season. The 1080p transfer has issues here and there but ultimately you should be able to enjoy this season with no major issues. It is not “TNG” but still decent. The show goes with a striking DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track, which works with every warp speed jump and the show’s action. It also comes with numerous other languages including German and Italian 5.1 (Dolby Digital), and French, Castilian and Japanese Stereo Surround (Dolby Digital).

Like “Star Trek: Enterprise” season one release, this release comes packed with great mix of new and vintage extras. They are spread out over the six Blu-ray discs. The main star of the special features on the first disc is the newly produced cast reunion feature, “In Conversation: The First Crew,” is moderated by series co-creator/executive producer Brannon Braga and features cast/crew chatting about the show. This runs just over 90 minutes and is a must for any fan of the series. “Uncharted Territory” is another must watch, which is a three-part behind-the scene featurette focusing the show’s production for the second season with cast/crew interviews.

There are several audio commentaries tracks included as well. The first is with co-writer Chris Black and Mike & Denise Okuda for the episode “Carbon Creek”. Next we get a commentary track for the episode “Dead Stop” with co-writers Michael Sussman and Phyllis Strong. Actors John Billingsley and Bonita Friedericy give a great audio track for the episode “Regeneration”. Co-Writers Michael Sussman and Phyllis Strong give their two cents on the episode “Regeneration”. Lastly writer Chris Black and Mike & Denise Okuda breakdown the episode “First Flight”. They were recorded back in 2005 but if you have never heard they are worth giving a listen for these great episodes . There are also two text commentary track for “Stigma” with Mike & Denise Okuda and “First Flight with Mike & Denise Okuda.

There are deleted scenes from six different episodes including ,”Minefield”, “A Night in Sickbay”, “Dawn”, “Stigma”, “Cease Fire” and “The Expanse.” There are some short archival interviews with Brannon Braga, Rick Berman, Jolene Blalock, and Scott Bakula discussing the episode “Stigma”. There are three “NX-01 Files” 04 focuses on Scott Bakula. “NX-01 File 05” look the character Hoshia and “NX-01 File 06” features Anthony Montgomery reflect on his role. There eight “Archival Mission Logs” included spread out over the six disc. They focus on the following topics included “Enterprise Moments: Season Two”, “Enterprise Profile: Jolene Blalock”, “Inside “A Night in Sickbay””, “Future Tense”, “Enterprise Secrets”, “LeVar Burton: Star Trek Director” and Enterprise Outtakes”. Lastly there is a short season two promo and a photo gallery included.


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Blu-ray Review "Star Trek – Enterprise: Season One"

Starring: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, Linda Park
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: March 26, 2013
Run Time: 1149 minutes

Season: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Star Trek: Enterprise” or better known as just “Enterprise” for the first few seasons. The show started in 2001 and would run for four seasons and 98 episodes before being cancelled. It was also the last series in an 18-year run of back-to-back which started in 1987 with “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Personally, I thought this series was quite sharp. Who doesn’t love Scott Bakula. It takes the prequel approach to “Star Trek” and explores the roots of the Federation and the beginning of exploring deep space. Here we got a new crew, a great captain (you rule Bakula!) and a great new concept. The show was was met with mixed reaction but have established a decent cult following over the years. I feel that it gets its legs as the series matures but still a great entry in the “Star Trek” universe.

Official Premise: Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) commands the Enterprise NX-01, the first Earth-built vessel capable of breaking the Warp 5 barrier. With his trusted Chief Engineer, Charles “Trip” Tucker III (Connor Trinneer), Science Officer T’Pol (Jolene Blalock), and security expert Lt. Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating), Capt. Archer is tasked with exploring new, unknown star systems. Propel your imagination farther and faster than before with an ever-expanding universe of captivating characters, interstellar intrigue, and adventures that will come to define the very essence of Starfleet.

Here are the episodes that are included in Season One: Broken Bow, Fight or Flight, Strange New World, Unexpected, Terra Nova, The Andorian Incident, Breaking the Ice, Civilization, Fortunate Son, Cold Front, Silent Enemy, Dear Doctor, Sleeping Dogs, Shadows of P’Jem, Shuttlepod One, Fusion, Rogue Planet, Acquisition, Oasis, Detained, Vox Sola, Fallen Hero, Desert Crossing, Two Days and Two Nights, Shockwave, Part 1.

If you are a fan of the show then thanks need to go to CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Pictures. They are behind releasing the first season of “Enterprise” on Blu-ray for the first time. They continue to deliver very impressive releases for the “Star Trek” franchise after “Star Trek: The Next Generation” seasons one and two. The show takes us into deep space for the first time along with the starship Enterprise NX-01 and includes some really fantastic 1080p high definition picture and very impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround tracks. I remember watching this show on UPN and let just say say “WOW”, this really really looks 10x better than I ever remember. If you are a fan of “Enterprise” you will be easily shot into warp speed with this wonderful Blu-ray presentation.

This Blu-ray comes packed with boasts some brand new bonus features that really makes this release shine for sure. The extras are spread out all over the six Blu-rays. Disc One features a brand new audio commentary track on the episode “Broken Bow” with co-creator/executive producer Brannon Braga, director James L. Conway, visual effects producer Dan Curry and cast members Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker) and Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed). “Broken Bow” also has an audio commentary track with Brannon Braga and Rick Berman and a text commentary track by Michael and Denise Okuda.

Next up there are some deleted scenes for “Broken Bow” and “Fight or Flight”. There are three “Archival Mission Logs” including “Creating Enterprise”, “O Captain! My Captain! A Profile of Scott Bakula” and “NX-01 File 02”. The rest of the extras are all brand new including “In Conversation: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga”, presented in HD. “Cast Introduction” , “Network Presentation” and “Syndication Presentation” wrap up the first disc. After watching these extras, I couldn’t believe there were still five more discs of extras.

Disc two puts forward the following special features including a deleted scene from” Unexpected”. There is a text commentary track by Michael and Denise Okuda on episode, “The Andorian Incident”. There are two “Archival Mission Logs” including “Cast Impressions: Season 1” and “Enterprise Secrets”. This wraps up disc two but there is still tons more to come. Disc Three includes a brand new audio commentary track with writer/story editor André Bormanis and visual effects producer Dan Curry on the episode, “Silent Enemy”. There is a deleted scene from “Sleeping Dogs”. Lastly there are two more “Archival Mission Logs” including “Star Trek Time Travel: Temporal Cold Wars and Beyond”
and “Admiral Forrest Takes Center Stage”.

Disc Four includes not one but two new audio commentary track with writers/executive story editors Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong on “Shadows of P’Jem”. The second is with co-creator/executive producer Brannon Braga, director David Livingston and cast members Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker) and Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) on “Shuttlepod One”. There is a deleted scene from “Shuttlepod One”. Lastly there are three “Archival Mission Logs” including “Inside Shuttlepod One”, “NX-01 File 01” and “NX-01 File 03”. Disc Five including two sets of deleted scenes from “Oasis” and “Fallen Hero”. There is another text commentary track by Michael and Denise Okuda on “Vox Sola”. There is another “Archival Mission Log” for “Enterprise Outtakes”. Lastly there is a new featurette called “On The Set”, though only in SD.

The sixth and last disc includes the best extra and also some deleted scenes from both “Two Days and Two Nights” and “Shockwave, Part 1”. There is also the last “Archival Mission Log: Celebrating Star Trek”. The last extra is also the best it is a brand new multi-part, retrospective documentary called “To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise”. This is a real tribute to the show and a treat for the fans. It gives an inside look at the development and production of the series with new interviews with the show’s cast and crew and archival footage and behind-the-scenes clips.

The documentary includes the following three parts “Countdown, “Boarding the NX-01” and “First Flight”. Part 1, “Countdown” features all new interviews with creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, production designer Herman Zimmerman, technical consultants Michael and Denise Okuda, writers Andre Bormanis, Phyllis Strong and more talking about bringing this show to life. Part 2, “Boarding the NX-01” focuses on the series 2-hour pilot “Broken Bow” with all-new interviews with key cast and crew including series pilot director James L. Conway and series leads Scott Bakula (“Jonathan Archer”), Connor Trinneer (“Trip Tucker”), and Dominic Keating (“Malcolm Reed”). Lastly Part 3, “First Flight” looks into the first season with more all-new interviews with key production and post-production personal.


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Book Review "Star Trek The Next Generation: On Board the U.S.S. Enterprise"

Author: Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series
Release Date: March 1, 2013

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Being a big Star Trek fan-or Trekkie, I just had to add this latest book to my collection. The U.S.S. Enterprise is represented all around my office with model, toys and even Christmas ornments. So if you are a fan of “Star Trek” then who wouldn’t want to be transported to the Final Frontier for a 3D tour within this book? I have to say I was hoping for a little more since this book really is putting its audience under the age of 12.  Nonetheless, I like to consider myself young at heart.  This brand-new book contains a detailed 48 pages contains a 3D tour of everyone favorite way to cruise through space, the U.S.S. Enterprise.  This year is a big year for “Star Trek” with “Star Trek: Into Darkness” coming out this May, as well as the 25th anniversary of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”,  so fans are sure to be on “Star Trek” overload.

As long as they are aware that it is rather short and aimed at a younger audience they should still be left satisfied. If you are a new “Star Trek” fan or a life-long fan, this contains the history of the starship Enterprise in detail and with very sharp illustrations.  I was excited to get a chance to see the Enterprise from new angles and it almost feels like you are a fly on the wall. So what can you expect to see inside the ship? How about the ship’s bridge, the captain’s chair, the main consoles, as well as their Starfleet members living quarters.  Even though the book is only 48 pages, there is still some decent information packed into it.

So if you are left wanting a little more from this book, it also contains a CD-ROM, which gives a digital detailed tour of the Enterprise . This software program was developed along with the creators of the “Star Trek” sets that were used in the films and on the television series, so you know that it is accurate.  I feel that this kind of makes up for the length of the book and gives the reader an added bonus. Speaking of accuracy, the book is authored by Michael Okuda, and his wife Denise.  In fact Michael was the scenic art supervisor for “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, and the designer of the ship’s control panels, computer readout animations, and other features. So that also shows the book is in good hands. Like I said, try having a fan pass this up.

John Billingsley talks about role in “Trade of Innocents” and reflects on “Star Trek: Enterprise”

John Billingsley is known best for his role of Doctor Phlox on “Star Trek: Enterprise”. He also co-stars in the recent “Trade of Innocents”, playing the sleazy Malcolm Eddery. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with John about his various roles and what has been his most rewarding role.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you got involved with the film “Trade of Innocents”
John Billingsley: It was a pretty standard audition process. The scene I did was one that ended up not making it into the final cut of the film. When we were working on it I had a strange suspicion that the scene might not make it in to the film. After meeting with the directed I heard back about a month later that I had gotten the part.

MG: How did you prepare to play such a sleazy guy, Malcolm Eddery?
JB: I have played more than my share of creeps, child molesters and psychotics through the years. I hate to say it wasn’t an extraordinary stretch for me to play this role. Ultimately anytime you are playing a character that is bent you really aren’t doing anything much other than saying what their particular obsession or interest is. Everyone has an obsessive nature so all you have to do is stretch the envelope a little bit.

MG: The film was shot on location, tell us about your experience?
JB: That was great! I had never been to Bangkok before. It was a fascinating city that has this strange blend of first worldism and third worldism. There were high rise buildings mixed in with small run downhouses. My role gave me quite a bit of down time. I would generally shoot a day then have some time off. I had a chance to explore the entire city. I am a big fan of cities and getting to see how they work. They have a really interesting transportation system there that is also pretty cheap.

MG: How can you reflect looking back on your experience playing Doctor Phlox on “Star Trek: Enterprise” and how it compares to your following work?
JB: My role in “Star Trek” is probably the closest role I have had to myself. He was an even keeled person with a fair amount of philosophical attachment. Except for the rubber head in many respect that role was probably the most comfortable I have ever been. After playing that role for 4 years I wasn’t too bereft when it went off the air.

MG: How was it returning to “True Blood” this season as the Coroner?
JB: Surprising! The role was never particularly dimensional in any way but I did like the paycheck. They were nice people to work for. My character disappeared sometime in the 3rd season so I was pleasantly surprised when they contacted me. I was a little puzzled in a way as they brought me back but didn’t necessarily use me. I have a feeling that there may have been a back story there. I kind of thought my character was going to be the guy behind the Obama killings. When I went in for the first wardrobe fitting they wanted to fit me for camouflage gear. I asked them what it was about and they told me I was going to be involved with a terrorist group later in the year. Somewhere along the line they must have changed their mind. I was a little disappointed. I did get a death scene though.

MG: Looking at your career to date, what would you say has been your most rewarding role?
JB: The most fun/challenging role was probably one that no one ever saw. I did a play called “The Seagull” in Seattle which was great. Movie wise I did a film with Denzel Washington called “Out of Time” which was also great. I liked being on “The Nine” as well. The lady who played my wife on that show is actually my wife. Each thing you do offers its own particular reward. In the end I have to pick “Star Trek” as it lasted the longest. That role changed my life.


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