Fearsome Fates: Top 10 Deaths from the Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise
How can you escape death when all it does is wait for you to fall asleep? This question of human vulnerability led the late filmmaker Wes Craven on a journey that culminated in one of cinema’s most deleterious and recognizable horror film icons: Freddy Krueger. The man in the Christmas sweater and dirty brown hat is every bit as important to the horror genre as Darth Vader is to science fiction.
ventures from other macabre movie franchises like
was the creativity with which Krueger disposed of his victims, and the fantasy-based elements of the kids’ extravagant nightmares. The gimmick of dying in the dream world equating to death in reality spelled doom for those trying to outrun Krueger’s wrath.
After nine feature films and a calamitous television series that is best left buried in the past, the
With that in mind, here are the Fearsome Fates: Top 10 Deaths from the Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise.
“Nice hearing from you, Carlos” – Only
However, the lackluster sixth installment of the franchise gives fans one very memorable, bone-chilling death sequence. Carlos (Ricky Dean Logan) is attacked by Freddy and the youth has his ears cleansed courtesy of a monstrous Q-tip. Carlos is deaf and loses his hearing aid in the scuffle. Carlos manages to retrieve it only to have the hearing aid meld with his head and ear.
Everything Carlos hears is amplified thanks to Freddy’s torturous hearing aid. Krueger pulls out a chalkboard and then scrapes his sharp claws across it to create an unbearably loud symphony of screeching, which results in Carlos’ head exploding. Freddy blows the kid’s mind, literally.
Director Chuck Russell and writer Frank Darabont’s much-needed assistance on the
series marked the beginnings of much more creative carnage, in terms of Freddy’s surreal means of disposing of his victims. While trying to join Kristen (Patricia Arquette) in the dream world, young Taryn (Jennifer Rubin) is separated from her fellow Dream Warriors. With her punk-rock hairdo and knives, the former junkie does battle with Krueger.
Just as Taryn thinks she has gained the upper hand, Freddy turns the tables on her. Krueger reveals that all of his fingers have been replaced with drug-filled syringes. Taryn gasps when she finds tiny little mouths have replaced her drug scars. Freddy injects all of the needles into her arm and pumps her full of the fatal cocktail. Taryn’s screams, as Freddy smirks, “
“I’m your boyfriend now, Nancy” –
Johnny Depp made his acting debut in the original
(1984), but his character of Glen didn’t fair too well. Skeptical of the existence of child killer Fred Krueger, Glen comes to the same grisly fate as the other children of
even though his stalwart girlfriend Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) implores that he doesn’t go to sleep. Glen welcomes his nightly slumber anyway.
Freddy’s glove emerges from the youth’s mattress, latches onto Glen, and pulls him into the bed. Blood explodes from the hole and cascades like a violent waterfall. In uncut footage from the scene, the bed even spits Glen back up with his body slathered in blood.
Wes Craven felt the scene was scarier and more effective without knowing what Glen’s corpse looked like, and it certainly makes one of the following scenes, which occurs between Lt. Thompson (John Saxon) and his officer, much more eerie as they discuss the crime scene’s gruesome atmosphere.
Greta (Erika Anderson) is an aspiring model who watches her weight. When Greta’s mom throws a dinner party the teenager has absolutely no appetite, because her friend Dan Jordan (Danny Hassel) has been killed in an accident. Greta falls asleep during the dinner and Freddy takes full advantage. Krueger shows up in a chef’s hat and proceeds to force feed Greta, in a monstrous-looking high chair.
Greta tries to spit out the pulsating food, but Freddy continues to shove it down her throat. With each passing bite, Greta’s jowls grow more grotesque. Engorged, Greta falls into Freddy’s arms and she eventually chokes to death. This could easily have been No. 1 on our list, if the scene had not been butchered by censors.
The horrifying truth revealed in Stephen Hopkins’ director’s cut: Freddy is feeding Greta to herself! Greta’s stomach has been cut open and Freddy is scooping up her insides and forcing them down the teen’s throat. It’s a chilling and nauseating death sequence, in what is sadly one of the weaker installments of the franchise.
“You can check in, but you can’t check out” –
What happens when you team the winsome actress Brooke Theiss with special effects artist “Screaming Mad” George – aka Joji Tani? You get one of the most bizarre death sequences in
history. Poor Debbie (Theiss), a fitness guru, is really only afraid of one little thing – cockroaches. Naturally, Freddy turns Debbie’s worst fear against her.
While working out, Deb dozes off. She seems to still be in her home gym when Freddy suddenly appears. In a test of strength, Freddy grabs the bar, loaded with weight Deb is trying to bench press, and slowly forces it down toward her. Deb loses the fight and her elbows bend and crack open, under the immense pressure. Her arms are quickly replaced by the legs of a cockroach.
Deb slowly continues her bizarre metamorphosis, until she becomes an oversized bug. Trapped in a roach motel, Deb watches in horror, as Freddy smashes the trap in his hand. Deb’s bug-like guts, and the innards of the roach motel, spew out as Krueger cackles in triumph.
children making it to the sequel, Dread Central presents for your approval Dan Jordan (Danny Hassel). After the events of
, Alice (Lisa Wilcox) and her boyfriend Dan are expecting a little bundle of joy. But before they can celebrate the baby’s birth, the couple must endure the wrath of Freddy Krueger once more. Surprisingly, Alice begins dreaming while she is awake. While working a shift at the Crave Inn, Alice comes face to face with both Freddy and his mother, Amanda Kruger (Beatrice Boepple).
Frightened, Alice calls Dan and begs him to join her immediately. Dan ditches his friends at a high school swim party, jumps in his truck and races to his love. Dan falls asleep on route and is confronted by Freddy. The two engage in a high speed race down a busy highway, while Krueger drives like a bat out of hell. Freddy violently shifts gears and Dan is thrown through the windshield.
Frantic to get to Alice, Dan absconds with a motorcycle parked out front of the school gym. But the teen is still asleep and now at the mercy of Freddy’s demonic cycle. The bike begins to merge with Dan and the two become a weird cyborg/motorcycle concoction. Sadly, the nightmare and reality ends when Dan crashes just yards shy of reaching Alice. Like so many other horror film sequences, this one was mercilessly chopped by the ratings board.
remains the seminal work that spewed into a cavalcade of money-making sequels, merchandise and a brief series on television. And while the first
venture is much darker than many of the other films in the series, its first death scene did not lack creativity. Tina (Amanda Wyss) is having bad dreams. After a particularly scary nightmare, Tina, not wanting to be alone while her mother is out of town, invites her best friend Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) and her beau Glen (Johnny Depp) to spend the night.
Tina’s boyfriend Rod (Nick Corri, aka Jsu Garcia) shows up unannounced and takes her mind off those pesky dreams with a sexual romp. However, the hours following take a dark and ominous turn when the lovers fall asleep. Freddy returns to Tina’s nightmare but this time he does away with her. The sequence is one of pure fantasy and horrific brutality. Tina’s stomach is sliced opened. Blood spews and the teen screams for Rod’s help, as she is helplessly dragged up the walls and across the ceiling of her mother’s bedroom.
Rod is forced to watch, as his girlfriend is gutted like a fish and tossed around the room. Sadly, what is transpiring in Tina’s nightmare is happening in reality, too. Tina is slain and Rod is arrested, leaving it to Nancy to figure out how to stop Freddy before there’s no one left to sleep.
children quickly succumb to Krueger’s revenge. After Kincaid (Ken Sagoes) puts up a valiant, but ultimately useless effort, Freddy moves onto Joey (Rodney Eastman). Joey’s weakness has always been women and while he watches MTV from his waterbed, Joey doses off.
He seems to wake up, as his bed begins to violently thrash about. Joey pulls back his comforter to see the sexy and quite naked Hope Marie Carlton
Enamored, Joey watches as Hope swims away into the unseen depths of the waterbed. Suddenly, Freddy comes exploding through the clear mattress.
He grabs Joey and cackles. The pair wrestle, but the best Joey can do is scream for fellow dream warrior Kristen (Tuesday Knight). Freddy slices and dices, as Joey vanishes and the water in his bed turns blood red. It’s one of the most creative deaths in the series and it comes with a great zinger.
Mental patient Jennifer (Penelope Sudrow) cons the orderly Max (Laurence Fishburne) into letting her watch a little T.V. after hours. Jennifer dreams of going to Hollywood and becoming an actress, but this time her nightmare man awaits.
The television screen is static, so Jennifer changes the channels. Without any success, she hits the T.V. A pair of mechanized Freddy arms bursts free from the side of the hanging television set and snatches up the frightened girl.
Krueger’s head then emerges from the top of T.V. He smiles and barks at her, “
” After Jennifer screams some more, Mr. K utters that now most famous line, “
” as he slams her head into the television screen. Max returns to find Jennifer’s corpse hanging head-first from the T.V.
Phillip (Bradley Gregg) is just another of the tortured teens incarcerated in
. Sadly, audiences do not have the chance to discover Phillip’s dream power, because he is immediately snuffed out by the guy in the dirty red and green sweater.
Phillip does exhibit an artistic talent for carving puppets, not to mention a proclivity for sleepwalking. Freddy exploits both. In Phillip’s nightmare, Freddy comes to life in the vessel of one of his unfinished puppets. Phillip watches in horror, as Kruger grows to his natural life-size form. Freddy then slashes open Phillip’s arms and legs, pulls out his bloody veins and transforms the boy into one grotesquely deformed puppet.
Krueger directs Phillip, as a puppet master would guide his marionette, and sends the teen hurling off the top of the mental hospital. The other kids watch as their friend plummets to his death, and the method suggests not murder but suicide.
Which deaths were your favorites? Were there any that didn’t make our list you’d like to have seen included? Sound off on social media!
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Filmmaker Sean S. Cunningham took John Carpenter’s
ripped it off and helped further a bloody new sub-genre of horror movies: the slasher film. There are so many memorable flicks in the
film series, which are loaded with splatter and suspense. Pound for pound, there are more beautiful women and devilishly creative fatalities than most other Silver Screen series – a bloody legacy. With 12 installments, boasting a body count of nearly 200 victims, there are so many unforgettable moments.
And with that in mind here is Dread Central’s Fearsome Fates: Top 10 Deaths From the Friday the 13th Franchise.
There are sexy casts and then there are the alluring women of
(1982). They have to be one of the best-looking groups of actresses ever assembled during what was the height of the slasher films. Poor Vera (Catherine Parks) has the dubious honor of being Jason’s (Richard Brooker) first victim when he first dons the now trademark hockey mask.
After stealing the new facial guise from camp pariah Shelly (Larry Zerner), Jason uses a harpoon gun to fire a spear into lovely Vera’s eye. This is one the most memorable deaths, of the franchise, and the cherry on top is the fact that it’s in 3-D. Yes, it’s bad 3-D, by today’s standards, but die-hard audiences love it.
fanatics know the answer to be yes. All these years later, fans continue to feel horrible for the handicapped Mark, portrayed by the late actor Tom McBride. Mark is waiting patiently for Vickie (Lauren-Marie Taylor) to return to him, because after all their flirting they are finally ready to have sex together.
Jason (Warrington Gillette) surprises the crippled boy, while he waits outside, and smacks Mark with a machete to the face. Mark rolls backwards in his wheelchair down a steep staircase. It’s a brutal kill, and it is too bad Mark didn’t get the chance to get laid in the first
film ever made, and that’s saying something since Jason Voorhees spends other chapters of the saga killing people in New York City and outer space.
(1993) is just a gross slap in the face to the fans, as the filmmakers Adam Marcus, Dean Lorey, and Jay Huguely decided to show Jason (Kane Hodder) killing his victims via possession. Wait, what?
Now, despite being the worst of the series, there is one spectacular kill. Luke (Michael B. Silver) is having sex with Deborah (Michelle Clunie) in the woods. Jason sneaks up to their tent, even stepping on the condom the pair should have been using, as he approaches.
After Deborah climbs on stop of Luke, Jason impales Deborah with an old sign post through the tent in which the couple occupies. In one violent motion, Jason rips the post upward and splits her beautiful body in half. This is a waste of an attractive woman, but still one of the most satisfying kills ever.
Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI
This is such an important entry in the series, because
(1986) is the film that made Jason (C.J. Graham) supernatural, and the first kill really sets the beautifully violent tone. After inadvertently bringing Jason back to life, Tommy Jarvis (Thom Mathews) watches in horror as his friend Hawes (Ron Palillo) is brutally murdered. In an awesome display of brute strength, Jason punches a hole in Hawes’ chest.
His arm extends through Hawes’ back and the youngster’s heart is clutched in Jason’s demonic grasp. Side note, it may also be satisfying to those who recognized Palillo from his annoying character Horshack on the television show
It seems that Jason felt the same way about that show as many others did when he ripped Horshack’s, I mean Hawes’ heart out of his chest.
(1993)—and the fact that there were eight years between these films—it was a stunner that somewhere a room full of executives actually green lit the idea of sending Jason (Kane Hodder) into space. Unfortunately, the film had a rather short theatrical run.
As bad as it turned out to be, there is a very memorable kill. While Adrienne (Kristi Angus) examines Jason, our masked menace slowly comes back to life. As she inspects the killer’s tissue under her microscope, Jason sneaks up behind her.
Jason drags Adrienne across the room, forces her head into a sink of icy coolant (freezing her face) and then slams her head into the counter, causing Adrienne’s head to explode on impact. It’s the high point of the film, unfortunately.
This might be the best/worst example of what happens to a lovelorn character in a horror film. Rick (Paul Kratka) desperately tries to reconnect with his old flame, Chris (Dana Kimmell), during their time at Camp Crystal Lake. Unfortunately, Jason (Richard Brooker) gets his hands on Rick before Chris has a chance to see what a great guy she has.
While checking the exterior of their cabin, Jason grabs Rick and gags him with his hand, blocking Chris from hearing Rick’s screams for help. When she returns to the interior of the cabin, Jason hoists Rick into the air, squeezes his head, and pops it like a zit.
The result is Rick’s eye squirting out of his skull, in all its 3-D glory. It was the cheesy 3-D effects of the early 1980s, and you can see the eyeball traveling down the wire toward the camera, but it’s still one of the best “
Jason (Ken Kirzinger) doesn’t waste any time, as he quickly dispatches Gibb’s (Katharine Isabelle) obnoxious boyfriend, Trey (Jesse Hutch), during the opening moments of the film. After an off-screen sex romp with Gibb, Trey lies in bed with a beer when Jason strikes.
Voorhees repeatedly plunges his machete into Trey’s back and then folds the youth up in the bed like a taco shell. It’s an awesome display of Jason’s power and director Ronny Yu’s obsession with loads of blood and gore. Audiences that had any qualms about whether or not
would live up to their own respective franchises should have been alleviated right then.
This is one of the most memorable deaths in either series, and the film is one of the best
films made – a great monster movie melee.
The only actor to play the character of Jason Voorhees more than once is fan favorite, Kane Hodder. This was his first appearance as the man behind the hockey mask, and his favorite kill as the character is in this film. While waiting for her boyfriend to return to their tent, Judy (Deborah Kessler) gets comfortable in her sleeping bag. Jason cuts his way into the tent and scoops up Judy in the sleeping bag.
Jason drags her, kicking and screaming, to a tree. Jason then hoists the sleeping bag into the air and slams Judy’s head into the tall timber in one hellacious motion, which cracks her skull. It’s so simplistic and yet diabolically creative.
Sheriff Garris (David Kagen) is hiding at the campgrounds after an unsuccessful first encounter with Jason Voorhees (C.J. Graham). But, when the sheriff hears his daughter Megan (Jennifer Cooke) screaming for help, he rushes to confront Jason in order to protect his girl.
Garris attacks Jason and begins beating him with a tree branch, forces him to the ground, and climbs on top of him, as he repeatedly smashes a rock into Jason’s skull. But, Voorhees gets the upper hand and forces Garris backwards in the wrong direction – folding the sheriff up like a lawn chair. The sound of Garris’ back breaking is what makes this death so effective, and it is one of the most chilling and creative deaths in the
This is truly a case of saving the best for last, and it’s the only kill on our list that wasn’t carried out by the man behind the hockey mask. In what was supposed to be the final
movie, Jason (Ted White) squares off against siblings Trish (Kimberly Beck) and Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman) at the film’s climax. Jason is fixing to murder Trish when Tommy takes him by surprise by revealing himself on the staircase with a bald head.
Jason is confused, as he stares at the young boy who has shaved his own head to look like a young Jason Voorhees. Trish grabs the machete and swipes at Jason’s head, which only knocks off his hockey mask. Trish drops the machete and screams, as Jason closes in for the kill, but Tommy picks up the weapon and slams it into Jason’s head. With the machete caught in his left eye socket, Jason drops to his knees and then headfirst toward the floor.
The flooring shoves the machete upward, as Jason’s head slides down the weapon. And, here’s your cliché of the day: Jason got an eyeful. This is by far and away the very best kill in the franchise. Plus, this film is one of the best of the series. You can’t go wrong with the
Which deaths were your favorites? Were there some that didn’t make the list you can’t believe the author omitted? Kevin Bacon and Mrs. Voorhees? Sound off on social media!
Horror History: More Doctor Who Sightings in Horror Movies
Sighting “Doctor Who” actors appearing in horror movie roles has opened floodgates of discussion on social media! Yes, the films I mentioned in my last Dread Central article are not the only horror movie appearances of Doctor Who.
In my last article we saw Patrick Troughton as the priest in 1976’s
As working actors, these three pop up in movies and TV shows throughout the decades, and there are many more Doctor Who sightings, like the uncredited Patrick Troughton police inspector role in Season One of “The Saint.” While we once again time travel in this article, I’m going to continue to concentrate on the first four actors who played the good Doctor.
Since I left the first Doctor out of my previous article, we’ll start with William Hartnell. His comedic performance in the thriller
(1936), 30 years before setting the standard for Doctor Who, proves this actor was well known and well seasoned when picked for the then-new BBC kid’s program.
is about an explorer spending the night in Madame Tussauds Chamber of Horrors. The film was actually shot in Madame Tussauds; I remember it to be spooky, but when I saw it, I was very young.
Good luck finding this film to watch now. Even harder to find is Hartnell’s
(1933), in which he starred (I assume) as the son of an inventor who accidentally drinks an explosive liquid. Sounds like horror to me.
(1973) is much easier to get hold of and features the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker. An anthology film based on EC comic book tales written by Al Feldstein and Bill Gaines,
delivers like any of the Amicus horror movies: similar to Hammer in that you know you will be entertained.
(1972), also based on EC comic stories. Both are directed by Roy Ward Baker and contrive ways to string together separate tales.
Tom Baker portrays a poor artist who finds a way to exact revenge on those who wronged him. Baker plays this character with a low-key subtlety, giving depth and sympathy to a character that could have come across whiny, cruel, or witless.
We’d be here all day if we counted Peter Cushing as a Doctor, due to his horror work with Hammer Film Productions and more.
films generally regarded as outside the mythos, although explaining their existence is a fun fanboy exercise. Feel free to post your explanation below!
Cushing’s Who was less crotchety than Hartnell’s portrayal of the character, and Hartnell’s was the only Doctor at the time. You could say Peter Cushing was the first actor to take Doctor Who in a different direction.
It has been fun time traveling with you! Your comments below are encouraged and appreciated.
Gary Scott Beatty’s graphic novel Wounds is available on Amazon and Comixology. Is madness a way to survive the zombie apocalypse? The strangest zombie story ever written, Wounds throws us into a world where nothing is beyond doubt, except a father’s concern for his wife and daughter. If you enjoy that “What th-?” factor in graphic novels, you’ll enjoy Wounds.
For more from Gary Scott Beatty, visit him on Twitter and Facebook.
“Freddy’s Nightmares” is not known as one of the best television series based on a horror franchise, particularly now that we have shows like “Hannibal,” “Bates Motel” and “The Exorcist” constantly raising the bar. But in a world where we’re (mostly) coming to accept that we’ll never see Robert Englund take on the iconic role one more time, it can be a comfort to still be able to go back to this largely untapped well of Englund Freddy performances. Even if he was not always the focus, Freddy was a part of every episode, at least taking the time to break the fourth wall and comment on the story.
This, if anything, helped make “Freddy’s Nightmares”
go down easier. When the episodes were interesting, Freddy was the icing on the cake. When the episodes were bad, Freddy got to play horror host, snarkily sending up his own show. The series wore its low budget on its sleeve, for better or worse, and Freddy had to do even more ridiculous bits and one-liners than the movies had seen up to that point, and yet Englund remained completely committed throughout all of it.
is mostly known for those moments of Freddy popping out of the background to make some sly remark, I think people tend to forget just how many episodes actually
focus on Krueger as a character. There are several plot lines throughout the show that in some way revolve around Freddy himself.
Some of them are actually smart concepts that, with a little bit more focus and a much bigger budget, could have worked as full-fledged entries in the
Halloween special about an overworked college student being plagued by Freddy on Halloween night. The first episode to focus on Krueger after the pilot, it plays like a shortened version of a by-the-numbers
sequel, but having Freddy against the backdrop of Halloween is an undeniably cool idea that I think a full-fledged movie could really dive into.
series are set during some undetermined time during the school year, but Springwood is a small Midwestern town and there’s no real reason for it
to have that crisp, autumn Haddonfield vibe. That would be worth exploring, at least for a single film, at least.
“Dream Come True” deals with a young man going to a therapist because of his repeated nightmares about Freddy. It’s a simple concept, something that’s been skirted around in the first and third movies in the franchise, but it would actually have been cool to see dream analysis factor into an
movie in a very present, tangible way. The episode does its best with it, but it gets more interesting in the second half.
As with every episode, the latter half is a different story centering on a supporting character from the first half. This is one of the few episodes that’s more interesting after the weird shift in protagonist because it centers on someone absurdly trying to capture photographic evidence of Freddy.
would cannibalize itself by producing sequels to its own episodes. “Dreams That Kill” is a sequel to “Dream Come True” about the host of “Springwood Confidential” who is pushing forward with his controversial new topic “Dreams That Kill” when he gets a personal visit from Freddy himself to warn him against moving forward with the episode.
as this time it’s Freddy who tries to keep his existence a secret because he likes operating in the shadows as this unspoken dark secret in Springwood.
This sequel to the pilot episode, “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” sees Freddy return to target the twin girls that led to his death to begin with. In the pilot, it’s revealed that Freddy was going after the daughters of a local police officer when he was caught, that it was their father who fudged on signing the warrant, allowing Freddy to go free.
If Freddy was about to claim another child when he was caught, it only makes sense that he would return to target them again after he came back. This episode also at least tries to strengthen the twins as characters, as they were barely present in the pilot.
that really stuck with me, to the point that it was the first thing I thought of when I heard about
TV series, it seems natural to go back and fill in gaps or take an interesting approach to the mythology. This is one of the few episodes that at least tried to do that.
The concept is simple and hokey: what if Freddy crashed his high school reunion? The execution is no less hokey, but there’s something uncomfortably sympathetic about this sad, lonely guy who was Freddy’s one and only friend in high school. What would you do if your only friend turned out to be the Springwood Slasher? If you made excuses for this guy all through high school and he grows up to be an unspoken town legend? There’s something legitimately interesting there. Freddy crashing his own reunion is silly, but he’s maybe the modern horror icon with the biggest chip on his shoulder and the first to blame the whole world for the way he turned out, so it actually makes a weird kind of sense.
Again, like “It’s My Party and You’ll Die If I Want You To” this actually tackles an interesting larger concept in a surprisingly clever way. Basically, this episode uses Freddy to explore the die-hard serial killer fandom. You don’t have to venture far on Tumblr to see someone who considers Jeffrey Dahmer to be their boyfriend, despite all of the real, horrific things that he did.
This was the late eighties, when women were marrying guys like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy in prison. Falling in love with monsters, whether they believed them to be misunderstood outcasts or because they were simply attracted to someone who felt like they could kill them at any moment. This episode focuses on a guy who falls for a girl who only has eyes for Freddy. Again, it’s a silly and cheap take on the subject, but still a great subject to tackle and one of the better episodes.
The pilot episode is the most obvious choice for an episode that should have been expanded into a feature film, because it’s something that New Line was actually trying to do for years. This is the
prequel fans had always been clamoring for. At roughly an hour in length, it only would have needed a little bit more expansion to be a feature-length work. There are places where it feels rushed, too, particularly in the formation of the parental lynch mob.
prequel directed by Tobe Hooper with Robert Englund in full-on Springwood Slasher mode. But man, those things alone would’ve been reason enough to put the extra cash into this one to make it a feature film. Even still, it serves as a solid introduction to the series and an example of what the show could achieve when it really tried.
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