Chapter 05 - Trials and Triple Libations

From Episode 8: Trials and Triple Libations

SEAN: Who’s up for a Doctor Who game?

JB: I wanna play a Doctor Who game.

CHRIS: I’m in.

SEAN: I call this game “The Trial of Doctor Who Gives A Fuck”. I just made up that name. I was going to say “Trial of a Time Lord”, but whatever. So I’m a lawyer, and I’m not saying that to humble-brag at all. When people tell me they’re going to law school, I say, “Don’t fucking go to law school! It’s too expensive! It’s not worth it! You’ll be in debt for 200,000 dollars unless mommy and daddy are rich!” Don’t get me started.

CHRIS: And you come out the other end a lawyer. Who wants that?

SEAN: So this is the game. I am going to go to the excellent website,, where you can randomly choose an episode of Doctor Who to watch.

CHRIS: We’ve plugged that website so many times, I feel like they should be paying us.

JB: Or at least sponsoring this podcast.

SEAN: You can actually make filters on it, like if I only want Sixth Doctor stories, or only Classic Series episodes, or New Series, or whatever. Since there’s three of us, one of us is going to be the prosecutor, one of us the defender, and one of us the judge. We will choose a story at random, and the prosecutor has to just slam the story as much as he can. The defender will defend the story and say why the story is good. And the judge, without his own opinion of the story, will make a decision or grant a judgment for whomever made the better argument.

CHRIS: An unbiased opinion.

SEAN: Yes, based on what the other two said, he will make a unbiased judgment.

CHRIS: This sounds fun.

JB: So if we do at least three rounds, we can each have a turn at being prosecutor, defender and judge. That sounds like a plan. Let’s choose from both Classic and New Who, but we should avoid incomplete stories.

SEAN: So our first round, Chris will be prosecutor, JB the defender, and I will be the judge. I’m going to hit the button on the randomizer … and, fuck! The story is “Listen”!

CHRIS: (laughs) Softball!

SEAN: The prosecution goes first.

CHRIS: First, the biggest issue with this story is it’s totally a fucking remake of “Midnight”. You can tag on all the cute shit of the Twelfth Doctor doing his little Zen routine on top of the TARDIS, which I actually kinda like, but at the end it’s just closed spaced, claustrophobic, guy knocking on the fucking door! Booga-booga-boo! Wasn’t this the one where Clara had the fucking meltdown on Danny at the restaurant?

SEAN: I don’t know.

JB: Yes, it was.

CHRIS: Clara is a stone-cold fucking bitch in this episode. Danny did not deserve that “well-digger” bullshit that she was throwing at him. He was a soldier and all that. Yeah, it gets into a grey area, but I don’t think he’s a bad guy. And she just shits on him. Why did you wait until you’re at dinner to unload all that baggage on him? Then there’s the whole paradox about the little tin soldier from their grandkid that never happened because Danny Pink died. Let’s be honest, the episode’s a fucking train wreck, and any redeeming qualities it has was stolen from fucking “Midnight”, which was actually a good episode. The prosecution rests.

SEAN: Thank you sir. Defense?

JB: Okay. Four words. Clara fingers the TARDIS.

(Chris laughs)

SEAN: I’m sorry, what?!

JB: Clara sticks her hands into the fleshy folds of the TARDIS console.

CHRIS: She finger-bangs the console.

JB: Yes! She finger-bangs the TARDIS console. The defense rests.

CHRIS: That’s not a defense!

JB: That’s the most action you’ve seen in any Doctor Who, and that’s including “The Green Death” or anything from The New Adventures novels that have a lot of swearing and sex.

CHRIS: Anything with Ace in it. Just saying.

JB: We also have Peter Capaldi sitting on top of the TARDIS in a way that makes you ask, “where’s the lamp?” Is it going right up his ass? So the TARDIS is both getting finger-banged by Clara and fisting the Doctor.

CHRIS: Objection!

SEAN: Okay, yes sir.

CHRIS: I don’t like what the defense is doing to the TARDIS.

SEAN: Objection overruled.

CHRIS: Fuck!

SEAN: Defense has their own opinion and can bring up their own facts, even though I may or may not agree with them. Defense, do you have anything else to say about this story?

JB: It actually made Danny Pink likable, albeit when he was a little kid. Cause who doesn’t like kids? We had a promising little backstory for “Rupert” Danny Pink. This is the one episode when he wasn’t being the asshole. I will concede that Clara was a fucking cunt throughout this story.

SEAN: We don’t use language like that in this courtroom, counsel!

CHRIS: Yeah, watch your fucking language! It sounds like shit, counsel!

JB: I withdraw that remark. I meant to say “see you next Tuesday”.

CHRIS: Can I have a rebuttal?

SEAN: Yes, the prosecution always gets a rebuttal.

CHRIS: In the event of the cute Danny Pink childhood portrayal, I don’t think we can cast this in a positive note because Clara goes back to his past and gives him PTSD. She terrifies the little guy.

JB: Oh, so you’re going to be terrified of a hot girl in a short skirt under your bed?!

(Chris laughs)

SEAN: Okay, so I’ve made my decision. “Listen” is sentenced to two years in prison with six months off for the spooky blanket scene. Prosecution wins.

(JB and CHRIS laugh)

SEAN: You didn’t mention the scary blanket scene, JB! That’s the only thing I remember from that story!

JB: That went nowhere! Even I can’t defend that!

CHRIS: Yeah, but none of us to this day know what was under that fucking blanket! It’s still creepy!

SEAN: It’s still creepy, but it’s never explained. Just like “SILENCE WILL FALL!” Fuck you, Steven Moffat! Anyway, it’s round two now.

CHRIS: This is a great game, Sean. I’m loving this!

SEAN: This time I’ll be prosecution, Chris will be defense, and JB will be judge. Our next randomly picked story is … “The Rescue”. So I’ll go first. Your honor, “The Rescue” serves only to introduce Vicki as a companion. The story is dry as hell. The only memorable line from it is, “You can’t come in!” It’s said about five times before these geniuses from the TARDIS figure out what’s going on. Granted, it does have some excellent costumes as well as an excellent name for a villain, Koquillion. But, it is not “The Edge of Destruction”, another two-parter in this era of Doctor Who. It simply doesn’t stand up to that story. Also there is a ridiculous scene that takes too long involving spelunking. And finally, Vicki was just a Susan replacement. This is going outside the parameter of “The Rescue”, but she basically acted like Susan thought her tenure. She was a smart girl from the future just like Susan. The prosecution rests.

CHRIS: This was more that just an introduction story. This was a touching story of a young lady who was not only trapped and scared on an unknown planet, she was trapped in an abusive relationship with, was it the captain? He was deceiving her. It was a very abusive relationship and environment. She was on a hostile, alien planet, and the Doctor stepped in and rescued her. Yes, she was literally Susan’s replacement, but she was different. She was a little more bubbly and effervescent. She was human, not a Gallifreyan. So the Doctor had to adjust to her. It’s only a two-parter so we don’t have a lot of time to get backstory, but their relationship did develop after this story. By the time we get to “The Web Planet”, and this H.P. Lovecraft-esque monster is trying to devour both of them, and they’re hugging while all the little tentacles are trying to eat them?

JB: I think you’re going a bit beyond the parameters of the case, counsel. We have to judge on the merits of the story alone.

CHRIS: Fair enough, your honor. Thank you. We have a Doctor who’s missing his granddaughter…who he recently abandoned (laughs)… fuck, this is really hard to defend! But he rescues this really nice girl from a shitty planet and a shitty boyfriend/daddy/alien captain/whatever the fuck he was to her! He was a piece of shit! And thank god the Doctor got her away from him because he was garbage! Thank you, Doctor. The defense dies on its own fucking sword.

SEAN: May I have a rebuttal, your honor?

JB: Yeah, sure.

SEAN: Your honor, I understand what the defense is saying, but the story paints Vicki in a favorable light in that she’s smart enough to know a lot of things, and she should be smart enough to know that her captor, for lack of a better word, is who he is, and this is all just a trick. For that reason, the story fails. Thank you, your honor. I rest.

JB: Okay, that sounded like you were blaming the victim.

SEAN; I know! Shut up!

JB: The girl lost her father. She’s stuck on an alien planet. She doesn’t know the local scene. She doesn’t know the lingo!

CHRIS: And her boyfriend’s pretending he’s a big, spikey lizard!

JB: Okay, for the record, he was not her boyfriend. He was basically her guardian at that point because he killed off the rest of the crew and the passengers, including her father. He was gas lighting her. Okay, um…. Alright, “The Rescue” gets six months probation.

SEAN: That’s it? Okay.

CHRIS: I’m two and O, bitches!

SEAN: I actually think it’s a good story. So now on to round three. JB will be prosecutor, I’ll be defense, and Chris the judge. And our next story will be … “The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood”.

JB: So we establish at the beginning of this two-parter that Amy and Rory see their older selves, but at the end “RORY DIES!” And we never talk of them seeing their older selves again. We never see it from their point of view of seeing their younger selves. Moffat oversaw the production of this story. He most likely gave the brief to the writer. This story desperately wants to be the 7th season of Classic Who with the obvious ripping off of both the original Silurian story and “Inferno”. We get no explanation on how the Silurians progressed from looking like rubber-masked monsters to having intricate prosthetic make-up. At least in Star Trek we got an explanation …

SEAN: Objection! Opposing counsel cannot bring up Star Trek when talking about Doctor Who.

JB: I’ll withdraw that, but I will concede that this Doctor Who story did not provide a canon explanation as to how the Silurians developed. We even have them wearing the fake masks to fake out the audience. I want to add charges of fraud because they are misleading…

SEAN: Your honor, he has not amended his petition seven days before trial to add fraud to this, so I object to that. I’m being a dick. I’m just going to shut up now.

CHRIS: I’m going to allow it. I give a fuck about procedure.

JB: We also have a obvious reference to “Frontios” because people are being sucked down into the earth. And finally, this story is the beginning of the “Rory is dead” trope, because Rory apparently dies, but it doesn’t stick. He keeps coming back. This is actually related to a class-action lawsuit we have against Steven Moffat over the fact that he keeps bringing these goddamn characters back.

CHRIS: I believe South Park is involved in that action. “You killed Rory! You bastards!”

JB: There’s an ongoing cease-and-desist order between Trey Parker & Matt Stone and Steven Moffat. I also would like to cite child negligence because the Doctor lets that kid run off. I would expect that from Danny Pink and Clara Oswald because they’re not good at their jobs at all, but the Doctor should’ve been much more attentive.

CHRIS: Whoa! Prosecution, may I ask…well, fuck, I don’t have to ask permission! I’m the goddamn judge! Why is the Doctor being held responsible for the child when the parent was present?

JB: (laughs)

SEAN: (laughs) Sorry, JB, I don’t know what the answer to this is, either.

JB: I can barely remember this story! Holy shit! Um … because the Doctor was “being Mr. Clever!” He was in charge and had the moral authority over these puny humans. And the idea that was going to negotiate a truce between the humans and Silurians is naive at best. Why is the Doctor involving himself in this earthly conflict? It’s beneath him. On the occasion of his seventh persona in a Big Finish story, he said…

SEAN: Objection! Any references to Big Finish stories should be excluded because Big Finish is not canon.

JB: I would cite “The Night of the Doctor” where the Eighth Doctor CLEARLY mentioned the names of his Big Finish companions at the end of his life cycle.

CHRIS: You’ve got a good point, counsel. Objection overruled. Big Finish argument stands.

SEAN: He was pounding his gavel, but we couldn’t see it.

CHRIS: I was pounding something. I got excited!

JB: The Doctor clearly violated the non-interference clause that Time Lords have to follow by getting himself involved, and as a result he is responsible for the death of Rory Williams, even though it didn’t take. It was boring as fuck and should’ve been just one episode. The prosecution rests.

CHRIS: Agreed!

SEAN: Hey, judge, you can’t do that!

CHRIS: Sorry.

SEAN: Okay, you know what? The thing about this episode is that I’m a big fan of suspense, mystery, sci-fi stories. We come in and we know it’s a sci-fi story. We know there are things underground that are sucking people…

JB: They’re called glory-holes, your honor.

SEAN: Will you just hush? Objection!

CHRIS: (pounding gavel) Yeah! Prosecution, shut the fuck up!

SEAN: So, the mystery that unfolds in the beginning of these two episodes is extremely great. It’s like a suspense movie. What the fuck is sucking people underground? That’s terrifying! I think the supporting actors were great. The one who played the blind lady on “The Beautiful People”…

JB: The Marilyn Manson video?!

SEAN: No, it was a show about a gay kid in England. She played his blind aunt. It’s the Indian lady.

CHRIS: One of the miners?

SEAN: Yeah, I think she was an executive. She was fantastic. The thing that the prosecution brings up about Amy and Rory seeing their future selves is him blaming a third-party for the problems with the story. Which is unfair. That is not my client’s fault. My client is the writer of this story, and that was forced upon him my Mr. Moffat. If the prosecutor believes that Steven Moffat is responsible for ruining the story, he should file a third-party claim against Mr. Moffat. That being said, I think it’s a very solid story. We get to see a lot more of the Silurians than we have in years. Fans were craving for this when it came out. We don’t find out it’s the Silurians until the end of the first episode.

JB: Objection! The fact that the Silurians were in this story was leaked well in advance of its airing by the BBC promotions department.

SEAN: Your honor, the BBC promotions department does not count as actual “in the show”.

CHRIS: Objection overruled.

SEAN: What we have here is a really good suspenseful chase story, and…the defense rests.

JB: Alright, I have one rebuttal. So they’re drilling to the center of the earth. And NOTHING happens?! There’s no Stallman’s gas that leaks out? There’s no volcanic reaction? This story flatly contradicts what happened in “Inferno”, albeit yes it did happen in a parallel earth, but it could’ve happened on our earth - or EARTH PRIME as it’s called on the CW DC shows. We have events that flatly contradict established continuity from the Classic Series.

SEAN: Okay, so if you go with the precedent that there are facts in this case that contradict continuity, that way madness lies, because you would have to argue that… hold on….okay, defense rests.

(JB and Chris explode in laughter)

CHRIS: Pull your pants up, defense. Come on.

SEAN: I’m trying here! I’m trying!

CHRIS: Okay, on the charge of negligence on the Doctor, he did what he could to save humanity as a whole, so I find him not guilty on this. The parent was in the room, and the parent should’ve been responsible for the child. I will find the story guilty of negligence of continuity on the grounds of ignoring and completely dropping within the own series’ arc the whole notion of Rory and Amy running into their future selves albeit at a distance. I will also find the story guilty on the count of ripping off Third Doctor episodes. Let’s face it, digging a hole in the ground and running into Silurians has been done A LOT!

SEAN: We’re just channeling Trump now. “It’s been done A LOT!”

CHRIS: God Dammit! Bailiff, whack his PB! I’m going to sentence this story to three years of brushing up on Classic Who and also continuity respect therapy. Regarding the killing or Rory, fuck it! We’ll leave Rory dead. We’ll just declare Rory legally dead.

JB: I’m good with that. You wanna do one more.

CHRIS: I’ll do one more.

SEAN: Okay, I’ll be judge, JB will be defense and Chris the prosecution. And our last story on trial will be … I swear to god this is random … “The End of Time” Parts 1 & 2.

JB: Oh god!

SEAN: Good luck, JB. Proceed counsel for the prosecution.

CHRIS: So, I’m arguing that this episode was shit, right?

SEAN: Yeah.

CHRIS: Okay. As evidenced that “The End of Time” Parts 1 and 2 are shit, I would like to present “The End of Time” Parts 1 and 2.

SEAN: Sir, they’ve already been admitted into the record. Your arguments are needed.

CHRIS: This is the one with the missing year and the Master coming back? You know what, I like this.

(JB and Sean explodes into laughter)

SEAN: See, that’s not being a prosecutor, sir.

CHRIS: Oh. Then I begrudgingly like this.

SEAN (sighs) Okay.

CHRIS: Sorry, hold on. This is the one with the Toclafane and Martha Jones…

JB: No!

SEAN: This is the David Tennant regeneration episode.

CHRIS: Jesus! Where to fucking start for this one?! Well, first we have to deal with…who’s the old boy playing Rassilon?

JB: Timothy Dalton.

CHRIS: Yes, he needs to be called out on the basis of, and especially during this period of COVID-19, the dude was spitting all over the fucking place! That’s not fucking acceptable. There also the notion of dragging back the Time Lords into an episode that’s four our five seasons into New Who, with the Time Lords being dead? And we’re going to drag Time Lords back into relevance with Timothy Dalton spitting all over the fucking High Council. That seems grossly unfair to Time Lords everywhere. Not to mention he’s supposed to be Rassilon? Really?! Okay! But, aside from that, we have the Toclafane who, by admission…

JB: Objection, your honor! The Toclafane did not appear in “The End of Time”. The prosecution needs to get its story straight.

SEAN: Objection granted. Defense is correct.

CHRIS: Sorry, I’m a little drunk. This episode put quite a bend in the continuity for years to come. The whole “Day of the Doctor” thing was trying to work around the fact that when Gallifrey ended, Rassilon and the crazy witch lady and whatever the fuck else they had going on were all somewhere else trying to hash out a battle between the Doctor and the Master that’s happening on Earth that has shit to do with spiky lizards and universal health care. It’s a goddamn mess! It doesn’t make any sense!

SEAN: Counsel, you’re making generalizations without providing facts from the story.

CHRIS: What did I say about witches? Oh, yeah! One of the Time Lords was some kind of see-er or witch or whatever. She’s off somewhere else, and when we got to “The Day of the Doctor” years later, they felt compelled to work around the fact that Rassilon and a small conglomeration of Time Lords, apparently important Time Lords, were not present for the end of the fucking world because they were dealing with the Doctor’s bullshit. Then there’s the whole thing…this gets into a moral dispute. We have to discuss Wilf. As we discover in the episode itself, it’s Wilf and not the Master or the Time Lords or the inescapable hand of fate that ends up knocking four times. It ends up being goofy, kind-hearted Wilf trapped in the most ridiculous fucking Rube Goldberg bullshit radiation trap ever fucking concocted. “Oh god, I gotta jump into this and push a button, and it’s going to kill me, but it’s going to save a fucking 140-year-old man!” Really?! We’re going to sacrifice the Tenth Doctor to save Wilf. That’s basically the whole fucking crux of not only this story but the entire story arc of the Tenth Doctor, who, based on “The Waters of Mars” and other episodes, is a fucking dick and not really big on humanity anyway! But he’s going to sacrifice himself to save an old-ass man? It’s all really forced and really silly! Oh, by the way, let’s also mention that the Fourth Doctor fell off a fucking CETI satellite about a hundred feet or so and died from that, but meanwhile we have the Tenth Doctor jumping out of a goddamn spaceship hurtling towards Earth, falling through this massive plate glass window, and slamming his ass into the ground - and he jumps up and is okay?! But he gets killed by fucking radiation in this Rube Goldberg trap. Never mind that in a season or two earlier, in a Martha Jones episode with the hospital on the moon, we had him shooting radiation out his entire body into his fucking Chuck Taylors and chucking them into the garbage, and he was okay. I will submit that this episode this no fucking sense whatsoever! It’s kinda bullshit. It’s not fair to the Doctor. It’s not fair to the Tenth Doctor. It’s not fair to all that came before him. It violates fucking continuity rules and just plain common sense. And we should kick it squarely in the ass. Prosecution rests.

JB: Okay, I will bring up that the prosecution finds it implausible that the events of “The End of Time” were happening concurrently with the events of “The Day of the Doctor”. I will remind council and your honor that THIS WAS THE TIME WAR! Up was down! Black was white! Multi-dimensions! Things were happing at the same time or at no time at all! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria! We cannot begin to comprehend the intricacies of space-time events that happened during this war all at once or not at all! In an instant or through an eternity. We cannot begin to comprehend the complicated and complex computations needed for all these time-space events to be happening at once. And as far as the reputation of this story, I will submit that the general populace has been influenced into trashing this story by…

SEAN: Counsel, this is not a jury trial. This is a bench trial. So what the general populace thinks is not relevant.

JB: Nevertheless, the bad reputation of this story has been fostered by three Canadian podcasters who call themselves “Radio Free Skaro”, who, at the drop of a hat, will stop and trash this story for 20 minutes at a time - if not more - with no provocation! Yes, the hints of an incestuous relationship between John Jonzz and his daughter was pretty fucking creepy! What was up with that?! And yes, the thing with the Master changing everyone in the world into himself…

SEAN: Wait, was that in this story?

JB: Yes!

SEAN: Jesus fuck!

JB: And the fact that President Obama was going to solve the recession with a speech was also fucking stupid.

SEAN: This is your defense, council?

CHRIS: Well, in his defense, there are actual people out there who thought that was going to happen.

JB: But it was the holidays. It was Christmas. You can’t expect the writing staff, or in this case the show-runner who took it upon himself to end this…his last statement of Doctor Who. And I think you have to cut him some slack because it’s the holidays and not everyone is going to pay attention to whats on the TV because they’re tripped up on tryptophan from all the turkey they’ve eaten, or hung over from the previous night of New Years Eve celebrations. You just want a hour of mindless entertainment. We have the ending with Matt Smith showing great promise in his first few moments as the Doctor.

CHRIS: Objection! In Matt Smith’s first moments, he was upset that he wasn’t a girl and mad that he wasn’t ginger and surprised that he had legs! Those statements by Matt Smith should be disbarred!

SEAN: Overruled! It was in the episode.

CHRIS: Shit! Okay!

JB: And we also have resolutions of various threads throughout the RTD-era. We find out that Mickey was able to get a leg up on a female. He got over his obsession over Rose with, arguably, someone who was very much out of his league. But, good on you, mate!

CHRIS: Objection! I wish the best for Mickey Smith, but none of that shit made any sense.

SEAN: Overruled!

CHRIS: God dammit!

JB: And poor Captain Jack, after the events of “Children of Earth” which I wouldn’t wish on anyone. He just killed off his grandson! He made the ultimate sacrifice so that these 456 aliens wouldn’t be able to kidnap all the children and get high off them! The least you can do is have him pick up someone at the Star Wars bar, and if the Doctor was to facilitate that, there’s nothing wrong with that.

CHRIS: Objection!

SEAN: What now, counsel?

CHRIS: If Peter Capaldi had done his job, they wouldn’t have smoked all those fucking kids.

SEAN: Overruled! Not relevant.


JB: We also have Sarah Jane’s final moments. Technically this was her final appearance on Doctor Who, although we do see her interact with the Eleventh Doctor on her own show. But this was her final appearance on Doctor Who, and that should relegate this story into landmark status.

CHRIS: Agreed.

SEAN: Counsel, are you agreeing with opposing counsel?

CHRIS: Yeah. I don’t wanna do it, but it’s Sarah Jane. I gotta.

JB: And that’s all I got to say. The defense rests.

SEAN: Prosecution, rebuttal?

CHRIS: Nah, I’m good.

SEAN: I appreciate that. “The End of Time” gets let off with one month of probation. JB, you did a terrific job. I would’ve mentioned the whole last ten minutes of the story, which is my personal highlight.

JB: I just did! Weren’t you listening?!

SEAN: Well, you did, but you didn’t talk about how emotional…

CHRIS: He did.

SEAN: But I still sided with you. Sorry, Chris, I was on your side until JB spoke.

CHRIS: He presented a good argument. It was mostly bullshit, but it was good.


JB: Yeah, it is kind of a piece of shit.

CHRIS: Eh, it’s still Doctor Who. It was peak Doctor Who in its fuckery, let’s be honest. It is a shame that a Doctor as popular as the Tenth got sent out on such a … I don’t want to say it was a shit episode! I really fucking enjoyed it. Both in its time when it aired and still enjoy it today. But it does has some thematic and continuity problems. And there’s this whole push at the end of the Tenth Doctor’s reign to almost make him a bad guy with the whole “Time Lord Victorious” thing. I’ve not checked out the Big Finish shit that’s exploring that, but I’m kinda glad that they are. I am intrigued and kinda want to check it out. But there seemed to be a concerted effort at the end of Tennant’s run to paint the Doctor as a little bit of a bad guy.

SEAN: I love the last five minutes of the episode. When he says goodbye to all those people, especially now when you see Sarah Jane. And they play that music. Murray Gold, who used to be so good at doing the music.

CHRIS: I don’t want to admit it, but you are one hundred percent fucking right.

JB: I will say that sometimes I’ll go for a long walk, and I’ll be almost home, and I really got to take a shit. And when that happens, it’s like, “Come on, man! You just gotta hold on!” And every time I find myself in that situation, I will hear this music in my head. I hear this Ood saying, “Your song is ending, but the song never ends.” I’m like David Tennant struggling to make it into that TARDIS.

CHRIS: I’m not going to shit in this yard!


SEAN: No, seriously. It’s true.



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