In The Wake

Deep Breath made £552,908 from the cinema screenings on Saturday – that’s down on The Day of the Doctor‘s haul of £1.7 million last November, but it’s worth noting that the 50th anniversary special was helped by multiple screenings on the night, as well as several on the Sunday (as opposed to just one screening for Deep Breath in most cinemas for the whole weekend).

Couldn’t find any data on US Box Office.

But the British Media today is obsessed with “reality tv” sensation X-Factor- aka Simon Cowell being bitchy on a telent show because it got twice the ratings as Doctor Who did over the weekend.

That’s says more about how sad TV is today rather than how good X-Factor is.

In the wake of Deep Breath’s broadcast, an interview with showrunner, Steven Moffat has been revealed and it brings up some interesting talking points.

First off, the Doctor’s lack of memory for his previous encounter with the clockwork droids and their quest-for-flesh… The monster was re-used as it was a ready-made threat that didn’t need too much explanation so that the episode could focus on the Doctor’s new self and Clara’s reaction. Moff has this to say: “I think I actually stole this joke from ‘Colombo’ that the Doctor’s completely forgotten a previous adventure… There’s a lovely moment in one of the ‘Columbos’ where somebody is recounting one of his previous cases, and Colombo just says, ‘I’m sorry, I’ve got absolutely no idea what you’re talking about’.”

Good to know traits and tropes are being swapped among televisions most eccentric and cerebral characters! The more interesting discussion is around the regeneration and the Doctor being in Matt Smith’s body one moment and Peter Capaldi’s the next.

“He changes – things about him aren’t the same. Things he reaches for aren’t there. He has feelings he didn’t have before,” Moffat says. “I think that must be awfully alarming. It must make you wonder who you are.”

Moffat goes on to talk about being in a different body, having different traits and the way others react to you. This was certainly something that came over powerfully for me – when Clara leaves the TARDIS to answer the Eleventh’s call from Trenzalore, the bitter pain on the Twelfth’s face is palpable – particularly as the Eleventh Doctor says over the phone, “he is more scared than anything you can imagine right now.” And Moffat has really opened up the idea of regeneration in a new way here. Rather than just being all fun and games, discovery and pratt-falling, there’s genuinely something frightening in the idea of those close to you not being able to recognise you for you. He notes that it’s not something people experience in everyday life…

“So you have to take it seriously and you have to sort of think that it must be frightening. And it must be frightening when you look at your best friend in the whole world, because that’s where I put that line in about seeing. You look at your best friend in the whole world, the person on whom you are anchored, and they don’t see you,” he continues. “If someone’s looking back and not seeing you, how frightening that must be. Not to have your only basic irremovable right, the right to be yourself.”

Moffat also talks about Doctor Who being better than everything else because it can do things like this – it can put characters we care about in these sorts of situations and ask these powerful questions. It’s not simply fanciful. There’s a branch of ethics that focuses on the right to determine your own choices and have your decisions respected by the law as your decisions. Imagine someone suffering an injury like the famous case of Phineas Gage who reportedly underwent a change in personality after he survived damage to his frontal lobes in an 1848 construction accident. Was he the same person after that? Was it still him making decisions and interacting with friends and family or someone else – a new person? In fact regeneration begs the question of what it really means to be the same person from moment to moment or century to century. That’s what enables fans to have heated discussions about whether the character would still be the same character if not played by a white male with a British accent. And it’s questions like that which enable us to look at their own values and assumptions, question them and grow. (For the record, nothing but a British accent is acceptable – move along.)

Moffat goes on to talk about the symmetry between the Doctor’s change of face and the clockwork droid whose face keeps changing. The tension seems to be that while neither is sure where their face came from, the droid doesn’t care what face it has. The Doctor, however, believes he chose that face for a reason. He says to startled, homeless Barney, “why this one? Why did I chose this face? It’s like I’m trying to tell myself something. Like I’m trying to make a point. But what is so important that I can’t just tell myself what I’m thinking?”

Given what we know about the character Capaldi played back Series 4’s Fires of Pompeii, this throws up even more questions. Caecilius was going to be left for dead in the volcanic eruption until Donna convinced the Tenth Doctor to go back and save his family – almost as a token gesture. He saved them while everyone else died allowing the timeline to stay intact (assuming it did?). We know Capaldi’s Doctor is going to be less human and more distant. What could Caecilius’s face mean for him? And what a powerful way to say something, by making you live in the body and face of another. This is all a bit more weighty than when Romana tried on Astra’s body because she liked it though took the arms in a bit! (Kasterborous)

Into The Dalek

Now that was cracker of an episode!

Just what we all needed. A good old fashioned Sci-fi romp.

Yeah, they acknowledged upfront where they got the idea from, but it was so well executed, WHO cares. :)

After 51 years of Daleks it is hard to come up with reason for the little pepperpots to return (Thankfully the Power Ranger Daleks were banished to the nether realms) and this was it.

Journey inside the mind, and the shell of a Dalek, like never before.




Rusty was just the best. But what really sold it was Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. He’s initially cold to the idea, it’s Dalek, let it die, big deal. Then when it has the potential for “good” he sees an opportunity to maybe inject a “human” factor (my words not his his) into the Daleks by making them appreciate life.

A “malfunction” that means it has morality.

It was a noble goal.

Doomed to failure.

Just like the last time it was tried (“Power of The Daleks”).

But it gave you great insight into the mind of a Dalek.

‘I’m his carer.’ Quick as a flash (good man, Peter, you tell her) the Doctor responded, ‘Yeah, my carer. She cares so I don’t have to.’

And it’s Clara doing her “be a Doctor” thing again to get Capaldi’s Doctor to act.

So when all hope seemed lost, they try again and they almost succeed but are undone by the darkness The Doctor himself feels for The Daleks!

Beautiful stuff.

And echoing back to the episode “Dalek” where that Dalek tells The Ninth Doctor he’d “make a good Dalek”. And while you don’t quite buy that from the war-ravaged Ninth it’s not as easy to dismissed that from our cavalierly blunt Twelfth Doctor who doesn’t hide what he thinks, but his hearts (and many battles with the Daleks) are his undoing.

Great stuff. Best episode in awhile.

And Jenna Coleman continues to redeem “The Impossible Girl” as just more than a deus ex machina in a dress.

Excellent stuff.

Is he a good man, of course he is, he’s The Doctor! :)



The Premiere

Yesterday, I had an overload on Political Correctness and that article just set me off.

So, let’s be more fun today. After all, we are going “inside a dalek” later day. :)

So we’ll ignore the Daily Mail for the Restaurant scene: :)

Doctor Who criticised for scene in which characters tear out their hair after complaints from sufferers of rare disorder

  • BBC show has been branded ‘insensitive’ after scene left viewers ‘upset’
  • Sufferers of trichotillomania – compulsion to pull out one’s hair – complained

Because I just don’t need any more of this crap today.

So let’s get on with the show…

Q&A Panel (poor camera work though):

Much better… :)



Doctor Who series 8: Ofcom will not investigate lesbian kiss


The TV regulator says it does not discriminate against same-sex couples


Ofcom has responded to complaints received after a lesbian kiss featured in the first episode of the new Doctor Who series last Saturday night.

Ofcom is the communications regulator in the UK.

We regulate the TV and radio sectors, fixed line telecoms, mobiles, postal services, plus the airwaves over which wireless devices operate.

We make sure that people in the UK get the best from their communications services and are protected from scams and sharp practices, while ensuring that competition can thrive. (from their page)

The TV regulator confirmed that six viewers had expressed concern over an “inappropriate” scene involving lizard-woman Madame Vastra and her human wife Jenny Flint.

“Having assessed the complaints, we can confirm that they do not raise issues warranting further investigation,” an Ofcom spokesperson told The Independent.

“Our rules do not discriminate between scenes involving opposite sex and same sex couples.”

Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath' Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who

Neve McIntosh and Catrin Stewart have played the couple for three years, but their first on-screen kiss sparked some people to attack what they saw as a “gay agenda”.

The moment received a positive reaction from almost all seven million viewers, despite some tweets claiming it was “unnecessary” and “gratuitous” and one reviewer accusing the BBC of “wanting to become a porn channel”. (Independent UK)


Gee, what happened to “enlightened” Political Correctness? :) Oh, right, they created this divide and conquer Lawyer-on-Speed-Dial “offense” in a nano-second culture.

Even though there will be no investigation why would you feel the need to complain in the first place?

The leap to “offense” in this world is so far out of hand one scarcely dares get out of bed in the morning for fear of “offending” the atoms of universe or someone or something.

In the immortal words of William Shatner, “GET A LIFE!”

Doctor Who



The Daleks 2014

The BBC has released new images from the second episode in the new series of Doctor Who, Into The Dalek.

A Dalek fleet surrounds a lone rebel ship, and only the Doctor can help them now… With the Doctor facing his greatest enemy, he needs Clara by his side. Confronted with a decision that could change the Daleks forever, he is forced to examine his conscience. Will he find the answer to the question, “am I a good man?”(Doctor Who News)

The Doctor goes all Fantastic Voyage on us as we journey inside the greatest evil in the Doctor Who Universe.

Will this finally wipe them out forever?

No. But it might look like it.

After all, the Daleks are as much a part of Doctor Who as The TARDIS and The Doctor himself are. They are the ultimate evil in the universe. That ultimate nemesis. They can no more die than Superman can.

They may go away for a time, but they will always be back.

How many times have they been “completely destroyed” or “erased from history” and still managed to come back.

You can’t have The Doctor without The Daleks.

But that said, The Daleks do provide that moment where you don’t have to wonder if the bad guy is really all that bad. They are. Though episodes like “Dalek” do provide some interesting insights and some different perspectives. “Into The Dalek” is said to be along those lines which I welcome.

A Dalek has apparently gone good; so broken it’s benevolent. The Doctor is ordered by grumpy-faced gun-folk Zawe Ashton (Fresh Meat) and Michael Smiley (Spaced), both of whom are extremely good at being grumpy-faced gun-folk, to attend to it.

Sounds like the Patrick Troughton “human dalek” experiment that the Daleks tried on themselves once and all it did was end in their extermination of each side, which has also happened several times to the Daleks since.

The Daleks obsession with purity and hatred usually leads to their destruction.

The Daleks always bring out the best and the worst in the Doctor. In their presence he is the hero and the destroyer. The man who asks ‘Have I the right?’ and then saves the day. It is no different here. But while the Daleks haven’t been scary for a long time, between the tin pots and the Time Lords it’s the more stylishly dressed of the two who is arguably the more ruthlessly utilitarian.

As one shocking moment demonstrates, you’ve not seen the Doctor this cold and caustic for decades. It keeps the episode and us on our toes. All the one-liners and unveiled insults are there, but they’re delivered solely for his own amusement.

Even Clara is a target. Lovely feisty Clara who, when she’s not being made fun of, is enjoying flirting with Danny Pink, hunky maths teacher and hunky ex-soldier haunted by his backstory. Samuel Anderson starts off strong and promises to be an excellent addition to the cast, even if the Doctor (when he meets him) may not see it that way.

It’s new ideas, rather than new colours, that are needed to make the Daleks scary again. Or to at least make them as scary as the Doctor. (Cultbox)

Now that’s edgy and different. We’ll see on Saturday if Capaldi and company can pull this off and still make The Doctor the hero and still a likeable guy.

A new Era indeed.


Too Scary?

He promised his Doctor will be ‘less user-friendly’ and a ‘little darker’.

However yesterday, just hours after Peter Capaldi finally made his  debut as the 12th Doctor, many fans questioned whether the timelord was now too scary for their children to enjoy.

Oh good grief, not this again…

A tweeter called Northsea_view said the show was ‘still scary’ and asked: ‘Shouldn’t it be on after the watershed? It disturbs children’, while  Andy Piper ‏complemented the ‘fantastic performances’ of Capaldi and co-star Jenna Coleman, who plays sidekick Clara Oswald, describing the show as ‘funny, scary and exciting’.

Vaughan Anscombe tweeted ‘#drwho clock work robots still scary just ask my daughter. She’s behind the sofa’, while a user called babesaurus wrote: ‘I liked it but I think it’s too scary for children.  Anyone have thoughts?’ (UK Daily Mail)

I guess the same clockwork robots with clown masks were less “scary” when they were doing THE VERY SAME THING back in “Girl in The Fireplace”.
And as usual, it’s the parents projecting on the kids. This has been going on for 40+ years. Blah Blah Blah…
It was Douglas Adams who said (paraphrase), “Doctor Who is intelligent writing for kids and dumbed down for adults”
The program is supposed to be scary, for god’s sake!
The adults who think it’s too scary for the kids don’t remember what it was like to be a kid.
Ironically, they should just Grow up!  :)
Capaldi and co star Jenna Coleman had travelled 35,000 on a global publicity tour ahead of the new series, visiting seven countries over 12 days and stopping in cities including New York, Seoul and Rio de Janeiro 

Movie Night

BBC America’s Doctor Who returned to 2.6 million viewers when including its first two replays—a record-setting opener for the series. The debut airing of season eight’s “Deep Breath” featured star Peter Capaldi’s first full episode as the Doctor. During its 8 to 10 p.m. premiere Saturday night, Doctor Who was the most-watched show on cable and dominated Twitter for the day among TV shows. The numbers are despite the episode leaking online weeks in advance. (EW)

I went to the theatre showing last night and the theatre was only about 1/2 full which was disappointing. But not half as disappointing as the “prequel” which ended up being a Strax Sontar comically written report on the Doctor’s 12 past regenerations (ncluding The War Doctor). So that was a disappointment. I was hoping, for say, a Dinosaur. :)

But alas, not. And the After sow was the first episode of “Doctor Who Extra” that I had already seen via my “internet fairies”. :)

But seeing the episode on a big screen like that wasn’t a disappointment. And I love this episode so much more now after my unexpected bout with cognitive dissonance earlier on.

Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who



Calling from the Past


So how many of you got the Handles joke in “Deep Breath”?

But what I want to mention today is the Theme Music. I think I’ve heard that before…:)


Upon re-watching it, did anyone go “Don’t Blink, don’t even Blink, Blink and you’re dead” to Clara when the Half-Face Clockwork Man was standing directly in front of her trying to decide if she was real or robot? :)


Peter Capaldi’s full debut as the 12th actor to take the lead role in Doctor Who attracted the long running BBC1 drama’s best ratings for a series opener for four years, with a peak audience of 7.3 million viewers. (a 32.5% audience share)

The overnight ratings for Saturday’s episode compared with the 6.4 million overnight average audience that had tuned into the first Doctor Who episode of season seven in September 2012. The final figure was later reported as 8.3 million. 

These figures do not include viewings via iPlayer, the BBC’s digital VOD service, which has in some cases added more than 2 million viewers to the reported figure. The new season’s opening ratings also compare with the 5.5 million overnight and nearly 7.5 million final ratings for the final regular episode of the seventh season.


Warning: Deep Breath spoilers follow. If you still haven’t watched the episode yet read on at your own risk!


Steven Moffat has explained why he gave Matt Smith’s Doctor a cameo in Deep Breath.

He said [via]: “It just felt utterly right for what we were planning for Peter’s Doctor – and right for Matt’s Doctor that he would think of that as he was just about ready to go out the door. And you think, well it’s never been done before – why not?”

“I did wonder. I wondered when we sat in the cutting room, ‘Does this seem strange?’ And then you remember you’re making Doctor Who and you go, ‘Yes this does seem strange – that’s absolutely fine!’”

Moffat also confirmed that the scene was already shot during filming of 2013 Christmas special [via]: “We shot that on the set of Time of the Doctor which meant I had to write that scene first and then fill in some gumph about clockwork robots.”

The scene seems to have divided fans, some feeling it undermined Capaldi’s Doctor. But the man himself was happy with the scene: “I love Matt, I think he’s fantastic. He had a great kind of wisdom about him; he had this great combination of youthfulness and this very old soul, which is very unique, so I was delighted that he showed up.”

Think of that,  the underlying, and cleverer, theme was of age, and ageing, and looks, and perception, very nicely summed up when Claraasks the pretty lesbian lizard-lady, “When did you suddenly stop wearing that veil?” “When you stopped seeing it,” comes the reply.

So I wonder if the phone call scene was really for the viewers. All those new Whovians who have come to the show in the last few years and have only seen the young, lively, sexy “boyfriend” like Clara did.

I think maybe so. Post Regeneration episodes are traditionally about making the audience comfortable with switch over, after all, because they have to continue to watch and not go all “Tom Baker Groupie” (a phenomenon I found in Central Michigan when I became a fan whereby Doctor Who started with “Robot” and ended with “Logopolis” and that was just it) on them because the man standing in front of you IS THE DOCTOR, he just not THAT Doctor you’re used to.

He’s old.

He’s Grey.

But he’s still The Doctor

And he’s right there in front of you!

And I for one am very happy!

So all Hail The Doctor!

May he be with use for a long time.

My Impression: Deep Breath

This will be the weekly Sunday impression by me of the episode that aired the previous day.

Today, it’s the Post-Regeneration episode “Deep Breath”.


I loved Peter Capaldi. But I have to wonder, as a veteran of Post-Regeneration stories how “Matt Smith-y” it was compared to what Peter will bring in future episodes.

But let dive right in.

The Teaser opener, The really bad Dinosaur monkey has definitely be exorcised from the program.

Trying to figure out why swallowing the TARDIS would get you a Time Travel journey to The Doctor’s favorite era in British History is just not going to help, it comedic and that was it. And it WAS funny.

The Paternoster Gang came back and we had lots of new bits from them, especially Jenny, played by Catrin Stewart got lots of snark in the episode.

The “bedroom scene” was the best. “You have a whole room devoted to being unconscious?”  Hilarious. No wonder I don’t take as much care of that room as the rest of the house! Best Line in the episode.

I speak Dinosaur. I speak Horse, baby… etc. :)

Where I had a problem with the episode is Clara’s pissy attitude in the beginning where she is whining about the Doctor changing and all I could think of is, “you’re the Impossible Girl, you’ve seen ever regeneration of the Doctor and interacted with 3 of them at the same time” so being all pissy about “my” Doctor changing was my least favorite part of the episode. It just didn’t feel right, from my perspective.

Now calling her a Control freak, that I found hilarious. “Never try to control a control freak” and her “megalomania”. I know where Steven was going with this because of interviews he did prior to airing, but it still just made me cringe.

Overall though, Clara was a must better character in this one. You got to see a lot more of her character, rather than  “The Impossible Girl”. I liked that.

The other part that really irks me,and this one was by part the most irksome, The Clockwork Droids from “The Girl in The Fireplace”. WTF!

So now we have even more droids from the SS Madame De Pompadour? And these as MILLIONS of years old, not just time traveling to 18th Century France trying to decide when your meat is cooked enough for you to eat it.

But these droids are trying to become human, rather than using a Time Window to wait until Madame’s 37th Birthday.

And this is a crashed ship, not a Time Window. But the ship didn’t crash, it’s in the 51st Century in Deep Space!

Unless after the Doctor left that ship in Deep space they traveled back millions of years and crashed on Earth.


One can only take so much timey-wimey because you just want to pull what hair is left out.


Even for a 32 year veteran of this program that made no sense to me.

Sorry, Stephen, this is what dragged the episode down for me.

UPDATE: Upon Second Viewing my eyes contacted to my brain and saw that it was a different ship- The SS Marie Anoinette not what my brain translated it into last night!

Ah, how the mind plays tricks on you. So that makes this episode so much BETTER.

“these are not the droids you’re looking for!” :)

I am leaving in the “wrong” impression because until I saw it again this morning my brain hadn’t latch onto it and it did color my impression of the show.

The Matt Smithy cameo was cute. I don’t think it detracted from the story like the Clockwork Droids did.

So it’s onto next week, and the return of The Daleks…


It’s Christmas in August!

Like Christmas Day, the day Santa Moffat arrives and delivers us our Christmas Present in August, is finally here.

The Doctor Who Party at my house starts in 9 Hours!

So much to do yet…


The Doctor Who fan who created the show’s new titles

Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman in Doctor WhoPeter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman team up for their first adventure in Saturday’s episode of Doctor Who
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When a Doctor Who fan created his own unofficial title sequence for the show and put it on YouTube, the producers saw it and liked it so much that they decided to use it for the new series, which begins on BBC One on Saturday.

It is probably the most hotly anticipated moment of the year on British television – the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who and the first proper appearance of Peter Capaldi as the Time Lord.

A few minutes into the show, the iconic music will start up and the new opening titles will kick in.

Those titles have been created by 46-year-old Billy Hanshaw from Leeds, who originally made the sequence simply to show off his graphics skills.

What happened next was the ultimate dream for any Doctor Who fan.

Steven Moffat and Billy Hanshaw
Executive producer Steven Moffat (left) spotted Billy Hanshaw’s titles online

“Hanshaw created this title sequence, put it up on YouTube,” Doctor Who executive producer Steven Moffat explained at a recent fan event in New York.

“I happened across it, and it was the only new title idea I’d seen since 1963. We got in touch with him, and said, ‘OK, we’re going to do that one.'”

Mr Hanshaw thought it was “a wind-up” when Moffat’s fellow executive producer Brian Minchin got in touch.

“I had to pinch myself because I didn’t know if it was really happening,” he says.

“It’s one of those stories about people putting something on YouTube – it’s usually a musician this happens to. They put a performance on there and they get picked up by a label.

“It’s a similar kind of story. I thought, these things don’t generally happen.”

Big idea

Mr Hanshaw is a professional motion graphic designer who normally creates TV adverts and corporate presentations in his small home studio.

He made the Doctor Who sequence, he says, to show clients what else he could do and because, eventually, he hoped to move into TV and film.

In the past, the opening titles have taken viewers on a high-speed flight through space. In recent years, we have followed the Tardis as it hurtled down a wormhole through a terrifying maelstrom of psychedelic cloud, fire and debris.

Mr. Hanshaw’s original (which I saw back in 2013 and thought it was absolutely brilliant! And I will confess to thinking “why don’t they use something like that, it’s brilliant” And they did…

Billy Hanshaw talks to BBC Look North’s Harry Gration and Amy Garcia

Mr Hanshaw’s big idea was to hurtle through time instead of space. In his YouTube video, the viewer is taken through the cogs of the Doctor’s pocket watch before the Tardis is spat out of the centre of an MC Escher-inspired spiralling infinite clock face.

“The doctor is a Time Lord, he’s not a Space Lord,” Mr Hanshaw reasons.

“A lot of people have said that cogs and clocks are an obvious metaphor to use. But if it’s so obvious, why hasn’t it be done before?”

Mr Hanshaw got the idea after going to an exhibition by Escher, the Dutch artist who created optical illusions by depicting objects that look realistic on first glance, but are actually impossible and surreal.

‘Stroke of genius’

For the clock face, Mr Hanshaw deployed the “droste effect”, in which objects recur infinitely within each other.

“I think Escher had something to do with how that’s calculated,” Mr Hanshaw says. “That was one of the start points.”

The video clocked up 60,000 views in its first weekend on YouTube. It is now up to about 885,000.

After being contacted by the big cheeses of the BBC, Mr Hanshaw has worked with the show’s producers to tweak his original idea and create the final titles, which will be seen on Saturday.

The finished version keeps the same idea as his original concept, with a few elements added by the BBC visual effects team.

“There’s a genius stroke that they’ve pulled,” Mr Hanshaw says. “I can’t tell you what it is, but it gets me every time I’ve seen it. It’s wonderful and it’s a little diversion from what I’ve done, but it works so beautifully.”

Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman in New York
Capaldi and Coleman have been on a world tour to promote the new series

Mr Hanshaw began watching Doctor Who when Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor, was occupying the Tardis in the early 1970s.

His favourite Time Lord was Pertwee’s successor Tom Baker – although that may change after watching Capaldi, he says.

Mr Hanshaw’s design career started in the Sylvester McCoy era in the 1980s. He worked in brand design and advertising, helping to create packaging and campaigns for the likes of Asda, Nestle and Pepsi.

After moving into website design, he decided to move into graphic animation and set up as a freelance animator.

Career boost

“I’ve spent most of my career being an ideas person,” he says. “I’ve worked in advertising and branding and done some fairly large branding projects and you kind of have to think laterally about how you approach a design project.

“Doing motion graphics is no different, apart from the fact that you create a narrative that’s a little bit more engaging.”

After being handed his big break by Doctor Who, Mr Hanshaw is hoping to make a permanent leap into the world TV and film.

“It’s the biggest opening of a door you could possibly imagine,” he says.



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