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The Peter Davison Era


View Poll Results: Which Davison Season was best?
Season 19 39 53.42%
Season 20 17 23.29%
Season 21 17 23.29%
Voters: 73. You can't vote on this poll right now - are you signed in?

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Old 28-10-2011, 09:08
DoctorQui
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I like Ghost Light too, but as you say it's a bit over-complex.
I'm afraid I had bailed out of DW by the time Ghost Light was on, as a result I also missed The Curse of Fenric. I really should see them really!
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Old 28-10-2011, 10:25
The_abbott
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I grew up with Davison (I remember bits from 1979 onwards but 1981 onwards is my freshest memories so I have always had a soft spot for Davison and actually finding his stories scary when I was a kid (which is laughable now!)

Looking back, its possibily the first time since the original companions that you have a kind of family setting in the Tardis as we get to see the companions bedrooms etc,...

I think Season 19 works best for me because I felt JNT ruined season 20 and 21 with gimics "Anniversary season to feature an old monster" and "Monster" season.

Timeflight is hokum but I still like it as it falls in the so bad its funny category.

I also liked the companions, except Adric so was pleased when he died in Earthshock but it was a shock as this was a time when TV was not spoiled by the media!

I liked the relaionship Davison had with Nyssa and Tegan - I rekcon the Doctor fancied Nyssa and she must be the only companion in old Who to get a kiss of him when she left.

I disliked Turlough as, like has been said by Davison himself, he was a plot device and then they didn't know what to do with him afterward.

Cabes of Androzani picked thinks up but it was the end of his era!!
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Old 28-10-2011, 20:27
jellyfish7
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Re Black Orchid, I loved it! It was one of those stories I could get on a C60 cassette set up recording in front of the telly while telling my little bro to shut the f*ck up, just for 25 minutes. As with the Kings Demons and the Awakening, I listened to it until it wore out!
Ha! I did this with 'Ark in Space when it was first broadcast! Listened to that endlessly. Strange i didn't do any others. Can't remember why.. Oh those days when dr who was shown once and never repeated, no home vcr machines, oh and waiting a whole week for the resolution of the cliffhanger.... Audio tapes and target novelisations were the only way to revisit a great story.. H h h sigh......
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Old 29-10-2011, 02:56
DavetheScot
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I liked the relaionship Davison had with Nyssa and Tegan - I rekcon the Doctor fancied Nyssa and she must be the only companion in old Who to get a kiss of him when she left.
Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton got on well if rumour is to be believed; I've read that the producers originally meant to get rid of Nyssa instead of Adric in series 19 and she was kept on because Peter fought her corner, even threatening to quit.
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Old 29-10-2011, 15:20
Vericacious
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Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton got on well if rumour is to be believed; I've read that the producers originally meant to get rid of Nyssa instead of Adric in series 19 and she was kept on because Peter fought her corner, even threatening to quit.
Sort of- the original idea (from script editor, Christopher H Bimead, IIRC) was for Tegan to just be in a few stories (hence all that stuff about getting her back to Heathrow) but producer, JNT, liked her so much he decided to keep her and (with Eric Saward then installed as script editor) that was when Nyssa came under threat.
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Old 29-10-2011, 17:15
Miah
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Sort of- the original idea (from script editor, Christopher H Bimead, IIRC) was for Tegan to just be in a few stories (hence all that stuff about getting her back to Heathrow) but producer, JNT, liked her so much he decided to keep her and (with Eric Saward then installed as script editor) that was when Nyssa came under threat.
It was a bit of both. Nyssa was to be written out at the end of Four to Doomsday but Peter requested Sarah be kept on as he felt Nyssa worked best with his Doctor. Tegan was an invention of JNT, who had been created specifically to be the main companion for Peter. Johnny Byrne created Nyssa, who had never been intended originally to be a companion, but because Sarah had been so impressive in Keeper of Traken they had asked her to stay on.

I don't think this was viewed by JNT as a long-term thing originally. There was also the fact that eveytime Nyssa appeared in any subsequent story the BBC had to pay Johnny Byrne for the right to use the character, which apparantly irked JNT! Contractually, Nyssa was meant to go early on but Peter insisted that she stayed. For this reason Nyssa hardly appeared in Kinda, and later on in the series Adric got the chop!
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Old 29-10-2011, 22:12
daveyboy7472
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Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton got on well if rumour is to be believed; I've read that the producers originally meant to get rid of Nyssa instead of Adric in series 19 and she was kept on because Peter fought her corner, even threatening to quit.
I think it was a good idea they kept Nyssa on. Considering how much bickering Adric and Tegan did during the course of Season 19, it wouldn't have been much fun for the Fifth Doctor without Nyssa's presence there to calm things down.

Not only that, it would have meant possibly Turlough and Adric being in the TARDIS at the same time temporarily, which may have been a bit weird......
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Old 29-10-2011, 22:28
Miah
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In which case you would have Tegan trying to nag the Doctor to death, Adric whining as she did it whilst Turlough was locked up in the toilet...

Yup, I think Davison was right to veto which companion was killed off!
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Old 29-10-2011, 22:30
daveyboy7472
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In which case you would have Tegan trying to nag the Doctor to death, Adric whining as she did it whilst Turlough was locked up in the toilet...

Yup, I think Davison was right to veto which companion was killed off!
That could have qualified as the worst set of companions at one time ever! All they needed was Mel to join the TARDIS a few years earlier to make it complete!
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Old 29-10-2011, 22:40
Miah
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That could have qualified as the worst set of companions at one time ever! All they needed was Mel to join the TARDIS a few years earlier to make it complete!
It's no wonder when he regenerated he turned violent...
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Old 29-10-2011, 22:42
daveyboy7472
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It's no wonder when he regenerated he turned violent...
You know, a bit of a sad day to mention this, but when Tegan replaced Peri for that Jim'll fix-it Sontaran thing, I often wonder how she would have got on with the Sixth Doctor properly!

Would have been very explosive I think!
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Old 29-10-2011, 22:43
Face Of Jack
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Hah! Can you imagine if Peter Davison had carried on a few more years longer, and wanted to retain the 'family atmosphere' aboard the Tardis?
We'd have Tegan, Nyssa, Adric, Turlough, Peri, Mel and Ace aboard the ship! Imagine what fun that lot could have!
The Doctor would be spending most of his time searching for them in the Tardis's bedrooms before venturing out!
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Old 29-10-2011, 22:46
daveyboy7472
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Hah! Can you imagine if Peter Davison had carried on a few more years longer, and wanted to retain the 'family atmosphere' aboard the Tardis?
We'd have Tegan, Nyssa, Adric, Turlough, Peri, Mel and Ace aboard the ship! Imagine what fun that lot could have!
The Doctor would be spending most of his time searching for them in the Tardis's bedrooms before venturing out!
Adric and Mel?!

The Amy and Rory of 80's TV perhaps?!
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Old 29-10-2011, 22:52
Miah
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Hah! Can you imagine if Peter Davison had carried on a few more years longer, and wanted to retain the 'family atmosphere' aboard the Tardis?
We'd have Tegan, Nyssa, Adric, Turlough, Peri, Mel and Ace aboard the ship! Imagine what fun that lot could have!
The Doctor would be spending most of his time searching for them in the Tardis's bedrooms before venturing out!
I'm picturing the Von Trapp family from The Sound of Music with the Doctor calling them all with whistle signals...
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Old 29-10-2011, 22:58
TheMagic8ball
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I would have loved to see Davison grow old in the role...Having said that, given the general reaction to the late eighties, maybe it was best he didn't - Wouldn't have liked to seem him take the mantle of most hated Doctor.
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Old 30-10-2011, 02:25
alphonsus
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As DoctorQui has said, everyone to their own but I totally disagree with your post.

Castrovalva, far from boring. After seven years of Tom Baker, it was refreshing to see someone new and younger and I thought the first two episodes in the TARDIS were fantastic, since nearly whole episodes inside it were rare, even back then. I guess as this was the first Series I properly ever watched and Castrovalva the first story, it has a sentimental feel for me.

Four To Doomsday, I actually like this story. I agree it's not one of Davison's better ones, I think as an idea it works. At this point, JNT was not so obsessed with having stories reliant on the show's history so in that respect it was quite an original storyline.

With Kinda, I like it because it's an out-of-the-box sort of story, not your usual run-of-the mill story but it was different. Yes, it is weird to a degree but that's what gives it it's uniqueness. I think Snakedance works better as a story but Kinda is better in it's ideas.

Earthshock, I think next to Tomb Of The Cybermen that it is one of the best Cybermen adventures ever. The surprise appearance at the end of Part 1, The pacing, the incidental music, The last episode where The Doctor was helpless for most of it, Adric's Death, the silent titles at the end, I think it makes for a great story, definitely in the top three of Davison best stories.

Time-Flight, I think suffers from following Earthshock. As I've said previously, it is a good idea poorly executed. It can be seen that not much money was spent on it. I would love to have seen the story made with more money and better effects. Yes, it isn't as strong as some of the other Davison stories but it wasn't a complete washout by any means.

I think Season 19 probably is popular because it didn't indulge too much in the show's history. It was definitely more original than the other two. Season 20 was totally reliant on it, understandable considering it was the 20th anniversary and Season 21 wasn't much better in that regard.

Y'know, I agree with everything you've said, daveyboy and DoctorQui, but to me the series just didn't 'gel' as well. I'll have to confess as being a child of '73 and don't remember that much of T.Baker's reign, so I didn't get the 'oh good, it's over' aspect of "the end, but it's been prepared for" boost to Castrovalva, and rewatching it, I still don't like it that much. The stories of that first Davison series were very innovative, dealing with ideas I don't remember until then, but. I will stand by my declaration.
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Old 30-10-2011, 18:49
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It was a bit of both. Nyssa was to be written out at the end of Four to Doomsday but Peter requested Sarah be kept on as he felt Nyssa worked best with his Doctor. Tegan was an invention of JNT, who had been created specifically to be the main companion for Peter. Johnny Byrne created Nyssa, who had never been intended originally to be a companion, but because Sarah had been so impressive in Keeper of Traken they had asked her to stay on.

I don't think this was viewed by JNT as a long-term thing originally. There was also the fact that eveytime Nyssa appeared in any subsequent story the BBC had to pay Johnny Byrne for the right to use the character, which apparantly irked JNT! Contractually, Nyssa was meant to go early on but Peter insisted that she stayed. For this reason Nyssa hardly appeared in Kinda, and later on in the series Adric got the chop!
It's quite a while since I read about this, so I may have got some of the details/emphasis wrong, but wasn't it the case that Kinda had been written before the decision to keep Nyssa on had been taken ? Also, I'm sure it was initially intended that Tegan was only going to be in a few stories and that Nyssa came under threat only when JNT decided to keep Tegan; he split the difference with Davison, kept both and got rid of Adric.

You may be correct, but your account doesn't seem to quite follow as Four to Doomsday was the first Davison story to be recorded.
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Old 30-10-2011, 21:34
daveyboy7472
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Y'know, I agree with everything you've said, daveyboy and DoctorQui, but to me the series just didn't 'gel' as well. I'll have to confess as being a child of '73 and don't remember that much of T.Baker's reign, so I didn't get the 'oh good, it's over' aspect of "the end, but it's been prepared for" boost to Castrovalva, and rewatching it, I still don't like it that much. The stories of that first Davison series were very innovative, dealing with ideas I don't remember until then, but. I will stand by my declaration.
I can understand that, when you're brought up on a certain era, anything after that can seem totally alien to you.

It was a bit of both. Nyssa was to be written out at the end of Four to Doomsday but Peter requested Sarah be kept on as he felt Nyssa worked best with his Doctor. Tegan was an invention of JNT, who had been created specifically to be the main companion for Peter. Johnny Byrne created Nyssa, who had never been intended originally to be a companion, but because Sarah had been so impressive in Keeper of Traken they had asked her to stay on.

I don't think this was viewed by JNT as a long-term thing originally. There was also the fact that eveytime Nyssa appeared in any subsequent story the BBC had to pay Johnny Byrne for the right to use the character, which apparantly irked JNT! Contractually, Nyssa was meant to go early on but Peter insisted that she stayed. For this reason Nyssa hardly appeared in Kinda, and later on in the series Adric got the chop!
It's quite a while since I read about this, so I may have got some of the details/emphasis wrong, but wasn't it the case that Kinda had been written before the decision to keep Nyssa on had been taken ? Also, I'm sure it was initially intended that Tegan was only going to be in a few stories and that Nyssa came under threat only when JNT decided to keep Tegan; he split the difference with Davison, kept both and got rid of Adric.

You may be correct, but your account doesn't seem to quite follow as Four to Doomsday was the first Davison story to be recorded.
I think Miah has it more or less spot on. I've not read anywhere Tegan was ever going to be written out at this stage. It was Nyssa initially but as has been said, Davison objected and so Adric was written out instead. Kinda was probably made after that decision was taken and therefore, Sarah Sutton had to written in briefly for two episodes rather than written out, she was never to have appeared in it at the planning stage.

She was also initially supposed to miss four episodes but only missed two after the Season was reduced back down to 26 episodes from 28.

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Old 30-10-2011, 22:42
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I think Miah has it more or less spot on. I've not read anywhere Tegan was ever going to be written out at this stage. It was Nyssa initially but as has been said, Davison objected and so Adric was written out instead. Kinda was probably made after that decision was taken and therefore, Sarah Sutton had to written in briefly for two episodes rather than written out, she was never to have appeared in it at the planning stage.

She was also initially supposed to miss four episodes but only missed two after the Season was reduced back down to 26 episodes from 28.

I now seem to remember Bidmead talking about it more recently, goodness knows where- perhaps in a DVD commentary or documentary or at a recorded convention ?; it would take some finding. Then again, I might still be muddling things up, partially due to the indicative return to Heathrow sub-plot that was repeated throughout Season 19.
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Old 31-10-2011, 01:57
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I read somewhere (definitely on this forum) that Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding were always trying to get Peter Davison to touch their legs. No-one ever succeeded till Nicola Bryant though.
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Old 31-10-2011, 06:12
Miah
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There's a DVD commentary - can't remember if it's Time Flight - where I think Janet confirmed that she was never going to be written out and that the whole thing had been a rather clever JNT publicity stunt to make the viewers think she was gone. And that her main objective prior to coming back was to get a decent haircut so that they couldn't do anyhing awful to it as in the previous season!

Actually, the Davison era DVD commentaries are fabulous. Even if some of the stories have come in for critical pastings the crew manage to lift the whole thing: in particular Arc of Infinity and Terminus. And Earthshock and The Visitation are total screams!
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Old 31-10-2011, 09:33
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I now seem to remember Bidmead talking about it more recently, goodness knows where- perhaps in a DVD commentary or documentary or at a recorded convention ?; it would take some finding. Then again, I might still be muddling things up, partially due to the indicative return to Heathrow sub-plot that was repeated throughout Season 19.
I think this where you maybe getting muddled. As Tegan was written out temporarily at the end of Time-Flight to create a cliffhanger of sorts, this maybe what you were thinking off. If you think about it logically, Tegan was the main female companion at the time. It's unlikely JNT would have introduced her at the end of Logopolis to have her written out half way through Season 19 and the main companion on average lasted a Season and a half in those days.

Not only that, I've checked through the Fifth Doctor Handbook and The Eighties one and there's no mention of Tegan ever considered being written out at that point and those guys work is quite exhaustive!

There's a DVD commentary - can't remember if it's Time Flight - where I think Janet confirmed that she was never going to be written out and that the whole thing had been a rather clever JNT publicity stunt to make the viewers think she was gone. And that her main objective prior to coming back was to get a decent haircut so that they couldn't do anyhing awful to it as in the previous season!

Actually, the Davison era DVD commentaries are fabulous. Even if some of the stories have come in for critical pastings the crew manage to lift the whole thing: in particular Arc of Infinity and Terminus. And Earthshock and The Visitation are total screams!
I agree about Tegan's hair, it was quite awful in Season 19, especially in the earlier recorded stories like Four To Doomsday and The Visitation. Was much better in Season 20 though.

Just adding to that actually, I hated the fact she wore the same costume through the whole of Season 19. I'm sure like most of us, anyone in that situation would have wanted to get out of their work uniform asap, just didn't seem right she never changed it until the following Season and then again, she kept the same costume for several stories, but at least it was better!

I read somewhere (definitely on this forum) that Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding were always trying to get Peter Davison to touch their legs. No-one ever succeeded till Nicola Bryant though.
I always thought Peri was a more in your face sort of character. Look at that regeneration scene after all.....
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Old 31-10-2011, 12:28
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I think this where you maybe getting muddled. As Tegan was written out temporarily at the end of Time-Flight to create a cliffhanger of sorts, this maybe what you were thinking off. If you think about it logically, Tegan was the main female companion at the time. It's unlikely JNT would have introduced her at the end of Logopolis to have her written out half way through Season 19 and the main companion on average lasted a Season and a half in those days.

Not only that, I've checked through the Fifth Doctor Handbook and The Eighties one and there's no mention of Tegan ever considered being written out at that point and those guys work is quite exhaustive!
1st paragraph- No, I'm not muddled about that. I'm pretty old and I was a teenager when that aired; I'm not looking back without the benefit of having lived through the period (and without having absorbed rather a lot- perhaps too much- about the productions); of course the Time-Flight 'leaving' was a gimmick, I'm 'talking' about at the initial stage of planning the character and the initial stories with her and the new Doctor, when Bidmead was still script editor. I agree with your logic, but, then again, they did decide to keep Nyssa.

2nd- Yes, I've got/read those and, yes, they're quite exhaustive, but there's usually more to know.

[Perhaps my notion is just wishful thinking. ]
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Old 31-10-2011, 13:33
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1st paragraph- No, I'm not muddled about that. I'm pretty old and I was a teenager when that aired; I'm not looking back without the benefit of having lived through the period (and without having absorbed rather a lot- perhaps too much- about the productions); of course the Time-Flight 'leaving' was a gimmick, I'm 'talking' about at the initial stage of planning the character and the initial stories with her and the new Doctor, when Bidmead was still script editor. I agree with your logic, but, then again, they did decide to keep Nyssa.

2nd- Yes, I've got/read those and, yes, they're quite exhaustive, but there's usually more to know.

[Perhaps my notion is just wishful thinking. ]
I'm glad they kept Nyssa, I think Davison was right, she was perfectly suited to his Doctor. I always thought Adric worked better with the Fourth Doctor because of the whole teacher-pupil type of relationship they had between them. That sort of disappeared once Davison took over and Tegan and Nyssa joined the crew. So yes, I think it was a good decision all round to get rid of Adric, and also because he became quite annoying during Season 19.

Absolutely agree those two books aren't the all and be all of Who Knowledge. There's other books and websites which give you information not in the book but they are incredibly detailed.
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Old 31-10-2011, 13:55
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I think this where you maybe getting muddled. As Tegan was written out temporarily at the end of Time-Flight to create a cliffhanger of sorts, this maybe what you were thinking off. If you think about it logically, Tegan was the main female companion at the time. It's unlikely JNT would have introduced her at the end of Logopolis to have her written out half way through Season 19 and the main companion on average lasted a Season and a half in those days.

Not only that, I've checked through the Fifth Doctor Handbook and The Eighties one and there's no mention of Tegan ever considered being written out at that point and those guys work is quite exhaustive!



I agree about Tegan's hair, it was quite awful in Season 19, especially in the earlier recorded stories like Four To Doomsday and The Visitation. Was much better in Season 20 though.

Just adding to that actually, I hated the fact she wore the same costume through the whole of Season 19. I'm sure like most of us, anyone in that situation would have wanted to get out of their work uniform asap, just didn't seem right she never changed it until the following Season and then again, she kept the same costume for several stories, but at least it was better!



I always thought Peri was a more in your face sort of character. Look at that regeneration scene after all.....
I think Janet Fielding would agree with you about her hair, she spends a good portion of The Visitation commentary pointing out the rat on her head!

Like you and Miah, I've never heard that Tegan was supposed to have been written out.
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