back to article Beeb names new Doctor Who

The BBC has announced that 26-year-old Matt Smith will be the 11th Doctor Who, hitting screens in the fifth series in 2010 as the youngest actor* to tackle the role. Matt Smith. Pic: BBC According to Piers Wenger, head of drama at BBC Wales, Smith's audition immediately marked him as the next Time Lord. He said: "It was …


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  1. Alex Walsh
    Thumb Up


    If they cast Kelly Brook, I may be inclined to watch it. Not a great fan of the new stuff, more of a trad Who fan myself.

  2. jon

    emo igor

    I really can't see a young actor like that bringing any character or presence to the show, but then I also think the quality of Dr. Who is completely lost in the current iteration. There's only been a handful of shows worth watching.

  3. breakfast Silver badge

    Terminology for Dr Who fans?

    Is the correct modern term for a Doctor Who fan now an is-Tard?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    I felt I had to share this related quote, from today's Telegraph (


    There had been much talk of a black Doctor Who, with actor Paterson Joseph among the favourites. Wenger disclosed: "We saw a dozen or so people, some of them black. There was never any resistance to the idea of a black Doctor and it would have got us all sorts of headlines and brownie points...

    <end quote>


  5. Matt Sims
    Thumb Down

    Kelly Brook!!!

    They can't be serious surely? She's pleasing to the eye but she is about a wooden as a rocking horse when it comes to acting and presenting.

    As for this new guy, no idea who he is so can't really comment. Does look rather emo though. If that's a bad thing or not we shall see in 2010.

  6. Avian
    IT Angle


    Can someone explain how this is IT news?

    Has the TARDIS suddenly appeared on the HP server catalogue?

    It's bad enough the Beeb promoting this tripe as news without El Reg doing it for them.

    You'll be running items on simply come twadle or whatever it is next ;-)

  7. Gerry

    Watch the Hartnell DVDs and weep

    BBC did a great job restoring several of original series (I expect there's more tape in some technician's loft, yet), darker, more edgy, than anything produced since, even if the set did make the original Star Trek look high budget

  8. M

    Fun Fact of the Day

    Matt Smith is 76% face.

  9. Dan White

    Lily Allen?

    FFS, NO!

    Every time that gobby pisshead screeches her way through another agonising performance, I want to shoot my TV...

  10. Sam Tana


    He does look "otherworldly" - in fact, he's scarily ugly. Having heard him speak, I hope he isn't given too many lines.

  11. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Down


    "......the BBC is eyeing singer Lily Allen...."

    ".....the BBC is eyeing turn-her-hand-to-anything-for-a-quick-publicity-fix, Z-list celebutard Lily Allen....."

    There. That's a bit better. It hasn't removed the slight taste of sick in my throat that reading this particular bit of information induced though.

  12. The Other Steve
    Thumb Down


    I was trying to avoid hearing that news, so it would be, you know, a suprise. And so I have avoided clicking any headlines of this type. Cheers for putting the name in the link, then. That helped. Really.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    The new Doctor...


    I can't believe I was the first to post that, you're all slipping.

    I'll just get the reTARDIS keys out of my pocket.

  14. Liam Pennington


    My mum was right. You know you're getting old when police men (or in this case Time Lords) are getting younger....

  15. Anonymous Coward

    This is why people stop watching when things go "mainstream"

    Doctor Who used to be a cult show, with wonderful "mad professor" types playing the Doctor. Now we've got some trumped up emo-kid with the stupid hair-do to match being companioned to a trashy celebrity for nothing more than ratings.

    Why can't people just leave things alone?

  16. Matthew Ellen
    Thumb Up


    He's a bit creepy looking, isn't he? Has a bit of Christopher Morris about him. I hope they get an unknown actor for the companion, a fresh start could be most interesting.

  17. Lloyd
    Thumb Up

    Is it just me

    or does he look like the bastard child of Noel Fielding and Alexander Armstrong? Anyways, I have faith in the Moff and have great hopes for the young fella.

  18. Richard Gadsden

    I think someone has overfond memories of Peri

    There are only two reasons to put Kelly Brook in Doctor Who, and that's already been done with Peri (Nicola Bryant). Caves of Androzani was a great episode but we don't need a remake.

    Lily Allen? We've had a mockney ex-singer already, try something different.

    Rachel Stevens was in S Club; while the TV and film didn't demand much acting talent, they did demand enough to demonstrate that she didn't have that much.

  19. Andy Miller


    The link is to a complete list of TV Doctors. As always Auntie misses Peter Cushing, who played the Doctor in two films. (Yes, I know I'm sad)

  20. g e

    Dark & Fey?

    He reminds me of the Goth from IT Crowd... anyone else?

  21. Joe K

    Well thats the end of that then

    Young, and "edgy", always a winner.

    I give it 5 episodes before the Beeb "retires" the Doc for another decade or two.

  22. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Eh?

    It's entertainment news which is why it's in the entertainment section which is why you ought to shut your virtual cakehole and go and think about what you have done.

    It's bad enough I have to moderate all these comments without having to explain this again I mean well honestly.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yep he's but a wee nipper! Ok, not keen but we'll give the benefit of the doubt and wait and see how that pans out.

    But what's with the casting of dolly birds?? I may be the only one here, but I love Catherine Tate in the last series primarily BECAUSE there was a marked (upon in every episode) absence of legover flirting shennigans!

    The post RTD period has so much potential - please don't squander it?!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I always thought Matt Smith was responsible for unleashing Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy on the world. But then again, I'm old enough to remember Tom Baker and I think David Tennant runs him a very close second.

    I still maintain that Eddie Izzard would have made a bloody fantastic Doctor, though

  25. Avian

    @ Sarah Bee

    So come clean then... how much of the hard earned Licence Fee does El Reg get to promote Beeb twadle as news!

    Also since when did IT become "Entertaining"!

  26. Martin Owens


    Yes but when am I going to see some Sci-Fi on the BBC? I know ones broadcaster likes to pretend the good Doctor is sci-fi, but melodrama in space does not sci-fi make. I've been looking forward to Mofatt for some time, perhaps he can get at least some good scripting in (if not some actual science fiction).

    But to hear of this new actor and proposed companions really does speak volumes about the direction. "The BBC is in a constant flight away from science fiction"

  27. Shakje

    He has a face like a squashed brick

    but seems like a likeable chap, if a bit insane.

  28. jason

    Its all 'Yoof Yoof Yoof'!!!

    I can see it going even further down the mainstream yoof market. Anyone silly enough to suffer 'Demons' on ITV Saturday night? I havent seen such a turd of a show since Bonekickers.

    Forget plots, acting skills, characters. As long as the main cast look good on a poster or on the front of a TV guide thats all that matters.

  29. Strappy

    Matt Smith's been in Doctor Who before

    He appeared in the Keeper of Traken story as the Melkur. If it's not him, it's an uncanny likeness.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Doctor Emo

    Personally I thought Tennant was a bit young (looking - I knew he wasn't actually that young) to play the Doctor... this is just taking the piss.

    By the looks of things they intend to fill the new series with episodes in which the Doctor spends all his time locked in the Tardis gazing wistfully at photo's of Billy Piper whist writing poetry on the futility of existense and listening to My Chemical Romance.

  31. andy gibson

    New doctor?

    I have a horrible feeling that the new doctor is going to be a kiss of death to this series. The leading characters in other BBC Saturday evening progs like Robin Hood and Merlin have been poor, and I reckon the same thing will happen to Who too.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ The Lovely Sarah Bee

    Is this the first can of new year Whoop-ass I see before me? Yah!

    Paris since even she knows she isn't news but entertainment....

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Re: eh?

    It's IT news because a fair portion of Dr Who's audience are IT people, who have a tendency to science fiction.

    Whether or not it qualifies as "Entertainment" depends upon someone writing scripts with proper stories, perhaps going three episodes without a Dalek or Cyberperson attempt to invade Earth. The stories must be poor, cause I don't watch much of it any more. And they try to tempt me back with someone who is even younger than my local policeman.

    Oh, and I think I'm in love with Sara Bee. If she can act as well as as she moderates...give Sarah the part! Or just email me a signed photo...

  34. Anonymous Coward


    A lot of the new Dr Who episodes have been pretty bad but that is down to the writers. Moffat has written some really good ones like Blink.

    Hopefully with his darker, less slapstick, plot lines we might see something interesting from the new Doctor.

    Who knows maybe we can get away from the whole thing all wrapped up in one / two episodes and back to longer story lines.

  35. Norm DePlume

    Dream Combination

    This could be almost as good as teaming Peter Devidson with Bonnie Langford.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In all fairness

    He does look like something from another planet.

  37. steve-C

    Well at least.......

    .......He seems a bit mental, always a good start.

    I had my heart set on a thoroughly miserable old git this time round :(

    There's also the chance he will suffer Peter Davidson Syndrome. Look back at PD's term and he was actually quite good, but at the time, I and every other rational (ahem) human being hated his guts, basically because he wasn't Tom Baker. DT's been rather excellent at times (not least beacuse he's actually a bit of a whovian), so this guy may just be hated for not being DT.

    The hair HAS to go though.

  38. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @ Sarah Bee

    You're an idiot. Most of our readers seem to enjoy a bit of non-IT news with their IT news. If you don't, well, the front page is full of IT news. Do you feel cheated that you clicked on a Doctor Who headline and found a story about Doctor Who?

    Meanwhile, 'twaddle' has two Ds. Count 'em. Also, questions take question marks. You're welcome.

  39. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    Re:emo igor

    ***"I also think the quality of Dr. Who is completely lost in the current iteration. There's only been a handful of shows worth watching."***

    If you are referring to the 'handful' that most people take to be the best episodes, then they were all written by Steven Moffat. Moffat is taking over from Russell T Davies as the executive producer and had the final say on who would play the new Dr.

    Given Moffat's obvious talent, as witnesses by the praise heaped upon him for his Dr Who episodes, as well as for Coupling and Joking Apart, I assume he knows what he is doing.

    I, for one, am looking forward to a new series featuring more of Moffat's absorbing scripts and less of Davies formulaic dribbling and, hopefully, none of Chris Chibnall's pointless monster chases.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @He looks so young

    I count five lines on his forehead in that photo. Young?

  41. Sim


    could they not find an actor with his own eyebrows?

  42. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Cancel Dr Who. Cancel Merlin. Cancel Robin Hood.

    I liked David Tennant as the Dr but never felt that there was any real sense of peril to any of the episodes and have become bored with the whole same old - same old.

    Have no idea about this new guy but presume that the Dr to come after him will be a foetus (so the yoof can relate to it). And I have no idea who the next assistant should be, but I'm guessing it should be an unknown; although I'd be quite happy with Carey Mulligan (Sally Sparrow) preferably naked in every episode - as she is very easy on the eye.

    As for Lily Allen - am I the only one who thinks she is quite sexy? Albeit until she opens her mouth and lets words come out.

    PS - re Merlin... I am aware that the BBC has some politically correct ideal to shoehorn an ethnic minority, a spaz, or some other demographical minority into every possible show... but what historical basis is there for assuming that Guinevere was a coloured lass?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    re: Avian

    What do you mean nothing to do with IT? This new Doctor wrote Jet Set Willy!

  44. Rob Beard

    Paterson Joseph

    I thought Paterson Joseph would have been a good choice. I thought he played a good role in Peep Show, I could just imagine Dr Who being like Alan Jonson.

    This new guy they've picked looks about the age of a teenager. Meh, I guess time will tell if he's any good.

    Mine is the one with a box set of the old Dr Who from the 80's in the pocket.


  45. HFoster

    I wish...

    I wish you saddos would stop bastard complaining. Wait until he takes the role, and if it's a poor effort, don't whine about it, just STOP WATCHING!

    Christ, you'd think it was rocket science.

    I for one congratulate Mr Smith on getting the role, and hope he does it justice. If not, I'll probably go and do some programming, or go for a run or something instead of watching the show.

  46. Law
    IT Angle

    RE: Re: @ Sarah Bee

    Is it me or does Sarah Bee appear angrier and less likely to take sh*t from "IT-angle-tards" this year??

    I'm gonna wait until I see a few episodes first before saying this lad (oh god... I'm older than a time-lord... this sucks) can't pull it off.... I thought tennant was going to be a majorly stupid choice, and vowed to stop watching it... but he turned out to be one of the best doctors in my eyes... just a shame he got some of the lamest storylines ever... but he at least played them well... and lasted more than a season.

    Maybe this is going to be a slightly darker Doctor.... I doubt he will be beheading puppies and blowing up infant schools any time soon though... after all, it is just a kids show still.

  47. Thomas


    By any chance, was it shortly into the guy that came after him that you realised just how good Peter Davison had been?

    The new kid looks like a perfectly fine choice to me. What proportion of the core target audience (ie, children) really distinguish between a 26 year old and a 40 year old anyway?

  48. Rob


    Your great :)

    We love you (from the Reg Readers who have a brain)

  49. Matt

    RE: Sci-Fi


    The real definition of Science Fiction is: Throw some funky tech at a setting, then stand back and see what stories flow from that.

    I think the TARDIS fits the bill quite nicely. It might be melodramatic, but it /is/ Science Fiction.

    If you can remove the Science bit and the story can still be told without much tweaking and changing then its either space opera or effects driven drivel (i.e. Battlestar Galactica, well you have to replace the cylons with double agent spy types or something I guess, but you get the point).

  50. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: Two reasons.

    "Planet of Fire".

    Anyone else here seen a certain "Luck and Flaw"-alike take on "behind the scenes at Dr Who" from the CB days?

    "Peri's boobs by Industrial Light and Magic" has to be the greatest credit gag of all time.

  51. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah

    Well, thank you. But I fear a tiny apostrophe-shaped bit of your brain might be missing. It just means we can't get married, that's all.

  52. Elmer Phud

    New Who

    Blimey, it's not as if he's gonna be appearing on the telly next week. The current tenant of the Tardis (sorry) will be around for more 'specials'. As it happens, the new one does look like a bit like someones been at a picture of Tennant and played with some morphing software.

    On the age thang, what's wrong with a bit of regression? The first one was an old bloke and they sort of get younger as they get older. That makes the new one spot on but will get interesting in a couple more regenerations as the Doctor changes in to a teenager whose face doesn't look at all bothered.*

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Cancel Dr Who. Cancel Merlin. Cancel Robin Hood.

    "PS - re Merlin... I am aware that the BBC has some politically correct ideal to shoehorn an ethnic minority, a spaz, or some other demographical minority into every possible show... but what historical basis is there for assuming that Guinevere was a coloured lass?"

    What historical basis do they have for any part of stories which are based on MYTH and LEGEND, a WIZARD as the central character, and a DRAGON in the basement?!!


    Then again there was Michelle Ryan in a saucy clingy red dress :-) And at least it never sinks to the drivel that is Primeval!

  54. Alien8n

    Dr Emo?

    So we can already write the last episode.

    Dr Who loses companion to time vortex/ Dalek invasion/ Cybermen goes off into a corner and slits his wrists.

    As for the length of stories, I seem to remember reading that they're looking at longer muliti episode stories for the next series. So maybe now we'll actually have real storylines. However I still prefer the old stories where the Dr actually had to think his way out of a problem rather than simply converting his sonic screwdriver into some sort of super cannon.

    Also, what's the chances that the Dr's daughter will be back at some point, possibly as a companion?

  55. Toastan Buttar


    "Also, what's the chances that the Dr's daughter will be back at some point, possibly as a companion?"

    Ooh, nice idea. I'd also like to see more of Prof. River Song. Silence In The Library was my fave Who story EVAH.

  56. Eddie

    Dr Who the fetus...

    ...coming soon.

    They've cancelled Grange Hill, so I suppose they've got a lot of spare talent in that age bracket that they're looking to re-house.

    The Drs are getting progressively younger, as my older brother commented when Tom Baker took ca change, etc

    I'm not really in a position to comment - I haven't watched Dr Who since Peter Davidson took over, which was round about the time that I found out that the peculiar chaps with lumps on their chests were a bit more fun to hang round with on Saturday teatimes than Cybermen (who, in spite of being sexless androids probably got more action than most Who-freaks, certainly it was the case back then).

    But what the hell - it's a youf-oriented world now, and my opinions (and a few/most others here) are no longer relevant to the BBC mandarins who decide how we shall be entertained.

    And to the bright chap up thataway...Peter Cushing, ftw....

  57. raving angry loony


    So long as this one lasts longer than the last few. Need a bit of continuity here. Tired of the endless procession.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sally Sparrow

    Ooh, second the call for Carey Mulligan.

    Trouble is, they probably reckon they need an 18-year old companion to avoid her (and we know it will have to be a her) looking older than he does.

  59. Colin Morris

    @ Aristotles

    "PS - re Merlin... I am aware that the BBC has some politically correct ideal to shoehorn an ethnic minority, a spaz, or some other demographical minority into every possible show... but what historical basis is there for assuming that Guinevere was a coloured lass?"

    .. yeah... and on what historical basis did fire-breathing dragons and mythical monsters really exist??

    .... why complain about a few 'brown faces' with all the other 'unlikely' stuff that went on in the series?

  60. Anonymous Coward

    Just catching up

    I've only recently been able to catch up on Dr. Who. I've gotta say I'm still not terribly impressed by what I've seen of this past season. I still watch when I can but I don't make it a point to try anymore and haven't for a while. However it will be interesting to see what this new kid brings to the role. After all it could be worse, they could be packing up and moving production to Los Angeles and casting keanu reeves as the doctor =P.

    P.S. Sarah don't let the commentards get you down. Let me Grep you away to a tropical island where you can have a fun shoe-on-head time away from the day to day grind ;-).

  61. Alan Gregory

    Other Doctors

    I just wish they had gone for Andrew Lincoln

  62. the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Get rid of that ridiculous hair do

    That is all.

  63. Alien8n

    @ the Merlin bashers...

    Just be thnkful the cast isn't being chosen by the idiots casting Disney movies.

    Since when was "Prince Charming" a chinese bloke with a black mother and a white father?

    Not to mention the hash of trying to get your head around the idea that the ugly sisters are actually related to each other.

  64. Mike Flugennock

    What qualifies as "Traditional Dr. Who"?

    Just curious, as I was turned on to the Doctor here in the States via PBS -- which also introduced me to Monty Python and Fawlty Towers, btw -- in the early '80s, when they were re-running all the Tom Baker episodes. Does this qualify as "traditional"? (;^>

    I remember not being all that crazy about it at first as my SF sensibilities were pretty much spoiled by the likes of Kubrick's '2001'; I was truly amazed that this show was so popular in the UK due to the cheap sets and effex and the melodramatic plot lines. Still, I ended up a huge fan as Tom Baker was so perfect in the role that he became -- and sadly, still is -- my definitive mental image of what The Doctor should be, so when David Tennant came along, with that comical outfit with the question marks all over and the faux Beatle cut, my first thought was "oh, shit, they've ruined it!" and quit watching. (And btw, all this casting of a hard-faced emo kid as The Doctor and the throwing in of show-biz celebrity babes as The Doctor's companion is what we call, in the States, "jumping the shark")

    I'm sure everybody who came after Baker were perfectly competent actors, but none of them had nearly the same kind of quirky vibe that Tom Baker's Doctor had. So, not having watched since Tom Baker left, I guess that'd make me a "traditional" Dr. Who fan.

    Oh, and one last stupid question -- at least to the Brits here -- and that is whether or not the BBC has released the Tom Baker episodes on DVD? Seeing as how they've released all of Python and Fawlty -- not to mention the pre/proto-Python series "Do Not Adjust Your Set" and "At Last, The 1948 Show" (eagerly awaiting a chance to see a savage young Idle, Cleese or Chapman) -- might there be a chance?

    PS: And while I'm at it, who else here thinks that the Dr. Who Theme and Pink Floyd's "One Of These Days" were "separated at birth?" I know that's what I thought when I first heard the Dr. Who Theme: that Gilmour and Waters were avid Dr. Who fans as kids and subconsciously swiped that weird melody.

    (Flame icon, for all the Brits here who'll roast me for not being up on my Doctors)

  65. Anonymous Coward

    Sarah, you're great...I can't marry you anyway.

    It seems so long since I have had the chance to see your moderation in action. Always enjoyable. Please post another article or two.

    Don't get down because of those who can't discern between IT and non-IT articles without clicking into a story, paging to the bottom as necessary, clicking on Comments, then paging down through to the Add your own comment form.

  66. Gordon Crawford

    new face

    New face

    same DR.

    Who better to play someone old [ who knows a lot ]

    then a youngster who knows everything !

    But I would like to see a Dr ,

    last a while ,

    before he regenerates into a baby.

    I did not expect him to reach the diaper age

    before me.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I was really hoping they'd go with an older Doctor this time. Disapointing. We'll have to see how it turns out.

    I used to be a rather large defender of the new Doctor Who, but after the last year I could find very little to defend. The cynics are dead-on-correct most of the time. Still good for some fun, with a lot of strong points, but has shown it can be so much better.

  68. Martin Usher

    The show's gone touchy-feelie

    The modern Dr. Who is not much fun. Its not an age thing on my part, its partly the touchie-feelie scrips and part the relative irrelevance of the UK as a world power (as in "Why would any alien being take over the UK government? Its hardly a stepping stone to Global Domination and anyway I'm pretty sure that nobody would notice"). The show's lost all scientific credibility -- when science fiction becomes magic then it ceases to be entertaining, its just low budget special effects.

    My favorite Doctor was Patrick Troughton. That guy used mind over matter -- never use technology or force, just guile. I also liked the original Master, quite the anti-hero (being originally from Iran was quite priescent). Screwing around with the orginal theme music loses a lot of the quality as well -- there's significant history in that original recording.

  69. Helen

    Not bad

    I'd like to say that although Matt Smith is not a well known, or very old, from the programme on Saturday he showed some passion and excitement at playing the part. He's obviously very aware of the significance the role has, the passion it envokes in others (as can be seen by these postings alone) and the huge shoes he has to fill.

    Personally I've loved the Doctor since Tom Baker, didn't think anyone could beat him, then along came the last two - have enjoyed the last 4 series (to varying degrees) but will stick by them and wait and see how Matt does. I think both Eccleston and Tennant have proved that you can't make snap judgements - personally I didn't think either of them were right for the part and was going to give up watching it completely. As I said, I've watched them all!

    Give Matt a chance guys, he may prove everyone wrong - please Matt, prove everyone wrong!

  70. Tom

    @Mike Flugennock

    Yep, that would make you an American traditionalist, as am I. Started watching Baker around the same time. Baker is still my favorite, although I'll like just about everyone before Sylvester McCoy, including Davidson, whom I liked even when I saw his first shows after baker left. I think McCoy probably could have been another of my favorites, but the scripts started going to sh*t because the BBC was obviously trying to kill the show. As for getting old episodes on DVD, of course you can. But the sots running the BBC still haven't figured out that they should repackage the early doctors as seasons the same way they are selling the current ones, and sell the whole set for about 10% less than they do the current sets. At per episode prices that exceed the cost of a newly released film, nobody buys them.

    Flame because every time I think about what the Beeb has done to the Doctor I do.

  71. Rachel

    @ Matthew Allen:

    Yes, he is a bit creepy-looking, but as a friend of mine pointed out, it's Moffat who's in charge of the show now so creepy is to be expected...

    In any case, I say give the guy a chance. The producers could have probably had their pick of any actor (or actress, but even as a girl, I don't think a female doctor would ever have been right) in all of Britain, and it's not like they had any need to expand the fan base by getting someone younger seeing how DT was 37 (to be honest, he doesn't look that much older than this new guy to me) and the show got spectacular ratings, so I don't think that they'd have picked an actor who'd be a poor fit for the part for any superficial reason like that. As far as the 'emo' goes, it's all in the hair, and that's probably the easiest thing to fix...

    A smiley face, cause I'm kinda optimistic about this one.

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