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In which I meet Doctor Who

Background Info: So...as it steadily ate up portions of my flist in the same stealthy but all-consuming manner as Supernatural, I gleaned that Doctor Who was British, a revival of a 70's show, sci-fi, and involved a time-traveling scientist (?), who was usually referred to as Nine or Ten, presumably depending upon which actor you were referring to. 

I also knew that the major shipping possibilities appeared to involve either Martha or Rose.  However, I never saw any pictures - even promo material - so Nine and Ten were interchangeably David Tennant in my head, I had inexplicably formed a mental picture of Martha as a stout, middle-aged, gray-haired woman, and I could NOT shake the mental image of the Rose character from Two and a Half Men. 

This was the extent of my knowledge right up until at least September 2007; I only knew who David Tennant was because Mrstater had posted a picture of him as a potential candidate for Remus Lupin in her fantasy recasting of Harry Potter (yeah, that image is stuck in my head a bit too).  Oh, and then I knew there was something tragic about Rose involving permanent separation.  That would surely be unimportant later.

Tipping Point: In the last week or so, after the proposal of potential Doctor Who/Numb3rs crossover fic, which sounded great to me already but which would clearly would make for better reading if I knew both fandoms,  [info]stunt_muppet sketched out a little history of relevant facts for me, including the important knowledge of what the number-names referred to, and the peculiar alien-regenerating-character idea that...I could not bloody explain if you paid me, but I understand how it works.  I was finally lured into giving the show a try.  Being bound and determined to start with the Ten era ONLY, because I generally react to sci-fi with something bordering on passionate hatred, and knew it didn't stand a chance without a pretty face, I decided to skim over the canon in the first two current-era series before going straight to series 3 video.  

However, then I found out what Rose looked like, and was quite smitten.  Once again, the knowledge of tragedy bobbed to the surface of my thoughts, remembering it more clearly now, but I stubbornly batted it away, and went on a mission to churn up series 1.  Long story short, now I have the first episode of New Who cued up and waiting to play.  I want to find out how well I like Rose, and in the process will perhaps not hate this mysterious Christopher Eccleston fellow after all. (and if I do, well, series 3 is waiting)  So!  Let's see what I think:


Oh, and I should possibly point out that the only non-claymation British TV I've ever seen has been East Enders and Are You Being Served, and that was mostly because my parents insisted upon watching them, so this is a brand-new world o’ film for me.  I think I might possibly suffer from Anglophile tendencies, though. 


Abbreviated Running Commentary: 1.01, "Rose"


-Right off the bat, I love this theme song for both music and video presentation.  This is a good sign.


-HEE!  BRITISH ACCENTS!  I feel the need to revel in this and be delighted.  See?  Anglophile.  I apologize in advance.    


-It's been 5 minutes and I already adore Rose to pieces.  I always imagined her to be a little older, mid-20’s maybe, but I’ll take what appears to be a pretty high school student




-There is zany chase music!  HEE.


-"Nice to meet you, Rose.  Run for your life." HEEHEEHEE!


-Oh God, now I REALLY don't want to find out whatever tragic thing happens to Rose in the future.


-Her mom (yes? Er, mum…the point is, not some random aunt?) makes me giggle madly.

"Anything could happen…”

“*pause* No."



-This living, evil mannequin hand is going to give me nightmares.


-Doctor is delightful!  Is more delightful when not seen up close and personal, though.  Tell me no one ships them.  I'll do Ten/Rose right now, for sheer pretty factor, but Nine/Rose gives me a bit of squick.


-I reserve the right to change this opinion in the future.


-Awesome, I love it when creepy figures appear in pictures from decades of historical events.


-OH, ROGUE GARBAGE BIN DID NOT JUST KILL BOYFRIEND.  This show is too whimsical for death!  ...oh, I see...he's all plasticy.  Still depressing.  And how has she not realized this yet?


-God, the Doctor just keeps getting more and more awesome with every scene.


-SO THIS IS THE FABLED TARDIS!!  *is excited to be In The Know*  Time And Relative Dimension in Space.


-It occurs to me that the Doctor grins sort of like Wallace.  Of the Gromit companion type. 


-The music: it fills me with joy


-Woo, Mickey is whole and hale!  Wikipedia could have told me this, I suppose.


-Whoa hay – did you just shoot the nice kindly old guy from the internet?  What did I say about mixing death and whimsy!


-These are the most incompetent wrestling dummies ever.


-I freaking love Rose right now.  Bronze-medal gymnastics skills FTW!


-Shiny happy ending love! 





Um…GUH.  I am currently having trouble wrapping my brain around how much I just loved that episode.  I have no idea why.  I specifically went in planning to watch just one episode and be unimpressed.  I can’t even really explain why it was so enjoyable, but it was like a great action movie.  Again, that makes no sense, because I don’t really like action movies, but there was just so much energy, combined with a whole slew of really likable characters, that I was glued to the screen. 


I can’t get over how much I like the Doctor.  I am debating whether this is related to the actor or just because the character is so delightfully odd that it honestly doesn’t matter who plays him, but I kept breaking into random giggles and could not stop smiling whenever he was on screen.   


Also: ROSE.  In the space of a day, she’s gone rocketing up through the ranks of my favorite fictional females.  I am still not entirely sure how old she is – I latched onto the phrase “A levels” and tried to look it up, whereupon my brain promptly exploded from the attempt to understand non-American school systems – but I’m sure someone here will tell me.  (Edit: Okay then, merci!  apparently she is 19.)  Meanwhile, I will just continue to love everything she says and/or does.  

Question: wh
ile Wikipedia gets me all jumbled up and is kind of hard to comprehend – especially since I don’t want to know TOO many details, so I kind of skip and skim –Mickey has a good few more appearances coming, right?  Because I really love him too. 


Plotwise: I freely admit that I have been terrified of mannequins ever since I was little – shut up, I’m not the only one – and they still kind of creep me out; I’ve held a long term and very irrational fear of their coming to life and being evil, so the plot of this episode was quite possibly the most terrifying thing I have seen on TV in years.  I kept cringing and wanting to hide under the table.     


I give up on trying to be coherent.  YAY DOCTOR WHO.  

Other Stuff:

Meanwhile, I have gone and looked up the tragic thing about Rose, and while I am not quite yet to the point of bawling over this knowledge, I have the vaguely uncomfortable feeling that this will get more devastating as I get more episodes under my belt.


And then I looked up Martha, who, WOW, could almost literally not be farther from what I imagined...and take an instant dislike to her based upon nothing more than her Wikipedia photo.  She looks hard-nosed and sharp-tongued and I am already reviled by her, especially upon skimming her bio, where I'm now positive that I will just be forever annoyed by her third-wheel-sounding tendencies.  Crap, you know what?  I think I like Billie Piper more than I like David Tennant.  I suddenly want to watch this show in perfect order.  My carefully-laid plans, they are in ruins! 


I have 3.1 sitting right here, and I’m really desperately curious to know what David Tennant is like as Ten, but I can’t make myself watch it because I’m afraid that it will destroy my unexpected tolerance for Eccleston.  Also, I really don’t want to go into a world without Rose.  And so…chronological order it is.  I haven’t actually exploded in fandom love for this show yet, but the embers are glowing. 

While I really do not have time to devour a whole season, or even another episode right now what with the homework I’ve put off all weekend, for the foreseeable future I am going to be slowly but surely working this obsession on the side with whatever spare time I have left over at the end of the day and/or week. 


Interestingly enough, that’s exactly how I got into Lord of the Rings.

P.S. Oh my God, Lost starts this week.  I AM NOT READY.  NOT READY AT ALL.   


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 28th, 2008 06:52 am (UTC)
I just started getting really into Doctor Who over the past week, too! I've actually been trying to get into the show for like a year now, but for some reason watching it this time actually won me over for good. I started with "The Empty Child" this time around, and it was just so fantastic that I got utterly sucked in -- I can't wait 'til you get to that episode! I'm currently in the middle of season two, and very very sad that I'm suddenly running out of episodes. The hell?? I do have one first season episode left that I haven't watched yet, though. So I will cling to that.

And oh man, I totally shipped Nine and Rose. But, well, the way I look at it . . . it's the same relationship, even if he does randomly start looking like David Tennant fourteen episodes in, and I think the chemistry's just incredibly delightful throughout. And I got so attached to Nine that I was kind of wary about Ten at all, but I warmed up to him entirely within a couple of episodes. Both of them are so, so brilliant in the role, I think.

And in answer to your questions--
1. Rose is nineteen!
2. Mickey shows up a bunch more times. :D Which is great, because I love him a lot.

And I think that I'm probably going to like Martha, just because I always tend to feel for the female characters that are largely hated by fandom, but I'm still kind of sad that I'm making my way towards season three! I want Rose to stay foreverrrrr, damn it. :( She's too cute not to be around!!
Jan. 28th, 2008 07:05 am (UTC)
Yeah, late-to-the-party Who fans! *virtual high five*

And oh man, I totally shipped Nine and Rose. But, well, the way I look at it . . . it's the same relationship, even if he does randomly start looking like David Tennant fourteen episodes in, and I think the chemistry's just incredibly delightful throughout.
Theoretically, my brain knows that it's the same relationship, but I am just not very fond of his appearance at first sight. However, I am also feeling a little pull that says after I've seen 20+ episodes, I might start feeling it a lot more strongly, and will probably end up thinking the same way you do.

And thanks for straightening out Rose's age; that makes sense.
Jan. 28th, 2008 10:18 am (UTC)
I watched all three seasons of Doctor Who (well, the 9 and 10 seasons) in a three day weekend, haha. I didn't take well to Martha when she showed up because, unlike most people who had a year between the end of the second season and the beginning of the third, I had about 5 minutes. I'm interested in how you feel about her once you see her in action.

Oh, and it's funny, as a good chunck of my flist was into Doctor Who for the longest time and I had resisted until one friend showed me a clip from the finale of the third season. Then I just had to see it all just to get the context of that whacked out scene. I believe a few of her friends also did the same. :D

Edited at 2008-01-28 10:20 am (UTC)
Jan. 28th, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC)
A 3-day weekend?? Insanity! At least when I bulldozed through The Office, those were only half-hour episodes. (*pause* Mostly. With extra footage. And a greater number. On second thought, never mind, it probably worked out to be about the same amount of time)

I'm feeling a need to savor it right now, because I'm feeling just a little intimidated by the fact that I know...well, not nothing, but a vast collection of scattered facts and general tone/outline arc without knowing any of the specifics, while everyone around here is good and comfortable with the series. I'm just ignoring the part of me that's equally curious to know how I feel about Martha in action. I suspect it will not be all that different from how I felt about Karen, but...there's always a chance.
Jan. 28th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
I just got into Doctor Who this past summer, and I felt the same way. There was a marathon on SciFi, so I decided to watch, because I had nothing better to do. I actually started with the end of season 2/beginning of season 3, but I couldn't stop there. I had to go back and see all of season 1 too.
Trust me, there are plenty of Rose/Nine shippers (I am one) but there is also Rose/Ten and Martha/Ten. And do give Martha a chance. I've grown to really like her character most of them time, except when she gets really "third-wheel-sounding".
Oh, and just wait for Jack. He's great :D
Jan. 28th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
Ack! I am being bludgeoned on all sides for my anti-shipping comment...it was just a first impression, a mere offhand comment; I wasn't trying to stir up ire. Having spent a good chunk of yesterday on my usual blitzkrieg of info-gathering approach to a new fandom, I've spun through enough material to start getting a sense of how shipping works, and I will probably be more open-minded about this particular one in the future.

Martha might be a lost cause, however, especially if fandom isn't consistently singing her praises. On the bright side, I have heard many good things about this Captain Jack, although only in general tone and nothing specific, so I'm curious to see how he and I get along.
Jan. 28th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
I didn't mean to sound defensive or anything. I pretty much ship anyone with anybody in Doctor Who. Someone on my f-list put it best when they said "You can't have an OTP in Doctor Who. They're all such whores." I was just letting you know that there are plenty of Nine/Rose shippers out there.

As for Martha, fandom won't be consistently singing her praises. Theres lots of wank over Martha and Rose and whose better. I personally love them both for various different reasons, but theres lots of wank. I still say give her a chance.

And Jack? Well, I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't like him. The first episode he's in might be iffy, but that was the purpose. Everything else just makes me love him more and more.
Jan. 28th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
"You can't have an OTP in Doctor Who. They're all such whores."
LOL...yeah, I sort of figured there would be plenty of shippers in all varieties, like any other fandom. I'm just anti-social at the beginning of things, and don't want to play with anybody until I look them over and decide who I like best.
Jan. 29th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
I know what you mean. I absolutely refused to look at any community at all until I had seen all three seasons of DW and the first season of Torchwood, its spin-off.
I highly recommend you check out Torchwood, as well, especially to understand some things going on at the end of season 3 DW. Season 2 of TW is airing right now on BBC, and I'm pretty sure its going to have some affect on season 4 DW as well.
I must warn you, I know you're not a fan of slash, and there is plenty of canon slash in TW. It was a goal of the producer to have every main character have one same sex kiss in the first season. But there is also plenty of het, and plenty more to the show than just the relationships. Its kind of X-Files meets CSI meets a 30-minute sitcom (How I Met Your Mother or Three and Half Men sort of), so its a very interesting combination.
Jan. 29th, 2008 05:47 am (UTC)
Oh no. I'm not going near Torchwood, not even when I know Spy's recapping it. No offense, but it's just way too...no. Doctor Who is far enough outside my standard comfort zone. Plus, do I really look like I need extra fandoms to play in?
Jan. 29th, 2008 12:40 pm (UTC)
Lol, yea, it is pretty different. If you ever do get bored, though, and you've found that you completely adore Doctor Who, I'd still check it out. :D
Jan. 28th, 2008 01:39 pm (UTC)
The show actually dates to the 1960s. It's the longest running, albeit not continuously, sci fi show.

Oh I'm glad you like Rose. I adore Rose. I grew to tolerate Martha, but I love Rose like mad.

And yes, people do ship Rose/Nine. Just wait. I love Nine like mad too and it's really hard for me to pick between Ten and Nine but as much as I love David Tennant I love Christopher Eccleston more as Nine. He's just so so so good at it. There are some great episodes ahead in season 1. The Empty Child and especially The Doctor Dances, though, are probably my 2 favorite episodes of the entire series. And by the end of The Doctor Dances if you aren't shipping Rose/Nine like an insane person, then, well, there's no hope.

Mickey's really good story doesn't really begin until season 2. In season 1 he's still mostly Rose's boyfriend whom she sort of treats like shit. I love Rose, but she does treat him like shit sometimes.
Jan. 28th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah...I spent a good chunk of time yesterday beginning to feel out the fandom, and have a much better sense of how shipping works (along with reading up on a bit of history, so I did eventually figure out how old it really was). My running-commentary comment was just that, a throwaway/offhand remark based on my first impression. The more I sift through meta, the more I think that this particular ship will grow on me. It's just not there yet. It has only been one ep...

I grew to tolerate Martha, but I love Rose like mad.
Tolerate! Yes! That's a good word. I will strive for toleration where her character is concerned. As for Mickey, yeah, I can see that starting to happen already. I'm pretty sure I will be mostly okay with it, since they strike me more as pals who happen to be dating than a particularly deep relationship. Not that I don't love them, but...I don't know. It just doesn't surprise me, maybe that's a better way of putting it.

Wow, I'd forgotten how much fun it could be to come late to the party, fandom-wise, and have a whole group of people ready and waiting to guide you along the way. I think I shall be enjoying myself.
Jan. 28th, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)
I am so indescribably happy that you like Nine/Chris Eccleston. You have no idea. He's probably my favorite of the two (though that's mostly because he's the first one I saw). And yes, Mickey will be around for a while; he continues to show up well into Season 2, as does Rose's mom. These are both Good Things.

Also, Martha gets better. She really does. And, especially in her first few episodes, she's not nearly as abrasive as she seems like she might be.

Word of caution, though: There are Nine/Rose, Ten/Rose, and Ten/Martha shippers. A substantial percentage of them tend to be completely insane about their ship, so...don't be surprised if you hit wank somewhere.

And, finally, a note about Season 1: I'd recommend skipping over "Aliens of London/World War III" and just reading the episode summaries, as those were the low point in the season for me and I'd imagine they'd be off-putting if they were among the first episodes you saw. There's a (better) sequel to them in "Boom Town", but you should know enough about them from the Wiki summaries to be okay.

(Also, just wait until you get to "The Empty Child".)

Give me a poke if you want fic recs; I don't have as much Nine!fic or Ten/Rose as I have Classic Who, but I'm sure I could dig something up for you.
Jan. 28th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
*desperately resists desire to go read a detailed description of The Empty Child right now* Will wait until proper chronological order!

I am actually rather optimistic about my ability to appreciate both doctors in turn, in their respective contexts. It's a little hard to explain how exponentially my knowledge of Who has increased in the past 2 days, but I've gotten pretty well oriented with the main shipping triangle (or at least think I have), and think that my Nine/Rose reservations should dissipate over the course of the series.

I am not, however, optimistic at all about Martha. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but it's proving difficult. And now you've gotten me worried about utterly insane shippers...Harry Potter notwithstanding (because let's face it, it's pretty easy to stay in bubbles there), the only place I've previously encountered that caliber of crazy is Lost. I'll have to hope it doesn't get as ugly as the Great Kate Debate of Lost.

I'd recommend skipping over "Aliens of London/World War III" and just reading the episode summaries
Sounds good, I bow in deference to the suggestions of my guides. And I will probably poke you for fic recs in the future, but not the foreseeable one, since I'm still struggling to find time to wade through my mountain of bookmarked Office fic that's been piling up since about mid-October.
Jan. 29th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
the only place I've previously encountered that caliber of crazy is Lost. I'll have to hope it doesn't get as ugly as the Great Kate Debate of Lost.

It can, but that's largely dependent on where you are and who you're talking to. My own fandom activities tend to remain in personal journals and a few (decidedly friendly and generally smaller) LJ communities, so I've managed to dodge most of the epic fanbrattery. So yeah, it's possible to create a bubble within the Who fandom, just as with Harry Potter. Takes a bit of effort, but you can do it.

My main exposure to Rose v. Martha wank has been via the fic communities, where every so often a sickeningly schmoopy Ten/Rose fic (and this is me calling it that, so you know it's gotta be bad) or a bashing fic of either flavor will drift through. Just ignore them.

And take your time on the fic. Wouldn't want to rush you through your other discoveries. :) In case you decide to go browsing, however, I will leave you with this: A Teaspoon and an Open Mind >>>>>>>> ff.net. Submissions to Teaspoon are moderated, for one thing.
Jan. 31st, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
Oh yay! Fandom-specific fic archives are my friend. Thanks very much. Will take your advice on bubbles and ignoring fanbrattery as well.

As for your fic...I have yet to dislike anything you've written, which is why I was rather hoping for a familiar lead into the fanfic, but if you weren't happy with it, then I'll sit back and explore other stories in the meanwhile. And remain hopeful you decide to rework it in a version you do feel comfortable sharing.
Feb. 1st, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
Well, you know, I'd sort of forgotten about it until you brought it up, but now all of a sudden I really, really want to rewrite it. In fact, that may become my new pet writing project for the next few days. :)
Jan. 29th, 2008 05:54 am (UTC)
Speaking of fics, did you or did you not have one entitled "Red Bicycle When You Were Twelve"? It was a very memorable phrase...I'm almost sure I glanced over it out of pure intrigue, and then filed it away in my "to read if I ever know who the characters are" file, and it jumped to my mind just now. Except it's not on your ff.net page, and now the internet has confused me by informing me that this is a ridiculously popular idea, so...
Jan. 29th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
I did have a fic thus entitled. I deleted it on ff.net, though, for three reasons:

1) It is a ridiculously popular idea, and I felt sort of silly writing about it when 1/3 of the fandom had already done so.
2) My British was very bad, and at the time I wasn't obsessed enough with the show to go back and fix it.
3) I screwed up royal with regards to canon. I wrote the fic with Nine in mind, but looking again at the timeline I probably should have written it with Eight.

...wait, actually, no, it probably would still have been Nine, depending on which evidence I'm looking at. Curse you, show, curse you and your nebulous and undefined interim canon! *shakes fists*

Anyway, I wasn't happy with it, so I deleted it. I still have it in a private entry here on LJ that I could open up for you if you wished, but actually now I've sort of got the incentive to go back and edit/Britpick/canon-check it and make it better. Mayhap I shall post another version, a 2.0, rather than trying to write a whole new fic from scratch...

Just tell me what you'd prefer, either way.
Jan. 28th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
Wheeee, Doctor Who! SO MUCH LOVE FOR NINE! I always loved Nine/Rose better than Ten/Rose. I mean, they both have great chemistry but I dunno... it could also be because I simply adore Christopher Eccleston <3.

As far as the Martha-hate goes, I've only seen one episode with her in it and I kind of liked her, actually. Honestly, don't listen to fandom. They're freaking crazy XD But seriously, go through the series chronologically and once you watch all the Martha episodes, form your own opinion, because just 'cause a lot of people don't like her doesn't mean that she sucks.

Jan. 28th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
HOLY CRAP, I never gotten this many individual responses to one of my posts, ever. I cannot believe this is the most common interest I share among my friends. Simply cannot believe it.

Yeah, despite having no basis for comparison yet, I'm really quite happy with Nine. Although, your adorably cute Ten icon is not helping your case about who to like more, since I cannot stop staring at it with glee. Is very hypnotic.

Honestly, don't listen to fandom. They're freaking crazy
*pouts* But I like listening to fandom! I figured I was just being wayward and contrary when I disliked Martha of my own volition. Hearing that a good chunk of fandom shares my opinion is vindicating, since I'm so often at odds with widespread thoughts.

That being said, I've promised a number of times so far to try and keep an open mind until I actually get to her. I really am going to watch it in proper chronological order, too.

(LOST! Hm, maybe I should see about actually viewing those little mobisodes I've been completely ignoring?)
Jan. 29th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
Welcome to the world of Doctor Who. It completely swept me up in one episode and I haven't been able to put it down completely. That was this summer. I normally get into a fandom for a couple months.

-hugs Billie Piper and cries-

Just you wait. Just you wait. I'll be prepared to hand you the tissues you'll be needing.

Also, David is made of awesome.

-ends rambling that had no point, only to say that Doctor Who is terrific-
Jan. 29th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Sounds addictive. I shall have to be twice as careful not to fall under its spell, since it was only meant to be a minor side distraction during Strike Era.

And the end of season 2 is SO FOREBODING. I'm scared to get there. (despite the fact that it's a good, I dunno, 25 episodes away)
Jan. 29th, 2008 11:42 am (UTC)
another Doctor Who fan is born
Wow, just reading all of these posts has carried me back to last Memorial Day when I watched Doctor Who for the first time--It was Series 1 (or Season 1 for the Yanks among us) of Doctor Who in a marathon on BBCA. I had no expectations of liking it. I'd never heard of the actors. I liked British Accents (I'd discovered BBCA by watching Robin Hood). By the end of the day, I was in love with this show. Well I checked out Youtube and found out about Series 2 (which took forever to reach BBCA.) I watched the Series 1 episodes again and then I took out the DVDs for Series 2 from the Library. In the meantime I discovered that SCIFI was showing Series 3. I picked up the episodes with 42, then Human Nature/Family of Blood and Blink --three of the most amazing episodes ever. It took me a long time to watch the end of Series 2 because I couldn't stand the idea of saying good-bye to Rose. In fact I didn't watch it properly until after the news that came out in November 2007 about series 4. I love Rose. I love the chemistry between her and both 9 and 10. And I have to say, I like Martha too. I was prepared not to like her because I like Rose so much. And maybe it helped that I saw her episodes (especially Human Nature and Family of Blood) before I watched Army of Ghosts and Doomsday. It eased the transition for me.
It's wonderful to see another fan coming to love these shows. BTW-watch the episodes Aliens of London and WWIII--you meet more characters--Harriet Jones--who are important in future episodes. Also, you see more of the 9/Rose relationship develop. I liked those episodes. I like all the episodes--I love this show:)
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