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MAN FROM ATLANTIS

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Full Name: Mark Harris
Series Name: Man From Atlantis
Nationality: Unknown
Organization: FOR
Occupation Agent

Creator: Mayo Simon, Herbert F. Solow
Time Span: 1977 - 2016

ABOUT THE SERIES

Mark Harris is an agent with the FOR.

That acronym is one I came up with for the Foundation for Oceanic Research, described as a governmental agency which is deeply involved in top secret research and exploration of the deep waters of the various oceans on the planet. It does most of its work onboard a pretty impressive and large submarine called the <i>Cetacean</i>.

The title for this entry is "Man From Atlantis" and considering the amazing characteristics of Harris, it is easy to believe that is the man's actual place of origin. The man has webbed hands and feet and apparently gills (I read that but looking at the pictures could not actually see them). He can not only breath underwater without any problem, he can swim at an incredible speed using a wiggle style reminiscent of an eel and can handle depths which are almost unbelievable. Since the lost civilization of Atlantis is fantasied to exist on the ocean floor, thinking someone of Harris's abilities might come from there is not unreasonable.

But Harris has no idea where he is from and therefore no one else does either. When he is first encountered, he is lying on a beach unconscious mired in sand and seaweed. How he got there or why he has no recollection of anything is a mystery that will not be solved during the run of his adventures. His background and origin are total blanks to him; he does not even have any idea of his own name. 'Mark Harris' is the name given him by the woman who found him on that beach and nursed him back to help, Dr. Elizabeth Merrill.

Once he recovered from whatever caused his trouble in the first place and feeling grateful to Merrill and the government institute she worked for, plus needing answers to his situation and feeling that an organization devoted to the study of the seas would be an asset there, he decides to stick around and help them out on their missions.

It will be those missions that warrant his membership in this compendium. The Foundation has loads of interesting and important studies constantly going on but their governmental budget is allotted it because it also performs vital oceanic-related work. In the first instance given him, a submarine was missing and some important people were onboard (never mind the poor fools stationed on her!). When it turns out that vessel has been snatched by a maniacal fiend named Mr. Schubert as part of his diabolical plan to destroy all the major powers, Harris will have as a chance to show his value to the Foundation.

From then on, the assignments that come his way will be a mixture of mad-chaps out to cause great harm or space aliens coming to visit and possibly cause great harm or even magical imps with a bizarre sense of humor which invariably causes great harm. Throughout all of these adventures, Harris will be assisted by the lovely, very intelligent, and soon-to-be devoted Dr. Merrill.

BOOKS

Number of Books:5
First Appearance:1977
Last Appearance:2016

1 Man From Atlantis Man From Atlantis
aka Sea Kill
Written by Richard Woodley
Copyright: 1977

Novelization of the first made-for-television movie of the same name.
The unconscious body of a man is found on the beach after a storm. After he is helped back to life by Dr. Elizabeth Merrill, he agrees to assist in the search for a missing American submarine. He will find an undersea facility run by the crazed scientist Mr. Schubert who has kidnapped scientists and brainwashed them into helping destroy all nations with their own nuclear weapons.

1 Death Scouts Death Scouts
Written by Richard Woodley
Copyright: 1978

Novelization of the first made-for-television movie of the same name.
Three scuba divers disappear while on a dive and then two reappear changed. They have been replaced by water-dwelling aliens sent to Earth to check out its defensive capability. They believe that Mark Harris, when he tracks them down, is one of them.

3 Killer Spores Killer Spores
Written by Richard Woodley
Copyright: 1978

Novelization of the first made-for-television movie of the same name.
When the Cetacean is sent to investigate a space probe which crashed into the ocean, Mark Harris and Dr. Elizabeth Merrill learn that the vessel has thousands of tiny alien creatures which have come to study humans by invading their bodies and taking over. Harris must find a way to send them on their way off the planet.

4 Ark Of Doom Ark Of Doom
Written by Richard Woodley
Copyright: 1978

Novelization of the first made-for-television movie The Disappearances.
Elizabeth Merrill is kidnapped along with dozens of other scientists and taken to the island of Felicitos. Put under control by special mineral waters, they are forced to help construct a rocket ship by a Dr. Mary Smith who wants to flee the planet to find a better world to start a perfect civilization, with her controlling things.

5 Man From Atlantis Man From Atlantis
Written by Patrick Duffy
Copyright: 2016

Taking place around 1996, 17 years after Mark Harris was first found on the beach, Harris and his close friend and colleague Dr. Elizabeth Merrill still work for the Foundation. When their oceanside facility is attacked by people with abilities much like Harris, he knows he must finally address the matter of where he is from if he is to understand why these people try multiple times to kill him.
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NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:5
First Appearance:1978
Last Appearance:1978

1 Fuel Crisis Fuel Crisis
Written by Mayo Simon
Copyright: 1978

1st of 5 text stories in Man From Atlantis Annual 1979.
A naval vessel carrying a valuable load of plutonium meant for American nuclear power stations has disappeared. The crew was recovered but none of them have any memory of what happened.
Click here to read the story.

2 Kidnap! Kidnap!
Written by Unknown
Copyright: 1978

2nd of 5 text stories in Man From Atlantis Annual 1979.
A U.S. Senator pushing a bill to stop all nuclear bomb testing has been kidnapped and Mark Harris is the man picked to rescue him.
Click here to read the story.

3 Whirlpool Whirlpool
Written by Unknown
Copyright: 1978

3rd of 5 text stories in Man From Atlantis Annual 1979.
One minute the sea along the Pacific coast was calm and serene and the three naval vessels as well a  single yacht were resting undisturbed at anchor. Then in seconds a gigantic whirlpool formed in the region and they were sucked down into it. The Cetacean with Mark Harris is sent to investigate.
Click here to read the story.

4 Dead To The World Dead To The World
Written by Unknown
Copyright: 1978

4th of 5 text stories in Man From Atlantis Annual 1979.
The driver of a getaway car for a gang of bank robbers flees the scene of the crime after a hold-up goes very badly and a policeman is shot. He wants to find a place to hide out and as he runs past a wharf, he spots the Cetacean. It is preparing to set off to recover a US space probe due to splash down that day nearby.
Click here to read the story.

5 The Assassins From Salo The Assassins From Salo
Written by Unknown
Copyright: 1978

5th of 5 text stories in Man From Atlantis Annual 1979.
The crew of the Cetacean, except Mark Harris, are mesmerized by a strange light, brought about by a team of space aliens calling themselves the Mibs, "first conquering expeditionary force from the planet Salo".
Click here to read the story.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:4
First Appearance:1977
Last Appearance:1977

1 Man From Atlantis Man From Atlantis
Director: Leo H. Katzin
Writer: Mayo Simon
Actors: Patrick Duffy as Mark Harris, Belinda Montgomery as Dr. Elizabeth Merrill, Victor Buono as Mr. Schubert, Dean Santoro as Ernie Smith
Released: 1977

A made-for-television movie first airing on March 4, 1977 on NBC.
The unconscious body of a man is found on the beach after a storm. After he is helped back to life by Dr. Elizabeth Merrill, he agrees to assist in the search for a missing American submarine. He will find an undersea facility run by the crazed scientist Mr. Schubert who has kidnapped scientists and brainwashed them into helping destroy all nations with their own nuclear weapons.

2 The Death Scouts The Death Scouts
Director: Mark Daniels
Writer: Robert Lewin
Actors: Patrick Duffy as Mark Harris, Belinda Montgomery as Dr. Elizabeth Merrill, Tiffany Bolling as Lioa, Burr DeBenning as Xos
Released: 1977

A made-for-television movie first airing on April 22, 1977 on NBC.
Three scuba divers disappear while on a dive and then two reappear changed. They have been replaced by water-dwelling aliens sent to Earth to check out its defensive capability. They believe that Mark Harris, when he tracks them down, is one of them.

3 Killer Spores Killer Spores
Director: Reza Badiyi
Writer: John D. F. Black
Actors: Patrick Duffy as Mark Harris, Belinda Montgomery as Dr. Elizabeth Merrill, Bred Beir as Captain Bracy, Ivan Bonar as Edwin Shirley
Released: 1977

A made-for-television movie first airing on May 17, 1977 on NBC.
When the Cetacean is sent to investigate a space probe which crashed into the ocean, Mark Harris and Dr. Elizabeth Merrill learn that the vessel has thousands of tiny alien creatures which have come to study humans by invading their bodies and taking over. Harris must find a way to send them on their way off the planet.

4 The Disappearances The Disappearances
Director: Charles S. Dubin
Writers: Luther Murdoch, Jerry Sohl
Actors: Patrick Duffy as Mark Harris, Belinda Montgomery as Dr. Elizabeth Merrill, Darleen Carr as Dr. Mary Smith
Released: 1977

A made-for-television movie first airing on June 20, 1977 on NBC.
Elizabeth Merrill is kidnapped along with dozens of other scientists and taken to the island of Felicitos. Put under control by special mineral waters, they are forced to help construct a rocket ship by a Dr. Mary Smith who wants to flee the planet to find a better world to start a perfect civilization, with her controlling things.

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:13
First Appearance:1977
Last Appearance:1977
Network:NBC

REGULAR CAST
Patrick DuffyMark Harris [ 1 ]
Belinda J. MontgomeryDr. Elizabeth Merrill [ 1 ]
Lisa Blake RichardsDr. Jenny Reynolds [ 1 ]

       After the success of the initial four made-for-television movies, the network gave the green light to an initial run of 13 episodes for a television series of the same name.
       These episodes aired initially on Thursday evening for the first two adventures then switched to Tuesdays for the remainder of the show. Fairly regularly for the next seven showings (a couple of week gaps here and there) then followed until the end of December, 1977. At that point the show was put on hiatus until four months later. Then, in April 1978, the next three shows were aired on successive Tuesdays followed by a month off and then the final episode.


       The main character role of Dr. Elizabeth Merrill was played by Belinda J. Montgomery in the four made-for-television movies and in the first 11 episodes of the television series. She then, according to Wikipedia, got released from the show, with the help of lawyers, and was replaced for the next episode by a new doctor at the facility. In the last episode, neither doctors show up.
       Note: Patrick Duffy traded in his swimsuit for a cowboy hat the next year when the wildly successful Dallas came on the air and got to star as Bobby Ewing married to the gorgeous Victoria Principal.
1 Melt Down
Episode S1-1, first aired 09/22/1977
Director: Virgil Vogel
Writer: Tom Greene

Mr. Schubert has returned and has a nasty scheme for melting the polar ice caps with huge microwave beams unless the US government hands him Mark Harris.

2 The Mudworm
Episode S1-2, first aired 10/13/1977
Director: Virgil Vogel
Writer: Alan Caillou

An expensive and apparently very powerful underwater probe goes haywire and begins to attack any passing ship. Mark Harris must find a way to convince its computer brain from ceasing the destruction.

3 The Hawk of Mu
Episode S1-3, first aired 10/18/1977
Director: Harry Harris
Writers: Luther Murdoch, David H. Balkan

Mr. Schubert is back and he wants possession of a hawk statue originally from the civilization of Mu which has the power to turn off all power in a large radius.

4 Giant
Episode S1-4, first aired 10/25/1977
Director: Richard Benedict
Writer: Michael I. Wagner

A fissure in the ocean floor is draining vast amounts of water. A fellow named Muldoon has convinced the FOR and Mark Harris that he can help Harris navigate into the hole. What is not revealed is that on the other side, giants await and they have an axe to grind with Muldoon.

5 Man O' War
Episode S1-5, first aired 11/01/1977
Director: Michael O'Herlihy
Writer: Larry Alexander

Using his genetic scientists, Schubert produces a giant jellyfish which he intends to release unless his extortion demands are met.

6 Shoot-Out At Land's End
Episode S1-6, first aired 11/08/1977
Director: Barry Crane
Writer: Luther Murdoch

Mark is somehow linked with a man named Billy, existing in a wild west town, who appears to be his twin. Investigating, Mark arrives in the town and discovers that Billy once had the same webbing as Mark, but also that he has had it removed.

7 Crystal Water, Sudden Death
Episode S1-7, first aired 11/22/1977
Director: David Moessinger
Writer: Larry Alexander

Schubert attempts to make a satellite weapon to knock out Earth's communications. However, to power the weapon, he needs the energy crystals protected by a force field under the ocean. The crystals actually power the force field that protects an underwater city.

8 The Naked Montague
Episode S1-8, first aired 12/06/1977
Director: Robert Douglas
Writer: Stephen Kandel

An underwater landslide transports Mark to Verona, Italy...in the days of Romeo and Juliet.

9 C. W. Hyde
Episode S1-9, first aired 12/13/1977
Director: Dann Cahn
Writer: Stephen Kandel

C. W. develops a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality after swallowing a mysterious liquid.

10 Scavenger Hunt
Episode S1-10, first aired 04/18/1978
Director: David Moessinger
Writer: Peter Allan Fields

Mark re-encounters Muldoon, his nemesis from "Giant," who is using a sea monster to make island natives sacrifice young girls to him.

11 Imp
Episode S1-11, first aired 04/25/1978
Director: Paul Krasny
Writer: Shimon Wincelberg

An impish little man enters an underwater station and causes the crew to become irrational simply by touching them. After three crewmen die, the F.F.O.R. hears Duke, the last crewman, talking over the radio in a childish manner and investigates. Mark swims over and brings Duke over to the Cetacean, not knowing the imp has stowed aboard.

12 Siren
Episode S1-12, first aired 05/02/1978
Director: Edward M. Abroms
Writer: Michael I. Wagner

While investigating the mysterious loss of three ships in one part of the ocean, Mark and the crew of the Cetacean encounter a submarine operated by a modern-day pirate. The pirate has captured a mermaid that can produce a hypnotic siren song, which mesmerizes anyone who hears it, even Mark.

13 Deadly Carnival
Episode S1-13, first aired 06/06/1978
Director: Dennis Donnelly
Writer: Larry Alexander

Mark goes undercover to investigate members of a carnival planning to break into a museum. The only way to break into the museum is through an underwater tunnel, through which only Mark can swim. When he is approached, he refuses. The owner of the carnival is then kidnapped and threatened unless Mark helps.

COMIC BOOKS, GRAPHIC NOVELS, AND MANGA

Number of Stories:13
First Appearance:1978
Last Appearance:1978

       Marvel Comics obviously felt that the Man From Atlantis had potential in the graphic adventure market for they licensed the rights to present stories of Mark Harris and Dr. Elizabeth Merrill. A short-lived comics series which came from that agreement.

       I would imagine that rights to use the likeness of Patrick Duffy or Belinda Montgomery were not part of that deal for while the characters were very much in each adventure, they looked quite a bit different. Merrill was extremely well endowed and constantly dressed in skin-tight spandex uniforms rather than her television hospital smock. Harris had much longer hair and a great deal more muscles.
       There were seven issues released with the first one being extra thick with two full-length stories in it and several articles about the characters and the show in general. One of the issues was an adaptation of a television movie and one of the stories was pretty much a continuation of another.
       The last three issues were one long story. Normally I would roll the three into one entry but each one was so very different from the others I felt the deserved individual treatment.


       In the same year as Marvel's treatment, ITV's house publication, Look-In, already well known for serialized adventures of television heroes, including America's The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, produced 5 short adventures told two pages per issue.

1 Birthright Birthright
Published by Marvel Comics
Contributors: Bill Mantio (writer), Tom Sutton (pencils), Sonny Trinidad (inks), Janice Cohen (colors), Joe Rosen (letters)
Copyright: 1978

1st of 2 graphic adventures printed in Man From Atlantis #1, February 1978 - 25 pages.
After a brief recap of how Mark Harris was found by Dr. Merrill and became a part of FOR, the mission shows in the adventure deals with the finding of a small statuette caught in a deep-sea trawler's net. On the bottom of the figurine is same spiral symbol on Mark Harris' swim trunks. His search will put in against an underwater facility run by a profit-at-any-cost treasure hunter, Lars Skorba.

2 There Are Monsters In The Sea There Are Monsters In The Sea
Published by Marvel Comics
Contributors: Bill Mantio (writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), The Tribe (inks), Janice Cohen (colors), John Costanza (letters)
Copyright: 1978

2nd of 2 graphic adventures printed in Man From Atlantis #1, February 1978 - 25 pages.
Mark Harris meets and befriends a gigantic whale and enjoys swimming with it. Hunting that huge mammal is a crazed half-man, half-machine named Jonah who has been searching for it since the whale took exception to Jonah's father's efforts to harvest it and struck back, killing the father and severely maiming the young man.

3 Into the Bermuda Triangle Into the Bermuda Triangle
Published by Marvel Comics
Contributors: Bill Mantio (writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), Frank Springer (inks), Janice Cohen (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letters)
Copyright: 1978

Solo graphic adventures printed in Man From Atlantis #2, March 1978 - 17 pages.
Naval war games by the US took the fleet into the waters near the Bermuda Triangle. A thick white fog enveloped several ships, including an aircraft carrier. When the vessels emerged, all the crew had vanished. Mark Harris is asked to help investigate. He will learn that the ever-dangerous Mr. Schubert is still very much up to no good.

4 Showdown In Seatopia! Showdown In Seatopia!
Published by Marvel Comics
Contributors: Bill Mantio (writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), Frank Springer (inks), Janice Cohen (colors), John Costanza (letters)
Copyright: 1978

Solo graphic adventures printed in Man From Atlantis #3, April 1978 - 17 pages.
"Mark frees Elizabeth from Mr. Schubert's mind control, rescues the sailors and Dr. Simon from the sinking Seatopia, and takes the fight to Mr. Schubert."

5 The Killer Spores! The Killer Spores!
Published by Marvel Comics
Contributors: Bill Mantio (writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), Frank Springer (inks), Janice Cohen (colors), Irv Watanabe (letters)
Copyright: 1978

Solo graphic adventures printed in Man From Atlantis #4, May 1978 - 17 pages.
A graphic adaptation of the third made-for-television movie Killer Spores.

6 A Modern Master Of The World A Modern Master Of The World
Published by Marvel Comics
Contributors: Bill Mantio (writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), Frank Springer (inks), Janice Cohen (colors), Joe Rosen (letters)
Copyright: 1978

Solo graphic adventures printed in Man From Atlantis #5, June 1978 - 17 pages.
Part 1 of 3 adventure in which Mark Harris and Elizabeth Merrill are in their top-secret underwater facility called Sea Base when it is attacked. The attacker is a large red aircraft with amazing agility and armament. Lars Skorba is back!

7 Latitude: Ninety! Latitude: Ninety!
Published by Marvel Comics
Contributors: Bill Mantio (writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), Frank Springer (inks), Janice Cohen (colors), Joe Rosen (letters)
Copyright: 1978

Solo graphic adventures printed in Man From Atlantis #6, July 1978 - 17 pages.
In Part 2 of 3 in the clash with Lars Skorba, Mark Harris finds himself in the region of the North Pole where "in the midst of the frozen polar wastes, Skorba had found a smoldering volcano and a land kept tropically hot and dangerous, complete with dinosaurs.

8 Mad Dogs And Dinosaurs Mad Dogs And Dinosaurs
Published by Marvel Comics
Contributors: Bill Mantio (writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), Frank Springer (inks), Janice Cohen (colors), John Costanza (letters)
Copyright: 1978

Solo graphic adventures printed in Man From Atlantis #7, August 1978 - 17 pages.
In Part 3 of 3 of this adventure, Mark Harris joins up with the beautiful female warrior Plexy and her talking attack dogs as they seek to free their land from Lars Skorba!

9 'Schubert's Whale and the Gold Heist' 'Schubert's Whale and the Gold Heist'
Published by ITV
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1978

Graphic adventure serially told in Look-In, vol 8 #9-#15, 2 pages each for 14 black & white pages.
The evil Schubert has a submarine disguised as a whale from which he is able to send signals somewhat controlling other whales, all to help in attacking a ship carrying a large bullion of gold.
Click here to read the story.

10 'Terror and the Giant Little Fish' 'Terror and the Giant Little Fish'
Published by ITV
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1978

Graphic adventure serially told in Look-In, vol 8 #16-#20, 2 pages each for 10 black & white pages.
Volcanic activity in the deepest part of the Pacific has pushed giant forms of little known species of fish into coastal waters, including one particularly scary looking one, normally several inches long but now the size of a large shark.
Click here to read the story.

11 'The Tribal Shaman and the Interrupted Sacrifice' 'The Tribal Shaman and the Interrupted Sacrifice'
Published by ITV
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1978

Graphic adventure serially told in Look-In, vol 8 #21-#24, 2 pages each for 8 black & white pages.
Off the coast of New Guinea, the Cetacean is looking for a new species of fish recently sighted. As Mark Harris leaves the vessel to look for himself, at the same time, a remote tribal priest above him on the surface is throwing a bound man into the deep waters as a sacrifice to the gods. When the Man from Atlantis saves the man by bringing him to the surface, he incurs the wrath of the shaman.
Click here to read the story.

12 'Mr. Schubert and the Bargaining Chip' 'Mr. Schubert and the Bargaining Chip'
Published by ITV
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1978

Graphic adventure serially told in Look-In, vol 8 #25-#27, 2 pages each for 6 black & white pages.
It is off the Californian coast, Mark Harris is outside the Cetacean when he discovers a giant anemone, "at least fifty times larger" than anything he had seen before. When he approaches it, he is attacked and in danger of being swallowed. Behind what turns out to be a ruse is the evil Mr. Schubert who needs Harris for an unusual bargaining chip.
Click here to read the story.

13 'Nuclear Waste and the Giant Manta Ray' 'Nuclear Waste and the Giant Manta Ray'
Published by ITV
Contributors: Unknown (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1978

Graphic adventure serially told in Look-In, vol 8 #28-#29, 2 pages each for 4 black & white pages.
The cargo ship Lima Trader is in the middle of the Pacific under contract by the US government carrying a shipment of nuclear waste set for deep-sea dumping. Suddenly it encounters a huge waterspout and within seconds the ship was so damaged all hands were told to abandon ship. The ship sinks but not in the deep trench it was supposed to and the Cetacean and Mark Harris are asked to help. A gigantic manta ray is not pleased with being disturbed.
Click here to read the story.

DIGESTS AND MAGAZINES

Number of Digests:1
First Appearance:1978
Last Appearance:1978

1 Man From Atlantis Annual 1979 Man From Atlantis Annual 1979

Copyright: 1978

A collection of text short stories and articles concerning the television show Man From Atlantis as well as articles of interest about the oceans and many of its inhabitants.
The stories are:
Fuel Crisis
Kidnap!
Whirlpool
Dead to the World
The Assassins From Salo
There is also a board game
Trapped In The Tunnels Of Terror

GAMES

Number of Games:1
First Appearance:1978
Last Appearance:1978

1 Trapped In The Tunnels Of Terror Trapped In The Tunnels Of Terror
Boardgame
Solow Production Company
Copyright: 1978

Published in Man From Atlantis Annual 1979.
As the explanation says, "While going to the aid of an injured squid sheltering in a cave, a sudden marine landslide traps the Man from Atlantis in the tunnels of terror.
Can you help him to find a way out?
Players can move in any direction they like but must not turn back on themselves in the middle of a throw. If a player lands in a square containing instruction, he must obey them.
The winner is the first player to reach the exit of the tunnel of terror."

MY COMMENTS

I was overseas when this series came out originally so I never had a chance to watch it then but had I been, I would certainly have sat through a few episodes - well, actually probably all of them. This is just the type of silly, illogical and far-fetched sort of stuff I adore.

Patrick Duffy, the star, said that he was not sorry the series ended because he had been routinely freezing his tookus off in the chilly waters off Catalina filming it. And he did land that Dallas gig which kind of made him really famous the next year. And the actress playing Dr. Merrill, Belinda Montgomery, is said to have used lawyers to get out of the show even before its abbreviated run ended.

So it is fairly obvious neither the two stars cared for the show but for me, seeing a few episodes many years later, I kinda sorta liked it, a bit. Except for Duffy's eel-like swimming.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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