Well yesterday BBC Two unveiled its new look, not too long after BBC One launched its new idents. Being a bit of a TV pres
geek like James O’Malley, I am of course interested (even though I seem to watch hardly any actual television these days).
The reception seems to have been fairly mixed, but I’m not a big fan of them. As with BBC One’s almost universally derided dancers, I liked BBC Two’s ‘personality’ idents of 2001–2007 more than most.
But for many, nothing will beat the classic sets of idents introduced in 1991 and 1997. It is true that the 1990s idents are absolute classics. I prefer the original ones introduced in 1991 — they are classy and sophisticated, but not too pretentious. The music was brilliant as well. Check out one of my favourites, Silk:
(N.B. Self-indulgently, I will be including a BBC Two ident YouTube Extravaganza ‘below the fold’.)
I preferred the 1991 idents like Silk to the ones added later on (such as the hugely popular Dog). They did inject a bit of humour, but I prefer the artyness of the earlier idents.
Still, I did like the humorous idents used from 2001–2007. My favourite was Domino. I just love how angry the one with the whistle gets.
As for the new idents, the ‘window on the world’ theme is an interesting idea, but clearly this entire new look owes a lot to Channel 4. There are also a few annoying oddities. Firstly, towards the end of Cappuccino it starts to look like one of those photographs where the photographer’s thumb is partially over the lens.
Also, I wish they would get rid of that restrictive box. BBC One ditched its box when it relaunched in September. I would have thought that BBC Two would have all the more reason to given that it’s got a massive ‘2’ logo all over its idents. Why not just place the BBC logo close to the ‘2’ logo? It’s not as if we need to be told that it’s BBC Two twice.
I get the feeling that these idents will grow on me. But I will miss the personality of our robotic friend.
My favourite BBC Two idents of the past
Paint — brilliant music
Water Reflection — lasts almost a minute!
And just for fun, a little spoof of the 2001–2007 idents