Nighty Night-Series 2 (2005)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind Nighty Night
|Year Of Production||2005|
|Running Time||172:36 (Case: 319)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Tony Dow|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Michael Fenton Stevens
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
If you are unfamiliar with this wonderful BBC black comedy, you might want to first click here to read my review of Nighty Night - Series One.
The first series of Nighty Night was and still is one of my favourite BBC comedies of recent years. Naturally I was very keen to find out when the ABC would screen the second series on television in this country. So, earlier this year I sent an email enquiry to the ABC asking that very question. I got a response stating that although the ABC still retain the repeat rights on the first series, they had not purchased the second series. The email also stated that my request would be passed on to the Television Acquisitions department of the ABC. Needless to say, series two of Nighty Night comes to DVD in this country without gracing our TV screens.
If you were offended by any of the audacious happenings in the first series, you might want to give the second series a wide berth. Julia Davis has certainly upped the ante in scenarios of questionable taste and the general degree of crudeness has also increased. As we've seen previously, Julia is certainly not afraid to explore territory that many other writers might shun. But after all, this is one of the engaging qualities that make both series of Nighty Night such a pleasure to watch.
Although I enjoyed the second series very much and found it humorous, I believe it struggled to match the first in overall quality. The claustrophobic confines of suburbia and Jill's impertinent and persistent behaviour intensified the humour and cringe factor of the first series.
There is word that a U.S. remake of Nighty Night is on the cards. It is difficult to see any American remake coming close to matching the perfect casting of the original, but I'm prepared to withhold my judgment.
Judging by comments made during the Behind Nighty Night extra on disc two, it appears highly unlikely that we will get to see a series three. But if circumstances change, I'm sure Julia Davis would be up to the challenge - here's hoping.
The basic premise of the second series sees Glen institutionalised for the poisoning event in the first series. Jill still has him on a string, but only for her own greedy financial purposes. Jill and Linda are on the road to Cornwall. Jill has tracked down Don and Cath and will stop at nothing to again lure him away. Jill's task has become all the more difficult this time, because Don and Cath have adopted an alternative lifestyle - a lifestyle Jill must infiltrate to have any chance of success.
A brief run down of each episode in series two follows below. If you're keen on viewing the series, you might want to skip this summary, as it contains significant spoilers.
Episode One (29:04)
Glen (Mark Gatiss) has survived the poisoning, but has had a good portion of his stomach removed and his memory has also suffered. Jill (Julia Davis) visits Glen in Bettle Lodge (a home for the criminally insane), and to secure her financial future they soon get married inside the institution. Vicar Gordon (Michael Fenton Stevens) also survived the poisoning, but is on constant life support in an iron lung. His life is cut even shorter when Linda (Ruth Jones) accidentally pulls the plug on the machine. Jill gives Sue (Felicity Montagu) excessive amounts of Botox in an effort to obtain the whereabouts of Cath (Rebecca Front) and Don (Angus Deayton). Jill tricks Linda's fiancé, Dennis (Marc Wootton), and steals their caravan - with Linda sleeping inside. Meanwhile, Cath and Don have adopted an alternative lifestyle in Cornwall. They are trying to rebuild their marriage at The Trees (an alternative health retreat), run by charismatic Jacques (Ralph Brown). Jill, Linda and the newly acquired caravan are soon on the road to Cornwall.
Episode Two (28:32)
While driving to Cornwall, Jill runs over a black woman (Llewella Gideon) standing on the side of the road. Thinking she is dead, Linda quickly drags her into the caravan and they continue their journey. Cath has developed an awkward crush on Jacques, which isn't mutual. Don has embraced the carefree life of a surfer. Linda finds a letter in the woman's handbag relating to a job interview at The Trees. Jill sees her opportunity and she assumes the black woman's identity. She applies and surprisingly gets the job under her new name of Floella Umbugabe, with Linda as her assistant. Cath and Jill meet again with Jill claiming that she is now a born again Christian, but Cath isn't keen to re-establish a relationship. Jill finally tracks Don down, only to discover she has some younger competition.
Episode Three (28:29)
Don now has a much younger girlfriend, Natalie (Loui Batley). He and Cath have decided that it's OK to have other relationships while they sort out their lives. Jill has commenced a campaign to "accidentally" kill Glen, but is constantly thwarted at the last minute. Don is not at all interested in Jill's attempts to lure his attention. In an effort to eliminate her younger competition, Jill convinces Natalie that she needs a nose job and Jill is qualified to perform the procedure. Cath is surprised and confused when she again meets with "Floella" at The Trees. Don gets drunk at a party and finds himself back in Cath's embrace.
Episode Four (28:29)
Jill is surprised to find Sue in Cath's living room. She has arrived with her new flame, Vicar Arno (Robert D. Phillips), soon after the death of Gordon. Cath and Don's twelve year old son Bruce (Bruno Melling) has returned from boarding school and it isn't long before Jill has him in her devious sights. Much to Jill's horror, Cath announces that she is pregnant with Don's baby. When Don goes in to hospital for a vasectomy, Jill and Linda aren't far away attempting to get a semen sample so that Linda can artificially inseminate Jill. When that plan fails, Jill attempts another audacious scheme involving Bruce and his bed sheets. Glen's life is still in danger - knowing he can't swim, this time Jill pushes him into a pond. The experience sparks a revival of the past and Glen begins to finally see the evil ways of his new bride.
Episode Five (29:02)
Jill drops a bombshell claiming she is also pregnant and that young Bruce is the father. Her claims that she was sexually abused many times by the boy are naturally treated with sheer disbelief. In an attempt to gain the Cole family's sympathy, Jill goes into a faked deep depression and moves into their house to be cared for. Glen begins to dig a tunnel to escape his imprisonment at Bettle Lodge.
Episode Six (29:00)
Cath has had a baby girl and Jill is now looking after household chores - cooking lavish breakfasts for Don and meagre rations for Cath. Sue and Vicar Arno have split up, so now Don can finally tell Sue of his secret passion for her. Glen has escaped from Bettle Lodge and is hot on Jill's trail. When he finally confronts her with her evil past, Jill convinces him that she is eleven months pregnant with his baby. Jill's trail of wicked lies and deceit begin to close in, leading her to a final confrontation on a cliff's edge by the sea. Cath casts her wheelchair over the edge, which lands on and kills Sue who is on the beach below having sex with Don. Cath pushes Jill off the edge but her fall is broken by a trampoline and an unsuspecting Don. Jill eventually gets her man, but not really in the circumstances she imagined.
The video transfer for Nighty Night Series Two is quite good.
The series is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which is 16x9 enhanced.
Sharpness and clarity is generally excellent and appears to be on par with the quality of the first series. Blacks are clean and deep, with shadows exhibiting a high degree of detail.
Colours were well balanced, bold and brilliant.
There were no MPEG artefacts in this transfer. Film-to-video artefacts didn't cause any distraction or annoyances and film artefacts didn't exist.
English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available on both DVDs, which includes all extras. They are white, easily legible and accurate.
Both discs are single sided, dual layer discs. The layer change on both discs must occur between programs, as they were not detected on viewing or with the use of software.
The audio transfer is, likewise, very good.
There is only one audio track available on the DVD, English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).
Similar to the first series, I had the occasional problem understanding dialogue. This is certainly not an unfavourable issue with the audio transfer, but is more to do with the thick accents of some characters - this is where good subtitles can come in handy. Audio sync was very accurate.
The music in the second series is much more prominent than in the first. Again, there is no music credit for the series, with the music coming mainly from existing, well-known rock tracks. The budget for this second season of Nighty Night was obviously much greater than the first; the amount of music tracks used in the series alone is testament to this. This large selection of music includes tracks from artists such as Boston, Deep Purple, Toto, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Def Leppard and even Dolly Parton. As in series one, the theme music is again borrowed from the film My Name Is Nobody, which was written by the renowned Italian composer Ennio Morricone.
With no significant directional sound, the surrounds carried subtle ambient sound and music.
The subwoofer came to life during musical interludes.
|Surround Channel Use|
There is an excellent selection of extras on disc two that will no doubt please fans of the series.
The menus are similarly themed to the first series, with extensive animation, a sample of Ennio Morricone's music and 16x9 enhancement.
As the title suggests, this is a variation on the official first episode. There are some small additions and omissions to various scenes, but nothing that dramatically changes the basic premise of the episode.
Make sure you view the series before watching this piece, as it contains significant spoilers. Most of the main cast contribute to this behind-the-scenes look at the second series of Nighty Night. It features frank interviews with Julia Davis, Ruth Jones, Mark Gatiss, Rebecca Front, Felicity Montagu and producer Alison MacPhail. A nice amount of background information is provided, with video grabs from the series to highlight the discussions.
A selection of seventeen amusing bloopers from series two - all play consecutively.
A multitude of deleted scenes have been included on the disc, all of which have been separated into their individual episodes - they are all listed below.
A still collection of forty-six behind-the-scenes images of cast and crew.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
At the time of this review there is no R1 version of Nighty Night - Series Two. There is, however, a UK R2 edition which appears to be identical to this reviewed R2/R4 edition. In that case, there seems no valid reason to look past the local version.
The second series of Nighty Night is nicely presented on DVD in this two-disc set. The incredibly dark and eccentric humour of series two is either hit or miss. The combination of genuine laughs with the heightened outlandish element of the narrative is sure to divide opinion. Even though it doesn't quite match the quality of the first series, my fingers are crossed for a third series.
The transfers are excellent.
The huge selection of extras on the second disc will surely please fans.
|DVD||JVC XV-N412, using Component output|
|Display||Hitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Amplification||Panasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS|
|Speakers||Fronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17|