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    Only Fools and Horses - The Complete Series 2
    BBC/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 232 mins . M15+ . PAL

      Feature
    Contract

    The success of the first series of Only Fools and Horses starring David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst and Lennard Pearce ensured that a second was quickly commissioned and put into production. The scripts were again written by John Sullivan and if you enjoyed the first series then you will enjoy this just as much, as there is not a lot that is different.

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    "It'll ride up with wear."

    Del is still sure that he will be a rich man and an entrepreneur par excellence, Rodney is still a born follower, and Granddad is still happiest when parked in front of his tellies. The scams and schemes are just as doomed to failure, although the actual scenarios differ, each with a different way of screwing up.

    The only other character of note is Trig, who returns from the first series and is seen more here. His role is still little more of a facilitator for Del’s money-making schemes, but someone has to do it.

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    Another action-packed Saturday night!

    There are plenty of decent laughs spread across eight 30-minute episodes, some unlikely situations that arise, and even a short holiday to Spain. This comedy recently polled the highest votes in a BBC online poll for funniest sitcom ever, and while many would argue there is better (I would be among them), there is still much here to be amused by.

    Episode One: Rodney finally has a date, but with a policewoman. Del fears that loose lips really do sink ships, and one wrong word from Rodney could see them all end up in the nick.

    Ashes to Ashes: Trig sells Del some items from his recently deceased Gran’s estate. Centrepiece is two ornamental urns. Trouble is one of the urns contains Trig’s Granddad’s ashes.

    A Losing Streak: Del and his nemesis, Boycie, are playing the biggest poker game Peckham has ever seen. But Boycie has more than just a plan up his sleeve.

    No Greater Love: Rodney has a new love, but she is twice his age – with a husband about to be released from Her Majesty’s pleasure. Del offers plenty of brotherly advice, not all of it what Rodney wants to hear.

    The Yellow Peril: Del takes delivery of some paint and scams the local Chinese restaurateur into letting Rodney and Granddad paint his kitchen. The results are more enlightening than anyone predicted.

    It Never Rains: Del scams a cheap Spanish holiday for the Trotters, but it seems Granddad has been in Spain before running arms in the Spanish Civil War and the Spanish have long memories.

    A Touch of Glass: Del and Rodney stumble onto a chandelier cleaning and repair scam at the home of a local well-to-do. Things come crashing down around them – literally.

    Diamonds Are Forever: It’s Christmas and Del is in love and this time his new bird seems to be as serious about him as he is about her. Her son adores Del, but her ex-husband returns trying to weasel his way back into the family home.

      Video
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    Contract

    The full frame aspect ratio that was the standard for BBC comedies until recently is right on par with the first series. This series is 20 years old and at times it really shows, especially the scenes recorded on location where artefacts are more evident, the image is noticeably darker and softer, and there is more grain. By contrast, the studio recordings look quite good in general and have generally retained a decent level of sharpness, decent colouring and solid skin tones. There is some frequent but minor shimmer, but at least the layer change is neatly tucked away between episodes.

    It wouldn’t take a genius to work out that the audio is television quality and on DVD that means Dolby Digital stereo. There's decent enough volume and clarity, but an overall lack of a stereo feel bar the opening and closing music and audience laughter. There is little else that demonstrates any real audio brilliance, but the basics such as fidelity and synchronisation are spot on.

    Sorry folks there are no extra features, just the eight episodes and nothing more.

    The British sitcom bombardment continues unabated and there is bound to be plenty more to come. Few are worthy of purchase as they tend to date rather quickly, but Only Fools and Horses still has the ability to deliver some decent laughs and I guess that’s got to count for something.


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  •   And I quote...
    "Delboy, Rodney and Granddad return for more scamming and scheming…"
    - Terry Kemp
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Akai
    • TV:
          TEAC CT-F803 80cm Super Flat Screen
    • Receiver:
          Pioneer VSX-D409
    • Speakers:
          Wellings
    • Centre Speaker:
          Wellings
    • Surrounds:
          Wellings
    • Subwoofer:
          Sherwood SP 210W
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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