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    Not the Nine O'Clock News - Volume Two

    BBC/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 98 mins . PG . PAL


    This was one of the best British comedy shows of the 1980s, with an emphasis on topicality and swift, barbed humour, as you'd expect from the great ensemble cast.

    Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson, Gryff Rhys Jones and Mel Smith are as funny as ever -- but there are less classic moments than on Volume One. While it's still diverting, there's a feeling that the barrel is being scraped just a bit....

    It still doesn't seem however to be a two-decades old comedy series -- the wit is still fresh and the comedy hasn't aged. It's just that this is a plum-pudding with less plums than before. Still, it's a joy to watch this cast work -- their style and timing are impeccable.


    The videotape transfer is just average -- don't expect much, and you won't be disappointed. This seems below standard broadcast quality, with the BBC showing its typical skills from that period in preserving historical material. The greatest broadcaster in history had a vandal's approach to preservation of its historical material -- we're lucky to have anything left from this program at all!


    The two-channel mono sound has fared better than the image -- it's quite clear enough for intelligible comedy, and doesn't seem unduly harsh or strained.


    There are no extra features.


    Only rent this one, and then go out and buy Volume One to keep.

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      And I quote...
    "'Volume Two' says it all -- still worth watching, with a few giggles here and there -- but get Volume One for the best bits."
    - Anthony Clarke
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