I didn't really appreciate these idents at the time, as the concept seemed to tire quickly and they didn't seem a patch on the 1991-2001 original 2s. But recently I've been watching through them again and admire how good some of them still look, such as 'Bounce':
My favourite of the more humorous ones, 'Drip':
Perhaps one downside of them was that they were a bit too jaunty in comparison with the previous set, which led to the introduction of 'Bounce Sombre' with a more appropriate soundtrack.
What does everyone else think of these now that's it been so long since they were on air? Still disappointing or gone up in your estimation?
I still rate these as the least good of all of BBC2's ident sets. At the time much of my dislike was a simply a reaction against them replacing what were patently far superior idents - it seemed like change for the sake of change (though little did we know those old idents would eventually come back!) This would be repeated to even greater effect on BBC1 a few months later.
Taking them in isolation, the main problem I have with them is the same that I have with 'jokey' idents in general - it was funny seeing the domino 2 fall the wrong way the first couple of times, but what about after five years of repeated viewings? By then the joke had long since worn thin. (I have the same issue with the current Channel 4 idents). I think Invisible Walls is by far the best of this set, probably because it's the least jokey of the lot.
The way they had to retrofit Bounce with a more downbeat soundtrack just seemed ham-fisted to me - why did they seemingly forget to include a more appropriate serious ident in the first place?
Then there is the issue that they're simply too yellow, with not enough variety between them.
However what replaced them I think, in retrospective, wasn't that much of an improvement - more variety, but went too far in the other direction by replacing overly jokey idents with idents that were just a bit dull instead.
Oh yes, I forgot, the 2005/06 Christmas ident was way superior to anything else in the 2001-07 period. By the later part of these era they were beginning to abandon the personality theme altogether for special idents, and were already bringing back idents from the previous era such as Predator and the 2000 Christmas ident for the Winter Olympics.
Robert, you sum up very well my feelings towards these idents too. It’s just that it’s been so long since I’ve seen them, that they felt fresh again, and I’d forgotten just how repetitive they felt after only a few years on air. Whereas, I never got tired of seeing ‘Silk’ introduce Newsnight until last year.
‘Invisible Walls’ is also one of the few of this set where the ‘2’ isn’t really a character (like in ‘Bounce’ or ‘Drum’) - and those seem to work better, ironic as the whole concept of this package was to turn the ‘2’ into a character (hence ‘Personality 2s’).
For me it was the very limited colour palette that made this set so uninspired. The character of the Two still came across quite well but it was just so plain being yellow all the time. The original Lambie Nairn set had a limited colour palette too but still allowed great scope for creativity.
It was a good way though to keep the 2 in a more restricted environment. No doubt they weren't as good as what they replaced but only the curves and perhaps the circles really better them when it comes to BBC ident sets of the 21st century.