Spaced - Series Two Review
After a long 2 year wait Spaced finally arrived back on our screens in 2001. Expectations for the series were running high, as Spaced had proved to be the most original British Sitcom for some time, and the viewing public were not disappointed.
Spaced 2 saw the return of all our favourite characters, and included a lot more character development. The pop culture references were all there, along with the silly one liners and the visual gags, but something had changed. Tim and Daisy had grown up since the last time we saw them and they had become to realise that they were not so young and carefree anymore.
There is a maturity in Spaced 2 that was not present in the silly high jinks of the first series, but this does not mean that Spaced had lost its edge. It was still funny, still fresh and exciting, but more mature, a new level had been found without sacrificing any of the key elements of the show.
After her extensive travels in the East, Daisy arrives back at number 23 only to find that things have changed considerably since leaving. Tim has moved Mike into Daisy’s room, Bryan and Twist are a regular item, and Colin just doesn’t seem interested. Daisy’s troubles are only just beginning when two mysterious men track Daisy down and show considerable interest in the contents of her luggage.
The early morning peace at number 23 is shattered when Amber moves out and lets everyone know about it. Tim loses his job at Fantasy Bazaar after Bilbo finally runs out of patience with his Phantom Menace hang-ups, and Daisy has finally run out of cold hard cash. As they are both in need of money, Daisy persuades Tim to accompany her to the job centre. Unfortunately her plea for money is rejected, and she signs up with a temping agency. Will Tim and Bilbo ever work together again, will Daisy enjoy her new job, and can Mike refuse his new landlady’s advances?
Mike and Tim’s robot Private Iron has successfully made the quarter finals of Robot Wars and they are busy with the finishing touches. Meanwhile Daisy is off to her new temping job in Kentish Town, hoping that this one will last longer than a few days, and Brian gets an offer of an installation at a local gallery.
On the search for new talent, Damien Knox of Darkstar Comics requests to see Tim’s portfolio again. Tim asks Tyres to deliver his portfolio for him unaware that Daisy has put back the unflattering caricature of Knox. Meanwhile Marsha has embarked on a new keep fit campaign and manages to persuade Daisy to keep her company, and Brian has a lunch date with his Mum. In the process of getting his picture back Tim is asked out by the delightful Sophie, but what will Knox think of his portfolio?
Tim is busy getting ready for another date with Sophie while Daisy is busy cooking a stew for everyone. Unfortunately, Tim’s plans for the evening are ruined when Sophie phones to tell him that she’s got to work late, noting Tim’s disappointment, Daisy offers to accompany Tim on his night out. What starts out as a fun evening soon turns sour as Duane Benzie attempts to chat Daisy up, and Tim’s attempt to communicate with the ‘younger generation’ end in disaster.
Its Daisy’s birthday and the gang are all ready for a fun evening out, but their plans are about to be spoiled. Tim and Sophie are getting careless with their relationship and Marsha spies them cavorting in the front garden. Twist calls things off with Brian and Daisy gets a letter from the Colwyn Bay Gazette offering her a job. But things really turn from bad to worse when Daisy tells Marsha about her and Tim’s deception.
After the revelations at Daisy’s birthday bash, Marsha puts number 23 up for sale leaving everyone high and dry. While Tim, Brian and Mike are off finding Marsha, Daisy is trying to find out why Colin keeps on disappearing next door. Tim has some more bad news when Sophie tells him she’s off to Seattle to work for Marvel, and even Daisy is thinking of taking that job in Wales. Will the gang be able to persuade Marsha not to sell the house and will Tim be able to stop Daisy from going to Colwyn Bay?
Spaced Series Two is presented in anamorphic widescreen in the original aspect ratio of 1:85.1. Unlike Spaced One the picture quality is fantastic, there is no grain or print damage at all, colours are well represented and the picture is clear with no noticeable blurring.
Again we have a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix, which is no great surprise; however it is adequate for the DVD. Dialogue is nice and clear and sound effects are easily identifiable. There is also a good balance between the soundtrack and dialogue with neither being too overpowering.
The menus for Spaced Series 1 were well designed and looked great, the menus for Spaced 2 are even better. A nice little animated menu with the main characters greets you when you pop the disk into your player. The artwork on each of the menus is fantastic, depicting different characters from each of the episodes, and snatches of dialogue are played when you select a menu.
Commentary: Again all episodes have a commentary track featuring Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson. They are joined by Julia Deakin (episode 2), Nick Frost (episode 3), Mark Heap (episode 4) and Katy Carmichael (episode 6). The commentaries are interesting, informative and quite funny. There are no silences and everyone gets to contribute something to the discussion at hand. These are some of the best commentaries I have listened to, and hold your interest all the way through.
Homage-o-meter: This is a subtitle track that tells you what film / TV show / toy / advert is being referred to. This is an interesting addition, and as you might expect the Star Wars films get the most references.
Out takes: Another selection of goofed shoots is included in the out takes section. The most notable out take is when Simon gets an electric shock from the toaster in episode 2. In fact you get to see Simon hurting himself in a variety of different ways during these out takes.
Deleted Scenes: Again a nice set of deleted scenes is included, and there are 18 in total. As with the first DVD, these can be watched with or without the commentary from Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. The commentary for these scenes mainly explains the reasons why the scenes were cut or made shorter.
Trailers: A total of 7 trailers that were shown to promote the second series. There are 4 episode specific trailers and 3 generic ones with either Tim or Daisy or both of them.
Raw Footage: Not really out takes or deleted scenes, this is just bits of footage from the shooting of the series. There is lots of clapperboard action maybe to illustrate how long the shoot was, but it’s funny in it’s own way. Perhaps the best bit out of the raw footage is Simon getting angry with people at St Pancras Station for getting in the way of the camera (they were only trying to catch their train !)
Biographies: Again we have a set of biographies for the 6 main characters; these are around 5 pages each, include a character specific top 5 and are quite amusing. A further 2 biographies for Edgar Wright (director) and Nira Park (producer) are also included. If you look closely in Daisy’s biography you’ll also find an easter egg.
Photo Gallery: An exhaustive collection of some 50+ photos can be seen here. Some of these photos were used in various episodes, but most of them are the standard behind the scenes stuff.
Daisy Does Elvis: Jessica Stevenson’s entire rendition of My Teddy Bear which was included in Episode 5.
Another well thought out DVD for fans of Spaced everywhere. This DVD is a fantastic improvement over the previous one in terms of picture quality, and as always we are treated to a nice watchable set of extras. At the moment there are no plans (that I know of) for Spaced 3, but this DVD should keep fans happy until then. We’re only 3 months into 2002, but I’ve already found one of my favourite DVD’s of the year!