BBC Two '1991-2001' Idents - Idents - Special Idents

Special Idents

Since 1974, BBC Two has aired special idents for use at national celebrations such as Christmas. The Christmas idents were changed annually throughout this period (except for 2001 where the channel would have rebranded prior to Christmas of that year), and were seen as a Christmas tradition for BBC's 1 and 2 to produce a new Christmas package on an annual basis (This tradition was broken in 2003 when BBC One reused the previous years ident, and in recent times when the same ident was used alongside BBC Two for 4 Christmases consecutively). In contrast, Halloween and St. Valentine's Day idents were only produced between 1991 and 1997.

  • Christmas 1991 - A wrapped up 2 set against a cloudy night sky with stars and the moon interacting and looking.
  • Christmas 1992 - A red 2 appears as fairy lights on a Christmas tree.
  • Christmas 1993 - A metallic coloured 2 is hoisted up atop a Christmas tree by hobbit like creatures.
  • Christmas 1994 - A large yellow 2 in a dome against a tundra landscape.
  • Christmas 1995 - Wallace and Gromit accompany a 2 covered in fairy lights while sat at Christmas dinner. As with the Neon ident, the music plays in time with the fairy lights flashing.
  • Christmas 1996 - A wizard walks on clouds in the sky, before spinning and turning into a 2 made of stars.
  • Christmas 1997 - A white 2 in a snowglobe with the faces of BBC Two's Christmas lineup appearing as reflections in the snowglobe.
  • Christmas 1998 - A green fairy moves back to reveal the 2 atop a Christmas tree with surreal white and green colours.
  • Christmas 1999 - A similar theme to last year, and the first ident to feature the URL. The 2, complete with wings, knocks the fairy off the tree before taking her place.
  • Christmas 2000 - Two small white 2's skate on top of, and fall off, a huge ice-covered 2. This ident was reused for the 2006 Winter Olympics.

As well as the Holiday idents, many other special idents were produced, mainly to introduce themed nights of programming on the channel, or specific programmes.

Title Used
Made in Japan From 14 September 1991 ? Possibly a little earlier.
The animation starts with the Japanese for "2". A smoke effect billows out, and the Japanese "2" dissolves through to the usual "2" you see in the final image on the left. Audio was the same as "Paint".
Pop Art Mid-Late 1991?
Some very random animation. Audio was the same as "Glass".
English From 15 October 1991 ?

The "2" teapot is initially covered with a tea-cosy which is removed to reveal the image you see on the left. Note the Hilda Ogden style ducks on the wall!

Rembrandt Week March (and possibly April) 1992

The "2" is part of the eye in a self-portrait of Rembrandt. It starts as a pencil sketch, and as the camera pulls back, we see the artist's hand adding detail to the painting in a series of mixes, until the finished portrait is revealed.

One World From 3 May 1992

The globe is a flat disk which starts the sequence side-on, rotating 90 degrees along its vertical axis, until it faces camera. As this happens, coloured powder "blows" on to the disk, finally forming the image on the left. The sequence is obviously the reverse of how it was shot - the powder was blown off the disk as it rotated away from the camera.

Billboard From 6 May 1992

In time-lapse, a man on a ladder pastes the advertising billboard with sheets of paper, finally revealing the complete picture - a large "2".

War and Peace From 3 October 1992

A "2" made of barbed-wire forms around a single poppy.

Halloween Night 31 October 1992

The Halloween Night special consists of three idents. The first was a parody of Paint, in which red blood splashes on the 2, and then cut off by a chainsaw.

The second ident for "The Vault of Horror" night of programmes features the 2 electrocuted by jump cables.

The third ident, a parody of the Ghost sting, featured the 2 covered in white cloth and stabbed by a knife.

A Night of Love 13 February 1993

This clever ident rose out of the water, with the "2"s reflection making the shape of a heart.

Birth Night 27 February 1993

The ident was highly original: an ultra-sound scanner showed not a baby, but a "2".

Crime and Punishment From 16 May 1993

This clever shot of a prison cell from above shows light from the "2" shaped window with bars across.

One Day in the Sixties 26 October 1992 – 19 November 2001

Over twelve hours of classic programmes and films from the swinging 60s, including the pilot of "Steptoe and Son", "Peyton Place", "Man Alive" and "Department S". The ident had suitably groovy music to accompany it, as the various small squares alternated randomly between 60s imagery and the familiar "2".

30th Anniversary 16 April 1994

This appropriately named ident was used on 16 April 1994 to celebrate BBC2's 30th Birthday. The "2" plunged down from a great height (like "Powder", and with the same audio) with cream splattering everywhere.

Centenary Early-Mid 1995

This appropriately named ident was used in 1995 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of cinema and film. The "2" plunged down from a great height onto a bed of film and cinema tapes.

Mars Weekend From 5 July 1997

It starts in close-up on the "2" Martian surface, then zooms out to reveal the full scene, with the flying saucer blipping in and out of view. The soundtrack sounds suitably Martian! There were two versions - one with the flying saucer, and one without. This was the final new ident before the BBC TWO revamp in October 1997.

Red Dwarf Night 14 February 1998

A series of five idents, each used on "Red Dwarf Night" in February 1998. Each ident was transmitted only once. Unfortunately BBC Presentation made a mess of the first one, fading up half a still on top of the image.

The theme is a love affair between the "2", which has a red antenna sticking out of its head, and a scutter, one of the mechanical robot service droids on board Red Dwarf.

Evolution Weekend 27 March 1998

The single ident was animated by starting with the still image of a "2" in clear water. A stone is dropped causing large ripples in the water. We see the reflection of a monkey peering in to the water, as it morphs into an ape, early man, and into modern man before he moves away to reveal the "2" where we started. Further ripples are seen with just the "2" visible.

It's Scary Out There 2000

The ident features an empty graveyard. The camera the zooms further into the graveyard until a giant '2' pops out of nowhere, and the camera zooms back.

Read more about this topic:  BBC Two '1991-2001' Idents, Idents

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