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Series 2 DVD
on 10 November 2010
By this point, Heartbeat had settled down into its regular Sunday evening groove, and thus a few of the more post-watershed elements which gained the first series a 12 rating have gone. That's not to say it doesn't still contain some thought-provoking storylines: teenage pregnancy, racism and, in perhaps one of the series' best episodes, the aftermath of an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. This episode, "Bitter Harvest" echoes something of the 2001 outbreak, and is still quite difficult viewing. The song "Nights in White Satin" is used to particularly haunting effect throughout this episode.
Berry and Cusack are as good ever, and the second series also sees the introduction of fiesty Liverpudlian Gina to the Aidensfield Arms, with an increased role for the other policemen (Bellamy and Ventress). The stories also regularly feature Claud Greengrass on an almost weekly basis now - a good comic character, but perhaps overused in my opinion. I suppose it's more noticable when they are watched back-to-back.
Once again, the DVD menus are straightforward and Network have left on all of the original advert and title cards. The 1960s soundtrack is intact with the exception of songs by The Beatles which have been replaced by covers. Like their release of series 1, the DVD does not have any subtitles, which I can imagine it is annoying for some people.
The DVD has two rather nice extras - firstly the music video of Nick Berry's Heartbeat single and secondly an interesting 25-minute documentary "On Location with Heartbeat". This has interviews with most of the major cast members, as well as the producer and director. Bizarrely, they've even left on an advert for the original VHS releases - I wonder where the telephone number for "Yorkshire Television Enterprises" gets through to these days?