penders - 3:12 pm on Aug 19, 2011 (gmt 0)
AFAIK search engines rank sites page by page. If page #2 contains the keywords and content for what the user is searching for and the first page doesn't then is there any reason why the search engine should include page #1 in the results?
However, have you looked at link relationships between your pages? (Similar to your navigation markup)
12.3 Document relationships: the LINK element [w3.org]
6.12 Link types [w3.org]
So, for instance, you might have the following in the HEAD section of page #3
<link rel="Start" href="/tutorial/">
<link rel="Next" href="/tutorial/sub-topic-x/">
<link rel="Prev" href="/tutorial/sub-topic-z/">
The link types (Next, Prev, etc.) are a W3C standard so the SE's should understand them. How this might affect the SERPs I'm not sure. Using "Next" and "Prev" class names (as you have done) in your navigation might help, although this isn't strictly a 'standard' that I'm aware of - although it could be considered a microformat [microformats.org]?
In a multi-page article I would certainly have commonality between page titles and perhaps the H1 tags(?) with the H2 tags having the title of that sub-page within the article - may be?