Top Gear?

Astounding that nobody’s made a thread for Top Gear amidst the myriads of thread-shrines dedicated to lesser shows.

this show is fan fucking tastic. especially the specials (maybe notsomuch the olympics one…)


I think Top Gear is stupid, but occasionally fun. There have been many Top Gear threads in the past.

It’s not that astounding to me since this is a US message board with mainly US members where as and Top Gear is a globally syndicated UK show - all be it the best damn car review show ever made.

My favourite feature would have to be the Ford Fiesta road test.

The Bolivia special last week was great. Tonight’s episode was fun, too. Unfortunately, it’s the last one until Summer.

I have been a huge fan for years and I couldn’t care less about cars or the whole car/speed loving culture. But some of it is so funny. Over Christmas I was telling my parents to watch it, recounting different bits (particularly the amphibious challenge) and the 3 guys are just such a perfect mix I found myself laughing at the memories.

I assume that you’re talking about the broadcasts on the BBC, because if you’re watching it on BBC America, the thirteenth series starts on January 25.

I have only a vague interest in cars, but I like the show for the entertainment value. And it’s introduced me to various car makes (Koenigsegg, for one) not common in the US.

I’m in the U.S., and BBC America just showed the polar special. I’ve watched it a few times and it really is unbelievable. The scenery, the challenge–be the first automobile (or in their case, truck) to drive to the North Pole. A very dangerous challenge also.

I’m a 52 year old female who has never taken any interest in cars until Top Gear. I know own DVDs of the show and will watch whatever episode is on, no matter how many times I’ve seen it. I think Botswana is my favorite, followed by the caravanning episode.

Really? When did they broadcast the polar special? I must have missed it. I’ll have to see if it’s available On Demand.

The polar special has been on at least the last two weeks; I suspect it won’t be on again for a while as it was in the “previous week’s episode” slot this weekend. One of their better specials.

BTW, they apparently drove to the magnetic North Pole, not the real one (look at the nav display in the truck – it reads something like 78 degrees north latitude). Definitely a bit of a cheat.

Fantastic show, but it’s starting to creak a bit. Not seen a good one for a while - in fact I’d assumed that they’d called it a day.

It must be pushing ten years since they’ve had the same winning formula with the three presenters, so they’ve had a good run.

I was in Australia last year and saw an episode of their own Top Gear - it seems like a format that could transfer anywhere if you got the personalities right.

I think they did go to the Magnetic NP. May’s voice over mentioned getting the last known baring. Obviously, 90ºN isn’t going to move around. There was also an awful lot of land nearby.

I did laugh out loud when May broke out the gin.

I’m not really into cars at all but the few episodes I’ve seen here and there have been surprisingly enjoyable.

I saw a couple of episodes of a Russian version of Top Gear too recently.

NBC cancelled the american pilot. it featured adam carolla (man show guy), eric stromer (while you were out do-it-your-selfer), and Tanner Foust (rally racer). something something car industry something something dark side…
the car reviews may be negligible, but the news portion, the challenges, and the occasional interview make the show un-stale for me.


Fellow Top Gearhead who has been watching the new format (which began in 2002) since before it got noticed and popular, and have to sympathize somewhat with the point made by Busy Scissors that it may feel stale to some. I loved the recent South American special; brought back memories of the Vietnam Special, and obviously the aforementioned Polar Special. It’s great when they do these yearly specials, and I wish they’d do them more often because they really bring the passion of motoring to people who might not otherwise have an interest. I know I have shown these documentary-style specials (especially the Polar one) to people with barely a passing interest in cars and they LOVED them. Still, there’s an undercurrent of feeling that the Golden Era of Top Gear is probably past us, but the chemistry between the presenters is what has made it successful. You can always count on Richard to be the plucky palooka, James to be the detail-oriented voice of curmudgeonly reason, and Jeremy to be the insufferable and provocative oaf. At this point, we all know what they’re going to do before they do it. That may have some fans disenfranchised because it’s not “fresh” anymore; we know all of their stunts are staged, but that’s what has always made it work. It has admittedly lost maybe a little twinkle of the exuberance and energy it’s had in the last 2-3 years, in part due to the economic slowdown, a downturn in BBC funding, and maybe a little bit of moralistic attention from the British government since its meteoric rise in popularity, but I personally think it’s a bit disingenuous for people to suggest it’s getting stale because it all now feels scripted and staged now … it’s always been scripted and staged.

It’s a car show, but not really … it’s a “carmedy”, more thematic, more about what cars mean to us and what makes them distinct and different from one another. They’re more than just the sum of their parts, they have personalities and souls, and watching three fully grown British blokes consistently take the piss out of one another while bickering over their very different tastes other is nothing short of hysterical. Of course, the focus being on cars is why a lot of us got into it in the first place, but its humor is what has given it widespread recognition. I think it would still be just as funny if they were reviewing kitchen appliances or cellular phones. If the show were just about reviewing cars or interviewing celebs, it would be MotorWeek or The Tonight Show. It’s so much more than either of those, its execution is uniquely British, and it’s truly for the best that the American version remains stillborn; manufacturers would probably be paying good money on an American format to have their products seen, and as such would not want to run the risk of their vehicles being accused of such things as being “less fun than drowning” or the shifter having been “taken out of a Victorian signal box”. These are the kind of hilarious bits that I just can’t see happening on an advertiser-revenue-supported American show. As Jeremy would say, “due to the unique way the BBC is funded”, this is not the case on Top Gear and the opinions are as diverse and opinionated as they are hilarious. An American version would be more like MotorWeek: dry, dull, by the numbers, with nothing overtly bad being said about the products. And it would more than likely have a liberal dose of inane, shallow and irrelevant shit joke style humor that would make Top Gear fans wince in pain to top it all off. To that end, I can’t see any American celebrity trio being able to replicate the presenter chemistry no matter how desperately they try to.

And on that soapbox bombshell, it’s time to end my post.

To answer my own question, it is available through Comcast On Demand. I’m watching it now.

Absolutely. One of my favorites and quickly becoming one of the only ones I watch regularly…

Brendon Small

Very true. All you have to do is see the Bonneville Flats special where they actually had to buy a Dodge themselves. Chrysler wouldn’t loan them one, because they had previously given them bad reviews. I don’t think an American production company would dare risk a potential sponsor being unhappy.

I’ve got to say though, as a long time fan of Top Gear I can’t stand our Australian version at all. I refuse to watch it and will only watch the original with Clarkson, Hamster and Captain Slow.