Now I haven’t talked much about the new Top Gear here as I’ve done a round up of each episode on Motor Verso (see links below) but I’ve decided to leave a whole round up piece here for your reading pleasure. First of all id just like to say I think it’s a good thing Chris Evans has decided to step down from Top Gear, as I don’t think he was popular any where at any point during the series, whether it was pressure from the BBC big bosses or his own decision, I think it was the right one. Nothing against Chris himself, in the right setting I find him quite an entertaining guy, but he wasn’t the right man for the job, he had little to no chemistry with any of his co presenters, and it felt at time like the Chris Evans show, with other characters thrown in for good measure.
Another bad point for this reinvention of the show is the Star in a reasonably priced ‘Rallycross’ car segment. Having the guests introduce each other was incredibly awkward, and if you read my wrap up was increasingly infuriating as the series went on. Old Top Gear would generally only have the one guest, this gave more time to actually interviewing them, the only time they had pairs of guests on was when they were both ‘plugging’ the same show/ film so they had experience around one another, which meant good chemistry between them and Jeremy. On new Top Gear having two guests on who have nothing to do with one another left Chris struggling to pull of two interviews at the same time, it really didn’t work.
Finally on to the good points of the new show. First of all I’d like to mention the new upgrades to the track, with the off road sections, jump and water splash. Whilst the interview segments were frankly horrible, the new upgrades to the track gave the star in a rallycross car segment a refreshing new twist. The old segment had gotten stale and with them changing the car what felt like every couple of series, I feel if the segment is continued in the next series it could be a great part of the show. Also I think 4 out of the 6 presenters are excellent, if a little under utilized this series. Sabine was barely in this series, appearing only when The Stig wasn’t available.
The two presenters I wouldn’t bring back are the already gone Chris Evans of course, but also Eddie Jordan. Whilst he didn’t appear much in the series, when he did he was awkward and not really very funny, playing the spoons on a luxury train to Venice, damaging a Mercedes whilst driving off road, both these occasions weren’t funny or exciting, and he really didn’t bring anything to the show. The stars of the show however have been Chris Harris and Rory Reid. Of course if you’ve ever searched for cars on the internet, you’ll be aware of Chris Harris, he is arguably one of the best motoring journalists on the planet right now, and its great he’s finally getting the wider audience he deserves. Rory Reid, I wasn’t aware of prior to the show, and hadn’t had much experience with him but he’s a really great addition to the show, and one that could out shine the others given the chance. All of this despite the fact he’s been held back with ‘real world’ car reviews, cars that the common man might actually get a chance to buy.
Finally I want to talk about Matt LeBlanc, who is likely to be replacing Chris Evans as the lead presenter, whilst I was nervous about him coming in, being an actor rather than a journalist, I think he has shown that he has the ability to become quite enjoyable to watch, and he showed this in the first episode whilst driving the Arial Nomad. I do hope he stops playing the confused American which will almost certainly grow tiresome in a very short time, an I also hope he doesn’t revert back to his Joey character from friends which it felt he was starting to in his 911R feature in the last episode. Overall I think the first series of the new team was very hit and miss, some things were great, others not so much. Its difficult to say if the next series will be better, because the lead presenter has just left the show, meaning the whole thing could go into disarray, but I think there is a future for the new Top Gear and I think that futures bright.
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Links to articles:
New Cast, New Rules, New Top Gear
Top Gear – Making Progress
Top Gear – Third Times the Charm
Top Gear – Things can only get better
Top Gear – The Good, The Bad and the Rolls Royce Dawn
Top Gear – The Finale