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New Top Gear - what do you think?

Andalublue

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I just watched the first episode of the new Top Gear. After all the hype and counter-hype could it be as amazing/appalling as every TV and motor journalist had predicted? In a word, no.

Amazing? No, not amazing, since the format is almost completely unchanged from the Clarkson version, but that WAS an amazingly entertaining format, wasn't it? Should it have changed more? Well, damned if you do and damned if you don't. Had they changed it more no doubt the critics would have said, "What was wrong with the old format?" As it is, they'll probably say, "What was all the hype about? It's the same show." It was the same show, with different presenters, and that's the key.

Appalling? Hell no! It was just as entertaining and I actually like the change of vibe between the Three Stooges and Morecambe and Wise (Google it, my American friends).

Matt Le Blanc hit the road running. It's quite a tough call for an actor to become a presenter, especially in the few moments requiring him not to work to a script, but he is sooo incredibly likeable and, who knew?, clearly a phenomenal driver that he absolutely pulled it off.

Chris Evans isn't everyone's cup of tea, certainly not mine, but he actually annoyed me a lot less than I was expecting, in fact I quite liked him and he anchored the thing as professionally as he's done for a show in years.

There were some great films too. I love Matt in the desert and the Blackpool/Lake District challenge was funny throughout.

All in all, I breathed a sigh of relief that a show that I really love is still as watchable, scratch that, more watchable than ever. The basics survived, the chemistry was great and the cars remained the stars. Nice one, BBC2!

Now, anyone think I'm wrong?
 

Aunt Spiker

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Damn... I was hoping you were referring to the American version (on which we share the same sentiments RE the makeover).

I've watched some of TG BBC, but not enough to really have an opinion on it.
 

Manc Skipper

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Sorry Andy, I thought it was dully predictable, Evans is like nails on a chalkboard, the Reliant stuff was done to death in "Only Fools" in the nineteen eighties, (the fact that I owned one notwithstanding!) and I just couldn't sit through it. Having said that, I couldn't stand Clarkson either. The old show was built round him and his public-school humour, plus the chemistry between him and the other two. It was bearable for the ad libs. It just falls flat with different people, who have yet to build a relationship.
 

Andalublue

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Damn... I was hoping you were referring to the American version (on which we share the same sentiments RE the makeover).

I've watched some of TG BBC, but not enough to really have an opinion on it.

Sorry, I didn't know the US version had had a makeover. You'll get this one on BBC America too, I guess. Matt Le Blanc is really good!
 

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I think they need a bit oftime to get the matey friendship thing going and I would like to see more of the very scary German racing driver woman.

The bit where she made the US Top Gun instructor sick is fantastic!
 

Andalublue

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Sorry Andy, I thought it was dully predictable, Evans is like nails on a chalkboard, the Reliant stuff was done to death in "Only Fools" in the nineteen eighties, (the fact that I owned one notwithstanding!) and I just couldn't sit through it. Having said that, I couldn't stand Clarkson either. The old show was built round him and his public-school humour, plus the chemistry between him and the other two. It was bearable for the ad libs. It just falls flat with different people, who have yet to build a relationship.

Predictable, yes it was, but then so is fish and chips, Yorkshire Pudding and Timothy Taylor's Landlord, and I love all three of those too!

We'll agree to disagree, Manc. Cheers! And Happy Monday to you.
 

Aunt Spiker

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Sorry, I didn't know the US version had had a makeover. You'll get this one on BBC America too, I guess. Matt Le Blanc is really good!

I wonder if the dual makeovers were intentional or if things just happened that way.
 

Andalublue

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I think they need a bit oftime to get the matey friendship thing going and I would like to see more of the very scary German racing driver woman.

The bit where she made the US Top Gun instructor sick is fantastic!

Agreed. It'll take a while to get the same chemistry to work, but then it took Clarkson, Hammond and May about 3 series to do that. May wasn't even in the first series of that format.

I liked the Sabine piece too. Yep, I'd like to see her interacting with Matt and Chris in the studio. Loved her Germanic schadenfreude too.
 

Andalublue

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I just looked up the overnights and it got a very respectable 22.6% share, up on the last series average of 20.2%. Not bad.

The reviews weren't terrible either, mostly positive, but the Sun and Indie aren't likely to be top of the invite list for a freebie.

Top Gear: Reviews round-up - BBC News
 
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PeteEU

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Watching it at the moment.. loved it. Matt LeBlanc was brilliant. Evans.. well can learn to love him I guess.

For a first episode it was not bad at all. Yes it is a lot like the old Top Gear but so what. Top Gear has always been about big expensive cars that no one can buy but the richest of the rich.... it works.
 

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I liked it, I think the chance to have a wider range of presenters was a great idea and I really like Matt leBlanc (washes mouth out with soda crystals) which having been made to sit through an episode of Friends once, I never thought I would.

Can see him being taken the mick out off but in a loving way.
 

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****, I do not think I get to see it until today on BBC America. The content here is handled differently than the European market where it is carried by BBC2.
 

Andalublue

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****, I do not think I get to see it until today on BBC America. The content here is handled differently than the European market where it is carried by BBC2.

Got a proxy server? Watch it now on the BBC iPlayer. If that's legal in your jurisdiction, natch.
 

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Since it does not air here in the U.S. until tonight I plan to avoid this thread until after I have had the opportunity to watch.

I was a huge fan of the 2001-2015 era Top Gear. I hope with the revised show they go in a different direction. It took at least 5 seasons for the last incarnation to really gel and find itself. You can't even find Series 1 episodes anymore (its like the BBC burned them all) and the Series 2-4 episodes rarely re-air. I am more than willing to give the new incarnation time to find its rhythm.

PS

On a side note, Tiff Nedell announced last week that 5th Gear is officially cancelled.
 

Andalublue

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On a side note, Tiff Nedell announced last week that 5th Gear is officially cancelled.

Not surprised. There was a reason Top Gear stopped doing that style of motoring format. Too niche, not enough fun.
 

Aunt Spiker

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No idea. How have they changed the US version? New presenters? Format tweaks?

The American version is very different than the BBC concept. It has a different energy - wild and zany rather than informative and light fun.

But before, the US version was part in-studio show with an audience and guests (they'd engage lightly during the episode) and part 'let's watch a clip of what we did in Brazil'. the new show is purely 'what we did in Brazil' - no studio audience or celebrity guest appearances. The same hosts (Adam Fererra, Rutledge Wood, Tanner Faust) and the same guest / unidentified driver (The Stig), and same crazed and bizarre antics.

Still good.

I wonder if it's purely due to time limits on contractual obligations - and just needing to keep a show fresh audience tuned in. Afterall, we're here talking about it now.
 

Mark F

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The American version is very different than the BBC concept. It has a different energy - wild and zany rather than informative and light fun.

But before, the US version was part in-studio show with an audience and guests (they'd engage lightly during the episode) and part 'let's watch a clip of what we did in Brazil'. the new show is purely 'what we did in Brazil' - no studio audience or celebrity guest appearances. The same hosts (Adam Fererra, Rutledge Wood, Tanner Faust) and the same guest / unidentified driver (The Stig), and same crazed and bizarre antics.

Still good.

I wonder if it's purely due to time limits on contractual obligations - and just needing to keep a show fresh audience tuned in. Afterall, we're here talking about it now.

The first season of American Top Gear tried to closely mimic the UK show and it was a disaster, for a variety of reasons. They dumped that in I think season 2 and have evolved the show into what it is now - a single themed challenge with all three hosts participating with the "winner" getting to drive something exotic as the prize at the end. This got rid of all the stuff that wasn't working for them, to the hosts strengths and the restricted 43-minute commercial TV format. The 3 hosts have now been working together long enough that their banter actually seems natural instead of forced and scripted like in the early days.

After finding the early episode unwatchable and skipping the last few seasons entirely I have watched several of the current season ATG's and they aren't bad at all.
 

OrphanSlug

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I'm sitting here watching this now... not so good. Matt is doing okay but a bit dull, Chris needs to quit flailing his arms about every time he speaks.

(Forgot to add, I'm about an hour in.)
 
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OrphanSlug

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"Extra Gear"... WTF is this ****?
 

Mark F

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I just watched the first episode of the new Top Gear. After all the hype and counter-hype could it be as amazing/appalling as every TV and motor journalist had predicted? In a word, no.

Amazing? No, not amazing, since the format is almost completely unchanged from the Clarkson version, but that WAS an amazingly entertaining format, wasn't it? Should it have changed more? Well, damned if you do and damned if you don't. Had they changed it more no doubt the critics would have said, "What was wrong with the old format?" As it is, they'll probably say, "What was all the hype about? It's the same show." It was the same show, with different presenters, and that's the key.

Appalling? Hell no! It was just as entertaining and I actually like the change of vibe between the Three Stooges and Morecambe and Wise (Google it, my American friends).

Matt Le Blanc hit the road running. It's quite a tough call for an actor to become a presenter, especially in the few moments requiring him not to work to a script, but he is sooo incredibly likeable and, who knew?, clearly a phenomenal driver that he absolutely pulled it off.

Chris Evans isn't everyone's cup of tea, certainly not mine, but he actually annoyed me a lot less than I was expecting, in fact I quite liked him and he anchored the thing as professionally as he's done for a show in years.

There were some great films too. I love Matt in the desert and the Blackpool/Lake District challenge was funny throughout.

All in all, I breathed a sigh of relief that a show that I really love is still as watchable, scratch that, more watchable than ever. The basics survived, the chemistry was great and the cars remained the stars. Nice one, BBC2!

Now, anyone think I'm wrong?

OK, got to watch it last night. My thoughts:

More entertaining than I expected. Someone who had never seen the old show would have found this quite entertaining on its own.
Chris Evans seemed nervous
Matt LeBlanc didn't seem nervous enough
Interesting twist on the Star in the ______ Car concept (no spoilers for those who have not seen it yet). Not sure that I care for the way they did the interview portion.

In short, new faces but its still Top Gear. I think once everyone settles in it will be fine.
 

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Is anyone old enough to remember the time when Top Gear was about cars?
 

Mark F

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Is anyone old enough to remember the time when Top Gear was about cars?

I've seen some of the old bits on Youtube.

Fifth Gear was about cars. It just got the ax.
 

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Without Clarkson, May, and Hammond I won't watch it.
 
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