Top Gear 17
I’ve missed out on seeing the last couple of Top Gear seasons on DVD, so when Top gear 17 arrived on my desk, I was eager to get home and watch it. It’s not that I’m a petrol-head or anything, in fact I could care less about cars. They are expensive, money gurgling machines that have somehow been made essential to our way of life. Fortunately for me then, Top Gear really isn’t about cars anymore. Sure, there are parts where Clarkson will go on and on about how wonderful the new Aston Martin is, before finding something about it that annoys him and consigning it to the scrap heap. And cars do feature and awful lot in the show, but they are mainly backdrops for the main focus, that of Clarkson, Hammond and May.
This trio of rapidly aging TV hosts are what makes Top Gear entertaining. Their camaraderie, the crazy stunts they come up with, and the way they get to drive ridiculously over priced and over powered cars like little boys, is what makes the show so damned enjoyable.
Individually, Clarkson, Hammond and May are boring. Put them together and it seems like their brains go into shutdown mode and turns them into that almost zombiatic state of pre-pubescent boys.
So Top Gear 17 follows the same true and tested formula, with the Stig taking a car around the test track to see how worthy it is, the star in a reasonably priced car sees the meek and mild Rowan Atkinson show us all how its done, and the mini challenges keep us all amused, including cheaper train travel using modifed caravans pulled by cars…
If there was one thing missing from Top Gear 17 however, it was the season defining, episode long, overseas challenge. This had become a mainstay of the Top Gear year, but was noticeably missing from 17. I’m not sure if the boys just didn’t have the budget, or if it was cut from the DVD to make the regular Challenges DVDs more sellable, but like waking up to a headless wife, it was a bit of a shock not to find it on the disc.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read