Published: 31 May 2016

Top Gear or Flop Gear?

After many months of discussion, build up and apprehension Top Gear finally returned to our screens on Sunday in its ‘new format’ with a ‘new presenting team’. It was always going to be a hard act to follow the ‘holy trinity’ of Clarkson, Hammond and May but just how did we think it fared?

The main part of Top Gear has been the adventures the team go on – racing across Europe against a plane or a train, or going on a road trip to Blackpool. Ah yes Blackpool – in the first episode they use a film of a race to Blackpool in Reliant cars. Two things that have been done before on the show and to be honest just are not that funny – please do something that is original. Also, do you honestly want us to believe that the ‘American’ car just happened to breakdown straight away and that the production team had not checked its reliability beforehand?

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Secondly, the ‘Star in a reasonably priced car’ underwent a makeover to become ‘Star in a Rallycross car’ – we just can’t decide what to make of it. Is it a stroke of genius to add some water and a small jump or has it now just lost its purpose also – only time will tell.

Leaving till last the issue of the presenting team. Chris Evans is a master at the art of producing a TV show with a live audience – think of TFI Friday at its peak or the 90s late night game show Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush. They both whipped everyone up into having a good night and feeling as a key part of the programme. However when watching Evans shout his way through his script many of the audience look bored to tears and willing for the thing to come to an end.  The introduction of Matt Le Blanc may well be a small saving grace – at least he talked at a sensible level.

So in summing up, do original films with original context, don’t shout at the camera - we can hear you and make the audience feel like they are a key part of the programme and not simply there to make up the numbers. You may be half way to getting Top Gear back up to scratch or if all else fails test drive the new Ford Mustang around the track.


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