Calling Top Gear
"a car show" is like describing the Titanic as "a big boat" or Dom Perignon as "sparkling wine"--not inaccurate, just inadequate. Oh, motorheads (especially those fixated on fantastically fast, expensive autos) will surely get their fix from the ten episodes (on three discs) collected here from the British program’s tenth season. But Top Gear
’s reach is much broader than that; more than merely informative, it’s funny, thrilling, smart, and just plain entertaining enough to appeal to viewers of all persuasions. That’s due to a variety of factors. The three hosts (or "presenters," as the Brits call them), James May, Richard Hammond, and Jeremy Clarkson, are knowledgeable and witty--especially Clarkson, who, although a bit of a snob, has a gift for droll turns of phrase (driving the Audi R8 "supercar," he says, "is like smearing honey into Keira Knightley," while the more humble Honda Civic is "eager, urgent… like a penshioner’s terrier"). From a technical standpoint, it’s excellent; the camera work and production values are first-rate, and the show is filled with beautiful shots and judiciously chosen effects work. Most important, the actual content is compulsively watchable. A typical 50-minute episode will include a hands-on review of an automobile, be it some fabulous rich man’s toy (an Aston-Martin roadster, say, or a self-parking Lexus) or an oddity like the minuscule Peel P50, which is all of 54 inches long and 40 inches wide. Most episodes also include a segment entitled "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car," in which a celebrity drives a lap around a racetrack in some ordinary sedan (this season’s guests include actress Helen Mirren, Rolling Stone Ron Wood, singer James Blunt, and a very smug and catty Simon Cowell). And then there is the weekly challenge, in which May, Hammond, and Clarkson are given some kind of daunting task. These range from finding "the best driving road in the world" (turns out it’s in Italy) to concocting an amphibious car capable of crossing the English Channel; there’s also a race across London by auto, bicycle, boat, and public transportation, a drag race between the Aston-Martin and a roller skater with a rocket pack, and a two-mile sprint matching the extraordinary Bugatti Veyron against one of the Royal Air Force’s state-of-the-art Typhoon jet fighters. Great stuff. --Sam Graham
Who in their right minds would try to drive through the Kalahari Desert in 20-year-old bangers? Or cross the English Channel in amphibious cars? You guessed it: Top Gear's intrepid and wonderfully entertaining hosts, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Buckle up for exciting road tests on the International Emmy®-Award winning series, including thrilling rides in the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Lambo Gallardo Superleggera and Aston Vantage N24. Power test the world's most exotic supercars. And join The Stig on training laps with the rich and famous. Includes The Botswana Special.
English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired