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VMPhil9,788 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Has anyone else on here been watching Top Gear recently? It doesn't appear to have been talked about on here since last year. Just concluded its latest series tonight and wanted to post my apprecation.

I wonder if anyone else is in the same boat as I am: I loved Top Gear for a time in the mid-late 00s but stopped watching it as I felt the format became repetitive, stale, and more obviously staged as time went on. Plus I felt increasingly uncomfortable with the apparent need to include offensive or non-PC jokes in every series.

However the whole story surrounding the sacking of Clarkson made me interested in the show once again, and despite the bumpy first series with Chris Evans I've been watching it ever since.

The production on this is show is still top notch. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful - it's one of the best looking programmes on TV.

The chemistry between the presenters is still not all there, and considering he's an actor Matt LeBlanc is not very good at delivering naturalistic dialogue. It's also apparent Clarkson was a much more competent interviewer when he did the Star in a … Car segment.

But the overall programme is still hugely entertaining, and the show itself is much better than the Grand Tour, despite the latter's advantage of a more experienced presenting team and I assume a considerably larger budget.

I haven't been following the ratings figures, so don't know how popular or not it is in comparison to the Clarkson era, but I think it'd be a great shame if it went off the air just as it's entering a new era.
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Inspector Sands13,768 posts since 25 Aug 2004
It's a lot more car-y which of course is what it's for but that's a lot less appealing to someone like me who watched for the entertainment value rather than reviews.

That said it does seem to have got into its stride this series. The Japan special in particular was superb I thought
VMPhil9,788 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Similarly, I think Grand Tour had a much better second series than first. The Mozambique series finale was the sort of thing they’ve always done really well. Clearly heavily scripted but with some really funny moments.

The Mozambique special seemed a bit boring to me to be honest but as you say there were some hilarious moments, particularly the incident with James May and water!
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Brekkie31,834 posts since 4 Jan 2003 Recently warned
HTV Wales Wales Today
It's consolidating at around 2.75m according to BARB, a few hundred thousand down on last year. It's return episode with Chris Evans got 6.5m, but was down to 3.5m by the end of the series (though it did end up airing against the Euros).

It's also lost it's presence in the television landscape - previously it aired two series a year (6 eps each by the times Clarkson and co. left, but previously as many as 10), plus usually a Christmas special - plus it wasn't too far away from the headlines in the off-season too, meaning it had a year round presence. Now it's going somewhat unnoticed 6 weeks a year. I've not seen any of this series but really it needs to be airing more than it is to have any chance of having the presence it once did - and if that means axing Matt le Blanc for a more available presenter then that is what they need to do.
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rdd3,378 posts since 21 Jun 2001
Le Blanc did say at the end “we’ll be back later this year”, so presumably at this point at least one more series is ordered and/or they are planning a second series in 2018 (they’ve only done one a year since 2015).
nwtv20038,378 posts since 5 Jan 2003
Granada North West Today
Similarly, I think Grand Tour had a much better second series than first. The Mozambique series finale was the sort of thing they’ve always done really well. Clearly heavily scripted but with some really funny moments.


I couldn’t agree more, the Jaguar episode was the best one they’ve made to date, that felt like old school Top Gear.

With regards to Top Gear I haven’t bothered with it much this time around. I will say that the Matt/Chris/Rory line up is slowly finding its feet along with the chemistry.

Sorry to say that I think Chris Evans has probably done more damage to the format anyone else, to which I feel sorry for him. He seemed like a natural fit on paper but his version was so awful. I don’t think it’s ever recovered from that.

I will say I hope Top Gear and The Grand Tour will be round for sometime to come. I think there are people who really appreciate TG more so since Clarkson left, and people who enjoy pure Clarkson have TGT. I think it’s the best of both worlds.
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Brekkie31,834 posts since 4 Jan 2003 Recently warned
HTV Wales Wales Today
Le Blanc did say at the end “we’ll be back later this year”, so presumably at this point at least one more series is ordered and/or they are planning a second series in 2018 (they’ve only done one a year since 2015).

Be interesting to see if it is a full series or just a Christmas special. Might be why Robot Wars was axed though - hasn't that effectively filled the gap for the last few years?

Sorry to say that I think Chris Evans has probably done more damage to the format anyone else, to which I feel sorry for him. He seemed like a natural fit on paper but his version was so awful. I don’t think it’s ever recovered from that.

I think the big problem with that series was they effectively had two competing lead presenters, and then far too many additional hosts. Had it been Chris, Chris and Rory it may have worked out better.
I preferred the internet when it had a sense of humour.
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Brekkie31,834 posts since 4 Jan 2003 Recently warned
HTV Wales Wales Today
So they're doing a second series this year - first time since the Clarkson era. In hindsight Chris Evans going was probably a mistake - think the show needs someone the press hate to keep it relevant.
I preferred the internet when it had a sense of humour.