Top Gear is back! Except it’s not actually the Top Gear we all love, because Jeremy Clarkson is nowhere in sight (too busy wizzing around on that scooter obviously), there’s no May and definitively no Hammond. As an ardent lover of the ‘old’ Top Gear, and a staunch cynic, I’m finding it a little hard to be optimistic about this new version. Don’t get me wrong, I like Matt Le Blanc, but the thought of an American hosting a show that epitomises all that’s British seems a bit wrong. Nevertheless, for the purposes of this article (and so as not to offend any lovers of Chris Evans) I shall try to be as politically correct as possible.
The clip shows us all the things we associate with traditional Top Gear: fast cars, screams of joy, the Stig, and the classic side eye to the camera whilst driving a fancy new Porsche. It seems promising that new Top Gear will remain loyal to the old show, with some cool-looking spins, a clip of Chris Evans (or shall we call him ‘Evans’ so as to fit in with tradition?) being sick after a particularly extreme spin and ‘Le Blanc’ sneezing at the wheel – adding perhaps a hint of comedy? It’s interesting that there’s no sight of the stunt pulled near the Cenotaph which caused so much upset earlier this year, suggesting that the BBC have carefully edited this trailer so as not to cause more outrage. Having said that, it is promising that Top Gear has already managed to provoke public outcry before it’s on air; and without the help of Jeremy Clarkson. The trailer only tells us that’s its coming soon, although rumour has it Top Gear will land sometime in May.
Verdict: I, along with the rest of the country, will probably sit down to watch it, but only out of interest to see if it’s better than the original. In the words of our Film and TV editor, Henry Stanley, “This trailer seems to be ‘PLEASE DON’T HATE US, LOOK AT HOW SIMILAR IT IS TO THE OLD SHOW’ more than anything else”. In my opinion, the whole joy of Top Gear was the banter between Clarkson, May and Hammond, Clarkson’s simmering right-wing views, and the inevitable, numerous pranks pulled on one another. With rumours going round that the new presenters don’t even like each other, it seems that only time will tell whether it’s a success or not.
Image Sourced from ‘Top Gear’, BBC Worldwide