Sunday, July 25, 2010

Top Gear - Series 15, Episode 5

Wow! What an exhilarating episode of Top Gear tonight on BBC2. Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Ayrton Senna.

For some time now, I've felt that Top Gear has lost the plot. They just don't have that extra something which made me fall in love with the show. Granted, they've been doing stupid "challenges" since the beginning - I recall Jezza driving to France to look at crappy German wine in a Citro├źn van. But the substance has been lost, and I felt it was a real pity.

However, since last weekend, the show is back in its former glory!

The stupid motorhome challenge was, well... Stupid, but it was hilariously funny. Especially when Jezza sends most of his time screaming across the English countryside. It was fun to see the review on the Audi R8 Spyder and also to see Andy Garcia driving around in a crappy Korean car.

But tonight was different.

The BBC News team have been helping publicise tonight's show quite a bit since two of Hollywood's biggest names were gracing the dreary old airfield where they film Top Gear. I was worried though. I was expecting a massively hyped up show which then produces nothing special.

How wrong I was.

The only low point of the show was the Toureg vs. snowmobiles segment. But even so, that wasn't half bad.

James May's piece on the Veyron Super Sport was absolutely fantastic especially when it was maxed first by James and then the Bugatti test driver to 431 km/h! It was exhilarating just to see it (on very poor quality streaming TV, until I can get the HD version later on). Then it did a lap! Joy of joys! And it beat the rest to top the lap board!

But then the big shots came on. The actress Jezza forever talks about when trying to find a metaphor for beauty, Cameron Diaz, and the actor we all seem to have a love-hate relationship with, Tom Cruise. They were brilliant and funny. Cameron, even though never one of my favourite actresses, and I don't think she is that good looking, spent some time promoting the Toyota Prius, which was very nice. And guess what? They topped the lap board too! With very, very exciting laps - Tom Cruise came home with only the two wheels on the right-hand side of the car still on the ground.

Then came the finale, after a very exciting, action packed episode. An Ayrton Senna tribute. It wasn't some stupid public service announcement like the one Jezza made with a British Rail train slamming into some Renault people carrier. No, it was a proper, clean, and wonderful presentation of the life of the great Senna. You know what? I think it was a fantastic thing to do. It will bring a brand new generation of people to know one of the greatest racing drivers who ever lived. People like this should always be cherished and never forgotten.

Bleeding fantastic! I hope next week will be as good or better!

As the Comic Book Guy says: "Best. Episode. Ever!"

By the way, is it just me or does anyone else think that Top Gear will start benefiting from the lack of a proper entertainment genre talk show after Jonathan Ross packed up and left from BBC to ITV? If you recall, during Ross' absence after that furore with Russell Brand in 2008, Top Gear had some interesting A level guests like Mark Wahlberg. Maybe more big names will be sitting on those ugly green car seats soon? Jeff Goldblum is next I believe!

Image source: BBC Top Gear

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