We’ve been promised a distinctively Australian version of Top Gear, so far though it resembles a distinctively franchised version of “regular” Top Gear.
As with the British version of the show, they’ve used the beginning of the first episode to tease us with what’s in the season ahead, which should give you a good idea of what kind of show we’re in for. As always, judge for yourself.
As television readies itself to enter an alternate universe, where Kath and Kim is acted by Americans, and Top Gear is hosted by Australians, the folks at SBS are prepping for one of the biggest launches in their history.
Top Gear Australia will be the first international version of the show, and makes its premiere September 29th. The new series is being referred to as “very Australian” by anyone who’s caught a glimpse. And good or bad, it should be interesting to watch, if for no other reason then to say how it can never stand up to the original…
Top Gear again shows its amazing range and breadth in this comedy of errors, I can’t think of another show scripted or otherwise that so seamlessly switches one episode to another between comedy, drama, slapstick, visual beauty and adventure the way this show does.
I’ve said it before, but I love the one-off formats and genre transcending content that comes out of British television in the name of charity, its not always great, but at least its kinda fun and inventive (just like that Killers mash up).
If there is one show that quite deservedly gets a lot of banging on about on this blog, it’s Top Gear, and here I go again.. Tonight at 7:30pm SBS is airing the special North Pole race that I first mentioned back in July when it went to air on BBC Two. While I’m not sure it quite topped the American special in February, from sheer adventure alone, no other episode comes close.
When Top Gear isn’t busy being the most beautifully shot show on television, or keeping us on the edge of our seats, its making us laugh, and this clip from last nights episode falls into that category. In the video, Jeremy takes the worlds smallest production car, the Peel P50 for a test drive through the corridors of the BBC Television Centre in London.
At the end of season nine of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson questioned the direction of the show, and with 8.6 million people watching the final episode earlier this year, its understandable that a show about cars, with as much drama and direction as Lost, might start wondering what kind of show its meant to be.
Top Gear’s Executive Producer Andy Wilman takes an honest look at series nine of the show, and reflects about the upcoming season in a blog post here. He considers the chase for higher ratings “a false dawn, a night with a hooker when you’re drunk”, and he’s right, ratings are bollocks.
The video is from the first episode of the new season, and shows a preview of some of the stuff you’ll see over the next ten weeks. Among others Wilman proudly touts;
The Botswana road movie, a one hour special, is as spectacular as anything we’ve ever done, Amphibious: The Sequel is better than I could have ever dreamed of, the 24 Hour Race is a proper soap opera.
There is nothing on television that comes close to Top Gear, it is the most unique and engaging hour on television, it transcends whatever genre its considered to exist in, and presents cinematography that rivals that of any movie, along with storylines vastly more compelling then most traditionally scripted stuff on television, its simply brilliant.
From Clarkson’s and Wilman’s comments you can see a self awareness about the future of the show, a future that is clearly being coursed by some incredibly talented hands.
Update: As noted in the comments (thanks Marc) the song used in the video is “No Cars Go” by Arcade Fire, the song in its entirety is simply amazing. Take a listen:
Top Gear is back! A special race episode from Canada to the North Pole goes to air in the UK on Wednesday night. And while its probably going to take a lot to top the insanity of the American road trip episode I can’t wait to see what they get up to racing each other to the top of the world.
And although Jeremy questions the recent direction of the show, I’m sure he’s well aware his little car magazine is reaching a television nirvana, not just for motoring programs, but for any type of broadcast on the medium.
It puts us on level terms with Eastenders. It means we are, give or take, the most watched show on the BBC. And that’s just in Britain. Factor in the rest of the world, and TG is effing massive.
When a show can give you goosebumps, makes you pace with excitement, giddy with laughter, silent in awe, and turn little more then three journalists into something more akin to the cast of Seinfeld, it seems the Orwellian prediction of televisions future is a little less Big Brother, and a little bit more cocking around with your mates (albeit filmed better than most movies).
So let Jeremy know what you think, but the shows natural evolution has, and will, continue to serve it better than any focus group could.