Matt LeBlanc and the Top Gear crew were in Dubai over the weekend to film a segment for the upcoming 24th season of Top Gear. While that in itself is not really news, the details of what they were doing in Dubai is a bit more interesting.
According to The National, the crew were there to film a piece that involved a race between Leblanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid involving cars, yachts, and planes.
It’s all about a familiar formula that worked before, and it looks like TG is going back to what made Jeremy, James, and Richard’s exploits work so well. The “planes, train, and automobile” races with the original crew were excellent pieces to watch and were among some of my favorites from the entire original run. Last season, TG tried a similar segment in episode 4 in the “cheap car vs luxury train” race, but it didn’t even come close to the Clarkson, May, and Hammond races.
Part of the reason is because they had so many hosts. It’s hard enough to get chemistry between three, let along six hosts who had never worked together before. The first few seasons of old Top Gear weren’t the best either as Jeremy, James, and Richard had to find their chemistry, but eventually it worked. What the BBC did with the new cast was essentially to bypass the “finding chemistry” stage and instead try to rush the process with sheer numbers. It’s a true quantity and quality situation, and it didn’t work.
The thing TG didn’t get was that the biggest reason all those cross country challenges worked with the old crew was because it showcased the relationship between the three; for better and worse. LeBlanc and Evans in season 23 felt SO forced into liking each other. It was just awkward to watch. it was just like the first few seasons of US Top Gear; it wasn’t until the third and fourth seasons that I actually started to genuinely like the show.
Hopefully by paring the TG crew down to just three hosts again and bringing back some of these segments that worked in the past, TG can find its footing again. I don’t want TG to fail; I want both TG and TGT to be insanely successful so I have two great car shows to watch anytime I want. Cars, Yachts, and planes in Dubai? Yup, I’m looking forward to it.