Opinion: Top Gear hasn’t been this good for a long time…

The last years of Jeremy Clarkson‘s Top Gear were mixed, with the final series including no overly-memorable episodes – apart from the final, of course. The show was becoming inundated with complaints from fans about recurring ideas and repetitive storylines. And yes you may think differently now, but do you wonder if you’re thinking back to old Top Gear through rose-tinted glasses?

The Grand Tour is, arguably, not as good as Top Gear. In fact, its reviews have been extremely poor, although I don’t think the show deserved such a negative reaction. But I’m not wanting to talk about The Grand Tour, I’m here to talk about the new Top Gear, specifically the latest Series 28.

Chris Evan’s Top Gear? Scratch that. Matt LeBlanc’s? Better. But the latest trio made up of Paddy McGuiness, Freddie Flintoff, and the legendary Chris Harris has knocked everything out of the park. They’ve each been given their respective parts to play, with Chris specialising in the car reviews and proper bits of journalism, Paddy to do the main chunk of presenting, and Freddie is the scapegoat.

Now, I’m not saying they’re perfect! Freddie could certainly do with some practice reading a script naturally, and Paddy doesn’t seem to know much about cars, but there’s one thing that separates this trio from any group before it: the comradery.

Within the first ten minutes of an episode, you can tell they’re friends. And yes, Clarkson, Hammond and May are friends, but where they would laugh at each other, Paddy, Freddie and Chris laugh with each other. And that makes a major difference. Fans, or non-fans, are always talking about ‘chemistry’, and I believe these new three have got it.

Finally, let’s talk about the content. The final series of Top Gear was excellent. The final episode was so good, it almost made me cry. Harris’ passion for motorsport shone through like nothing else during his tribute to the late Colin McRae, and my heart was beating as fast as his as he wrestles the L555 Impreza McRae’s colleagues, friends and family sang his praises. It was beautiful, and it was the first time I’d shed a tear to Top Gear.

But this welling up of respect wasn’t drawn out as the episode quickly turned to hilarity. The emergency services were pitted against each other for the final segment and it made for a cheerful ending to the series. Truth be told, I’ve never been more excited for the nest one.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until later this year for the next round of Top Gear. But as we’re waiting an equally long time for the next episode of The Grand Tour, it’s clear to me that I’m much more excited about one over the other.

Do you feel the same way?

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