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?

Comments

  1. When will people from Greatest Britain be able to see this? Is there an embargo? Is this Brexit related? I don’t want 20 year old episodes on Motortrend TV, I want to the new stuff.

  2. There is only 1 original “Led Zeppelin”, theres only 1 original “The Who”, and theres ONLY ONE original “Top Gear”. The “holy trinity” can not & will not ever be replaced. Babe Ruth didnt invent the home run but hes the best known for it, no matter how good other players are.

  3. I believe that top gear was good with Clarkson, May and Hammond at the helm. I’ve watched just about every single episode of top gear as well as the the grand tour, and as usual the trio was on top of the game. The show was informative, well presented and, unlike the new top gear, not biased towards any manufacturer or person as such. The experience of the trio, Clarkson, May and Hammond obviously show during presenting the show, be it the old top gear or the grand tour. The new presenters of top gear are trying to hard to mimick the trio. Clarkson, May and Hammond, are, and will always be, the best presenters that top gear has ever had.

  4. Spot on, Chris Harris is so far out on his own he’s not just the best in the world right now but possibly all time. Paddy has the natural comic timing and rubs off on Chris and Freddie.
    Freddie is just Freddie. Everybody can relate to him. Virtually every husband would let him sh*g their missus then take him for a beer after to say thanks. He is slightly wooden when using autocue or script but getting better all the time. As a three, it just works. Bringing back Sabine for special appearances gives it just that. Special, you know it’s more than an average location shoot.
    Still feel sorry for Rory though, demoted when Matt left when doing nothing to deserve it. Beeb were proved to be right doing it though.

  5. No, it’s awful. Better than Chris Evans and Matt le Blanc, yes.. but still a pale imitation of the original. ..Yes the BBC has the right to put this out, and it has its moments but Clarkson et al played laddos whereas these guys are laddos…, and, well, each to their own..

  6. I really don’t agree with this summary. The show has got very tired.

    I agree Chris Harris is a talented journalist, and he’s a great element to the show… but the 3 don’t gel for me, Freddie and Paddy are entertainers neither of which are skilled in the role they have been asked to play here. LeBlanc (massive petrol head) was a fantastic anchor to the show…. clearly demonstrated after Chris Evans departed. They need a central focus and They need a change. My opinion is someone like Vicky Butler-Henderson to anchor it and someone who would bring a welcome change/dynamic/appeal to a format that is need a shake up, and sorry but Freddy would need to step aside.

  7. We used to laugh at TopGear and get our car fix from 5th Gear. But as both are gone there is a place for a show to fill both holes if they get it right. Chris Harris is a motoring legend, well journo motoring legend and most fans would be happy to just watch him but the three of them do gel well so let’s hope it works we need a really good informative and fun motoring show

  8. Have not seen the new Top Gear yet and I will. However, Grand Tour is excellent in my opinion. Maybe not each and every episode but on the whole: brilliant!!! BTW neither was the original TG, some episodes were weak. But so many were so good!
    The new guys may indeed be really good, but let’s face it, Clarkson, May and Hammond were the soul of the show. This is why the Grand Tour works. Just my opinion.

  9. I totally agree that the new top gear trio. Really work well as the other Grand Tour trio just appear to be full off themselves!

  10. Absolutely love the new trio!!!!! Look forward to many more seasons.

  11. Top Gear worhout Clarkson, May and Hammond is pure crap. Nice BBC propaganda though

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