The geeks are back in town. After the empty months, the lawsuits and talks of having no Stig ever again, the months of Top Gear Diet Sugar Free (all the flavor and substance gone aka Top Gear US) and only 2 specials and a DVD only available in UK gas stations, your favorite car review show is back.
This review is for the actual Series 16 first episode. The two specials get this quick review:
USA Road Trip 2: Good. Watch it. Not their best race, but really good.
Middle Eastern Special: The three drive the route of the 3-wise men. In 2 door convertibles. Amidst political issues (cant enter country X if you were ever in county Y) and areas of pure death. They find the Baby Jesus, who turns out to be their new Stig racing driver. One of their better adventures.
Segment 1:Ariel Atom V8
The sequel review the previous Ariel Atom. It’s great to be back into the swing of things. Obviously mixing it up by letting James May (the resident Capt. Slow) drive this beast of a car. Its 150,000 GBP of just driving. They describe it having nothing. No stereo. No cup holders. No bluetooth. It’s just a car.
“The fact is, with this car, you are paying for Super-Geek levels of engineering”
A great looking car, not something to be driven in Alaska, but great. The presenters haven’t lost their touch. Getting down into the emotional visceral feeling of driving. Tiff Needell (what a name, damn.) races this beast around the track against the most powerful motorbike IN THE WORLD, and wins.
Now, here is were I hoped the controversy would keep going, but it stopped. The new Stig replaced the old Stig after he went all lawsuit happy and ruined relationships with EVERYONE at BBC 2. He was fired. The new Stig is here ready to drive the Atom around the track to see what time it gets.
Look at him. He is amazing.
You’re looking at the fastest car EVER to be on the Top Gear test track. The new Stig really does a great job replacing the old, more evil one.
Segment 2: The News
Honestly, there isn’t much changed here. They show off this REALLY intense Jaguar with twin jet turbine engines that power batteries and electric motors. The damn thing will run on anything that burns.
“It’s Jaguars 75th birthday present…to itself”
My opinion on TG so far. It’s fantastic to be back. I missed my friends. The new is just news. There is some genuine off the cuff comedy to be had here. If you feel like things are slowing down by this point, you don’t deserve nice things.
Segment 3:Skoda Yeti
A sensible car. Something I imagine the sensible kidnapper would drive. With original TG fair, they test this car amazingly. It’s more practical than a 160,000 GBP Maybach, faster than a Ferrari and can stand up to a firefighter team crawling through it to put out a fire.
Damn thing is tough.
The best GPS function in any car, EVER!
Now, I’m not going to spoil the rest for you. The star in a car segment has some good laughs with some great driving. The last segment of the show is very Mythbusters, can a VW Beetle beat a Porsche? This show is back in style. It’s hard to describe how well rounded it has become. Any person can watch ANY episode and enjoy it. The humor, camaraderie, great editing and the damn cars. My mother who HATES racing loves this show. My xenophobic father loves this show. My Bravo watching girlfriend loves this show.
BBCAmerica is really stepping up their game for us TG fans. They are premiering the new season on Monday the 7th. Now, I’m not sure if it will be one of the 2 winter specials or THIS episode being shown, but either way they are only a few weeks behind the Limeys. If you don’t watch this show because it’s about cars, give it a try, the cars become ancillary to the adventures they go on.
In short. It’s like having my three best friends back from fat camp.