The new series of Top Gear landed with little splash yesterday but not only was the first episode watchable, but it was rather good – no, honest. So with that in mind, here are five reasons why the new series could find its way back in to, erm, Top Gear.
No Chris Evans
Ok, so many of you probably saw this point coming, but it’s one still worth mentioning. Many were unhappy about his inclusion for the last series but I held no judgement until he hit our screens. Not only did he hit our screens, but he attacked his ears with this excitable, shouty nature, making him rather difficult to watch. Thankfully he had the grace to realise it wasn’t working out and left the hit BBC show not long after the series finished.
One thing that lacked from the last series was chemistry, especially between the aforementioned Evans and new lead host, Matt LeBlanc. Now, though it’s just LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid, which has made the chemistry stronger and more importantly, believable.The banter seems more free-flowing and forced, making them easier to watch on screen. I’m just worried that the BBC try to make them in to another Clarkson, Hammond and May, so we’ll have to see how that pans out.
Old Track, New Car
The sections where celebrity guests hoon about the track has not been dropped despite it’s poor showing last series, but it has been improved. The muddy rallycross track has gone, with the traditional tarmac surface re-instated. This means that the Mini rallycross had to be ditched in favour of the rear whee drive Toyota GT86. This is the first time a car with power fed to the rear has been used for the celebrity guests, which should mean more fun and hopefully more spins!
The last series struggle to find its identity, so the choice of a new set was a wise choice. I love the old Top Gear set, but I have to be honest, the new one looks so much modern. It simply looks cleaner and although it might look a tad minimal, it works well. I like the red Lamborghini Countach too, I wonder if they will feature a different car are the top each week? The red Top Gear logo on the black background looks great too – God only knows where they got that idea from.
Simplified Hosting Team
It seemed as if the the BBC’s plan to replace Clarkson, Hammond and May was to use massive dollop of quantity. It must have been a nightmare to organise the show around six separate hosts and at times it did feel like a ‘too many cooks’ situation. As well as Evans leaving, Eddie Jordan and Sabine Schmitz also left the show. I didn’t care for Jordan, but it would have been nice to see her stick around for a bit. Alas. This does mean that Harris and Reid get the extra airtime they earned from their fine performances on both Top Gear and Extra Gear last year.
So episode one has set a good benchmark and I have a good feeling this will continue over the next seven weeks. Let’s face it, it can’t be worse than some of the episodes of last series.