Adam_R wrote: Great thread! I always wondered if Clarkson et al knew that the show was really running out of places to go, they had done the specials, tested every supercar, trashed every caravan etc, and that the controversy element was what they thought would keep the viewing figures up. Kept them in the forefront of the publics mind. The episode recently where they mocked the driving of Peugeot drivers was a real low. A funny one liner maybe, but a 15 minute feature of crashing into hedges and driving through fields.... really? Entertainment? I don't think so.
Now he has gone (if he truly has, as he hasn't been formally dismissed it wouldn't surprise me if a new contract was offered in a few months when the dust settles).... then the program needs an overhaul - it needed freshening up even with those three IMHO. I like the star in reasonably priced car feature, the interviews were always quite well thought out (mostly because Clarkson wasn't the centre of attention!) but other than that nothing really stood out. A few of the specials were quite impressive but again they became "same-y".
It's an odd concept as i imagine most people who could afford those supercars wouldn't bother watching three aging men drive them around a track, yet us mere mortals tune in to see the minute differences between the old Porsche 911 and the new in the hope that when we win the lottery we will make the right choice!
I would quite like to see more about the car, than just seeing it raced around the track, (maybe factory tours, engineering aspects blown up technical drawings etc). Maybe a feature like Wheeler Dealers (hate Mike whatshisname) but where a more realistic project is undertaken that you or I may embark on. Not making an ambulance out of a Porsche.
Basically Clarkson, Hammond and May have been living the dream for a number of years. Were they keeping the viewing figures high, was the brand, or was the content?
Great post and centred a lot of what I was thinking.
This last series has been forced and more than a little lame. The Argentine special really went nowhere way before the cars reg numbers were 'tumbled' and certainly not a patch on the Bolivia and Botswana specials and even before that, last years special about finding the source of the Nile was slipping below their usual standards.
The highlight of this last season for me was the mini special in Australia and that could have been expanded.
The concept of only really driving sensible cars only to smash them with a super car takes a realism escaping route for the majority who will never sit behind the wheel of a Porsche Boxster let alone a Bugatti Veyron so it could never be mistaken for a car buyers programme. That there was )supposedly) an 18 year waiting list to appear in the audience of the show means any 21 year old applying today would be middle aged with kids before they get to see it, so why was the audience full of young attractive females?
Top Gear has gone the same way as 'Last of the summer wine' when the antics of Compo became the focus rather than letting stories meander to a conclusion. The same way Madonna's music become not very good and her videos became more raunchy to compensate.
For all that, a motoring series has to really have middle aged presenters or it would look like young yobs tearing around in fast cars which might well encourage the same on our streets which is why JCs age and that of the others is irrelevant.