It is time to embrace a new era of motor television. What this actually means is; it’s time to finally acknowledge that what we have habitually come to love and adore as car entertainment, was never going to stay the same.
A new era was long overdue, and ladies and gentlemen, it’s the dawn of a new era.
[ Enter Top Gear season 25 ]
Delivering on the positivism I had after the revamp and re-branding of the worlds greatest motoring show, Top Gear is back. And for all the other fans that have been patient throughout this transition, the wait is over! Finally, we have Top Gear in all it’s “fancy car, magnificent scenery, incredible speed, hilarious scripting and proper car wisdom” glory.
Three episodes into their latest series (25), with pure childlike joy, it’s safe to say; order has been restored.
I love cars, I was still going to keep watching as long as they were still making the show. And as the internet has made it a norm now, everyone is a judge, everyone is a critic and everyone has an opinion. We tend to forget that despite the unceremonious departure of the former hosts, the show was going to recuperate stronger than ever.
In the beginning, it was awful. But by the end of last season (24) we saw a blinding bright light at the end of the tunnel. As every evolution needs, a few baby steps were required before the revamp could run. Always remember that a credible Brand is stronger than anyone that’s been part of that brand. This season was the make or break.
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As they returned for this season; still under BBC, still running on an enormous budget and still bearing the respect and trust of all the top car manufactures, they have a whole lot of beautiful fancy expensive toys to play around with. Therefore, once they’d sorted the issue of the new hosts, they were going to give us a show worthy of its legendary name – TOP GEAR.
And boy oh boy! They absolutely have!
The new season premiered and it’s everything motoring is all about. SPEED, CHALLENGES, NEW CARS, V8 ENGINES, RACE TRACKS, EXOTIC RARE CARS… and a mind-bogglingly whole lot more. From the Mclaren 720s, to the Porsche 962 Le Mans, to the very special Hennessey Ford Mustang GT350 R, to the all-new Lexus LC500 among so many others, Top Gear is back to the core of the show.
Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Ried have finally gotten that instinctual chemistry. The conversations are more natural and more alluring. You see a team that has spent enough time to understand each other and nurture the sort of connection that builds the needed different character traits for the show.
Matt is a ‘bully’, Chris is grumpy and Rory, Rory is just a kid happy to be working his dream job and is transparently really in love with cars.
The crew has also stepped up their act; I wouldn’t really call it stepping up, but they have delivered the sort of scenery and camera angles that give you wallpaper worthy footage. You can even tell that the producers have more faith in the team now, they have entrusted the hosts with more daring challenges, more expensive cars and bigger budget trips.
They pulled out all the stops with the new series and so far it’s arguably more entertaining than the recently concluded second season of The Grand Tour – I’ll let you be your own judge.
All this has birthed proper car action, proper challenges and proper motor television entertainment. Rory Reid like I’ve said before is just what Top Gear needed. A childishly excited kid that loves and knows his cars. There is just something about watching him deliver his solo segments. It’s beautiful how genuinely fascinated he is when he loves a car, and it bears the same effect when he hates a particular car.
It has once again become a show where you can trust their good judgement and insight on the cars they feature. They are not trying to be silly and goofy all the time, 85% of the time they actually give you the information you need and can use.
And in all honesty, this is what the world’s greatest car show is supposed to look like.
With the earlier consistently said “so much potential” finally achieved, it’s an open road from here on. Top Gear has found a formula that works, they need to stick to it and grow with it, and from the look of things, they are doing just that.
It’s the same old show, with fresh ideas, fresh faces and it’s a breath of fresh air to see a revamp that actually amends the flaws that the old generation had. From where I am standing, out of 10, so far I’d give series 25 a solid 8.5 – the 1.5 withheld for the fact that nothing is perfect.
Author: Ian Paul Byamugisha
Ian Paul Byamugisha is a writer/author/novelist and car journalist. As a writer for Newslibre, he writes car reviews, cars news, tech news and anything that one might find interesting to read. Currently working on a spy novel collection titled “Arthur Vintage.”