Top Gear Needs To Fail To Survive

Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images).
Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images). /

The new season of Top Gear has begun filming, but until it embraces failure can it succeed?

When the BBC attempted to relaunch Top Gear, they did so acting like nothing had happened. It was like Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May never existed. It was as if series 23 just followed 22 with cast changes.

They acted like the new cast of Top Gear had been through the decade-plus of trials and tribulations of the original presenters. They started out with big expensive adventures that had absolutely no heart. There was no backstory or chemistry with the new cast.

In a television landscape where The Grand Tour will be airing, Top Gear needs to get back to building relationships of the hosts. It was not the cars or the stars that made the show. It felt like we were along for the ride as Jezza, Hamster, and captain slow got to know each other.

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With the new cast, we have not been given the opportunity to build a connection. We need to see the Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid in projects together struggling. They have been sent on their own, but not have worked together.

Whether building a Caterham or at an auto auction, the presenters together is what we fell in love with. Some of the funniest moments in Top Gear history was the three of them sitting on the couch just talking. The BBC needs to watch some of the older episodes and remember how the chemistry was built.

Hopefully the departure of Chris Evans and his ego will allow for some more intimate moments with the cast. Those times where the personalities of the presenters can come out and shine. There needs to be less of competitions between hosts, and projects where they are working together.

The specials where the guys were on an adventure together, opened a window into the human relationships that were fun to watch. It was not the success that we so much, it was the failures. Seeing the guys struggle and fail set up the times they succeeded.

Now that the BBC has shuffled the cast and thinned it out, maybe we can see the beginning of a new Top Gear. We don’t know the real personality of LeBlanc, Harris, or Reid, but we have never been given the opportunity. With the new series about tho start, hopefully, we get the chance to know the presenters.

The first several series of Top Gear there were a couple dozen fans and the presenters that we got to know. It grew into an overflowing studio and spectacular adventures. What Top Gear needs to do is remember its past so that it has a future. Another series of poor reviews and ratings, the syndication fees that keep the show alive will begin to dry up.

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I am just a car guy that loves good shows. Top Gear still has an opportunity to be a fun show that we can enjoy. With the long layoff and poor cast decisions, it finds itself on shaky footing. If they want to find a footing they need to get back to basics, car guys having fun together. Maybe Chris Evans was just the failure the show needed to succeed.