Top Gear Series 24: Unapologetically British Again And It’s Great!

(Photo by John Rogers/BBC via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Rogers/BBC via Getty Images) /

It seems that the producers of Top Gear are again making a British show we all can enjoy. If fans can give it a fresh look, they will like what they see.

One of the colossal mistakes of the Chris Evans Top Gear was its attempt to draw American fans. From the guest to the cars tested, the show broke away from its British roots. The same group that fired Jeremy Clarkson, decided to get away from what draws so many fans. Top Gear, at its core, is a quirky car show from England.

For many, it will be hard to believe that Top Gear can get back to its British roots with American Matt LeBlanc as lead presenter. Those of us on this side of the pond, they do not realize that LeBlanc in popular on British television. Yes, he is going to attract eyes on BBC America, but he is also not turning people away on BBC2.

The format of the show is where the differences can really be noticed. From the Ferrari to the Austin Martin and the Merc, it’s Europian cars leading the show. One of the aspects of the show that people around the world loved was seeing what a Great Britain car show is. Even the dialogue is back to being British and is fun to listen to as an American.

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Top Gear was heading down a path that many shows do. They had a major cast change and faced a major backlash from the fan base.  Along with the big changes to differentiate the new Top Gear, the producers decided to change small aspects of the program to appeal to the international audiences which already love the show. They knew that they had turned away a large part of their viewers by firing Jeremy Clarkson with Hammond and May following him to The Grand Tour. Instead of drawing in more fans, they turned away many established viewers.

The Chris Evans series of Top Gear had massive changes from the traditional Top Gear. The biggest one went almost unnoticed. It was not British anymore. It was turned into a show to market around the world. Not only did the people around the world turn away, fans in England felt betrayed to see that their show had been taken away.

Watching episode three and the film on the Fiat 124, it plays like they made it for car shoppers in Wales. Even with Matt LeBlanc reviewing the car in Los Angeles, it felt like they were making fun of us Americans, not trying to appease us. That was the brilliance of Top Gear as an America fan. We felt like we were constantly being insulted, but laughed at it.

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The big question is whether or not the fans who turned away because of Chris Evans are ready to give the venerable show a fresh look. Leading up to this series I had all but thrown in the towel. Now I am looking forward to watching Chris Harris drive the new Bugatti for the first time on TV. I want to see Matt LeBlanc on the new Ducati and Rory with a Renault I have never heard of. For me, Top Gear is back and I could not be happier.