Now those of you who are well informed will know that this title is not strictly true. Top Gear will return next year with Chris Evans at the helm, however, the Top Gear format that took the world by storm is now over. The final episode comprised of unaired footage would bring this chapter to a close. Whilst I have felt that Top Gear had become overly silly and staged in the past few years, I felt that I owed it to the fan of my childhood to watch the last episode of Top Gear.
Obviously the lack of Clarkson introducing the show was immediately noticeable. Richard and James setup a classic sports car challenge all whilst a literal elephant in the room stood behind them. This segment involved each of the team buying a classic car, notorious for troublesome motoring, and embarking on a series of challenges. It was good television and lacking the overly silly elements that had put me off of Top Gear I honestly enjoyed it. Genuinely funny at times, I began to think about some classic Top Gear moments such as the cheap Porsche challenge.
Things then moved onto a £250 SUV challenge which on the whole was great. Again, quite funny without trying too hard and the fact that these cars were bought on such a tiny budget, yet pushed on through the events, made you want them to succeed. Obligatory distraction of caravans was pleasing to see considering I’ve been stuck behind them often this past week. Even the modification element of the challenge wasn’t too over the top like it had been in the past. A classic race to the finish line would mark the end of the show and it very nearly reignited my love for the program. However, whilst everyone was lost or comically falling over and just as I though about how I have missed this, Jeremy’s 4×4 ended up neatly cut in half in a poor attempt to raise a few laughs. This sort of staged event just stank of “oh no, my caravan has accidentally caught fire” and somewhat soured an enjoyable last episode.
To those who value Top Gear as an entertainment show I’m sure it was up to its usual standards, however, those who loved the trio presenting a car program and accidentally being entertaining will be keen to see what the BBC does next.
That said, when a heartfelt goodbye from Richard and James ended with the credits rolling in silence, I did feel a bit sad.
The end of an era, but not the end of Top Gear.