Top Gear Returns – Season 16 Takes to the Air!

James May wore questionable shirts and ‘looked like a Spaniel‘ in the V8 Ariel Atom, Clarkson touted a Volkswagen built in the Czech Republic, and which has Sienna Miller in the glovebox, while Hammond lost a race to a flying beetle. Top Gear season 16 kicked off last night, and all is right in the world.

For whatever reason, helicopters featured prominently in the first of the season’s episodes, using Skodas for landing pads, and attempting to smush Richard by dropping a car upon him. Despite that, it remained a show about cars, and there was a lot of excitement around the lap boards, and the fact that the Stig is now all growed up. As usual, the star that was wedged behind the wheel of the reasonably priced car was someone nobody on this side of the pond had ever heard of, and Hammond drove a 911 while wearing a puffy jacket and cap.
While the Ariel Atom V8 proved to be the most exciting film, demolishing a Toyota LFA and Lamborghini Gallardo in a 0-100-0 race (stupid extraneous windshields, doors, safety equipment and boot space), the final film in which Hammond travels to Africa to attempt a bit of Mythbuster’s schtick was also fun.
One of the pleasures of Top Gear is the fact that the producers usually cull the audience for good looking folks – many of whom are women – to populate the most visible background. Countering that last night was what appeared to be Damon Gough, better known as Badly Drawn Boy, kibitzing in the frame for the final segment. Sure, that could have been any bearded Brit in a knit cap, but it doesn’t look like he was performing anywhere last night so…
It’s good to have Captain Slow, Jezza and the Hamster back for another go, especially as Top Gear USA is coming to an end for its inaugural season (more about that later), and here’s to hoping for a whole season full of the usual shenanigans, and that nobody gets killed.

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  1. Syrax Avatar

    I don't know, for me it was a big meh. Maybe it's because they had little interaction. Their good stuff are usually the ones where they're together.

  2. Mr_Biggles Avatar

    Ask and ye shall receive bittorrent shall provide. I am keenly awaiting lunch time so I can watch it.

  3. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    Quickly… TO THE CLOUD!

  4. dukeisduke Avatar

    Wow, 150,000 pounds for the Atom V8? Yikes. It sure smashed the track record, though, and shamed the LFA and the lightweight Gallardo.

  5. dukeisduke Avatar

    And yes, I too noticed there weren't as many good-looking women at the front of the crowd. The only one I saw was a tall one standing standing behind Jezza during the studio sit-down.

  6. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    I was typing last night and had TG on in the background. Didn't really hold my interest that well, to be honest. Skoda Yeti segment was the most interesting for me, the Porsche Beetle thread didn't achieve anything new. Atom test was great and Mr May is still a maestro, but it was almost a foregone conclusion that the car would be awesome anyway.
    Perhaps they're easing us in gently. The test between Humvee, LM002 and Rayton-Fissore Magnum comes next week.

  7. Seth_L Avatar

    I've met Damon Gough, and I'm not sure that's him. Of course it was like eight years ago.

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      The chap in the photo looks very much like he may have eaten Damon Gough and stolen his clothes.

  8. Raze1138 Avatar

    I for one wonder how one gets Sienna Miller in one's glovebox, but then also I wouldn't mind being in hers…

  9. retro Avatar

    Not exactly a classic episode, but still a hundred times better than anything Top Gear USA managed.

  10. Lex Avatar

    It wasn't the best episode ever, but they can't all be homeruns. I'm guessing that the Atom and the star were chosen for this episode to make the new Stig look much better than the old Stig. Tiff wearing May's shirt was pretty funny though, and Clarkson's review of the Yeti made me kind of want one even though i don't want one.

  11. jiveturkey Avatar

    Holy shit, a Badly Drawn Boy reference. I thought I was the only person in the whole quadrant who knows that band. Well done sir.

  12. PowerTryp Avatar

    Any one know what the heck the bikes were that the Top Gear UK hosts road in the sheep herding challenge? Obviously the Australians were on KTMs but I don't know what the green ones were.

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