Top Gear reaches new heights

I never thought I’d see the day when Top Gear would bring us a race pitting a Skoda against a man flying through the air wearing a jet pack. Who would win?

Well quite frankly I didn’t care. What I was more interested in is there was a man flying through the air wearing a JET PACK on my television screen! He didn’t crash. He wasn’t horribly injured in any way. Surely this shouldn’t be humanly possible? When did the jet pack become a usable mode of transport? I must have been too wrapped up in my simple world where I get from A to B in my car, occasionally suffer a bus (or a peasant wagon as Jeremy would say) and where aeroplanes rule the skies, to notice the arrival of jet pack technology, anywhere outside of comic books. It was truly amazing.

I did wonder though, was it strictly relevant? Not that that usually stands in the way of Top Gear challenges, mind you. But at least when they race a boat, a motorcycle, a bike etc, against a car, these are usually things that a normal person could conceivably get their hands on if Top Gear proves one is faster than another. The jet pack would pose a more significant challenge for the average shopper, as it doesn’t seem to have hit the high street just yet (!) When they do more outlandish things, like racing a hot air balloon, a bobsleigh or a letter it’s usually to prove a point- usually that the car being raced is particularly fast and handles well or is slow and cumbersome. This showed that the Skoda came second against a be-jetpacked man whizzing through the air at way over 100mph. Is that really a surprise? And what does it prove about the car? Hmmn.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoyed the item (as I hadn’t watched the DVD) but I’m just saying…

Apart from this small criticism however, this episode seemed to strike a good balance between the comedy and the cars, which should please devoted petrol heads.

Jeremy’s testing the Merc against the Maserati for example was I think a ‘proper’ car feature. Certainly, as a girl who watches primarily for the jokes and the banter I found myself concentrating a bit harder on my dinner at that point.

Providing me with my laughs we saw Jeremy proving that he could drive round the track whilst sewing on a button (though I would have liked to have seen the finished result!) and James “driving” whilst zipped into a sleeping bag. Conveniently enough they seemed to have forgotten that part of the bet included Hammond driving whilst pleasuring himself. Funny that.

Matt Smith talks to Jezza about his lap

Matt Smith did a good job in the reasonably priced C apostrophe D, driving with the pent-up aggression that comes with being the last of the Timelords. His cool guy act doesn’t quite wash with me though. Sure you’ve come to the studio like an awkward rockstar in skinny jeans, faded denim jacket and odd socks and sworn a few times. And ok you nearly became a footballer. But I feel quite certain that if you were ever caught at home on candid camera, you would be dressed in tweed with bow tie and fez in place. I can just tell.

The Saab feature at the end was, perhaps a little over-long but interesting and a fitting tribute to an admirably safety-conscious car manufacturer. You’ve got to feel sorry for those architects…

Catch up with Top Gear, Episode 5 on BBC iPlayer


24 thoughts on “Top Gear reaches new heights

    • On a different note but I just had to say… I found the advert for Top Gear so offensive, the idea that ‘silly old moaning women’ are responsible for cleaning the shirts of the Top Gear men and the young attractive woman gaining such pleasure from cleaning the Stig’s. How very sexist and outdated. Totally shocked by this negative representation in this day and age!

  1. Your show in New York With Trump was Boring…… He fired you Ill hire you….. You should do your show with me on a good night this summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Can’t believe there are 2 Emma Dearsleys. Only the other day a rather beautiful one was wearing a white dress and hopping out of our BMW 3 Series. Ah, then she became a Hillman. So I guess you can’t be the Emma Dearsley I thought you were (by the way she like smart cars too).

  3. dear winging poms of top gear
    i think i know why you havent done a challenge across australia thats because your a bunch of girsl and it would probably kill you but if your willing to steal a loaf of bread and get sentenced to 7 days transpotation in australia i have a plan to help you escape our island
    yours truly an aussie

  4. Hola amigos de Topgear!!! un saludo desde España!!! me gustaria que probarais un coc he. En concreto el Dodge ms4, que, aunque viejo creo que batió algún record en su época.

  5. My name is lane i’m from the USA i’m one of your biggest fans i always watch top gear when its on it would be a great honor if you would do a show about my car i own a 2012 scion tc release series 7.0 they only made about 2000 of them you could even use my actual car?

  6. Seeing Jeremy trying to outrun that tank never gets old lol give him that new ford raptor and have him try it again the usa top gear had a blast with one

  7. So I have a 2008 Ford Fusion that I love to drive, but being that I cannot take it to a track around here, I was thinking… why doesn’t Top Gear test it’s limits? I’ve got the 3.0 V6 engine (SEL).. I live on a narrow curvy road out in the sticks and the fastest I’ve been able to take some of these sharp corners without any special handling suspension, was about 85 MPH. The car handled extremely well and the roll wasn’t bad either. I hope Top Gear will take a look at this and at least consider the possibility of how much fun it would be to destroy a American made Ford.

  8. when are you going to test the Toyota 86 it is the best drivers cars in 10 years..



  9. The only problem I have with the guys is the way they bash all Americans and our cars. They gave great marks to a Renault minivan and even said it was the first one in the world but it was not. The Dodge caravan was the first and the Renault was designed by the people at DODGE. Another car they give high marks is the Vaxhal Monaro but it is just a rebadged Pontiac GTO.

  10. series 16 ep 1

    i know this is the wrong place but screw that.

    im sure you got a lot of flak for this already but i think slagging off VW beetles like that was just not needed. you said porches came from them so show a little respect hamster u pratt.

    love the show otherwise good work.

  11. I watch sometimes this program and sometimes I see tests amid random sport cars.
    I mean that, for example, the italian sports cars have never been and will never be in competition one to each other on the market. Each brand has its defined sector.
    I explain: Lamborghini is an extreme sport car, Ferrari is half extreme and half GT (Gran Turismo), Maserati is a GT and Alfa Romeo is a sports car for the consumer’s market.
    So, in my opinion, it si not currect to make tests and comparisons on the road amid these models, maybe downgrading and spreading a bad idea about the slower or the less comfortable car.
    The same deep distinctions should be made also for other countries sports cars before any test.

  12. Top Gear is back, FANTASTIC, what a great evening of entertainment with the new Top Gear series, the boys are back on top form and if you read the article in the Daily Mail last week by some silly woman deriding the programme, she needs, in the words of the inimmitiable Michael Winner to “calm down dear” Top Gear is totally tongue in cheek and if some people don’t get that then I suggest they don’t watch it. Great decision BBC, keep Top Gear running and don’t listen to the critics!!!
    Laurence Jacoby

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