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Top Gear Season 16 Blu-ray Review

“Top Gear” is a dream show for automobile lovers.

For those that are unaware, “Top Gear” is an immensely popular vehicle centric British TV show hosted by 3 individuals (James May, Jeremy Clarkson, and Richard Hammond). The show is comprised of various segments involving automobile news, car reviews/test drives (for cars such as the Skoda Yeti, Ferrari 599 GTO, Ford Focus RS500, and Audi RS5), and celebrities (such as Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Danny Boyle) racing a Kia on a track. The main attraction (at least in my opinion) is seeing the hosts engaging in numerous races/challenges. In this 16th season, viewers can expect to see a Porsche 997 Turbo S Cabriolet try to outrace a VW Beetle being dropped by a helicopter, a bizarre (and clearly staged) Albanian trip, a race across the width of England from sunset to sunrise, challenges between 3 1980’s era BMWs to see which is the best, testing a snow plow, a danger filled trek from Iraq to Bethlehem, a competition against Top Gear Australia, and a United States trip involving the Virginia International Raceway and New York quests. The season contains 7 episodes plus the full versions of the USA Road Trip and Middle East Specials.

As someone who isn’t remotely interested in motor vehicles, I found it surprising that the show still managed to entertain me. Granted, the interior segments featuring car news and review segments were of little interest to me, but the three personable hosts and their races/challenges across the world managed to be fun in an “Amazing Race” esque sort of way. The show is definitely at its best when the hosts are out and out about. Their trips to Iraq and the USA were especially noteworthy as you just never know what is going to happen. It helps that the hosts clearly have alot of chemistry together (not to mention passion about their jobs).

Summary: It’s not hard to see why “Top Gear” has a big fanbase (and a recent American remake). It’s quite simply an entertaining show. You don’t even have to be a car junkie to appreciate it. I am proof of that.

Video/Audio:

The widescreen picture quality is at its best during the races and challenges (which look fantastic in hi-def). While I haven’t seen the DVD picture quality, I think it’s safe to say it’s worth seeking out the Blu-ray simply for the high definition picturesque scenery.

Considering this set only has a Dolby Digital Stereo track, this is a pretty lively audio track. Everything from the studio segments to the races sounded crisp and clear to this reviewer.

Extras:
* Trailers for “Doctor Who- Series 5,” “Wallander,” and “Sherlock.”
* Footage of the John Bishop and Nick Frost and Simon Pegg laps.
* Pre series and end of series chat with the 3 hosts joking around and rambling about the season. 
* Clips of John Prescott in studio.

* Clarkson and Hammon talk about James’ fake death sequence.
* “Behind The Scenes- Top Gear Production Office And Studio”- A tour of the offices and studio sets.

August 18, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Still love this show and find it funny, but with the amount of repeats I doubt I’ll ever stretch to buying it on DVD or Bluray.

    Comment by megtron | September 1, 2011 | Reply


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