Top Gear the Complete Series 14 DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.5
Video 9.0
Audio 8.5
Special Features 4.5
Total 8.5
Distributor: Roadshow
Running Time: 458 Minutes
Classification:
 PG
Reviewer: Andrew Proverbs

8.5


Top Gear the Complete Series 14

Whether youre a complete petrol head, or just someone looking for a few laughs and a smattering of adventure, youll find something to like about Top Gear. The popularity of the show owes a lot to the big personalities of the three hosts, and the way the show transcends demographics. It isnt just a car show, nor is it just a comedy or a documentary; it takes all of those things and does them properly.

This DVD release contains all seven episodes, plus a handful of special features.  

The action starts right from the get-go, as hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May embark on a mission to find Romanias incredible Transfagarasan highway. Along with the reviews themselves, these road trips are the heart and soul of Top Gear, and this one is a stunning example.

Watching the boys faces as they race along this spectacular stretch of road, accompanied by a booming instrumental soundtrack, sends chills up your spine.

And if you really want to know what its like to have to sleep in the back seat of a supercar overnight, youll find out here. 

In episode 2, the boys make a good case for why Lancia (and not Ford or Ferrari) is the greatest car manufacturer in the world, by taking us through some of the iconic cars that have come out of that stable. 

Other highlights of the season include an attempt to build a green car for a pittance, guest appearances by Eric Bana and Guy Ritchie, and a serious review of the Renault Twingo, which inevitably ends with that car coming off worse for wear. 

It all gets a bit ridiculous in episode 4, when the crew are tasked with creating a car-themed art exhibition that will bring in the masses. Jeremy occupies himself by firing some paint balls through an F1 cars exhaust, and trying to destroy Captain Slows attempts at a sculpture. As a two-part feature, its more of a showcase of loutish behaviour than comedy or information, and its a bit hard to stomach. 

The biggest highlight of season 14 is the 75-minute Bolivia special. In this episode, the three hosts are challenged to buy a cheap four-wheel-drive from the internet- and then drive it through deserts, jungles and rivers to reach the pacific ocean. The scenery in this special is spectacular; if the

Transfagarasan highway from the Romanian adventure was the best road the boys had ever driven on, then the Yungas Death road to La Paz must surely be the worst. This is one of the most amazing bits of television Ive seen for a while. Watching the cliff edge crumble as Jeremy tries to sidle past another motorist in his Range Rover is a harrowing experience.

We share the crews pain and exhaustion as they suffer from altitude sickness crossing the majestic Andes, just as we share their exhilaration at finally reaching the coast, and their love of these incredible cars that just kept going through it all. 

As weve come to expect from this series, the audio and video quality is virtually faultless. This was the first time an entire season of Top Gear was filmed in HD, and it looks crystal clear.  

The special features consist of some extra footage of all the guest stars as they go about their laps, and a few behind-the-scenes snippets.

These featurettes are all very brief, and dont really offer anything new or interesting. Its disappointing that the BBC couldnt find some extra footage from the excursions to Bolivia and Romania to add some value to this release.  

All in all, Top Gears fourteenth season is thoroughly entertaining, and well worth owning on DVD.






 
 



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