Top Gear Season 16
without the Stig- that would be like AC/DC without Bon Scott, or Batman
without Michael Keaton. Hang on, those things did happen…
point is that the Stig is an essential part of the Top Gear brand, much
like Coca Cola’s patented curved bottle and type font. But in the wake
of the media circus and court case surrounding the departure of Ben
Collins as the Stig in 2009, the show may have come perilously close to
ditching the iconic white helmet for good.
somebody came to their senses, because season 16 sees in a new, equally
silent and anonymous racing driver. Despite a few cheap shots at ‘sacked
Stig’ from the show’s hosts, this is very much business as usual for the
BBC’s flagship car programme. Season 16 contains all of the interviews,
supercar reviews and crazy challenges that fans have come to expect.
attractions are a road trip to the ruins of post-cold war Albania, a
perfectly good Beetle being dropped from a helicopter, and James May
taking a 21st century moon buggy for a test drive. For
Australian viewers, this series is also notable for the infamous ‘Ashes
series,’ in which the three hosts of Australia’s Top Gear compete
against their British counterparts in a series of driving challenges-
all shamelessly rigged in favour of the home country.
As well as
the 7 episodes, this DVD contains the ‘USA road trip’ special in full,
as well as the Middle-East Christmas special. This latter feature is the
highlight of the whole package. With no idea where they are headed,
Jezza, Hamster and May are dropped on an airfield in Iraq with three old
convertibles and given instructions to drive to Bethlehem, hundreds of
kilometres away in Israel. Infantile antics aside, this ranks as one of
the best and most thoughtful films that Top Gear has produced in recent
years- up there with the Bolivia trek.
A lot of
the bonus material included on this DVD has been taken from the Top Gear
website, so if you’ve watched the season highlights there you won’t find
much of interest. Included is a season preview and wrap-up by the three
hosts, lap footage of some of the guest stars, and a tour of the studio
Gear: Three big and conflicting personalities who have been given a
camera, the spotlight, and a license to muck around with some of the
most powerful machines on Earth. You should know what to expect.