On Top Of The World

Top Gear b

Ice, Ice Baby

Just before our vacation, we were frantically trying to free up some space on our Sky Planner and we decided to give the Top Gear: Polar Special the 10-minute test. The test was a clear success as we happily sat down for an hour and enjoyed the antics of the trio of presenters. Jeremy Clarkson and James May joined forces in a Toyota Hilux 4×4 to race to the North Pole against Richard Hammond who was on a dog sled. The mention of the Toyota is important because it is essentially the only thing in the whole show where cars were actually mentioned, the remainder of the hour was spent telling a highly entertaining tale of the (mis)adventures of the Top Gear hosts.  The on-screen chemistry of the these guys should be an object lesson to anyone creating a programme that demands more than one presenter and, while the story was teetering on being a factual magazine show, there were enough laugh-out loud moments to make one think it was supposed to be a sitcom.  And a really good sitcom at that!

The editing and writing were completely spot on as ever and Clarkson’s trademark political incorrectness provided many amusing moments throughout…: the gun training, the rear mounted toilet, Clarkson being pushed into the water, Hammond’s deteriorating mental state in his video diaries and, of course, the drink driving.  All came together to tell a tale with a strong narrative with a genuine sense of danger that, coupled with the humour, created one of the best bits of telly I’ve seen this year.

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