Not-Top Gear is back! Rejoice!

'The Grand Tour' / Amazon Prime Video
'The Grand Tour' / Amazon Prime Video

Rejoice! Blessed are the true believers who said the gang would be back together. Clarkson, Hammond and May have all announced that they’re off to Amazon Prime for a new TV series.

Starting (or streaming as the kids say) next year, the yet to be named show will see TV’s favourite presenters reunited with former Top Gear producer Andy Wilman.

So, for those of you hate the show, it must feel like the Zulu hordes are coming once more to thrill and offend. For those of you who love(d) Top Gear for the banter and took the cars for background noise, it’s “good neeews!”

It’s almost a shame that Clarkson announced on his Twitter that they were doing a car show. I’m sure the papers would have had as much fun speculating as to ‘what else could they possibly do?’ for another week or so.

But, in anticipation of great things to come, here’s our top 10 list of what we’d love to see in the new show.

1. Back to the studio

Top Gear, under Jezza, could never have ended any other way than it did. Controversial and shocking, it was a crowning finale that could never have been planned and the trio haS to embrace it.

We hope, want, wish that the new show opens with the three of them, sitting in one of May’s sheds, Top Gear memorabilia on the back wall, eating a steak, as Clarkson looks up and says ‘Right, now that I’m fed, let’s get back to it’.

Perfect.

2. Not too much of the best of Top Gear.

The banter and challenges worked precisely because there wasn’t too much of it. Despite so much of the show’s reputation coming from these features, they never tilted the scales in favour of them all the time. It would have worn out, and it needs to fit neatly in with the new show’s format.

Yes, take them to Argentina every now and again, just don’t make the whole show about that. It does need to have a purpose rather than just be an explosion in a paint factory, week in and week out.

3. The Stig’s Amazon cousin

The Stig went to the BBC when Clarkson sold his share of Top Gear three years ago. But…I’m not familiar with anonymous tame racing drivers being the property of anyone.

Just the right amount of a self-effacing Top Gear homage will work and avoid a lawsuit. Come to think of it ‘The Amazon Cousin’ is a brilliant name for the show’s racing driver…I think.

4. Editorial control

It’s been reported in the press that the gang of four negotiated editorial control over the show.

Whatever arrangement and balancing act the four had before to keep it all going and the quality brilliant needs to be replicated. Don’t let Clarkson go off on one (looking at you Mr Wilaman).

5. Go toe-to-toe with Top Gear

Clarkson and co. turned Top Gear into something more than just a car show and if a public feud with the rump of Top Gear is funny, do it. Don’t shy away from what’s happened. It was theirs, they lost it, and they should give their replacements a run for their money (for our entertainment).

6. Planes, trains and automobiles

It’s going to be a car show, that much we know, but it shouldn’t be restricted to it. May and Hammond have a body of excellent television work behind them, from May’s Toy Stories and Hammond’s engineering programmes. 

Combining the two on a bigger and larger scale would be an awesome addition.

7. Be Clarkson, Hammond and May, not Top Gear

The yin to point 2’s yang. They’re getting a second chance and not many people get that, particularly after the circumstances in which the three left.

People love Top Gear and there are plenty of good reasons for it. A streaming service will provide an ample budget to indulge people with what they’ve come to love: excessive destruction, chaos, self-deprecating humour and fun ridiculous challenges.

8. Celebrities, a bit of the old format and all the old gags 

I don’t think you can own the rights to gags that just sort of happen. If anyone thought to copyright May’s car being rammed then we live in a dark world.

Some of Top Gear’s best gags, the celebrity guests and all of the same humour are required. The show has to (and every fan expects them to) – take advantage of the fact that Andy Wilman is back in the game and can bring out the best and restrain the egos of the other three to bring out genuine comedy.

In other words, caravans!

9. Puerile destruction on an industrial scale

Letting the team have a free editorial reign is like leaving a group of toddlers and paint alone together.

Embrace it, enjoy it – Amazon can afford it.

10. Call it House of Cars

The one did the rounds for a while but it’s a glorious idea. It might piss off Netflix a bit, but the vignettes would be hilarious.

So on that bombshell, they’re back to the studio.

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Alastair Stewart 81 Articles

Alastair Stewart is a freelance writer and journalist based in Edinburgh and Almería. He currently works as a journalist for The Sol Times and regularly writes about politics, history and culture for magazines across Europe.


He was formerly a press officer at the Scottish Parliament. He graduated from Edinburgh University with an MA in International Relations.

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