Home Entertainment Top Gear season 29 episode 1 review: The boys are back to being brilliantly stupid

Top Gear season 29 episode 1 review: The boys are back to being brilliantly stupid

3 min read

I’ve probably watched every episode of Top Gear ever made at least three times. I was addicted to the idiotic immature shenanigans of the original trio for as long as I can remember and I’m absolutely enjoying their new ventures in the form of The Grand Tour, DriveTribe, FoodTribe and a whole host of other random shows.

I’m even planning on heading down to Jeremy’s farm shop once this stupid pandemic finally ends. So I was disappointed when Jeremy was (rightly) fired and his co-stars left with him, but I was still looking forward to what the BBC would do with one of its flagship shows.

Their first attempt with Chris Evans was an unmitigated disaster and very nearly killed off the entire franchise for me. Thankfully, they sacked him as soon as they could and the roped in the all-knowing Chris Harris, the permanently bubbly Rory Reid and Joey from Friends (Matt LeBlanc) for the next season.

It was better and there was definitely some chemistry, but it wasn’t really true Top Gear. Matt’s weird affection for heavy machinery was amusing but didn’t feel well placed and the jokes felt a bit forced. The less said about the weird side co-stars who were shoe horned in at places the better.

Into the next season we went with, Matt heading back to America and Rory unfortunately jettisoned (unfairly I feel) and replaced with a famous comedian I’d not heard of before, Paddy McGuinness, and cricketing super hero, Freddie Flintoff.

The show finally felt like Top Gear again with over the top stunts, tons of childish antics and a semblance of real chemistry brewing between them. Last season’s episodes were definitely my favourite for quite some time but it still did feel a touch scripted and overly staged at times, and that broke up the flow of the show all too often.

But it was definitely good and enjoyable enough that I was waiting for the new season to start.

And what a start it has given us.

The first episode of this season was absolutely brilliant, there now feels like there’s real chemistry in the team, and the constant stream of old Top Gear copycat jokes seems to be a thing of the past. The three stars now know enough about each other to be just enough of a friendly menace during challenges that in a way feels genuine.

For the first episode, the trio was tasked with finding out which car (Tesla Model 3, a hybrid BMW 3 series or a Volvo) would make the best company car. The challenge was simply to stay in the car for 24 hours and partake in a few useless challenges.

It was typical Top Gear and if you were hoping for something new and original then you’ll be in for a disappointment. But if you wanted to watch friends make dumb jokes, race cars and just have a good time, then this is the show for you.

Oh, and we were also treated to a test of the first Ferrari that can be driven entirely under electric power which, as a fan of electric cars, is not something I feel should have been created. When you’re paying £200,000+ (R4,000 000) for a car you know is not going to be good for the environment, don’t try to pretend that it is.

Top Gear will be coming to BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) from Thursday 5 November at 8PM.

PS: The best part of this week’s episode was the appearance of Surstromming, which I’m currently trying to sucker Darryn into eating

Last Updated: October 7, 2020


  1. BradeLunner

    October 7, 2020 at 13:40

    Man I feel bad for Rory Reid, he got the short end there


    • Gavin Mannion

      October 7, 2020 at 15:55

      He really did, I see he’s doing work for Autotrader now but I do feel bad for him. Was a great host


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