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What Ever Happened To: Top Gear Australia?

The simple answer is that everyone is waiting for the original intently and Top Gear Australia (TG:AU) was just a stop gap to keep people a little less disgruntaled about having to wait so long or Top Gear (TG:TOS to use a Star Trek term). But it brings up a great question as to why TG:AU had a steadily declining number of viewers yet TG:TOS and even Fifth Gear (FG) have kept a great number of viewers and even slightly increased their number despite being around for 12 seasons (with the new format). Much can be said about the repeat of cars reviewed as compared to the original series. Many have complained that both the track is inadequate (the original track was designed and used as a test track by Lotus Cars which gives it as much street-cred as any track in the world) and Stig isn’t driving in as consistant a manner as the Stig(s) that run around the runway at Dunsfold Park, in Surrey, England.

However, none of those things make Top Gear the wonderful show that we all know and love. It’s, in the end, the personalities. It’s a combination of chemistry, impromptu banter, a solid script and polorizing characters. We as Americans (and much of the Westernized world) can related to Clarkson, Hammond and May. Even when they mention words or names not common to our dialect, we can muddle our way through it. And the humor is along the same lines of the dry wit of Monty Python, which is universally loved. The Australian episodes have a rough dialect, a chemistry that I don’t quite buy (though Australians may love the combination of two race drivers and a comic/cartoonist). The three presenters come across as the same person three times and diversity is what I want. The TG:TOS cast represent a certain cross-section of the societies of Britian and America. They appeal to our more edgy side and our passion for cars. You can tell the Three Muskateers of Motoring have a deep and passionate love for cars (that verges on creepy at times) that doesn’t come across as clearly in the Australian show.

In the end, this post was just a round-about way of reminding you again that Top Gear will be back with season 12 in less than 4 days. You won’t have to watch the three jolly blokes down under because the real McCoy’s are coming. Just a few more days…

  • particip8

    Just heard channel nine are considering Doug Mulray / Shane Warne / James Morrison for the show. AWESOME NEWS!