Top Gear series 31 continues show’s upturn
There was much to enjoy about Top Gear series 31, which ended its run on mainstream television in mid-December.
Since the BBC show’s last reboot of its presenting team in 2019, the programme has regained popularity. The current Top Gear presenters – Paddy McGuiness, Andrew Flintoff and Chris Harris – bounce off each other well.
Series 31 is a continuation of the return to form of a once tired format. For fans keen to compare the early shows with today’s efforts, BBC’s iPlayer has a whopping 247 episodes to dive into! Thankfully there is only five episodes in the latest series.
As an aside – Flintoff looks completely different to when he played cricket for Lancashire and England. Oddly, he now looks like he’s at a level of fitness he should’ve had when playing cricket.
Now the series has ended, maybe it’s time to get him over to Australia to help resurrect England’s Ashes nightmare.
The old Top Gear
Jeremy Clarkson left the programme after series 22 in 2015, followed soon after by Richard Hammond and James May. But the show was on its uppers anyway.
It wasn’t just the tired face of Clarkson either. The format had basically become one long advert for idiot speed demons in cars most members of Joe Public will never get near to affording.
Don’t get me wrong. Space is still given over to ‘fantasy’ cars, such as a McLaren or Lamborghini. However, this doesn’t consume the show. There is detailed storytelling and well put together, in-depth features.
Top Gear now caters more realistically for its audience and our respective budgets. It is once more a show about the enjoyment of driving, the beauty and design of some motors, bound together by a trio of solid presenters.
Series 31 highlights
Top Gear series 31 saw many watchable segments.
The first episode section with Formula 1 drivers Vettel, Norris and Giovinazzi. Plus, McGuinness’s tribute to stunt motorcyclist Eddie Kidd was insightful, nostalgic and moving.
Combine this with caravanning and the DeLorean and it’s varied stuff.
One drawback is the necessity to have one of the crew hollering during the live presenting bits while standing outside Television House. Maybe a little over the top.
It is proof that a dying TV favourite can be re-energised into a fresh, workable and successful programme that competes well for a modern-day audience’s dwindling attention span.
This gives hope to Question of Sport fans, a sports-based quiz show which looks like it’s still in the process of a rebirth despite a change around of its leading figures.