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All Episodes Talk: Black or White Stig?

The hosts set out to build a bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand, but must first drive across Burma.

This season has been great. I love the specials more than anything else though. I always look forward to them and this one so far has not been a disappointment.

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Jeremy, Richard and James drive three ancient, barely functioning trucks as they head toward their final challenge in Thailand.

I'm sorry, I just love these episodes. I know half the stuff is fake (like James and Jeremy didn't really pee into Richard's shower bucket) but it's still so much fun and there are also legitimately not fake parts like Jeremy almost decapitating James with his giant crane! I like watching the three of them interact and torment each other and giggle a lot. There was a lot of fun punny wordplay in this one and I quite liked it all. I'm still shocked they all made it across the bridge. I was sure Richard's truck was going to rip the entire structure off of the top and collapse the thing and then James was going to use his crane to cheat and technically get the truck across. 

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Yes, I love the specials too. The last few years, they make the Christmas special an end of the season special which works just as well. I am really sad when the specials are over though.

It's been a good season, but this special ranks highly for me. It reminds me of the Africa and Vietnam special. I really loved how nice the locals seemed to be and James responded by being more "Buddhist". It was cute when his lorry got a nudge from a local road worker.

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I also know a lot of the stuff is fake, but I still love it too. I think the show has found the right amount of cheesey fakeness and sincere comedy. The specials are the best for this. The stuff that isn't fake is ridiculous and a bit scary like the time James was injured in Iraq. This time, Richard almost broke his wrist when his five legged pony tried to mount James's mare!

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I enjoy this show quite a bit (something I share with about 1/3 of a billion people a week), and do not for an instant pretend that everything they do is unscripted and appears as it actually happened.

 

That said, it is something that all reality TV should aspire to.

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I loved how easily helpful and nice the locals seemed! It was so great, it reminded me of when they were searching for the start of the Nile (I think?) and they'd get stuck and people would just push them out and never even really acknowledge they'd done anything and just keep walking. So great.

I also love Rudyard the pink bear. I couldn't stop saying Rudyard anytime he was on screen. Cracked me up.

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Finally got to watch the dvr & catch up on both parts of the Burma special. I was soooo nervous when Richard was crossing the bridge, even though we obviously would've heard already if something truly bad had happened. I love that when the guys do these specials you can tell that the geniunely are in awe of these places and then fact that they are there.

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Mr. rtoab and I both exclaimed "Jeremy's in a tie!?" in unison when we first saw him, which was conveniently followed by his explaining as to why he was wearing one.  Loved the reasoning and how it looked the whole trip in contrast to the others (especially at the hotel - that was this part, right?).

Such a gorgeous country, though. Wish I could visit!

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I just have to say the Shan is GORGEOUS and, as molatte stated above, I love that Clarkson, Hammond, and May are constantly in awe of their surroundings on adventures like this and really appreciate where they are.  Not many of us have opportunities to do the things they do, and they certainly know they are lucky to experience it.

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Such a beautiful country and such wonderful people (although, good lord, they seemed to have a death wish on the roads! No lights, darting in moving traffic, riding on the tops of open trucks.).

I still giggle thinking of Jeremy and James on the horses and James saying "ow, ow, ow, ow" as his horse trotted while Jeremy cracked up.

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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In Part 1, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond's perfect road trip takes them from Venice to the south of France via Verona.
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I'm so excited to have the boys back tonight! And apparently they are already filming the next series; I follow them on Twitter and Jeremy has been posting photos and tweeting about the new series.

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I was a bit confused when I saw the topic title, but then I realized that this was a one-off special they did last November 2013 before S21 started airing. I actually haven't seen most of it, so that'll be a good treat for me.

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I decided to go back and watch Season 1. Wow, what a difference. I'm so glad they added James May to the show.

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I've laughed at a lot of the antics on this show, but I have to say the funniest I've seen so far is when Jeremy was driving the Reliant Robin 3 wheeled car. The way he kept flipping over on the side was hilarious. I can't believe they thought that was a good car to have in the '70s.

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I just finished Season 8 and am starting Season 9. Do they ever mention what happened to Top Gear Dog? That was the most laid back dog I've ever seen.

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Is there going to be a new season?

 

Yes, S22 officially started with the Patagonia special this past weekend in the UK. In the past, the regular series starts in January, but no dates have been forthcoming about when it does.

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I saw the first half of it. Not watched the second half yet.

 

It was pretty funny, in the way that all Top Gear specials are. I'm a sucker for any challenge that has the guys buying clapped out old cars, really. There's so much fun to be had from watching them moan and complain as thing after thing goes wrong with the cars they chose. Watching a Lotus Elise soldiering on through swamps and unpaved, rocky tracks was probably the highlight of the episode.

 

I guess the second half of it will showcase how the Argentinians took exception to the number plate of the Porsche that Jeremy was driving. And I have to say, if it was a deliberate reference to the Falklands War, then either they changed that car's plates, or they somehow managed to find a V8 powered sports car from the 1980s that had a number plate that fit the bill. So I'm guessing that, on this occasion, Top Gear was actually innocent. And given the fact there were no oblique references to the Falklands at all (the only one I picked up was when they talked, rather soberly, about the General Belgrano. And given that was the reference made, these guys would have to be a special type of nasty to then joke about the war, given how many people died when that ship was sunk), and no undue attention given to the number plate, I'm fairly confident that there really was no intention to make a joke of it. I'm also guessing that the Argentinians will end up looking rather ridiculous, by overreacting massively. 

 

I don't get offended by Jeremy Clarkson anyway, because although I know he does have plenty of unpleasant, right wing views, I feel that he presents himself as such an exaggerated buffoon that he becomes a parody of a right wing idiot. And he does it knowingly. Anyone who takes anything he says seriously needs to really have a good hard look at themselves. But on this occasion, I think that Argentina has really shot itself in the foot and lost an opportunity to have their country presented in a good light by a show that many millions of people enjoy. They spent most of this first episode in Chile, which was presented in a positive light. And all of these specials end up with them gushing about what an amazing country they've just travelled through so... your loss, Argentina.

 

And honestly, the whole Falklands/Malvinas thing is just about the only time where I will wave the patriotic flag and say that Argentina is ridiculous for attempting to lay claim to islands that have never been under Argentine sovereignty, have never had an Argentine population, and the population that lives there has no desire to be ruled by Argentina. The suggestion that geography should be the sole decider of sovereignty is absurd.

Edited by Danny Franks.
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I saw both parts of the special today after I posted my earlier comment (it was a good reminder hee).

 

As usual, it was beautifully shot. In the first part, Jeremy shared a lovely story about the night his Dad died. James and Hammond were fun and amusing too. I was impressed with James' Lotus the most.

 

The second part does deal with the film crew getting chased out of Argentina. It made me very uncomfortable and I was genuinely scared for the crew even though I knew no one had died or anything. I think the show does some stupid and silly things at times, but I don't believe the plates thing was intentional at all. I'm surprised about how mad the nationalists in Argentina were about it. Then again, I guess it corroborates with some of the stuff I've read about Argentina and sovereignty.

 

I don't get offended by Jeremy Clarkson anyway, because although I know he does have plenty of unpleasant, right wing views, I feel that he presents himself as such an exaggerated buffoon that he becomes a parody of a right wing idiot. And he does it knowingly. Anyone who takes anything he says seriously needs to really have a good hard look at themselves. But on this occasion, I think that Argentina has really shot itself in the foot and lost an opportunity to have their country presented in a good light by a show that many millions of people enjoy. They spent most of this first episode in Chile, which was presented in a positive light. And all of these specials end up with them gushing about what an amazing country they've just travelled through so... your loss, Argentina.

 

I share your view about Jeremy Clarkson. I think he does everything so tongue in cheek that I can't take it seriously. Yes, he does have some conservative views, but I don't believe he is anywhere near as bad as it seems. Even on other shows (e.g. QI), I feel he tones this things down. He's not a typical comedian, but I do feel he plays it up.

 

Chile is definitely presented positively and the crew are so chuffed and elated when they reach it at the end of the second part. It's a shame about Argentina, but again, I'm not shocked knowing that the country doesn't even feel it fits into South America. Anyway, it really is their loss.

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James May with short hair. Weird.

 

It's not the first time he's chopped off his hair, but I think it has been awhile. And the new look fit well with that whole linen suit, Lotus bit in the beginning.

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The plate on the 928 was without question, the legitimate plate as per original registration.  Now, the registration would have been issued by DVLA Swansea, and it would be illegal to change that plate without going through the lengthy process of re-registration.  Even for temporary use overseas.  Argentinians who took offense at the registration should have taken it up with Her Majesty's government who issued the registration in the first place. 

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Any word on when BBCAmerica will be showing the Patigonia special and the new season?

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The second half will be on 1/19. I'm so excited! I feel like it's been forever since the US got new TG episodes.

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It was hard to watch the first half knowing that all hell will break loose in the second. But Richard's La Cucaracha horn did ease the tension as they drove through that German inspired town.

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I had no idea that second half was going to happen, I'm very relieved that the crew was able to safely get out of Argentina, but I can't even imagine how utterly terrifying that must have been.

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Top Gear has made their livestreamed preview special available through their official channels. It's great that we're getting the new season just one day behind Europe and I liked the tidbits about the sequel to the London commuter race.

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I watched the special and thought it was well done. It was the usual be stupid and drive our cars in places that make no sense while leaving the broken down car behind that some how gets fixed and catches up with everyone stuff. I am assuming that there are better roads to take and that you don't have to drive through swamps and around beaches but what the hey, it is a Top Gear special and that means silliness ensues. I loved the scenery and the sabotages. Good stuff.

 

Then there was the last half of the second part. That was down right scary. I don't think for a second that they changed the plates to something that would be offensive. I think if they had changed the plates that someone would have leaked the paperwork by now. Jeremy addressed the Falklands War in one comment which was "I will not say anything" followed by zipping his lip and stating that he was not going to be controversial.

 

I have read that the Argentine government was upset that the special was aired and that the included the footage of the attacks on the cars. The Police should have done a better job of protecting the convoy. I hope whoever was driving the Porsche got a very big bonus because that person was in real danger.

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There are some passionate conspiracists who insist the stonings were faked. If so, then those are some Oscar-worthy performances over the convoy radios because I thought the anguish/fear was palpable through the TV.

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We watched the second half last night, knowing what was coming.

 

Nothing prepared us for what we saw.  My hubby has been watching TG for years and he was absolutely silent (which is remarkable for him) on watching the last half hour.

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I still haven't watched the second part--the preview after the first part made me so sick I haven't worked up the nerve to watch it yet. I hate stuff like that, it's hard for me to watch. I'm just glad everyone on TG came out of it safely.

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I think it's clear now that they didn't fake anything, nor was the number plate deliberate. I've seen a couple of interviews with Hammond since, where he seems genuinely upset and angry that the crew were subjected to that. Now, there's the argument about the boy who cried wolf, but honestly, they yank everyone's chain on occasion, and if you take it seriously then you need to stop and have a good think about yourself and your priorities.

 

The new series kicks off in the UK tomorrow night, and it looks like it should be pretty great. More of the same nonsense, of course. But that's what the show is about, these three berks driving fast cars and doing stupid things. And as Clarkson said, taking a look at genuine real world issues and making a complete balls-up of them.

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Here is the thing, there is a ton on the show that is obviously set up (lets drive through a marsh, lets have our home built electric car run out of power in the middle of the street, lets write stupid slogans on cars that will piss off the locals). It is done for a laugh and from time to time, I am thinking of the slogans in the US, things go a little to far and it is not all that funny. But I don't think that the controversial stuff is planned. I think that there are three adults who love cars and are allowed to act like impulsive teenagers because it makes the BBC millions of pounds a year. Which leads to Hammond making stupid comments about Mexicans and Clarkson using an inappropriate language. Why the hell Production allows Hammond's Mexico comment or Clarkson's "slope" comment air, I have no clue. Maybe they see it as bad publicity is a good thing and neither comment was all that bad. They did cut out the "Nigger" usage in Burma, the film of that was leaked after the fact.

 

Clarkson's initial comment about commenting on the Falklands War when they saw the sign tells me that they knew there was potential for damage and he had been told to keep his damn mouth shut. Focus on the cars and the gorgeous country and leave the politics well on the side. There is no way that they saw the license plate for what it was and thought it was a flash point.

 

What the show needs is a Production staff that is willing to censor Hammond and Clarkson, the two tend to be the flash points, on the political stuff. There is less forgiveness, it is no longer seen as cute or just boys being boys. Stick to the cars, the teenage pranks, and the occasional complaint about British politics regarding transportation and leave it at that.

 

Seriously, Production staff with balls would have cut the more controversial stuff and saved everyone a ton of headaches.

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The little kids at the playground just mobbing him as he walked through had me laughing!

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I loved Jeremy not being able to steer that hover van/boat/thing, no matter what speed it was going. And I'm very happy Richard was wearing a proper bike helmet, those were hard crashes!

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I loved Jeremy not being able to steer that hover van/boat/thing, no matter what speed it was going. And I'm very happy Richard was wearing a proper bike helmet, those were hard crashes!

 

I love that Jeremy just gets excited about these things, and never thinks about the actual practicalities of doing them. His happy, simple face as he was showing off the hover van, and completely ignoring the questions from the other two as to whether he could actually control it, was a delight.

 

Richard's crashes, on the other hand, were not. I'm surprised he even continued after that first one, because it looked really nasty. Still, he's been involved in worse, I guess.

 

You know, I wish they'd axe the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car section. That's five minutes of Jeremy talking to someone I usually don't give a shit about, instead of the three guys larking about. Yet when episodes are streamed on Netflix, if anything is cut it's the News. Which is arguably the best bit of the whole show.

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I laughed when I saw that they were wearing pins with the flag of Chile on their jackets. And the whole condor apology.

 

I always love the races like these ones. Richard clearly regretted his, or the Producers, bicycle choice, trams and a not bike friendly city made that a very bad decision.

 

The hover boat was simply hilarious. I am assuming that warning was given to all of the professionally owned boat operations and Jeremy was pretty much told he had to take the canal for safety reasons. That could have been ugly. You know Jeremy was concerned based on the amount of sweat he was wearing.

 

I have no idea why they would have Stig do the pubic transport but I do get a kick out of his wandering around and the looks that he gets from people. The stopping to look at dead birds and the car lot was a bit much. I have no idea how long the race actually took but the public transport is pretty good, he should have been able to compete but seemed like they just wanted to ignore the public transportation route.

 

James car strikes me as a death trap. I am sorry but there is no way I am driving in one of those. No way in hell. Doors are optional on it? Yeah, that is what I want to be in when I get hit by another car. Not.

 

I do wish they would get rid of the interview with a star. Granted, I am an American so I tend to not be all that familiar with the people they interview, but I find the news far more entertaining and I just fast forward through the interview and most of the lap time.

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James car strikes me as a death trap. I am sorry but there is no way I am driving in one of those. No way in hell. Doors are optional on it?

I felt like James needed a helmet as much as Richard did.

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I laughed when I saw that they were wearing pins with the flag of Chile on their jackets.

 

I often find the show more entertaining when it quietly drops in details like that rather than bash people with over-the-top messaging or plotlines. It's fun when they let observant viewers catch little moments like that.

 

I was kind of bored by this last episode but the race was an serviceable followup to the London one. Maybe there were logistical issues but I think St. Petersburg kind of looked generically urban in the film. But I have to agree that it was fun seeing Stig out there interacting with the real world - being mobbed by those kids and at the beginning, feeding the ducks.

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I finally enjoyed watching a Star in the Reasonably Priced car segment. I love Keifer Sutherland. It was a good interview and a good lap. I was wondering if he would be able to drive given his drunk driving convictions, he might not have a license but they didn't touch on that.

 

The Australian trip was ok but nothing exciting or even all that funny. I don't know why, it was missing something. The bit about the plates was pretty funny. Hopefully they drop it though, it is going to get old fast.

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I finally enjoyed watching a Star in the Reasonably Priced car segment. I love Keifer Sutherland. It was a good interview and a good lap. I was wondering if he would be able to drive given his drunk driving convictions, he might not have a license but they didn't touch on that.

The test track is an enclosed private space, so it wouldn't matter if he had a driver's license or not (at least it wouldn't in the U.S.).  This is the first time I've seen Keifer Sutherland where he wasn't promoting a movie or TV show, and I was surprised that he seemed like a delightful guy. With really odd shaped earlobes.

Edited by Quilt Fairy.
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They've had other stars who either didn't have a license at all or had problems with their ability to legally drive on actual roadways.

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