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Review: Top Gear Series 22, Episode 8 – The Finale


BBC America finally aired the final episode[s] of “Top Gear” that included the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May after the show was cancelled in the aftermath of Clarkson’s “fiasco” where he struck one of the show’s producers and subsequently, did not have his contract renewed for the show [after which both Hammond and May refused to re-sign their contracts in a show of unison with Clarkson]. The finale is actually a mash-up of scenes from what was intended to be Series 22’s final two episodes before Clarkson’s trouble forced the cancellation of filming.

The opener is one the trio’s traditional Cheap Car Challenges where they select a car for an absurdly low amount and try to see if they can either make it work or destroy it in the process. In this case, the qualifier “classic” was added to the mix and that produced a 1970 Peugeot 304 for James, a Fiat 124 Spyder for Jeremy and a MGB for Richard. After it was discovered that James’ car did not work properly and Jeremy’s required modifications to get it closer to its Italian roots, the trio spruced them up a bit and took them first, to a yobbo car show and then to a fancy car show [where Jeremy’s car had to be towed in] where Richard finished off the segment with a wing ride on a stunt plane.

Jeremy and Richard pushing James in his 1970 Peugeot 304 in the Series 22 finale.

Jeremy and Richard pushing James in his 1970 Peugeot 304 in the Series 22 finale.

Next up came a similar segment – a Cheap SUV Challenge – which resulted in a Mitsubishi Shogun for James, a Jeep Cherokee for Richard and a Vauxhall Frontera for Jeremy – with each getting a trailer/caravan to tow around and/or destroy in a subsequent oval race against Leisure Stig. The SUV’s are then modified to make them more “lifestyle-y”, tossed down a cliff to test their survivability and finally employed in a five-mile cross-country trek to avoid being the after-dinner speaker at a posh country manor [Richard loses].

The final scene is a brief, 30-second Jeremy-less affair where James and Richard somewhat awkwardly just say “goodbye”. Not quite the most fitting end to what had become an iconic globally popular motoring show.

About Alex Bean

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