Top Gear

Genres: Magazine, Science/Technology
Broadcast on: SABC3, BBC Entertainment, BBC Prime, BBC Knowledge



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Season 17

Channel Premiere Finale TX Time Episodes
BBC Two 26 Jun 2011 31 Jul 2011 Sundays 6
BBC Entertainment 26 Oct 2011 30 Nov 2011 Wednesdays, 20h00 - 21h00 6
BBC Knowledge 24 Feb 2012 30 Mar 2012 Fridays, 21h00 - 22h00 6
SABC3 28 Apr 2013 02 Jun 2013 Sundays, 17h00 - 18h00 6

Season 17

Season 17 of the world's biggest and most explosive car show returns with a bang as Jeremy Clarkson hosts a very special birthday party for a very special car – it's the Jaguar E-type's 50th and in typical Top Gear fashion, it's all very low key.

As Jeremy drives a half-million pound modern version of this classic car to the white cliffs of Dover, there's a fighter plane fly-by, live music performances and the Royal Marines. What more could a car want?

This season also sees the Top Gear boys attempt to re-invent public transport with a car-based train, with mixed results. Replacing the conventional carriages and locomotive with a series of caravans attached to a specially modified car, it's either the world's most ingenious idea or the prelude to the most monumentally botched experiment.

The trio also takes a trip to Italy to take part in a series of tricky challenges and increasingly loud arguments as they attempt to find the world's best hot hatches.

With Jeremy in the Citroen DS3 Racing, Richard championing the Fiat 500C Abarth and James making the case for the Renaultsport Clio Cup, they attempt to navigate their way around labyrinthine Italian towns and take part in a scavenger hunt before heading up to Monte Carlo where they're faced with a surprise test of their cars' performance.

The Stig is let loose in some serious hardware including the Aston Martin Virage, the McLaren MP4-12C and the Lamborghini Avantador.

All this plus a host of big name stars in the Reasonably Priced Car, including rock legend Alice Cooper, Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel and Live Aid star Sir Bob Geldof.


The show often features the following segments, amongst others:


The show has featured a number of races where Jeremy Clarkson races a car against other forms of transport, usually involving Richard Hammond and James May taking the same journey by any combinations of plane, train, ferry or bus.


Top Gear normally reviews one new car, or group of cars, each week. It's became hugely influential with motor manufacturers, since a critical word from the Top Gear team could have a severely negative effect on sales.

The Top Gear reports are not based on facts or figures, but the opinions of the presenters. Group tests normally involve the three presenters debating the merits and weaknesses of each car.

Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car

In each programme, a celebrity is interviewed by Jeremy Clarkson, and focuses usually on car-related topics and often on cars owned by the celebs themselves.

The guest is whisked off to the Top Gear race track where he/she tries to get the fastest lap time in a Chevrolet.

The fastest lap time is held by The Stig, and guests who have attempted to beat his time have included Simon Cowell, Jamie Oliver and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

Power Laps

In the Power Laps segment, The Stig completes a lap around the Top Gear test track to determine the performance of various cars. The car tested is usually the car that's been reviewed in that episode, but occasionally it can be a car from a previous episode.

The Cool Wall

The Cool Wall is a board where Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond decide which cars are cool, and which aren't, and has nothing to do with how good or bad a car is. The categories are Sub Zero, Cool, Uncool and Seriously Uncool.

Initially, part of that "coolness" factor rested on the extent to which the presenters believed each car would impress English actress Kristin Scott Thomas.

BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce replaced Kristin as their notional judge, after Kristin stated in an interview that she owned a Honda, which was deemed to be "Uncool".

Season 17 Cast

Presenter - Himself

Presenter - Himself

Presenter - Himself




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