By Matt Adair
The British Broadcasting Company’s “Top Gear” franchise is a global phenomenon, with an estimated 350 million viewers tuning in weekly across the globe. Here in the States, though, we’ve had to make do with YouTube downloads of the episodes if we didn’t get BBC America in our basic cable package, and even then the shows were delayed long after the original airing in Britain. This is about to change as the BBC and History Channel bring us their own, uniquely American version, set to debut on Nov. 21. The question on everybody’s mind is…will it be any good?
For those of you unfamiliar with Top Gear (though, that’s hard to imagine if you’re a true car geek), the format is relatively simple. Cars are reviewed, tested, compared, automotive news items are discussed and celebrities come by for interviews. But as with most things, the devil’s in the details. The cinematography is breathtaking and clever, the music is perfectly timed for drama and the three hosts, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond have a chemistry and humor that’s hard to describe. Indeed, it’s so well put together that one need not even be a car enthusiast to enjoy the program; my mom watches it. Seriously.