The first episode of Top Gear in the post Clarkson, Hammond and May years was a mixed bag. Firstly we had new titles which used different colours to the original, and didn’t have silhouettes of the presenters, but did have plenty of pictures of cars zooming around so at least we have a new set of titles which are a bit different but still similar enough as to not make much of a difference.
Over these titles new presenter and show runner Chris Evans did some narration just like Jeremy Clarkson did before and Evans did this narration in much the same style as Clarkson would have done. It was almost as though they had taken a script written for Clarkson and just got Evans to read it complete with the same tone of voice and the same intonation.
The rest of the episode was almost standard Top Gear. They had the Stig doing a lap and had the usual “some say” speech and also had a version of “Star in a reasonably priced car” featuring a brand new car.
There was no news section but there were the usual films and a challenge including Matt Le Blanc being chased by three paparazzi on various methods of transport and him in a Arial Nomad.
The main challenge involved Evans and Le Blanc travelling to Blackpool and then doing various challenges there in a US vs UK Challenge which was very much in the style of the previous seasons.
The main thing that I noticed in this first episode was that the studio based stuff seemed very forced and stilted and that Chris Evans was trying to be like Jeremy Clarkson and had a tendency to shout for the majority of the time.
There were a couple of unsubtle digs as the previous team which seemed to be unnecessary and worse of all not even funny and Matt Le Blanc looked very unsure of himself in his pieces to camera in the studio.
The films were much better but Evans still tried to be the same as Clarkson. Basically the best thing about this show is Matt Le Blanc and that isn’t what I expected to say at the end of the first episode.