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Top Gear 11

Richard Hammond , Jeremy Clarkson    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 37.48
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Top Gear 11 + Top Gear 10 + Top Gear 12
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There has been talk of an American version of the BBC's Top Gear, but the fact that it hasn't happened yet is probably a good thing, for aside from the obvious (i.e., the automobiles that are its raisons d'être, many of them shown in sequences filmed so beautifully and edited so slickly that the effect is equivalent to car porn), the show is distinguished by its ineffable Englishness. As usual, in this, its 11th season (with six episodes on two discs), most of that comes from hosts James May, Richard Hammond, and Jeremy Clarkson--especially Clarkson, who offers his typical array of droll witticisms (he describes the Nissan GT-R as "discordant… like Stravinsky designed it," while the Alfa Romeo 8C Competzione, "the most beautiful car ever made," is so gorgeous that "I wouldn't care if the sat-nav had Tourette's"). Each episode is likely to include a look at some fabulously unaffordable luxury car (in addition to the above, there are the Ferrari Scuderia, "the bastard love child of Stephen Hawking and Rambo"; the Galue, a virtual Rolls Royce clone from Japan; and the Mercedes AMG Black, "the kin of Cain"), plus a "cheap car challenge," in which the three hosts must buy a vehicle for less than a thousand pounds and, in one instance, convert it to a police car, and "Star(s) in a Reasonably Priced Car," in which celebrities drive a lap around a racetrack in an ordinary sedan (these segments will be of limited interest to non-Brit viewers, as the celebs are little known elsewhere). But the best bits are the competitions pitting an automobile against various other forms of transportation. In "Race Across Japan," Clarkson drives the Nissan some 400 miles across that country while May and Hammond ride the bullet train, a ferry, and a cable car; in another segment, Hammond races an Audi RS6 down a mountain road while two skiers hurtle down the mountain itself. As always, the camera work and production values are first-rate, and the show is brimming with fantastic scenery and judiciously chosen effects work. And even if Top Gear may be starting to run out of gas--this season isn't quite as much fun as those from previous years--this is still the best car show around. --Sam Graham

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 - A Huge Improvement Jan. 15 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is the second season of Top Gear available on DVD, and the BBC have learned an important lesson from their season 10 DVD. The problem with season 10 was the first DVD had no News, the second had no "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car", and the third once again had no News. This time around both segments are in every episode and nothing is cut out.

Aside from that the DVD offers the advantage of being in surround sound and providing us North Americans an alternative to piracy. The only thing missing now are bonus features, which are actually included in the season 12 DVD. Season 11 only has 6 episodes so this DVD has two discs in it; episodes 1-3 on disc 1 and 4-6 on disc 2.

Simply put, this is a must for any serious Top Gear fan. You won't regret buying it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BBC Learned Their Lesson Aug. 17 2010
By D. Berube TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Right off the start the BBC listened to the fans unlike so many others and this Season marks the first season of Top Gear on DVD that is completely unchanged from the original UK version, one of the main complaints about the Season 10 release. That being said otherwise it's classic Top Gear with the Stig setting lap times in fast cars, the normal "ambitious but rubbish" challenges/segments and fantastic British humor.

Some highlights of the DVD include Hammond, May and Clarkson trying to make a better police car, the Alfa Romeo challenge and the German version of Top Gear facing off against the Top Gear presenters. Basically if you're at all a fan of the series, this is something worthwhile purchasing if you want to watch the episodes again and again without having to wait for a repeat on BBC America or BBC Canada and have to deal with the editing and commercials of an airing on either channel.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The BBC hasn't learned much from the Season 10 release. Jan. 18 2010
By Kristan O. Overstreet - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Yes, the Top Gear nuts are back- racing across Japan in a car v. bullet train challenge, reviving fox hunting using a fox-colored Daihatsu sports vehicle, testing which supercar is the most efficient in race conditions (the winner doing less than 5 MPG), and ruining British-German diplomatic efforts with a contest against a German auto show. If you like either cars or British humor, you will love this show- and this set.

Season 11 is of special interest for aficionados of Japanese culture, as not one but three films take place there: the aforementioned "epic race" of sports car v. Japanese public transport, the track test of the Nissan GT-R from said race, and James May using a Japanese luxury car to deliver sumo wrestlers to a tournament. For these sequences alone, in my opinion, the set is worth the money to anime fans.

THAT SAID... the same problems that existed with the Season 10 set remain. The episodes are NOT completely uncut- Top Gear Stuntman's sequences have all been left out, and other cuts may exist that I haven't found in one viewing. That said, the cuts are less egregious than the Season 10 episodes- all news segments are present and (apparently) intact, as are all Stars in a Reasonably Priced Car. Viewers of BBC America will see quite a lot they didn't before.

Skip points in the DVD set are limited to the start point of each film- none within the film segments themselves. Since some of these segments are half an hour long, that makes queueing up particular bits for friends a pain in the fundament.

Extras? Well, it has subtitles... with some serious transcription flaws. (Note: "Torque" and "talk" are not the same word, really they're not.) No "deleted scenes," no behind-the-scenes, no commentary. It's a basic two-disc set of six episodes, with the frills limited to auto-playing trailers.

The show is excellent, and it's good to have the series sets coming to the USA... but I really wish the DVD release was as good as the show being released.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only 6 Episodes and No Extras June 10 2010
By Lauren Sheldon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Americans who buy the entire "season" of Top Gear need to be warned that, in typical BBC series fashion, their "season" has only a fourth of the episodes that we're used to. Why this is troubling isn't the content or the show itself, which is bloody brilliant. Even someone like me, who isn't a gear-head and can't tell an Italian sports car from a Ford Focus, can love this show and the three guys with their boyish antics. I can't get enough of it. But with a season of only 6 episodes and absolutely no other extras at all, I can't justify the price (although this season just had its price lowered by Amazon--some of the other seasons are still priced at $30, or $5 per episode. That's why I only gave it 3 stars--the show deserves 5 stars, but the price should have gotten zero.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bloody brilliant Feb. 15 2010
By D. Rhodes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This has to be the best way to watch Top Gear! Has the play all feature which is a must for TV series on DVD. The shows are so smooth compared to how they are on TV.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yay Top Gear!! April 17 2012
By The Stig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A great season of top gear!! When the Stig still got to be part of the team. I love top gear, but I miss the old days of it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Episode 5 - Jeremey Makes A Fool Of Himself Jan. 2 2012
By Daniel G. Lebryk - Published on Amazon.com
A good episode if you enjoy seeing Jeremy get his karma payback.

Jeremy screams in the Nissan GT-R around the Fuji race track. Interestingly, all Japanese cars are limited to 112mph when on the normal roads. The satellite tracking system knows the car is on a race track, and removes the speed limiter. What happens to Jeremy at the end is deserved after his nasty remarks about Keira Knightly in the previous episode (Karma is rough Jeremy). They get a copy of the car shipped to England and they drive the GT-R around the Top Gear test track, while listening to Elton John.

They break away for the news.

James drives his Rolls Royce Cornice that he got for 25,000 pounds. Jeremy drives a 1963 Mercedes 600 Grosse - or the most expensive car that year, and massive. At the test track The Stig drives a Hyundai 1.4 liter mini thing. The two monsters try to beat the time. There are several other challenges. The best is the two of them trying to park in London.

The two stars in the reasonably priced car are Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis from a British television program The Dragon's Den (apparently similar to The Shark Tank - people pitch their ideas and try to get millionaires to invest in their ideas). The interview is excellent - they really give it back to Jeremy hard.

The last challenge is a kind of goofy Daihatsu that tries to out run dogs in fox hunting. Richard rides a horse and Jeremy drives the Daihatsu through the countryside trying to evade the fox hunters with horses and dogs. I didn't car much for this one.

Nov. 11, 2012 Update: This series of reviews was published when Amazon allowed each episode to be reviewed individually. They are now lumped into a single product listing. I have added the Episode Number to the title.
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