Top critical review
Top Gear, Series 15 - Censorship, heavy-handed editing
on February 26, 2013
To allay all fears of being a hater of Top Gear: the opposite is true. The star rating is not for Top Gear, the show, or its creators, presenters, &c.
Love the show, despise this region 1 butchered release. (Which should come with a little hatchet, a chopping block, and discs printed on the face as if held together with clumsy, coarse stitching in the North American version editor's hand -- who gave up a job as a Dark Ages gravedigger and undertaker, and was a close relative of Frankenstein's pet monster. Fact.)
The title above says the gist of this comment, and it's true. Peeved and grumbling, so the following could turn from buyer beware warning to something of a rant in spite of best intentions.
The sort of editing done on these discs might impress even the fathers of communism (or fascism -- same difference), and make them proud. It really is the work of miserable twits, hacks with hatchets for arms and blunt nose-diggers for fingers, there's no nicer way of putting it. (There is, of course, but I don't care to bother with it at the moment.) Paying premium prices just to be able to view the odd episode here in a region-compliant player at your leisure -- and in its fullest possible version -- you might naturally assume, even EXPECT, to see MORE content, *NOT* LESS.
Well, make no mistake about it, though, and kiss your notions of full content goodbye (as I have), hapless North American viewer: LESS is *precisely* what you'll get as thanks for your interest and support, for your cash.
For whatever reason -- to protect your sensitive... sensitivities (oh, bother), or your fragile mental health, your innocence (?), or perhaps in order to save the earth by committing less than full content to disc... Or simply to screw you (and me, and everyone who happens to be in 'Region 1' at the moment and fancies a bit of unadulterated Top Gear)?!...
Well, for whatever reason (honestly, I don't know why) these discs are MASSIVELY mangled. Huge edits (not 5, 10 seconds of beeping or 'averted camera'), censorship galore -- a mocking, cackling (or maybe indifferent) smack in our face for giving them our money and support here, for these Region 1 versions.
Somewhat relieved I'm not the first to have noticed -- see D. MAROIS' comment below about no less than 17 minutes sliced and tossed from just one smallish portion of just one episode (I've so far managed to miss the original, and all subsequent, BBC home-turf airings of that Cruise-Diaz episode; not particularly interested, true, although could be possibly entertaining if Clarkson got his way), mentioned by that fellow reviewer, with a censorship (massive editing) warning.
I did see the slightly earlier Andy Garcia interview of this same series 15, as aired (free), and having just watched the version recorded to disc (paid-for), I believe him if he says 17 minutes of the interview alone were cut (who knows what else).
Most of Andy Garcia's exchange with Clarkson, along with footage from his latest film, was cut between two ham-fisted chops, resulting in a jump to the host's concluding words and interview wrap-up, and switching to the guest's customary lap round the TG home track.
After this, all BBC America and BBC Canada television content, without exception, is suspect in my eyes, and won't bother subscribing to any of it. Potentially censored, mangled programmes, regardless whether they interrupt them here to insert adverts (chopping another 10-20 minutes out of each 60-minute episode). Certainly, there was no call for it in this case, there can be no excuse for it (however apologetic or sugar-coated), no time-constraint due to commercial considerations.
What's more, after this experience, with the evidence staring me in the face, everything released on 'Region 1' discs is now suspect, likely truncated rubbish (offered at a premium price more often than not). I've already heard of, and read about other such instances of blatant buggery (the Monty Python set, among others), but now I've seen it, and know.
As a result, I'll be reluctant buying. No use paying premium for leftovers in a doggy bag, someone's leavings, slashed-and-mashed content, a chewed-off bone some content-dictator and their halfwit editors sunk their bloody fangs in already before tossing it our way. Fact.
Looked at the screen shaking my head -- bought all these discs to view the show in Region 1 currently, only to get less than others get at home watching already hand-holding and politically fretful Auntie/free BBC?... Bloody Nora... (May is fond of that one, wonder they didn't beep it all throughout. I suppose blood and horror is 'A-OK' and... cute? Heh, that's right, nearly forgot: round here a nipple frightens networks witless, 'bloody Nora' gets syndicated without much fuss.)
*Caveat emptor* -- buyer beware and all that. You've been warned, advised, informed, depending on how significant you think censorship (or being short-changed, cheated out of content you paid for) may be for you.
Well, live and learn. (And mind you don't get stuffed twice in the same alley if you can avoid it.)