Top Gear 11
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Top Gear 11 (DVD)
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.