Top Gear (series 10)

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Top Gear (series 10)
Top Gear Series 10 Promo 2007.jpg
Promotional poster
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 10
Release
Original network BBC Two
Original release 7 October (2007-10-07) – 23 December 2007 (2007-12-23)
Series chronology
← Previous
Series 9
Next →
Series 11
List of Top Gear episodes

The tenth series of Top Gear was aired during 2007 and consisted of 10 episodes, beginning on 7 October and concluding on 23 December. It was subsequently followed by four "Best Of Top Gear" specials during January 2008, and a Sport Relief special entitled "Top Ground Gear Force" that aired on 14 March 2008.

Burnt props stunt[edit]

During the premiere episode of the series, the presenters of Top Gear claimed that, between the filming of the ninth and tenth series, rival motoring magazine show Fifth Gear had broken into their premises and burnt down all their props. Prior to the episode being aired, a fire occurred on 12 August 2007 at Hill End Farm, destroying a barn being used as a storage facility for Top Gear props.[1] This was evidently shown to be the case on the episode, as the Cool Wall and all the cars' photos for it had been destroyed, while the car seats the hosts used on the centre stage for the 'News' segments and for interviewing the celebrities during the 'Star in a Reasonably Priced Car' segments on the centre stage of the studio, along with the flat screen monitor, had been replaced with wingback chairs and an old TV. It was later revealed that the incident had been a publicity stunt dreamt up between Clarkson and Vicki Butler-Henderson, who were old friends.

Episodes[edit]

Total No. Title Reviews Features Guest Original air date UK viewers
(million)[2]
92 1 Series 10, Episode 1 Volkswagen Golf GTI W12 Road trip to find the greatest driving road in the world: (Porsche 911 GT3 RSLamborghini Gallardo SuperleggeraAston Martin V8 Vantage N24) Dame Helen Mirren 7 October 2007 (2007-10-07) 6.27
The presenters go on a motoring holiday in Mainland Europe during the Summer, each taking a light-weight supercar with them through Italy and Switzerland, on their search to find the best driving road in the world. Hammond believes he will enjoy it in the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Clarkson tries to enjoy it the fuel guzzling Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, and May struggles to enjoy it in a truly stripped out (and very uncomfortable) Aston Martin V8 Vantage N24. Meanwhile, Clarkson sees what the rushed construction of the Volkswagen Golf GTI W12 Concept has produced, and Dame Helen Mirren takes to the track in the Lacetti...
93 2 Series 10, Episode 2 Audi R8Porsche 911 Carrera S Amphibious Cars Challenge II Jools Holland 14 October 2007 (2007-10-14) 5.53
The presenters find themselves working with amphibious vehicles once again, this time improving on their original designs that they used at Rudyard Lake - May re-uses his original 1962 Triumph Herald sailboat, updated with a collapsible mast and a centreboard keel, Hammond creates another houseboat out of a second 1981 Volkswagen Transporter, now complete with a fibreglass hull and sealant, while Clarkson creates a new powerboat out of a 1996 Nissan pick-up, and uses his mistakes from before to improve the design with two lightweight buoyancy "oildrums". However, the challenge this time is to see if they can use them to cross the English Channel from Dover to France, where they will encounter the busiest shipping lane in the world and choppy waters, amongst other issues. Elsewhere, Clarkson reviews Audi's first supercar, the Audi R8, before competing in a drag race when Hammond arrives with a Porsche 997 Carrera S, while Jools Holland sees if he can make lap time music in the Lacetti...
94 3 Series 10, Episode 3 Ferrari 599 GTB FioranoFerrari 275 GTSRolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé Bugatti Veyron vs Eurofighter Typhoon race • Peel P50 around the BBC officeLexus LS600 Auto-Parking System Ronnie WoodFiona BruceDermot MurnaghanJohn Humphrys 28 October 2007 (2007-10-28) 6.73
There's a host of cars on Top Gear, as Hammond tests out the auto-parking system in the Lexus LS600 before racing the Bugatti Veyron against a Eurofighter Typhoon, while May finds his favourite car of the year in the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé. Elsewhere, Clarkson is finding out how fast and exciting the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is, before squeezing into the world's smallest car (back then), made by the Isle of Man, the Peel P50, and taking it for a drive inside BBC Television Centre, while Rolling Stones' legend, Ronnie Wood, sees if he can be fast in the reasonably priced car...
95 4 (SP) Series 10, Episode 4 N/A Botswana Special N/A 4 November 2007 (2007-11-04) 6.84

The presenters are on another road trip, this time travelling across Botswana and the spine of Africa, to prove to the people of Surrey, in three used cars bought within the continent on a budget of £1,500, that they don't need four-wheel drive cars to drive up leafy lanes.[3] May, being sensible, chooses a 1985 Mercedes-Benz 230E, a car favoured and loved by Africans (at the time), while Clarkson decides on a 1981 Lancia Beta Coupe because of Lancia's history with rally racing, and Hammond buys a 1963 Opel Kadett which he slowly falls in love with. On their journey from Botswana's border with Zimbabwe to its northern border with Namibia, the presenters face a series of challenges, including getting across the Makgadikgadi Pan by stripping and lightening their cars, seeing how fast each is on a specially made rally circuit, forging a path over the Kalahari to reach Maun for fuel, and animal-proofing their cars before they cross the Okavango Delta, all while being hunted down by a Volkswagen Beetle, a car that all three hate and which is to be their back-up should any presenter's car fail to start, which proves a worry for Clarkson...

Note: In homage to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1984, the show's credits replaced each crew member's first name replaced with the words "Archbishop Desmond" (e.g. "Archbishop Desmond Clarkson", "Archbishop Desmond Hammond", "Archbishop Desmond May").
96 5 Series 10, Episode 5 Caparo T1Aston Martin V8 Vantage RoadsterMercedes-Benz GL 500 London race Simon Cowell 11 November 2007 (2007-11-11) 7.74
There's a big race across London, as the presenters see which is the quickest way to get across the city towards London City Airport - May is supporting the car with the Mercedes-Benz GL 500, Hammond produces a sweat as he pedals a specialized Sirrus Limited carbon fibre bicycle, Clarkson takes to the Thames in a Cougar powerboat, and The Stig is mystified by a new world as he tries to win with public transport. Meanwhile, Hammond sees if the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster can win a straight half-mile drag race against a German on roller skates with a 300 hp (220 kW) turbo powered rocket backpack, Clarkson braces himself with extra safety precautions on the track as he climbs in to the Caparo T1, and Simon Cowell returns to see how fast he can be when he has a go in the Lacetti...
97 6 Series 10, Episode 6 Honda Civic Type RMercedes-Benz E63 AMG EstateBMW M5 TouringAlfa Romeo 159 Motorhome racing • Alfa Romeo 159 vs. tall man across the Humber estuary Lawrence Dallaglio 18 November 2007 (2007-11-18) 7.24
Hammond has come up with a new, wildly destructive motorspot - "motorhome racing". With a selection of motorhomes driven by himself, some touring car drivers and James May, the race is on at the Essex Raceway to see which will come in a winner. Meanwhile, May is losing money with the 'Top Gear Italian Car Road Test Cliché Swear Box', as he races against Graham Boanas in a Alfa Romeo 159 to see who can get across the Humber River without using the Humber Bridge. Clarkson looks over the third Generation Honda Civic Type R and takes a look at the similarities between the BMW M5 Touring and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate. There's a look at a super-sized new German motorhome called "The Performance" with a "piece-de-resistance" - a car in its cargo space - and very luxurious interiors, and English international rugby star, Lawrence Dallaglio, seeks to post a fast time with the reasonably priced car...
98 7 Series 10, Episode 7 Aston Martin DBS £1200 British Leyland cheap-car challenge: (Rover SD1Triumph Dolomite SprintAustin Princess) Jennifer Saunders 25 November 2007 (2007-11-25) 6.86
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of British Leyland, the team find themselves buying a Leyland car with a budget of £1,200 of their own money, and trying to see whether Leyland made a good car. Clarkson thinks it will be his Rover SD1, Hammond believe his Triumph Dolomite Sprint will do it, and May tries to prove that his Princess is the best. In a series of challenges designed to prove their cars are useless, as well as giving them opportunities to recuperate the money they've spent, the team first visit the former factories the cars were built in, before visiting the MIRA, where they see if their cars can be faster than a Datsun 120Y, can park on a steep hill with the handbrake on, and get messy as they test ride comfort. Then as a final challenge, the boys return to the Top Gear Test Track to drive underwater in their cars, to find out how well built they are and how fast they can be around the track, with one car outshining the lot. Elsewhere, Clarkson reviews the Aston Martin DBS, and Jennifer Saunders looks to see if she can top the leaderboard when she takes a lap in the Lacetti...
99 8 Series 10, Episode 8 Vauxhall VXR8 Renault R25 Formula One Car • Automobile history investigation • GPS satellite self-controlled BMW 330i James BluntLewis Hamilton 2 December 2007 (2007-12-02) 8.35
Clarkson and May drive around in some very old cars, as they look back at the complex layouts they had before finding the first car that had the control layout that would be a staple in all cars right up to the present. Meanwhile, Hammond attempts to see if he can drive two laps around Stowe Circuit at Silverstone in the Renault R25 Formula One car and discovers just how tough it is, while Clarkson looks over a barn-door engineered Australian car, the Vauxhall VXR8 (a rebadged HSV Clubsport R8), and steps into a driver-less BMW to supervise as he sees if it can do a lap of the track. Finally, James Blunt is the latest star in the Lacetti as he takes on a wet track, while Lewis Hamilton proves how good an F1 driver he is as he takes the Liana around a wet and oily track...
100 9 Series 10, Episode 9 Daihatsu MateriaAscari A10Fiat 500 Britcar 24 Hour Endurance Race • Race: Fiat 500 vs. BMX riders through Budapest Keith Allen 9 December 2007 (2007-12-09) 7.38
The bio-fuel crop has been harvested, but the presenters discover they've got 500 gallons worth of bio-diesel thanks to May buying the wrong seed. To dispose of it, they decide to enter the Britcar 24 hour endurance race at Silverstone Circuit, despite not being experienced with racing, all while using a modified BMW 330d that Hammond and Clarkson worked on. With help from The Stig, the boys find out just how tough an endurance race is as they deal with mechanical problems, trouble with qualifying, tiredness, and an accident that could spell curtains on them making it to the end. Meanwhile, May is in Budapest in the new Fiat 500 to see if he can win a race with some youths on BMX bikes, while Clarkson is told not to test any more supercars for the rest of the series. so sees how the Daihatsu Materia hatchback is by comparing it to a "close" rival - the new Ascari A10. Finally, Keith Allen faces the wettest day on record (according to the Stig) when he took to the track in the Lacetti...
101 10 Series 10, Episode 10 Jaguar XF German Performance Saloon cars: (BMW M3Mercedes-Benz C63 AMGAudi RS4) • Top Gear Awards 2007 David Tennant 23 December 2007 (2007-12-23) 7.15

Clarkson, May and Hammond are at the Stig's favourite holiday resort - the Ascari Race Resort in Ronda, Spain - with three cars to see which is the best of them. Hammond believes it's the new BMW M3, Clarkson thinks it's the powerful Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, and May attempts to prove it's the very good Audi RS4. It's not long before they test their choices in different aspects before having a go in each other's car. Elsewhere, May tries out the new Jaguar XF designed by Ian Callum, Hammond sees if a G-Wiz would be better as a remote controlled car, the 2007 Top Gear Awards are announced, and the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, complains about Billie Piper's lap before seeing if he is faster than her in the Lacetti...

Note: A parody of the 'Star in a Reasonably Priced Car' segment from this episode was made, in which Clarkson was commenting about Tennant's driving of the TARDIS. The parody used Clarkson's commentary of Tennant's lap, alongside footage from Tennant's episodes in Doctor Who when his Doctor was using the TARDIS.

Best-of episodes[edit]

Total No. Title Feature Original air date
102 CE-1 The Best of Top Gear: 2007 #1 Best Moments from Series 10 - Part 1 1 January 2008 (2008-01-01)
A look back at some of the best moments from Series 10, including the search for the World's greatest driving road...
103 CE-2 The Best of Top Gear: 2007 #2 Best Moments from Series 10 - Part 2 6 January 2008 (2008-01-06)
A second look back at some of the best moments from Series 10, including the race between the Bugatti Veyron and the Eurofighter jet...
104 CE-3 The Best of Top Gear: 2007 #3 Best Moments from Series 10 - Part 3 13 January 2008 (2008-01-13)
A third look back at the best moments from Series 10, including the trio's attempt to cross to France with their improved amphibious cars, and Clarkson's drive in the Peel P50...
105 CE-4 The Best of Top Gear: 2007 #4 Best Moments from Series 10 - Part 4 27 January 2008 (2008-01-27)
A fourth look back to the best moments from Series 10, including the presenters' race across London...

Spin-off special[edit]

Title Guest Original air date
Top Ground Gear Force Sir Steve Redgrave 14 March 2008 (2008-03-14)
In this special edition for Sport Relief, the trio take on a special challenge - to see if they can re-design Sir Steve Redgrave's garden. But like their motto says, their plan is ambitious, but ultimately rubbish, as they make a complete mess of things...

Criticism and controversy[edit]

Botswana Special: Makgadikgadi Pan Crossing[edit]

Following the broadcast of the Botswana Special, the BBC received heavy criticism from the Environmental Investigation Agency and conservationists in regards to a section of the episode, in which the presenters were tasked with driving their used cars across the Makgadikgadi Pan in Botswana. A spokesperson from the agency criticised Top Gear being allowed to film in environmentally sensitive salt pans, with an accusation made by conservationists that they had left "scars across the Makgadikgadi salt pans by driving vehicles across them". In response to the criticism, the BBC denied that they hadn't done this, stating that they had followed the advice of environmental experts and had not filmed anywhere near to any conservation area on the salt pans.[4]

References[edit]