Top Gear (series 24)

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Top Gear (series 24)
Starring
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes7
Release
Original networkBBC Two
Original release5 March (2017-03-05) – 23 April 2017 (2017-04-23)
Series chronology
← Previous
Series 23
Next →
Series 25
List of Top Gear episodes

The twenty-fourth series of Top Gear was aired during 2017 on BBC Two and consisted of seven episodes, beginning on 5 March and concluding on 23 April;[1] due to the BBC airing live coverage of the Masters Tournament on 9 April, the series took a break between the fifth and sixth episode.[2][3] Following the departure of Chris Evans as one of the show's lead hosts in series 23,[4] series 24 saw Matt LeBlanc being joined by Chris Harris and Rory Reid as his co-hosts for the show,[5] alongside The Stig, with occasional appearances by both Sabine Schmitz and Eddie Jordan. The series saw some revamping of the show's studio, logo, and opening titles, and the return of its previous celebrity format, though with some minor changes which included a faster car than those previously used on the programme.

Production[edit]

Following the mixed to negative feedback for the previous series from critics and viewers, and the resignation of Chris Evans, the show underwent a revamp, with the creation of a brand new studio, complete with new seats, a racing tyre designed table and new screens, along with a brand new logo design and opening titles. In addition, along with continuing to host BBC Three companion show, Extra Gear, the BBC decided to reassign both Chris Harris and Rory Reid as Top Gear's main hosts alongside Matt LeBlanc. In February 2017, it was confirmed that comedian George Lewis would be joining the spin-off programme as a presenter alongside Harris and Reid.[6] It was also announced that the format of the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment would return for Series 24, after the BBC dropped the controversial Star in a Rally-Cross Car segment that had replaced it due to the negative feedback it received.[7] As the previous car for the segment, the Vauxhall Astra Tech Line, had been sent back to Vauxhall and auctioned off for charity,[8] a brand new car was provided for the segment, the Toyota GT86,[9][10] leading to the segment being renamed as Star in a Reasonably Fast Car.[11]

Marketing[edit]

On 4 February 2017, BBC Two began showcasing trailers for the new series, with the caption "Top Gear: Coming Soon".[12] On 24 February, Top Gear's official Twitter page confirmed that the twenty-fourth series would premiere on 5 March 2017, broadcasting seven weekly episodes.[12]

Episodes[edit]

Total No. Title Reviews Features/challenges Guest(s) Original air date UK viewers
(millions)[13]
1851Series 24, Episode 1Ferrari FXX-KRace across Kazakhstan in three high-mileage cars: (Volvo V70Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W210)Black Cab)James McAvoy5 March 2017 (2017-03-05)3.77

LeBlanc, Harris and Reid head to Kazakhstan with three cars that have done 480,000 miles, to see which is the most reliable - Harris opts to prove reliability will come from the Volvo V70, LeBlanc believes it will come from the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W210), and Reid seeks to prove that London's famous Black Cab will outdo the other two. Starting from Turkistan, the trio have two days to make it to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, where along the way their cars will face a series of challenges to see how reliable they really are. Elsewhere, Harris heads for the Daytona International Speedway in Florida to test out the new, truly exclusive Ferrari FXX-K, while James McAvoy is the star taking on the new reasonably fast car.

Note: James McAvoy was not the first celebrity to drive the Toyota GT86; others partook in setting a lap time with it, with their footage shown on Extra Gear.
1862Series 24, Episode 2Alfa Romeo Giulia QuadrifoglioUS road trip in two convertible supercars: (Porsche 911 Turbo S CabrioletLamborghini Huracán Spyder)David Tennant12 March 2017 (2017-03-12)3.60
LeBlanc and Harris head to the US for a road trip through hot deserts and snowy mountains, to try out the latest convertible supercars on the market - the Lamborghini Huracán Spyder and the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet - where along the way, their cars will be subjected to challenges based on each season of the year. Meanwhile, Harris finds out if the Giulia Quadrifoglio can bring back the good times of classic Alfa Romeos, even if Reid insists on putting it through a tough test at the track, and David Tennant joins the hosts in the studio to see how fast he was in the GT86.
1873Series 24, Episode 3Aston Martin DB11Mercedes-AMG S63 CoupéVolkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport SAbarth 124 SpiderClubsport S: "Supercar hunting" at the NürburgringTamsin Greig19 March 2017 (2017-03-19)3.13
LeBlanc is out on the Test Track with the brand new Aston Martin DB11, the first turbocharged Aston Martin and the first DB to reach 200 mph, before heading to the Baltic mountains as "LeBond" for a race against "Dr No-Hair" Harris in his Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupé, and the local police force. Elsewhere, Reid and Sabine take to the Nürburgring in the new Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S to see if it can overtake £1 million worth of supercars, LeBlanc questions if the magic of Italian sportcars of the 60s has been revived in the Abarth 124 Spider, and Tamsin Greig copes with a wet track in the GT86.
1884Series 24, Episode 4Bugatti ChironRenault Twingo GTEpic race across Arabian Peninsula: Chiron vs. alternative "money-no-object" transportation • Twingo arcade game challengeTinie Tempah26 March 2017 (2017-03-26)3.17
Harris heads out to Dubai to find out how fast and elegant the new Bugatti Chiron is compared to its predecessor, the Veyron, before later engaging it in a race that begins in the city and finishes at a hotel resort in the mountains of Oman, with LeBlanc attempting to beat him through a variety of "money-no-object" transportation options, including a motorboat, luxury car, private jet, and the new Ducati 1299 Superleggera. Meanwhile, Rory test drives the Renault Twingo GT to find out how nimble a hatchback it is by using it in a special version of a classic arcade video game with help from Harris and Sabine, and rapper Tinie Tempah discusses about why he shot a music video in South Africa and not Dunsfold before seeing how good he was in the reasonably fast car.
1895Series 24, Episode 5Ford GTExtreme off-road buggy race on the California desertChris Hoy2 April 2017 (2017-04-02)3.27
To settle a dispute about who is the fastest racing driver on the team, Harris and Sabine head to California to compete in an extreme off-road motorsport event - "King of the Hammers". Assisted by Eddie and LeBlanc as their personal race managers, the pair take part in an eight-lap race, driving off-road buggies against veteran drivers, while contending with tough obstacles, including a difficult rock climb. Elsewhere, LeBlanc gets to be the first to drive the new Ford GT and see how much of a supercar it is on both a coastal highway and the Laguna Seca circuit, while former British Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy discusses his new life as a racing driver, before seeing if he is the fastest around the track in the GT86.
1906Series 24, Episode 6Mercedes-AMG GT RRoad trip across Cuba with second-hand sports cars: (Maserati BiturboChevrolet Camaro)Ross Noble16 April 2017 (2017-04-16)2.40

Harris and Reid head to Cuba to kickstart a new revolution with some second-hand, western sportcars, hoping to show the country's inhabitants that there are better models than the American classics they've relied upon since the 60s - Harris believes his Maserati Biturbo will inspire the people, while Reid hopes his Chevrolet Camaro will turn heads. Taking them on a road trip across the island nation from the Bay of Pigs to Havana, the pair put them through their paces, including a series of racing challenges against the local competition. Meanwhile, LeBlanc gets to grips with a contender for his favorite Porsche, by heading to the track in the new Mercedes-AMG GT R and seeing how it fares, while comedian Ross Noble is the latest star to have a go in the GT86.

Note: Ross Noble was not the intended guest, as it had been planned for David Schwimmer to appear in this episode. Noble was called in to replace Schwimmer after he was forced to pull out due to complications in his private life.[14]
1917Series 24, Episode 7Porsche 718 Cayman SAvtoros ShamanTurning a SsangYong Rodius into a luxury yachtJay Kay23 April 2017 (2017-04-23)2.69

Harris heads to the track, where he finds issues in the new Porsche 718 Cayman S, despite it being faster and nice to drive than the previous Cayman S. Meanwhile, LeBlanc heads out to the countryside to try out the extraordinary Avtoros Shaman, an 8x8 rescue vehicle from Russia; Reid attempts to see if an ugly SsangYong Rodius can be transformed into a luxury yacht, including putting his creation to the open waters with help from Harris and LeBlanc and showing off their creation to Eddie; and Jay Kay talks about his car collection, his new album, and how well he did when he drove in the reasonably fast car.

Note: Jay Kay was not planned to be the guest for this episode, but due to the previous episode's guest pulling out, he was called in as a replacement for this episode.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Top Gear' returns to BBC Two on 5th March". USwitch. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  2. ^ Georgina Littlejohn (7 April 2017). "Why isn't Top Gear on BBC Two this week, when is it back and who are the new presenters with Matt LeBlanc?". The Sun. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Top Gear TV returns to BBC Two 16 April". TopGear.com. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  4. ^ "BBC – Chris Evans to step down as Top Gear presenter". bbc.co.uk. 4 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Top Gear: Matt LeBlanc signs two-series deal - BBC News". BBC News Online. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Top Gear - Media Centre". BBC. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Top Gear Returns March 12th Without That Silly Star In A Rallycross Car Segment (Update)". Jalopnik.com. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Top Gear 'Reasonably Priced Car' auctioned for charity". The Daily Telegraph. 27 December 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  9. ^ http://jalopnik.com/top-gear-returns-next-month-without-that-silly-star-in-1792337899
  10. ^ "Is This Top Gear's 'Reasonably Priced' Toyota GT86?". CarScoops. 1 March 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  11. ^ Dan Elsom (10 March 2017). "Top Gear promises to 'cause havoc' as Reasonably Priced Car undergoes extreme transformation". The Sun. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  12. ^ a b Alice Vincent Press Association (14 February 2017). "'RIP Top Gear': new series trailer divides fans after yet another shake-up of presenting team". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.
  14. ^ a b "David Schwimmer pulls out after marriage problems". The Daily Telegraph. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.