Series 22 and the future of Top Gear

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You may have had a mild heart attack when you read our ‘Top-Gear’s-getting-cancelled-april-fools’ post earlier this month, but to be honest it was your fault for being on the internet during April Fools day anyway. Happily, we can report that Top Gear has not been cancelled and we can indeed expect there to be at Series 22 on the way soon. But when might we expect it?

If history repeats itself, Top Gear Series 22 could be gracing our screens as early as July – but you wouldn’t catch us betting on that. You see, July isn’t all that far away and we’re yet to receive any reports of the Top Gear crew out and about filming new segments. In fact, Jeremy Clarkson is currently on holiday in Barbados. Not looking too good is it? At this stage, a safer bet may be a suggested start date of December 2014 – but we’ll certainly keep you updated if we hear of anything happening.

But the even bigger question is just how long can Top Gear keep going? Despite the massive popularity of the show, it appears that the majority of viewers believe the current format, which has remained unchanged for the past 11 years, is starting to get a little bit tired. Scripted ‘accidents’, staged explosions, everything going wrong, jokes about Germans and the war, Stars in Reasonably Priced Cars only there to promote their new movies.. even the audience can be seen straight faced in the background when the audio would have you believe they’re all laughing their arses off.

Late last year Andy Wilman, executive producer of the series, admitted that much of the show was “aimed at people with a mental age of nine”, but insisted that the show appealed to the childish element in all of us. He told Radio Times: “Most TV shows that have been going for as long as ours refresh themselves by forcibly injecting new elements into the format, but on Top Gear we keep ourselves young by ageing. You’re watching an organic journey of those three going through their motoring lives.

“If you’re actually nine, you need something to watch that isn’t a computer screen, and if you’re 29, 39 or 59, part of your brain will most likely still have a mental age of nine, and that part struggles to get nourishment. Modern life for adults is, after all, bloody hard.” Over the years, Clarkson’s hair has greyed and he now needs glasses to read on set, Mr Willman explained. “I also like the way they bicker more as age makes each other’s foibles that little bit more irritating,” he added.

In the end, age may turn out to be most important factor in how long the show can last. It is questionable as to whether Top Gear could survive if one of the presenters decided to move on to something new, or indeed retire.

One way or another, we’re looking forward to finding out what the team have in store for us. What do you hope to see in Top Gear Series 22?

EDIT 11/05/2014 – Those looking for Series 22 spoilers can find them here.

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93 COMMENTS

  1. They can’t stop making Top Gear before showing us the rumoured Porsche 918 vs Mclaren P1 power lap…and without testing the Nissan GT-R Nismo!

  2. May I just say, TopGearbox, I’m really impressed and very much like your posts, well written, witty and to-the-point. Do you write all of that yourself(apart from the quotes obviously)?
    Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the 3 giant hypercar race that they promised, can’t wait for Jeremy to be called Jennifer (even though I’m cheering for the P1 to win). And also would quite like to see the three go back to building stuff. I liked the HoverVan, but I more enjoyed the stuff that look like you can build it in your shed.

  3. I recall mr wilman saying after I think series 12 or 13 that topgear is closer to the end and further from the beginning , so possibly finish by series 24 who knows

  4. I’m from Brazil and have watched all series of Top Gear UK, when they stop making it I’ll definitely cry like a baby

  5. I started watching top gear series from 2013. I became addict to it. I am eagerly waiting for 22nd series and keep doing this.. There are lot more waiting for this.

  6. Hi, someone I know saw the top gear trio in Cirencester, UK yesterday (09/05/14) driving 3 classic cars with a range rover filming them. So hopefully it may be near to July when the series will be broadcast. Whether or not this is the first, or the last of filming.

    • Hi Stephen, thanks for the update (tip-off)! Its heartening to know that Top Gear will be returning soon with fresh new episodes. Can hardly wait for July 🙂

  7. Saw them today up at castle Combe for japfest, like the comment above they had three classic cars all convertible, Jeremy had a fiat, James had a peugeot and Hammond a MG, got them all on a dyno.

  8. You guys cant cancel Top Gear! I mean, its the only show in BBC without biased propaganda 😛 and the Only good show/thing left in the once “Great Britain” now just a small island beside Europe, Just imagine what would Britain be without Top Gear! They’d be back living in the stone ages. More people know Jeremy, Richard and James than they know the Buckingham family! Waiting for Season 22, and here’s to the producers of Top Gear, “if ya think driving in Myanmar was tough come down to Bangladesh for once” i can bet u guys gonna shit in ya pants.

    • Im from portugal and i see top gear on discovery channel and when they told me that top gear was going to be canceled i thought: what will my life be now, because i saw it every day

  9. top gear is awesome but series 21 was 7 episodes long ?????? csi , big bang theory, criminal minds , shit even spongebob … makes 20 per season….. we like the show us fans who were there in your sad series one … give us more to watch … please … im sure the bank balance ( hosts pay packet ) is worthy of at least 15 shows per season for the fans that keep ya show going ??? said with respect 🙂

  10. Don’t ever try to stop Top Gear. It doesn’t matter if everything is a set up I don’t care, I don’t careeeeeeee. These 3 guys are the best and don’t ever try to think of getting them off the screen. As long as they can do it, let them do it. I love Top Gear and I live for TOP GEAR. If they stop doing this, im telling you the world will be at great loss. Call me 9 year child but I enjoy every second of Top Gear, I have all the episodes and I have watched them all maybe more then 1000 times. I sleep with them, I eat with them, my phone ring is Top Gear theme. TOP GEAR forever

  11. Just keep it as crazy as it is today. I am an American (those from the colony) and I just dislike everything has to be so ‘Politically correct’ nowadays. it’s sad. Even personal comment off public at home could be used for losing a NBA team for a billionare.
    Just keep the show as is.

  12. I am from Nepal and I am a massive Top Gear fan.I only know of about 3 people who like the show here in my country. I love every single bit of it. I have watched all the seasons of the show and love it. I specially love the presenters. They have that funny British humor and are intelligent. It isn’t like other stupid shows on T.V just for the sake of earning money.
    I wish this show will go on till possible and I will never fall out of love with the show.

  13. Top Gear is one of the funniest shows to watch. Watching these three old men interact makes it a better show. I’m an American and it’s a hundred times better than the US version. Would really hate for this show to end.

  14. Two things. Firstly, my guess is the show will start to die as the people who make it become less passionate about it. It seems like when the makers start to get board, it really shows in the show and things start to fall apart.

    Secondly, and minorly, I wouldn’t worry to much about the straight faces in the background, that’s just confirmation bias. Having watched every episode since series 4 at least 10 times now, I can tell you that most of the time people in the background are not laughing, maybe giggling, not laughing. A large part of that is simply how shows are made. Jokes just don’t seem as funny on the 9th take as on the 1st or 2nd.

  15. I like the TopGear format from 2002, 2003 and 2004 series, i miss them… In that time TopGear was a car show, and now is just a show. They have to look back a bit more…

  16. It took me 10 years to find Top Gear, starting by watching the India Special on HULU. Now that I have found it and caught up… I love this show. I may have that mind of a 9 year old (Please no UK jokes – he’s American..haha), but really who does not? And to be honest, those are the minds also of most of my friends.
    The fact is we all need a break from life. With the treats to the world, acts of violence, acts of insanity we are bombarded with daily on the news… why should we not expect some good’ol fashion fun on TV.
    If BBC executives have any Sense (I believe they do, certainly they would not try to change the format of this show. Who cares it the autos are outside of everyone’s, except the hosts, budget. We love to watch our favorite ‘buffoons’ do exactly what we would love to do with them… drive fast, have fun and become buffoons ourselves.

  17. Have been a fan since series 1 . Kind of agree with Shayne, even though the hosts did say once that BBC gives them very little budget to work with. But honestly, we love you guys, please keep doing it. If you have to make each series with less episode, do so, but be more frequent. We love your show. This show alone has got me past my lonely days as an international student in Canada. Much love!

    • I love Top Gear and only hope that the BBC continue to make it. There is so much crap on tv today and just to watch Jeremy, James and Richard having a go at each other brings a smile to my face. I have been a big fan of Top Gear for a long time now and believe that if it is cancelled again then we as a whole would lose a gem of tv programming. Keep it up beeb.

  18. this is such a good show but it wont go on expect another 9 series until the 30th series then they will finish, they are all getting on there starting to get old look at the first episode then look at the last you will see how long this show has been going

  19. I do not want to hear anything of discontinuing Top Gear. It is very entertaining. I live in South Africa and many people view this program. The series could do with some improvements here and there but cary on as long as possible.

    Regards

  20. Been watching Top Gear since the 80’s when Mr. Clarkson was a young man. Still watch it to this day. Please don’t cancel but I can understand ones intentions t finally retire and enjoy other things in life or move onto other things. Either way over 25 years of Mr. Clarkson and still haven’t had enough.

    Good show, jolly good show.

  21. As an American citizen, I will readily admit to being embarrassed by the 2-dimesnional, unfunny idiots they picked to host the American version of Top Gear. The original British version is not only the best car related show ever made, it is one of the best television shows ever made. The simple fact is we all watch the show to see three pals (mates for you brits) experience life together. Sure some of it is staged (still funny) and there is not always a lot of car reviewing going on, but it doesn’t matter. We’re watching to see Jezza, the Hamster and Cpt Slow go through some life experience together. It’s a buddy film that keeps going as the three main characters age along with us. Some of us silly Americans actually (secretly) refer to these guys as our “British friends”. It’s just that cool.

    • Can not agree more… But what really binds me up is the fact they FAKE everything. In season 2 for example they cross a lake with modifications they make (yea…?? These guys could not tighten a bolt)but what they hid is the flotation devices under every Van…
      Add to that the cursing to make them sound real?? or perhaps add realism?? .. “Mother Fucker” “Fuck” … BUT they actually BLURRED out one of them shooting a Bird????
      The presenter are 3 of the worst choices for the series… non are likable or have the character of the British version…
      Sorry Top Gear American, the British simply are better!!!

  22. As an actual car enthusiast, and not just someone looking to be entertained, I think the only thing that threatens top gear’s longevity is the fact that its not a true car show. 5th gear is too technical and boring, but top gear has gotten too far away from actual car testing. These episodes of buying old trucks and driving around Africa in them are ridiculous, and frankly I don’t even enjoy watching those types of episodes. Top gear should continue forever, and the only way that can happen is if Top Gear goes back to being a somewhat actual car show, and not just three guys acting dumb. When I watch a season of a top gear, and see that there’s really amazing cars out there that weren’t driven on the show because they’re too busy wasting time and money trying to raft an old subaru across a river, that’s the whole problem right there.

    • Agreed Jon it’s not a “True” car show… I am really glad it is not… as you mention 5th gear is to boring and technical. This is exactly what a true car show becomes…. un-entertaining! It is said that Top Gear is aimed at a 9 year old mentality. In this world of computer graphic and serious performers, this show is a refreshing break and chance to live out the child in all of us…. I really hope they maintain their idiocy and stunts. 😉

  23. Would love to see a head to head of the “Cheap” VW sports cars of the 70’s… a Karmann Ghia and A VW/Porsche 914…

    My girlfriend had the Karmann Ghia and I had a ’72 914 and would really like this old rivalry finally resolved….

  24. I will watch them even if they get so old the only thing they can review is their walkers and wheelchairs.

    never in the history of television has there been or will there ever be a better TV show.

  25. It is just good entertainment,if you want to know your cars buy the magazine or ones like Auto,Motor und Sport.Keep on going with this ridiculous good show.

  26. Dear Top Gear,

    After watching series one ‘BangHer’ I mean Banshee on skyfrantic, as I started to watch episode 1 of series 2 I noticed in the opening sketches ‘the Stig’! Is the “Stig” doing some moonlighting?

    Darren Crutchley.

    Devon.

  27. It is the people that make this show. USA and Australia tried to emulate the recipe – but the people just did not work. The way they rib each other and let the inner 9 year old shine. We all wish we could do the the same… thats why anyone (whether they are a car buff or not) cannot help but love the show. Ideas for the future? Do the Dakar rally with Prince Harry and the Stig along to help…..HRH Harry would be up for it! Love to see a showdown between him Stiggles. Jezza, Cpt. Slow and Hamster…. hats off to you gents!

  28. Other ideas:
    Do some visits to some of the makers of these fabulous cars. Everyone would love to see what goes into designing and manufacturing some of these dream machines. Their test tracks, etc
    Snow mobile adventure in Sweden. Breakdowns are punnished with having to drive an old Ockelbo 300 (look it up… ugly!).
    Work more to promote alternative energy cars. May would love this stuff!
    Road trip in Australia Perth to Sydney in old holden/ford Utes (pick-up truck in USA vernacular)…. Scenery like no-where else on earth. Stop off in Adelaide to show Holden, Ford and Toyota before they are gone. Head north to the Finke river rally race near Alice Springs – June.. then to Mt Panarama in Bathurst – October… 1000km endurance touring car race. You would have to fudge the time line…. but thats cool.

  29. They can’t stop it. While companies keep making cars and while practically the whole world uses tham every day, the show will NEVER lose interest! I believe it must be the currently most watched TV show in the world, maybe ever (well, up there with baywatch, anyway… LOL)

    The formula may change a little to adapt to the current times, but the presenters HAVE TO BE these three, period! No one else can do what they do. It’s been proven again and again in many countries. They ARE Top Gear. And as long as they have the will to go on, I think it has to go on, ’cause all of us are sure to watch it! 🙂

  30. I really hope they keep making Top Gear. what else would I have to watch if they didn’t? plz we want series 22 !!!

  31. Is there a chance that we will see a return to an autumn series of Top Gear, something they haven’t done since 2009. They said it was due to the X Factor & Strictly being on Sun nights that caused them to ditch the autumn series. Now X Factor is dying in the ratings, Top Gear should be back. Also it would be great if their “Christmas Special” was actually aired over Christmas this year. Joke has become annoying now.

  32. Cant wait for top gear to return to our screen’s sundays ant sundays with out top gear on, hope series 22 will be on soon

  33. I would love a come back of series 22 🙂 Because in the last series I yet to recall that James May added that he wanted A show down between the Mclaren P1 and the Porche 918 🙂 So i would like to see that in series 22. Top gear has been going on for years and years and yet i am still not bored of it. I absolutely enjoy every single episode or series they bring out and each of them have been very different :). I hope that series 22 will start with a bang to a whole new range on fast and exciting cars 🙂

  34. I saw a car on Jay Leno’s Garage called an ICON Derelict – a heap of a 1950 DeSoto station wagon with modern equipment and phenomenal performance – The Top Gear Team could be given a few quid, sent out to buy old heaps and turn them into something similar that won’t cost £100,000! Just a thought…

  35. I love this show and i feel a personal connection with all three of them,and i would love to see the 50th anniversary all new mustang on the show, i actually think they should just devote an entire episode to the history of the mustang and all about the brand new 6th gen ones.

  36. I Love Top Gear And May , Clarkson & Hammond And I Seriously Hope That
    It Never Gets Cancelled And Neither Any Of The Present Presenters Ever
    Leave Because Then It Would Not Be The Same..

  37. I came across these posts whilst trying to find out when series 22 is going to be on. The thought of top gear stopping should be punishable by death, it would be a horrific moment like the concord being took out of service. Everyone i know loves top gear and we yearn to watch. Especially the “specials”. Top gear has everything every other show doesnt have, class, is factual, interesting and comical all in one. Keep up the hard work and we cant wait to start watching again.

  38. top gear rulz ….. Jezza , hampster , captain slow you guy’s are the shit ….and yes i’m 9 yrs old … but you know what we aren’t supposed to grow up i get a kick out of all the episodes cause it’s fun …. don’t ever stop cause then men will have nothing to watch …..

  39. If they cancel the only good thing on TV and still make things like xfactor and big brother, bgt and all that shit then people need their head clanging together!

  40. Thanks for this… I really thought it was gone for good ’till i read this. It is the only seriously entertaining motoring show I’ve ever seen, i’ve seen others but they either lack the details and info on the cars they test or the fun and wit in their remarks, but by far the most catching feature the show holds is the passion with wich it’s not only hosted, but made, every film is beautifully detailed and remarkably finished… cheers.

    p.d. imagine you thought you heard Mr Slowly say “Oh cocck” for the last time… that’s how sad I was… Thanks again

  41. Well over the top at times but definitely worth it’s share of my TV licence fee! Excellent overall.
    Please please try to get Sabine Schmitz for a season on the show and let her race the STIG every week as Needell and Plato do on 5th Gear.

  42. I fucking love this show and even tho I can watch favourite episodes on Dave I think personally it’s not on enough I no it takes time to make a series but that’s that enough said

  43. you know what i would like to see in season 22?
    well, i’m Egyptian and i might be the biggest fan of Top Gear UK in Egypt .
    since i saw the polar special and i’m thinking , well,, wishing , that top gear can make an Egypt special Episode , actually Egypt special can be so much fun cuz there is too many great places you could find in Egypt that will work as great as any of the top gear specials .
    i don’t know if these words of mine will reach the top gear UK or not , but i really wish they consider coming to Egypt, people here will love them and they will have such a great Episode , Egypt special can at least be 2 episodes if not 3 , cuz there is so many things to cover and do while in Egypt.
    so please guys , vote up for me if you would like to see that and i really wish my words can reach them and to consider doing the top gear Egypt one day.
    Cheers ,
    Muhammad

  44. I watch it because the hosts are very humorous, and motor vehicles are assessed to some extent. However one has to take some comments with a grain of salt. Many comments are stupid and inappropriate.
    I am tired of staged accidents/events, Hammond’s tired crashes, and the often implausible neck and neck staged races.
    It is an entertainment show (very few programs are not that way inclined), however there is often the appearance given on the show live or otherwise that the events are real. With such an engaging style the show can easily take viewers into believing that the pivotal and exciting moments are actually true.
    I would like to see a clearly visible disclaimer on the screen at the start of the show to inform viewers that most of the events are staged.
    I never watch the highlight packaged episodes because of the way they are pitched, knowing these are primarily staged and not random occurrences that are real accidents or events.
    In television we live in a photo-shopped world where the pretension of reality and real events is really a package of staged events.
    TOP GEAR is no different from the host of reality shows that are designed to fool the viewer.
    The problem with TOP GEAR is that the ratio of what is real to what is fictitious is too heavily weighted towards the latter.
    It would not take away from the show to produce a more critical commentary and celebration of vehicles, whilst at the same time presenting a more honest presentation of what the show represents.

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