Top Gear: Series 23, Episode 1

  • Chris Evans heads to Nevada to pit a Dodge Viper ACR against a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 driven by Sabine Schmitz.
  • Matt LeBlanc tests the Ariel Nomad in Morocco.
  • UK vs USA Challenge: Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc drive a pair of Reliant Rialtos from London to Blackpool.
  • Stars in a Rallycross Car: Gordon Ramsay, Jesse Eisenberg



Watch this episode on BBC iPlayer. For those outside of the UK, we recommend using Pure VPN.

Episode Guide

Coming soon.

Some say…

“Some say the day he was born he drove himself home from hospital, and that he’s being investigated for irregular emissions. All we know is he’s called The Stig.”

Stig Power Laps

Dodge Viper ACR

Star in a Rallycross Car

Gordon Ramsay

Jesse Eisenberg


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Rating: 3.6/10 (55 votes cast)


    • They could have landed a Reliant Robin on the moon and people still would have dissed it. I think as a starting episode it was actually pretty decent. There are issues, sure, but as the episodes (and series) go by they can refine the new formula.

      • What you said in your article about the two shows is EXACTLY what I hope for! I tried to hate on the new episode but I can’t. Ever since Matt LeBlanc was announced as a host I was intrigued enough to give the new show a shot. Boy was I glad to! I do hope you’re right and both shows end up thriving from healthy competition. I mean Evans is bringing in something new and interesting.

  1. chris said it was going to be all different in every way but for most of the shots, challenge ideas and hyperbolic descriptions it felt like a bad imitation of what the old trio did. at best this new episode was just ok. kinda like a tribute band that just isnt as good, even the intro was like a bad unfunny imitation of clarksons classic intros. no chemistry between chris and matt it feels boring and is already feeling like american top gear. this lame hollywood version is nowhere near as funny or entertaining as the original uk top gear, simply put the old top gear crew could be endlessly entertaining doing a a gardening show and this crap cant even be entertaining or funny even with the best cars and sabine schmitz and a massive budget they lack originality and just rehash old shit top gear has already done like reliant robin challenges. in the words of cartman, weak bro, weak

    • Your right because they did do a gardening programme (TopGearGroundForce) and that was funny even though there was no cars init.

  2. This is what happens when you make the show “politically correct”: Weak, horrible, boring, yuck!. Just like Trump said: Politically correctivness is the worst!

  3. If you think of it as first episode it was like season 1 in it’s awkwardness. But what Clarkson and Hammond (and later May) had from the beginning was a real funny chemistry. From the begining Nothing was forced. Actually it was begining to look forced in the last few seasons.

    In this one almost everything seemed forced and fake. And Chris Evans seemed the most fake of them all. Remember when he was the star in reasonably priced card how honestly passionate he seemed about his Ferraris!

    Unless they find their true self soon it’s gonna just get worst.

    I believe BBC did the trio, specially Clarkson a huge favor. They were losing their magic and compensating for it with extravaganza. It’s better that they left Top Gear on top (relatively)

    I just gonna miss the best news section in the world. Top Gear news.

      • We can watch old news segments again. They never get old. Even that part in season 3 when Clarkson and Hammond are baffled how one could increase the rang of alarm remote by pointing it to your head! After 13 years it’s still gold.

  4. No news segment? Imo that piece with Clarksson/Hammond/May was one of my fav from previous Top Gear series. Overall though I don’t really understand why people complain all that much. First show with all new line up will take some time to get everything right. I liked it, not as good as the old one but not that bad either. Will continue to watch it.

  5. As a long time fan of the 2002 formatted Top Gear with Clarkson, May, and Hammond I believed this show was going to be terrible from the outset, but come game day i was actually optimistic. Then i watched the episode, then extra gear and walked away feeling cold. As a first episode you could never expect it to be a sensation out the gate, that would be rather unrealistic, however when you watch a character like Evans simulate a Clarkson scream at high speeds moment, or make jokes that feel very much scripted in a former host’s way with a a somewhat pushy enthusiasm you start to feel disjointed. Matt Leblanc easily despite his flat enthusiasm actually as much as i hate to say it was a better commentator. He was not all that good but i actually do not think it was his fault. The largest problem with that show was actually the interaction with the hosts themselves, they are not a unit, in real life more than likely they are not friends in any form. Sabine in extra gear just stood there, Chris Harris driving commentary was actually the only believable bit besides the Sabine back story which was not even a part of the main show.

    The former trio in real life are actually friends, Clarkson knew May outside of the show, i am not sure how the hammond part worked if it started with 2002 TopGear or before that. It Feels like the new group were just roped in to make a show which is what happened. I will watch the show to see if it gets better, but out the gate and don’t have high hopes.

    Despite that i am also worried that the Grand Tour will not have the same appeal as the old top gear format, which can be a good thing or a bad thing.

    • One of the best parts of Top Gear used to be their epic road trips, but I agree, it is a bit of a worry knowing that some of my other favourite segments simply won’t exist in the Grand Tour any more. It used to be great seeing them in the studio, or messing around out on the track as part of their latest cheap car challenge. A lot will be missing, but I’m sure they’ll still manage to pull it off.

  6. They need to get Chris Harris off extra gear and onto the real show, he is genuinely enthusiastic about cars, and knows how to drive them.

  7. Another point is when Matt did the try to avoid the papps getting a photo has already been done in a topgear DVD special when Hammond was in a bowler nemesis I think.