I spend some of my spare time helping out as a moderator on Reddit’s r/TopGear, and ever since the first episode of Top Gear Series 23 came out there’s been a lot of haters throwing their opinions around. “Top Gear is shit, I’m never watching it again,” one would say. “It is like when you have a friend who thinks they’re really good at impressions, but they’re really, really not,” said another. So here we are, three weeks in, and half the world’s apparently followed up with their threat and stopped watching. Top Gear’s ratings are down, and some might say that’s a good thing.
Let them go. Because what Top Gear needs to do is not just chase ratings, but instead stick to their original goal of providing deeply entertaining films about cars – which is what made it such a success in the first place. Chris Evans getting sick, Matt LeBlanc getting a high-speed tour of London in the Hoonicorn, Chris Harris’ first appearance on the show, Sabine Schmitz driving the Audi R8 V10 Plus at Laguna Seca, and Rory Reid comparing hot hatches easily made Episode 3 the best one so far.
Chris Harris’ Ferrari film was truly something special, Rory Reid’s hot hatch comparison was a solid effort, and even the “Stars in a Rallycross Car” segment was genuinely entertaining, even if it did run for almost 20 minutes. Finally the film with Matt LeBlanc and Ken Block in the Hoonicorn Mustang site-seeing through London was also genuinely entertaining, with LeBlanc carrying on with a natural humour that we’ve been enjoying since Episode 1.
The third episode of Top Gear Series 23 was easily their best one yet, and if you get over the fact that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are no longer on it, you might just enjoy watching it too.