Original BBC2 airings of S1 - S3?

AlexGRFan97

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
21
Firstly, I'm well aware this site was largely gutted of its content in 2014, and that anything once hosted is long gone. But the main version of S1 - 3 I see going around in torrents is from the initial re-airing of the three series on BBC Prime somewhere around 2005ish, which has some of the soundtrack butchered and a couple of segments cut-out (apparently the phone-in stuff) but that some people, years ago, had obtained copies of the original BBC2 airings of the first three series. I know this site's original S1 came from SBS in Australia, but I don't know if that has the original audio intact. Sorry if this question has been asked before but this website is a mere shell of its former self, so I doubt it matters much.
 

Kiskaloo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
1,289
Location
Seattle, WA
To my knowledge video files of the original BBC2 airings of the first three episodes were never posted on this site. The ones I secured here were all the SBS airings.
 

AlexGRFan97

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
21
Alright, I did some deeper research and it turns out the BBC 2 versions of TG S1 - 3 were released by an individual known as Jabba, a name that I'm sure will be immediately familiar to veterans of this website, and though groundbreaking at the time, they were very poor quality, with the video files often refusing to work on most media players. Some of his rips still exist; his version of Jeremy Clarkson Meets the Neighbours is still used in the Ultimate Top Gear Pack, even though there's a far better version available taken from BBC Knowledge much later.

It seems very doubtful they still exist, as I presume most people who were active at the time that Jabba released his rips replaced his versions with the BBC Prime rips made in 2005/6 when they came out.
 

hajolaser

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
82
Location
Black Forest, Germany
Car(s)
Golf VI 1.4 TSI Match
Alright, I did some deeper research and it turns out the BBC 2 versions of TG S1 - 3 were released by an individual known as Jabba, a name that I'm sure will be immediately familiar to veterans of this website, and though groundbreaking at the time, they were very poor quality, with the video files often refusing to work on most media players. Some of his rips still exist; his version of Jeremy Clarkson Meets the Neighbours is still used in the Ultimate Top Gear Pack, even though there's a far better version available taken from BBC Knowledge much later.

It seems very doubtful they still exist, as I presume most people who were active at the time that Jabba released his rips replaced his versions with the BBC Prime rips made in 2005/6 when they came out.
Hi,
I believe I am in posession of a Jabba Rip. I remember seeing an actual Jabba the Hut scene at the beginning of some episodes so I went to take a look and I was right. It is however only Episode 4 of Season 1. This is the shortest episode I have of Top Gear, running 46 minutes and I always thought it was a cut episode. I kept it because of the Jabba Intro.
The other versions I have are the Prime rips, each Ep between 55-58 minutes. Season 3 Eps are a bit shorter, at roughly 53 minutes each. I was under the impression that these (Prime) are the most complete version.
 

AlexGRFan97

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
21
A year later and I have an update, more will be posted in due time:

I have found a semi-complete UK Horizons recording of S01E03, complete BBC2 recordings of S01E04 and S01E07, and complete BBC2 recordings of S03E02 and S03E04. I also have missing fragments from three Series 2 episodes which talked about the greatest cars of all time. That appears to be all that survives. When my "project" I've been working on for over a year is complete, I will further detail these on the Lost Media Wiki.
 

danielsan

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
24
Location
Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia
Car(s)
BMW E70 X5M MY11, Jetta TDi 1KM
There are 2 lots of the season 1 - 3 SBS files "out there". The ones most people downloaded were the .avi files approx 350mb per episode but there are also .mpeg files approx 2gb per episode.

Top Gear 01x01 2002.10.20.mpg.jpg
 

AlexGRFan97

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
21
There are 2 lots of the season 1 - 3 SBS files "out there". The ones most people downloaded were the .avi files approx 350mb per episode but there are also .mpeg files approx 2gb per episode.

View attachment 3556852
I'm well aware of the SBS recordings, and have the 576i/2GB versions on my hard drive. I'm just looking for S1 - S3 as they aired on BBC2 with no cuts and no stock music. Similar versions also aired on BBC World with slight cuts and UK Horizons with more significant cuts. These versions included copyrighted footage (such as Richard Burns' crash at the 2002 Rally New Zealand), copyrighted music (such as Boston's More Than a Feeling on the Vanquish/575 power laps), and cut segments, most notably Series 2's "Greatest Car", of which a few are on Youtube:

- Audi Quattro (Graeme Le Saux)
- Fiat 500 (Nick Mason)
- Land Rover (Richard Hammond)

By the time they made their way to BBC Prime in 2005ish, the episodes had been cut and hacked apart, and that's the recording most people have. The SBS cut has most of the original length restored, and is also the one they've used (albeit compressed) on MotorTrend, though when SBS aired S2/S3, they were ~45 minutes long like every other international cut. MotorTrend's version of S3 is actually much longer than the BBC Prime cut, with The News segments restored, and has most of its original soundtrack, even the "big budget" artists like Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd, though the Stig tribute in S03E02 has lost both original songs. Ace of Spades is retained on S04E01, which makes me doubt there's a licensing issue.

Here's a few screenshots of the BBC2 airings of S01E04/S01E07:
- S01E04
- S01E07

Episode 4 came from a pack produced by someone calling themselves [Altruist], Episode 7 was from eMule. Unfortunately every other episode on that website, apart from the other ones I've mentioned, are all BBC Prime/SBS rips with varying levels of compression and filetypes.
 

danielsan

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
24
Location
Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia
Car(s)
BMW E70 X5M MY11, Jetta TDi 1KM
I was under the impression that the SBS episodes were the full thing. Guess not.

Anyway i think this is what you were looking for? The Jabba release is only 46mins in length and heaven forbid i can't watch the whole thing (quality is s***) to see whats been cut but it has "boston more than a feeling" playing during the stigs lap.

Top.Gear.S01E04.The.Mondeo.Beats.the.Germans.SDTV.x265.m4v.jpg
 

AlexGRFan97

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
21
I was under the impression that the SBS episodes were the full thing. Guess not.

Anyway i think this is what you were looking for? The Jabba release is only 46mins in length and heaven forbid i can't watch the whole thing (quality is s***) to see whats been cut but it has "boston more than a feeling" playing during the stigs lap.

View attachment 3556907
Kinda yeah, except I actually have the BBC2 version of that episode, as well as a BBC2 version of S01E07 and a UK Horizons version of S01E03:
Don't get me wrong, the SBS airings of S1 are the most complete since the original BBC2 version, and definitely the highest quality recording, as even MotorTrend's version has some awful compression algorithm. That said, there are loads and loads of differences between the 2002 BBC2 airings, the initial BBC World airings, the UK Horizons airings and then the crappy BBC Prime airings that Maxiuca captured in '05 that ended up becoming the de facto standard. Mainly soundtrack-related, but also copyrighted footage and time-sensitive segments, like the aforementioned "Greatest Car" phone-in competition of Series 2. For example, in the original unmolested version of S01E04, there are clips from the 1979 French Grand Prix and Die Another Day which are gone in rebroadcasts. And even the Horizons version of S01E03 has Ross Kemp's crash in EastEnders, yet is deleted in all other versions.

To be brutally honest, the "quality is shit" argument is why it's no longer possible to watch the first 3 seasons in their entirety. Around 90 minutes of Series 2 is completely missing because of what the BBC did; that's why they're mostly under 50 minutes apiece. And nobody really cared. Because quality was valued over completeness. And as a result you have to listen to the same generic jazz/funk/rock tracks for 30 episodes instead of what was originally used.

Here's a document supplied to me by Robert of Des & Mick Online:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1C-pgdY1aPgXi7c6k7TH8rbbZFTsc1HJ1
It shows the original runtime of each episode from 1978 through to 2012, all the way down to the length of individual segments. If you're interested, take a look and you can see what was deleted between airings.
 

danielsan

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
24
Location
Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia
Car(s)
BMW E70 X5M MY11, Jetta TDi 1KM
That's a really cool document. I know that BBC Knowledge over here used to have top gear on all the time, i have a couple of the episodes saved on the pvr, their showing as 75mins in length but i imagine if i was to cut out all the adds they'll just be the BBC World or Prime versions.

Maybe write to the BBC and ask if they could re-air the episodes? I mean you never know......
 
Top