[03x06] February 15, 2019 - Chinese Food for Thought

I've seen this episode and rate it a

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    Votes: 1 2.2%
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    Votes: 0 0.0%
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    Votes: 1 2.2%
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    Votes: 4 8.9%
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    Votes: 8 17.8%
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    Votes: 12 26.7%
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    Votes: 11 24.4%
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    Votes: 6 13.3%
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    Votes: 1 2.2%

  • Total voters


Jul 20, 2009
See Signature
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are in China to sell the virtues of second-hand Western luxury cars to local business people while getting sweaty, lost and almost burnt. Also in this show, Hammond is at the track to test the NIO EP9 electric supercar.
The review was hampered by the whole “electric cars are crap” nonsense and the China trip felt like a huge missed opportunity. In the Vietnam special, they managed to balance what they call banter with the road movie aspects of such a journey, so why not this time?

Also, they managed to put an electric car and China into one episode and never brought those two things together. That is impressively poor. :blink:
I would say, it's just okay episode & nothing special. There are few things to say, Amazon is ban in china, the roads & buildings are weird & good at the same time, people can afford some cars over there. But what is the purpose of this episode, which doesn't make any sense. That NIO EP9 is a great review right until he said it's track day car.
The drive-thru door showcase was interesting, but almost totally pointless. The flamethrower part was pointless, but fun...and short, so no harm done. At the petrol station and oh good, they're helpless in yet another instance where no one uses Google Translate on their phones. (and then James uses it or something like it later) I liked some of those little touches, like the badly translated signs, the water splashing over the median, and the flashing cameras. The part where they were chauffeured was dumb, but fun enough, I guess. The part about Richard dying was kinda funny. It's an oft-used joke I actually don't mind.

I noticed on Conversation Street that Canada was not on their chart of automakers. (I can only find numbers up to 2017, when it made around 2.2 million, which was 11th place at the time) Found this interesting page.

I watched the NIO Nurburgring run a few days ago, so it was cool to see it again so soon. I thought Richard's "ohhhhh, good..." when they first showed the car on the track was hilarious. It really is amazing, electric or not, and looks impressive, too. What do you think he meant by "it's like driving an octopus?"

Overall, pretty good, but far from great. I'll give it a 6.
They'v emanaged to show how cringeworthy China really is on some aspects (the flashing camera thing, for example), while highlighting their greatness elsewhere.

That was impressively interesting, considered the comedy part was made of jokes that have got old a long time ago.

One thing I love them for, expecially Jeremy, is their ability to speak their mind with comedy, regardless of prohibitions. I think this has happened here too.
This episode was a mixed bag.
NIO review was good enough.
Conversation Street was ok.
The China video, was ok as well. Not the best, not the worst i've seen, although at some parts it felt boring as hell specially the part 2.
In the end, I think they could've made it better.
This was a solid episode. The drone bit was cut really short which helped make the senseless bits people don’t always like much more manageable. It was a good episode like old Top Gear. Nothing too extreme, a general car review, news bit, small special, done. This is good. During the Chinese VT, I never noticed how fat Jeremy has gotten, unless he’s trying to steal a watermelon... TShirts are not a good look for him. :D
Average... Very average.
As some said, wasted potential.
A trip through China could've been spectacular, but they wasted too much time on the drone bit (one of the most pointless segments they've ever done) and lots of other things.

Jeremy's cinematic documentary bit about China's road network, though short, was the highlight for me. I looped it 4 times.
For some reason, it reminded me of the helicopter shot when he got out of the underwater tunnel in Japan in the GTR and got onto a stunning bridge.
I just have a weakness for impeccably accompanied shots... And TG used to do a lot of those better than any other car show.
The quality of the track choices for TGT is far inferior to TG's, I'm sad to say.

So a 2 for the 4th episode, an 8 for the 5th, and now an average 6... Not exactly consistent are they...
it reminded me of the helicopter shot when he got out of the underwater tunnel in Japan in the GTR and got onto a stunning bridge.
That was one of many moments of the old TG, that is forever stuck in my memory.
That and the glorious music they've put on every single episode at the right time, such as: Ludovico Einaudi, Amon Tobin, UNKLE, Thomas Newman,Craig Armstrong, Hans Zimmer,Kasabian, etc...
In that department TGT is mediocre.
Funny to read that people didn't like the drone - I thought that was actually quite fun, since you could tell it was a real thing (I'd never heard about flame throwing drones before, but it makes sense for that purpose) and while I'm not entirely convinced the crackers weren't set off remotely it did look like they were driving hard through the flames and the crackers were quite spectacular.

Stupid suits, saunas, cooking and "accidentally" setting yourself on fire, however, is back to the terrible low-grade "humour" that was so thankfully missing from last week's episode.

Not to mention the utterly utterly utterly utterly predictable "accident" at the end. You knew exactly what was going to happen within one second of that car appearing on screen which made the entire last five minutes of the show an anticlimactic waste of time.
Overall I liked the flamethrower drone part. But - I expected a chase but they were simply hovering, waiting and pressing the button at drive by ... pretty lame.
This season is miles better than the last couple. The dumb jokes are still around, but there’s so much more authenticity around it now that it’s fine. Loved the informative road aside, the closed gas stations, the traffic cameras, the signage, the additional details on the super expensive Chinese car, quite a few off-the-cuff funny moments during this episode...it makes James’ sauna thing palatable. I actually chuckled at the lame cocaine joke—again, wrapped in all the rest, it can work.

Others mentioned it, too, but I’ll reiterate: the drone thing even felt authentic. It felt like something they dreamed up that didn’t come close to working as intended, so they fessed up to it, cut it short, and made a fun 5-minute video with flamethrowing drones!
For some reason, it reminded me of the helicopter shot when he got out of the underwater tunnel in Japan in the GTR and got onto a stunning bridge.
I just have a weakness for impeccably accompanied shots... And TG used to do a lot of those better than any other car show.
The quality of the track choices for TGT is far inferior to TG's, I'm sad to say.
THIS. The bridge shot was so awfully similar to the Japan episode. A car driving on it was missing though, and obviously the brilliant background music. The one thing about Top Gear that blew me away was the combination of the car, the scenery and the music all made into a beautiful piece of television and that's also the reason I am here in the first place.

The overall episode was just okay though. Hated the drone part because they ruined the paintwork unnecessarily. The backseat test was predictable and even though I fully knew what was gonna happen to Hammond's cooking plan before they even set off, when he dropped the pan it actually made me laugh. Overall I prefer the first half before they modified their cars i.e. ruined their cars for absolutely no reason whatsoever. What they see is a possible laugh. What I see are 3 nice and mint cars that are not nice and mint anymore. Is it worth destroying good, perfectly working and reasonably expensive cars for the sake of making some people laugh maybe once or twice?

The EP9 review was the first time in many years I've felt the pain of the g-forces through the screen (if such a thing is possible). And because this is an electric car, there is no engine noise, just the pain, which is a bit terrifying. No wonder this car is for track use only. But it's also a shame because this is the first time I've had hopes from an electric car, because the EP9 looks stunning. If they can implement a sound system to play engine noises like in video games, then maybe an electric car in a world without petrol will be more bearable than I think.