[12x08] December 28th, 2008 [Vietnam Special]

[12x08] December 28th, 2008 [Vietnam Special]


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zaxonortesus

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I gave it a 10/10, the music, views, and for once a look at how these 3 guys really interact after so many years together overshadowed the galleon in it's many overdone parts.

And there was a perfect spot for Stig's communist cousin... have him pass the driving test in some overly flamboyant fashion. Opportunity missed, oh well, I still thought it was an Epic episode to finish off the series.
 

cdbob

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Brilliant, best of the season.
 

E34lover

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I really want to say I loved it but...... I mean it was kinda a mesh of Africa special which felt to me scripted and the epicness of the last American road trip. It's like what Clarkson said about the Z8 "it's trying to be everything". I still laughed and felt like it was a good film but 7/10 for me.
 

matatarski

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That was epic!

I have to say the soundtrack really made that episode, it was brilliant. The classic rock and other songs that set the mood were perfect. That's definitely one of my favorite episodes now.

The only criticism I have is that I thought the closing line kind of ruined the tone. I like when they end with more somber or meaningful dialogues and Jeremy kind of ruined it. Maybe that's just the American in me but I didn't think it fit.
 

Buktu

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That was epically brilliant. I had a smile on my face throughout the episode.

Vietnam just looks amazing. I so want to do that journey now. Seeing all of those amazing things that are just so radically different from what we're used to in our part of the world.

It's the first time i've actually thought that the scenery was one of the best parts of a Top Gear episode. I'd so wish they had sent it in high deifinition. This episode just deserves it - even more so than the polar episode.

This is my favourite Top Gear episode ever. Which i feel ashamed of saying, considering it contained no cars, other than the ones that were trying to run them down :)

I'm going to be watching it again with my friend tomorrow, and frankly, i can't wait.
 

TC

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I gave it a 10/10, which I don't do very often.

Granted a few parts were contrived and the practical jokes became dumb after a while. And all those stupid gifts they were trying to bring along didn't make sense, so you know it was scripted to add more humor. But besides those 2 things, when you just focus on the guys trying to get across such a beautiful country on rickety old motor bikes, it really was a fantastic journey. It felt genuinely genuine most of the time. The only real downside is you know they cut a lot of good material so they can waste time on the stupid jokes, which failed to be funny most of the time.

Still, great episode I thought. Didn't even care that there were no cars in it.
 

hughJ

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I gave it an 8 based on location and scenery. Just about everything else was poor though.

The writing (ie. "comedy") was really horrible. If they *had* to have the gifts, they should have been throw-away gags - used once and then left alone. Instead they wound up spending like half of the show's running time referencing them, and adding even more dumb gags related to them. Seemed like such a waste considering where they were.

The episode's tone probably felt closer to the laurie competition, rather than the Botswana or North Pole episodes. Which is IMO a bad thing.
 

KryptonZone

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oh bloody hell! i really don't want to say this... but it has been a while since i have seen a truly funny episode of tg. itt's been a bit soft around the sides sometimes recently.

this vietnam special tho... holy freaking crap! im sitting here, with my new 37" tv laughing my head off at 4 o'clock in the morning! this really is one of the best tg they ever made! i get the hype around this episode now!

ps. 10/10 for me (i'd have given it 11 if i could just for that scene when may falls into the sea!)
 

Melkus

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In this episode, TG has completely abandoned its original purpose: being a car show. This was a road movie with silly guys on shitty bikes. But that's not a complaint at all. It was great entertainment. I like how the producers try to keep it fresh and surprising and how they constantly take their gearhead audience out of its comfort zone by showing them the world outside their toolsheds.

Great episode. Nice balance between scripted gimmicks and spontaneous humor (nay, humour). Clarkson and May are just genuinely funny, they'd come up with great jokes even if the script was written by a D-Motor intern from Hackpf?ffel, Germany.

It was not quite as stunning as the Botswana episode which is still my favourite, but it is right up there with the Polar special and the US roadtrip. As an ode to Vietnam, it was perfect, although it left out some of the less entertaining aspects of its present and recent history. Vietnam is such a great country. The only thing that worries me is that after this episode Hanoi might get overrun by chavs.

9/10
 

Mr. Nice

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A++ 10 out of 10!!!

Wow, just wow! I do have to add, I didn't really enjoy seeing such decadent behavior in a country where poverty is so rampant, but beyond that, this episode was quite possibly the best ever!

The scenery was awe inspiring and jaw dropping, the music was well chosen and classic good stuff, the bikes were awesome, the challenges were great, and it was great seeing the social dynamic between the 3 when bikes were introduced into the situation. I don't think I've ever seen, and possibly will never see, a Top Gear this epic ever again!

I liked Mineworksfine's post about Top Gear Dog... I always wondered what happened to him! :lol:

No cars? Who cares!!! There was a motorized premise, and the show has been more about entertainment for awhile now. It just makes sense, that although the show title refers to the gearbox, gear in and of itself can apply to many things. I think in this show, the "gear" were the motorbikes, the boat mods, and all the additions along the way.

Simply Epic! I don't think this will ever be topped but, if you are reading this Andy, more like that please!!!
 

Pommpie

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If ever there was an episode crying out to be in high definition, this was it. But the BBC cheaps out and gives us standard def during the most visually varied episode in the entire series taking place within perhaps the most scenic country in the world.

So thanks for that! (Nerd mode off.)

I rather hope that the Stig's Communist cousin bit ends up as an outtake somewhere. Most likely it was cut because it wasn't very good, but still. It would be nice to get some closure.
 

rhaitz

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I have no words it was so good

Easily my favorite "special" (altought i enjoyed the hell out of everyone of them)

I would really love to do that with a friend, it must be an life experience that you never forget, that country is so beautiful

I think that Andy Wilman said it wasnt about the bike but about the experience and the guys and of course the country, more like a road movie and i totally agree with him, it was epic
 

braintumor

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(The one question that I'm wondering - seeing Clarkson reading the menus and stuff, then having him answer the question in class, I'm wondering if he actually was able to learn some Vietnamese. That's pretty impressive if it was as it seemed.)

I remember that Andy Wilman wrote in a blog post some weeks ago that they came up with the idea to go to vietnam, because Jeremy recently been there on vacation... So he must have some sort of knowledge of vietnam and it's language... (and he was also there for the motorworld series)

Here is the bit:

"That?s tight enough as it is to think, plan, shoot and edit the loads of films we need, but when Jezzer bounces in back from his holiday in Vietnam and says, ?Chaps, pack your bags, it?s one hour special time,? then the whole sorry timetable goes even more shit."
 
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edkwon

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my only question is whatever happened to the footage with the Stig's communist cousin? Did it end up on the cutting room floor?
 

maslove23

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i see alot don't like. yes it's not like some other special top gear, however it's really good i like it. when i read some of the post here. i was afraid of seen it. it turns out well and really amazing soundtrack
 

GraemeH

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They could have done a 6 part for that trip and it would have been more enjoyable and less pretentious than Long Way Round/Down.

Vietnam had some lovely scenery, and seemingly friendly people. I was waiting to see if Clarkson crumbled to pressure to keep up previous form and give some overly sentimental "coming round" monologue at the end about how bikes aren't so bad. I'm glad he didn't budge. After watching that I hate bikes just as much.

Strangely, i'm finding it hard to rate it. I enjoyed it and it was fun, but it was so far removed from what Top Gear normally is i can't really formulate a score. It's probably the only TG episode I'll need to watch a couple times to get a feel for it.

I can also see what Wilman was talking about when he mentioned it being tight in the edit. You got the feeling that you were wizzing through it with no ease up in the pace.

I know... but since I'm German I'm sick of all that war-remembering-shit the Brits seem not able to just let go anytime ever :rolleyes:

They are so war obsessed.. i just can not believe it

And thats why it's not funny... it's just an unnecessary provocation and insult. Thats just a level they don't need to make a good show :rolleyes:

I think you misunderstand the intent behind it. When a British person mentions the war, it's not a genuinely boastful thing, we're half making fun of ourselves. The humour in mentioning it is that it shouldn't be mentioned - See the Fawlty Towers episode "The Germans".
 

RedAero

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Can I score it eleventy?

No I can't so it'll have to be a 10 then. ...

This one goes up to eleven.


Actually it doesn't. I gave it a 9 but I should have given it a 7 or an 8 instead. 8 only because of the excellent music and the abandonment of the MTV-style editing in favor of the better, plainer BBC style.
Half the show was cobbled together from old gags, jokes and challenges, and these recycled bits ate up nearly half of the airtime, which could have been filled with more interesting bits. Then again it is possible that these were the interesting bits, which would be sad and terrifying. It'd mean they boys are losing it. I'm not saying they are, but it's a possibility.
I too miss the Stig's Commie Asian Cousin. This is the 3rd amphi-challenge they've done, the 2nd time they would have had to take an embarrassing vehicle had they broken down for good(although I admit it was hilarious), and so on. Some(if not most) of the jokes were scripted, most obvious being Hammond's ceiling-fan incident and the helmet stuff. And this is the moment I have had to face the sad, sad fact that the old Top Gear I know and love has gone the way of the older Top Gear. Gone are the car reviews, the cutting edge of ad-lib cocking about and original jokes.

This is the end. Beautiful friend, the end.
 

EJ25RUN

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Well Well Well,

i think us motorcycle guys can finally give Jezza a look with respect. Crossing any distance like that on any bit of two wheels is an accomplishment.

All the guys saying where are the cars.... Who needs them? Bikes are more fun anyway.

10/10 although i did manage to not spoil the episode for myself and forgot about commie stig.

Top Gear with bikes, did you ever think the day would come? :D
 
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