[14x03] November 29th, 2009

[14x03] November 29th, 2009


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Trollbooth

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Write up from the integrale owner:
http://www.auto-journals.com/journals/Lancia?model=Integrale&journal=43

Not so positive report from the builder of the Hawk, not a happy man:
http://www.stratossupersite.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=7683

Excellent links and worth a read to anyone who watched the program last night. Reminds me of the Tesla controversy a little while back. A bit worrying that Top Gear isn't being honest with their car reviews. I understand you want to script in some drama for the films, but if we can't believe the car reviews then what's the difference between Top Gear and some crap BBC comedy?
 

warren

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^^^^^^

Also interesting that there's a pretty nasty comment in there from that guy who was part of the Lotus Lada rebuild film way back in the early days.
 

TC

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Those were interesting. It seems that over all people with good cars come out of "the Top Gear experience" with a very positive feeling but those without just end up pissed. It's almost as if the Hawk guy had never seen Top Gear. Exactly what did he expect?

It is a shame though. Having your car on TopGear is very tempting, if you want to promote it. The problem is when Clarkson-Wilman&Co. find a fault, they sometimes base the entire review around it. They write the segment to give it a plot and the car a character and tell a story, or whatever. Kinda like the R8 and ZR1 review showing the Corvette constantly sideways in every single shot without fail. They wrote the Corvette in as a monster muscle car drift machine, that was its part in the show. Reality doesn't factor in, they're just trying to tell a story. The Stig has spun out a few time before, in other cars, but they always use a clean lap for the official time. It seems to me the Stig spun the Statros a few times in the soaking wet rain, so they decided to make a humorous segment out of it. I found it extremely funny and a good exciting lap, but I am curious what the car is actually capable of. It does make the power lap board even more unreliable since they included that time.

I mean, the Stig crashed the Koenigsegg into a tire wall once, which resulted in the car going back to Sweden or somewhere for repairs, and coming back at a later date to complete a clean lap for the board. But they didn't give it a time of 1 month, 2 days, and 5 hours or whatever it was. They let it run a clean lap for the official power lap board.
 

Sascha77

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You know how the Simpsons used to be awesome, and everyone used to watch it, then they started showing episodes where Bart gets a horse that has an earring? Now it's just a show that you happen to watch when it's on, rather than stay at home for, because the plots are so ridiculously stupid and overdone? I suppose it's sort of hard to stop a show that is so immensely popular like Top Gear is, and they aren't exactly going to start tinkering with it considering the audience they attract.

It's sort of like in the Extras, where Ricky Gervais' character looks out into the audience, and sees people sitting there with catchphrase shirts on. Top Gear's sort of becoming that with the pianos, the "Oh Cock" and "That's not Gone Well" being assigned macro keys in Word rather than any clever scripting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

:)

My thoughts exactly. And keeping with the Simpsons analogy, I can't help thinking of the "Bart gets famous"-episode. You know: The one where he performs with Krusty on stage with his catch-phrase of "I didn't do it" and everyone in the audience just waits for him to say it and then bursts out laughing.

The most interesting find I had WRT how scripted the show is, was the accident-report about RH's ride in the Vampire (see link below). It's quite a bit to read through, but there are some real insights into how the show works behind the scenes in there. One of which is the fact that they had a "chicken-out-run" scheduled to be filmed... read: One run in which RH supposedly chickened-out and pulled the chute-lever prematurely.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/releases/richardhammond.htm


S.
 

matskulainen

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A nice episode. Chris Evans was good, the not-a-Lancia Lancia was very good, and James' flying caravan was great.

This one ranks at 8/10, which is about twice as good as the rest of what's on TV.
 

controlspecimen

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Excellent links and worth a read to anyone who watched the program last night. Reminds me of the Tesla controversy a little while back. A bit worrying that Top Gear isn't being honest with their car reviews. I understand you want to script in some drama for the films, but if we can't believe the car reviews then what's the difference between Top Gear and some crap BBC comedy?
It's always worrying to read these background stories, but Top Gear has always pulled the same tricks as far as I can remember. Remember "Top Gear Yobs Wreck ?1 Million Car" way back when?

On a separate note it was interesting to read how they film the power laps. I knew the aired lap was a montage of several laps, but I had no idea they did 30 of them!
 

matskulainen

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On a separate note it was interesting to read how they film the power laps. I knew the aired lap was a montage of several laps, but I had no idea they did 30 of them!

Obviously they need good shots of each corner. Also, before anyone starts questioning the authenticity of the lap times, Stig drives 1 hot lap which is timed, and then does all the corners one by one several times until they have all the footage they need.
 

Hachi Kid

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this episode was absolutely amazing! everything about it was great. but, two complaints. was I the only one that thought the Alfa V6 in the Lancia kit car sounded like ass? it just sounded like a 4 stroke kart. just, yeech. and also, that lap by "the stig" was atrocious. I don't think that was the actual stig. it had to have been just a stand in. the lap was too rough. not his usual metered, controlled style.
 

Doctor Blade

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I gave this one 7/10. Recycled jokes and the interminable Lanica bit (half a show on cars I've never seen and couldn't afford anyway?) With the highlight being the May in the balloon bit, Richard on the ground in the Lambo. The Film guys still get a A+ from me, as usual.

I've quit thinking about this as a Car show and I'm thinking about it as entertainment.
 

Bartg.pl

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Well the car industry is still in deep hole, so not a lot new exciting cars around - I enjoyed the Lancia bit a lot and would like to see more of those classic cars than another Porsche 911/Lambo Gallardo or another cheap car challenge. I'm also pleased to see Lancia at top of their list - Alfa Romeo did some horrible cars over the years, Ford did the Scorpio, why Lancia ? Well they described their choice well, of course that list was more like pre 1990, cause later Lancias are bad/horid/ugly/Fiat. To bad they broke 2 Stratos's, one of them quite badly. Also reading the owner article about Stratos Kit-car made me see at that film in a completely different way - spinning the car on purpose, just to disrespect its abilities and make it slow ? Meh that's not fair for the people who made this car and the company.
 

camelfarmer

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Better.

Felt pointless though. Lancia bit was too long. And the airship bit was pointless as well. I fucking hate chris evans cause he's paid too much for doing nothing special. And what was the point in the kit car bit? Only car that was on sale today was a mental lamborghini. Oh dear.

But still better. It flowed better, and felt more natural.
 

Dr_Grip

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I'm not entirely convinced he was alone (the camera view was VERY tight around his face), but don't feel it would detract from the film if he hadn't been. Can the people with actual HD access tell if that in-cabin footage was from the lipstick cams (SD) or if there was a cameraman (HD)? I'm just curious and not really savvy enough to sort it out myself.

It was a lipstick cam. Actually, the image quality seemed to be even lower than the normal in-car shoots, more like the rubbish quality of the Peel P50 film.

Excellent links and worth a read to anyone who watched the program last night. Reminds me of the Tesla controversy a little while back. A bit worrying that Top Gear isn't being honest with their car reviews. I understand you want to script in some drama for the films, but if we can't believe the car reviews then what's the difference between Top Gear and some crap BBC comedy?

See, there's scripting and scripting. The Stig lap - which was a major disappointment for me - and the Geoff film are indeed scripted as in the script for a theatre play or a BBC comedy.
BUT a car review (i would even count the airshipavan into this category as it basically the point of the film was the Balboni) like Jezza did with the kit car or the Tesla has to be scripted in a different way: Not unlike a writer for TG magazine or Autosport does not just dictate a stream-of-consiciousness monologue into his dictaphone while driving a car and then a transcript of this is printed, but the writer has to take notes, make up his mind about the car and then sit down and write an article that communicates what he thinks about the car, the same is true for a car review on TV: What we see is not the actual test of the car. This is done by the presenter without the camera crew being around.
What we see are images the presenter, working as a motoring journalist here, came up with to communicate his opinion on the car to the viewer. This is true for Jezza doing donuts on the track in a supercar as much as for a breakdown. The writer tests the car, makes up his mind, and writes down what images he needs and what he wants to tell about the car. Then he gets the camera crew and the director and they go out to shoot it. By the way, that's why the presenters can react to their own voice-over while in the car. They know what they are going to say in the voice-over when getting the in-car shots.

If the Kit car felt shit not because it is shit but because it was in bad need of a makeover - tough luck for the owner! If Jezza could have gotten the Tesla back to the base when the "low battery" warning turned on - tough luck again. Jezza felt that the time from charging the car to the battery running out was short - so he deliberately drove it till it ran out of juice, or simply pretended it did. It's emphasizing a major weakness of the car, getting a point across, but it's not being dishonest.

On a separate note it was interesting to read how they film the power laps. I knew the aired lap was a montage of several laps, but I had no idea they did 30 of them!
Obviously they need good shots of each corner. Also, before anyone starts questioning the authenticity of the lap times, Stig drives 1 hot lap which is timed, and then does all the corners one by one several times until they have all the footage they need.

As i'm a lazy ass i'll simply copy&paste parts of post i did in the 12x04 discussion:
Myself said:
They deliberately made the footage of the Zonda look faster than that of the Veyron to emphazise the .something seconds difference which would be completely invisible when watching the car in real life. (Edit: As any responsible TV camera crew they know what they want to show beforehand... that's not scripting, that's how film works... one lap to get the time, then another to get the footage that illustrates the time...)
How fast or slow the car looks around the track to us viewers has much more to do with camera angles and lenses than the car itself. If you compare the shots of the cars going through the tire wall, you'll notice that the camera is positioned lower and the shot if framed to show more of the tire wall when the Zonda passes, letting it pass the camera almost straight in the camera axis, thus making it look much faster:


If one would do a shot-by-shot comparasition he would find something like this in many shots...

EDIT: 6/10 - two points deducted for an unfunny Stig pseudo-lap.
 

freefall

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The most boring episode ever.

The Lancia film :dunno:
The third coming of Jesus :-|
The flying caravan :yawn:
The Morris Marina :yawn: :yawn:

The Delta Integrale was the only bright bit for me, so here's one point :D
 
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Twerp128

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Nice to see a good car episode, but is anyone else getting sick of the fucking Gallardo.
 

alda

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WHAT I LOVED

WHAT I LOVED

What I loved was in the news segment. Jeremy talks about how a baby could be named "Pagani Zonda with the optional ceramic brakes package" and this boy in the crowd just OPENS HIS MOUTH WIDE OPEN:blink:
Made my day:p

Btw.: Do you guys think James genuinely got in trouble over that airport, or that it was somehow scripted? Looked real enough.

-Daniel
 

crashb648

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10/10

Now I am loving top gear at the moment. I do enjoy the entertainment stuff (like the electric car segment last week), but what ive really missed lately is some good old fasioned car testing/car history.

And this is exactualy what we got. Its unusual that i like the full episode, but this one is an exspection. I liked the airship with caravan and Lamborghini, genius, something different :). I really enjoyed the lanci segement too, funny in parts with lots of history and car testing. I did like the car test at the end with the stig lap too. :)

Top notch episode, good for different reasons. :)
 

flydiscovery

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^ Only the heir to the throne of the kingdom of idiots flies anywhere near restricted airspace without permission. James is a certified pilot. He's not stupid enough to do something like that without seeing to safety. I'm sure the incident was planned, however I must say it was planned extremely well and presented in a very natural fashion. James is master of the "oh shit" shock face.
 
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