A simple suggestion: A Top Gear Spin-off focused only on cars

Cucciolotto

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Cucciolotto, you are aware that both Jeremy and Richard write car reviews for the Times and Mirror, respectively, right? (While James does have a weekly column in the motoring section of the Telegraph, it's mainly very random, though in a recent one he did write about the Dacia Sandero.) And you know that James's regular car is a Fiat Panda (which, last I checked, is very reasonably priced), don't you?

Also, I don't recall much laughter about Vauxhall's VXR8 (Bathurst edition or otherwise).

If they were to go back to reviewing sensible cars all the time, they'd have to keep it interesting. Otherwise, it'd be boring. And, really, I'd rather they didn't review sensible cars all the time; besides, most people can test drive those cars for themselves.

Part of TG's appeal for me is the fantasy/automotive pornography factor--the ability to see cars tested that the majority of us will probably never see in the flesh. So no, I'm not bored at looking at the Ferraris, Zondas, Lambos, Bugattis, and the like; nor am I bored with seeing Stig thrash cars around the track. By the way, age fifteen, for me, was fourteen years ago; and I became a TG fan last year.
15 was 20 years ago for me and was the time I had supercars in my bedroom ( Toyota Supra, Porsches 959 and 928 S4 in particular.
I have been watching TG for donkeys years and maybe there lies the difference, the boredom. The current series started 7 years ago and I will be happy to hear from you in 6 years time if you are or not bored of the format. Car pornography (or the real one) can only entertain for so long.

I buy the Mirror everyday and get the Times through work. And I also read Richard Hammond's serialization of his book, the 2867 interviews of his wife (accompanied by the compulsory 3 pictures of his daughters for good measure), I have seen James May's 20th century, Toy stories, Big ideas, big wine adventure etc, and watched numerous apparitions of Clarkson in Jonathan Ross' Friday show, HIGNFY, read two of his books, and heard about him in the showbiz columns (who has forgotten about his "meeting" with Piers Morgan :lol:) and there maybe again, lies another explanation on my boredom, their overexposure.

Since you mention Vauxhall for your counter argument, you actually underline perfectly my point: did he go for an Astra or a Corsa? Nope, it had to be a supercharged gaz guzzling VXR8..... and remember his caustic comments on Vauxhall a few years a go, it certainly wasn't friendly.
Now about James May's regular car, yes he happens to apparently own a Panda, that'd be the one parked near his other Porsche and collector Rolls, right? ;)

I am (like others here) asking for a little change, an improvement not a revolution. Willman the man himself has declared they will have to find new ideas to keep people interested, and at the moment it is not happening I'm afraid.
 

shellygrrl

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But the Panda is the car James uses more than his other cars (or, dare I say, even his motorcycles).

And I know full well what others are asking. Some of them make good points and have good ideas (taking a breather is a good idea); but going back to being strictly a car magazine show as old TG (1977-01) was or even separating TG into two shows is, IMO, not the way forward. In fact, I'd say it's about five steps backwards.

An excerpt of a post I wrote earlier this year in regards to this subject, with some additions...

* * * * *

If I want to see sensible reviews of the latest hot hatch or a 4-door saloon/sedan, I'll read reviews online, in a car magazine, or in the latest issue of Consumer Reports. If I want advice on how to fix something that's wrong, I'll listen to the latest episode of Car Talk, or call on almighty Google. (Or a mechanic.)

I don't watch TG for sensibleness. I don't expect or want them to be or turn into a normal televised car magazine show. The day TG turns "normal" and becomes more of a cure for one's insomnia than something I look forward to watching is the day I stop watching.

Consider this...

When will any of us ever get to race against a train to Monte Carlo or across Japan, against a plane (and bus) to Verbier, against a ferry and speedboats to Oslo, or against a single-engine airplane across Europe in some insane [super]car? When will any of us get to select our favourite supercar and drive down to the south of France, if--for no other reason--to explain the point of the supercar (and just because you can)? When will any of us get to drive a highly modified pick-up truck to the [1996 Magnetic] North Pole? When will any of us get to take a bunch of small city cars somewhere to play a game of car footy or hockey? Race a man on the London Marathon course? See what's it's like to be a roadie for one of the most legendary rock bands of all time, in an effort to test various vans' usefulness? Try to re-build a stretch of road in 24 hours? Build your own stretch limo? Race a 40-year-old supercar against a modern speedboat across the Riviera? Drive a small hatch through a shopping centre or re-enact the D-Day invasion with one? Make a car/van/truck amphibious? Play conkers with caravans? Play darts with cars? Make a full-size car remote controlled? Turn a Reliant Robin into a space shuttle? Drive a F1 car? Take part in a 24-hour race at Silverstone? Race an SUV against a bunch of fox-hunting dogs? Drive a Land Rover up a Scottish mountain? Drive a muscle car during the drag races at Bonneville? Take a 2WD car across Botswana? More likely than not, NEVER.

Meanwhile, how else will we viewers be inspired to take a road trip from one end of Vietnam to the other on a motorcycle or scooter? Or go in search of great driving roads in (essentially) our own backyards? Retune your piece of crap car? See how far your car can go on a single tank of fuel? Visit the Stelvio Pass or the Transfargasan? Fall in love with a 1963 Opel Kadett (or any car seen on the show, for that matter)?

These guys have, for the last several years, driven cars that 99.99% of the world's population only dream of, and done and tried things that the lot of us never will. By watching this show, and seeing what Jeremy, Richard, and James do every week, it's almost like we viewers get to live, if only for a short time, vicariously through them. It sounds a bit strange, I know; but that's what I think.

(original post here)

* * * * *

Again, I do see what others are saying, and in some cases, what's being said makes sense. However, to lose a great chunk of what has made TG so brilliant -- the auto porn, seeing what daft things can be done with cars, the challenges, the various ways they've made reviews clever and interesting -- would be a gigantic lump of fail.
 

TC

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I just wanted to chime in about audiences and ratings for a second.

The idea that there is no audience for the TopGear in the format it used prior to the last few years, is just plain dumb. I'm willing to bet that TopGear has always been a high rated show from the start, it just wasn't the ratings monster it is today. Andy Wilman himself has admitted to chopping up segments and adding more (forced) jokes, simply because some audience members have the attention span of a retarded gerbil and need constant funnies to keep them glued to the TV. As Austere said before, that really is the lowest common denominator. The witty clever intelligent humor of the show has been disappearing, leaving us with dick and fart jokes.

Now as far as trying to maintain high ratings... I really couldn't care less. I look at the highest rated shows here and guess what, they're all shit. Some of my favorite shows of all time were canceled due to poor ratings. High ratings do not equate a quality program. The only thing high ratings indicate is whether or not the show will see another season, that's it. Simple truth is the mainstream audience is mostly comprised of idiots.

I still really enjoy the show and still rate it pretty high, so don't get all pissed off. I love the show and I actually want to see it improve.
 

shellygrrl

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Pre-S9, TG's had a UK audience of, what, four million or so? Which wasn't/isn't too shabby for BBC Two, is it?
 

scoops

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i have to say, some of the ideas in here have been good, however Shelly has been outlining everything that is wrong with Top Gear as of recently (sorry Shelly, no offence)

but if everyone sits back and thinks about it, Top gear before it started this new "let's sell out!!!" phase was progressively getting bigger, and it was a car show, so for all the people who say that the car show couldn't work, they've proved you wrong already with that.

unfortunatly someone (or all of them) became greedy in the process and went for big numbers instead of consistancy which they had before.

all i know is that a pokey motoring program restarted itself up in 2002, and if you look at footage of the audience size, there's next to nobody there. Nobody knew about the show yet.

and just to demonstrate to anyone who has all the series downloaded, look at the first and last episodes of each season, the size of the audience is viably growing. I believe the waiting list was almost 2 years by series 5 was it not? and that was still a show based on car reviews.

and technically, isn't that only a 2.5 year span that they were able to get that much of a following just doing car reviews?

So to all those who think that you can't make a show grow without blowing up something in every episode.... eat your words :p it was proven in 2002


oh, and one more thing i have to point out. when i was skipping through the early episodes for information for this post, in the first seasons, you can see the audience physically laughing. in the last 4 episodes, they are all standing dead still with their mouths closed, yet they are somehow managing to laugh.


and whoever said "they can't continue this pace" they are 100% correct. if this keeps up, these guys are all going to crash (mentally, potentially physically) thus resulting in someone quitting, difference of opinion, or just plain giving up.
 
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Cucciolotto

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Shelly, I and others do not want a complete overhaul, a few improvements here and there that's all. I love a good banter, I love good comedy and silly jokes but I also like to learn about cars in a car show. But most of all I love variety, so if TG was to tell me "college humour for the next 10 years but with all episodes and gags being different" then I'd be delighted.
But the sad truth is that they are lacking new materials and recycling challenges and jokes, and that won't last for more than 2 years before people get really bored imo.

My last point about James May: you and I unless we're neighbours will never know what car he actually uses on a regular basis. He also aid he went for a holiday to France with his girlfriend last year in his Porsche Boxter, now how are we going to check? :)

PS to skylock: thanks a million. We all love internet and forums don't we? Behind our screens we're all 6"7 , as strong as Hulk and with guns on our hips so we can afford to call others idiots for having a different opinion without fear of reprisal. How great and courageous. :rolleyes:
 

Viper007Bond

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Already done. You may have heard of Fifth Gear.
+1


Also you may have heard of "Motor Trend" in the States. It's focused on everyday cars, but it's boring as fuck regardless. Cars-only is too nerdy and would never catch on. A LARGE chunk of the Top Gear viewers aren't into cars. Take them away and you're screwed ratings wise.
 
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scoops

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PS to skylock: thanks a million. We all love internet and forums don't we? Behind our screens we're all 6"7 , as strong as Hulk and with guns on our hips so we can afford to call others idiots for having a different opinion without fear of reprisal. How great and courageous. :rolleyes:
I just have to say, some of us are close to that size, but we are gentle giants.... built for show :p

i like to figure the guys calling names and throwing stones are 5'2 with a potbelly, covered in grease, and flakes of the potato chips he was eating in front of the computer while trying to be a smartass. That and an 18 gun collection laying around the house for no purpose other then to say "i have 18 guns for the sake of it."
 

Mauren

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as soon as you start worrying about ratings you're fucked... they should have never been concerned about ratings cause they had a good thing going. Now they screwed it all up.

... they should go back to how they were and then have spin offs of their little adventures. not spin offs of proper car reviews .. come on ... spin off for car reviews, at one time thats what this show was all about
 

shellygrrl

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Slight OT: I'm pretty damn sure someone's hacked into Skylock's account or something and is neg-repping posts for no good reason. The same thing happened to me. If you read any of her posts on these boards, and contrast them with the rep message you received, they are as different as night and day. She does NOT write like that.
 

TC

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Slight OT: I'm pretty damn sure someone's hacked into Skylock's account or something and is neg-repping posts for no good reason. The same thing happened to me. If you read any of her posts on these boards, and contrast them with the rep message you received, they are as different as night and day. She does NOT write like that.
She probably hands em out too fast to notice whats she's typing in. I received a couple myself.
 

scoops

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all i know is people take this "rep" thing a little seriously.... however when a noob comes on and badmouths it kinda makes sense.
 

Mr. Nice

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Slight OT: I'm pretty damn sure someone's hacked into Skylock's account or something and is neg-repping posts for no good reason. The same thing happened to me. If you read any of her posts on these boards, and contrast them with the rep message you received, they are as different as night and day. She does NOT write like that.
I had something interesting happen where she plus repped me for one post and neg repped me for another in the same thread. You may well be correct.

Edit: It was two different threads. I think I had to many head trauma accidents as a child. They were within close proximity to each other, and one had a word miss-spelled.
 
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MWF

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I had something interesting happen where she plus repped me for one post and neg repped me for another in the same thread. You may well be correct.

Edit: It was two different threads. I think I had to many head trauma accidents as a child. They were within close proximity to each other, and one had a word miss-spelled.
So was the one I had. I was surprised to find it was her as we've always been on good terms and she's always been supportive of my right to air views however they differ from hers. I hope it is the case that her account has been hacked as it's always embarassing to discover one's impressions of someone are totally wrong. Time for a PM to get to the truth methinks.
 

SchumacherM

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TG simply needs to have a segment dedicated to a serious review of cars. Sort of an expanded news section once in a while as opposed to a "theme" competition between them all the time. Say 2-3 times per show season, a review of the latest offerings from manufacturers. They only have to change the approach slightly; no need of a another show.
That. Perfect. If someone from TG is reading..DO THIS!
 
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