New Andy Wilman post!

Chupacabras

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I think the same way as you are, but I do sympathise with those whose appetites are not satisfied with. It's about difference of opinion.

That seems rather reasonable. I could agree that it might not the best series, but I hardly view it as horrid and/or an affront to Top Gear fans around the world! If Andy reads this, and I do not expect him too - keep on doing what you do! :)
 

Richmondgal

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That seems rather reasonable. I could agree that it might not the best series, but I hardly view it as horrid and/or an affront to Top Gear fans around the world! If Andy reads this, and I do not expect him too - keep on doing what you do! :)

Well what we have concluded is that:
-Series 14 hasn't been as good as it should have been (or at least not to the hype of other series)

-They need a bloody long break in 2010

-Andy Wilman does pay attention to Finalgear, but...

-Some people are probably on the verge of seek and destroy

-Unless TG can get back to their roots
 

bolly

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Many of the posts on this thread provide clear evidence of why Andy Wilman wouldn't (and shouldn't) modify the show in response to lynch-mob critics. It's like a bunch of monkey's at the zoo throwing their &$%# at the people who feed them! Give the man a break... and please put your stupid guns back up your own wazoos, or somewhere else out of sight.

Geeze. It's only television after all. Politicians and bankers aren't even put under as much scrutiny as you subject the Top Gear team to! So much of this discussion reminds me of bleating people who thought Pink Floyd should just remake 'Dark Side of the Moon' fifty-five times. Yes it was great, but you can't expect 'the band' to just keep doing it over and over again!
 

LP

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I'll be honest I just needed a vent so some of that might be unfounded vitriolic nuclear waste.

But RichmondGal I agree with you. They need a break and they need to get out of the editing room because I feel like we're missing out on tons of impromptu material.
 

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Watching the lads attempt something and they just happen to turn out to be rubbish at it? Funny and good television, because sometimes they succeed despite that. Watching the lads attempt something and you can tell from the first couple of minutes that they're being set up to fail and that they will be failing in an overdone comedic way? Not funny, not good television, and really what people are complaining about as 'scripted'.

Somehow they went from "ambitious but rubbish" (like for instance the amphibious vehicles challenge or how fast they could make that Renault Avantime, and on both occasions they wanted the things they built to actually work) to not even trying and/or being set up to fail. If I can tell after a minute that they aren't even trying that just spoils it for me. I know tv isn't real but when they begin a challenge by saying that two batteries are enough to power a car and then be surprised that it a) has a somewhat limited top speed and b) not that much range, I'm sorry that's not even remotely trying to convince me that they took it seriously. And it was the same for the art gallery thing, if they tried harder instead of messing it all up it might have made for better television, for once because I actually wanted to know at least a little bit about the exhibits. It was still ok to watch but could have been better.
 

Vaioleto

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Top gear is meant to entertain, yes the presenters start to parody themselves a bit too much, but overall it's a funny and entertaining show. Fifth Gear was always the hardcore car show, but look where that got them. So stop whining like a bunch of babies, if you can get angry and write essays criticizing a show that's about cocking about, then I feel sorry for you.

Enthusiasts like us are probably a tiny percent of Top Gear's viewership, they don't even have to listen to us, being unreasonable and thinking a show is shit because it doesn't please your every demand, when doing that will produce a crap and boring show, is daft. Don't take life so seriously, and you aren't that important. If Top Gear listened to what people like the enthusiasts wanted, it wouldn't exist today.
 
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matskulainen

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First post in awhile... Wilman's post is true and it's been about a month since I last visited the Top Gear website. I haven't even been in the forums. And all I can say is; I started enjoying Top Gear again after I stopped reading the never-ending critisism and all the rest. Top Gear hasn't seemed this good for a couple of years and now that I can enjoy it again, I see that it hasn't gotten any worse.
 

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While i seem to be in the minority in that i've mostly enjoyed Season 14 so far (and even more so in the minority because i enjoyed the electric car episode). I would agree with some of the other posters in that they should perhaps take a year off and then come back in 2011 with much like season 10, a easier 10 episode run, instead of the 2 series consisting of 7 episodes each.
Reason i say this is because of Doctor Who, (i do have a point here so hold on with those neg-reps) in that Season Four felt tired, drawn out and typical usual fare from RTD. When David Tennant took a year out and said there would be a year long break before Season Five. i thought it was one of the best ideas they had done. Allow the series to refresh itself (even more so with a new cast and a new showrunner at the wheel) but also maintain interest with a few specials.
What i'm saying is that the Top Gear team need to find time to recharge their batteries and come up with some new ideas instead of running to a deadline. Perhaps in that year it will give them a chance to see what works, what doesn't and move on from there. Possibly they could also follow Dr Who's path and do a couple of one off specials that can maintain interest while the series is in hiatus.
Since Season 13 i've mostly felt that Top Gear is coming to a end, its basically had a feeling that things are being wrapped up and they're preparing to close the doors. Who knows, i could be wrong and in Doctor Who tradition, regenerate into something completely different.

Edit Note: By the way, Spectre. holy crap man! looks like when the Zombie Apocalypse happens we all know whos gonna be ready for it.
 
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Dsemaj

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To be honest, I'd be happy to wait 12-18 months for the next series if it means that everybody involved gets a chance to refresh and renew. Whilst TG may not regain its innocence, I believe it would regain its spark. I also reckon that TG's triumphant return after a well deserved sabbatical would most likely be epic.

It'd give me time to rewatch every episode from start to finish again, for good or worse! :D

However I do sympathise with Andy. When it comes to productions, it's not until the final moment, when it's finally being aired, when you're at your most vulnerable, that you realise how it actually turns out. It's difficult to spend hours on end in an edit suite, so attached to a ideal that it's hard to decide what's wrong, or what's not working. It's difficult to step back from your own work, but it pays off when you do. I wouldn't be disappointed to hear that Top Gear is going to go on a break for a year, it'd do the show great. Maybe even just a half year break, just spending time on building up great stories without having to rush it all.

I was pretty disappointed with the show tonight - it had it's moments, but it just seemed a bit too far. For example Jeremy's car accident - it was most likely genuine, it felt genuine, but when there's so many moments that make you wonder, when the genuine article comes along, you're still left sceptical.

If I had to pick a target to aim for, I'd say that Top Gear Uncovered DVD special seemed to be the right way to go. Sure, there's obvious scripted moments, but it never felt like they were expecting us to believe it, just laugh and have a good time.

Top Gear needs to find it's feet again, but most of all find it's tone. Most of all, I wholeheartedly agree that their 'characters' need to be toned down. Case and point - James May. See him in his own series, and compare that to how he's portrayed in Top Gear. I can easily see that he'd agree with Andy on that point, portraying themselves like that is stupid and boarder lining on dishonest.

Hopefully the South African trip will just be a genuine TG three episode with some good car fun mixed in. Looking forward to it either way
 
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gazzyk1ns

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Willman said:
From what I can work out, the main complaints are that there?s too much cocking about for the car lovers

It's not really a case of that, I hate it when people view Top Gear as a stat-fest for people interested in cars, stupidity for the Gary boys, and Hammond for the bored girlfriend watching it with you. I've never met anyone who thinks that's the case, not even close.

I think, if you consider the tastes of the Final Gear folk and the TG diehards, they?d probably say we?ve only done a couple of memorable films in the last year or so ? Bonneville Flats,

That was rubbish, you drove some non-spectacular cars up to something pretty mundane for a TV show like 170mph, and interspersed them with some shots of "thick yanks".

...Commie Cars,

That was rubbish, I know old cheap cars made under those conditions will be rubbish, I don't need you to stage the steering wheel or whatever it was falling off to illustrate that.

Japan Race probably.

Yes, that was good, because I got to see a bit of a brand new car, and a lot of Japan filmed well, which is what an awful lot of people think you should be using your budget for.

However, although we understand the complaints, it doesn?t necessarily mean we?re going to do anything about them.

Well that means you either don't understand, or don't care. Either way, thanks for that. God forbid you try to give people what they want, just go and piss your budget up the wall however you see fit, and people can like it or lump it, eh?

I miss the three mates who mooch along ? there were flashes of it in the Lancia film

Agreed, generally you don't have to dress an episode up by setting it in America or wherever else - the rainy comparison of the 911, 6-Series and Aston on the Isle Of Man was fun. We got to see some cars driven properly against each other, and also the people who want to see someone acting about how cold and wet they are got their fix too. I think an umbrella even blew down a hill at one point, bonus. Seriously, the latter can go with the former, but recently it's been almost totally the latter. I think the first time I got properly annoyed at that sort of thing is when you set a car wash on fire. Was that the same episode where you staged the tearing-down/burning of some tents at a camp site? I can't remember, and that's the point.

Rewatch the Cheap Porsches or the Shit Italian Supercars film, and you?ll see what I mean.

I have, and I agree.

But ironically, that does mean trying new things to the last, even if they screw up, because, well, it means you never stopped trying.

That?s the way it is with content

Those two quotes seem to contradict each other. I realise I might have taken them slightly out of context, but I don't think I've been too cynical. You can't say "Hey man, we're still trying and pushing the boundaries!" in one breath, and then "Look, I know how to make programmes, there's a formula and it'll not change in the near future. So just put up with it, you'll not get anything better any time soon, OK?" in the next.

The sad thing is you're probably right. Even sadder is that you don't care and actually seem a bit aggrieved that people have dared to say "Erm, we really like Top Gear, you seem to be getting a bit carried away with the caricature-type stuff, though...".

To summarise my view: Jeremy/Hammond/James reviewing Alfas whilst talking about how they're pretty but traditionally break down within 2 milliseconds is good. Talking about how Lamborghinis MUST be mad in order to be a Lamborghini is good. Driving a mad little car around the BBC TV Centre for a while is good. But turning the whole thing into something only a 12 year-old could watch without thinking "This is a bit much..." is... a bit much.
 
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Twerp128

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Top Gear has never been a sophisticated show, I watch it, I enjoy it, I move on. The best way to ruin something is to try and please everyone, (and a couple posts up there is proof of that). It's nice to see Wilman shares that sentiment. Seems the team know how to balance tradition with innovation. They can keep the best bits of the past, while constantly changing and reinventing their ideas.
 

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Andy's post is what makes Top Gear, Top Gear.

In the November edition of the Top Gear Magazine, Jezza mentioned speaking at a conference or something where he was asked why Top Gear, 14 seasons later was still going strong.

The reality is that they are real. They're to the point, have fun and cut the rubbish. It's a formula that's worked, and I suspect that everyone's disappointment with season 14 is a result of them deviating slightly from this formula.

Sure things are a little scripted, you can't head out to Botswana without a plan, and there needs to be some agreement with regards to what they're gonna do, but on the whole, scripted or not, they do have a spontaneous spontaneity that is hard to find, and that makes the show.

Andy, mate, you're spot on. Keep doing what you're doing and I'll keep watching. Sometimes you'll miss the boat a little, but you're still light years ahead of the rest.
 

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He has some valid points. Really great of him to comment the "accusations".

But I really miss the feeling of "traditional" Top Gear. It wasn't like everything made "real sense" in the past.. but it just felt more, alive, spontaneous.

I just watched it.. enjoyed the flow of the 3 mates having a good time. Now I'm sitting here... waiting all the time for the next thing to happen.

I liked the more authentic version way better. Maybe they just should film more and picking the good stuff for airing than thinking too much about the overall plot.

Just thinking of the supercars in France when they got stuck in the parking garage
 

LP

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Just thinking of the supercars in France when they got stuck in the parking garage

This was the same moment I thought of.

It was quite scary to go from season 10 to season 11. That was the most awkward feeling I've ever had. Then once I started watching the bloopers and outtakes I started getting the picture. They edited it out for whatever reason.
 

Dogbert

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Investigate for yourself - the numbers and such are in the American Special thread, as are some other people's investigations.

Me, I just called the State Department a month or so after the show aired and found they knew all about it and had investigated already.
Top Gear has, without a doubt, one of the best camera crews in the world. They travel to exotic locations to film the most expensive cars and bizarre situations with a penchant for detail and style that you would be hard pressed to find in another show.

So I find it hard to believe that they couldn't actually get a clear shot of some random dudes in the back of a pickup truck (but being able to get a clear shot of their shadows). Or a clear shot of anything in that entire scene, besides James May trying to jump his piece of shit car, which is also curious to me; why was his first priority "getting my heap car started" when him and the entire crew were apparently about to be assaulted?

Please for the sake of all that is holy stop treating your audience like morons and allowing your colleagues to act like morons.
This. It's an insult to our intelligence as an audience when things are clearly scripted, but they're passed off to appear not scripted. I understand this is television, but I expect that kind of "drama" from The Real World, not Top Gear.

It's venturing on armchair producer territory, but I find it hard to believe how little of TG is apparently scripted, while still being able to get a lot of the shots that we see on TV. I mean that's perfectly fine if it is... it's television, after all... but don't try and make us think that it's less scripted than it is, if that's not the case.
 
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Crash Biker

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JFK, 9/11, Moon landings, UFOs, birthers etc etc. Clearly there is something about human beings that just loves a conspiracy theory. In the master list of conspiracy theories I suspect Top Gear in Alabama is in very small print somewhere on page 911.

Having said that, and knowing I am doing no good for me or the discussion and that I will not change one mind:

1) They almost certainly did get perfectly good pictures of all the people at the petrol station. Given that, in Andy Wilman's shoes, I would have gone to quite some trouble not to show them. Just using shadows seems clever to me. They wanted an exciting 30secs of TV not an high profile international legal incident where they would have had to confess to provocation.

2) There's <"O shit" I'm in a foreign place where I have deliberately provoked the locals and it has gone further than I expected> scared and <bomb just gone off in Iraq/Afghanistan/wherever> scared. I doubt they were in immediate fear for their lives, doesn't mean James didn't get the full burst of adrenaline, doesn't make trying to start the car unreasonable as a first reaction.

3) From an "officer of the law" position, a petrol station lady got cross with a rude foreign TV team and told them they were not welcome at the garage. Some viewers reported a few stones were thrown but no specifics of any damage done. The TV team registered no complaint. I'd mark that down as "no event" despite the TV being a reasonable record of events from the perspective of the story being told.

4) Everything I have seem from Clarkson/Wilman et al gives me no reason to suppose they would lie about this. They have clearly demonstrated week after week that they have no problem offending people who disagree with their sense of humour. They also admit to the airport set up without as a recent example, so just can't see what they have to gain by insisting this was true if it wasn't.

5) The alternative is to believe they pre-arranged and paid that woman to come out shouting and for someone off camera (maybe the team themselves) to throw some stones & rocks. Not impossible but my simple human instinct for reading how these people work says that doesn't seem right. Hoist a dead cow onto a car roof for a laugh - yes, stage a potential assault for extra drama - no.

Having said all of this, I'm happy to confess I might be totally wrong and that it may have been completely staged. But given no proof to the contrary I might as well believe what Top Gear is telling me.

In life, if I started believing people may be deceiving me over issues of little consequence without knowing why or what they have to gain would be a quick trip to the funny farm for me.

With regards to Series 14 - mostly OK for me - still enjoy watching it. My only wish for change is that whatever they try to do they should actually try to genuinely make it work. Real effort, real emotion and if it fails a real laugh. Not the clown car/chuckle brothers stuff.

Kind regards

Crash
 

warren

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Investigate for yourself - the numbers and such are in the American Special thread, as are some other people's investigations.

You're the one making the assertion. Back it up.

Me, I just called the State Department a month or so after the show aired and found they knew all about it and had investigated already.

Of course you did, sunshine.
 

warren

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But I really miss the feeling of "traditional" Top Gear. It wasn't like everything made "real sense" in the past.. but it just felt more, alive, spontaneous.

They had more segments in the past. That probably has a lot to do with it.

Just thinking of the supercars in France when they got stuck in the parking garage

But here's a question for you: What's the fundamental difference between that bit in France, driving three supercars through a tiny gypsy town?

Let me guess, the gypsies were OMG SCRIPTED.
 
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