Top Gear

Series 24 - Episode 1

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Review

Right, take two. Last year’s relaunch turned into a pile-up of tabloid controversy (remember the stunt near the Cenotaph?), fan fury and ratings low enough to earn “Flop Gear” headlines. Can the second attempt do better?

The fact that Chris Evans is no longer involved is bound to help. For all his brilliance as a broadcaster, Evans never felt right in Top Gear mode. The production had thrown the kitchen sink at replacing Clarkson, Hammond and May (they tried seven presenters in all) but they couldn’t replicate a formula that played on the chemistry between a trio who had worked together for years. So too often it all felt creaky, like a half-finished sketch show.

Now we’re back to a central trio of Matt LeBlanc, Rory Reid and Chris Harris – the best of last year’s new arrivals. Tonight, they race across Kazakhstan in high-mileage bangers: a Mercedes saloon, a Volvo estate and a London Taxi, all of which have done at least 480,000 miles. Meanwhile, actor James McAvoy takes to the track.

Summary

New series. Chris Harris test-drives the Ferrari FXXK at the Daytona circuit in Florida and is joined by Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid to race across Kazakhstan in three high-mileage cars - a Mercedes saloon, a Volvo estate and a London taxi. Actor James McAvoy guest stars in the studio and on the famous Top Gear test track.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Matt LeBlanc
Presenter Chris Harris
Presenter Rory Reid
Guest James McAvoy
Executive Producer Clare Pizey
Series Director Mark McQueen
Series Editor Alex Renton
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