After a year of intense speculation and an astonishing amount of hype, tonight saw the long-awaited return of Top Gear. Gone were Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May (thanks to that fracas), but the BBC2 format was back as more or less the same show… with different presenters.
Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc took the wheel, but for those watching, the general consensus was that Twitter was far more entertaining.
— Richard Walker (@UncaScrappy) May 29, 2016
#TopGear you know it’s a shambles when ur more interested in the tweets about it than actually watching it
— scott ahern (@scottya76) May 29, 2016
Clarkson, Hammond and May were conspicuously absent from the online commentary, but that didn’t stop viewers pre-empting their reaction…
— Mark Perrett (@bristolmunkeh) May 29, 2016
— Gary Goose (@Gary_G2707) May 29, 2016
— Matt Bough (@mattboughh) May 29, 2016
Not sure what I’ve just witnessed – a TV show with all the original characters erased from history in a Stalin style purge #TopGear
— George Smiley (@364690) May 29, 2016
— John Robinson (@Jr_SVB) May 29, 2016
Chief among their list of complaints was Evans himself whom the audience deemed too “shouty” and “annoying”…
— RugbyInsideLine (@RugbyInsideLine) May 29, 2016
Chris. Please. Stop. Shouting. #TopGear
— Louis Karsenbarg (@LouisKarsenbarg) May 29, 2016
— Josh (@JoshRae15) May 29, 2016
But for his co-star, Matt LeBlanc, the ride was far less bumpy…
— Pioneer Car (@PioneerUK) May 29, 2016
To be fair Matt LeBlanc isn't too bad on this. Maybe that's because he is "different" to the old presenters & not trying too hard! #TopGear
— Michael Constantine (@MikeConstantine) May 29, 2016
— Dave Flynn (@Dave_K_Flynn) May 29, 2016
I like Sabine a lot #TopGear
— Anneka Rice (@AnnekaRice) May 29, 2016
There were one or two people who found the show’s reincarnation enjoyable:
Thought the new #TopGear was good, enjoyed it & Matt LeBlanc is the man. Seems a lot of people had already made their mind up… ?
— Mark Biggs (@Minhosa27) May 29, 2016
Evans and his crew are smart enough to keep just enough of the old #TopGear and update the rest gently. I doff my producer's hat.
— Richard Osman (@richardosman) May 29, 2016
And the occasional tweeter did cut Evans, LeBlanc and co some slack…
People hating on new #TopGear might want to watch the very early Clarkson Hammond and May episodes and see how awkward and unpolished it was
— Joe Anderton (@JoeAndertweet) May 29, 2016
— David Goodall (@soundsmove) May 29, 2016
But Twitter wasn’t exactly captivated.
— Felix Hemsley (@FelixHemsley) May 29, 2016
Nor were they impressed by the fact that it was basically the same show with far less zing.
BBC had opportunity to reinvent #TopGear all they've done is replace presenters (literally changed nothing else) and given them same script.
— Ashley Proniewicz (@ashpron) May 29, 2016
Does anyone else think the new #TopGear is trying too hard to be similar to before but failing?! ?
— Andre Cowen (@AndreCowen) May 29, 2016
— Cam • (@CamRChapman) May 29, 2016
As new Top Gear’s maiden drive came to a close, the Twitter mauling showed no signs of abating.
— Paul Davies (@Paul_Davies1991) May 29, 2016
And everyone agreed there was only one winner:
— Matt Cowley (@matcow7) May 29, 2016