Top Gear Australia

The Nine Network (ended 2012)


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Top Gear Australia Fan Reviews (7)

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out of 10
96 votes
  • Season 3 is MUCH improved on the first two seasons. Shane Jacobsen is stealing the show!

    Steve Pizatti is the only original host still standing after two seasons. The first season was dismal, the second season was pretty ordinary (though, improved). But this season they've finally got the mix right!

    Shane Jacobsen owns it! He was a little shaky in the Ashes Special, but soon found his way up to a great standard by the second proper episode (V8 on the Loose).

    After being sadly disappointed by the first two seasons I wasn't going to bother with this one. However, with little else interesting me on the other channels, I gave it one more shot. I'm glad I did.

    If you're giving it a big miss based on the first two seasons I recommend you give it shot. I'll bet you'll be pleasantly surprised with the improvement.
  • It was always going to be a tough field to plough: re-mixing the BBC's hugely successful Top Gear into something uniquely Australian. Based on the evidence of the first show, we're not convinced they've succeeded.

    Note: This review was originally posted on's sister site CNET Australia. There's a poll on that original article too, if you're interested.

    It was always going to be a tough field to plough: re-mixing the BBC's hugely successful Top Gear into something uniquely Australian. Based on the evidence of the first show, we're not convinced they've succeeded.

    It all started well enough, the intro and the set were both very faithful recreations of the UK version. Then they started talking. Part of the appeal of the British original is the repartee between the show's three hosts - something that's a result of a natural rapport built up over many seasons, as well as some very tight scripting. The banter in the Aussie version was stilted and overly eager to paint the three hosts into their respective positions - Charlie Cox as an antipodean Clarkson, Steve Pizzati as a stubbly Richard Hammond, and Warren Brown as a cartoon caricature of "Captain Slow" aka James May - by the second ad break.

    Rushing to fill roles that are so well known to many of us already bordered on cringeworthy at times, with the low light being Cox's throw to the Australian Stig. The sense of rushing pervaded many parts of the first show. For instance, the review of the million dollar Maybach, which lead into the "What were they thinking?" segment, could have been stretched into a longer dissection-cum-diatribe, instead all we saw were a pair of hidden Maybach-branded headphones.

    While the overuse of the vignetting effect in many of its segments hinted at the original Top Gear production values, it was painfully evident that SBS lacks the deep pockets of the BBC behemoth. Case in point, the track used for testing out both high-priced exotica and guest stars was not only short but, worse than that, poorly constructed for the available cameras. The track's corners were filmed, seemingly, in another postcode from behind a thicket of grass - it lacked any sense of speed or danger and at times even a finish line.

    Added to this, the trio's first challenge of taking three soft-roader four-wheel drives from the sand to the snow was like televised prozac, especially when you consider the outlandishness of the challenges not taken by the Poms, like racing three jalopies across the salt flats of Botswana or pitting Supercar X against Public Transport Y. Surely a jaunt across the outback in something outrageous would have been more appropriate for the big bang first episode.

    We can't help thinking that the producers would have been better off striking a more tangential path. They could have stolen some essential elements from the original (let's say irreverence for argument's sake), by absolutely nailing one facet (say the long form whacky challenge, for instance) and then mixing in longer indigenous elements (Mr Speaker we refer you to our previous comment about the Maybach segment). That, along with letting the presenters be themselves, would set the Aussie show apart from its illustrious forebear. By aping the original turn-for-turn, however, they've invited a head-to-head comparison that they can't hope to win.

    Here's hoping the show finds something more original in its second episode.
  • Not bad given that they have to stand up to the reputation of the UK one.

    I think for the first every Top Gear in Australia the boys didn't do to bad. The problem we are going to have is we are always going to compare it to the UK show which is now in its 11th season. The UK has had years to fine tune there version. It was good to see the 3 guys attempt to give it bit of the Aussie touch, and use some of the Aussie linger on the show, but still keep the main structure the show the same.

    The shark section and soft 4wd Challenge was a nice touch, and overall i did enjoy the show and cant wait to next ep.
  • 'New' show which shows potential but , on present showing, has to develop a personality of its own and not simply ape its UK parent.

    The presenters try hard, perhaps too hard. They have big shoes to fill and (at present) they aren't doing too flash. They seem to try too hard to be Clarkson, Hammond and May with Australian accents. In particular Warren Brown is taking the role of James May - not particularly car savvy, 'Capt Slow' and the butt of the other presenters' jokes. The other two are the race drivers and petrol-head hoons.
    The show may settle in , if it is given time. Old episodes (1989 and early 1990's) show that this show has evolved a very long way.
    The staging is a clone of the UK one - a mistake in my view and "The Stig" is a direct (and uninspired) rip-off. Their test track also seems tame and uninspired compared with the UK one.
  • Why?

    This show is not that good i will admit it had it's 2 or 3 moments in the first series but that all. Top Gear (UK) is fantastic and Top Gear Australia is going to have a tough time beating it to be honest. The UK version is great, it's informative and funny at the same time but this show is just a cheap imitation. For the second season if there is a second season it would be nice to see some good episodes for a change with the best episode so far rating 6.2 and the overall show rating of 6.2 i'm getting the feeling that it needs to be improved drastically to even begin to contend with the UK version.
  • An awkward and demeaning clone of the original.

    Comes across as a cheap knock off of the UK version. Seems to have been cloned so closely that it becomes awkward and demeaning. I think they summed it up best themselves. "What were they thinking?". "Legnum", are the seats made of marble? The camera work on the track lacks the quality that I'm used two from the UK version. It came be hard to figure out where the cars are at and what we should be expecting from them.

    They need to find a good distinction from the UK version. Otherwise there isn't any point in watching the lowest common denominator content.
  • A pale imitation of the origional

    Did SBS search for reviewers who's personalities mimiced those of their British counter parts or are these guys just acting. Whatever the motivation it certainly gets tired quickly, especially when it goes to the point of copying their manerisums. This would have been a much better show if they had gone for real genuine personalities rather than copies.

    The benifit of having locally available cars can not replace the lack of a actual local identiy. Even the million dollar Maybech can not compensate for the feeling of cheapness created by this wholesale copying of somebody elses personality. You'd think that Australian TV would have learnt that after Steve Vizards Tonight show copy in the ninetys.