Top Gear

Sunday 8:00 PM on BBC Two Premiered Oct 20, 2002 Between Seasons


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  • Season 1 Episode 8: Series 1 Episode 8

  • From this episode onwards, the final corner on the track was renamed 'Gambon' as a tribute to Sir Michael Gambon who took the corner on two wheels.

  • Season 2 Episode 2: Series 2 Episode 2

  • The Rover P5 driven by Richard in this episode, is owned by Queen Elizabeth II.

  • Season 2 Episode 3: Series 2 Episode 3

  • The Liana was resplendent with a white stripe just like Starsky's Gran Torino, even though David Soul played Hutch.

  • Season 3 Episode 1: Series 3 Episode 1

  • The (black) Stig was 'killed off' in this episode after his identity became more widely known. The identity of the Stig was confirmed to be Perry McCarthy in his book, 'Flat Out, Flat Broke', which was published in 2003. McCarthy is a former Formula 1 driver and test driver for the Benetton, Arrows and Williams teams. He also tested for BMW F1.

    The Identity of the new (white) Stig is still unknown.

  • Season 4 Episode 1: Series 4 Episode 1

  • The robotic traffic cones ridiculed by Jeremy actually exist. They were the result of a project by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln (U.S.) professor who developed robotic cones and barrels that can move out of the way, or into place, from computer commands made miles away. The traditional orange-and-white tops fit over a black base that contains the electronics and motors.

    Aside from improving safety for workers, it also made it so that a one-mile construction project doesn't block up five miles of traffic. According to a 2004 article, the prototypes cost an estimated $700 each.

  • 24 hours prior to the race, the DB9 got a little too close to another vehicle, ripping off the driver's door mirror. This necessitated a quick run back to Aston Martin's factory in Warwickshire (about 100 miles north of the studio) for it to be repaired. It arrived back at Top Gear's base in Guildford (south west of London) with just a few hours to spare before the race was due to start.

  • This was the very first of Top Gear's epic races across Europe. A slightly less significant first is that this was the first time that James explicitly refused to run on television. The result of which was that he and Richard nearly missed the train from Paris to Nice.

  • Having made James and Richard take a long walk to the local bus stop [during the Aston Martin DB9 Vs. Train race], the crew later found out that there was one much nearer.

  • The Manager of the Cafe de Paris in Monte Carlo's Place du Casino denied Top Gear permission to film there. Eventually the manager changed his mind moments before Jeremy arrived, on condition that the whole crew ate there.

  • Season 4 Episode 4: Series 4 Episode 4

  • Assuming that Jeremy went from the studio outside Guildford to Edinburgh and back, he went about 850 miles on one tank. To put this into perspective for American readers/viewers, this would be like starting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [in the north east] and making it to Jacksonville, Florida [in the south east] without re-fuelling.

  • Season 4 Episode 9: Series 4 Episode 9

  • Sir Ranulph Fiennes O.B.E. was dismissed from the elite S.A.S. regiment of the British army. The reason: "misuse of explosives". Residents of Castle Combe were outraged by plans to build a concrete dam for use in the filming of the 1967 film Dr. Doolittle. The film was being shot in the village in Wiltshire, England.

    One of the outraged local's - a friend of Sir Ranulph - felt that the dam was an eyesore and was spoiling Castle Combe's reputation as one of the prettiest villages in England. Fiennes was persuaded to destroy the dam with explosives he had "left over" form a recent training exercise.

  • Sir Ranulph Fiennes O.B.E. was once considered for the part of James Bond. He didn't get the part because film producer Cubby Broccoli described him as having hands too big and a "face like a farmer".

  • Season 5 Episode 6: Series 5 Episode 6

  • While Jeremy took over seven hours ("and six breakdowns") just to get onto the Motorway, a 'normal' drive from London to the Brighton sea front [about 55 miles] should, take about 90 minutes (assuming no major traffic problems).

  • Season 5 Episode 8: Series 5 Episode 8

  • According to Top Gear's website, the race should have been even closer as Richard and James missed the bus into Verbier by seconds, costing them 20 minutes!

  • Jeremy thought he was miles away from Verbier and would lose the race. It was only when he reached the outskirts of Verbier that he realised that he had misread the scale of his map.

  • Season 6 Episode 1: Series 6 Episode 1

  • This was the first episode in which Jeremy used a unique introduction for the Stig.

  • Season 6 Episode 6: Series 6 Episode 6

  • Apparently, James doesn't keep his money in a bank. If he had insufficient funds to match a request for 5000 Norwegian Krone, this would mean that he had less than US$722, ₤500, or €564 in his account!

  • Unlike when he drove from San Francisco to Reno in Series 12, Episode 2, Jeremy was extremely fortunate when he claimed he was driving: "sixty ... -ish." The speed limit in Norway on limited-access motorways is 90 kph (55 mph) and police have the authority to impose on-the-spot fines.

  • The original plan was for Jeremy to drive a Vauxhall Astra to Oslo, instead of the Mercedes McLaren SLR. This, the producers thought, would make it a a bit more realistic for the viewer.

    The plan was changed when the producers realised that Clarkson would run out of things to say about the Astra before he made it to the M25 motorway, which circles London.

  • Season 6 Episode 7: Series 6 Episode 7

  • Jeremy's race in a Fiat Panda against Mr. Muir is a result of a challenge from Christopher Ecclestone in Episode 3 of Series 6. He challenged Jeremy to a race along the London Marathon route with Clarkson in a car and Ecclestone on foot.

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in depth tech review, road trip, tech heavy, legendary people, observational humor