Top Gear

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Sunday 8:00 PM on BBC Two Premiered Oct 20, 2002 Returning December 2014

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  • 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 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 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.

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