Top Gear

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


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  • Season 9 Episode 7: Polar Special

  • Top Gear was criticised by the BBC Trust for showing what it regarded as "highly irresponsible" footage. The footage showed Jeremy Clarkson and James May drinking gin and tonic whilst travelling to the Magnetic North Pole by car. The scene "could be seen to glamorise the misuse of alcohol", according to the Trust.

    Top Gear's Executive Producer, Andy Wilman, argued that as they were in international waters at the time, they were beyond the reach of any legislator. James May's response to the criticism was to tell the BBC Trust to "sod off".

  • The C-47 aeroplane which Jeremy and James came across, was there as a result of an incident on a take-off. Amazingly, all of the crew members walked away from the crash. The gun shot holes were not the result of some Cold War incident, but rather bored Arctic explorers who have come across their first non-snow/ice object in days and usually have weaponry on-hand (to deal with polar bears).

  • After the race was over, the presenters were air-lifted from the ice. The camera crews and support teams had to make the return journey across the ice.

  • Richard never actually reached the Magnetic North Pole. He was so far behind James and Jeremy, it was decided that the distance and poor communications made the journey unnecessary.

  • 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 village's in England. Fiennes was persuaded to destroy the dam with explosives he had "left over" form a recent training exercise.

  • The pick-up truck driven by Jeremy and James is modified by specialist company, Arctic Trucks.

  • Season 9 Episode 6: Series 9 Episode 6

  • Jeremy Clarkson revealed in Series 10 Episode 10, that the reason he did not impose a penalty on Bille Piper for cutting corners during her fast lap, was due to the fact that on the day, she was wearing a see-through top.

  • The number plates of the three limos have consecutive numbers. Richard's is Q641 GFD; James's is Q642 GFD and Jeremy's is Q643 GFD.

  • Jeremy had to reduce the length of his Fiat Panda limo by seven feet, as it was too long to be allowed on public roads.

    It did, eventually and inevitably, break into two pieces on the way to the Brit Awards.

  • The average audience figure for this episode was 8 million. At the beginning of the programme the audience was 7.2 million, peaking at 8.6 million.

  • The Brit Awards ceremony is the 'big night out' for the British music industry. The awards are not really taken seriously by anyone other than the British music industry, but are, to all intents and purposes, the most prestigious music awards in Britain.

    The lack of credibility for these awards amongst the British public can be due in part, to the fact that the Spice Girls were once given an award for their 'outstanding contribution' to British music.

  • Season 9 Episode 5: Series 9 Episode 5

  • James May claimed in this episode that Phil Drabble was dead. He was in fact alive and well and living in Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire at the time this episode was shown. Mr. Drabble died on the 29th July 2007 at the age of 93.

  • The average viewing figure for this episode was 7.4 million, peaking at the end of the programme at 8 million.

  • Season 9 Episode 4: Series 9 Episode 4

  • The only piece of the shuttle to be recovered was the port-side wing. It now hangs in the Top Gear office.

  • Audience figures continue to climb for this series of Top Gear. This episode was watched by 7.4 million - an increase of 1.5 million on last week. The audience peaked at 7.9 million.

  • Season 9 Episode 3: Series 9 Episode 3

  • The first 'entrée' examined by the three presenters whilst exploring their road kill buffet was the remains of an armadillo (specifically a nine-banded armadillo). Armadillos were originally found in Texas but are now found as far east as Florida and South Carolina.

    They have been found as far north as Nebraska. Their remains are frequently found on American highways because of a peculiar survival mechanism: when frightened, they will jump straight up. Unfortunately for an armadillo frightened by an oncoming vehicle, this means they will frequently jump straight up into the engine block of the car.

  • The audience figure for this episode was 6 million.

  • Season 9 Episode 2: Series 9 Episode 2

  • The average audience figure for this episode was 7.2 million viewers.

  • The Bugatti Veyron was tested for its top speed at Ehra-Lessien, Volkswagen's private test track near Wolfsburg. It comprises of 60 miles [94 kilometres] of track - the main straight on which is 5.5 miles [8.8 Kilometres] long.

  • Although Bugatti allowed Top Gear to drive the Veyron at its test track, they have so far not allowed the Stig to drive one on the Top Gear track. This has lead to on-air an appeal from Jeremy Clarkson for anyone who has a Bugatti Veyron, to lend it to them so they can set a lap time around the Top Gear track.

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