Whenever the boys from Top Gear try to build something, it's always a fantastic episode. After all, remember the show's motto: "Ambitious, but rubbish." And so it is as they try to turn a combine harvester into a snow plow.
"Tonight, Richard wears a blue hat, James wears a different hat, and I wear a hat with things on it." Yes, that is officially the second most useless intro in Top Gear history (at least this time the hats had descriptions).
The News begins with Jeremy reading the biography of a fictional Nissan electric car buyer that has James wondering if he's Daniel from the Elton John song, and Richard revealing that Daniel is James' middle name.
Richard defines infinity as "when James explains how something works" before Jeremy corrects him that he's talking about Infiniti, who have plans to show off a new car that he believes is named the Urethra. It's not, but no one actually gives us the right name either. We're just treated to a lot of confusion as to what your urethra actually is.
As if that wasn't bad enough, Jeremy talks about how you can use the word "melons" on your numberplate but not "ballbag."
Mercifully, that's where the News ends, so we can instead discuss the new BMW M3. Jeremy believes the new "competition pack" makes no difference most of the time, and curses at how the car cuts its own engine when he spins out. Yet the Audi RS5 doesn't impress him either. "In short, then, neither of these cars really works," he tells us.
"Some say that in his wallet, he keeps a photograph of his wallet," Jeremy adds when introducing The Stig to test both these cars out on the track. Apparently, The Stig loves pop music this week. The Audi does 1:27:5 and the BMW is only a second faster. But it doesn't matter, because if you believe Jeremy, no one will want to buy either of them anyway.
The boys set to make up for the lack of snow plows in the winter by repurposing a combine harvester. That's how we meet "The Dominator." It truly has to be seen to be believed, but it has a top speed of just twelve miles an hour - which makes it perfect for James, who's horrified when he tries to go full speed. (And he still manages to hit stuff.)
They decide to test the gritter on a car, and manage to blow out all the windows. Well, this is going smoothly so far, don't you think?
Then it gets worse. They have no snow to speak of, so they are forced to go elsewhere (Norway) to find some. The "snowbine" begins plowing in earnest - but just as they get all excited over the machine's success, the ice cracks and it begins to sink. At least they're able to excavate it without incident. More plowing leads to the creation of their own runway, which of course has to be tested by the landing of a small plane. The plane doesn't so much land as flail and crash, causing Team Top Gear to try and run away in shame...at twelve miles an hour.
Later on, Jeremy wants to try out his de-icing attachment, which is a flamethrower. He's enjoying that so much that he overlooks the "snowbine" smashing into the side of a house. This time, they can't even get away because James can't do a three-point turn in a small space. Once they finally break free, it's more fire and some epic score tunes as they drive down the road feeling pretty good about themselves...at least, until Jeremy burns a hole through a local road sign. And when James tries to plow a bank of snow outside a gas station, he finds a car inside it. All the mayhem suggests to James that perhaps they ought to try working out in the countryside instead.
While James gets distracted by A-ha's "Take On Me," Richard somehow manages to lose his wedding ring in the machine, and Jeremy has to admit that combine harvesters aren't really meant to work in the snow, or the rain, or on hills. This doesn't stop him from shouting for full power and continuing on. Unsurprisingly, this just means the machine gets into another catastrophe. With all of that trouble, I'm honestly impressed that they manage to arrive in town and be "ambitious and brilliant."
You have to love how these guys can always find new ways to embarrass themselves. Not to mention that they seem to never tire of such good-natured humiliation. That makes these times when they succeed even more interesting.
Star In A Reasonably Priced Car
Amber Heard, who's currently in the latest Nicolas Cage flick Drive Angry, is this week's celebrity guest. She's bleeped within the first two minutes, and then they start talking about her love of guns (she owns a .357 Magnum), before moving on to the fact that she's bisexual. Jeremy is instantly in love.
Aside from another bleeping, though, her lap is fairly uneventful. She clocks in at 1:50:3 - "the slowest dry lap we've ever had," she's told.
I'm almost more interested in the story of Richard's first car.
Can you believe that next week is the Top Gear season finale? Yep, we've blown through seven episodes already, and we're at the end already. Join me next week to wrap up series 16!
For more Top Gear, check out the show category at my blog, DigitalAirwaves.net.