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'Top Gear' 16.08 'John Prescott' Review

Brittany Frederick Brittany Frederick
March 14th, 2011 10:25pm EDT

Top-Gear-bbc-tv-43.jpgThe end of Top Gear's Season 16 is here already. So how are the boys going to go out? Well, as usual, with a unique brand of insanity and automotive nerdiness.

The Introduction

"Tonight, a Spaniel in a moon buggy, a fat man in a Kia, and a race against the Lord God Almighty." Let's just hope Jeremy didn't offend anyone with that...

The Features

Richard is playing with a Porsche 959 and a Ferrari F40, reliving the 1980's. He's smitten with both cars, although they are quite different. So which is better? He calls choosing between the two "pointless," finding them both equally important in automotive history, comparing them to the Moon landing. Jeremy vastly prefers the Ferrari, but when The Stig tries to drive it, it just starts smoking and needs to be pushed into the garage. The Porsche at least moves, but ends up in the garage too. Therefore, it really is impossible to choose, because neither finished!

In the News, the boys offer to host the cancelled Bahrain Grand Prix on their own track. James points out that the track is a figure eight, so that would actually make no sense whatsoever. Jeremy later claims that driving 30 miles an hour on a bridge in London made him nearly cause 27 accidents. "Speed limits are like herpes," he says. "You get them, never get rid of them." He's perturbed when someone starts nodding in agreement.

James introduces us to the Peugeot EX1, which wouldn't be out of place in Tron. Richard describes the steering wheel as "very Batman" and is clearly enjoying it like a small child in the Batmobile. This segment is very brief and chopped off very abruptly for a commercial break. Weird.

The Cool Wall makes a comeback as well! Jeremy is not fond of the Nissan Juke or the Toyota Yaris, calling the latter "the worst car I've ever seen in my life." We learn that both Richard and James own a Porsche 911 Carrera. Jeremy and Richard get into another argument over a Morgan (Jeremy: "I'll put you in a drain"). In other words, business as usual at the Cool Wall.

The Challenges

Calling it "one of the most ambitious races we've ever staged," Jeremy attempts a sunset-to-sunrise race from Land's End to Lowestoft in a new Jaguar XJ. He sees this as a direct challenge to God, and it's fun to watch him panic as he gets stuck behind a slow-moving minivan, or in the midst of construction. He's driving at odd hours with only Richard's CD recording of his book On The Edge to keep him company. It's interesting to see him accomplish his goal, but honestly, the best parts of the little film are Jeremy's reactions to everything.

Since it's the fortieth anniversary of the Lunar Rover, James educates us on it (after all, this is the star of James May On The Moon) before showing us the second-generation "moon buggy." He gets to drive one at the crazy speed of 10 MPH. He drives it into a lamppost, but does manage to parallel park it. We get to see the inside of the Rover, including the space toilet (with the hilarious warning "cover cameras before use"), before James shares his disappointment at the lack of funding for further missions to the moon, as well as the abandonment of the original rover on the Moon forty years earlier.

Star In A Reasonably Priced Car

After fawning over Amber Heard, Jeremy is a little annoyed that this week, he has to interview John Prescott. Like Jeremy, he is old and cranky. The two start arguing over some of the decisions he made regarding UK roads, and then Prescott starts talking to the equally snippy audience, leading Jeremy to tell him to sit down. That doesn't last. Prescott would rather tell everyone in the audience how wrong they are. They start booing. I don't blame them in the slightest. I want to smack him just listening to him for those few minutes. As Jeremy would say, "That's not gone well."

Prescott ends up with the slowest lap time ever (1:56 and change), and hopefully, that'll be the first and last time that we see him on Top Gear.

That's it for Season 16 of Top Gear - so it's time to turn out the lights here. Bring on Season 17!

And if you still need a Top Gear fix, stay tuned next Monday for James May's Road Trip, which will bow at 10:20 PM ET/PT. If you believe the commercials, James just goes around and embarrasses himself a lot.

For more Top Gear, check out the show category at my blog, DigitalAirwaves.net.

Photo Credits: BBC


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