'Top Gear' (UK) Recap: 'Series 19, Episode 1'
Captain Slow falls behind right out of the gate, making the driver very cross with him. "Either get it right or shut up," Kris tells him. However, James eventually gets himself together, and the Bentley goes through all sorts of terrain you'd never expect to see one on. While the film ends abruptly, James informs Jeremy and the studio audience that the Bentley beat a proper rally car by a whole two seconds.
Homeland leading man Damian Lewis is this week's Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. Jeremy doesn't believe that Damian doesn't know how the series ends, until the actor tells him that the writers are spontaneous types, and therefore nobody knows. "It's a bit of a surprise I'm still alive, I think," he quips. His car history involves an Alfa Romeo and a TVR.
When it comes time to discuss Damian's actual lap, there's footage of the track covered in snow and water, and then more film of the Kia Cee'd sliding all over the place. It eventually slides across the finish line completely sideways. His time may be the slowest ever, at 2:09.1, but no one can say he wasn't trying.
No Top Gear episode would be complete without a challenge. It's up to Jeremy to create something smaller than the Peel P50 - which die-hard fans will recall he once drove through the BBC, including in the background of a news broadcast. He's named his creation, which looks like a dysfunctional Transformer, the P45. Richard just stares at it wide-eyed in worry.
Cut to footage of Jeremy driving the P45, using his smartphone for satellite navigation, holding up traffic, getting his face smashed into the windscreen, and screaming every time he goes over a bump in the road. In other words, this isn't that much different from Jeremy in any other Top Gear film. Finally, he just packs up the P45 and takes it on the bus.
You'd think that would be the end of this nonsense, and you would be wrong. The bus drops Jeremy off in London, where his car promptly runs out of gas. Once that's rectified, he visits a local shopping mall, where he stalls as it takes a pair of guys almost two hours to swap out his petrol engine for an electric one more tolerable for the crowd. He buys an inappropriate present for James at the mall, then visits the British Library, where his batteries go flat.
This forces him to go back to the petrol engine, which causes a huge racket. After making an undignified exit from the library, Jeremy crashes around in the dining room of a restaurant, then gets himself a ticket to a West End play, where he discovers that he can't eat popcorn in the P45. The next morning, he breaks another car wash.
As if that's not enough, he takes his creation to an "important business meeting" with the Dragons of Dragons' Den (for the uninitiated, the UK predecessor to Shark Tank). His presentation fails miserably, with such classic lines like, "Can you really get children to work in a factory? 'Cause that would be brilliant if you could." The Dragons eviscerate Jeremy's P45 and his poor business sense. Richard and James don't have anything nice to say, either. Jeremy thinks that the P45 might be still a commercial success - if he was dead. And on that bombshell, it's time to end this recap. See you next week!
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.