The old Top Gear trio is a big hit on their new show. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May successfully migrated their old schtick to The Grand Tour and fans are loving every minute. They moved on from Top Gear, but the old show still exists and there’s a new trailer for the upcoming season.
The show’s fate was in question when Clarkson’s contract wasn’t renewed after he punched a colleague in the face. Hammond and May decided to stick with their leader rather than renew their contracts. A large hole was left in the automotive entertainment universe.
The BBC was confident that it wasn’t all about the hosts and that putting new people in the driver’s seat would lead to the same success for Top Gear. They were wrong.
It started with Chris Evans. The new lead presenter wasn’t up to the task. Time constraints due to his other projects, bouts of car sickness on the track, and a style that simply didn’t work made watching him in place of Jeremy Clarkson downright painful.
He was joined by a slew of co-presenters including Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, Rory Reid, and Sabine Schmitz. There were successful bits here and there with LeBlanc turning into the standout presenter, but overall the show was derided. Change was needed if it had any chance of succeeding.
The first change came with the exit of Chris Evans. He stepped aside saying he enjoyed his brief Top Gear tenure, but that he wasn’t a good fit and leaving was the best thing for the franchise. This left LeBlanc as lead presenter, so there’s now an American helming British Top Gear.
Now we have our first sneak peek at next season with a brief preview clip that was released on Christmas. Depending on how you feel about the show these days, it’s either like getting exactly what you wanted under the tree or that dreaded lump of coal in your stocking.
The bit features some kind of drag race involving one of those classic, black London taxis. It’s lined up right between two other cars in a dirt lot. LeBlanc, Harris, and Reid aren’t allowed to touch the wheels, not even with their knees. It’s part drag race and part bumper car ride as they veer into each other and bounce off in different directions.
It’s a mildly entertaining clip, but is it enough to get the fans who left in droves to come back to Top Gear? We won’t know for sure until Season 24 arrives at a still unannounced date in the future.