Probably the best TV programme in the world, 'Top Gear' returns on BBC2 this Sunday evening. Needless to say, the programme also marks the return of Richard Hammond, critically injured last September when the jet-powered car he was driving suffered a tyre failure at just below 300mph.
Whilst ostensibly a TV programme about cars, Top Gear metamorphed some years ago into a general entertainment and comedy show. In this respect, it approaches TV perfection. The mix of items is superb, switching from car-tests, to news features, to stunts, to the 'star-in-the-reasonably-priced-car', and to the latest competitive challenge posed to the co-presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond. The chemistry of the co-presenters is perfect, and Clarkson's sardonic wit is fashionable again now that people have tired of gliberal politics. The quality of the filming and editing is fantastic, with clever and imaginative use of filters and lenses and location. As Clarkson pointed out in the following article,
"the average shooting ratio for a modern television programme is about 20 to one. In other words, you shoot 20 minutes of tape for every one minute that makes it to the screen. Top Gear works on a ratio of 250 to one. Top Gear, and I’m not bragging because this part has nothing to do with me, is probably the best-made programme in the world."