March 4th Series 25 Episode 2
I, for one, can say that Top Gear has finally emerged from its chrysalis period (post Clarkson, Hammond and May) into a butterfly that is more informative, more visually stunning, and considerably funnier than Grand Tour.
Having just endured the Grand Tour series with its silly contrived and repetitive "adventures" and the predictability of the 3 presenters, it has come as a refreshing change to see the new relationships of Le Blanc, Harris, and Reid blossom into what now seems a genuine flow of badinage, dry wit, and genuine humour particularly between Le Blanc and Harris.
Harris, particularly has developed from being a good car journalist, into a natural in front of camera. He is likeable, funny and a genuine foil for Le Blanc, who himself, is now easing into the role of lead presenter.
The camerawork on the shows outdoor pieces is also breath taking and a credit to the BBC.
However it has to be the production crew that take the credit. The McLaren test piece was surprising and thought provoking in its conclusions. The "Bigfoot" adventure combined genuine hilarity with some brilliant off road vehicle testing.
This sort of "adventure" on the Grand Tour would degenerate into May or Hammond bashing and grumpy old men asides between the threesome, in a tired old formula, usually ending in some vehicle sinking, falling apart, or a drag race somewhere.
The relationship between Le Blanc and Harris is, already, more interesting, funnier, and even has the edge of uncertainty......particularly, last night, when Le Blanc bellowed at Harris about his repeated comparison of Big Foot to a Gorilla.
I will continue to watch both, but to my mind, the BBC have achieved what many though to be an impossibility, they have taken Top Gear from the brink of oblivion to the heights of top entertainment and given us the best car show on TV.