Top Gear (series 15)

Last updated

Top Gear
Series 15
Top Gear Series 15 Promo 2010.jpg
Promotional poster
Starring
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes6
Release
Original network BBC Two
Original release27 June (2010-06-27) 
1 August 2010 (2010-08-01)
Series chronology
 Previous
Series 14
Next 
Series 16
List of Top Gear episodes

Series 15 of Top Gear , a British motoring magazine and factual television programme, was broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Two and BBC HD during 2010, consisting of six episodes that were aired between 27 June and 1 August; the new series was promoted with a special trailer that made use of a clip published on YouTube. [1] [2] This series saw the replacement of Chevrolet Lacetti with the Kia Cee'd, effectively leading to a brand new lap board for celebrities to log in their times.

Contents

This series' highlights included the creation of home-made motorhomes, driving a Hilux up an active volcano close to erupting, budget cars suitable for track days, and a tribute to the late Ayrton Senna. Two compilation episodes featuring the best moments from the fifteenth series, titled "Best of Top Gear", were aired during 2010, on 8 and 15 August. The fifteenth series received some criticism for comments made by Jeremy Clarkson that were deemed unacceptable for broadcast.

Episodes

No.
overall
No. in
series
ReviewsFeatures/challengesGuest(s)Original air dateUK viewers
(millions) [3]
1191 Bentley Continental Supersports Toyota Hilux Invincible up an Icelandic volcano • Farewell to the former reasonably priced car, the Chevrolet Lacetti • Why Reliant went out of business: 1994 Reliant Robin Nick RobinsonAl MurrayPeter JonesPeta 23 from EssexJohnny VaughanBill BaileyLouie SpenceAmy Williams 27 June 2010 (2010-06-27)5.60
Top Gear is back and the presenters are trying to be sensible. Of course, that's not the case when Clarkson goes to the North to try to drive a Reliant Robin from Sheffield to Rotherham, and rolling it over in the process, while on the track he road-tests the heavy Bentley Continental Supersports. Elsewhere, May heads to Iceland to see if can give glory to the Toyota Hilux used by the camera crew during the Polar Special, by modifying it for the task of driving close to the Eyjafjallajökull volcano as it erupts and collect a piece of lava, while Hammond retires the old reasonably priced car—the Chevrolet Lacetti—with a "Viking burial", before assisting Clarkson with a summer BBQ for the guests they have invited to the test track to set a lap in the new car—a Kia Cee'd.
1202 Porsche 911 Sport ClassicPorsche Boxster Spyder Find a £5,000 everyday second-hand sports saloon for track days (Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 CosworthBMW M3Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth) Alastair Campbell 4 July 2010 (2010-07-04)6.60 [nb 1]

The trio head to Germany to see which is the best second-hand four-door saloon for track days on a budget of £5,000 - May chooses the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 Cosworth, Hammond buys a BMW M3, and Clarkson purchases a Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth. Travelling from Berlin, the trio attempt to test their cars practicality and speed, before having a personal track day at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz to see who can make the best YouTube video and achieve the fastest lap with their car.Elsewhere, May tests out the Porsche 911 Sport Classic and the Porsche Boxster Spyder on the track, while former Director of Communications under Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, is the latest star in the Kia Cee'd.

Note: Due to time constraints, a segment of film for the episode's main feature was cut but made available online for viewing.
1213 Chevrolet Camaro SSMercedes-Benz E63 AMG Find the greatest four-door supercar: (Maserati Quattroporte GTSAston Martin RapidePorsche Panamera Turbo) Rupert GrintRubens Barrichello 11 July 2010 (2010-07-11)4.58 [nb 2]
The boys attempt to see what is the best new four-door supercar — the rather good-looking Maserati Quattroporte GTS despite it being a little fiddly and complicated, the beautiful Aston Martin Rapide despite it being too expensive and the rather ugly Porsche Panamera Turbo. Starting in London, the presenters test out the cars, before stopping at a business park and letting the Stig see how fast they are on an improvised course. To fully decide which is best, the trio give them the ultimate test by chauffeuring members of a wedding party to the church and then to the reception, although the boys get a little distracted. Elsewhere, Hammond tests out two new muscles, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro, while British actor, Rupert Grint, is the latest star in the new reasonably priced car.
1224 Audi R8 V10 SpyderPorsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet Building motorhomes (Lotus ExcelLand Rover 110Citroën CX) Andy García • Lauren McAvoy18 July 2010 (2010-07-18)7.05 [nb 3]
The presenters make their campervan using a different car as the base - Hammond using a Land Rover 110 in his design, Clarkson making one out of a Citroën CX, and May designing his with a Lotus Excel - each complete with sleeping accommodations, cooking facilities and a toilet. To see whose is best, the trio take a motoring holiday to Cornwall, and soon find many faults with their designs as they engage in a few tests of practicality with each. Meanwhile, Clarkson is on the track to review the Audi R8 V10 Spyder and the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet and puts them through an unusual test, while Hollywood actor Andy García sees if he can set a fast lap in the Kia.
1235 Volkswagen TouaregBugatti Veyron Super Sport Volkswagen Touareg vs Swedish snowmobilers • Reach 258mph (415 km/h) in the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport • Commemorating racing driver Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton drives Senna's 1988 F1 racing car. Tom CruiseCameron Diaz 25 July 2010 (2010-07-25)7.48 [nb 4]

Hammond heads to Riksgränsen to try out the new Volkswagen Touareg, before using a customised one to race against two snowmobile racers. Meanwhile, May returns to the Ehra-Lessien test track with the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, to see if it can reclaim the crown of the "Fastest Production Car in the World", while actors Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise see who was faster in the Kia when they did a lap of the Test Track. Finally, Clarkson pays tribute to the late Ayrton Senna, [4] finding out from the people who knew him best - Mika Häkkinen, Lewis Hamilton, Jarno Trulli, Martin Brundle, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Rubens Barrichello, David Coulthard, Mark Webber, Nigel Mansell, and Michael Schumacher – what he was like on and off the track, before Lewis Hamilton has a go at driving Senna's F1 car.

Note: For licensing reasons, all re-runs of the episode do not feature the 'Ayrton Senna Tribute' film, but instead they go straight to the closing credits following the 'Star in a Reasonably Priced Car' segment.
1246 Ferrari 458 Italia Old British roadsters for £5,000: (TVR S2Lotus ElanJensen-Healey) Jeff Goldblum 1 August 2010 (2010-08-01)6.19 [nb 5]
Clarkson, Hammond and May feel that classic British sports cars are much better than European Hot Hatchbacks, so the producers task them with proving this correct by each buying one and testing them in a series of challenges - Clarkson seeks to prove his Jensen-Healey he bought will be good, May buys a TVR S2 to show the producers they were right, and Hammond purchases a Lotus M100 Elan to take on this task. On a journey to the sites of the factories where each car were built, the presenters each try to achieve a fast lap in their car, perform a 'safety test', see how waterproof their cars are, and visit a garden centre to find something to fit in their cars. Elsewhere, Clarkson reviews the new Ferrari 458 Italia on the track, while Hollywood actor, Jeff Goldblum, is on the track to drive fast in the Kia Cee'd.

Best-of episodes

TotalNo.TitleFeatureOriginal air dateUK viewers
(million) [3]
S22CE–1"The Best Of Top Gear: 2010 No.1"Best Moments from Series 15 - Part 18 August 2010 (2010-08-08)3.56
A look back at some of the best moments from Series 15, including the race between a Volkswagen Touareg and some Snowmobilers, and Clarkson's drive to Rotherham in a Reliant Robin.
S23CE–2"The Best Of Top Gear: 2010 No.2"Best Moments from Series 15 - Part 215 August 2010 (2010-08-15)2.55
A second look back at the best moments from Series 15, including the search for the best four-door saloon, and May's attempt to drive close to an erupting volcano in Iceland.

Criticism and Controversy

The fifteenth series faced criticism after the broadcast of the fifth episode, when Clarkson joked during a "News" segment that he had been in cab the other day and truly seen a woman wearing a burka tripping up on a pavement, upon which he could see that under it she was wearing a "red g-string and stockings". Following the broadcast of the episode, the BBC received a number of complaints regarding the joke, [5] with the singer Lily Allen writing on Twitter that the joke was "distasteful", [6] while a Mediawatch spokesperson said that Clarkson "should learn to keep quiet". [7]

However, in an article written for The Week , Antonia Bland defended the presenter's joke, saying that Clarkson had done nothing wrong and that Muslim women who wore a burka had the right to "choose to wear gorgeous lingerie in private", adding that the joke proved a good example of the dangers faced by male drivers trying to concentrate on the road during Summer. [8]

Notes

The viewing figures shown in the Episode Table above (with the exception of the first episode), are a combination of the figures from the BBC Two broadcast and the BBC HD broadcast.

  1. 6.00 million on BBC Two, 602,000 on BBC HD.
  2. 4.03 million on BBC Two, 549,000 on BBC HD.
  3. 6.47 million on BBC Two, 575,000 on BBC HD.
  4. 6.65 million on BBC Two, 827,000 on BBC HD.
  5. 5.81 million on BBC Two, 379,000 on BBC HD.

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References

  1. "Top Gear - Season 15 trailer". AUSmotive.com. 22 June 2010.
  2. "TopGear motorhomes: official pics". TopGear.com. 21 May 2010.
  3. 1 2 "Weekly Top 10 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "BBC receives Top Gear complaints after Jeremy Clarkson's G-string under burka joke". Metro . 27 July 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  6. Leach, Ben (28 July 2010). "Jeremy Clarkson joins burka debate". The Daily Telegraph . London. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  7. Love, Ryan (27 July 2010). "Clarkson 'burka joke sparks complaints'". Digital Spy . Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  8. Bland, Antonio (30 July 2010). "Clarkson was right about burkas and red G-strings". The Week . Retrieved 29 December 2014.