In 1783, the Thirteen American Colonies were officially recognised as free and independent states by their former mother country, the United Kingdom. Initially, each of the thirteen states were autonomous to the extent that they were effectively separate countries, united only in a weak document called the Articles of Confederation. The power vacuum left with the departure of the British colonial authorities led to a worryingly unstable situation across all Thirteen American States. Stability in government was only restored with the Constitution of 1787, the binding document which created the Federal Government of the United States, effectively creating the system of government that has kept the United States relatively stable, despite one civil war, ever since.
A similar revolution has occurred in the BBC’s hit motoring show TopGear, with the departure of the old order, led by the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, who have gone to Amazon Prime Video. In their wake, the BBC has chosen a wide array of new hosts, led by Chris Evans, to take over one of their greatest hits. Having seen the first episode, Evans, American presenter Matt LeBlanc, and their fellow presenters, who frankly are more like corespondents than full time hosts, have truly put TopGear through a revolution.
The same old skeleton exists within, but the show itself is well removed from its predecessor. This new TopGear is like the Thirteen American States in the period of the Articles of Confederation; it is in a period of transition and still trying to figure out how to exist without its former presenters. Evans, LeBlanc, and the others have the same light hearted attitude to their work on TopGear that Clarkson, Hammond, and May had before, but at the moment it just does not seem to be as funny. With the former trio, I knew to expect that odd, somewhat nonsensical, at times pointless humour. As a result, I reviled in it, often with a big smile on my face for the entire hour long programme. With Evans, LeBlanc, et cetera, I laughed on occasion. Simply put, I am not familiar with these new hosts, and do not know what to expect.
Perhaps in a few weeks, once more of the current season of TopGear is broadcast, I will be able to appreciate the new presenters, and new format better. At the moment, I am looking forward to the first episode of The Grand Tour, Clarkson, Hammond, and May’s new programme, which will be released on Amazon Prime Video this coming Autumn. As to the next episode of TopGear: yeah sure, I’ll watch it. This new TopGear has undergone a revolution, but it still has a long way to go until it leaves the shadow of its predecessor and enter into its own spotlight.