The petrolhead paradise has become couch potato comfort when the show enters its 30th year with “feeling” Series goes

Tears, hugs, and a banana-colored Ford Fiesta were among the highlights when Top Gear (BBC One) returned with an episode that confirmed petrol heads also have feelings about Covid restrictions on the epic overseas trips that hold the elixir of life of the series were made an impossibility But who needs breathtaking drone shots of a serpentine freeway halfway up the Alps when you can have your presentation trio of Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris potter through the Lake District in “Dad Cars”?

Top Gear has been written off as non-contact and in need of paint for almost as long as The Stig showed up on the BBC on Sunday night.But after Jeremy Clarkson was swapped for Matt LeBlanc and now switched to Flintoff and McGuinness (with Harris sticking to the LeBlanc era ), there is a case in which Top Gear has found a new niche. It is no longer a festival of machismo with fuel injection and cyclist hatred in the late Middle Ages. Instead, Top Gear has become “Slow TV” for the fluffy dice set. Jokes “continued to feel as stilted as a very tall man in a circus between the presenters, TG’s latest incarnation had something winfully cozy and undisputed. Petrolhead paradise has turned into watching sofa potatoes

This was the kind of top gear that would have been unthinkable under the Clarkson regime. The big idea was for the hosts to chug in engines dating back to childhood drives with their fathers. Hearts were torn when Harris revealed he was Has a can of barley sugar in his car to this day, because that would have been his late father, and Flintoff got almost as emotional as he wondered if his children would have the same cherished memories of their childhood as they would of his upbringing

You could almost hear Clarkson slapping his forehead (or more likely Richard Hammond’s forehead) off camera, but the episode has proven that Top Gear can be delicate, even when it comes to delivering the traditional thrill the latter were seen in the mid-show- Review segment where Harris zoomed around a test track in a Lamborghini made up of replacement parts from Transformer robots (and priced at $ 2 million)

Most of the action, however, took place in the Lake District, where the gang hugged the tarmac in the hottest wheels from 1979: a Ford Cortina (Flintoff), a Ford Fiesta (McGuinness) and a BMW E-21 (Harris) There were a couple of stuck challenges: a rally race against “Stig’s father”, a bizarre piece in which they sat in each other’s laps and joked at their crotch.But mostly it was comfortable – and rather calming

Social distancing has forced production to relocate from its base in Surrey to the West London courtyard of the apartment complex that used to be part of the BBC Television Center in place of a studio audience, the staff provided the cheers, backed by punters who made out applauding their apartments The menu also featured prominent guests and the star in an inexpensive auto-time challenge. Despite the lack of optional equipment, this new Top Gear had a pleasantly casual quality It was pipe-and-slippers entertainment that never came out of first gear came and was all the richer for it

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Top Gear

World News – UK – Don’t tell Jeremy Clarkson, but Top Gear is now strolling down the slow lane – and it goes with it