It’s Back! The Waiting is Over! This Summer’s Blockbuster is Here! Be Afraid… etc etc. The reason I’m borrowing so many tired and tested one liners from your local multiplex foyer is quite simple: I’m trying to distract viewers from what the title of the actual film would be, were this new series an actual film. It would be Top Gear 13, which sounds like something with Dolph Lungdren in it, or bad hotel porn.
Using maths, I’ve calculated that the next series will be called Top Gear 14, and that’s even worse.
So I’ve come up with a genius plan; instead of going forwards, we’re going to make the next series a prequel. It’s working brilliantly for Star Trek, Batman and The Terminator, so why can’t we do the same?
I think viewers would be fascinated to know which Christmas it was when James’s mum gave him that pink striped jumper. They would love to see Jeremy shout “Powerrrrrrrrrrr!” during his driving test, and they would be equally rivetted to witness Richard staring at the pencil marks on the Height Chart in his bedroom and muttering “bollocks!”.
In the meantime though, you’re stuck with the well-known formula, which means that over the coming seven-week series run a race or two will occur, supercars will slide from the left of your telly screen to the right of your telly screen in a cloud of tyre smoke, and a man in a white coat bearing a gold envelope will trigger a series of comedic and juvenile adventures.
Please don’t worry about the familiarity though, because I, the most grumpy, pessimistic, glass-half-empty Producer in television, am really looking forward to this series.
Obviously back in March when we were gearing up to film, I was moaning about how we’d dried up, how people will see through us this time, one-trick pony blah blah, and then one night, I had an epiphany, which happened not in a pentecostal church but at the O2 Arena.
Basically Hammond, May and I went to see AC/DC, and there they were, nine thousand years old, still making your ears bleed with the same pulverising ferocity they managed three decades ago, and you think to yourself, it doesn’t matter if your pony has one trick as long as it does that trick really, really well, and more importantly, it really cares every time it performs that trick. And immodestly, I can say to you all, we still really, really care about what we do.
The fire we have inside about giving you good telly burns as fiercely as it did in 2002. So sit back and enjoy Top Gear 13, the same old shit.
The new series starts June 21. Until then, The Mole (whoever that is) will count down each day with exclusive behind-the-scenes preview blogs, so log on from tomorrow…