Well, I didn’t mind the return of Top Gear Australia on SBS TV tonight. New host James Morrison was not bad. Actually, for a first up effort he was quite good, even if there is room for improvement.
His opening piece testing the Mitsubishi Evo X was more than reasonable, helped by some very good camera work around Oran Park. Hats off to the production team there.
Thank goodness they got rid of the ‘What were they thinking segment’. That was just plain awful. Pleasantly they didn’t take themselves too seriously about it either.
Steve and James walked us through their test track, which was a nice touch. It certainly gave a better appreciation of the course and did well to highlight the trickier sections that look releatively tame from the couch.
There was a ‘race’ featured in this episode that saw Steve in a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 take on James and Warren on jet ski thingy to see who could get from Melbourne’s CBD to Portsea the quickest. There were some cringey moments in there, but overall I thought it was pretty good. Already you can see the chemistry of the three hosts is working better than it did in Series 1.
‘Skaifey’ was tonight’s guest and I was always a fan of Mark Skaife, especially in his early days, but methinks he took himself a little too seriously in this format. Oh, Warren’s not much better at this interviewing gig than Charlie, so let’s hope he improves with time.
I thought the TV commercial recreation was going to be pretty lame, but it gave me a few laughs and won me over.
When The Stig took the Murci around their test track did anyone else think that footage had been sped up? Or was I just imagining things?
Anyway, the Aussie version of this show is now back on our screens and can be seen for the next seven weeks at 7:30pm every Monday night on SBS. Overall, I thought tonight’s show was better than fair. What did you think?
TOP GEAR AUSTRALIA SERIES 2, EPISODE 1
Monday 11 May at 7:30pm
Following a race-winning first series, the Logie nominated Top Gear Australia returns to SBS on May 11 at 7:30pm with Series Two.
After a little body work, grease and oil change and a tune-up, the 8-episode series will showcase Warren Brown, Steve Pizzati and James Morrison in all-new challenges, great new segments, the latest car reviews and Stars in a Bog Standard Car.
To welcome James, the new bloke to the series, Steve and Warren thought they would be kind and let James pick whatever car he wanted for his first review. We wonâ€™t give away what he chose but hereâ€™s what he said about it.
â€œYou know this really is an amazing car. It takes your driving ability and amplifies it so that you come out like some kind of Michael Schumacher â€“ and I donâ€™t mean rich and retiredâ€¦just quick,â€ said James.
Steve decides to drop in on Jamesâ€™ first review with his own car, the BMW 135i, and soon enough the competitive spirit is awakened as James challenges Steve to a drag race and lap around Oran Park to find out whose car really is the best.
The high-octane capers continue when Warren and James are teamed against Steve in a race from Melbourne to Portsea. To test the fastest motoring option on the eve of a long weekend and guaranteed traffic jams, both teams have the use of the top machine in their vehiclesâ€™ class. For Steve itâ€™s one of the most expensive cars available in Australia – the new Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 worth a whopping $800,000. For Warren and James â€“ itâ€™s something a little more compactâ€¦and personal.
Australian motor racing great, Mark Skaife shows his fierce competitive streak when he puts everything on the line for top honours as the Star in a Bog Standard Car. Steve and James walk you through every turn and straight on the Top Gear Australia track.
Also, in the opening jam-packed episode of the series, the lads decide to quell the rumours and prove, at their own peril, that the Top Gear Australia Stig is a fair dinkum, true blue Aussie. A new segment is unveiled and this week sees the hosts making a hilarious attempt to recreate a well-known television car commercial in the studio.
Catch Warren Brown, Steve Pizzati and James Morrison for your weekly dose of motoring entertainment, Mondays at 7:30pm on SBS from May 11.