When the US version of Top Gear was being launched last November on The History Channel, we admit that we were skeptical. The success rate among reformatted TV series is lower than anyone cares to admit, and the question that came up most often was, “Which one of the hosts is supposed to be the next Clarkson?” Is it comedian Adam Ferrara (Rescue Me, Ugly Betty)? Or the champion race driver Tanner Foust? Or racing analyst Rutledge Wood? Happily, the three have built a dynamic of their own over the premiere season, and are returning in new season on The History Channel later this year.
Many of the stunts in Top Gear: Season 1 DVD have a peculiarly American flavor, such as a moonshine run along an actual Prohibition route in the Deep South, and the challenge between the Dodge Viper and the Cobra helicopter is some of the most exciting television we’ve seen this season. The 7.5-hour DVD (coming out July 19th) also includes the popular “Big Stars in a Small Car” segments with astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Lost actor Dominic Monahan (Hetty Wainthropp Investigates), Modern Family’s Ty Burrell, musician Kid Rock, Avatar star Michelle Rodriguez and skateboard legend and game designer Tony Hawk.
DOCTOR WHO FAN ALERT: Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey, The Diary of a Nobody) is guest-starring as a 17th century pirate in this week’s Doctor Who episode “The Curse of the Black Spot” at 9pm ET on Saturday, May 7th.