So I had the pleasure of going to the 6:30 pm show on Saturday and I quite enjoyed it.
[Spoilers for the show after this point. They have said that it was tuned for Australia, not sure how much is the same between the other country’s shows.]
The show started off with a video title sequence of ‘The Interceptors’ the 70’s action show that they created on Top Gear, ending with the director yelling ‘cut’ when Clarkson punches a baddie in the face, telling him that he’s gone too far this time and he’s sacked, leaving Clarkson to remark. ‘Well what am I going to do now?’
At this point May and Hammond enter the arena on motorbikes, extolling their virtues and how they were planning on doing a new arena show all about bikes and bike stunts, at which point they introduce Clarkson to the tune of ‘It’s Raining Men’
“Hammond! I’m not coming out to It’s Raining Men!”
“Jeremy, plenty of people have come out to that song!”
Clarkson then drives out onto the floor on a hovercraft, almost crashing into the two and the barriers around the arena floor.
Clarkson makes jokes about how ‘for legal reasons’ he’s never done a TV Show with the BBC before, and that he’s never met the two other people on stage. This ends up being a running gag throughout the show when they make references back to Top Gear.
We get told that the show is themed around ‘Cr-Ashes’, sporting competition between Australia and Britan, and they run off back stage to set up for the next bit, leaving us with a bit of stunt driving from some WRXs and a girl playing with fire.
After a few skids, close driving passes and spinning fire...things....the guys are back on stage accompanied by Steve Pizzati and Shane Jacobson of Australian Top Gear fame, and V8 Supercars anchor Riana Crehan for the first challenge.....Motorbike Polo.
The bikes were rigged with a side car and pneumatic hammer to hit the ball. Shenanigans ensue, and Australia comes out winners in the first round. Hammond calls for the score to be put up on the big screen, while Steve questions the point of it all since it’s the first round.
“Look, these graphics were really expensive and we’re going to use them!”
At this point the guys say that they’d love to do this sort of stuff on TV, and how there’s nothing on TV at the moment about cars and stunts, etc, etc, etc and they cut to a pre made movie of the 3 testing out a Porsche 911, Corvette Z06 and Mercedes GTS. They balls up all their words, miss their marks, forget key details and generally appear incompetent.
Everyone is now back out in the arena, going on about how much they hate cricket, and it needs to be improved. So they improve it...with V8s. A cannon hooked up to a V8 is brought out, as well as a cricket bat attached to another V8. May has rigged the batter cage door to play ‘Ode to Joy’ when it opens which gets on everyone’s nerves.
Both sides take turns batting and bowling and Australia comes out winners again.
Back to the video and they’re tasked with taking their cars around a race track to see which is fastest, but to keep it fair, they need to use the same driver. Asleep on some cardboard boxes in one of the sheds they find a driver in a torn white race suit, a trolley full of his belongings, including a cut out face Daniel Craig.
Hammond - “So what do we call him?”
May : “How about...The Stog?”
Clarkson : “That’s stupid, lets call him...The Ben Collins”.
The Ben Collins sets off in all 3 cars around the track while the guys talk about random things and the producer tells them to focus on the cars to which Jeremy runs through the entire line of 911s on the market.
The Ben Collins finishes, and they cut back to the arena where Hammond reads out the times, the 911 coming in the fastest. Jeremy berates Hammond for not talking about his Corvette and Hammond replies with a spiel being cut off by Clarkson saying ‘You’re not in the U.S.!’ To which he replies ‘Well....not yet.’ Alluding to the rumours of a new show in the future.
Everyone then comes back out for the next challenge, Car NRL. Britan goes off first, using a Holden Monaro to ‘kick’ the ball. May and Hammond both miss horribly, and then Jeremy has a turn.
Australia steps up, but they’re not allowed to use the Monaro, and instead are given a Suzuki Swift rental car. Steve misses horribly, Shane goes for the kick, but Jeremy comes flying out in a stripped car painted pink to knock the ball away. “I’m a streaker!!!!’. Riana goes for the kick after some words of wisdom from Shane.
‘It’s a rental car, that Jeremy paid for, and he hasn’t ticked the box for insurance. Rip the shit out of it’
‘But what if I break the car?’
She goes for the kick, and it flies wide, Britain takes the round.
At this point we’re shown some ‘automotive pornography’.
The 3 come back out and talk about which car they’d take home if they had the choice. May chooses the Ferrari 458, noting that he’s got one ordered...with $12,000 stripes.
Hammond choose the 911, going on about the pedigree and refinement...and the fact he already owns one.
Clarkson chooses the Alfa 4C, citing that he doesn’t own one, and since he’s unemployed has bought a Golf GTI.
They quickly set up for the next challenge, keeping the GTR on stage, and calling an female Australian hockey player out to represent Australia. The challenge this time is to sprint across the Arena and back again, first one back wins.
James May is narrowly beaten, Australia is now in the lead 3-1.
Back to the video and the guys are attempting to drift each of their cars around a corner in front of a panel of judges. Clarkson manages to do it, while May spins out, and Hammond narrates his attempt, as the camera pans across...to find him standing on the grass instead of in the car.
The video ends as the 3 come out into the area and Clarkson remarks ‘We had fun being TV presenters, and if everything works out you’ll be seeing us doing it again on TV or an internet soon!’
The final challenge is announced, Car
Soccer Lacrosse! Clarkson notes that the last round is worth 4 points! ‘Just like F1!’
The Australian contingent enter the arena in their cars...a pack of Reliant Robins. The Brits hop into theirs and the match starts...and goes just about how you’d expect.
Multiple roll overs, impacts and missed goals, Clarkson wedging his car under Hammond’s and having him cry about being ‘violated’. Finally the timer ticks down to zero with Australia up on goals and its over.
Australia wins the Cr-Ashes 7-1.
The show ends on a final, almost serious note from Jeremy :
‘Everyone, I say this from the bottom of my heart, you see this silliness here, but we’re trained professionals in a safe environment, going home tonight, you’ll be on public roads....so drive as fast as you can. GOODNIGHT!’
All in all, it was a pretty fun show. A lot of laughs, a lot of shenanigans and some great car porn.