You may have had a mild heart attack when you read our ‘Top-Gear’s-getting-cancelled-april-fools’ post earlier this month, but to be honest it was your fault for being on the internet during April Fools day anyway. Happily, we can report that Top Gear has not been cancelled and we can indeed expect there to be at Series 22 on the way soon. But when might we expect it?
If history repeats itself, Top Gear Series 22 could be gracing our screens as early as July – but you wouldn’t catch us betting on that. You see, July isn’t all that far away and we’re yet to receive any reports of the Top Gear crew out and about filming new segments. In fact, Jeremy Clarkson is currently on holiday in Barbados. Not looking too good is it? At this stage, a safer bet may be a suggested start date of December 2014 – but we’ll certainly keep you updated if we hear of anything happening.
But the even bigger question is just how long can Top Gear keep going? Despite the massive popularity of the show, it appears that the majority of viewers believe the current format, which has remained unchanged for the past 11 years, is starting to get a little bit tired. Scripted ‘accidents’, staged explosions, everything going wrong, jokes about Germans and the war, Stars in Reasonably Priced Cars only there to promote their new movies.. even the audience can be seen straight faced in the background when the audio would have you believe they’re all laughing their arses off.
Late last year Andy Wilman, executive producer of the series, admitted that much of the show was “aimed at people with a mental age of nine”, but insisted that the show appealed to the childish element in all of us. He told Radio Times: “Most TV shows that have been going for as long as ours refresh themselves by forcibly injecting new elements into the format, but on Top Gear we keep ourselves young by ageing. You’re watching an organic journey of those three going through their motoring lives.
“If you’re actually nine, you need something to watch that isn’t a computer screen, and if you’re 29, 39 or 59, part of your brain will most likely still have a mental age of nine, and that part struggles to get nourishment. Modern life for adults is, after all, bloody hard.” Over the years, Clarkson’s hair has greyed and he now needs glasses to read on set, Mr Willman explained. “I also like the way they bicker more as age makes each other’s foibles that little bit more irritating,” he added.
In the end, age may turn out to be most important factor in how long the show can last. It is questionable as to whether Top Gear could survive if one of the presenters decided to move on to something new, or indeed retire.
One way or another, we’re looking forward to finding out what the team have in store for us. What do you hope to see in Top Gear Series 22?
EDIT 11/05/2014 – Those looking for Series 22 spoilers can find them here.