BBC Video // 2010 // 430 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 16th, 2010
He's called The Stig.
The world's biggest motoring show returns for another season of car testing and assorted petrol-headed lunacy.
There's a lot going on for Season 13 as the three hosts -- Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond -- participate in a cheap car challenge (buy a rear-wheel drive car for under 1,500 pounds); go on a rally with classic cars purchased at an auction; test the new Lambo Murcielago; embark on an epic train/car/motorcycle race; create their own captivating Volkswagen advertisement; and interview Michael Shumacher, Sienna Miller, Usain Bolt and Jay Leno (who provides the world's greatest car story).
At just seven episodes, Season 13 will blow by quickly, but if you're a fan of anything gasoline-powered you will enjoy these turbo-charged hijinks greatly.
Even if you hate cars, there's big fun to be had here. Top Gear is one of the best reality shows out there, powered by three hosts who possess some of most amusing chemistry you'll find on television. They're middle-aged British men, but they have the demeanor of high school kids when they're engaged in one of their cross-country challenges or besting each other in a drag race.
Not that the car porn isn't available here. Mercs, Porsches, Lambos, Aston Martins; these are some seriously boner-producing pieces of engineering and they're put through their paces in typically entertaining fashion. Not that I'd be able to afford any of these cars even if I sold my house and internal organs, but if I did have hundreds of thousands of dollars of disposable income this info would come in handy.
I will say that this season lacks a segment that stands out. Thanks to BBC America, I've devoured as many seasons as possible and there have been some truly memorable moments (the amphibious car challenge, the American muscle road trip, all of the specials), and though there is much entertainment to be had for the 13th installment, it's lacking that killer app.
Nice DVD from BBC: episodes look nice in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, the 2.0 stereo is serviceable and the extras -- extended interviews, a genuinely thrilling POV from the power laps and bonus footage from the train race -- are brief, but tasty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: BBC Video
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 430 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Footage