The Brit Track hosted a fan-run panel on the ever popular BAFTA and Emmy award winning Top Gear Sunday at 11:30AM in the Macon room of the Sheraton. The panel started off with a discussion of the latest series, or season as we phrase it in the States, which is number 18 for the Top Gear crew. Emphasis is being placed on striking a balance between doing the filming of the more serious, in-depth looks at the vehicles and the more comedic, tongue in cheek entertainment pieces. This has been particularly important to the show runners as, according to some, this balance was somewhat lacking in the previous series.
Moving onto another popular aspect of the show, the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, it was a running joke during the panel that this British television show highlighted almost all American actors in the segment, except for Matt Smith and Ryan Reynolds (who is Canadian). In fact, the fastest celebrity on that particular leader board at the moment is Matt LeBlanc.
Most episodes of the show include some kind of challenge for the hosts that evolves over several segments. The consensus from the audience was that they preferred the scooter challenge, which is ironic considering it was one of the only challenges not involving a car. In addition to that, there was a discussion on the introduction of two different Stig cousins, the Stig’s Italian cousin, who is apparently followed around by a multitude of beautiful women, and the Stig’s Chinese cousin, who apparently no one wants to get that close to because of his martial arts skills.
There was talk about where everyone started watching the show, particularly during which season. On Netflix, Top Gear is available back to series two but most people only started watching it when the series was in its teens. According to one panelist, the show was a “well oiled machine” by that time. The original line-up of Top Gear was not Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, and only evolved into what it is now over time