BBC’s Top Gear is the most-watched and successful TV-factual program in the world. The series first began in 1977 and has had a fairly successful and long-lived career ever since – especially following the series’ relaunch in 2002, leading into the most successful and popular phase the series has ever had. While the series has sometimes been criticized for its politically incorrect commentary, it has remained one of the most widely-watched shows around the world.
That was until the departure of Jeremy Clarkson – the show’s main host – when his contract was not renewed by the BBC following an investigation that proved Clarkson had engaged in a 30-second physical attack with one of the show’s producers – Oisin Tymon. While the BBC has said the series will continue without Clarkson, the remaining episodes of Series 22 have been delayed and their future has remained unknown amongst audiences.
However, following Jeremy Clarkson’s suspension – and then later dismissal – new reports suggest that after some time in the editing room, executive producer Andy Wilman and BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw have determined that they have enough Top Gear footage shot before Clarkson’s departure for at least two more full episodes.
However, the episodes would be without the studio sequences and segments like “A Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” (Gary Lineker and Man of Steel star Henry Cavill were lined up, but not yet recorded to appear in these segments). Since Clarkson is no longer allowed to return to the studio, this could create an odd sense of disconnectedness between the segments.
There is the possibility of having James May and Richard Hammond come in (if they decide to) and try to link the episodes together, but there is a sense that audiences might not take well to Clarkson’s absence. The footage the studio has is said to contain the stars driving through the countryside in classic convertibles – a challenge involving who could get the best deal for a cheap SUV, as well as Clarkson driving around the track and road in a number of limousines.
While it is still possible the BBC might just air the episodes as they are or try to piece them together with May and Hammond’s involvement – the current attitude from insiders seems to be that the final two installments may just never air. Ultimately, the decision will be left up to Shillinglaw and BBC’s director of programs – Danny Cohen.
Despite comments made previously about the series continuing on without Clarkson, not much news has come out regarding Top Gear‘s future until this point. May’s and Hammond’s future involvement in the series is still unknown for now, and these rumors regarding a few more unfinished episodes continues to add to the ever-growing list of “possibilities” for what might happen in the coming months.
Right now, it looks like fans of the program may just have to wait and see what happens next. Despite their best efforts, it looks like BBC is putting Top Gear on cruise-control for the time being until they have a solid-enough answer for what will happen next. When that news comes, it’ll be all the more interesting to see what the plan is for one of the most successful long-running TV programs of all time.
Source: The Mirror