The final episode from Top Gear’s fifteenth season made its hugely anticipated TV debut in the UK, and it was certainly worth the wait, with the first ‘post-Stig’ episode proving an exceptionally good effort.

Danny Boyle The series’ traditional pre-Christmas special, the three hosts – Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond – explore the wealth of motoring-related paraphernalia that dominates the retail landscape around Christmas time, with our particular favourite being the Bugatti-themed light dimmer switch, which they spruik as a perfect way of hurrying a date along to third base…

The episode’s guest in the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment is none other than acclaimed British film director Danny Boyle (pictured), famous for such works as Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later, and Trainspotting. On the road promoting his new movie, 127 Hours, Boyle (coached by former Top Gear host and F1 driver Tiff Needell) delivers one of the most polished laps on the show’s test track in the KIA Cee’d that I can recall.

The mainstay of the show sees the three gents cross the Atlantic to the United States in an attempt to find some of North America’s best driving roads in Virginia. Equipped with two mighty cars in the form of a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and a Ferrari 458 Italia – plus a Porsche 911 GT3 RS – the trio finds itself frustrated by the overly strict speed limits and so make their way up the east coast to New York City, faced with the obligatory series of challenges to test these sublime machines.

The much publicised departure and identification of The Stig was also a key feature of this episode, and it’s clear that the hosts were keen on playing what they feel is Ben Collins’ betrayal of them and the show. There are certainly some interesting little motifs to the Stig throughout the episode, and the entire lot is very cleverly done indeed.

The premiere episode of Season 16 – said to be titled as a ‘Middle East Special’ – will be broadcast in the UK on Boxing Day, and we’ll bring you our review in no time at all!

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.