Top Gear Australia – The Second Series on 9
2-disc DVD, © 2012 Roadshow Entertainment, 246 minutes
The loss of Top Gear Australia from the TV airwaves last year was one of several sad chapters on the Australian TV landscape; the show was yanked mid-season after sagging audience figures and the desire by its parent network to curb costs.
Despite the best efforts of hosts Shane Jacobson, Ewen Page and Steve Pizzati, it simply wasn’t enough for the network executives, who treated what was in essence a great concept with scant regard.
But thankfully, Roadshow Entertainment has worked to release the show’s final season to DVD, including the never-before-aired final episodes.
Ignoring the technicality that this was actually the fourth series of Top Gear Australia, this two-disc DVD collection contains six episodes: the last unaired episode from Season 3, and five episodes of the fourth and final season, with the final two never making it to air.
We talked at length about the show’s sad demise and the reasons behind it last year, but that should not detract from the fact that this DVD production is excellent, giving the series an excellent send-off that the Nine Network patently failed to give it.
In many ways, this could be considered something of a museum piece for aficionados of the show. All six episodes are excellent, and the show evolves to steadily create its own identity that separates it from its parent UK version.
One of the new segments in Top Gear Australia was ‘V8 To The Rescue’, which explored many scenarios that a V8 engine could fix. Can a V8 engine remove serial pests, mix cocktails for a 4,000-strong party, cook up and plate kebabs at a barbecue, or even help win back the Ashes from the English cricket team? Look no further…
Added to this are an excellent mix of challenges and stunts with a typically Australian flavour. The hosts attempt to break two world records, resit their driving tests, and hit the beach in self-made beach buggies. They also singlehandedly attempt to reinvigorate rally driving (blindfolded, no less), as well as tackle drag racing and create a movie car stunt sequence on a budget.
The Star In a Reasonably Priced Car segment has its own Australian twist – the reasonably-priced car is a clapped-out ute – and celebrity guests include the likes of comedians Hamish Blake and Andy Lee, football aces Wendell Sailor and Shane Crawford, and rock singer Jimmy Barnes (look out for me loitering in the background of Barnes’ interview).
Sadly, the two discs don’t include any bonus features or behind-the-scenes footage, but that shouldn’t detract too much from what is a well put together and competitively priced DVD set.
Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award Top Gear Australia – The Second Series on 9…
OUT OF A POSSIBLE 5.
Top Gear Australia – The Second Series on 9 is available for purchase at major stores, retailing at $AU19.95. Our review copy was supplied to us by Roadshow Media.
CLICK HERE to view our other Top Gear media reviews.
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