Top Gear is back with another fantastic DVD special, this time with Richard Hammond paying tribute to 007’s illustrious garage in 50 Years of Bond Cars.
You could win one of five copies of the DVD in our exclusive readership giveaway, courtesy of our friends from Roadshow Entertainment Australia!
So check out our review of 50 Years of Bond Cars after the jump to find out more…
The special kicks off with a montage of James Bind clips, featuring Bond, the villains and of course, the cars.
Not wasting any time and getting straight to the point, Hammond drives one of the most iconic cars in the world, the Aston Martin DB5. He briefly runs over the mediocre car chase in Doctor No and the movie From Russia with Love to get to Goldfinger, where the DB5 first surged onto the big screen. Hammond then starts to take a backseat in the program, letting the director of Goldfinger, Guy Hamilton, discuss the modifications to the car to assist Bond in his inevitable car chase.
Hammond then attempts to find out the reason for using an Aston Martin as a Bond car. This takes him back to the books and cuts to a scene of him driving a 1930’s supercharged Bentley, the car that in Ian Fleming’s mind was the car to give Bond in the books. Fleming was inspired after seeing the success of the Bentley at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Once Hammond has made his point quite clear of how successful the DB5 was with the world, he then proceeds to other cars that have appeared in Bond films. Letting the stars of Bond tell us their favourite Bond car, we get to see Hammond driving them today. For Sir Roger Moore it’s the Citroen 2VC seen in For Your Eyes Only and for current Bond star Daniel Craig, it’s the Toyota 2000 that appears in You Only Live Twice.
Although James Bond is renowned for having fantastic sports cars, that are pleasing to the eye and hung up on the walls of a child’s bedroom, not all represented Bond in a flattering way. Through the 90’s and the Brosnan era, came the BMW’s. Hammond’s descriptions of the ‘pointless’ Z3 and Z8 are quite accurate, as they were hardly featured in the films. He even refers to the BMW 750 as a “sales manager’s car”, as it was quite bland to be a Bond Car.
The interviews with the directors and stars are a great addition to the special. We get great insights to the films with Moore and Craig talking about their experiences while Hamilton recollects a minor flaw with the DB5, as pointed out by a young school boy, as well as getting a mechanic to perform the Astro Spiral Jump from The Man with the Golden Gun.
Now this being Top Gear, they wanted to give James Bond a fitting 50th birthday present. So having already experimented with amphibious cars, they tried their hand at creating a fully operational submarine car, just like the Lotus Esprit used in The Spy Who Loved Me. However, due to budgetary constraints, the car that’s transformed is a Lotus Excel.
Hammond also attempts to prove the critics of the Aston Martins camouflage wrong by setting about town in a Ford Transit, equipped with flat screen TVs that cover the van, that use cameras to relay everything recorded to the screens, thus making the car ‘invisible’.
Former Stig Ben Collins also makes an appearance in the Top Gear special, cheekily sporting an ‘I am the Stig’ T-shirt, which Hammond is quick to correct. Collins takes us through teaching Craig how to drive and the new stunt vehicle which he uses to portray even more realistic car scenes.
Being a James Bond fan I enjoyed Top Gear’s special on Bond cars. It was interesting to learn minor facts that occurred through the films and I highly recommend checking out this special for yourself.
Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award Top Gear: 50 Years of Bond Cars…
OUT OF A POSSIBLE FIVE.
Top Gear: 50 Years of Bond Cars is available for purchase at major stores in Australia from today. Our review copy was supplied to us by Roadshow Media.
CLICK HERE to view our other Top Gear media reviews.
Today’s review was written by Melbourne-based reader Josh Kruse, who has joined the RichardsF1.com team as a guest product reviewer. If you would be interested in learning more about becoming a product reviewer, click here.
ENTER OUR TOP GEAR: 50 YEARS OF BOND CARS GIVEAWAY!
We’ve thrilled to partner with Roadshow Entertainment Australia to offer you the chance to win one of five DVD copies of Top Gear: 50 Years of Bond Cars.
To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is answer the following question:
What was the hero James Bond car in the film The Spy Who Loved Me?
Aston Martin DB5
Please send your answer, along with your full name and postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org before 13 March 2013. Entries are open to our readers in Australia only.
The winners will be chosen at random and will be notified by email on the same day. Good luck!