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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dont get me wrong.........
Now don't get me wrong, i LOVE top gear but i can't help but be a little disappointed with this dvd.Both episodes are great on tv and to be fair the polar episode dvd is brilliant. The problem i have is with the American episode dvd. Huge chunks have been edited out and the entire soundtrack has been changed.This means that many of the funny moments from the broadcasted...
Published on 3 Mar 2008 by Harper S

versus
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Watch it on UK TV
When first aired on BBC2, the American trip was undoubtedly on of the funniest TV shows ever - it was utterly superb. Then UK TV Gold aired it, somewhat edited. Then we watched this DVD. It hasn't been edited, it has been butchered. No where near as funny, in fact, I think they have purposely edited out the funniest parts. A lame interpretation of what could and should...
Published on 18 April 2008 by Andrew Macdonald


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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dont get me wrong........., 3 Mar 2008
This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures (Polar Special & US Special) [DVD] (DVD)
Now don't get me wrong, i LOVE top gear but i can't help but be a little disappointed with this dvd.Both episodes are great on tv and to be fair the polar episode dvd is brilliant. The problem i have is with the American episode dvd. Huge chunks have been edited out and the entire soundtrack has been changed.This means that many of the funny moments from the broadcasted version are missing and the previously well chosen soundtrack has been replaced with cheesy muzak which wouldn't sound out of place in a hotel lift.

On a lighter note Clarkson, May and Hammond are all on top form throughout and the extra footage on the polar episode is very good.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you want a cow and some gin out on the road?, 17 Aug 2009
By 
J. Dale (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures (Polar Special & US Special) [DVD] (DVD)
Don't be put off by the title as this double DVD pack explains about the cow in the American Special (casued by Jeremy Clarkson) and the criticism of drinking gin and tonic while on the road by Jeremy Clarkson and James May, but what road in the Polar Special?

This double pack contains the Polar Special Director's Cut, which sees Jeremy and James race in a modified Toyota Hilux agasint Richard Hammond on the traditional transport in the Artic on a Dog Sled. This was done to be the first to drive a motor vehicle to the 1996 location of the Magnetic North Pole. This is excellent viewing and will make you laugh silly as the trio attempt to brave such conditions...

The US Special is on a bit of a down-note due to the fact that some pieces have been cut and music soundtracks were changed due to contractual reasons. However don't be put off by it as it's still just as funny as the first special. The trio attempted to see if it was better to buy a car for exploring the southern part of the United States for two weeks rather than renting one. Now this being Top Gear, there was a lot of mucking around with a cow on top off Jeremy's Camaro, the introduction of The Stig's American Cousin and of course the lethal decorating off cars and its consequences...

All in all, this is a great pack and has all the fun and laughter one will get when viewing both specials as it shows the Top Gear at its best on this adventure.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Watch it on UK TV, 18 April 2008
By 
Andrew Macdonald (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures (Polar Special & US Special) [DVD] (DVD)
When first aired on BBC2, the American trip was undoubtedly on of the funniest TV shows ever - it was utterly superb. Then UK TV Gold aired it, somewhat edited. Then we watched this DVD. It hasn't been edited, it has been butchered. No where near as funny, in fact, I think they have purposely edited out the funniest parts. A lame interpretation of what could and should have been a fantastic DVD. Very dissapointing.
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55 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No excuse for not being as brilliant as it should be, 5 Mar 2008
By 
C. Stewart "The Cat's Whiskers" (Yorkshire/Nottinghamshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures (Polar Special & US Special) [DVD] (DVD)
never having seen either special on TV, I looked forward to this boxset keenly. I watched "Polar" first because I couldn't really see how the boys could make ice interesting-I humbly apologise. Polar was an extended 72 min version and it was simply superb.
Yes, I laughed out loud, but it also exposed that behind the japery are three men who care very much about what they do and had a serious point, particularly in view of it being done after Hammond's Yorkshire Escapade.
I suspect that after months of having family & friends hovering every time he tried to do more than open a pickle jar, Hamster really needed the solitude of that region and the opportunity to test himself and his own recovery. James May also shone; he acted the wimp whinger but he did what all the best mates do - quietly got stuck in helping Jeremy shine without fuss or histrionics.
Which brings me unfortunately to USA. We who have little disposable income buy DVDs for the extras we can't get on TV; I rarely buy something that gives me only the TV ep, and I certainly don't buy something that gives me less! Including credits USA came in at just 52 mins! Someone who bunged a tape in the VCR for BBC2 got a better version!
I paid 20 (actually 40 as I bought 1 as a gift) for the boxset - yes, you get 12 mins extra on Polar, but are robbed of 8 on USA,leaving 4 mins of extra viewing for which I was really paying 5 a minute! (There was even a brief clip at the end -making no sense - showing Jeremy in the Camaro looking grim in rain?)
This probably sounds churlish but it's not. I like TG, for the cars I will never be able to ride in - Veyron, Enzo, etc and for the useful stuff like getting their mums to test cars - since a car accident means I struggle to get in and out of cars, a practical demonstration of how non-user friendly some cars are if you're old, or un-agile, or loaded down with shopping was inspired. But I also watch it for the entertainment - the banter, bickering and winding-each other up. A lot of that is lost on "Dave", which cuts it out for adverts, and to be honest, this USA special looked like the Dave version. Having seen the Botswana special first on Dave then BBC3, I know just how much good stuff is lost in ads, but this is a DVD. I have no doubt they could have done "director's cut" specials for both that would've lasted 20-30 minutes over an hour in each case, which would have made the DVDs worth it.
Basically, whoever is in charge of DVD production for Top Gear needs sacking or being read the riot act. Like my review for Top Gear - The challenges, this DVD should have had 5* - and the Polar special is almost worth it. When they bring out the Botswana special on DVD - as well as the flaming caravans/amphibious boats crossing the channel/24 hour race challenge, etc, I shall take a long hard look at what I'm getting for my money, and that's a bad thing - this is Auntie Beeb and this is Top Gear - I should be able to take it as read that Andy W., James, Jeremy and Richard aren't going to try and rip me off for being a fan of their car show!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best episodes are finally released!, 24 Mar 2008
By 
R. Wood "ryecroftwood2" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures (Polar Special & US Special) [DVD] (DVD)
Top Gear, frankly, is one of those things that has made me feel excited about television again. For a long time, I only really used my TV to watch a DVD/play a game. There was little to nothing for me to watch in terms of original broadcasting. Then my cousin recommended watching Top Gear...and everything changed for me.

The whole premise of the show is just genius. Three big kids, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, loving cars and getting into all kinds of adventures and mishaps is just brilliant. In their own special way, they're all intelligent, entertaining, quick-witted and produce some hilarious, hair-raising and truly unforgettable viewing together. For me, Top Gear is the best thing on television today, hands-down.

Having developed a love for Top Gear (and subsequent DVD releases) in virtually no time at all, The Great Adventures is doubtless something to be really pleased to own. The reason why this box set is such a mandatory purchase is because it features the two most memorable specials ever in the programme's history.

Scratch that. BEST EPISODES EVER in the programme's history.

Starting with the Polar Special, you have Jeremy Clarkson and James May driving an extensively modified Toyota Hilux pick-up truck, competing against Richard Hammond and a dog team...in a 450 mile race to the North Pole. Those who watched this when it was first broadcast will remember it being not only an epic race, but also a tremendous test of survival, very real danger, incredible discovery and a true sense of accomplishment.

For the TV version of that amazing challenge to finally be released on DVD is special in itself, but the thing here is that this version of the Polar Special is actually the Director's Cut. And this is not a cheap plug with only a few measly seconds of insignificant footage included. This is the real deal. The Director's Cut is ten minutes longer than the hour-long version that was originally broadcast. The extra footage is absolutely amazing and enlightens the viewer more on what the lads went through in preparation for the adventure, the stress and dangers they endured, and what other astonishing discoveries they made.

The other special included is the U.S. one. This was the first ever episode of Top Gear I watched, so naturally it has such a special place in my heart. Here Jezza, Hamster and Captain Slow have purchased $1000 wrecks to embark on the ultimate American road trip over 700 miles to their destination of New Orleans, encountering all kinds of memorable challenges along the way. These consist of lap races, breaking before alligator-infested waters, preparing a road-kill feast and baiting the people of Alabama and surviving.

The U.S. special is just as excellent as I remember it. The lads' quest for purchasing American cars on such a low budget, the hilarity of the lads' road-kill feast, the frightening realism of their dangerous antagonising trek through Alabama are the highlights. And the charitable acts of the presenters to the people of New Orleans merits such respect and admiration, making it the perfect ending to a fantastic adventure.

However, I was very surprised that the lads' frightening drive through a fierce storm on the highway was cut from this home release of U.S. special. It didn't deter me from it anyway, but it is a tad on the disappointing side. What's really disappointing, though, is the music edits that had to be made due to contractual reasons. This is very noticeable during the Polar Special Director's Cut. A lot of the soundtrack music used here instead of that on the original broadcast really doesn't have the same quality impact on the presentation. In fact, the substitute soundtrack feels somewhat out of place and like it doesn`t really belong here.

There's no extras either, which is a shame. Some outtakes and deleted scenes would've been really nice. Along with audio commentaries from Clarkson, Hammond and May regarding their own personal reflections of their amazing adventures.

But at such a bargain price, and with such a beautiful DVD transfer, I shouldn't complain, really. Top Gear: The Great Adventures is a box set that every fan has been waiting for. These two expeditions are events that best showcase why these three guys have every right to be proud of what they do, what an amazing life they lead and why Top Gear is the best thing on television right now. The best DVD release of the show so far? I'd definitely say so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top Gear The great adventures 1, 31 Jan 2013
This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures (Polar Special & US Special) [DVD] (DVD)
In this dvd boxset you get two Top Gear Specials, Polar special and US Special.

Polar Special- This is basically a race with Jeremy and May in a car vs Richard Hammond with sleigh dogs to the north pole. Each team would race each other but before they began, the guys were sent to a cold weather training camp to give them an idea of what they'd be facing. A man from the British SAS with a distorted face showed Jeremy how cold it could be. Top Gear crew weren't taking the dangers seriously so legendary explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes was brought in to demonstrate how dangerous this region could be.

Eventually though, they were off.

This is a good episode of top gear and a very good adventure for the Top Gear team. There are funny moments and the car is brilliant with some beautiful scenery as well.5/5

US Special-Hmm.... This is meant to be a holiday for the top gear team, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May attempt to see if it is cheaper to buy a car for exploring the southern part of the United States for a week rather than renting one. Upon their arrival in Miami, the three were given US$1000 to buy a used car. This by far was one of the greatest episodes on the TV show however, on the DVD it is edited. he DVD release cuts roughly eight minutes of footage from the original broadcast, including a segment featuring a drive through a rainstorm, when the Camaro's wipers failed, and footage from the first scene in which the trio purchase cars. Some music cues were also changed for copyright reasons. really due to the cuts it spoils it and lets it down big time 2/5
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short Changed, 6 April 2008
By 
Mrs. Jillian Young "DroneUK" (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures (Polar Special & US Special) [DVD] (DVD)
I agree with a lot of the other reviewers here. Whilst the polar episode is a brilliant extended version, the American episode is awful. I had originally seen it on TV and laughed all the way through. I therefore bought it for my husband as a gift because he hadn't seen it and he was really miffed. Not only have some of the funniest parts been cut but it also leaves first time viewers wondering what is going on. EG, why is there suddenly a BBQ attached to the back of Hammond's truck when it wasn't there a frame earlier? And why is Jeremy suddenly being cooled by a shower system in his car without any explanation of how it got there. Now I know it was one of the challenges to improve and accessorise the vehicles but the edit completely removes the context! If you haven't seen this already, do yourself a favour and wait for a TV repeat. It would have been better if they hadn't bothered to release this. I would certainly be wary of another TG purchase after this. Shame on you BBC.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bitter disappointment., 11 Mar 2008
By 
Phillip Jackson (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures (Polar Special & US Special) [DVD] (DVD)
The Top Gear road trip across America's southern states was one of the greatest programmes ever aired by the BBC. Unfortunately; this DVD release has been edited to the point of not making any sense. Unless you caught the show on the television, you won't have a clue as to what the Top Gear Trio are talking about most of the time as vast portions of the film have been cut. The jokes are now inane waffle. Inane waffle backed by a very poor soundtrack.
I really, really, really wanted to like this release, but it's sadly not worth buying. Newcomers will be lost because of the poor editing mentioned above and Top Gear fans will be extremely annoyed that all the funny bits have been removed.
The race to the North pole is worth a watch, but not at the price of this 2 DVD set.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Annoyed, 8 Mar 2008
By 
Mr. Anton Roe - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures (Polar Special & US Special) [DVD] (DVD)
The Polar Challenge is excellent, but this package is let down by the badly edited and cut USA Challenge. I feel slightly conned as I can watch a more complete version on "Dave".

The soundtrack for USA is not the same and at least 4 scenes from BBC2 are not in this DVD version.

BBC I feel ripped off!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why is some of the US Special missing?, 8 Mar 2008
By 
Ian Waterfield (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures (Polar Special & US Special) [DVD] (DVD)
The Polar Special is excellent, with some additional footage that was not included when it was shown on TV.

Why on earth therefore is a huge chunk of the US Special missing? What possible reason could there be to edit pieces out for the DVD? It defies logic and for the first time ever with a BBC DVD it leaves me feeling cheated. Furthermore there are references later on that now make no sense without the missing pieces earlier on. Well done for unnecessarily spoiling what was otherwise a classic episode of Top Gear.
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