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4.6 out of 5 stars37
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Well, here we are again. Another Top Gear DVD, and one that should be considered essential on subject matter alone. Let's face it, the Challenges are the BEST part of the show as they test Jezza, Hamster and Captain Slow to their limits and beyond, in tasks that are extreme, barmy, exciting, surprising, hilarious and (more often than not) end in disaster.

Top Gear: The Challenges was a brilliant DVD, I thought. It had the best challenges ever in the show's history, which for that reason alone, made it worth buying and cherishing. However, the DVD was criticised by many regarding the editing and the presentation. The menus were awkward and difficult to operate, the sequence of challenges were broken up and scattered so it was hard to follow them properly, and the scene selection wasn't as well conceived as it should've been. Personally, none of this bothered me, though I could understand why it annoyed others.

But first things first, what exactly can you expect from Top Gear: The Challenges 2? All the best challenges from the tenth series, which is the only logical thing to do, seeing as how all the best challenges from the show's HISTORY have been released previously.

The Challenges here are Amphibious Cars: The Sequel (where they cross the Channel), The Bugatti Veyron vs. The Eurofighter, Motorhome Racing, Fiat 500 vs. BMX, the lads' search for The Greatest Driving Road, The 24 Hour Race (at Silverstone) and the epic Race Across London (featuring James in a Mercedes, Richard on a bicycle, The Stig on public transport and Jeremy in a racing speedboat). These challenges are all fresh, and while perhaps not as classic as the last batch, there're nonetheless excellent, featuring all the essential stuff that makes Top Gear the cracking entertainment that it is.

But...HAVE the BBC listened to all the criticisms that were directed at the last Challenges DVD? YES, THEY HAVE. The structure of the compilation is MUCH better than it was previously. No skipping over to another challenge halfway through the one you're currently watching THIS time around. Each portion of the Challenges from the shows have been grouped together to form a much better, more structured presentation. You're watching one Challenge all the way through before moving onto the next one, allowing you to just sit back and enjoy a much-more smoother and better-flowing compilation.

The scene-selection has also been better designed, meaning the chapter-breaks are at much more convenient points. And all the menus operate like they SHOULD. Cursors are where they should be, you have the cool Top Gear theme playing on almost every menu, and there's a really nice Stig animation that accompanies the transitions between the different menus.

And the icing on the cake? EXTRAS. There's some really great ones here. First up, are clips from celebrity stars of the last series, Lewis Hamilton and Simon Cowell. Both of their amazing Lap Times round the Top Gear test track are shown here, along with extended interviews. The new cuts are noticeable and thus make these extras even more special.

There's also a ride with The Stig in the No. 1 Lap Car, complete with an interactive option that allows you to change the camera angle via your remote. Even though there's only two angles to choose from, it's still a great addition to the disc. There's also another interactive multi-angle option featuring the Eurofighter from the Bugatti Veyron race, and although it's quite brief, it is absolutely breathtaking and seriously worth partaking in. And finally, there's a nice little video of the Lamborghini Gallardo (from The Greatest Driving Road) driving on the Col De Turini. This is made special by the camera that's mounted on the front of the car, making you understand why the Col De Turini is SUCH a fantastic road, as the lads have said.

And because this is a BBC DVD, you can naturally expect high-quality presentation. The DVD transfer is as clean and as crisp as always. Sound cannot be faulted, and there's useful subtitles (as usual) just in case.

Now, if it's Top Gear, I buy it on DVD for pure entertainment, regardless of how it's released, because I know I'm getting my money's worth seeing my favourite moments again and again. But the presentation of this particular release has really impressed me. Perhaps more than any other previous DVD that the BBC have released. Top Gear: The Challenges 2 has everything here. The outstanding highlights, better menu selections and cracking extras. Those who were disappointed with the last Challenges DVD won't be disappointed here. It's a fantastic release and like all Top Gear DVDs, should be part of your collection.
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on 7 June 2008
I have just recieved this DVD and it was amazing. Its got good graphics well laid out and good challanges aswell. And is always good for a rainy day this is a good DVD to get. Though i didnt order it from amazon i got it from the shops as it would be cheaper than this with postage and packaging. A good DVD in all and a must have for a Top Gear fan. Honestly
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VINE VOICEon 20 June 2008
After the poor editing in the last Challenge DVD, it is pleasing that the BBC and 2 Entertain have taken notice. The DVD is nicely edited, with each feature running in it's entirety before moving onto the next.
The features include some of the best challenges from the last series. My favorites are the Amphibious Cars: PArt 2, the 24hour race, the race across London and the Motor Home Racing. There are also a few decent extras too!
It is priceless entertainment and has left me hungry for more. Perhaps we can expect to see the caravan, the van and the tractor challenge on DVD soon! I surely hope so!
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on 21 October 2008
This is a collection of challenges with our favourite team of car presenters and their house-trained racing driver. If you're a fan of the Top Gear programs, you need this on DVD.

The video is crystal clear, the sound is good, and there are English subtitles if you need them. You also get the interviews/laps by Lewis Hamilton and Simon Cowell, but don't be fooled by the "extended interviews" tag. They're just the normal interviews the way they appeared on TV. The other extras are for hard-core enthusiasts, but not really necessary if you prefer watching the program and the guys interacting rather than the cars.

The one drawback I wil mention is that the MUSIC is different from the one used in the TV show. Due to the unique way in which the BBC is funded, they were able to use a variety of movie soundtracks and collections on the show. But since this DVD is a commercial thing, they had to change all the music. And while the TV show music blokes know what they're doing... the guys who did this don't. In short, the music was better on the show.
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on 6 June 2008
If you've been wondering whether or not to buy this DVD then wonder no more. It's BRILLIANT! Another great series of Top Gear has been followed up with a great DVD, without doubt the best package yet.
This has all of the funniest challenges packed with the usual legendary TG banter as well as, at last, some great extras. The multi-angle option of Stig burning up the track in the Ascari A10 is a must for any petrolhead!
The setup is also excellent and is a huge step forward from the previous Challenges release. Now you can navigate easily between each programme which means you can watch each one when you want rather than sitting through the whole feature.
Bring on the new Series and the next DVD!!
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on 15 June 2008
Being an avid fan of top gear, especially the challenges, i couldn't wait to see this dvd.
My expectations of this were underestimated, it was brilliant. This some of the best challenges including: The race across London, the diesel powered race car, the eurofighter race and the amphibious cars. Good old top gear, and you've got to love the stig, especially when he uses public transport. Never thought Id see the day.
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on 18 August 2009
The next Top Gear Challenges DVD is here and is important on mentioning it alone on the subject as why to buy this already. This time around the boys are indeed busy in the latest bunch of challenges included are Amphibious Cars: The Sequel, The Bugatti Veyron vs. The Eurofighter, Motorhome Racing, Fiat 500 vs. BMX, the lads' search for The Greatest Driving Road, The 24 Hour Race and the Race Across London (featuring James in a Mercedes, Richard on a bicycle, The Stig on public transport and Jeremy in speedboat).

These are more newer challenges from which most take place in the tenth series and are highly enjoyable to laugh at as the boys in most challenges end up with a disaster or embarrassing moments. However, has the BBC listened to our complaints about the first DVD? YES THEY DID! In fact this now more improved with a revamp on the menu's, navigation is better in scene selection, none of the challenges are broken up and taken out of sequence. You just watch one entire challenge before moving onto the next, which won't make you go backwards and forwards anymore.

Your probably wondering what's the best way to tip it all off? How about some neat little Extra's like extended interviews with Lewis Hamilton and Simon Cowell and Lap Times, including a ride with The Stig in the No. 1 Lap Car. With me, I buy Top gear DVD's for the sake of it on entertainment purposes, so you've got better presentation, no cuts, up to scratch menus and extras! Well what are you waiting for? Go get it, you won't be sorry...
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on 9 October 2008
Following on from the success of the first Challenges DVD, this second volume is the cream of the crop where it comes to Top Gear. Not only does it contain the best of the challenges from the 10th series (arguably the best ever), this volume contains two things the previous was sadly lacking:

1) Menus you can actually navigate! Thankfully BBC DVD and 2|entertain listened to all the negative criticism and rectified this for the second volume. All I can say is "thank you people power!"

2) Extras! Something else lacking from the previous release was bonus features, something the BBC had done absolutely brilliantly elsewhere (Doctor Who DVD releases, for example). This is also rectified in this volume with the best ones being the extended interviews with the two lap record holders Lewis Hamilton and Simon Cowell. Pure Top Gear wit from start to finish!

I hope that the success of this volume will persuade the BBC to release some of the challenges not yet released. The "McLaren Mercedes SLR vs Boat" race springs to mind as do the tractor, van and road-works challenges. Not to mention the races and stunts in series 11 and the soon to arrive series 12.

"Top Gear: The Challenges 3" anyone?
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on 7 January 2009
Top Gear is a program which I always look forward to, especially the challenges. In this second edition, the challenges are not as good, but they are still hilariously funny! James 'Captain Slow' May, Richard 'Hamster' Hammond, and Jeremy 'Jezza' Clarkson are up to all sorts of trouble, like crashing into other people's cars at Silverstone, and getting into people's way in the channel and other capers. A hilarious DVD for young and old alike!
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on 20 June 2008
More Petrol-headed hilarity.

Race across London is priceless. Have they not heard of a jet pack or a plasma powered horse?

Haha.

Nice to see the blurb on the back of the DVD
"This time with menus that aren't incomprehensible"

and they have counted the challenges properly unlike on Top Gear The Challenges. (Says there are 7 but there are eight).

Buy this DVD and other Top Gear DVD's. They are all first class entertainment.
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