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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It's about as dangerous as Cheltenham.", 28 Mar 2011
By 
J. Martin (Earth) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
So, Jezza, Hammond and May return for a fourth round of great adventures in `The Great Adventures 4'. Like the previous release, this set contains three adventures; with one main, big adventure on the first disc and two slightly smaller ones on the second. In this case we have the two specials shown over Christmas (the US Road Trip and the Middle East Special) and one from the main series that has just aired on TV (the Albanian Road Trip), and as usual we get witty banter from the trio as they cross several countries.

Unlike the previous releases, all the adventures receive director's cuts, with a total of more than 30 minutes extra footage. For anyone who saw each adventure upon transmission it's very obvious where the extended sequences are and some of it really adds to the fun of the episodes. My favourite added sequence is one during the Middle East Special when Jezza decides to do some donuts and drifts at the Turkish Border.

Disc One:
`The Middle East Special'
In the main adventure in the set, the presenters recreate the story of journey of the Three Wise Men in the modern age, where they travel across the Middle East to get to Bethlehem.

This is arguably the best Top Gear Special to date, as instead of buying second-hand cars to see if they get travel over different kinds of terrain, we see the trio in second-hand cars trying to make their way through man-made barriers, which makes the episode all that more refreshing to watch. There are also far more areas the crew cover and it feels more of a long journey as well, in comparison to previous adventures. This is also actually one of the most fascinating specials too as its very interesting to see how different countries in the Middle East are compared to here in the UK.
For me, this is the best and my favourite special to date, because it feels like it has more of a purpose beyond simple entertainment and is one of the most immersive Top Gear challenges yet.

Disc Two:
`The US Road Trip'
For their third trip to the US, the trio set out on another road trip, this time through NASCAR country and end up in New York, where one of them appears on a US television.

This certainly the weakest of the three US trips, because many of the laughs and jokes had been used up in the two previous adventures to the US of A, so you don't get that same sense of mischief and fun as you get watching the other two, but along the way the lads have ago at a drive-by shooting course, come across a dancing mayor and James May has to do some yoga, and fortunately for them this time they were able to be `entertaining'.
The special has many highlights, but the best of the bunch is easily the drive by shooting challenge, because it's a real boys and their toys moment and seeing Jezza during the training session is just hilarious.

`The Albanian Road Trip'
In this adventure, the boys are set the task of finding a new getaway vehicle for the Albanian Mafia, but not everything goes according to plan when testing the three cars in question.

The originally transmitted version of this adventure for me didn't feel like one of these great adventures, most likely because it was shown as part of Series 16, rather than as a special, so when I found out this would be on this released I was very surprised. However, when I watched the director's cut of it it suddenly felt more grand and more of what you'd get from a typical Top Gear adventure, albeit a very short one.
This is probably one of the better challenges from Series 16, because it's far more exciting and doesn't feel like it's a rehashed challenge. Jezza deciding a Bentley Mulsanne is exactly the same as a Yugo is just brilliant and really adds to the enjoyment of this adventure, as it's a bit of a cross-between one of the second-hand car challenges and one of the new car challenges.

The extras are pretty much the same as the previous Great Adventures release and James May once again returns for an audio commentary on the main special, along with some of the crew; although for some reason the commentary is only on the originally transmitted version, which does beg the question `why didn't they included both versions of the special?'. The commentary itself though is very typical of a TV audio commentary, with the commentators all having a nice conversation about the production of the special and it's also great to hear May bring up many points that aren't necessarily apparent on the actual episode. There are also several deleted scenes for each special, which are very interesting as well.

The only criticism I'd have is the way the adventures are edited onto the release, as it excludes any opening titles or credits, but more importantly the `settled' £5 bet Jezza and May have on the US Special is edited out after the main feature has ended.

All in all, this is a good typical Top Gear release, apart from a few small niggles. The two smaller adventures do show how the incident with Ben Collins may have meant they probably didn't have much time to put together a strong number of challenges and adventures. However the Middle East Special redeems all the faults of the two mini-adventures and the price alone is worth just that special; so think of the USA and Albanian trips as bonuses. I can't rate this set highly enough and if you're a Top Gear fan then you'll undoubtedly buy it anyway.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Oh, Crikey! It's the Albanian Rozzers!", 7 April 2011
By 
R. Wood "ryecroftwood2" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures 4 [DVD] (DVD)
The U.S. of A, the North Pole, Botswana, Vietnam, Romania and the dangerous jungles of South America. Where else left in the world can Jeremy, Richard and James conquer?

The Middle East. That's what they decided last Christmas for a Top Gear Special. The mere idea was shocking, and it just so turned out to be one of the best they've ever done. So for this year's Great Adventures box set, expect delightful Directors' Cuts of both the Middle East special, and the special challenge Road Trips to Albania and (again) America.

The trek across the Middle East doesn't quite match up to the greatness of the legendary Polar Special (the definitive edition of Top Gear), but it certainly is outstanding, and definitely the most controversial. Jezza and Hamster wearing burkas(!), Jeremy Clarkson realising he has the initials "J.C.", the lads following the path of the `Three Wise Men', the second coming, loaves and fishes, walking on water, giving presents to Joseph and Mary etc. But what can you expect? Boys will be boys, and to journey from Iraq to Bethlehem as `the Three Wise Men", they were obviously gonna incorporate the nativity, religion and the Middle Eastern culture into their humour!

But all the humour is innocent and harmless fun, really. And absolutely hilarious, which couple with the rest of the adventure's content, makes the Middle East Special one of the best Top Gear episodes ever. It immediately kicks off with a bang as the lads scream in a hair-raising landing in a Russian transport plane...with the cargo ramp OPEN! And from there you can again expect amazing discoveries, modifications to the cars, races and all kinds of happenings, like Richard's scary stop at customs, James' scary accident in the Syria desert, and Jeremy's attempt to make a bulletproof door. And the SHOCKING ending featuring the `Baby Stig' ices a most delicious cake of an episode.

An honourable mention must go to the producers also for their filming of Iraq. Initially, there's real reason to be afraid because of the war, and the exposed drives through the country, but when it becomes apparent that there's nothing to fear here, you feel pleased amidst all the violence and madness, there are normal people and beautiful country to behold. It's really pleasing to see, and kudos must be given to those who filmed all the wonderful shots.

As for the second disc that contains the U.S. and Albania road trips, expect more top-notch entertainment. Jeremy, Richard and James' third trip to the states is another highly eventful romp, featuring their squandered drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway (due to harsh speed limits), their playtime on the historical Wilkesboro Speedway (where NASCAR itself began), meeting the brilliant Mayor of Wilkesboro (he's such a character!), more races, Clarkson shredding tyres, a drive-by shooting on cut-outs of the Stig (Hammond is GENUINELY scary here!) and the culminating race across Manhattan, where only one of the trio will guest appear on morning American telly!

Like previous U.S. trips, this one is tremendous fun and packed with memorable moments. The first U.S. Special is still the best American adventure, but this sequel is definitely a worthy one. But the adventure in Albania surpasses the U.S. trip in my opinion, as Clarkson, Hammond and May heed the call of a Mafia Boss (apparently) to determine which is best out of the Rolls-Royce Ghost, The Mercedes S-Class and the `Bentley Mulsanne' (which is really a second-hand rubbish Yugo, due to Bentley pulling out at the last minute).

More discoveries consist of a fascinating trip to a disused submarine base and abandoned airbase featuring MIG-15s, there's a hilarious test to see if which of the cars can successfully get a `Dead Body' in the boot, an obvious mismatched drag-race and a really daring bank robbery to determine the best getaway car, most notable for the tragic, VALIANT death of Captain Slow himself.

Rest in peace, mate. Until next time, obviously.

So once again, there's plenty of worthwhile material for fans. The Director's Cuts again feature noticeable new footage, the deleted scenes are fab, the Middle East commentary featuring James and the crew is excellent (though maybe next time we could have Jeremy and Richard joining in?), and the overall DVD quality is typical of 2entertain. With no signs of faltering, Top Gear remains top-notch, both on BBC2 and on home video. Yet another box-set to add to your collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good postage, 10 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures 4 [DVD] (DVD)
I ordered the first class postage and said it will arrive 1-3 days thought it would be the same as normal post but it wasnt!. Arrived 2 days after I ordered it and I think it was very well packaged and would recamend the first class
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures 4 [DVD] (DVD)
Bought for hubby who's a long distant lorry driver to watch on an evening, he loved it. Easy to watch, gave him a laugh , son and son-in law waiting to borrow it when he's finished!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Condition, 10 May 2014
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This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures 4 [DVD] (DVD)
everything spot on with product, no complaints about anything. It was a present for someone and they really enjoyed watching it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top Gear Blue-ray - The Great Adventures 4, 10 Jan 2014
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This was bought for my nephew as a present. It always seems to be difficult to think of things that a man might like as a present but this went down very well as he is a great Top Gear Fan and fortunately for me it was the only one of their Great Adventures he had not yet bought on Blue-ray, so a happy nephew and happy Auntie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Present, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Top Gear - The Great Adventures 4 [DVD] (DVD)
Top Gear's adventures are brilliant and me and my son can sit and watch them endlessly. It is amazing what three "not so young" guys can do - and yes - I know they have a ton of support and people helping - but it's fun and very entertaining so just enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth getting for the extras, 8 Jan 2014
Even if you've seen the telly version of the middle east special, get this version too - the commentary alone is worth the price, revealing a lot of the behind the scenes secrets.

And even though some of the music has changed for international copyright reasons, Hammond still gets 'Genesis-ed' by Clarkson!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny stuff, 7 Jan 2014
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Anyone that likes top gear. go for it its so funny. one of the best they have done in a long while
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5.0 out of 5 stars Son bought this, 14 July 2013
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He loves everything that is Top Gear so unable to give a poor review. Not my own choice but it makes him happy.
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Top Gear - The Great Adventures 4 [DVD]
Top Gear - The Great Adventures 4 [DVD] by Jeremy Clarkson (DVD - 2011)
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