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Top Gear - The Challenges 4 [DVD]
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This title contains the following challenges -
Train Race What would Top Gear have been like in 1949? To find out, Jeremy took a newly built steam train, James an old Jaguar and Richard a legendary – if painful – motorcycle for a race from London to Scotland.
Electric car The question – could Top Gear build an electric car for less than the cost of a G Wiz? The answer was yes, but it looked like a robot’s tool shed.
Ice Racing Proper petrolheads reckon you can’t have fun in a car unless it’s rear-wheel drive. Take three rear-wheel drive coupes on a trip across France, for some unexpected ice racing.
Police cars Top Gear set about finding British bobbies the perfect disposable cop car, thereby allowing them to make us proud on the world stage of Police! Action! Kill! programming.
Classic rally Jeremy, Richard and James had never bought classic cars at auction before. How hard it could be? Cue distinctly mixed purchases on a Majorcan odyssey.
Commie Cars Did the Communists ever build a good car? To find out, Jeremy and James got together a load of funny looking vehicles and tested them at that great symbol of Cold War Britain, Greenham Common airbase.
Ken Block To find out more about rally driver - and internet video clip sensation – Ken Block, James was sent to America for an eye widening passenger ride with the man himself. Good job he packed spare underpants.
Portofino The Riviera was the cool place to be seen in the 1960s. But the congested glamour hotspot now is best negotiated by boat according to James. Richard disagreed, so he got himself a 1960s Ferrari Daytona to have a sun kissed race.
Fiesta test Top Gear received a letter from a man called Mr Needham asking why the programme didn’t ‘test cars properly any more’. Stung by this criticism, Jeremy set out to perform the most thorough road test possible.
Audi vs skiers The Audi RS6 is a fast estate car, but is it faster than two irritating lithe Frenchmen who spend their days pretending to read poetry books so they look more attractive to chalet girls? Richard went to France to find out.
McLaren F1 vs Bugatti Veyron Is Bugatti’s mighty 1000 horsepower Veyron faster than McLaren’s legendary F1 hypercar? Richard went to Abu Dhabi, persuaded the local police to close a long straight road, and set about finding the answer.
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So which famous exploits of Jezza, Hamster and Captain Slow are present this time round? The Train Race from London to Scotland (with Jeremy in the Tornado steam locomotive, Richard on the Black Vincent motorcycle, and James in the old Jaguar), the attempt to build an Electric Car (as reviewed in Autocar), Ice Racing, the Police Cars (FINALLY!), Classic Rally, a Fiesta road test, Commie Cars (as tested by Jeremy and James), James' day with internet sensation Ken Block, the Audi RS6 against a couple of Skiers, James in a boat against Richard in a Ferrari in the Riviera and finally a test to see if the almighty Bugatti Veyron can surpass the legendary McLaren F1 hypercar. That's an unprecedented ELEVEN challenges collected for a DVD release, which is uncanny.
Now, because this is Top Gear, and it's new challenges, it's obviously essential purchasing. And the consistent freshness of these releases means you still won't be disappointed. The Train Race is absolutely excellent, due to Jeremy being on the magnificent Tornado and Richard coming into his element as `the Black Shadow' and the true-to-form high-stakes nature of the challenge. The Electric Car and Police Car escapades both feature originality and innovation, and the Ice Racing with rear-wheel drive cars features Jeremy realising he can actually MEND things and the presence of the dreaded Morris Marina. All these challenges are true classic, with the rest being exceptional. In other words, you won't be disappointed with the content.
Presentation-wise, the DVD is again typical BBC and 2Entertain quality. Picture and sound are clean and crisp, there're good subtitles, the menus are well-designed and structured, chapter breaks are at convenient points; it's what we've come to expect from these DVDs since the BBC learned from the mistakes of the very first Challenges DVD.
In terms of extras, you can expect usual things like extended interviews with celebrities (Jenson Button and AC/DC's Brian Johnson), multi-angle features (a ride with the Stig and a Training Run with Speed ), and more unseen footage of the show and the Top Gear Awards. Those who've experienced previous Challenges volumes can expect to be fascinated by the new, noticeable footage and totally immersed by the multi-angle features and car spotlights.
The only problem with Top Gear: The Challenges 4 that may irk some fans is the noticeable changes to the soundtrack here and there. This has always been a problem that has hindered DVD releases of the show. Because of the annoying contractual reasons, you can no longer expect to see (for example) James arriving in his Lexus to the theme of "Murder, She Wrote" during the Police Car challenge. It's understandable, and the challenges are still such great entertainment, but it remains unfortunate that we no longer have the music we fondly remember and have substitute music which is hit-and-miss.
Still, it's Top Gear, it's the Challenges, and the choice, features and presentation are brilliant as always. And fans are going to buy it regardless.
So what are you waiting for?
But a steam locomotive new built from historic blue prints with hindsite tweaks and modern day metalurgy,doing what it does best at the hands of great artisans (apart from one!) in my opinion makes mesmerizing television. Add the challenge of the other two on Bike & Jag added that extra interest.
I do feel Jeremy Clarkson and to a degree the other two cabelero's are hugely over indulged but that is only my personal opinion and they do seem to go from strength to etc, and if you warm to their shows it's a great DVD.
Continuing the theme from the Third Top Gear Challenges DVD, the Menus are animated in the view of a Speed Dial Gauge with some of the challenges been shown, the scene selections is still perfect and there are extras like the last volume. Sound like Top Gear heaven? It gets better to the list of challenges including the Train Race in 1949, Electric Car (Geoff), Ice Rear-Wheel Racing, Classic Rally's at Auction, Fiesta test in Shopping Mall, Communists Car, Rally Driver Ken Block and James May, Audi Vs. Skiers, Richard in a Car and James in a Boat Race and the McFlaren Vs. Veyron. All of these challenges has got tremendous amount of humour and laughter to fill you up with and so many comments that never fail to raise the smile even more.
However the challenge that is included that will be mentioned often is the Police Car Challenge, this challenge was the most anticipated one and mercifully the BBC listened and now the challenge is included in this DVD with the rest. This will certainly put a smile on many people's faces for now.
For 200 minutes of Top Gear, what more can be included, I don't know maybe a second disc for the second time giving more Extra's? Why yes they did, on a second disc you get the Jenson Button & AC/DC's Brian Johnson Extended Interviews, Ride with The Stig and Training Run with Speed Flyers in Multi-Angle, Unseen Top Gear Awards, Unseen Ken Block Slow Mo Footage, Exclusive Unseen Footage and Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 200mph run in Abu Dubai and More! The DVD is a structured Top Gear DVD and has no problem with navigation and yes it does include subtitles for English Hard of Hearing and a aspect ratio of 16:9.
One Difference be warned is that the Challenges are NOT all on one disc, due to the runtime of the challenges included in this volume, it is impossible to fill all one disc with the challenges. Overall, this is worth buying as it still is the same, the only downside some people can complain is that some of the Music has been changed on some of the challenges and that some cuts have been made but not sufficient enough to be noticed. One downside is that some other challenges like '17-Year Olds Car', 'Caravan Holiday' and 'Ploughing, Cropping Tractor' are not included. But mainly, it's a brilliant release and like any other Top Gear fan, this should be part of your own collection.
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