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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 29 March 2010
Another day, another Top Gear DVD release. And this time, it's the THIRD box set of the Great Adventures of Jezza, Hamster and Captain Slow. So how do you follow epics like their trips to the U.S., the North Pole, Botswana and Vietnam? How does the following sound? A return to the USA, and brand new trips to Romania and South America.

Now, normally with these Great Adventures, the BBC and 2Entertain collect two hour-long specials with bonus features. But because the only recent special was the lads' trip to South America last Christmas, the other disc features extended highlights from their trips to the U.S. and Romania, as shown in episodes from the last series.

So what are Jeremy, Richard and James doing in Romania? Searching for another of the world's best driving roads, each armed with convertible supercars. This is a quality adventure, featuring many remarkable things such as a noise test in the amazing secret race track underneath the Romanian Parliament building, Jeremy in a stupid hat, James finding tragic love with a Dacia Sandero, tests of sat-navs and roofs, spending the night in the worst possible place and finally reaching the Holy Grail, the Transfagarasan Highway.

The lad's much-anticipated return to the U.S. doesn't quite match up to the classic spectacle of their road trip in $1000 wrecks (but that was always going to be a difficult one to surpass), but it's nevertheless a very good one. The boys have come back to America to journey from San Francisco to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah for a drag race. Of course, due to the wild antics of their last trip, the US immigration authorities will only let the boys film if they don't do anything `entertaining'. Like that's gonna happen!

Nevertheless, the lads DO try to make a `factual' documentary, but boys will always boys and it's not long before James is monologue his disappointment with his new Cadillac, Jeremy and Richard are racing on the streets of Reno, revving engines, setting off car alarms, being nicked by rozzers etc. And then of course, there's Jezza parking Hamster's Challenger right in the middle of the road when he's not looking.

Both of these `mini-adventures' receive the director's cut treatment, each with about ten minutes of new unseen footage, all of which is noticeable, helps fill out the disc more and makes things more special. Compared to things like the Polar and original U.S. specials, this volume feels somewhat lacking, but the new footage and the photo galleries still make it all worthy viewing.

But the real highlight of this latest collection is undoubtedly the lads' trek through South America, where they must embark on a thousand mile journey through lethal jungles, mountains, deserts and roads of death in second-hand 4x4s. Where the quality of Top Gear overall has started to slip a little (due to their struggling to find new ideas), the South America Special is truly a return to form. The humour and antics are absolutely hilarious, the lads' teamwork and ingenuity to see them through obstacles is absolutely remarkable and the VERY real dangers will have you on the edge of your seat. The sights are remarkable, the struggles are evocative...basically, everything you could expect from classic Top Gear is right here.

The extras here consist of another nice little photo gallery and a fabulous commentary headed by James May with Andy Williams and film crew in tow. Like the commentary on the previous Great Adventures release, it's a really enlightening experience, learning about the complications of filming, anecdotes and opinions of this, that and the other. James being on hand to provide a first-hand recap of the experience is truly excellent, with his great intellect and humour coming into play.

Top Gear: The Great Adventures 3 is yet another essential release for fans, but it does make one wonder what else Jeremy, Richard and James can possibly do. Let's hope they can still produce such terrific entertainment, because it's clearly gonna get even harder to surpass all that they've done.
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on 20 February 2016
This is top gear at its finest. So funny and entertaining! An absolute joy to watch. I love these specials and would recommend to anybody. I also brought the set for my dad who also loved top gear. Jeremy, Richard and James are absolutely hilarious as always and their antics never fail to make me laugh and these really help to brighten up a rubbish day. Top gear will never be the same again now so I shall treasure these DVDs for years to come. This was the time when top gear was at its absolute best. I would totally recommend buying these.
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on 3 December 2010
We all know that we love Top Gear, otherwise you wouldn't be here reading this.
But and it's a big "but", I do feel a little cheated by this Blu-Ray release. The only reason why I bought The Adventures in Blu-Ray is because of the picture quality; after all, Top Gear is famous for it's regularly stunning photography.

The Bolivia special did not disappoint with the aforementioned, especially the Atacama Desert and it's Mars like landscape. The detail tickles your eyeballs as well as James' taste in shirts. Low picture noise in the clear, bright(perfect photography conditions), high altitude scenes, rich colours of the jungle and great sense of depth-of-field in those narrow mountain passes. Who needs 3D?!

The Romania special is an eye-opener to the country and how remarkable it is... But I'm not here to review the episodes because we know how brilliant they are, even with the added extra footage. I'm here typing this bilge because of the Bonneville special is up-converted from standard definition (even though it looks like it was filmed in HD) to 1920 / 1080p specifications but failing miserably. How could the BBC let this slip through the net hoping it will not get noticed? You do wonder who was paying attention in the production suite.

For this reason and the changes in music (i'm guessing copyright issues) I gave this Blu-ray release 3 out of 5. Not for the boys and the film crew for which I will hold in great admiration, it's the halfwit who made that up-converted decision. Is a memo needed to remind people what Blu-Ray pictures are about?

I would appreciate honesty up front to your loyal followers BBC. The customer. Me. You, the reader.

Harsh but fair.

A major Top Gear fan.

Fin.
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on 30 July 2015
It is professionally made edition (I really appreciate EN subtitles) with perfect menu but really variable quality of transcript. Every adventure has different quality (Romanian trip seemed to be the best). What is sad. Not tragic. Just said. Still disc that worth to have.
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on 5 November 2014
Not a fan of Top Gear particularly Jeremy Clarkson,however the one DVD I bought it for was the Chilean Adventure,having visited Peru and Chile I found this very funny and a reminder of how wonderfully dangerous this part of the world can be.
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Top Gear probably UK's finest output as far as a tv show goes these days. Just fantastic, car fan or not.

I bought this just for the South American episode really. One day I'd love to do what they did but miss out the jungle!

Why only 3 stars? It's 1080i with a stereo audio track. If I'm frank the output on BBC HD was better. Th audio for sure was much better. I can make my Receiver upscale the audio into something respectable if I want but....I shouldn't have to. The BBC always seem to be falling short of the mark on HD productions. Planet Earth has the same pitfalls.

Bonneville is just upscaled SD output. (this is stipulated on the back cover)

So no, this is not a great example of what HD is capable of. I know I sound a little snobbish now but it's 2010 and I'm expecting better from the BBC by now.
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on 27 July 2013
If you're here then I'm sure you already like Top Gear, and enjoy the banter between the three guys.

I'm disgusted that the BBC have allowed this blu-ray to be released with the Bonneville episode in standard definition. The whole reason we spend extra for blu-ray is for the added enjoyment of pristine picture. Yet the Bonneville part is basically the same edition you get on the DVD version.

If this type of thing annoys you, then you have been warned.
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on 21 February 2013
Ever watch Top Gear and think "Love watching them, but wish I could cut out the bits where the just review cars to watch the challenges"? Well here is a perfect opportunity! Three challenges: Bonneville, where the boys struggle not to be entertaining, Romania, in search of one of the best roads................In the world and South America, where the face dangerous heights, terrifying insects and Viagra. A fun DVD, well worth getting. How hard can it be?
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on 3 July 2012
Hilarious is the only word, any adventure DVDs from Top Gear are worth a watch, they are hilarious, the antics they get up to are amazing and you get a bit of a tour of the countries they are in. Enjoy!
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I haven't watched all the video yet, mainly because I keep watching the South American special over and over. I find it fascinating, funny, and really informative. The part where they're getting altitude sickness is astonishing. Best of all, the video is region free.

UPDATE: I thought the best part was being region free, but having bought it as a region-free blu-ray specifically to give as a present to someone in the US, we are all sitting around the telly now with just a blank screen and no prospect of playing it afterall. Really disappointed.
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