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Top Gear Is Back on Feb. 17

Illustration for article titled Top Gear Is Back on Feb. 17
Photo: BBC

We’ve only got one season left before the affable Rory Reid and Matt LeBlanc depart as Top Gear hosts, so I hope they make this one count. Season 26 returns on Sunday, Feb. 17 and I am so ready for it.

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With the returning season, we have been promised “the best supercar alternatives to a family estate, racing to the top of a mountain using the smallest 4x4s in the UK, driving across Sri Lanka in Tuk-tuks, Chris Harris mostly sideways on our track in a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, and buying (and racing) used luxury cars for the price of a new Dacia Sandero” by a BBC press release.

And they’ll do all this through five, hour-long episodes.

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Though the promises of travel and cars are great, I’m just happy to see these three back at it again. Season 25 was, in a word, joyous. It was entertaining, light-hearted and genuinely funny. It was fabulously refreshing, like an ice-cold soda after a long, dusty trudge through other bad car TV.

This is the end of the team after season 26, though. Season 27 will still be hosted by Harris, but he’ll also be joined by two dudes named Paddy McGuinness and Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff. LeBlanc cited the amount of travel and being away from friends and family as the reason for his departure
and Reid will maintain his role on Extra Gear instead of being a Top Gear presenter. Sad.

But all good things must come to an end, right? I’m very much looking forward to season 26.

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

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DISCUSSION

mikelikestrains
Mike Ramsey dreams of electric Mustangs

As good as this show may be, it just doesn’t feel like Top Gear anymore, and it hasn’t since the original crew left. It’s a perfectly competent car-themed TV show, but it’s not Top Gear. It’s definitely improving, though, now that the hosts have had time to get to know each other and develop some chemistry.

The Grand Tour is fun, but you can tell the boys are starting to get tired. I doubt they’ll keep it up for more than a couple more seasons. They’re getting to the age where romping around the world and doing mayhem in cars is just no longer a responsible life choice.

I love Top Gear, despite disagreeing with almost everything Clarkson has ever said, and it’s sad that it’s coming to an end (and, in its proper form, it ended several years ago). But, as you said, all good things must come to an end. Maybe it’s finally time for Top Gear to powerslide off into a noisy, smokey sunset.