Top Gear: Ex­tra Gear

Sea­son 2 BBC Brit (*120) 20:00 Life­style

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Petrol­heads have been split since Top Gear’s (2002-cur­rent) 2016 over­haul with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc host­ing (Chris only lasted one sea­son). One thing fans can agree on is that its com­pan­ion se­ries Top Gear: Ex­tra Gear (2016-cur­rent) fin­ishes on the top step of the podium. While Top Gear’s still got the gim­micks, Ex­tra Gear is strip­ping mo­tor­ing shows to its raw chas­sis with Top Gear co-hosts Chris Har­ris and Rory Reid at the steer­ing wheel. So why do you need to check out the sev­enepisode sec­ond sea­son?

Crit­ics haven’t called it “a breath of fresh air” and “ex­actly what the show [Top gear] needed” for noth­ing. Rory and Chris are out-and-out jour­nal­ists and they’re re­view­ing cars… on a car-re­view show. Sure they go be­hind-thescenes and get track days and that’s very Top Gear-like, but there’s nowhere else where cars like Fer­rari’s ul­tra-rare FXX-K is be­ing tested. Plus, the show has added UK com­edy star Ge­orge Lewis to their Ge­orge Lewis. panel to add a hu­mour and that sits well with view­ers. “There’s less of a scripted feel,” says Ge­orge, adding that “we’re a bunch of blokes hav­ing fun in cars. It re­ally is that sim­ple”.

The se­cret with Ex­tra Gear is that “we’re not try­ing to be Top Gear,” says Chris. “We are a dif­fer­ent show and we do things dif­fer­ently.” Mo­tor­ing and TV critic Matt Hardi­gree agrees: “Chris is good in this and so is Rory. They have a nat­u­ral sort of chem­istry and it works. They can even poke each other about be­ing old.” Ex­tra Gear is like adding a turbo to your old car and trans­form­ing it from scrap to a speed de­mon.

Top Gear: Ex­tra Gear’s hosts Chris Har­ris (left) and Rory Reid.

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