Top Gear (2002–…): Season 16, Episode 0 - Middle East Special - full transcript
Clarkson, Hammond and May travel across the Middle East in a £3500 sports car to reach Jerusalem, and encounter all the political minefields (and the real ones) the Three Wise Men didn't.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERS
Hello, good evening,
to a Top Gear Nativity Special.
Tonight, we are the three wise men,
and our challenge is to get from the East
to the birthplace of the Baby Jesus here, in Bethlehem.
Yeah, we were told we could make the journey in any car we chose,
so long as it, A) cost less than £3,500,
and B) was a two-seater convertible sports car.
However, before we even set off, there was a problem.
Because, you see, in order to go to Bethlehem,
we had to drive through Israel, and for political reasons
the Israelis aren't very happy about cars from any of these countries
coming across their border.
So we had to get our wheels from up here,
in the former Soviet republic of Georgia,
and ship them to the start point in a Russian transport plane.
Trouble is, we didn't know where the start point was.
I've been quite brave with my choice of car - Fiat Barchetta.
I used to have one of these, but this isn't just any Barchetta, it's a Riviera special edition.
Black paint, red quilted leather, it's beautiful.
You haven't been brave, you've been stupid.
It's beautiful! It's stupid ,it's a Fiat. Look at that.
I have been a wise man.
I have bought a Mazda MX-5.
Yeah, the boring, obvious choice.
That's why I originally bought myself one of those.
Yes, because, listen, every time we do one of these trips,
every time, I get the interesting car that's in a cloud of steam.
This time, wherever we're going, this will make it. You know that.
As you'd expect, I've been the wisest and I've done this properly.
I've combined European stylishness with legendary German reliability,
in this BMW Z3.
I didn't know...
We're banking, aren't we?
I didn't know you could get a Z3 for less than L3,500.
You can't. Well, how much did you pay for it?
I rounded it up.
Well, that's more than the budget, you've spent too much!
So we're not three wise men -
we're one wise man, an idiot and a cheat.
'We then started wondering where we might be going. '
Oman? Is it China? Well, if they came from the East, Norfolk.
Well, I'm telling you, wherever the hell that is, it's not Norwich.
'We'd find out soon enough, though,
'because it was time to take our seats for landing. '
Ah, there we go. Seatbelt fastened.
Throttling back, approach to something.
ELECTRONIC BUZZING What the hell are they doing?
Oh, my God! Ahh!
Oh, my God!
Oh, my God! Where the hell is that?
Oh, no! Aaah!
Hammond! Put your handbrake on!
If the straps break, I'm... Ah!
I just saw a runway.
Undercarriage is down. Here we go, we're landing.
Here we are, levelling off. Levelling off.
Land it, land it!
Please, land! What's he doing? He's missed the runway.
We're coming in again.
Land it this time, sunshine.
PLANE'S TYRES SCREECH We're down. Whoa!
Well, we're here. Wherever here is, we've arrived.
'And now we'd find out exactly where "here" was. '
You can't tell anything by looking out there. Gentlemen, look who's arrived. We have the...
What are they?
They are flak jackets.
That is real bullet-proof. Kevlar.
What have we got to do?
Oh, God. What?
Go on. You have landed in Iraq.
I've heard of that. Give up.
Bethlehem is 1,200 miles away,
but between here and there there are a few wars.
Best of luck, and don't forget to pick up some gold,
frankincense and myrrh on the way.
Yeah, enough of the myrrh and stuff, but Iraq?
That's Iraq? That is Iraq.
Well, we've got to get off the plane.
Well, you go first.
I can't go first, can I? Because you're parked in the way.
Can we get...
We'll all go at the same time. Yeah, we'll be right behind you.
All just go three, two, one, go. Go.
Everybody know what we're doing?
We'll go on three, two, one, all three out, decent speed, yeah?
Is everybody running?
Anybody want to talk about anything? No, let's just do it, OK,
if we're ready. In...
three, two, one, go!
Did you stall?
Yes, I did.
I'm taking evasive action.
Where are you? "Did you make it?"
I'm alive, I'm hiding in a big shed.
Right, James, in three, two, one, go.
Here we go.
You BEEP. Where where you? I'm really sorry, Hammo.
Thanks for leaving me on my own to draw the fire.
'Having successfully covered 300 yards,
'we got the map out so we could plan our next move. '
According to the sign on the back of that fire engine over there...
.. we are in Arbil, here.
So, first thing's first, you would agree,
we've got to get out of Iraq as quickly as possible.
Now, the nearest border's Turkey, but there's no road up there,
so if we go into Iran...
Hang on, Bethlehem's over here, isn't it?
Well, that's the way we want to go.
Yes, through places like Mosul and Baghdad, perhaps.
Have you ever seen a television programme called "the news"?
I'm aware of it.
Trust me, Mosul is properly dangerous. Really bad, is it?
That's as bad as it gets anywhere in the world right now.
And that's where we are? That's where it's really bad?
We are less than a fingers-width away.
So, up there, into Iran,
into Turkey, and then down there
and that way, so we miss...
we can get out of Iraq and then go round it.
Sounds like a plan.
So the wise men from the East are setting off east.
East. North-east. Yeah.
And so, with a hastily-organised route mapped out,
we climbed into our cars, which were not armoured Humvees, and set off.
All those things we hear about on the news, the mines, the IEDs,
the car bombs, they're all here somewhere.
How do you know how to spot them?
Can I just say, if I'm kidnapped, I don't want to hear any of this,
"Well, we don't give in to kidnap demands". Just pay.
I don't want to be beheaded on the internet.
I bet Richard Hammond is regretting buying a pretty little Fiat now.
I just realised that being at the front, I'm the first target.
The clever thing to do would be in the middle.
'Annoyingly, the other two had exactly the same idea. '
Oh, no, you don't.
Oh, you cock!
We were so busy trying to get in the middle,
we weren't looking where we were going.
And soon, we were lost.
We've definitely made a wrong turning.
This cannot be the way out of town, look at it.
Oh, deary me.
This isn't a main road, now, is it?
I'm very uneasy here.
I'm sorry, guys, this is just the perfect place for an ambush.
Look how high everything is around as.
Go round the corner and check it out for us.
I'm not going round...
I am going round. Hammond, don't be an arse!
Hammond, stop it. Hammond! Hammond!
Tell us what it's like, tell us what you can see.
What I could see was a route back to civilisation.
We were in the clear.
And then, we weren't.
Oh God, that's catastrophic.
It's minutes from complete death, this thing.
In fact, there it is.
I think what's happened is some pistons have fused.
Still, at least we're in a part of town where I'm sure there's a BMW dealer.
It's let you down badly, mate, your wisest choice of all.
I heard him on the plane, "I'm the wisest... "
"I'm the wisest of them all". Is this helping?
No, I was going to say, I love the way you are so constructive
in these moments of great peril.
James fashioned an inspection pit out of a nearby open sewer
and told us to go away.
I'm just thinking, I know we're not supposed to just wander off, but...
That's Iraq. Right there.
You know, I was just thinking how you stand here,
there's a kitchen supplier here,
and there's a schoolboy there with his tie on,
and everything's normal.
But it just takes one in a million to be not normal.
It just takes one... TYRES SCREECH
See, a noise like that,
and then it's not a normal place at all.
I didn't jump at that noise.
'James's ultimate driving machine soon began to annoy the locals. '
You want to go here?
'But then there was a development. '
Good news. What? There is a back-up car on this journey,
I've just been told by the producers.
Oh great, I expect it's an XKR convertible?
It's behind you.
Is that a 1.6 Astra convertible?
Yes it is, and it's utterly... It's terrible.
It's the worst convertible in the world.
It's a sponge cake with no flavour. Yeah, it's a dreadful car.
This has filled me with a sense of relief.
We were going to leave him and he would have been...
But now we can go knowing he's going to be OK.
It makes it easier for us to follow the code. It does.
Do you know what? What? It does, goodbye. Yes, goodbye.
Yes, in every way. The Fiat's fine.
James was hoping to mend his car without attracting too much attention.
'Spurred on by the wretched Astra,
'I finally brought Lazarus back to life. '
ENGINE TURNS OVER
Well, I wouldn't have been able to do it without those meddling kids.
'But then, 20 minutes later... '
'I'd done 11 miles,
'and since there were 1,989 to go, I found a workshop
'and then I found that the cylinders were full of water. '
Right, it's ten to one,
the engine is as disassembled as it needs to be,
here's the new cylinder head gasket, that will go on,
the engine will go back together and hopefully keep me out of the Astra.
I hope that works, though.
The next morning, we left Arbil with our colleague in...
.. his BMW.
I wish the Astra would stop just driving right behind me.
He's made his point. I've triumphed over him,
so he can sod off, frankly.
In the end, Arbil had felt quite safe.
But, as we drove into the countryside,
there were more and more military checkpoints.
Scary guards. Scary guards.
Lot of men, lot of guns.
As we drove on, it started to rain,
and the roads became unbelievably slippery.
I've got a tankslapper.
I've gone, I've gone off, that's what I've done.
I've never driven on a road surface like this, ever.
'And it wasn't just the road... '
'.. that felt very, very dangerous. '
Oh, I don't like it here.
We are quite close to the Iranian border,
and of course the historic relationship between Iraq and Iran
is not good, and this is quite literally bandit territory.
If there's a road-block up here and they're not police, what shall we do?
I do know I'm getting drenched, so I'm going to put the roof up.
Roofs up, we moved off with Jeremy setting an unusually cautious pace.
I doubtless should be telling you all sorts of things about this car.
I'm just more concerned about not being here at any more.
Even thought the war in Iraq is officially over,
1,000 people a year are still being killed by roadside bombs alone.
This is how you go round a corner in Iraq -
creep in about one mile an hour, checking the apex,
checking the sightlines, don't like the look of that, backing up.
As we crawled along, I had a brainwave which I was eager to share,
so we pulled over at an underground market
which had a waterfall and a river in it.
I've called you together because I know how to make my car bullet-proof.
Oh, yeah? Really? No...
I am going to take the door linings off and fill the doors with sand,
and put the doors back on, so you're driving around with two sandbags on either side of you.
That's not a bad idea... is it?
I don't think it'll work. Does a sandbag stop a bullet?
A sandbag, yes. Why won't a door, a sand door, stop a bullet?
You're only going to have that much sand.
No, that much sand. It's not enough.
OK, you carry on... I'd say it was worth a try, actually.
I hate to say it, cos he thought of it, but actually,
think about it, it might, it might work.
Meeting over, I bought Hammond a local souvenir.
Would you like a.50 Cal bullet... Yeah?
.. which is...
a cigarette lighter?
And then we went to find a quiet spot for my experiment.
Careful, you got a bit in the door.
Shut up. Only a little bit, but... Shut up.
Behold. That will stop the round.
That would stop an RPG. Yeah. You'll notice...
'My armoured Mazda was ready for testing, so I brought in
'our armed security man,
'who had learned in the Special Forces how to have a pixellated face. '
Observe, if you will, the 9mm entrance hole, yes?
Shall we have a look to see how much of it has gone through?
It's gone straight through.
'And it had kept going. '
Oh, God! How's that happened?
It knocked bits of bullet or bits of doorframe...
So the bullet shatters and... .. turns into more bullets.
Yeah. You're going to be all right in there, mate. Nothing to see here.
With 30 miles to go to the Iranian border,
James calmed his nerves with a little carol concert.
♪ We three blokes from BBC Two
♪ One colour gold car, one colour poo,
♪ Oh-oh, brought the wrong cars, brought the right,
♪ Working heater, working lights,
♪ Westward-going Gasket maybe blowing
♪ What a piece of sh...
I believe that town ahead of us
is the last town before the border. Yes!
This is it, chaps. Sort out the paperwork.
See you in a sec.
That's a relief.
My headlights aren't very good. No, mine aren't.
'Jeremy was back rather quickly. '
Right. Bad news.
For political reasons, the BBC is not allowed into Iran.
Not allowed? You what? No-one from the BBC...
I thought it was just BBC News, but the whole BBC
is not allowed in Iran so we can't cross the border.
A car show isn't allowed into...?
Never mind... Let's not get bogged down. We aren't allowed in.
So Ant and Dec can come here?
Ant and Dec, Simon Cowell, Chris Tarrant... Fifth Gear?
Fifth Gear. Emmerdale Farm?
Emmerdale Farm but not David Attenborough, not us. Springwatch?
'We consulted the map and the situation was bleak.
'East was now out.
'Baghdad was to the south
'and the Al-Qaeda stronghold of Mosul was to the west.
'Our only option was to go back down the mountain road
'and try and find a safe road north into Turkey. '
I bet the original three wise men never had this problem.
Well, they weren't BBC, were they?
We thought it too risky to tackle the mountain road at night,
so now we had to find somewhere to stay.
There is nothing even remotely hotelish.
We're travelling at night, we have nowhere to stay.
Probably the worst thing we could do right now.
Lights ahead, chaps.
The following morning, it turned out
we'd stayed at an Iraqi amusement park, which was a bit weird.
That's Richard Hammond.
While we were on the rides, we realised something.
We'd been in Iraq for two days and we hadn't been shot even once,
or blown up or beheaded on the internet.
In short, we had an epiphany.
I'm not wearing this any more.
I'm glad you said that. I haven't felt in need of this.
I'm glad we're not going to Iran,
cos I'm sorry, I know this is Iraq, OK,
but it's the Kurdistan region of Iraq so it's full of Kurds.
They're all lovely.
Everybody's very friendly. It's about as dangerous as Cheltenham.
So come on, the sun is out, three convertible sports cars, we're in the mountains.
We can go down the same road again, but enjoy it.
Wow! Business as usual.
This is incredible. I'm in a Mazda MX-5,
plunging through Iraq.
With the fear gone, we could for the first time
think about the cars we'd bought.
Come on then, little Barchetta, let's see what you've got.
The weird thing is, of the three,
this is the least like a traditional roadster.
It's front-wheel-drive, it's based on a Fiat Punto underneath.
But this is a glorious little car.
The whole front wheel-drive issue just doesn't matter.
This feels special and that's all that matters
in a two-seater roadster.
As you'd expect with an MX-5,
every single thing on it is perfect.
Apart from some holes in this door.
How does a bullet split into three parts
while travelling through a Mazda?
I think it's a sign.
The Father, the Son and the Holy Door.
Meanwhile, at the back...
Viewers, strictly between you and me, I may have made a bit of an error.
How can I put it?
The engine is too small, the suspension is too soft
and the gaps between the gear ratios are so big,
I could get another gearbox in them.
Come on! And change.
As we headed deeper into northern Iraq,
the scenery became even more spectacular.
I can honestly say I don't think I've ever been anywhere more beautiful.
It's movingly beautiful.
I am so glad
we weren't allowed into Iran cos if we were there now,
I wouldn't be seeing this incredible place.
Why were we ever frightened here?
Sadly, not all of Iraq is this peaceful,
so the next morning we found a road to Turkey and set off,
still heading away from Bethlehem.
Jeremy's got a dish-dash thing on his head
which makes him look like Lawrence of Incompetence.
But at least he had managed to learn a few local words,
which came in handy at the next filling station.
"bhedji" is petrol.
"Bhedji" is bastard.
So don't, whatever you do, get that wrong.
Is there anybody here?
'There was... sort of. '
I don't like to wake a man up just for some petrol.
Especially if I accidentally call him a bastard.
So we trundled onwards and soon we arrived at the scary Turkish border.
Oh... This doesn't feel friendly at all somehow.
Out the car? Yes, please. OK.
What's he going to do?
That's a can of...
What is this? I can explain.
It's... It's erm... it's a lighter.
Lighter? Yeah. Sorry.
Are you sure?
Yeah. Can I show it to you... See?
It erm... If you do that.
Then it... Oh, it doesn't work.
You are a funny man.
Yeah. Sorry. Sorry.
OK, I think I may have just had a wee.
On the other side of the border, we pulled over for new instructions.
They've moved in. Predictable.
You have escaped from a region where there is no war into a region where there is.
The Kurds are fighting the Turks for independence,
so if you really are wise men,
you will get to your hotel in the safe zone by nightfall.
Ah, Foreign Office.
British Government Foreign Office travel summary.
We advise against all but essential travel in the provinces of Hakkari,
Sirnak, Siirt and Tunceli.
Nine attacks this year so far.
High threat of terrorism.
This is worse then, than Iraq.
I thought I'd said goodbye to this.
Is that where we're going?
We're going to...
That's 220 miles.
That's 363 kilometres.
That's 220 miles.
We've got 220 miles to do in...
Four and a half hours. Four and a half hours. Not possible.
I'm afraid, chaps, this has just become a test
of who's got the fastest car.
Here we go...
Speed saves lives!
Fast driving here, though, was a perilous business.
Oh, whoa, bit bumpy there!
What the hell?
I'd rather be blown up.
These roads are BLEEP.
It feels like they just poured some tarmac on to the terrain.
Oh, no! My hat!
But despite the discomfort,
Top Gear's orang-utan decided to go even faster.
Come on then, you two, come on!
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Which went well.
Oh, God. What the hell?
CHUGGING Guys, I've got a big problem.
Big problem. Big problem.
CHUGGING AND RATTLING That's the exhaust.
Sounds like the exhaust manifold. It does, it does.
I think you'll find, chaps, it's just a spark plug that's come out.
It's always good when that happens.
At least we're not in a dangerous part of the world.
What an ape. What? You.
What? How can I be responsible for a spark plug?
We're supposed to be three wise men,
not two wise men, sorry, one of them blew his Mazda up, we left him.
11 miles, Ted Nugent did.
Oh, my God.
♪ We three kings of Orient are
♪ One in a Vauxhall, two in sports cars...
I don't need you, I don't.
Thank you for helping me, Richard.
Thank you. But you love doing this, you two.
This is your favourite thing.
Is the plug not actually...
Why are you being so annoying today?
Even by your own standards.
Eventually, the spark plug was glued back into place.
But, we were still in the danger zone, and running out of light.
Look at this.
A bit more serious than those ones we saw in Iraq.
That is a man surrounded by sandbags.
Sandbags don't work.
Trying to be helpful.
'Mercifully, though, the road soon improved. '
Right, looks like we've got ourselves a dual-carriageway here.
Oh, that's better.
'But unfortunately, no-one had told the locals how to use it. '
There's a lorry on the wrong side of the dual-carriageway, guys.
The wrong way on a dual-carriageway.
This is bloody suicidal. What are they doing?
The highway madness meant it was well after dark when we reached safety.
My car's running like a pig. "Mine is as well. Absolute pig. "
"I think that road has basically shaken the engines -
"quite literally, in my case - to pieces. "
Er, mine's fine.
If you think about it, who would ever have guessed
out of the three, a Mazda, a BMW and a Fiat,
that the Fiat would appear to be holding together best.
Hammond continued boasting all the way to the hotel.
So that night, after a top level brainstorm,
we set about the business of revenge.
Right, so I will disconnect these, which go to that. You with me?
Yeah, yeah. Disconnect these, and then put two new ones on.
'In short, we disconnect the stereo
'and wire a hidden new one into the ignition. '
He's going to have the worst,
literally the worst journey, in human history.
So, this is now utterly redundant and not connected up to anything.
'All we had to now was choose some music he hated. '
James, I've got the perfect CD.
The next morning, we discovered this wasn't the best day
to be giving Hammond sudden surprises.
It's just... I can't...
Where have you been?
News of a slightly inconvenient nature,
they have arrived.
How badly? Ah. Really...
Is it the brown rain? Don't go there. Brown rain?!
Don't go there. Seriously, is it bad?
It's as if somebody turned on a tap at 3am and left it running.
If you're having your Boxing Day lunch now, I apologise. Sorry.
At least I can rely on the sympathy of my colleagues. That's good.
Can I listen to yours on tick-over? It's beautiful.
They always make...
MUSIC BY GENESIS STARTS PLAYING
I can't stop it!
I didn't think you liked Genesis.
I can't stop it!
What have you done?
All right, Genesis. Oh...
Oh, great. Bloody keyboard solo.
Hammond's day was very miserable.
But while queuing at the Syrian border, May's became even worse.
Nothing to see. Won't it go?
I think it's this stupid alarm. Hang on.
Armed? Don't say that when you're going into Syria.
I didn't touch it then.
'The alarm had totally immobilised the engine. '
Come on. Make it go. It doesn't work.
So, what with one thing and another, our arrival into Syria was a bit of a shambles.
Stop, stop. Gently, I said. Ah!
Morning, sorry. I can't - it's broken.
I can't turn it off. Doesn't work.
It would take several hours to clear customs,
so we all set about doing what we had to do.
Please end. End.
"The alarm will sound if you don't back away. "
Plague. Red cross, just lets people know there's plague in it.
Yeah. It is comforting having you around, Jeremy.
Eventually, we hammered James's car back into life...
Yes!.. and we crossed into yet another country.
We've only been in Syria for half a mile and it's better than Turkey.
Also, we need to start thinking about gold,
frankincense and myrrh as a gift for the Baby Jesus.
For the first time, we three kings of Orient are
were actually heading towards Bethlehem.
But when we stopped for a map check,
we realised our journey was still fraught with problems.
Right, for political reasons, you cant go from Syria into Israel,
because they won't let you. The border's shut.
Why can't we just go through the Lebanon?
The Lebanon into Israel? That's a great idea!
You'll find that really tricky. You won't be able to...
So, we can't go Syria-Israel. We can't do Lebanon-Israel.
No, but we can, I think, the border between Jordan and Israel is open,
and quite friendly.
If we go through Syria into Jordan and then across into Israel.
I think you're right. Yes.
The only problem we've got is that if the Israelis know we've been in Syria,
they won't let us in.
At the border? Yeah.
Well, we've got two passports.
It's not the passports I'm worried about.
You go to a country - oh, Top Gear's here! You're on the news.
The Israelis will say, you've been in Syria, you can't come in.
Yeah, but in Syria? Yeah, it's not like France, or Australia.
Syria, they won't watch Top Gear.
You watch Top Gear?
'At the next town, James's theory rather fell apart. '
"Top Gear. "
Welcome Captain Slow in Syria. Welcome!
OK, are we all in? Yes?
Yes, yes, of course.
This has gone quite badly wrong now.
So, we called an emergency meeting.
There's no way, with that level of Top Gear interest, we'll make it to Bethlehem.
Literally, it'll take five minutes
and the news crews will be here, radio stations, newspapers.
"Top Gear are in Syria. " You mark my words.
We've got to cross Syria without being found.
We need a plan.
PROGRAMME OVERDUBBED INTO ARABIC
Why don't we just avoid the roads?
If we do that, we avoid the towns.
Well, how do we do that? Cross the desert.
The desert? Yep.
Are you proposing we sneak through Syria? Sneak across it.
If we find a garage, a workshop,
modify the cars for desert sneaking...
I love the sound of the plan. I'll give it a go.
I think it's fantastic.
So, we found some workshops and cue the music...
"THE A-TEAM THEME"
No! No! No!
The whole point of going through the desert
is we're trying to stay out of sight.
Well, what I have here is a Bedouin tent.
A small portion has to poke out from the tent
because I need to see out, and open the bonnet at some point probably,
so I've disguised it by putting glue on it and covering it in sand
from the very desert I'm camouflaging it against.
Anybody looks, it's just a Bedouin tent.
What I've done here is create a car of many colours. I am Joseph.
Now, I know that in the Bible,
he was kicked half to death by his brothers and then thrown in a well,
but he did end up in the West End as Jason Donovan.
Mechanically, what I've done to cross this vast desert
is fitted an axle of evil.
This is now a dually six-wheeled Mazda MX-5.
Some other features you may have spotted -
the Hubble pipe attached to a bracket which hangs from the bullet-holes.
That's rather brilliant.
A spoiler on the back for added traction.
There's no sand in the world will stop this. Oh, no.
I've taken my inspiration from the Afrika Korps.
The tools, the sand channels, and what have you.
And the Luftwaffe, for the paint scheme.
It may seem irrelevant, but it is actually very biblical,
because this - this is the light of the world.
Or will be, when it gets dark.
And those jerry cans, they hold enough provisions
for 40 days and nights in the desert.
We were feeling confident as we pushed deeper
into 200,000 square miles of absolutely nothing
All three have done pretty well, you'll admit.
Yeah, yeah. We are wise men. We are.
Soon, though, things began to get tricky for Hilda Ogden.
Quite bumpy, this.
Quite a bad bit of desert.
Oh, no! Oh, no!
A disaster has befallen my wheels.
Don't need it. Just pop it here.
'And anyway, I still had one left. '
Oh, dear! That's not as good as I would have hoped.
There. I just keep finding these in the desert.
I don't know where they're coming from.
Have you decided the extended wheel arches look better inside the car?
They're detachable. Yes, I can see.
Despite his incompetence, Hilda insisted on leading from the front.
Follow me, gentlemen, I've found a way.
Oh, joy. You've got to be kidding.
Nobody will find us down here.
Don't follow me. Oh, God. Back up.
Oh, I've reversed... Ah.
Clarkson, you've just ruined my tent!
This is not going as well as I'd hoped.
'To make amends, I offered to cook lunch on my spoiler. '
The heat of the Syrian desert sun...
.. has been cooking that all day long.
So we take some... Would you like this?
Do you want a fried egg sandwich?
Yeah. If you can make me one. Ready?
Remember they were saying, will there ever be another Keith Floyd?
After the aborted lunch stop, the going started to get really tough.
Oh... This is a bit much for the little Fiat here.
Ugh... Quite steep, this.
It is, isn't it?
Oh! Oh! That was...
Here, it's... Oh look. Ugh! Oh, God.
'The radiator bracket had sheared,
'and the radiator itself was now hanging by a thread. '
So, if that falls off, you are in the Vauxhall.
There is no other way of putting that.
Look at that. Not good.
Top Gear tradition dictates that we should leave Hammond to fend for himself.
And in this vast, lifeless desert, that's what we decided to do.
We'd love to stay and help, but I have no ability at all.
This has been proven many times.
And he can't be bothered. So, come on, James. OK, that's good. Goodbye.
Get the tools from the tent...
I'll be honest, I'm amazed.
It's quite an old Fiat and and a small one at that.
This is the first time it's let me down mechanically.
And in fairness, I let it down.
'The repair was a real struggle. '
I'm guessing it gets dark pretty quickly round here.
My bodge has failed.
Radiator's dropped again. I'm trying to fix it up more permanently.
I've no doubt they'll be very worried about me.
Yeah! What do you think of that? Ha ha!
Excellent! More desert.
JEREMY'S REAR WHEEL RATTLES
Look at that rear wheel. That's so hopeless.
What a lovely evening, travelling with my mates... Well, one of them.
Sun's going down, it's going cool.
The fact of the matter is this there are no people here.
We are sneaking across Syria, and it's going well.
Not everyone agreed with that.
It is a beautiful looking place, but I don't want to be here at night.
Scorpions, snakes, it's got the lot.
A million ways to die out here.
'Still, at least I had my new spotlights. '
Oh, they're dud.
They make no difference!
All these stones are hitting right under the car,
right where I've bodged that bracket back on to hold the radiator up.
The radiator drops, hits a rock, it can get ripped off,
that's a game-finisher.
'Despite everything though,
'I managed to stumble across my concerned colleagues... '
It's a tent, moving by itself!
Just been in the desert.
Crossing the desert.
'.. and found Jeremy had made supper. '
This made us very philosophical.
I tell you what, if the three wise men
had done the journey now,
they wouldn't have bothered going there and school Nativity plays would be easier to cast.
Now, you've got to have front half of donkey,
back half of donkey, shepherds...
I was a mouse once in a school Nativity play. Explain that.
A mouse? Well, because they wanted something unbelievably small.
I remember, I had a cardboard mouse-head costume.
I was the front of the donkey.
I took the costume off halfway through, so people could see it was me.
Nobody could tell the difference!
I suppose you were the infant King, were you? I was a shepherd,
cos I had a dressing gown.
The next morning, the sun rose to the sound of the BMW dawn chorus.
"Armed. Disarmed. "
ENGINE CHOKES THEN ROARS
Oh, my God. It sounds like a diesel locomotive.
I don't think the desert's doing your Afrika Korps car any good at all.
Despite the modifications,
our little sports cars were even less suitable here
than they had been in the war zones.
Ah! Ohh... Ahhh...
Oh! Oh, this is not good.
"Can you not hear stones ripping the undertray of your car to pieces?"
This is so bad!
It's like water.
Here we go.
Watch it! Sorry!
Go, go, go!
I've been bitten. My arm's swollen up.
I've got one on my back, here.
'We were taking a battering.
'And things were about to get a lot worse. '
Snatch from there.
I've dug a big hole.
All right, stop. Stop. Stop.
Just pull him at a slight angle, we'll tip him on to his wheels better.
Right, go that way.
OK. Go, go, go, go, go.
Stop, stop. Stop, stop!
You all right, James? How are you feeling? Sick.
Do you want to sit up?
Where are we? In the desert in Syria.
Do you know where we're going?
'Plainly, James was in a bad way, so he was taken to hospital,
'leaving Hammond and I to carry on alone. '
The next day, the mood was gloomy.
I don't think we can deny it, the desert has taken its toll on our team.
One man down,
Jeremy's been bitten by something and his arm's rotting off.
It's a beating.
Soon, though, news reached us that James was recovering,
and then in the middle of nowhere, we came across something amazing.
You know what that is, don't you?
It's a road. And it is real.
It is a road. Look how smooth it is. There's no rocks.
It's smooth and there are no scorpions in it. Hang on, hang on...
You're forgetting we're in the desert to sneak.
We go on the road, people will see us.
We can't use it. We can't use it.
we go on the road and disguise ourselves in the cars?
So, we put our plan into action and went to pick James up from hospital.
What are you two wearing?
Where's yours? Very funny.
Have you left it in there? I'm better.
It's only a small bang on the head, and I'm mended.
A small cut, that's it.
You really are better? Completely. Who am I?
You're a big cock.
Who am I? Irritating little sod.
He's better. He is better, isn't he?
Anyway, we've got a cunning new plan. The desert wasn't working.
And? So we've decided we going to carry on with our route in disguise.
Tonight on Carry On Are You Being It Ain't Half Dad's Army's Mother...
See, nothing to see.
Just a girl driving an unusual car.
Who's going to look twice at that?
We were now on the road to Damascus
and the new-found speed was causing problems.
I've got quite bad wobble from the six wheels here.
It's getting quite bad!
Hammond, how's your tent taking the strain?
I'm not sure Bedouin tents are made to do 60-80kph.
'We decided to press on, but then, Jeremy's car decided otherwise. '
My engine's gone.
The engine... Oh, no!
'At the roadside, Hammond dismantled his tent,
'Jeremy removed his stupid extra wheels,
'and then we all gathered round his engine. '
The spark plug has blown out again.
'This time, though, the problem was more serious. '
Give it a rev.
It's come out again.
I tell you exactly what's happened, the engine has changed its mind.
On the road to Damascus,
it's decided it wants to be a three-cylinder engine.
'Unable to fix it, we moved on. '
This is my world now.
'And soon, I was left far behind. But then... '
Hang on, what's that?
Oh, God, no, no!
'.. the Fiat's tyre had changed its mind about having air in it. '
Space saver. Oh, God!
TRUCK HORN BLARES
Right up me burka!
That'll do it.
'The puncture allowed Jeremy to catch up
'and soon, we arrived in Damascus. '
7,000 years, this city's been here.
It's amazing to arrive at such a place and just blend in.
It wasn't the smoothest journey to Damascus, if I'm honest.
Still, look on the bright side,
I think we have made it unnoticed.
Hundreds of miles of desert crossed anonymously
and we're at the hotel. All we have to do is hide the cars.
We have done it. We've made... Oh, God, no, look, Hammond!
"Above you. " Oh, God!
We haven't done that, have we? Hello.
I've appeared on television in drag for nothing.
We, therefore, abandoned our disguises and went to the souk
to buy gold, frankincense and myrrh.
I don't think earrings are right.
Do you know what myrrh is?
Gold, frankincense and myrrh.
No. I don't know either.
Do you have frankincense?
Ah, have you got myrrh on it?
No, you've got Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, but no myrrh.
I've finally seen a present for Jeremy.
Oil of tact.
'Shopping over, we met up at a restaurant that specialised in lamb,
'which meant that, for once, Captain Faddy was happy. '
Have they got chops? I like chops.
'As it happened, they hadn't. '
Lambs' heads. We've worked out the head, brain...
I'm in a horror film.
These deeply impressive things are testicles.
I don't want testicles! Have you had the brain?
No, I'll have a bit. It's absolutely lovely.
Hammond, since you're not eating,
why don't you show us what you bought for baby Jesus.
Yes, I can do that.
I have bought...
.. a golden relief of his own face.
So he will know what he's going to look like. A golden relief?
Of the face of Jesus.
Well done, Hammond. Well done. Now, May... Yes?
Frankincense? Yes, I have.
Mary Magdalena, frankincense,
100 % pure from the Holy Land.
No doubting its credentials. Mate, that's just hotel shampoo.
You took that from your hotel bathroom. It's a sealed box.
This is from the Holy Land. Myrrh?
I had a bit of problem with myrrh. Nobody, nobody knows what it is.
So I used my imagination.
You bought a Nintendo DS? Yes, I did.
A gold model of his own face and some shampoo.
It's not shampoo. It IS shampoo.
It isn't. It says quite clearly on the box.
Listen, we'll give it to the Virgin Mary.
When she goes, "Ooh, frankincense!"
Before she gets it out and says, " No, you cheapskate," I'll go...
Look at that!
'The next morning, we left early to avoid being spotted. '
Sad to be leaving what has gone straight in at number five
in the list of all-time great cities, Damascus.
As you can hear, I've mended the engine well. I mended it.
It wasn't an Armenian in a shed working into the small hours.
'Travelling south, we eventually reached yet another border. '
Hello. What is this? My hat?
It's not in the right style. Welcome.
Thank you very much. Welcome. Thank you very much.
Right, I'm now driving my car of many colours, and many cylinders,
out of Syria
and into Jordan, a country famous for not having Bethlehem in it.
Recent history, this is where Lawrence of Arabia
assembled his Arab raiding parties under Faisal.
Do you think that we are now finally deep inside Jordan?
I like the way I was interrupted by the smut
from my colleagues there.
As we pushed even deeper into Jordan,
we came across something else amazing.
DRAMATIC, EPIC MUSIC
Well, clearly... It's a race track.
.. It's an oval. It's an oval, yeah.
It's NASCAR, is what it is.
The origins of. How did the Romans know?
That is foresight. They are talked of as being advanced. They were.
You know what I'm thinking, chaps.
Let me guess? I think I do.
Here we go, Roman rallying.
Pretty sure we're allowed to do this, I can't imagine they'd...
Why would they mind?
This was a place of entertainment, wasn't it, surely?
I'm in the Old Testament in an MX-5 as we go into second.
Power-sliding through Leviticus.
Automatic is not good for classical car chariot racing.
Hammond weaving about.
Oh, he's trying to fill me up with sand!
Exhibition piece of driving from Hammond
in the front-wheel drive Barchetta.
Now onto the main straight, into third and into Deuteronomy bend.
'Old Testament NASCAR was the best motor sport ever,
'apart from one small problem. '
Oh, that's a lot of dust come in.
I can't see a bloody thing back here.
Bit blind here, racing in fog.
My helmet. Hold on, I can't see anything.
Somebody is going to see this dust
and then they're going to come and then there'll be anger and rage.
Can't see at all now.
Before we smashed a 2,000-year-old Roman pillar,
we decided to agree that Hammond's Fiat was the fastest
and call it a day.
That's the best history lesson I've ever had!
I think I know why your car was the fastest.
Why? Do you want to step out? Here, allow me.
Tyres. What? Tyres?
No, it's very light, much lighter than it was on lap two.
I've lost an entire buttock... You have.
.. of my beautiful pert little bottom on this car.
Hammond didn't just break his own car,
look what he's done to my spotlights! They've gone, gone!
'Still, at least the Hippodrome race had prepared us for Jordanian traffic. '
You know what's good about this slightly chaotic driving style
is that it works because everybody does it.
Look at that! Jesus, that was close!
We headed west and soon we arrived at the final border crossing...
Israel, the one we'd been dreading.
This is it, the Hussein Bridge over the Jordan River.
We're leaving Jordan on the dirty passport.
Arriving in Israel.
The man with the mirror on the stick.
The checks were long and thorough,
but it seemed we'd got away with our trip through Syria and we were in!
Yes! We're on the way to Bethlehem.
Hang on, little fella, we're coming, three wise men with gifts.
Sadly, though, for political reasons,
we'd been advised to avoid the disputed West Bank
so we were now going in completely the wrong direction yet again...
.. and I decided to make the most of it.
I hope the other two don't mind, but I fancy a small deviation
to go and have a look at the Sea of Galilee.
'This was a good call because getting there
'meant driving through the Golan Heights. '
Look at that!
What a stretch of road!
This is an outrage. This is just astonishing, this road.
I want to marry it and have its babies.
'As with everywhere on this journey, though, there was a catch. '
If you crash off the road here you go into a minefield.
Literally, a minefield
because, for political reasons, this was Syria and now it's Israel.
'But even politics couldn't spoil this moment. '
There you go. Thank you, little car!
I'm going to make an admission.
Hammond's car is properly quick.
Come on, car, just go!
I'd like to take a bloody Israeli tank shell to this gearbox.
What an evening.
What an evening!
'And then it got even better. '
Holy Mother of Mary.
Aw, look at that!
That's the Sea of Galilee.
That's one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
Why is the Sea of Galilee, of all the sort of biblical sites referenced,
the one that makes you feel most...
It's the most evocative? Well, it's me, because I'm, you know, JC.
No, you're Jeremy Clarkson.
You are healed. I have healed you.
You've taken the bandage off. Ready?
And the thorn what hath pricked his arm... No evidence.
It got better of its own...
That's what happens! It was days ago!
I only had one sweet in this bag and now there are many.
No, it was a bag full of sweets.
The next morning, on the shores of Galilee,
we had a moment of quiet contemplation.
".. we still had enough food left over to fill 12 baskets. "
And then, the still-delusional Jeremy
offered to cook yet another meal.
There's only two fish.
I don't like fish. Well, there you are, I've solved it.
It's a miracle. That is a miracle. Hardly!
We've got enough fish to go round.
I am walking on water now.
You're standing on it.
Walk over there. Yeah.
Miraculous that, mate. I've invented swimming! Oh, God.
What do you think of that?
'Before Jeremy decided to part the waters, we moved on. '
I feel awful.
it wasn't an angel that came to me in the night,
it was the trots. Bad.
We were now just 20 miles from Bethlehem,
and what a journey we'd had
through a region that's made history for 7,000 years
and continues to make front-page news today.
Unlike the original wise men, we'd had to take huge detours
around the political minefields, and the real ones.
And yet somehow we'd made it,
in cars that really weren't built for this kind of work.
There must have been people who thought,
they're idiots setting out across the Middle East and its deserts
in sports cars, but here we are at the end and I'm still in one.
I can't think of anything I'd rather have done this journey in
than a small open-top sports car,
because what cars like this give you,
for a relatively small outlay,
is access to 93 million miles of blue sky.
You can't really put a price on that.
This little Fiat has been, it's fair to say, the surprise of the trip,
because nobody expected it to finish. Come on, a small Italian sports car?
There have been problems.
One of its buttocks fell off. Jeremy did that.
The radiator fell off. I did that.
And there's a terrible smell in here, I definitely did that.
But it's survived them.
It's still here and it's still making me grin.
Thank you, little mate.
Well, this is it, Jerusalem.
Nothing can go wrong now.
Overtaking manoeuvre coming up.
My Hubble pipe! Oh BEEP!
Before James could do any more damage,
we pulled over in a car park on the Mount of Olives
so we could decide which of our cars was the best.
I would like to speak first on this.
It's rubbish. What?
I'm sorry, there's a place reserved in Hell
for the man who put that gearbox in that car.
And it's the ratios. It's a case of many are called, but few are chosen
and many who are first shall be fourth,
and many who are third will actually kick down into second.
So, can I just ask, which of our two would you choose to have?
Which have you looked at most covetously?
I covet my neighbour's Fiat.
Hee! Really? Good man.
Now, that's very interesting,
because the car of the three that I would choose is the Fiat.
Eh? I make no bones about it.
I still maintain this is a fantastic little car.
We all like the Mazda MX-5. Great car.
I haven't bonded with it.
The steering is lovely, ride's lovely, but the one thing you don't do is love it.
I never got up and thought, I hope it's all right!
So, at the end of this trip this is still a machine to you. A laptop.
So, we're all agreed, and the Italian car is the most reliable.
Yes. But we have got to get all these thoughts out of our heads now.
We must complete the programme.
Car enthusiasts, turn off now. We've just got to finish this journey.
We must complete the mission. We must.
Soon we arrived in Bethlehem,
and it felt good to be at the font of peace on earth
and goodwill to all men.
As darkness descended, we saw a mysterious light in the night sky
and decided to follow it.
This must be the place.
So, here we are,
a shaft of heavenly light indicating that our quest is at an end.
This is it.
Evidence of shepherds.
I told you there was a mouse. Shh.
We're three wise men and we have travelled far from the East with gifts.
Gold, shampoo - that was a bit of a mistake - and an electronic toy.
Let us see this child who has been born unto us.
Yes, let us. Yes.
I wasn't expecting that.
And on that bombshell,
it is time to end.
Thank you so much for watching, goodnight.
♪ A ray of hope
♪ Flickers in the sky
♪ A tiny star
♪ Lights up way up high
♪ All across the land
♪ Dawns a brand-new morn
♪ This comes to pass...