Top Gear (2002–…): Season 17, Episode 4 - Episode #17.4 - full transcript

The guys attempt to make train travel cheaper, faster and more interesting by replacing the conventional carriages and locomotive with a series of caravans attached to a specially modified car. It's either the world's most ingenious idea or the prelude to the world's biggest accident. Jeremy is also out on the track comparing the rip-snorting Jaguar XKR-S to the recently updated Nissan GT-R.

'Tonight, I use a machine.'

James writes on a blackboard...

And Richard lobs fruit
into a caravan.

Thank you, everybody.

Thank you, thank you so much.

Good evening, hello. Thank you,
everybody. Thank you so much.

Now, in the not very olden days,
Jaguar had a worldwide
reputation for...

I was going to say quality - not
quality, but quietness, comfort,

restrained good looks and value.

Now, though,
they've introduced a new car which
seems to be only about one thing.


120. 130.


Into fifth.



170. In a Jag! Come on!

Apparently with a long
enough runway, it'll hit 186.

This isn't long enough. Help, help!

So, welcome to the new XKR-S,

the most powerful road car
Jaguar has ever made.

The supercharged V8 has been
re-calibrated and the exhausts

so that it now fires
542 horsepower at the rear wheels.

That's on the edge
of Ferrari territory.

As a result, it feels and sounds

as though it's being fuelled by a
blend of plutonium and wild animals.

It's very fast.

And very, very loud.

And then in the corners,

it'll get its tail out more readily
than George Michael.

There you go. Hit the throttle...

A lot of smoke. Ha-ha!

It's mad! A mad car.

It's like Terry Thomas
with a sub-machine gun.

To make sure deaf people don't
mistake the S for an ordinary XKR,

the body has bigger sills,
a bigger rear spoiler,

and snowshoes on the bonnet.

It's also got this new
downturned nose which makes

it look rather disapproving,
like a 1950s seaside landlady.

And I'm sorry but
red brake callipers on a Jag...

it's like fitting Camilla Parker
Bowles with a vajazzle and rings.

I'm saying this out loud, aren't I?

Inside, we find leather designed
to look like carbon fibre,

and blue ambient lighting.

The walnut from Jags
of yesteryear, gone.

The gentleman's club has been
turned into Grant Bovey's gym.

There are other issues, too.

The ride is a bit harsh.

Run over a pheasant, and
you'd be able to tell if
it was a cock or a hen.

Then there's the price,
it's not what you call cheap.

In fact it's what
you'd call £97,000,

and that's what you'd call
nearly 100 grand.

So, Jag has sacrificed subtlety,
good looks, comfort, silence

and value - all its core values -
in the pursuit of speed.

But if all you're interested
in is speed, I wonder,

would you be
better off with the Nissan GTR?

This is the new model.

More powerful, more aerodynamic
and unbelievably even more grippy.

We're told it's a masterclass in
what's technically possible
right now.

Built in a hermetically sealed
factory, it's the last word

in precision engineering.

Every single piece -
the brakes, all four wheels,

the 3.8 litre twin-turbo engine,

the steering, the new
double clutch gearbox,

they're all electronically linked
to sing the song of speed

in perfect harmony.

Let me give you just one example.

The tyres on this car are filled
with nitrogen

because ordinary air
is considered to be too unstable.

It expands and it contracts
too much.

And I know what they mean,
air drives me mad.

It's too big, it's too little.
Rrrrr! Air!

But can this OCD special really
be faster than the bonkers Jag?

The Jag has 20 more horsepowers and
50 more torques,

and I know this is lighter
and it has launch control,

which is what I'm engaging now,
but on paper this can't win.

Three, two, one! Oh, my God!

That was 0-60 in three seconds.

The Jag is just a speck.

It's funny, the Jag is surprisingly
fast because it's a Jag.

This is surprisingly fast
because it's surprisingly fast.

That was not a win,
that was a demolition.

I don't think I've ever been
in a car that has launched itself
quite like that.

And don't think the Jag can get
away on the corners either.

Here it is now coming through the
follow-through as fast as it can.

That's 84.8mph.

And here is the Nissan...

same corner, same conditions,
same driver.

That's 93.3mph.

So it's 8.5mph faster and that
explains why at the Nurburgring,

where there are 147 corners, the
Jag takes nine minutes to do a lap

while the Nissan can get round
in seven minutes and 24 seconds.

That's faster than almost
anything else with a tax disc.

This is an incredible car. The
new gearbox is spectacularly good.

The engine... Well, it's not
an engine, it's just a bomb.

The turbo is crisp and fantastic,

and if you have the chassis and the
gearbox and the traction control set
in race mode, which they are now,

the grip...

is just mind-boggling.

As I shall now demonstrate
graphically with my face.

Bloody hell!

All I've got
is the PlayStation G reading

telling me how much damage this car
is doing to my internal organs.

Just driving a Nissan.

And yet, despite
everything, this car produces
fewer carbon dioxides than the Jag.

It has seats in the back you can
actually use, a bigger boot,

and at £69,000,
it's nearly £30,000 cheaper.

So the conclusion is easy.

Why buy a brogue that has been
converted into a training shoe,

when for much less you can have
something that was designed

to be a training shoe
in the first place?


Outstanding. What the GTR is, it's
an instrument of speed. An
instrument. I like it.

What about the Jag, not so good?

I don't understand what Jaguar were
thinking of because they must have
looked at Aston Martin and thought,

"right, they make nothing but a
range of hardcore front-engined GT
cars so we'll do exactly the same."

But you know what the problem is,
don't you?

Jaguar now have a permanent
testing facility at the Nurburgring.

Where they should have
a permanent testing facility

is between the two mini roundabouts
in Chipping Norton where I live
because that's the bumpiest stretch

of road in the known universe and
it's been dug up again by that...

what's that construction company
called that you can't pronounce?

Chlamydia, no, not chlamydia.

Clancy... Whatever it's called.
I know the one you mean.

It would just be intolerable in a
car like that. So hang on, let me
get this straight, you're saying

Jaguar should tailor their cars
to the Chipping Norton set. Yes.

What's the point of that? Aren't they
all going to be in prison next week?

Thank you, nice to know my friends
can count on you for your support.

Now, though, it's time to find out
how fast the Nissan goes round our
track and that means handing it

over to our tame racing driver.

Some say

that he once hacked
into his own helmet,

and that he thinks Harper Seven
is a convicted terrorist cell.

All we know is he's called the Stig.

And he's off. A tiny chirp from
the back tyres, then a crisp smooth

slingshot up to the first corner
like a precise Japanese missile.

Turns in.

Predictably tidy all the way through
and still tidy on the way out.

Stig enjoying Rock the Casbah
in Algerian there.

Right, another laser-guided line

through Chicago, hammerhead, the
one place where the Nissan's four
wheel drive might bring understeer.

Not a chance.

Tiny drift towards
the exit, then through.

Cleaner than James's tool bench.

Just kisses 7,000rpm and up a gear.

Fires it into the follow through.

Ballistic, through the tyres.
Two corners left.

Here we go, getting a bit
squirrelly and wiggly in there.

Back under control now
for Gambon, and drifts it
through, and across the line.

OK, now, earlier on...

Thank you, earlier on in the day,

we went around in the jag
and we recorded a time of 1.23.3,

so that goes there, and that's not
bad, it's faster than the DBS

and faster than any other Aston.

However, in the GTR,
he did it in not 1.23.3, OK?

Little bit higher than that.

Little bit harder than an R8V10.

Or a 599.

Or a 599GTO.

Past the old GTR.

Still higher, past the Enzo.

Higher, higher, higher!


Unbelievable! 1.17.8.

So, that's
as fast as he's gone there,

which cost four times as much.

Yes. And it's faster than a
GTO Ferrari, by a big margin,

which is four times as much.
Anyway, we must now do the news.

Before we get into the news properly,
can I just say that, sticking with
the Nissan,

it's very difficult to
get a four-wheel-drive turbocharged
car like that off the line quickly,

except that the Nissan has
a thing called launch control, which

is basically just a computer that
sorts everything out for you, so that
you get a perfect start every time.

Yes, there's just one problem
with the launch control.

It is the stupidest thing
ever fitted to a car. Why?

No, seriously, when you think about
it, what you have to do to engage
it, right, a series of switches.

You put your left foot on the brake,
plant your right foot hard
down on the accelerator, and

when the lights go green you take
your foot of the brake and it goes.

The computer sorts
it out, as you say.

So, OK,
you're at the lights, MEHHHH!

And everyone's looking at you
thinking, what an unintelligent man.

It makes a bit of a scene. It does,
really. The most uncivilised thing
you can do with a car

is use launch control
at a zebra crossing.

Hnnnggghh! Come on, old lady!
It would hurry 'em up!

Can we just say one other thing
as well, about launch control?

Only one of us
has it fitted to our car.

Is it, it's him!

James May has launch control.

Yeah, I don't use it. You don't say!

Are you sure? Every time you're
in the pie shop, "Thanks for
the pies, I'm off! Hnnnggh!

Can anybody think of a device

fitted to modern cars that's
more stupid than launch control?

You're fitted to quite a lot now.

Has anybody got any ideas?

What, like a gizmo? What?
Cup holders!

They're useful, you stupid idiot!

Cup holders are brilliant things,
for if you need a drink -
it won't fall, no, but,

actually, I have a really good one.

Mercedes and BMW now fit
a night-vision camera,

so you can drive along at night,
and the dashboard's got this screen,

showing you what's on the road ahead
so I was driving up a country lane
the other day, single track, OK?

Doing about 60 miles
an hour, which is legal,

middle of the night, and I thought,
God, I'm going to try and drive,
just using the night-vision camera.

Why am I not surprised?

Turned the lights off, looked down
to see where I was going, and there

was a message saying "night vision
not available when lights off"!

Aaargh! That's night vision
that only works...

With the lights on.
Be good for snipers, wouldn't it?

I'll just... bink... put the
lights on, now I can line up.

Now, last week,
James brought you news of a new
Range Rover called the Evoke.

This week, there's more new Range
Rover news, there's a new Sport.

Now, what's interesting about
this is, it has voice control

with what Land-Rover call
a "say what you see" function.

Now, in order to get the car to do
things, it brings up words on the
screen, and then you repeat them.

What's the point of that?
Does it have a picture of
the object next to it?

Apple! Apple!
If it was that, you could have
enormous fun with foreign markets.

In Germany you could bring
up a picture of a squirrel.

Because, if you think about it, all
Germans, no matter how well they
speak English, can't say "squirrel".

"What's this?
That would be a Skvirrol!!"

Any Glaswegians here?

Come here. Where are you?

I want to just test it.

Are you actually from Glasgow? Yes.

Right, can you say "burglar alarm"?
"Burr-glur alar-rm."

No! Burr-glurr alarrrm!


Och, it's the burrr-glurrr
alarrrm gone off again!

Anyway, there you go,
couple of other things about it.

It's got an 825 watt stereo.

That's more than Motorhead.

A lot more. 17 speakers.

And I'm sorry, but that front end
is hideous. I don't know why they

don't just have done with that
car, and call it the Wilmslow.

The day is coming when they fit
that with fake pillars on either
side of the door, I'm warning you.

Now, there is a new version
of the Fiat Punto Abarth out - OK,

it's called the SS.

Here it is. Looks fantastic.
And I have to say, Hammond,

this is the car you should
have taken on our hot hatchback
test to Monte Carlo, recently. Why?

Because it is actually a hot

Anyway, it's a normal Punto Abarth,
which you buy for £17,000,

and then you buy the SS kit,

so different suspension components
and a different ECU for the engine,
taking it up to 180 horsepower, OK?

Now, they arrive in a box.
They make a big deal of this.

They say all the parts arrive
in a high-quality wooden crate.

There it is. Which, apparently,
you can keep as a memento.

I'm sorry, but when I buy a new
washing machine, I don't go, I'm
going to keep the box it came in

as a souvenir of the day
when my washing machine arrived.

I always struggle
throwing boxes away. Why?

If you take the washing machine out
of it, and fit it in your kitchen,

and there's the box, all crisp and
new and empty and I can't help
but look at it,

and part of my mind
sees the potential.

You look at it and you think,
wow, that could be, like, a castle -
you've been there!

Or a den, or a car. With shoeboxes,
I don't think I've ever thrown
one away, because you think,

I could keep special things in it,
or put it on that side and you
could have, like, a TV screen,

or maybe you could use the big box
as a spaceship and then the little
one as a dashboard. Come on!

Richard? Are you all right?

Seriously, because this is a man,

there's no other way of putting
this, with a helicopter licence.

The CAA said I was...

The CAA, if they're watching this,
will think, "He's a madman!"

It's not a real helicopter - it's
just the box his fridge came in.

I just make the noise!


You don't live in a house, you just
live in boxes that things came in.

Now, last week,
these two morons spent good money on
two second-hand V12 coupes.

They spent the same money you would
spend on the Nissan Pixo, the
cheapest new car on sale in Britain.

And I was prepared to bet all my hair
that, within two weeks, one of them
would have gone "pop".

So, chaps, what's the news?

My BMW, 100% not a problem.

Still working perfectly.

There you go, excellent. Moving on...
No, your Mercedes is here.

My Mercedes, yes,
I bought a Mercedes 600CL.

Yes, you did. It's quite interesting,
this, because I have a photograph

here that I'd like to share with
everyone, of the Top Gear car park.

There, in fact, is Hammond's BMW,
and where's your Mercedes?

Warm and dry. Now, moving on...

Tell the ladies and gentlemen
why it isn't in that space.

Can't remember. Tell them.

Tell them! One of its ignition
coils has gone a bit wonky.

It's interesting that you should say
that because I did some research, and

I found out that the ignition coil
for the Nissan Pixo is £138.

How much is it for the Mercedes?

800 and something.


Sorry, did that include fitting?

No. No.

Did it include the VAT?

No. No.

So, what, in fact, was the cost of a
new ignition coil for your Mercedes?

HE MUMBLES: £1,200.

£1,200, ladies and gentlemen!

Thank you. I keep my hair.

That's annoying.

Now, recent figures have shown
that 71% of people across the UK

still commute by car, and more
people go to work by walking or by
bicycle than they do, by train.

Yeah, and the reason for that
is very simple. Train tickets
are enormously expensive.

And they're enormously
expensive because trains are
enormously expensive to build.

But why are trains
expensive to build?

Why has
Britain's last train maker recently
laid off half its workforce?

Surely there is a solution to this
problem. I mean, how hard can it be?

This is a Jaguar XJS.

It's 22 years old
and it cost £4,500.

For that, we got the convertible
version with the big engine,
the 300 horsepower 5.3 litre V12.

It really does go like a train,
this car, and that is what
got us thinking,

because... could
it actually be a train?

To find out, I took it to Top Gear's
Secret Railway Development Centre

in Leicestershire, just off the A46
near Thurcaston,

where we cued the music
and set to work.

MUSIC: Theme from The A-Team



Finally, our XJ Express was ready.

So, what we've done
is replace the standard wheels

with train wheels, and that's it.

Nothing else. The cost savings are
phenomenal, because a normal
railway locomotive is 4 million.

This was in total £4,750.
That is an enormous saving!

It's not much more than
one thousandth of the cost.

Exactly. If we were running
this from Peterborough to London...

I don't know what a season
ticket is. Do you know?

Many thousands of pounds a year.

This would be 20p or 30p.

It was time for the
Jaguar's inaugural run.

I don't think we need to turn that.
We could have taken this off.

Ready? Yeah.
History's in the making. Drive.

We are pulling out of the station.

Oh! No steering - it's weird!

This feels fantastic!
This is awesome.

Sounds like a train. Listen to that!

Blow the horn.

We've solved public transport,
literally solved it. Yep!

The only thing that would really
perfect the experience would
be if there were steam.

But, as it's an old Jaguar,
there's a very real chance.

But the old Jag ran like clockwork.

So, we returned to base...

You're all right. You're all right.

You're all right... to attach our
equally brilliant carriages.

You're all right. You're all right.

A modern-day railway carriage costs
in excess of £1 million.

Ours didn't cost
anything like that much.

Now, we have made some
mechanical modifications.

We've stripped out the
central wheels and added one
in each corner for extra stability.

And we've introduced a class system.

Absolutely. Now, I have taken the
Pageant CD Champagne model, no less,
and used it to create first class.

Inside, it was
beautifully appointed,

creating an atmosphere that I
hoped would resurrect the golden age

of train travel for the
discerning first-class passenger.

Hammond, meanwhile, had been
responsible for the buffet car
and second class.

Just look at this.

Inside, smart, clean, functional.

Everything the modern rail traveller
wants and demands.

And at the back,
there was Jeremy's creation.

This is the economy section.

What I've done is I've fitted
benches and, on the floor, straw

to absorb the diseases and the
blood, should there be a riot.

Then, for an authentic
working-class feel, at the back,

I fitted an outside khazi.

Why have you called it 'scum class'?

Good name. It's a bit blunt.
Honestly, think about it.
This way, it's an incentive.

You're not going to walk into the
ticket office and go, "Hello, can
I have three scum-class tickets?"

You're going to say, "Oh,
I'll spend a little bit more
so I don't have to say that."

You'll say, "I'll have second
class." We'll make more profit.
We'll make more money. Exactly.

With the carriages hooked up to
the Jag, we prepared ourselves

for the maiden voyage
of the world's cheapest train.

Engaging drive. Engage forwards.

Not moving.
Be gentle with it. Gently!

That's not working, is it?

It says we're doing
80 miles an hour then.

Get out and give us a push.

How's he going to push it?

Just get it started. When did you
ever see anybody push a train?

Why won't it go? 300 horsepower.

It's not working.
Why isn't it working?

Because it's just spinning all its
power away and not going anywhere.

Why? Well, one, you're
driving it like an oaf.

I've done gentle!
You didn't do gentle.

You just planted your foot on it
and went, "power!" as normally.

Secondly, I'm sorry to say this,
but you've brought the wrong car.

You did.
It's a rear-wheel-drive roadster.

What do you want?
Do you want front-wheel drive?

Possibly. Four-wheel drive
is where it wants to be.

It's not the car.

We've got too many carriages.
It's too heavy.

Of course it's got carriages
on it, you muppet! It's a train!

There are too many.
Actually, that's the bare minimum.

We've got first-class, second class,
scum class, buffet. Real trains!

No less. Well, it's too heavy.

That's how much it weighs.

We need a different locomotive.

What about...

A sports train? A what?

A sports train. One carriage
and a car. It's a sports train.

Well, that defeats the point
of it being a train, doesn't it?

One carriage? Listen, you've got
sports cars, sports planes,
sports boats, sports jackets.

You've got loads of those.

People pay more for sports
experience. If it's got
one carriage, it's not a train.

No - Train GTI.

And you can sell tickets for
millions of pounds because everybody
will want to go in a sports train.

All the trains are on the same line.
Might as well get a bigger, better
locomotive and put them together.

That's why it's called a train.
I'm not changing the car.

Well, we're doing a proper train.
Well, you haven't got a car.

Well, we'll go and get one.
We'll get one.

Uncouple me. Gladly.
Off you go.

Jeremy departed, leaving us with the
task of finding a new locomotive.

Oh, yeah. That's great!

We shall pick that up later on.

No, we will not.
Because what is wrong with my idea
for a sports train?

It's stupid, you're an idiot.

Are you suggesting, therefore,
that Isambard Kingdom Brunel,

the greatest engineer who
ever lived, was an idiot?

No. Because Brunel did not
suggest making a sports train.
Well, that's where you're wrong.

Because I have a photograph here
of an engine designed to go on
Brunel's Great Western Railway.

And look at that.

What? In what way is that sporty?

Let me explain. We think today of
a 20-inch rim as being very sporty.

Look at that. That is a 96-inch rim.

For goodness' sake.
Look at this, that is a fat exhaust.

And, you will notice, one carriage.

This is a Max Power train,
right here.

Anyway, putting aside Jeremy's
ideas of Pimp My Stovepipe Hat,

Hammond and I think we might be
onto something with our train.

So we will, in fact,
pick that up later.

We will. But now it is time to put
a Star in our Reasonably Priced Car.

And my guest tonight is
quite simply... Rowan Atkinson!

120 shows. Finally got you here.

Thank you so much.

Have a seat.

Rowan Atkinson.

So, Rowan,
obviously Not The Nine O'Clock News,

Mr Bean you are, Blackadder.

But may we begin by talking, if
you don't mind, about the Honda NSX?

You are a fan, I believe, of the
Honda? I have owned one. Yes.

And why, did you find that...?
Well, I liked its modesty.

I liked its understatedness.

I liked the fact
that it was a very good car.

And yet it didn't shout itself.

It was sort of image-free. I
think that's what I liked about it.

This is nice, I like
talking to a man about cars.

It's the only thing I can really
talk about. Yes, quite. Which is why
we've looked forward

for some many years to have you on.

Of course, the McLaren F1
was another one of your...

Which I've still got. 14 years on.
You still have it? Yeah.

That is more interesting.
Because I don't like that.

I know, you've never
been wild about it.

I don't know, you could live with
it. I've lived with it for 14 years.

And I've done a lot of miles in it.

I've done 37,000 miles.

In a McLaren?
Which, for a McLaren, is a lot.

And you actually lent yours to us,
I seem to recall?

Unbelievable. Unbelievable.

What on earth possessed you to say,

"Yes, Top Gear have rung saying, can
they borrow my most prized

I know,
for some reason I trusted you more
than most people trust you, Jeremy.

It was Richard Hammond as well,
I believe, who has a reputation

for driving in a straight line
with no incidents at all.
Oh, right, yes.

You had an Aston Martin last time
we saw you in Johnny English. Yes.

Which was a DB7. Yes, a DB7 Vantage.

That shows how long ago it was.

It was 2002 when we made
the first Johnny English.

And, of course, now there is
another one. There is a new one.

Johnny English Reborn.

Reborn? I'm embarrassed to say,

I haven't actually seen it.

There's a very good reason for that,
because we haven't
actually finished it.

But it's coming.
It's in the pipelines.

It's out in September,
so you'll see it then.

We have a sample of what's
going to be in the new movie.

Hopefully some cars.
Some bits and bobs, yes.
Let's have a look at the clip.

The world's greatest spy...

Johnny English.
Work hard, play hard. Is back.

And deadlier than ever.

You've been away for some time,

But you haven't been forgotten.

There is a plot to kill the Premier.

Time is of the essence.
Where are we on security? English?

Give me 24 hours.

In 2011... My country needs me.

It's Johnny English.
Let's kick some bottom.

British intelligence...

Fights back.


It's the killer from Hong Kong!
Murderous crone!

I've got her!
You old hag! She's the killer!

She's my mother! Granny!

I thought the last one was
excellent. And that looks...

You'd go and see that, wouldn't you?

Obviously, let's talk
about the cars in there.
We saw a Rolls-Royce, the Phantom.

Yeah, Rolls-Royce
Phantom coupe, exactly.

I feel as though the Aston
thing has been a bit over done.

It's in the James Bond movies
and we used it in the first film.

I just felt like doing
something a bit different.

I've become quite a fan of the
Phantom. But I wanted to give the
car we had a little USP.

You know, some unique little thing
which no other Phantom had.

Which was? Which was an engine.

But not any engine.

This was an engine...

There's an interesting
story behind it.

When BMW bought the rights to the
Rolls-Royce name

in the late 20th century,
they had the opportunity to create

the ultimate
luxury car for the 21st century.

And they thought, "Maybe we ought
to give it the ultimate engine."

So let's give it something like
a nine-litre V16 engine.

And, unbelievably, they made
three or four of these
engines and they tested them.

They got them up to speed
and they had unbelievable
power and torque figures.

And then, at the last minute,
they thought, "Hmm, might
be a bit over the top."

But they had developed these
engines and they'd stuck them
in the warehouse somewhere.

And I knew that they existed,
so I got in touch with Rolls-Royce

and said, "Would you mind squeezing
one of your V16 engines in the front
of our Johnny English Phantom?"

Very sweetly, they agree to do it.
And it works, it's the real thing.

So the car we have over there,
which is from the movie,
that's got a V16 engine in it?

Yes, a nine litre V16 engine.

That's amazing.
That's why its bonnet's up?

I thought it had broken down.

No, Jeremy, it hasn't broken down.

I'm with you,
I'm a huge fan of the Phantom.

I think it is one of the greatest
cars. And, of course, it fits
perfectly because the Phantom

was designed for that engine.

I want to talk, if I may,
just a bit about comedy.
We've talked about cars now.

The comedy stuff, take Blackadder.

Right. When you read that script and
there was somebody there called Bob.

Anybody else would read it and go,
All right, they're called Bob."
You decided that

Bob could be a funny word.

Right. Bob.

But how do you do that?

It was always at
the end of the sentence.

"So, how can I help you, Bob?"

It just seemed like
a funny way of saying it. Bob.

Because I was wondering, I was
looking at a list of motoring words

the other day and wondering if you
could, just by saying them,
make them funny.

Just say the word. Airbag.

De Dion-Bouton.

That's a French word, that.

Petrol pump.

Very good. Round of applause
for saying "petrol pump".

Can I just say, it's also the
faces. Exactly, that helps.

Reviewing the car, because I
have to think of all sorts of
things to say about a car.

I know that if you were a
presenter on this show, you could
just do it with an expression.

Right. So, for example, if you
were presented with a McLaren F1.

Think of another one.
The imperiousness one
gets from a Range Rover.

Ah, right, OK.




We have so much to learn. So,
obviously, you do love your cars.

Yeah. Now, of course, you race.

Yeah, occasionally.
Historic racing, yeah.

So, what are you racing now?

What I have got is a Ford Falcon,
1964 Ford Falcon.

It's a big 4.7 litre V8,
and very, very light.

Isn't that like land yachting?!

Yes, exactly,
it's got a certain floppiness to it!

So, obviously, driving the Kia...

One of my worries about
coming on the show was

that I think people know

that I'm a car enthusiast
and that I have done some racing,

and they will assume
that in the Reasonably Priced Car

I'll be very good, when there's
no guarantee of that whatsoever.

Because it is
a very particular thing,

and I'm a slow learner of cars
and all that.

But anyway, I was keen to have a go,
so I had a go.

Who here would like to see
Rowan's lap?


Play the tape. Let's have a look.

Like you were using launch control!

Okey-dokey. Here we go.

You look a bit nervous,
if I may say.

Ooh, wide line, like
a Formula 1 driver through there.

And wide on the way out as well.
Looking smooth.

Hopeless, hopeless, hopeless.

Yes, now, here we are,
into the Hammerhead,

keeping it between the lines.

Obviously, the slower
you appear to be going...

and that does appear to be
very slow indeed...

sometimes, the faster it is.

That doesn't look too bad,
but what do you think from inside?

Good, good, good.

You really weren't pleased with
any part of this, were you?

Obviously, flat through there.

Not so good. Not so good, that.

Come on, cheer up!
Yeah, that's nicely done.

I say, keeping it very tight
on the runway.

That's a new, interesting line.

Second to last corner,
that is beautifully handled.

And Gambon, no drama,
no histrionics, across the line.



There's the board. Where do you
think you might have come?

Who's at the very top?

The man at the very top is
John Bishop, the northern comedian,

followed by Ross Noble, the northern
comedian. I was born in the north.

You're from the same neck of
the woods as Ross Noble.

Indeed. You're looking at the top,
you have that...?

No, exactly, one looks at that,

but there's no reason
why I should be there.

I felt as though I did OK,
but not great. That's my view.

OK, at the very top is Bishop on,
what is he, 1:42.8.

So, Rowan Atkinson. You did it...








Come on! That's the new fastest man
we've ever had on our track!

Ladies and gentlemen, Rowan
Atkinson, the fastest man ever!

It is actually remarkable,

because we did genuinely think
when Bishop did that time

and was so much faster than Tom
Cruise, it would never be beaten.

No, the Tom Cruise thing
is fun, actually.

And your lap times were
incredibly consistent,

as is the mark
of a great racing driver.

Pish and posh!

Turns out
you're in the wrong career.

So, a lot of people think you've
already been on this show. Yes.

Ladies and gentlemen, he has now.
Rowan Atkinson!


Great time!

"Petrol pump." I can't do it!

Now, earlier on, we embarked on
a project to build a cheap train

using an old Jaguar XJS
and some caravans.

Yeah, and sadly, it didn't work,

because Jeremy's driving was rubbish,
and he bought the wrong car.

Then there was a really big argument
and he stormed off with the Jag,

saying he was going to make
something called a sports train.

Yeah, and that left Hammond and me
with all the coaches,

but nothing to pull them with.

'After a canter through
the classifieds,

'Hammond and I found
our new locomotive.'

Here's what Hammond and I have
bought instead. It's an Audi S8.

It has even more power than the
Jaguar, but more importantly, it has

four-wheel drive,
which is what you need,

because the rails are slippery.

Also, I have feet made of flesh,
with nerves in them,

like a human being, not lumps of
lead yoked to an incompetent oaf.

'While I was doing the driving,

'Hammond would take care
of the passengers.'

In just a few minutes,
I shall be welcoming the passengers

onto the train. This is the manifest
with their names.

But before I do that,
let's get the buffet car ready.

This has to look good.

This really is... All passengers -
first, second - will be able

to come in here, so I want it
to look excellent.

Biscuits, various. Muffins. Yeah.

It's the carriage of plenty.

'With the buffet ready,
it was time to greet our guests...

'..who were a group of
top officials and inspectors

'from the railway world.'

You are? Steve Davies.

Steve Davies. MBE!
Steve Davies, MBE! Indeed.

And you're a colonel! Hello! How do
you do? Nice to see you again.

You're in first,
which is there. Indeed.

Hello, you're Helen...? Helen Ashby.

OBE! Hello! Hi! Come on in, please.

Thank you.
You're on first as well, obviously.

And sir? Ian Walmsley.
Yes, you're also...

Yes, in there, Ian,
that'll be absolutely brilliant.

In. There you go, you'll be fine.

The straw's fresh, don't worry.

'Everything now depended on giving
our passengers the train ride

'of a lifetime.'

Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome aboard the 14:53 express

from just outside Leicester
to near Loughborough.

This train is about to depart.
Thank you very much

for travelling with us.
We appreciate

that you have a choice
of car-based rail companies.

James, that's my job!
I'm running this bit of the train.

You just drive!

Ladies and gentlemen,
this is your steward,

whose train this is. We will shortly
be departing towards Loughborough.

Look at this!

It's a train, and it works!


This is the best thing
I've ever done!

Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be through
shortly with refreshments.

Oh, yeah!

I don't know if this is
coming across

in the images you're seeing at home,

but the sensation of being in a car
but on the railway is just

the maddest thing I've ever seen
out of the window.

It's a railway!

Past another train parked
in the siding. It's just wonderful.

More points coming up. The
responsible driver slows down a bit.

A tiny bit of braking.

Refreshments, gentlemen!

Oh, it doesn't fit!

Across the little bridge,
the water on the left.

'While I was sightseeing,

'Jeremy was finally
leaving the station

'in his idiotic sports train.'

TGV 12 is up and running.

Let me talk you through
my passengers.

The man on the left, he's just
a man, but the man on the right,

that is the editor
of Rail Express magazine,
and I need to impress him.

He's going to be reviewing
this experience.

'Clearly, the best way of impressing
him would be to beat Hammond and May

'to our destination.'

Come on! Let's build up that speed!

Taking it up now to 40.


A few bugs there smashing into
the face

of the editor
Railway Express magazine.



The wind in your hair,
the bees in your face!

V12 power!

The editor
of Railway Express magazine

basking in the shadow
of my magnificence!

Ugh, a train!


Oh, my God!

'Meanwhile, further up the line,
May had also got his foot down.'

25 miles an hour!

'But this turn of speed was
causing a few problems.'

The cruise control works.
Look at that! I'm now doing nothing.

'It wasn't just the vibrations that
were bothering the inspectors...

'the noise was also an issue.'

What? Do you think it's safe?

I can't hear you!

Do you think it's safe? No.

How do we communicate in
an emergency? We have to shout!

Is there a communication cord
to stop the train? Yes, yes, yes.

I'm going to check it, actually.
I'm about to ask the driver, Mr May,

to slow down a little bit,
just while we're serving the drinks.



What's the matter?

Can you slow down a bit?
Everything's falling off. Right.

Meanwhile, I'd caught up with the
idiots but I couldn't get past,

due to a railway network design

Even here, we're stuck
behind caravans.

If I'm honest, though, that
wasn't the most immediate problem.

Oh, for God's sake.

Oh, this is really bad.

A member of the working
classes is now taking a dump

in full view of the editor
of Railway Express Magazine.

Oh, no.

I'm very sorry about this.

I can't just drive along like
this forever, I'm backing off.

I decided to go back
in search of some
points where I could change tracks.

I do apologise, I do apologise.

With Jeremy going backwards,
James and I decided we had time
to stop at the next station.

A tiny bit of braking.

You see, this is how you drive
a train. It's about finesse.

James, stop! James, stop!

James, we're bloody miles off.

I'm going to back up.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you'd
like to stretch your legs at this
intermediate station,

and apologies for the overshoot.

That was an overshoot.
RICHARD: 'Stop doing the BLEEP-ing
announcements, that's my job!'

Ladies and gentlemen, we're just
pulling into the station in case,

you might want to stretch your legs,
perhaps, or maybe have a walk.

Allow me, please.

Bloody hell.

You don't have to be
wearing a short skirt, do you?

Thank you.

I have just discovered a small
design fault with the TGV12.

When going backwards, you
have to have the bonnet up
to keep the engine cool

because obviously there's no
air going into the radiator.

And I can't see
anything out of the back.

So the first I'll know about a
derailment is when we hear death and
screaming from the rear carriage.

Back at the station, the inspectors
were busy doing some inspecting.

What was the noise decibel level?

108, it peaked at. It's higher
than anything I've ever measured.

Just under 60. That's not
wide enough for disabled access.

Good for people with one arm.

There's only one armrest.

The flammability is what
worried me, actually.

I think my general consideration,
it's not a train, it's a death-trap.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I hope
you enjoyed your brief stopover at
Quorn and Woodhouse station.

We will now be departing
again for near Loughborough.

Come on!

I'd found the set of points where I
could switch to the other track.

Yes. Now, this is more of a palaver
than on the motorway but I am now
in the overtaking lane.

Yes, I am.

Let's go and hunt down James May.

We're really moving now!

70 miles an hour!


That massive rear spoiler,
providing the downforce we need.

My passengers are looking thrilled.

And now I would show May
that speed is right, speed is good.

Speed works.

There he is.
James May is about to be splashed

by the mighty wheel-spinning TGV12.


God, how did he do that?

The sports train is invincible.

Ever since the dawn of the
train it has been mired in this
sea of turgid practicality.

Nobody's ever thought, "Let's make
an exciting train."

And here I am, in just such a thing.

On Hammond and May's train,

it's just one long, dreary trail
of boredom.

Brace! Brace!

Some poo's come out.

Ladies and gentlemen, particularly of
first class, with your OBEs and MBEs.

Richard Hammond, your steward,
will be passing through
shortly with hot meals.

Oh, wait a minute.

Since hunting was banned,
one sees the horses frolicking
gaily in the fields, enjoying...

Forgive me while I just back
off and have a bit of a gloat.

If we look over here, we see
traditional farming methods.

And I think that pretty
much covers the lecture.

I'm just doing a lecture on the
countryside. Nothing to see here.

And that's it.

Now we'll be on our way.

Oh, dear.


People of first class.

Once again, the editor of
Railway Express Magazine was
heading back towards Leicester.

Although this time I had
at least found a novel way
of seeing where I was going.

Ignore the enormous
locomotive behind me.

It's a glitch, really. Not my fault.

Our train was now certain of beating
Jeremy's to near Loughborough.

This is just serene.

However, in the buffet car,
things weren't going so well.

Ladies and gentlemen,
please brace yourself.

The incompetent steward is about to
pour tepid coffee into your crotch.

Christ's sake, James! Stop making
BLEEP-ing announcements!

That's my job, I'm the steward!

You drive, I steward.

It's my train and the driver makes
the bleeding announcements.
That's the way it is.

I had finally found a passing point

and was now back in the chase.

Really shifting, now.

Really, really, really moving.

No time to lose.



♪ La la la la la la!

♪ La la la la la la la! ♪

Penis, penis, penis, penis, penis.
It's my Tannoy.

Hello, chaps.

Can I offer you refreshments?

Have you got a coffee, please? No.

Any chance of a Danish
pastry, please? No.

I'll slow it down
by one mile an hour.

This isn't the fastest train
in the world. I'm sure Jeremy
will claim his goes faster.

But ours carries more people.
That's the point of a train.

It's mass transport.

What Jeremy's built,
essentially, is a business jet.

But that's out of the reach
of the vast majority of people.

There you go. Anything else
I can get you? Red wine? No.

Oh, dear.

It appears my colleagues
have a bit of a problem.

James. What?

Your train's on fire.

Is it? Yes, it is. Right.

Well, there we are.

Once again, then,
it looked like I would be the first

to our destination.

Very nearly at the end now.

And what an epic voyage
this has been.

Leicester - well, nearly Leicester -
to the outskirts of Loughborough.

A distance of nearly eight miles.

And the sports train

just about done it.

Easing it down, now.

Should imagine
there'll be a fanfare.

The mayor of Loughborough is
almost certainly going to be here.

Oh, he isn't.

Nobody is.

Not to worry, though, because
the great pioneers are often
unappreciated at first.

Throughout this epic voyage,

I have referred to this as either
the TGV12 or the sports train.

But I don't think that's right.
I don't think that does it justice.

I think that the editor and the
other man

will agree that what you
are looking at here is the future.

And all we must do now is
await the arrival of my
less successful colleagues.

No, listen. If you ignore the fire,

and the fact we didn't get where we
wanted to go, it was incredibly noisy

and the fact that all the passengers
have run away... Apart from that,
it was a resounding success?

Yes, I think we can only judge it to
be a success. It worked as a train.

We came up with something
new and unique and brilliant.

Well, I think as a concept...
Oh, hello. It's quite nice.

But the fact is...

Hold on. Woah, woah.

Let's just get this straight,
your train was a total failure.
No, it was not.

Well, where is it, then? Well,
some of it is in the atmosphere.

The rest of this is
all over Leicestershire.

Whereas mine is here. And already
her Majesty's government

has been on the telephone asking if
they can have the rights to use this

on the proposed
West Coast Main Line.

Really? No, I made that up.

I'll tell you who has been
in touch, though. The editor of
Railway Express Magazine. Excellent.

He wrote a short view of
his journey and your train.
Would you like to hear it?

Uh-huh. He says the following.

"There was nothing to eat.

"The ride was awful.
The noise was distressing."

He spent most of the day
going backwards, he genuinely

feared for his life
and he ended up covered in excrement.

So, it's exactly
like a normal train.

Only much cheaper.

And, on that bombshell,
it is time to end.

Thank you very much for watching.

Next week, we destroy Kent
with a tank.

But, for now, good night.

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd, MemoryOnSmells