Top Gear (2002–…): Season 18, Episode 5 - Episode #18.5 - full transcript

Jeremy Clarkson and James May pay tribute to quirky Swedish car maker Saab. Meanwhile, Richard Hammond races a rocket-powered flying man against a rally-spec Skoda. Plus, current Doctor Who, Matt Smith, is the star in the Reasonably Priced Car.

Subtitles by MemoryOnSmells

Tonight, Maserati brings
some V8 thunder to our track,

Mercedes brings some smoke

and we wave goodbye to Saab.

Hello... Hello, everybody
and good evening.

Hello and welcome -
thank you so much.

We begin...

We begin with a letter -
thank you, everybody.

It's from a Swiss gentleman
and it says,

"Dear Si Appelli, Top Gear.

"You're more than halfway through
this series

"and yet you still haven't
raced a car

"against something
that isn't a car."

He's right, we haven't -
and we should!

As with our off-road scooters
last week, this race
will take place in Wales.

And this is the rally car
we'll be fielding...

a Skoda Fabia Super 2000.

Last season, this car
dominated the championship,

winning seven of the 12 rallies
and locking out the entire podium

with a 1-2-3 on four
of those occasions.

But although the car is clearly
no slouch, is it any kind of match

for the non-car thing
we've got lined up for today?

In fact, if I were the car,

I might possibly be weeing myself
right now.

Because today,
it will be taking on Yves Rossy,

the world's first jet-powered
flying man.

Yves, I have many questions.

Starting with,
what exactly is this thing?

That's a wing, and to push me in the
air, four engines. It's very simple.

Four jets? Yes. And you steer just
with your moves of arms and legs...

So you haven't got like,
levers to control the...? Nothing.

The only thing is a little throttle
that I have here.

That's the only thing that command.
Well, look, all the best.

Mm-hm. I'll be on the ground. Yeah!

'And THAT brings us neatly to
the actual driving of the car.'

Now obviously, I could take
the wheel of that thing myself

and show that Swiss cuckoo clock
some real talent,

but under the Top Gear
apprentice driver training scheme,

I've agreed to let the guy behind me,
Toni Gardemeister,
cut his teeth on this one.

To be fair, he's pretty good already.

Finnish rally champion.

Many, many World Rally podiums
to his name.

But still keen to get
some tips from me.

So, let's see how this race
will work.

This is the course
the car will be racing around.

Eight miles of prime Welsh
rally stage.

As the car sets off, Yves will climb
to 8,000 feet in a helicopter,

jump out, and then follow
the course from above.

Now, Rocket Man can travel
at a steady 120 miles an hour

and we can't.

Well, I could, but I'm not sure yet
about our novice driver.

Anyway, you might think
because of his cruising speed,
we don't stand a chance,

but there's more to it than that.
At the end of the race,
Yves has to land,

so he has to cut his engines,
deploy his parachute

and all sorts of technical
rocket-man stuff has to happen.

So, trust me,
we're in with a shout here.

'And also, we will be busy
covering precious miles

'whilst his chopper is still
climbing to launch height.'

Just relax, Toni,
I'm here if you need me.

Obviously, Yves could cut a corner
up there, but don't worry,

we've thought of that -
we've put a farmer out there

with an air rifle with strict orders
to shoot him down
if he sees any infringement.

That's FIA rules all sorted.

As the chopper lifted,
the flag dropped.

We're off!


Oh, my God, he's quite confident.

Ye Gods!

Yeah, just as you are.

We are absolutely
monstering this course!

We've got 265bhp down here.
Toni is using, I'd say, all of them!

Yeah - whoaah!

'However, as we passed the three-mile
mark, Yves was ready to jump.'

He's jumped!

Engines are good.

Well, he's dropped,
I can't see him out of the car.

'But somewhere up there,
he was following our course

'and closing the gap.'


Hello! Just concentrate! OK!

As a new driver, you get giddy,
you show off and it goes wrong. Oh...

Up there, Yves is hitting speeds
of 120, 150, 80 miles an hour.

In just, well, a lycra suit
a small crash helmet

and a kitchen table on his back.

How the hell did I get mixed up in
this? I mean, I'm just baggage now.

'Within seconds, Yves had caught up.'

There he is, there he is!

He's ahead of us, he is ahead.


'As Yves streaked into the lead,

'we still had just under
four miles to go.'


In the air... Ooh-argh!

Ye Gods.

Right, OK!

'Up ahead, Yves's journey was,
unfortunately, almost done.'

There he is. There's his parachute.

We've got to just take advantage

while he's slowing through
the air to land. We've got to
give it everything we can.

We've got about two minutes now.

This is going to be so close!

Oh, my God.

There he is.

He's behind the hill.

He's behind the trees,
I don't know, he's not down yet.

We still have a chance here.

This is it. Where is he?
Where is he? Is he there?

Oh no! After all that!

Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!

Don't blame yourself. That's the main
thing, man - don't blame yourself.

You did a great job. Thanks for
the guiding. I was there for you.

Thank you. I'm going to sit here
for a little bit now, just...

You look a little bit dark now.

Yeah, do you know, I'm just going to
sit here for a minute.


Was that a bit scary? Yes!
Very. It's so fast.

You said at one point,
something was getting loose.

Yeah, me - my bowels, specifically!
It was really scary.

But what gets me about Yves, flying,
is there must have been

a first time he did that - you can't
work up to being a jet-powered man.

You can't start with propellers.

Oh, no!
So there must've been a first day.

He woke up one day and thought,
right, it's today.

I'm going to jump off a helicopter
with a kitchen table strapped

to my back and a couple of jets
and I'm pretty confident I can fly.

Anyway, we must now do the news
and we begin with this.

What is the worst thing
in the world?

Trying on trousers.

He's right, actually. You're right.

But the second worst thing
in the world is when you're
going on a journey somewhere

and someone in the car says,
"do you mind if we stop"

for some reason - "look,
there's an ancient monument".

I don't want to look at that!
I want to look at my friends who
we haven't seen for five years.

You're absolutely right.
There are some people

who stop on a journey at a motorway
services to play a fruit machine.

Those people who say,
"I need to stretch my legs".

If you're Alec Guinness
and you've been in a box in a
Japanese prison for six months, yes,

you need to stretch your legs, but
after 30 miles in a car, you don't.

It's when people say
they need to stop to eat. Why?

I can't imagine a journey long enough
that means YOU will need refuelling.

Well, if you were driving
from Cairo to Khartoum...
Yes, but not in Britain.

If you're going from Leicester to
Birmingham, you don't need food.
You won't starve in that time.

No, and I'm glad you brought this up
because this is where I'm going, OK?

One place I could never understand
why people stopped at

was Little Chef, because what
they did was they took ingredients

and then ruined them.

I once stopped at a Little Chef
very early in the morning

and I said,
"Could I have an omelette?"

The woman said, "No, I'm sorry sir,
the powder hasn't arrived yet".

That's not a good sign, is it?!

I once dropped a sausage from my
plate in Little Chef and it bounced.

They made it out of
old squash balls!

The other day, we heard they'd shut
getting on for half their outlets,

and we weren't surprised,
but the other day we stopped at one
that was still open.

I went in and this guy gave me
a paper cup,

he said it's a casserole mash.

I thought, that's just going to be
bits of placenta...

Oh, God!

Garnished with the chef's
bodily fluids. Nice.

It was the second nicest thing
I've ever put in my mouth. Second?

OK. It was brilliant.
I loved it, to be honest.

It's because they've got
Heston Blumenthal doing the menu.

Yes, he cut his teeth,
didn't he, in Heston services?

BMW has sent us news of a new Mini.
It's a concept, here's a picture.

It's a twee little van
with "Buckingham" picked out

in old-fashioned sign writing
and it looks like

the sort of thing we might have been
driving just after we won the war.

Oh, for God's sake, please!
Don't go there. Won it.

Don't go there.
They've done this before, BMW.

A year or so ago they did a Mini,
but at the back,

it had a wickerwork picnic hamper
and a silver tea set.

The point is, we would like
to extend an invitation to

people of Germany to come over here,
not in a bomber...

Not all at once. Not in uniform,
marching... And not at night.

No, not at night,
but come over here as tourists

and we'll show you the Shard,
for example, in London.
Modern skyscraper.

We'll show you the Range Rover

We'll take you to an Adele gig.
Maybe not Adele.

Not if ITV are covering it,
cos you'll just get that...

Then there'll be an advert
for panty liners.

Germans need to come here,
they really do - to come here

and understand we're not driving
around in twee little vans,

tugging our forelocks
at the squire any more.

They're obsessed with this,
bless them.

They always say, "ve love your
England, viz your tweed and your
little houses mit-out electricity".

We should go to Germany with
mullets and leather shorts

and wander about whistling Scorpion
tunes and see how they like it.

Racial stereotyping -
which we don't do.

News from the Continent!
I've always wanted to say that.

"News from the Continent."

The French have announced that
from July 1, you must, by law,

carry a breathalyser kit
in your car.

You can understand
the logic behind that

until you think about it carefully,
and then there's a flaw.

You come out of the bar,
you've had a glass of wine and
you think, "am I OK for driving?"

You use your breathalyser kit,
it says yes, you are,

but then you can't drive,
cos you've used your kit.

It's a one-shot deal?

You'd have to walk to the chemist
and buy another kit
before you set off.

Don't they also make us carry
warning triangles?

Yes, and in France, you've also got
to carry a full set of spare bulbs
and a high-visibility vest.

Aren't all those things the police's
job? Do they want us to stick some
cones in the car, just in case?

And maybe a radio, a notepad,
and a pencil?

But, if they're turning us all
into policemen,

we could stop other motorists
and help ourselves to
130 of their euros.

Yes, we could stop Brits
on the last tolls before Calais,

who are rushing to get the ferry
and have been speeding.

Has anyone here
been caught speeding in France?

It's like saying,
has anyone been to France? Yes.

Would you have to carry
handcuffs and a big truncheon
as well? No, that's Holland.

Now, Richard, tell me, when
you go to work at the BBC in
London, where do you park your car?

Well, I park it in the car park
at the BBC, underground,

where everybody else parks.
Where do you park?

I park in the underground car park.
It's a bit of a walk,
but that's what you do.

Now there is a loading bay
outside our office

which is more convenient
but there is no parking there.

Now I took a photograph in this
loading bay this week. Here it is...

We may recognise this car
if the watch The Apprentice.

It belongs to Lord Sir Sugar.

His chauffeur was probably loading
him into the building then. Exactly.

Technically this was a delivery.
So that's fine.

More worrying is this.
OK, if we zoom in...

Now, right there
is a little Fiat Panda,

part blocking the door
of the honest working men

whose job it is
to deliver things to the BBC.

And I'm wondering, Hammond,
who has a little black Fiat Panda?

I don't know. At the BBC?

I don't know.

Does David Attenborough?
No, he doesn't. Paxman?

Moving on, the most
important news of the week.

Road safety campaigners are
always telling us that driving
is extremely difficult.

It's so difficult that you
couldn't possibly do
something else at the same time.

But we disagree with this.
We think driving is easy

and you can do pretty much
anything while you are driving
in perfect safety.

We do, and a couple of weeks ago
he said to prove that point,

he would drive around a track
while sewing a button onto his shirt.

- OK, who'd like to see me try that?
- Yes!

Here we go, we have got it on tape.

'This is a Suzuki Swift.

'There's me at the wheel
sewing a button on as I drive.'

I will try
and get back underneath again

before we get to the Hammerhead
which is tricky

because I've got too many chins
and I can't see what I'm doing.

Memo to self: lose weight.

So there you are, ladies
and gentlemen, you can do it.

You can sew a button...

But it goes on a bit. Hold on,

because after you'd said
you'd do that,

James then said he reckoned he could
drive a lap of our track in a car,

whilst in a sleeping bag.

Can you? Well, let's find out.
Oh, here we go.

Here I am driving along in a
Suzuki Swift, exactly as you were.

Are you wearing normal clothes?

No, I'm in a sleeping bag.

Shuffle the wheel.
Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle.

Now tell me, was it easy?

There was only one problem...

that blithering idiot Hammond
has turned the heater up

to full blast
because he thought it was funny.

And of course I can't
reach the knob.

So there we are,
road safety enthusiasts...

proof that you can do
other things while driving.
I'm not suggesting that people do.

Don't drive to work
tomorrow morning in a sack.

But we've just shown
that you can drive while sewing
or in a sleeping bag,

so you can certainly drive
while eating an apple or...

Putting a CD in.
Well, if you still live
in the 1980s, yes, putting a CD in.

Driving is easy! It's not difficult.

Right, no moving on to this -
it is a Maserati GranTurismo

and it is a soft,
floppy and very enormous barge
for people who can't drive.

Our studio director's got one.

Um, I really don't like it at all,

but Maserati
has now scratched its head

and tried something a bit different.

This is what they've come up with -
the GranTurismo MC Stradale.

It's still vast.

The gap between the wheels is longer
than it is on a Range Rover

and even beyond the wheels,
look, it just keeps on going.

Still, it's now been lowered
and lightened and stiffened.

So theoretically, it's become
a proper no-nonsense road racer.

It even has a button marked "Race"
on the dashboard.

That speeds up the gear changes,
backs off the traction control

and turns the exhaust
all the way up to 11.

Under the bonnet,
the V8 has been tweaked

so it's now firing 444 horsepower
at the rear wheels.

And the results of all this
are dramatic.

The standard car
is like a duvet on a hot night,

flopping about everywhere,
being annoying.

This, though, in race mode,
this is as tidy as a Marine's bunk.

You can sense that the suspension
is doing battle

with the bulk of the thing.

But you can also sense it's a battle
that the suspension is winning.

There's a majesty to the way
this car drives.

And it feels like it has a soul,


Oooh, I like you.

Oh, and Joe Walsh was wrong.

Because my Maserati
actually does 187.

So, it goes brilliantly
and thanks to carbon brakes...

it stops just as well.

However, if you want a road racer,

you should know
there's a new alternative

from the dour, sensible, no-nonsense
Germans at Mercedes-Benz.

This is the C63 Black.

It's the latest
plunge into the world of insanity

from the skunkworks
deep inside the bowels of AMG.

In many ways, it's very similar
to the Maserati.

Both cost around Ј110,000.

Both are two-seaters.

Both have double-clutch gearboxes

and both are jolly fast.

But there are differences.

Big ones.

You look at this car and you take in
the aero tweaks on the front-end,

the nostrils in the bonnet,
the massively flared wheel arches

and the enormous carbon fibre
rear wing.

And you sit in here and you know
you have strengthening braces

and you think, yes,
this IS a full-on racing car.

It isn't. It isn't that.

It isn't even close to that.

No, no, over there. Go over there.
Over there. Go over THERE!

What is that rear wing doing?!

I think it's providing rear-end
lift. There's no grip at all.

It is hilarious!

Through the corners there's
just no way that I can keep up

with the man in the Maserati
because he is driving a racing car

and I...
I'm wrestling a mad yellow bear!

This, honestly, is
Winnie The Pooh with road rage.

I mean, obviously it's much more
spectacular to go round the corner

in a cloud of your own smoke.

But it's slower.

As you can see,
because after every single corner,

he's 300 yards ahead of me.

100 yards ahead.

200 yards ahead.

300 yards ahead.

So on a track,
the Maserati is better.

However, as an everyday road car,
there are some issues,

chief among which
are the racing harnesses.

Look at this - honestly, it's like
something out of an S&M catalogue.

It means
you can't reach the glove box.

You can't reach car park
pay machines or tollbooths.

They couldn't have ruined
the car more

if they'd smeared the carpets
with dog dirt.

And even if you ignore the bondage
gear, all is still not well.

If you take the gearbox
out of race mode

and put it in everyday
"going to the shops" auto,

it sits down there,
in the bowels of the car thinking,

"Now, he's just pulled that lever,
that means I have to do something.

"What is it? I have to bake cake?

"No. Mow the lawn? No."

"I know! I am a gearbox!

"He's pulled the lever,
that means he wants third!"

It's so dim-witted
and slow in normal mode,

it makes the whole car feel like
it isn't joined up properly.

So how does the Mercedes
stack up as a road car?

Well, like the Maserati,
the rear seats have been removed.

But for a fee,
Mercedes will put them back.

They will also - free of charge -
move the steering wheel

and pedals over
to the correct side of the car.

And look at this -
hasn't been invented in Italy yet.

It's called a seatbelt
and it's so simple and easy to use.

And there's more.

It's smaller than the Maserati,

much like Lincolnshire,
so it is easier to park

and it has a fantastic
central command unit

which not only tells you
where you are and what you're
listening to, but also,

if you push this button here,

how much G
you're generating in the bends.

Where the throttle is
and how much brake you're using

AND the condition of your tyres.

What it should say is, "Very poor,
because in the last corner
you turned them all into smoke."

Yes, I'm just taking
the children to school now.

I'm on the school run.

Just turning left
into Acacia Avenue.

The biggest problem though
with this car

is that it's not
what you'd call comfortable.

Honestly, if you want to know
how this car rides,

sit on a piano and asked someone
to push you down that cobbled hill
they used in the Hovis ads.

It's ridiculous!

I actually owned
the predecessor of this car

and I've been saying for years,
it rides too harshly.

And what have they done with
the replacement?

They've made it worse!

So, there we are.

Both these cars
are good fun on the track,

albeit for very different reasons.

But for commuting and shopping
and going out for dinner,

thanks to the ride in the Mercedes

and the gearbox in the Maserati,

Neither of them
work very well at all.

It does have a better petrol tank
than mine.

And the seat belts
are easier to do up. Yeah.

Let me get this one straight,

so you finally admitting that
AMG Mercs are ridiculous?

Well, I mean, if you are me

with my very specific requirements
for a car, it's very good indeed.

Yeah, but quite a lot of people
aren't you, so for all of them?

Well, as I said in the film,
er, it is a bit stiff.

Yeah. Just why don't you tell
the ladies and gentleman

how many laps of track you managed

before the rear tyres went down
to the cambers? There's a very
pretty girl there. Have you seen?

How many lap did you manage of
our track

before the rear tyres were lunched?



- How many? Four.
- Four!

Four laps of the track.

That adds up to 6.8 miles.

That works out at Ј85 a mile,
just in tyres, to run this car. Yes.

And we're now going to have to
man our wallets once more

because it's time to find out
how fast the Mercedes and
the Maserati go around our track.

And that of course means handing
them over to our tame racing driver.

Some say that he is the only man
in history to buy a DFS sofa

when there wasn't a sale on.

And that his favourite
boxing venue is Munich Airport.

All we know
is that he's called The Stig!

And they're off.

Now the Maserati is undoubtedly
quicker through the corners,

but the Merc will blitz it
on the straights.

Obviously we are not going to
find out here because, look,

the Merc is already twitching,
and wait for it...

yes, smoke and sliding.

Stig unfortunately still obsessed
with The Archers.

once again the Merc sideways.

They should have called it the Crab.

OK, hard on the brakes
for Hammerhead.

What will happen in here, I wonder?

Yup, there goes the Mercedes.
Oh, even the Maserati's sliding.

And the Merc continues to
smoke like a refinery fire.

A double helping
of agri-drivel there.

OK, here we go,
the Maserati has the V8 engine.

The Merc is now unleashing a 6.2
litre, 510 horsepower V8 atom bomb.

Just a fantastic amount of power
in that thing. Two corners left.

Looking pretty even so far.

Penultimate corner.

Didn't go sideways,
but Gambon, he did.

And there we are, across the line.

Now the Maserati... Yes.

The Maserati did it in 1.23.1.
So it goes there. Not bad.

Nearly as quick as a Ferrari 430
in fact.

Come on, then. The Mercedes...

1.21 dead. What?!

Look at that.
It's between the 599 and an SLR.

What?! Hang on. No, no. Hang on.

How...? How did IT do that?

Because as I've explained to you
many times, Hammond,

precision and technicality
will always be beaten

by shouting and smoking and power.

Anyway, it's time to put a star
in our reasonably priced car.

My guest tonight is quite simply
Doctor Who,

which explains how he was able to
travel back in time to the 1980s

and steal Phil Oakey's hair.
Ladies and gentlemen, Matt Smith!

Hello, hello, hello!
How are you? Hello, big man.
It's good to see you.

Thank you for having me on.
It's a pleasure!
Doctor Who is among us!

He is!

You're not wearing
your Doctor Who outfit!

No, mate, just me civvies.

And I've got odd socks on
cos I couldn't find them.

You're actually dressed more like...

Well, I've discovered you
are a football enthusiast.

Oh, big! Yeah,
a massive football enthusiast.

Did you ever play properly?

I played for... I mean, yeah.

I went through the youth academies
and I played for Forest
and I played for Leicester.


There's actually a Leicester City
supporter here?

He's here! I should say it
that way round.

You played and then what happened?

I had a back injury
called spondylitis,

or it's some sort of strange name.
Was it caused by your hair
going all on one side?

Yeah, I was injured for a year,
and God bless my dad,

he'd drive me up from school every
day when I was playing at Leicester
and I'd get the treatment there.

But I just never recovered,
and so they let me go.

Do you reckon you could've
been a footballist

if your back hadn't have...? I hope
so. I was captain at the time,

at Leicester under-15s, and, um...

You know, I had a great season.
But who knows?

The one player that I played with,

and at Forest,
we were two years unbeaten.

And the only player that went on
to play in the Premiership
was Jermaine Jenas, that was it.

Yay. Howay.

Let's move off football
and on to Doctor Who which is
I'm sure where everyone wants to go.

It's the longest-running
sci-fi series in the world.
That's correct.

Is it 50 years now or next...?
50 years, on, I think, it's November
23rd or 24th, 2013. 50 years.

And you're the youngest Doctor ever.
I am the youngest carnation.

I'm in the Guinness Book Of Records
which as child, I was like, "Yes!"

The youngest Doctor Who.

It's better than seeing how many
beans you can put up your nose!

One of the things that fascinates
me is that when I was growing up,

and Doctor Who had the Daleks on,
I was, "It's a thing with a sink
plunger!" I was terrified.

But now, even my youngest plays
Call Of Duty and plays the Nazi
zombies with dogs that explode.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Is it difficult to think of
something that will scare a child

who has just finished shooting an
alien in the face on a PlayStation?

Well, no... Yes, perhaps, but...

Doctor Who isn't scary in the way

that there's blood and guts
and people getting blown up.

And actually, how scary is that?

"Scary" is in tension. That's why
I think the angels are really scary.

Cos when you're not looking at them
they go, thumpthumpthump, like that.

Yeah, that is quite scary.

What's the grinning doll one called?

Which one?

It looks a bit like Richard Hammond.

There were some dolls in this one,

the peg dolls,
or there's the scarecrows,

which was a Tennant episode.

And then Cybermen aren't scary.

Yes, but... They are not! Somebody
said they are, but they aren't.

It's like, they're here, right,
and they come at you like this.

They're slow, I know.

You could just walk away.
"Oh, there's a Cyberman there,
I'll just stroll over here."

Never apply logic to Who, because...
I suppose.

Presumably a lot
goes with being Doctor Who
that's not just playing Doctor Who.

Everywhere you go,
you've got to have children saying,
"Who's the scariest monster?"

Yes! I don't know if I should even
say this, but I got home last night,

got to my door, and there
was little girl of about 12 or 13

reading a book in a bush.

And she said, "Don't worry,
I'm not a homeless person."

Then she said, "Could you just say,
'Hey, I'm the Doctor.'?"

So I just sort of said,
"Hey! I'm the Doctor."

Then went, "Go home!"

That is quite scary. You could get
into trouble for that.

Anyway, we had Michael Fassbender
on last week. I know, he did well.

He did well and he's not
the only one that's appeared naked
in a film recently.

You have too, in The Womb, you had
your Time-Lord sausage out.

It was with Eva Green,
who played a Bond girl.

A very beautiful woman.
She was, in Casino Royale.

The first scene of the first day,

we're on the most northerly point
of Germany and it's Baltic cold.

It's March.
And I've got to get in the sea.

So I get there, I go in the sea,

freeze my BLEEP off, come out,

and then do this scene
with Eva Green!

And what can you do but apologise
and go, "It's normally
much more majestic!"

It was awful! This beautiful
French woman and you're like...

I saw... I saw in the film,

you see her eyes, I come
and she goes... You what?

I come out of the water. I see,
I'm with you, and she's like...

Yeah, it was crap, basically.

Now, cars.

As you're such a young Doctor Who,
I can't imagine your car history's
particularly brilliant.

Well, no. The first car I had was...
I passed at 18 and I got a Corsa
which I bought brand new.

And I've got to say,
it was a brilliant little motor,

and it's still going.
It's still going. So, this was
a ten-year-old Vauxhall Corsa?

Yeah, my sister's driving it about
and I broke the wing mirror,

so I just taped it with gaffer tape
and had it like that for four years.
My friends would call it "The Shed".

Was it much bigger on the inside
than on the outside? Sadly not.
What do you dream of owning?

Do you know what I'd like most of
all? I'd like an old 911. I know
it's a point of contention...

You may as well have an old one
cos the new one is exactly the same.

They're sexy cars.

Especially the old 911,
from what was it?

In the '90s. They're the same as
they are now! And it's not new.

Obviously, of course, you came here
to do your lap. Yeah.

How did it go?
I was getting frustrated.
I spun off a couple of times.

But I just thought,
"Right, hell for leather!"
But I think that was my problem.

A lot of the guests
that come here struggle
with the second-to-last corner.

And we've got some footage of you
attempting to get around there.
Oh, God... Anyone like to see?


Let's have a look at Matt coming up
to the second-to-last corner.


run a bit wide there.

Now that was attempt number one,

And then that's Gambon
with a new line.

There we are, not crossing the line.
Here we are again.

Oh, you, BLEEP!

See, that's quite angry.
Oh, dear, now...


I really admire...

I do admire a man who goes,
"No, I can do it!"

Who here
would like to see Matt's lap?


Play the tape. Oh, no...

Now, let's see if we can see any
evidence of this aggressive driving.

Right, concentrate. Calm.

♪ We're singing in the rain... ♪

That's not a bad idea, actually.
♪ Just singing in the rain... ♪

I was getting too annoyed, you see.

Couple of bites at turning in there.
Wide, wide, wide...

That's a tortured tyre,
but it is clinging on well.

I'm just sort of braking around it.

♪ And down to second gear... ♪

Ooh, running a bit wide there.

Listen to those tyres! They're
working for a living today.

This is the Hammerhead coming up.

It's like an angry shark.
Oh, yeah...

That's actually quite nicely done.

In, a lot of understeer
at the first part and... Argh!

OK on the way out.

And we're going to hit Gambon
like a BLEEP train.

'Come on!'

Like to see a man planning ahead -
we're only at the Follow-through,

still got that to do.
And the tyres... Long way.

Good cutting.

Yeah, yeah... Into second.
You're in very soon.

You can leave it in third
actually for Gambon.

And lots of understeer again,
but across the line!

Now, you are by no means the first
Doctor Who we've had down here.

You've had Chris and David.

Yeah, we've had Christopher
Eccleston and David Tennant.

We've even had Billie Piper.

Former assistant. Yeah, I've driven
with Billie. She's quick.

She did it in the Lacetti in one...
I haven't got my glasses on.

It was either a 1:46 or a 1:48.
Has anyone got any glasses?

She did it in 1:48.3.
Actually, she was the quickest.
1:48.3, what were the others?

Eccleston was 1:52.4, in the Liana,

and Dave was 1:48.8.

1:48.8... So where
do you think YOU'VE come?

Actually, you're in a new car.
Cos they did it in the Liana
or the Lacetti.

So where do think you've come?
I have no idea.

I know I'm nowhere near Fassbender.

Oh, I don't really want to be
below Louis Walsh.

Where is Louis Walsh? At 1:47.7,
that wasn't that rapid.

You did it... Hm...



So that's good.


Point 7. Get in!

Matt Smith, the fastest Doctor Who!

And you go right up there.
I'll take that.

I'll take that, absolutely!
That's a bloody good time.

Yeah! Get in!

That was a good time. Up there with
Ryan Reynolds, exactly the same.

And it's weird, because normally,

when a lap looks boring and slow
and steady, they're the quick ones.

Yours looked properly aggressive.

So, do you drive the TARDIS
like that? Is it the full,
"Give it some!"

Absolutely, that's the only way
to drive the TARDIS.

That's why it's always broken.
You're always having to hit it
with your screwdriver!

It's been a huge pleasure to have
you on, the fastest Doctor Who we've
ever had. I'm chuffed with that.

Ladies and gentlemen, Matt Smith!

When we heard the news that Saab
had closed down,

Jeremy and I were genuinely
very sad.

Although we weren't actually sure
why, so we went to investigate.

Saab began as an aeroplane maker.

But after WWII, it noticed
that demand for fighter planes
had dropped off dramatically.

So it decided
to start making cars as well.

The first effort
was created by two men...

one who designed wings
and one who designed bomb racks.

Neither had done a car before
and it kind of showed.

Their prototype had enclosed front
wheels which was very aerodynamic,

but as you drove along in winter,
snow would build up in the arches

and it was only when you got
to a corner when you noticed
the steering had jammed.

There were other issues too -
the rear window was tiny

and there was no boot lid.

Mass production
wasn't their bag either.

While Austin made a car every 27
seconds, it took Saab 27 minutes.

Oh, and all their cars
were painted green.

So, a green car
with no boot you could use,

and in bad weather, no steering.

But the biggest problem in those
early days was the engine.

As James shall now explain.

This is the 92.
It was Saab's first production car,

and it came with a thirsty
two-stroke engine

that produced just 25 horsepower.

The real problem is that the engine
was only lubricated when you had
your foot on the throttle.

In a two-stroke,
engine oil is mixed with the fuel,

so if there's no fuel going in,
there's no oil going in.

This wasn't an issue when you were
driving along on a level like this,

or going up a hill, because you
had your foot on the throttle and
you had the fuel and oil going in.

But once you were going downhill,
you had a problem as you had to
brake with your left foot, but...

Whoa! Keep the power on
with your right foot

so that the engine
still got some oil.

Whoa... This is very tricky.

And it feels stupid. I'm driving
and stopping at the same time.

Then you'll arrive at the bottom
of the hill with your brakes
completely boiled over

and your 65mph Saab would be
absolutely unable to stop.

It's hopeless.

'Saab's history is littered
with terrible mistakes like this.'

'There was the 900 convertible,

'which was as rigid
as a week-old salad.

'There was the Sonnet,

'which was supposed to have been
a sports car... but wasn't.'

'And then in then in 1992, they even
made a car with no steering wheel.'

In fact, the more you drive this...

the easier it becomes.

The temptation is to just
stare at the bonnet in wonderment

that you can actually have
any directional control at all.

So, lots of Swedish strangeness,
and an advertising campaign that
didn't make much sense either.

'Only one aircraft manufacturer
makes cars.


Yes, Saab loved to remind us

that their cars came from a company
that made jet fighters.

But it was nonsense.

This jet fighter, for example,
had an engine made by Volvo.

'Saab. It's a pity other cars
aren't built this way.'

The idea was that you were buying
"a jet fighter for the road",

but were you?

So, James,
you have a pilot's licence

and I believe you've been in
a Typhoon, a fighter aircraft. Yes.

Is there anything in here
that puts you in mind of that plane?

No. What, nothing?


Is the key down here on a Typhoon?


Do you have to lock the Typhoon in
reverse before you take the key out?

No, it doesn't have reverse,
as such. It has reverse thrust.

Yeah, but it doesn't have
a reverse gear. It doesn't
have a key, actually.

So, this is really not the same.

it does have a night panel button.

It shuts down all the dials
apart from the speedo.

Now, I can see this would be useful
if you were in

an F-14 over the Pacific

looking for the landing lights
on your aircraft carrier.

But on the A38 outside Derby,
why would you want that?

I used to worry it was all
just broken anyway. How do you know?

I went in an F-15 once,

it was very different because
nothing in here is covered in sick.

Even after Saab was taken over
by General Motors in the late '80s,

their marketing men kept at it.

Breathtaking acceleration.

Here, an F-22 Raptor, not built
by Saab, being used to advertise

what is basically
a Vauxhall Cavalier.

Saab, pure driving pleasure.

So, Saab, a chequered history,
bonkers advertising

and lots of harebrained ideas.

But for every idea
they had that didn't work,

they had another which did.

Often brilliantly.

And one of the most brilliant ideas
of them all was this.

The 99 Turbo.

Saab weren't the first
to turbocharge a car,

that was Chevrolet
and BMW and Porsche.

But they were the first to
put a turbocharger on
a mainstream car, which was this.

It was thanks to this car
that everything in the '80s

went turbo-crazy.

The word "turbo" came to mean
anything that was really good.
It did.

I had a turbo vacuum cleaner,
which was fair enough,

but my mate had turbo sunglasses!

It said it on the lens.

You also got turbo razors.
Turbo aftershave.

Did you? Well, I didn't
because I don't wear aftershave

because I'm not from Cheshire!

There was more, because
you could even buy your Turbo

'with water injection.'
I don't understand that.

I could explain it
but you're not interested.

No, I am. You're not!
I am interested.

Water injection in the inlet
cools the charger

and it's the job later done by...
I'm not interested!

All we need to know is that
with water injection this

turbo-charged pocket rocket could
get from 0 to 60 in eight seconds.

That's quick,
even by today's standards.

It accelerates faster than
a modern Mini Cooper. Yeah.

And a Renaultsport Twingo 133.
This is a fast car.

It is quick.

Now, there is some
Saab weirdness.

The steering wheel comes out of
the dashboard at an angle.

It's like that. And there's a button
here that says extra. Extra what?

It doesn't say. It just says extra.
Try it. Ready? Yes.

You haven't got any more
interesting or attractive!

Little details aside,
this is a fantastic car.

This is a truly fantastic car.
It's a legendary car.

I used to covet this massively.

It wasn't just the speed I liked,

Because when you look at the bumpers

sticking out like a spoiled child's
bottom lip,

you get a sense
the Scandinavian engineers

cared about the safety
of you and your family.

I had my first proper road accident
in one of these.

I was a passenger here on this side.

I was only 17 and it belonged
to my girlfriend's dad.

It was quite a rare car and it was
lovely, white with a blue stripe.

The interior
was this brick-red dusty colour.

And it was a really nice car.
We went around a roundabout

and a car coming up the road
didn't stop and T-boned us here.

I was perfectly OK. You would be
in a Saab. What was the girl called?


Kate? No...

You can remember the Saab had brick
red upholstery and had a blue stripe

and where you were sitting
but not the name of the girlfriend.

Was she called Derek?!

Because this car was fast and safe
and a bit left-field,

it brought the Saab brand
to the attention of

a very specific type of customer.

A customer who has remained loyal
ever since.

This person likes Audis.

This one likes Ferraris.

This one likes the bus.

This one has a Honda.

He has a Peugeot.

And then this chap
with the black polo neck

and the thin specs.

He is an architect,
and he likes Saabs.

♪ All the leaves are brown... ♪

Research has shown that Saab drivers
are the best educated people
on the roads.

The 99 gave Saab customers other
companies could only dream about.

This car, then, was Saab's
Dark Side Of The Moon.

Their first big hit,
the one we all remember.

None of the models that followed
the 99 Turbo appeared to have quite
the same appeal.

But they did.

'What we have here is a 1980s BMW

'hanging upside down
eight feet from the ground.

'And what we are going to do
is drop it.'

You wouldn't want to be in that
if it fell from a crane upside down.

If you were Richard Hammond,
you'd be all right.

Yeah, that's toast. The steering
wheel is touching the ceiling.

'So, let's see what happens

'when we drop a 1980s Saab 900
from the same height.'

God, I really wouldn't
have believed that.

I would not have believed that
in a million years. Look at that.

I think you could get out as well.
That is stunning.

Saab made the pillars so strong
that when they went rallying

they didn't have to fit a roll cage.
Is that true? Yeah.

They had to fit one because of
regulations but it wasn't necessary.

I was talking the other day

to a friend who is
a senior designer with
another Swedish car company

and he said nobody
could ever work out why Saab cost
so much until they crashed it.

Saab were always pathological
about safety.

Before putting a car on sale
they made sure it could survive
just about anything.

Even a head-on collision
with a moose.

This attention to detail
caused a few problems

when they conceived the 9000.

Because, to save costs,
it was designed in tandem

with the Lancia Thema.

The idea was that
behind the different badges

and underneath the bodies, the cars
would actually be the same.

And it seemed like they were -
up until the point
that they were crash-tested.

Lancia's engineers
described the results as perfect.

Saab's engineers described them
as - I'm quoting directly here -
"not good at all."

And from that moment on, the
joint venture completely fell apart.

The Saab ended up with much bigger
wheels than the Lancia.

It was also made out of
thicker steel

and had a completely
different rear axle.

Sticking to principles like that
is expensive.

Saab was losing money hand over fist
on every car it made.

Even advertising it as a jet fighter
for the road didn't help.

Saab 9000.

So, in 1989, Saab was bailed out
by General Motors.

To try and larch some fiscal sense
into them,

a team executives from GM
went over to Sweden and said,

"This is a Cavalier
from our Vauxhall division."

"To make your new car, you change
the body and the badges. That's it."

Nice and cheap. Body and badges.

Saab ignored them so completely
that their new 900

shared only a third of its
components with the Cavalier.

When the time came to replace
the 900 with the 93,

the General Motors executives
went to Sweden again and said,

"Here is the Vauxhall Vectra.
This time we mean it.

"Only change the body
and the badges. Nothing else."

Guess what?
The Swedes went even more mental.

They changed so much that even
the wheelbase was different.

At one point, a General Motors
accountant went to Sweden

to see why Saab was costing them
so much money.

He got into the new 93,
turned on the Sat Nav

and thought, "Wait a minute,
that's not one of our systems."

He was right, it wasn't.

Saab had developed,
at vast expense, their own system

because they thought GM's
wasn't good enough.

Eventually, General Motors
had had enough.

In 2010,
as Saab was finishing the job

of turning the Vauxhall Insignia
into the completely different 95,

the Detroit giants pulled the plug.

The brand itself will have
some residual value,

the company's facilities are likely
to be broken up and sold.

At the last minute,
a buyer was found,

a Dutchman who owned a small car
company called Spyker.

To get the money rolling in,

he needed to get the new 95 into the
showrooms as quickly as possible.

That meant it went on sale
before it was finished.

And that meant it was
a commercial flop.

And so in January of this year,
Saab closed down for good.

So, this is the last ever Saab
that we are in right now. Yeah.

This is the final chapter. I really
like the way they did things.

I am going to miss Saab.
It is a sad day. It is sad.

It is a sad day, too,
for the Swedish town of Trollhattan

where for 60 years the workforce has
tried to be different, to be better.

To think outside the box.

And, of course, it's very sad
for our architect friend who,

from now on,
will have to buy a five series.

Still, there's one crumb of comfort
because let's not forget

whose engines powered
the first-ever jet fighter.


Genuinely sad.

You ought to know that
the Messerschmitt 262

was supposed to use BMW engines
but it didn't work.

It had Junker's engines
when it went into action.

James, we haven't got time
for your precise history of aviation
since 1944!

What I'm interested in, those
architects who've got Saabs today,

if the company has gone,
will they be able to
keep their cars on the road?

Well, you might imagine

if you had a Saab you could take it
to a Vauxhall dealer

but because Saab changed so much,
you may as well take it to WHSmith.

They would be more likely to be
able to service it. The good news is

a new company has started up
specifically to

provide parts for Saabs.

If you are an architect, fingers
crossed, you should be OK for a bit.

That's the second week on the trot
we have ended with a useful piece
of consumer advice!

It's weird. And on that bombshell,
it is time to end.

Thank you so much for watching.
Good night!

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