Top Gear (2002–…): Season 20, Episode 4 - Episode #20.4 - full transcript

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May bring relief to flood-stricken areas of Britain by building a car that can turn into a hovercraft. Also in this show, Jeremy is on the track ...

Hello, everybody.
Hello and welcome.

Thank you, everybody, thank you
so much. Thank you, thank you.

Now, Mercedes, a little while ago
they started making AMG

performance versions of standard
cars, and then they started

making performance versions
of the performance versions.

These were called the Blacks,

and the latest car to get
the treatment is this one.

The SLS.

I have driven the SLS many times
and I have never once thought,

"You know what? They should give
this thing more power."

But that's exactly
what they've done.

The standard car produces
583 horsepowers.

This produces 622.

And in engineering circles,
622 horsepower is known as a lot.

It's about that much, and it's
got hairs growing out of it.

It's not just more powerful,
it's also 70 kilograms lighter,

thanks to a carbon-fibre bonnet
and a titanium exhaust system.

So now, 0 to 60 takes 3.6 seconds.

And the top speed is as near as
makes no difference 200mph.

To harness all this firepower,
the SLS Black is fitted with

a big rear wing
and an electronic differential.

The upshot is that you can go into
a corner fairly confident that

you won't come out on
the other side or backwards.

And that changes
the character of the SLS completely.

The standard car
is just a huge laugh.

It scampers about wagging its tail

every time you go near
the accelerator.

You just know it was built
to make a lap fun.

This, though,
this was built to make a lap fast.

And then when you start cornering,
it's so much more focused

and direct. This is a serious car.

I bet it doesn't know a single joke,
not one.

Of course, if you turn
the traction control off

and stamp on the throttle,
you can get it to misbehave.

But you sense immediately
that it doesn't want to do this.

It doesn't like that.

"I am a serious
racing car, English sir!

"Don't drive with
your clown shoes on!"

Happily, even though it is a serious
racing car, Mercedes hasn't felt

compelled to make the interior
as bleak as a Swedish police drama.

You still get sat-nav and air-con
and many buttons that do...things.

So, it's luxurious and fast
and very, very good,

but today, it is
rather overshadowed by this.

Partly, that's because this is
the first car ever to come

with its own high-visibility jacket,

and partly it's because it
produces 739 horsepowers.

Want to hear what that sounds like?

Well, turn up the volume on your TV
and listen to this.

Welcome, everyone, to the world's
first electric supercar.

I am astounded.

It is as quiet as a library
for church mice.

It's so quiet, in fact, they fitted
a device in the audio settings

that generates a bit of noise
to keep you awake.

Let's just turn that on.

It doesn't really work.
It's just a hum.

it isn't the end of the world,

because there is another
way of staying awake in this car.

You put it in sport-plus mode
and put your foot down.

Holy moly! That is 100mph.




This is mind-boggling! And listen.

To find out just how fast it is,
I lined it up for a drag race

against its petrol-powered twin.

I have 117 more horsepowers
than he does,

but I still can't believe I'll win,
because under here,

there are 864 batteries,

so this is half a tonne heavier.

And it's electric,
like a food blender, or torch.

And how can a glorified torch
possibly beat a 6.2 litre V8?

Three, two, one.

It's not a torch!

It is a rampant rabbit!

What in the name of God
is powering this thing?

Well, this is what
an electric SLS looks like

if you take its high-visibility
jacket off. And this is the key.

That is the electric motor.
It's the size of a melon.

It has one moving part
and it produces all of its torques,

and there are many,
the instant you touch the throttle.

Now, all electric cars,
the G-Wiz, the Nissan Leaf, the lot,

have one of these,
but the SLS has four.

There's one for each wheel,
so it's four-wheel-drive,

and it has Formula One-style
pushrod suspension

and a low centre of gravity,

because all the batteries are
mounted in the spine of the chassis.

So theoretically,

this should have the handling
to match the immense grunt.

In comfort mode,
it feels like any other car, really,

but when you put it in sport mode,

all sorts of electronic witchcraft
starts to happen.

In a corner, the motor's powering
the inside wheels,

and I can feel this happening.

They use the sort of brakes
to keep the line tight.

I can feel the car being pulled in.

Then you have a system that
pumps juice into the batteries

every time you slow down, so it
feels like you have engine braking.

Even though you don't.

And then there's a computer that
decides which wheel should

have what amount of power at any
given moment. And the upshot is...

..this doesn't feel like anything
I've ever driven before.

It feels twitchy and nervous.
It feels like a thoroughbred.

It feels brilliant.

So, let's sum up, then.

Instant torque, savage power,
mesmerising speed.

Mercedes quality, no noise
and a petrol bill of exactly nought.

It sounds, then, like the stuff
of dreams, but there are drawbacks.

Range, for example.

If you wanted to drive this car
from London to Manchester,

you'd have to stop in Stoke-on-Trent
and spend 20 hours charging it up.

Mercedes themselves say that at
full chat it wouldn't be able to

do two laps of the Nurburgring.
And they may have a point.

I've only been out here for
seven minutes on this run,

and I've used 44% of the juice.

And there's more.

The electric SLS is £360,000,
and for that,

you could have an SLS Black
and 20,000 gallons of petrol,

which is enough to take it
from here to the moon.

As a result, you'd have to be soft
in the head to buy the yellow car

rather than the V8.

But when there's no choice,
when the oil has run out,

this car does at least show us that
the speed machines will live on.

Very good. But hang on. What?

Are you saying that you drove
an electric car

all the way around our track
and it didn't break down?

Of course not. End of the day,
big red light on the dash,

and that was the end.
But it's working now?

It's working now.
That's interesting,

because I think I'm right in saying
this is the first time we've

ever had the petrol and the electric
version of the same car together.

And I'm genuinely interested to see
which is fastest round our track.

So am I.

And to find out, we must, of course,

hand them over to our
tame racing driver.

Some say that he also has
a button that makes him hum...

..and that if he played football for
Manchester United, he'd be loyal,

because he's not
a potato-headed oaf.

What he is, is the Stig!

And they're off! The electric car
gets off the line faster,

but the V8 has the higher top speed,
so coming up now to the first

corner, the electric car using
computers to control its power,

the Black relying on the Stig's
right paw.

OK, Chicago, often Black Mercs have
too much torque, which makes them

a bit of a handful, but this one
has less than the standard car.

Let's have a look how it deals
with Hammerhead, very good.

And it still sounds good.

Better than the electric car,
that's for sure.

Stig not listening to music
in there,

because he's trying to save juice.

Follow-through now,
a chance to open them up,

and that's properly fast
past the tyres.

Two corners left.

Hard on the brakes, the petrol
getting a bit frisky there,

just Gambon left, piling in hard,
black smoke on its tyres,

and across the line!

And so...

..the electric car, 1.21.7,

which puts it... That's amazing,

look at that, the same speed as
a V10 R8, which is pretty quick.

The dinosaur. 1.19.0. There it is!

I wasn't panicking! I wasn't!

It's a relief.
Right, we must move on,

because it is now time
to do the news.

Yes, and we begin
with the Government's attitude
to speed limits.

You did that last week.

I did it last week and the week
before and the week before that,

and every single week,
the producers have edited it out.

Yeah, they have.
But this week I have a cunning plan
to make sure it stays in.

Do you? Yes, I do, bear with me.

You know earlier on this year
the Government said they

were thinking of upping the motorway
speed limit to 80mph, yes?

Well, the new Transport Minister,
Patrick McLoughlin,

recently announced
that's not going to happen.

Which is a blessed relief.
What?! Why?

Because, if you think about it, if
he'd upped the speed limit to 80,

to keep the Daily Mail happy
and all the road safety charities,

he would have had to say, "Right,
we're having more police patrols,

"more speed cameras, more drones
with more Hellfire missiles,"

to make sure people stick to 80,

which is 15mph slower than we all
drive now.

You're absolutely right. People
on the motorway drive at 95mph.

And yet, I think
I'm right in saying,

British motorways are the safest
roads in Europe, statistically.

They are indeed. I did an experiment
to prove my 95mph point this morning

and I drove down the motorway here
at exactly 70.

Don't you always drive down
the motorway at exactly 70?

Yes, I do. Yes, I do!

No, I don't. No. I usually drive
slower than that.

Do you? But for my experiment,
I sped up to 70.

OK? I drove for 15 miles at 70.

Guess how many cars overtook me?
I'm guessing quite a few. 103.

That was all of them. Exactly.

So thank you very much,
Mr McLoughlin, for maintaining

the 70mph speed limit, because that
means we can all carry on doing 95.

And that's the end of the news.
What?! Is it?

Can't edit that out, can they?
Oh, I see what you did!

That's the only thing in it!
It's got to go in.

It's good. Well done.

And now we must move on to
something else they can't edit out,

because, as I'm sure
we're all aware,

Britain has started flooding
quite often these days.

A couple of reasons for this.

One, a lot of people these days
are buying Toyota Priuses,

which is cooling the world down
and that's causing more rain.

And a lot of houses
are being built on flood plains,

so there's nowhere
for the water to go.

Yes, and because of this, we are

forever seeing pictures of towns
that have been flooded.

Tewksbury, Haywards Heath,
Doncaster, they've all been hit,

and whenever we look
at these pictures,

you can always see
lots of marooned cars.

And this got us thinking.

Is there some simple way that
cars can be kept mobile

even when the street
is under three feet of water?

Now, obviously, you can't simply fit
an outboard motor to the back,

like we did with our cross-channel
Nissan pick-up truck,

because the propeller would snag
submerged obstacles around towns,

and you can't really use oars,
because that would be exhausting.

It all looked hopeless,
but then I had an idea.

I think this is the ideal transport
for a flooded town

such as Doncaster or Tewkesbury,
because a hovercraft simply

glides over road signs, railings,
cows, just about everything, really.

Gentlemen, I give you...the future.

Is it?! Are you suggesting that

if you live in a town
that might flood... Yeah. go everywhere on a hovercraft
in preparation for that day

when it does flood, if it does? No.

OK, you have a hovercraft for when
it floods, but I'm saying

we put wheels on the bottom of this
and then it's a normal car!

No, it isn't! It's a hovercraft
with wheels on the bottom.

Or, this is my other plan,

we get a car and turn it
into a hovercraft, like this.

Oh, for God's sake.
No, he's onto something.

If you think about it, a car
already has an engine and wheels

and space for the passengers
and space for the luggage,

so all you need to do is add to that
another engine to provide the lift.

And another engine to provide
the thrust. There you go.

And some skirts around the bottom.

It's going to have to be quite big,
this car.

There are big cars -
Mercedes S-Class.

Rolls-Royce Phantom, that's massive.

Maserati Quattroporti, you can
pick those up for next to nothing.

You can put three engines in that,
and skirts and everything.

'While Hammond went off
to find a suitable car,

'I spent some time becoming
even more expert at driving
a hovercraft.'

Oh, I wasn't expecting that.

'And James headed off to Top Gear's
secret amphibious engineering centre

'in the Yorkshire town
of Penistone,

'just off St Mary's Street
behind Tesco's.'

While Jeremy hangs around in
the children's playground out there,

I'll go through a few hovercraft
absolute basics for you.

If you imagine looking at it
from the front, you have -

this is very basic - a platform,

wherever you sit
and all the rest of it.

There's a huge fan inside,

which blows air downwards
to form a cushion underneath.

Now, the clever thing is,
this is contained by a flexible

skirt around the edge,

and for this reason it's sort
of self-regulating, because

a certain amount of this cushion
of air escapes out of the sides...

..floating about pointlessly,
so propulsion,

you have generally another...

'Sadly, before James had a chance
to finish his interesting lecture,

'Hammond arrived with his car.'

It's not really a car, is it?

No, it's a Ford transit van,
and it's perfect. Is it?
Let me talk you through it.

What we've got here at the front is
an engine to power the front wheels

and drive it along.
Behind that, seats, room for us.

Behind that, room for our luggage.

Here, room for an engine
to provide lift,

and at the back, room for another
engine to provide thrust.

What?! It's practically a hovercraft
already, I can see it.

It's what we need.

'With the van parked in
the workshop...'

And stop!

'..Richard set to work mounting
the two motorcycle engines

'that would provide lift and thrust.

'I, meanwhile, was making
good progress with the skirts,

'until the expert hover pilot

Sorry! Thank you!

'..and immediately started
to complain

'that we wouldn't have
enough power.'

That is not big enough.
It is. It isn't, it's titchy.

It's a 90 horsepower engine,
and this is doing just the lift.

I've got another 90 horsepower engine
to do the thrust. That's a lot.

Is it? How much power has this got?

And that's got to do both the lift
and the thrust.

I've got two engines, remember.

Look, fire it up, I'll show you
what that can do.

Hold on.

See? So we've got...

We've got many times that.

We've got 35 doing both.
You've got 180.

Yeah, exactly right. The equivalent
of 180 to your 35. That is plenty.

'With the power issues settled,
we went to work.

'Then, out on the proving ground,
I uncovered a problem.'

What are you doing?

Well, it turns out there are some
surfaces where it doesn't work.

I mean, it's all right on the wood
and it's all right on the water.

Think of scale. This is small, these
rocks by comparison are enormous.

If you scale that up...

But if you think about it,

our hovercraft is going to need
to go over, you know, churches...

Not a whole church!

'But despite my concerns,
the work continued.'

My plan is to drive the van normally
from the normal seat over there

and then you switch to
this seat for hover mode.

'Soon the engines were fitted,

'unnecessarily heavy items had been
removed, and our van was ready.'

Gentlemen, Christopher Cockerell,
Barnes Wallis...

Fred Whittle.

You mean Frank. Whatever.

They will all now be shivering
in the cold dark shadow

of our magnificence.
It's utterly, utterly brilliant.

Let me talk you through this thing,
because along the side you'll see

here are the skirts ready
to be deployed when we switch
to hover mode,

then at the back, if we look in here,
you can see mounted amidships,

that's the second engine -
that's powering the lift.

Here at the back, the third engine -
that's powering the thrust.

The fans, the rudder -
it's actually quite beautiful.

'But would it work?

'Well, to find out, we took it
onto the streets of Penistone.'

What I think is critical
is that for 364 days a year,

this has to just be a car,
does it not? Yeah. Yes.

Just something you would use
for shopping,

taking the children to school,
and it's absolutely perfect at that.

I mean,
we're driving around Penistone...

And there's nothing to tell me
there's anything unusual about this.

What they don't realise is that

when the River Penis
bursts its banks, we're ready

in a way that no-one else is. Yeah.

Hey, what about a name?
We haven't thought of a name. Bob.

Transit Fan. Transit Fan! Yeah.
I like that.

Or we could just call it
the hovervan.

Hovervan sort of says what it does.

It does what it says on the tin,
doesn't it?

Yeah, hovervan!

'Having established that it worked
well on the road,

'we found a nearby reservoir where
we could test it on the water.'

This is ideal. This will do.

'After just 90 minutes,
the skirts were deployed,

'the engine waterproofing system
was in place,

'and the three of us had ticked all
the BBC's health and safety boxes.

It's quite exciting. It is. Now,
I'm switching to the hover seat.

I can't walk.

'As a massive crowd gathered,
we began.'

Richard Hammond... Yes!
Engage hover mode. This is it!

Right, this is the lift engine
going on first. Yes.

Yes! We are rising! We are hovering.

Engage thrust mode! Here we go!

Thrust engine is running. Yes!


We're moving. We are moving!

It works!

We're going in.

And now the transition
from land to water!

More lift, Hammond, more lift!
I'm giving it all it's got!

Hammond, more! More!

Hammond, more lift!

Hang on!

Why did that happen!
We've got to save it, save it!

OK, we've got a bit of flooding
back here.

When I say a bit, I mean,
quite a lot. Was that full power?

You didn't give it enough lift!
You idiot!

You went in too quickly.
It swamped.

Right, and with that,
back to the drawing board.

Well, that was
a complete catastrophe

and it was all Hammond's fault.
How was it my fault?

Because, as predicted, those engines
weren't powerful enough.

No, the problem was,
and I never thought I'd say this,

James's skirt was too small.

No, no, I'm not having that, there
was nothing wrong with my skirt.

The problem was that he just charged
into the water, as usual,

like an imbecile.

Well, whatever,
it was a total failure,

but Barnes Wallis didn't give up
in the face of adversity,

and neither did we,
as you shall see later on.

Now, though, it is time to put
a star in our reasonably priced car.

Now, my guest tonight is enormously
famous these days

because of his massive sideburns

and because you wouldn't want
to shake hands with him.

Don't worry,
it's not John McCririck.

It is, in fact, Wolverine.

Ladies and gentlemen,
please welcome Hugh Jackman!

How are you?

Have a seat. Thank you.

Hands are fine.

That's a lot of smiling faces today.
Smiley, sweaty faces.

I love it. I feel like I'm
in Australia. Thank you for this.

Actually, on that note, we like
to feel our guests feel at home,

so are you enjoying the Ashes? Yeah!

Or would you prefer to talk
about the Lions tour? Yeah.

Or the Olympics, or Andy Murray.
What's going on in this country?!

Since I came here, it's 31,
you're winning every sport,

I'm like, what, this is wrong!
We just had a few years off.

But you know the good thing about
this being such a hot summer,

I've been coming here for many
years, my parents are English,

and since I was 12,
when I first came here,

everyone talks
about the summer of '76.

I'm like, what kind of country
do you live in when everybody
reminisces about the summer of '76?

And finally, that's over.

Trust me, did you miss the first
half of this?

That was BLEEP.

We're going to get onto Wolverine
in a minute, obviously,

the new movie,
but when you were growing up,

from what I can understand, you
actually wanted to be in musicals.

Your recent appearance
in Les Miserables was more where you

wanted to go.
Am I right in saying that?

Yeah. It's weird, I always did...

The musical side of things was
actually more of a surprise for me.

I did a couple of eminent musicals
and I was really bad.

I remember actually doing
West Side Story

for the Eastern Suburbs
Musical Society.

I couldn't sing
any of the top three notes.

I was playing Tony and...

♪ Maria, Maria... ♪
And then it goes really high.

Every night, I can't believe
I did this on stage,

♪ Maria, Maria, Ma... ♪

Looking into the wings...

♪ Maria! ♪

A really clever way.

All my mates came, "That sound
department sucked, man.

"You were awesome, and right at
the key moment, just cut out!"

Obviously, you made a name
for yourself before Wolverine
came along,

but what was it that caused you to
say, "Yeah, I want to move into..."

effectively, the kind of comic book
franchise of X-Men?

It's interesting.

When I got the part of Wolverine,
first of all,

I would have taken it
no matter what it was,

I had no other job at the time,
but I didn't realise how good

a part it was, and in fact,
my wife said, "You can't do this.
This is ridiculous."

I was auditioning, she read
the scene with me and said,

"Wolverine senses danger and claws
come out of his hands. Snikt!"

She said, "This is ridiculous.
You're at the Royal National Theatre
in London,

"and now you're
going to have claws."

She chucked it down and says,
"You're on your own!"

The only time she's ever
been wrong in 18 years.

And she doesn't watch this show,
so I'm all good in saying that.

So, Wolverine, new movie out. Yeah.
Tell us about it.

So the movie takes place, for X-Men
fans, it's straight after X-Men 3,

Wolverine is literally at the bottom
of his life.

He's almost made a vow
not to be Wolverine,

cos everywhere he goes,
the people he loves die,

it's filled with pain and regret,

so everything that makes him great
also brings his sadness and loss.

That's where you find him.
He then gets brought to Japan.

This is based on one of the great
comic books ever written,

this Japanese saga,
or the samurai story.

And in he goes, and of course, he
has to look inside himself to find

the inner person
and choose what he wants to be.

Needless to say, we have a clip,

we'd like to show that now
if we may. Fantastic.

My employer wants to thank you
for saving his life.

I wanted to repay you, Logan.

I can end your eternity.

Make you mortal.

I'm not healing like before.

Is that all the men you brought?

Your grandfather called me a ronin -

a samurai without a master...

..who has no reason to live.

Was he right?

There it is.

Saw it the other night.

Thank you.

One of the things I noticed
in the new film is

the hair is a lot less extravagant
than it has been in the past.

Yeah, environmental groups
really had a go at us

for the amount of hairspray
we were using.

That must have been the ozone layer
right there, gone, really.

Completely. So we've quit that,
we've moved on.

So, you were filming
a lot of that in Japan.

Yeah. Isn't that a great country?

I love Japan.
I've been there maybe 11 times.

I love the customs, their attention
to detail, the food...

The cab drivers wear gloves.

Everything is polite
and everything's...

But I did make a few faux pas.
In Japan? Yeah.

The worst one was the onsens.

Did you go to the onsens,
the bathhouses that they have?

I know exactly what you mean.
No, my penis is too small.

Right. You know what I mean?


There we go!

So anyway, for those who haven't
been, they're natural springs,

and they're hot
and they're incredible,

and it's part of the culture.

It's a whole rigmarole, you have
to put everything in the locker,

you have to put on a robe,
you put on slippers,

and then when you go in, nothing.

They give you a little towel,
almost like a flannel sort of thing,

and that's it, you walk in, hot.

Hot as hell, everyone's walking
around, walking around naked,

you're there for about an hour.

And they have one little cold pool
to cool yourself down,

cos everything's super hot.

So, I'm dipping it in the coal pool
and I'm putting it on my head,

to cool myself down.

And I'm sitting like this

and I'm getting the weirdest looks
from all the guys, and I thought,

"This is really weird, I don't know
what's going on."

And then finally, one guy,

he was sitting in the tub like this
and he goes...

I was like, "No, mate,
not my thing."

I went, "Oh, really...? Oh, right!
The flannel was for that, right!"

I'd just been waltzing around,
"Woo, hey!

"How you doing? How you doing?!"

I was avoiding getting on to cars,
cos I'd looked into your history

and it's not... Not as a child,

cos you seem to have spent most of
your childhood

being driven around Australia
in the back of a Volvo.

I remember my dad getting a Volvo,

literally because he's an accountant
and he'd heard it's the safest car.

They had those little seats in the
back that would fold up backwards,

and I basically spent my entire
childhood giving the finger

to cars behind me
and almost throwing up,

because it was the week-old cooler
filled with the food,

because my dad was really tight,
so he would pack food for a week

and we'd have it in the back of
the car in temperatures like this,

and I'd have my feet on it,

so I'm smelling like bad liverwurst
and things like that.

Have your kids ever gone through
the car-sickness phase?

My daughter gets it
a little bit, yeah.

I just think, you know when a car
manufacturer quotes the ability

of a car to stop from
100 miles an hour,

100 kilometres an hour,
down to zero?

You can always beat it when a child
goes, "I'm feeling a bit sick."

Because when a child is sick in a
car, the car has to be written off.

Yes, replaced immediately!

There is no chance! Absolutely!

So, obviously, you came here today,

temperatures very similar
to Australia. Right.

I mean, properly hot. There is
a bit of a problem, I think,

with our new reasonably priced car,

because it is much faster with
the air conditioning off. Yeah.

Apparently, you did turn it off.

Because I was hoping for any edge.

My driving ability is so bad. Is it?

My assistant is here,
who I've known for 20 years.

He's a mad fan of this show. He's
pissed off with me that I'm here.

He says, "You don't deserve it.

"I've put in the effort,
I've watched every episode,

"I love this show, and look at you,
you do a couple of movies,

"you pretend to be someone else and
you're driving the car with Stig!"

Anyway, you went out there,
air conditioning off... Yeah.

..for your hot lap. Yeah.
Anyone want to see it?


Let's play the tape.

Yeah, I feel the need for speed!

6,000, here we go.

This is looking, actually,
like you're on it,

like you really care about
whether you're going to...

Ooh, I say,
that's good grip through there.

Aggressive turning. I literally look
very low in the car.

It's a low seat. Yes! I didn't think
I was going to feel competitive.

My God, am I feeling competitive!

Brake a little earlier,
remember what Stig said.

I can see, the way you're driving,

that this is a man who
wants that thing to...

Oh-ho-ho! Yeah!

Come on, Jackman!

6,000, that's good.

All right, this is my Achilles heel,
this corner.

Yeah, it's everybody's
Achilles heel.

They mostly go off at
the second to last corner.

Hugh, this is not bad at all.

Isn't it? No.

I'm actually deeply impressed.

You're using more of the track
than Benedict did last week.

OK. Don't be a pussy.

Stay on it. Just stay.

Oh, can't believe
I'm staying on there.

Full accelerator. Yeah, Stig!
You'd be proud of me!

It does take guts to do that.

Keep your foot hard in it.
And close to the tyres?

Whoa, yes! Close to those tyres!

Smell the rubber!

Right, now, let's see if
you clip this nicely...

Yes, that is very good.

Oh! Nearly off there,
but held it nicely.

Gambon, that's nicely done,
as well.

Across the line!



I have your time here. Oh, OK.

Where do you think you came?

I'm thinking...

Oh, Charles Dance.

Either just above
or just below Charles.

Just above or just below.
But you're in the 1.48s, you think?

Yeah. Okey-doke.

well, you did it in 1...




..1. So, you're now
our third fastest! Wow!


Where's Irving?

Singing, dancing...


Looking for your mate?

Where's Irving? Irving?
Where are you, Irving?

Irving, come out.
He's going to hate this.

He said, "You were crap."

He said, "You're pathetic.
You've embarrassed me."

Irving, where are you?
Come on, mate.

Third. I'm impressed. Yeah!

I'm impressed. Thank you!

We are all impressed.
That's on tape!

It's on tape!

Ladies and gentlemen, Hugh Jackman!

Thank you.

Now, earlier on,
we built a hovervan,

which sank.

Yeah, it worked
perfectly well as a van,

it just didn't really
work as a hovercraft.

But no matter, because
we've had another go,

ladies and gentlemen,
and here it is!

Now, in the back

I have replaced the two 90 horsepower
engines with these.

For the lift, we have the engine
from a Yamaha R1 Superbike.

And for the thrust, a compact,

lightweight 2.4 litre V8
from a Radical track car.

All of which means,
in the back of this van,

there is now 600 horsepower.


Oh, yes. I, meanwhile,
have been fitting

these new, bigger, tougher skirts,

which you just lower
in a jiffy, like so.

And I've also added,
on top of those,

these inflatable rubber tubes,
which make it a bit less sinky.

We're so confident that the
mark II hovervan will work

that we shall be testing
it in our home clothes,

but not on a reservoir.

Instead, we shall be
testing it here

on the mighty Avon.

With overhanging branches,
submerged shopping trolleys

and many obstacles,

the Avon more realistically
represents a flooded street.

If our van works here, it will work

in your town when the torrent comes.

Right, listen. I'm going to drive.

Hammond, you're in charge
of the engine room. Right.

And James, you're the navigator.

'Brimming with confidence,
we initiated the launch procedure.'

Fire up the lift engine!

Aye aye, Clarkson.

Fire up the thrust engine.

I love all the things
we have to say.

I know. Here it comes.
I'll give it a bit of a juice.

You have it. You have thrust.

And we're moving! We are going!
We're going right!

We're going sideways! Go to port!

Here we go! 600 horsepower.

Unleash it! Here we go. Oh, my God!

I'm engaging thrust. It works!

It only flipping works!

We're float... Oh, BLEEP!

I'm drowning! There is quite
a lot of water coming in.

I'm turning it! Windscreen wipers!

Turn it more, we're going
to hit the bank!

Hard to starboard!
Jeremy, turn right!

I don't... You can't do that!

Of course it can! We've crashed!

We're a bit stuck.

This is the sort of practice
you should have been doing

while we were busy fitting engines
and building this thing.

'In my defence, hovercrafts
have no brakes, no reverse,

'extremely haphazard steering and,

'if you cut the lift engine,

'it can't be restarted on water.'

You're heading for
the other bank now?

I'm coming back on the power.

Here comes the bank! No brakes!

Aaaargh! Crash!

Boy, steer that way!

This river's too narrow.

Well, it's river-shaped.

They tend to be long and thin.

Here we go! I'm going to give
it full speed to return.

Too much! Too much!
Oh, things are working. Steer it!

James, I am one of the world's
best hovercraft drivers.

Oh, I can see that. Is that
why we're in a nettle bush?

Oh, yes.

Ah-ha! What do you think of that?

There's a man fishing.

I'm sorry. Sorry. It's all... Sorry.

Tree! Tree! Tree! Tree! Tree! Tree!

Oh, huge tree!

No brakes!

Relax! What are you worried about?

We're in the tree!
The tree's coming in the...

How can that be in the van?

Ow! Crash!

Oh, no, we broke the window!

We've actually broken
the windscreen!

Yes, you have. You've made
a complete horse's arse of that.

We can edit this out.
Nobody needs know this has happened.

Is there a boathook, James? Yes.

Push us off. I'll come over.

You keep an eye on that.

Don't let it go over eight. Eight?

Mind your elbow!

Your elbow nearly killed the lift.


That's more like it. That's it.

There you go. Go, go, go, go!

Wipers, James! Wipers!

They're broken.

Richard? Yes?

I think I've got the hang
of it now. Brilliant.

Let's go and refuel. Go and what?

We've got to stop for fuel.
We're running out.

We've only been going ten minutes!

Well, yeah, I know.
But we've used it all...

There's 600 horsepower back there!
It needs a lot of fuel.

How big's the tank? Two gallons.

Two? Yeah!

'On that bombshell,
we headed back to the bank.'

Hammond, get ready to kill
those engines and James,

get ready to start up the other one.

Hammond, kill the engines now!

Kill! Killed.

Road engine's not starting. What?

Why is the starter not working?

Because it's wet.
Why didn't you waterproof it?!

I didn't anticipate...
Why are we still shouting?!

'Fortunately, getting it out
of the water was no bother at all.'

'But, as we were refuelling,
we received an unpleasant surprise.'

Hammond? What?

It's the gold envelope. What?

I wasn't expect...

"You will drive your hover van
from here in Stratford-upon-Avon

"to Tewkesbury, one of the most
frequently flooded towns in the UK.

"Once there, you will show off your
invention to the local residents."

How far is that?

Got to be 50 miles. 50?
How far have we just done?

50 yards?
It's a lot of refuelling.


'Having saddled up...'

I feel like Daisy Duke.

'..we set off for Tewkesbury.'

Engaging power.

A full left turn.

Oh, are we good or what?

Excellent work.

Continue as you are,
Captain Clarkson.

Feels good every time!
I love this!

This is a great machine.

Brilliant machine.
I mean, it really is.

'With everything going well,
we settled down for what

'we hoped would be
an uneventful maiden voyage.'

'But, as we arrived
in the tranquil suburbs

'of historical Stratford-upon-Avon,

'we became conscious that there
was an issue with noise.'

'And then, there was the spray.'

Then to the left.

Sorry, everybody! I do apologise!

I'm so sorry! Sorry!

How far have we come so far?

300 yards. Excellent. How long
has it taken? About 20 minutes.

'Eventually, we arrived
in the centre of Stratford,

'and encountered
our first obstacle.'

Now, the bridge...

You need to know that the bridge
is from 1480. Yep.

Grade I listed, so don't break it.
Here we go.

Wipers! It's actually working. No,
it's not. You are going to hit it.

We've crashed. The priceless bridge.
You're almost there.

I'm bloody drenched, you idiot.

'Having made a bit of a mess
of that bridge,

'I came up with a cunning plan
for the next one.'

I'm aiming for the "no entry"
on the basis that the hovercraft...

That's the last place you'll go.
If you aim for something,
you'll not go there.

my plan didn't work.'

It's gone where I aimed it.
Yes, but is it going to clear it?

Oh, my God.
It's getting a bit scrapey...

That's amazing. We did a thing!
We did a thing!

Oh, God, rowers.

Concentrate. Left, left, left.

James, there's a man in a boat.
There's a man in a boat.

You've got to miss him. That's
the RSC! There's a man in a boat.

Miss him. Left, left.

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God. Where is he?

He's here. He's here. I'm really
sorry. Sorry. Sorry, mate.

We're probably not that welcome here.

'We therefore decided it would
be best to get out of town.

'But, in our haste,
we became tangled in the wash
from the camera boat.'

This is not good.
We've lost all steering.
We are in deep BLEEP here.

Brace, brace, brace.

Brace, brace, brace. Hold tight.
Hold tight. Kill, kill, kill.

What happened?

The thing with hovercrafting
is it's brilliant, brilliant,
brilliant, disaster. Yeah.

'Having apologised to the owners
of the boats we'd hit,

'and the man who'd fallen in...'

James May, consult the map.
Which way?

To the left. '..we refuelled
and were soon on the move again.

'And in the next village,
we decided to stop for some lunch.'

I see a rather nice
little restaurant here.

Yes, check this out.

Private mooring for use by
restaurant customers only.

Well, we're restaurant customers,
so we can. We're coming for lunch!

'At this point, we discovered that
Jeremy hadn't learned how to park.'

There we go.

Oh, God, hang on.

I've missed again.

I think you've overdone it.
Where are you going to park?

Why can't you just park it,
for God's sake? Sorry, sorry.

Sorry, everybody. Sorry.
I'm not hungry.

Why don't we just make a sign
that says "sorry"?

'We decided to abandon lunch
at this point

'and instead...

'see how fast a hovervan
could run away.'

OK, Hammond, give me read out
on the thrust. 7,500. 8,000.

We are seriously moving now,

James, how fast are we going?

I can work it out
with this piece of knotted rope

like they did on HMS victory.
Go for it.

This is looking good now.
We are in the cruise.

Right, hang on, hang on. 20 in...

We're doing 120 knots in an hour
which is 138 miles an hour.

138. We are shifting now.

'And the great thing is, of course,
hovervans cause no wash

'so don't damage the wildlife
or the banks.'

We're like a breeze.
Just a little gust.

Oh, no, we're stopping. What's
happened? You've dropped the...

We're sinking. We've gone down.

That was, something went wrong.

I think the skirt collapsed
at the front.

'This meant we had to initiate
our emergency crash procedure.'

Do you know what I think
this calls for, gentlemen?
A hit of oxygen. Oh, yes.

A good idea.
Let's cheer ourselves up.

Hey! Ah!

Hang on a minute.
Why is yours so small?

Why have they given you that one?

They've given you
a sparkler canister from
a Watney's Party Seven.

One more push,
and it will be out.

Chaps, you do realise
what we've just done?

We've exhausted the air supply.

We've used all the oxygen for fun,
while sitting in a sinking van.

This is Hovervan One
calling Avon rescue.

Avon calling, Avon calling, help.

'Happily, because we'd only covered
four of our 50 miles,

'the crane didn't have far to come.

'And after we'd fixed the skirt

'and refuelled again,
we were back on the road.'

Happy? Yep. All is going well
in the engine room. And relax.

'Sadly, though,
the relaxing didn't last long.'

Oh, God, there's a lock.
We've got to go through the lock.

Can you go through locks in a...
Do they let hovercrafts in?

'To make matters worse,
there was no lock keeper.'

Do you two feel up to a lock?
I've never done one.

Never done one in my life.

You've got to get the water level,
but don't shilly-shally

because I'm going to be
all by myself out here.

'With Richard and James ashore...'
Go, go. Get off!

'..I was a multitasking machine.'

Oh, this is tricky.

I'm having to drive
and do all the engine stuff.

I am Mister Sulu, Scotty and Spock
all rolled into one here.

Hang on, the water in the lock
has got to be the same level
as the boat.

So we... So we have to go down
that end. No, no, no. Yes.

No, really. I've got a two-gallon
fuel tank. Take your time!

It's quite loud when
you're not on it, isn't it?

People probably will have
to get used to the idea

when people have hovervans that
canals are a little less tranquil

than they have been historically.
It's a natural progression, really.

You have the pony when canals first
began... Superhuman effort. Yes!

..then internal combustion came
and boats got diesel engines.

Now, this is the future.

Here we go. Going in.

Yes, bit of power.

Power solves all things,
as we know.


Right, if you wind, I'll push.
Ooohh! Look at this!

Locking down. Are we locking
down, or... I don't know.

We're locking down. Keep forward...
What the hell is that?

The boat will go wherever it goes.
Close all the paddles. Yes.
What's a paddle?

What are they doing? Honestly, my
dog would know how to work a lock.

Look at them!

Sorry. Going to have to do
the winding. It's down. What?

It's down. Hammond, what are you
doing? What are YOU doing?

Who's driving? Oh, BLEEP!

I thought it would stay there.
Of course it won't!

The hovercraft has run amok
in a lock.

Get back on board!
Get in the hovercraft.

'To try and capture
our errant hover van,

'Hammond and I formed
a pincer movement.

'But sadly, as I climbed on board,
the pincer movement
went a bit wrong.'

Oh, no!

Oh, no!

I can't breathe!

I can't breathe! I can't breathe!
Have you fallen in? No.

I'm the wettest a human being
has ever been!

Sitrep. We've...

Ruined it. Well,
we've knocked a man out of his boat.

Now we've jammed up the whole River
Avon. Now, here's what we must do.

We must get it out of the lock
and then we will get a tow

and then we can edit
all of this out.

'Having done all of that,
we were back on the move...'

James, which way is it here?
Keep right.

'..and reflecting
on the many positives that had
come out of our journey so far.'

We have had some calamities...
A couple.

But they're not bad ones.
Not really. Weren't for us.

Apart from the broken windscreen,

the hover van is working
just as well as it ever has.

Yes, it's expensive.

I don't think we'd be able to sell
this for much less than

a quarter of a million pounds.
Realistically, no.

But... It's money well spent.

..when you're up to here in
the sitting room and you
could have made your escape,

you could have done
and you chose not to buy
one of these vans,

that is, I think, the essence of it.

Hang on a minute. What?
Hang on. What?

Which way did you go back there?
You said right. I said left.

No, you didn't, James.
You said right. Whoa... What's that?

Is that a weir?

Turn it round. Turning, turning.
Go the other way.

Yamaha, give me every single rev
that Yamaha engine has got.

Give it more. There is no more.
It's on the limit. There is no more.

That's all there is.
We're being sucked.

I'm going to turn it round.
Why are you turning right now?

Do you want to go over backwards?
I don't want to go over it at all.

He's right. Go over forwards.
It's better.


Hammond, I want every bit of lift
you can manage.

I'm giving it everything it's got!
We're going over!

We are going down! Oh, my God!

Oh, my God! Oh, my God!

Yes! Oh, God, we're through!
It worked! It worked!

We went down a weir!
And we're alive!

What a machine! That's the best
thing I've ever survived!

I knew that would be all right!

Did you? I'm going to go back up.
Don't be bloody stupid.

You couldn't turn it round up there,
it's not going to go back up.

Yes, come on, hovervan.

In the Shakespearean style,

horsepower, horsepower,
my kingdom for some horsepower!

It won't go up!
It will! It's not going to work!

You can't give it
that many revs! Power!

Power! Jeremy, that's too much...
Oh, my God! What's that smoke?

You've ruined the engine!

You've blown the engine up!
Come on! Power! You've killed it!


You pillock!

And with that, back to the studio.

When Chuck Yeager
crashed that starfighter,

nobody called him a pillock.

No, but, it was because of you that
we didn't make it to Tewkesbury.

It doesn't matter.
Everybody's seen the film now.

They know that our hovervan
is as an unqualified success.

Yes, yes, it is, apart from
the noise, the spray,
the terrible danger,

impracticality, unreliability,
total uncontrollability,

catastrophic fuel consumption,
terrible expense

and disastrous damage we caused
to Warwickshire with it, yes.

Yeah, apart from those
fundamental flaws,

which render it completely useless,

it is genuinely
a world-class machine.

We have done something right. And
on that bombshell, it's time to end.

Thank you so much for watching.
See you next week. Good night!