Top Gear (2002–…): Season 21, Episode 5 - Episode #21.5 - full transcript
Richard Hammond is in Abu Dhabi to drive a new hybrid sports car from Porsche, the 918. Jeremy Clarkson and James May are tasked with shooting and presenting a safe cycling public ...
Tonight, Richard opens a glove box,
James pulls a face,
and I ask an important question.
Have you ever put
toothpaste on your testicles?
Thank you. Hello. Good evening!
Thank you very much, everybody.
It is a big crowd tonight.
Thanks very much. Thank you. Now...
last year, the big three
Mercedes, Volkswagen and BMW,
all brought out new hot hatchbacks.
And since this is a top consumer
full of helpful buying advice,
I thought it would be a good idea
to see which one of them is best.
Well, not the Mercedes,
that's for sure.
This is the new four-wheel-drive
A45 and it's extremely powerful...
extremely nice to drive
and handsome as well.
But it is RIDICULOUSLY expensive.
This car, with a few
options on it, is ã46,000 and that,
for a hatchback, is idiotic.
It's like charging 100 quid
for a sardine.
"Oh, it is a very good sardine,
sir." I don't care how good it is.
I'm not paying 100 quid for a fish.
If, then, you have even half
a droplet of common sense,
you will be choosing
between these two.
The BMW M135...
and Volkswagen's latest Golf GTI.
Both cost around ã30,000.
Both are available with three
or five doors.
Both come as standard
with many things.
And both will be as reliable and as
long-lasting as Edinburgh Castle.
You might think, then,
that they are pretty similar.
But they're not,
which is why I am in the BMW.
You see, the Golf has a two-litre
and that's very nice.
But the BMW has a three-litre
six-cylinder turbocharged engine.
And that's even nicer.
Yes, the Golf is lighter.
But that is not enough to offset
the 90-horsepower disadvantage.
A point I shall now demonstrate
with a small race.
Front-wheel drive Golf is
clinging on jolly well
but frankly, it's pointless.
I can overtake any time I like.
I have the power.
And I have an eight-speed gearbox
compared to his paltry six.
Yes, the Prussian aristocrat
is trampling all over
the lumpen people's car.
There we go. Power!
And there we are in front.
'The BMW, then, really is very
What's more, because this is
the first hot hatchback
for 30 years to have rear-wheel
drive, you can do this.
'So far, then, the BMW is running
rings round the Golf.
'But I then line them up for
a simple straight-line drag race.
'And there was a problem.
'A big one.'
With this in reverse...
'At this point,
I was feeling confident.
'But, as I hit 120mph...'
This really is...
Oh, BLEEP BLEEP!
CLUNKING AND RATTLING
Yeah, you see, the Golf won that
because this, well, it lost control.
That's what happened there.
'After this incident,
I switched to the Golf GTI.
'And I decided immediately it was
a lot better in every single way.
'Not only was it able to travel
in a straight line
'without spinning off..,
'but, thanks to its smaller engine,
'it is a lot more economical
than the BMW.
'And a lot cheaper to insure.'
In fact, because Volkswagen has
fitted this with a forward-facing
radar system that won't let
you have a low-speed crash,
this GTI is in an insurance group
five down from the previous model.
It would be more expensive
to insure a pencil sharpener.
'So the GTI is cheaper to run
and cheaper to buy
'and much better in
a straight line than the BMW.
'But what if you want to transport
a nuclear warhead?'
Well, what we have got here in the
boot of the Volkswagen is a warhead.
And as you can see,
it fits perfectly.
But will it fit in the boot
of the BMW?
Oh, dear. Oh, dearie me.
See, this is the problem really with
It does rob space.
So you would have to
drive along like that.
And somebody is going to notice.
Hans Blick is, for sure.
'Things are much the same
when it comes to space in the cabin.
'The Golf can handle three
people on the back seat easily.'
But the only way you're going to get
three people in the back
of the BMW is by sawing
their legs off with a hammer.
This is not only
complicated and messy
but, in Britain at least,
it's currently against the law.
Come on! The bone!
One... It's probably easier
to buy the Golf, really.
'So the Golf is cheaper
to buy and cheaper to run
'and also more practical
than the BMW.'
But it's like driving around
in James May's sock drawer.
Everything is exactly where you
would expect it to be. Organised.
Blue ones, brown ones,
pink ones for special occasions.
'Don't think, however,
because it is sensible and practical
'and economical, that it's
in any way boring.' Look.
The gear lever is
a sort of golf ball shape.
You see, you Englishers,
you have the ze Monty Python
and ze Harry and ze Paul
but ve have a sense of humour
also with this. Ja?
'There's more as well.
'Because this particular car
is fitted with Volkswagen's
'optional performance pack.
'That means better brakes,
more power. A top speed of 155mph.
'And a trick front differential.'
Now we have seen clever
front differentials before
but nothing like this.
My foot is hard down now.
Coming round Hammerhead.
And there's no torque steer,
there's no understeer...
You can feel the whole car being
pulled towards the apex.
I've never felt anything like it.
A baboon could get this around here
as fast as the Stig.
'So there we are. These two
cars are not the same at all.
'One is brilliant in every way.
'And the other tried to kill me.'
Plainly the car to have there.
Oh, yes. Really fascinating.
Just some questions raised.
Let's get this straight.
You don't like the BMW.
Because you can't drive
in a straight line.
Hark who's talking!
How fast did you say you were going?
Walking pace, basically.
Listen, from the point where
it suddenly snapped sideways for no
reason, to the point where it
stopped moving, we measured it.
It was over a quarter of a mile.
I could have held it, I reckon.
Could you? You just aquaplaned.
Yes, but the Golf was on the same
track in the same conditions
and it didn't aquaplane.
Now, the Golf didn't aquaplane
because you weren't driving it.
Yes, but, Hammond,
all things considered,
the Golf is a better car.
Is it? It is, honestly.
The diff in it is remarkable.
Because you know when you go round
a corner in a car,
you go like that, yeah?
And it wants to push out.
Well, in this,
the faster you go, it comes in.
It's like Volkswagen has worked out
a way to reverse centrifugal force.
Ah, so Volkswagen have broken
science. Yes. With a diff?
And now, we must find out how fast
these cars go round our track.
And that, of course, means handing
them over to our tame racing driver.
Some say that his hair is
the exact same shape as a hat.
And that if he worked for CNN...
..he wouldn't get such pitifully
that his show got cancelled.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
All we know is he is called
And they're off.
And for the first time this series,
it is actually dry.
Will the BMW suddenly
spin off for no reason?
No, it has actually made it
to the first corner. Amazing!
Both turbocharged engines
loving this crisp dry air
and no fuss so far.
BIZARRE VOICES AND MUSIC
No idea what that was.
Right, through Chicago.
Golf's traction control can't be
completely switched off.
You can actually see it
nipping at the brakes on the way in.
The BMW, of course,
just being stupid.
no real dramas there either
but the Golf - yes, its magic
differential casually twisting
Right, Follow Through and yes, the
BMW is trying to spin, of course.
The Golf has a nibble of traction
control and then,
faithful as a Labrador.
Oh, the Golf brake lights flickering
That is the traction control turning
them on, not Stig, who is still
fuming because I said a baboon could
drive as fast in the Golf as him.
Right, just Gambon left.
More hooliganism from the Beemer.
And across the line!
I have the times here.
Come on, then. The BMW...
The BMW went round in 1.25.1
so it is slower than the old
which did it on a damp track.
So that's useless.
And the Golf GTI did a 1.28.6.
Look at that.
That's a lot slower. Yes, yes, yes.
But look. Astra, Megane RS, Focus.
It is right where hot hatchbacks
should be. This is just stupid.
This is much better. And now we must
do the news. Yes, we must.
Which is difficult, because that
means walking over there,
which is a straight line.
You could spin off and lose it.
Thank you, Hammond.
Don't slip. Careful. Here she comes.
Ladies and gentlemen,
will he make it?
Conditions are very
dry in the studio today.
Oh, no, he has only got to step to
go. Shut up. Yes, he has done it.
I thought you were going off.
Listen. It is a tricky
It was easy because my
shoes were not made by BMW. Really.
Good. Now. Do the news now, you two.
The news, ladies and gentlemen.
Now, last week you saw Richard
Hammond driving a six-wheeled
Mercedes-Benz but did you know
they made another six-wheeled
car long before that one? Like
to see a picture of it? Love to.
Here it is.
Did they not mention this, then?
Do you know, they didn't. How odd.
It is, isn't it,
because Mercedes like to go on
about their heritage and history
and they didn't mention that one.
Well, perhaps they didn't mention it
because it has got Hitler in it.
That is not Hitler. It is. It isn't.
No, that car was built
long before indicators were invented
so he is just the to do some
What signal is he doing here,
He's saying, "Take the Third Reich."
LAUGHTER AND GROANS
Now. Have we got any Scottish
people here? Yes! Yes!
Would you like to step outside just
for the next few minutes? Please.
We've got a bit of a chat.
It's about Scottish independence.
It's just that we've heard
a lot of talk in recent weeks
about what Scotland would lose
if you choose to go on your own
but nobody is talking about what
England would lose.
And it is actually quite a lot.
Because we would lose North Sea oil,
the sub base at Faslane,
all tramps... Oh, God.
And we'd also lose a significant
chunk of our motoring heritage
and I'm not talking
about the Hillmans and Talbots
that were made at the Linwood plant
just outside Paisley.
No, I'm talking about stuff like
the mighty Argyll,
Look at that MASTERPIECE!
Do you know, when that car came out,
it was the same price
as a Ferrari 308... Mm.
..and hardly anybody bought one?
Really? It is remarkable
because you look at that...
well, plastic body and you know...
you just look at
the way the door fits.
That is a quality product.
Isn't it? Isn't it? Oh, yeah.
What engine did it have?
Ah, now, it's interesting.
Engine-wise, you could have either
an engine from a Lancia,
a Peugeot, Renault,
you could have a Buick V6...
Basically, it was whatever turned up
in the scrap yard that week.
Basically, yes. Planted in there.
Well, actually, you could also have
it with the option of
a turbocharged Rover V8 and
guess how many of those they sold?
Was it none? Yes, it was none!
Absolutely none at all!
And I have to say,
it wasn't just supercars
was ahead of the game.
They were ahead of the curve, also,
with electric cars
because, way back in the day, they
made a little car called the Scamp.
I've got a picture of it here.
That still has the power to take
your breath away, even today.
It does. Doesn't it just? It's...
It's a rather tragic story, though.
It was made of aluminium and wood
and it was going to be sold
through Electricity Board showrooms,
which I remember, actually.
But when they took it to the
government test centre
to get a road-worthiness certificate
before they could put it on sale,
there was a bit of a problem.
In one test,
the government engineer noted -
and I've written
all the problems, here, down -
"The speedo broke,
the electric motor stopped working,
"the back door flew open,
the spare wheel fell out,
"the steering went wrong
and then the suspension snapped."
And that was the end of that. Aw!
And yet it looked so full of promise,
didn't it, there?
Now, I drove my Mercedes
down to the track this morning
and, genuinely, the most
extraordinary thing happened.
It didn't catch fire.
Now, James, you came down in your
Fiat Panda, did you not? Yes.
Did that catch fire?
Let me just think. No. Did it not?
No, it didn't at all. Richard, the
hire car you came down in... Yes?!
..did that burst into flames?
No, it didn't. Did it not?
Why are you in a hire car?
Because Porsche have told me
I'm not allowed to drive my brand-new
GT3 and they've taken it off me.
Oh, is this because,
as we mentioned briefly last week,
Porsche GT3s have been
bursting into flames
and now Porsche have told you
you can't drive it any more?
Yes, it is and you both know
full well that it is!
Well, that means you have
no use of those oven gloves,
which I can see down there,
which I bought you last week.
My Porsche driving gloves.
Have they taken it away?
Yes, they've taken it off me!
So, you don't need those,
but it's OK, Hammond,
because I have got you another
present. Oh, good(!) Have you?
No, Hammond, it's a 911 tailored
specifically for you.
Yes, here it is. Look at that.
Oh, you are literally
the most amusing man
in the whole world. He is.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Look! It's OK,
I've got on oven gloves.
Put it out as fast as possible!
It's all right.
I hate you.
Right, now, em...
Yes, as we know, a great many
people in the country
are now starting to use
one of these to move about.
Now, this is called a bicycle
and you can tell just by looking at
it that it is very dangerous
and, as a result,
a lot of people are being hurt
in cycle-related injuries.
In the olden days, the government
would have addressed this problem
by making a public information film.
They used to make them
about all sorts of things.
We had 'Clunk Click Every Trip',
not to go near a railway,
not to play near the water...
Yes, there was 'Don't Run'.
They never told us not to run.
They did! They did not.
I shall show you!
We've got a clip here, look, watch.
FILM VOICEOVER: 'You never know
what's round the corner.
'So don't run.'
There you go. Yes... That's advice
I have heeded all my life.
You really took that to heart!
You haven't run since, have you?
Of course not! There might be
a pane of glass coming!
Anyway, we don't really get these
public information films any more
because of budget cuts and so on,
so Jeremy and I thought,
to help stop cyclists being injured,
it might be a good idea
to bring them back.
So you two are going to make a public
information film about cycling?!
Yes, we are, actually.
We went to see a panel of experts
at London's Westminster Council
and they said
they would be delighted
if we made a public information film
which would help cut
the number of injuries
and this is what...
..I came up with. Here we go.
'John works hard, which means that
he can afford to drive a car.
'That means he gets home
to his family safely every night.'
CHILD: Daddy's home!
Thank you very much.
I think a work of genius, frankly.
That is terrible. It isn't!
It is! It isn't!
It is. No, it is,
which is why I fired him
and went and had a go at making
a public information film on my own.
'Having come up with
a cracking idea,
'I appointed myself as director,
'gathered together a small cast
and crew, and set to work.'
The whole point of this is...
is to be with you on the swing
and try and look doctor-ish.
That pen isn't very medical,
I love it. Golden! Yeah.
First positions, let's go again.
If you could be opposite each other
on this three-pronged arrangement.
Arms out, singing in the rain.
Good swinging. Nice.
I'm liking this.
'When my film was finished, Jeremy
and I went to Westminster Council
'to show it to the panel of experts.
'There was Chris Boardman,
policy adviser for British Cycling,
City Transport Commissioner
'and Alan Kennedy, Road Safety GB.'
The good news is, we have
two films for you to look at.
No, we have one. No, two.
Why don't you show them
yours first of all,
which I believe is that one there?
Gentlemen, if you would like to
relax whilst I just...
insert this in the machine.
CHILDREN'S CHATTERING VOICES
'You stopped playing with
children's toys when you grew up.
'So why ride a bicycle?'
Oh, I did a skid!
You just haven't got it, have you?
I can see you are disappointed,
just in the way you're looking.
James, they are disappointed
with your work.
May I just play you this one, if I
may. Just let me show you this one
cos I think this will rectify the
problem, which has begun already.
'John works hard, which means that
he can afford to drive a car.
'Work harder. Get a car.'
Terrible. Absolutely terrible.
You just got it wrong, so wrong.
Where's the cyclist? Mangled
at the end. What was the brief?
Well, we are trying to
make cycling safer
and we thought the best way to
do that is to stop people cycling.
But the message you should be
is that people need to
be considerate towards each other.
I'm not sure they are going
to like our poster idea
that we had as well,
but we came up with that.
We did spell it wrong.
I think we are going in entirely
the wrong direction.
Entirely the wrong direction. Have
you actually spoken to a cyclist?
Well, maybe that would be a good
idea, or even try it yourself.
'And so we put on some
'and went on a fact-finding trip
glittering West End.'
Come on, Jeremy! I'm behind you!
I'll sound my bell for pedestrians.
Look at him, he's wearing
normal clothing, the lunatic!
You'll be killed! You're mad!
You will never make it!
I nearly hit that bloke in the face.
'Our mission was to identify
the dangers that cyclists face
'on the city streets
and soon we spotted one.'
James, we've got to go right. Right?
There's a lot of peril involved
in that. Right... Be careful, James.
There is great peril.
'So, we came up with a solution.'
What if we only went left?
That's not a bad idea, actually.
You can still get
where you want to go by going left.
So we go left here, yes?
There is another little left here
we can do. Excellent.
I feel perfectly safe.
I feel completely safe.
No right turns,
that's the main thing with cycling.
I reckon it improves your chances
of survival by about 85%.
Oh, hang on.
No, I'm not sure that has worked.
I've seen Charles Saatchi having
lunch five times already.
'After an hour in the saddle,
another problem for cyclists.'
Oh, bump, bump!
Really bumpy here and
this is deeply uncomfortable now.
I've got to do something
about my bottom, this is really...
'So we stopped at a bicycle shop
you can buy special creams.'
Are these all to rub onto your bits?
Yes, they are.
Is that normal? Yes,
we even have one for women.
Are women's bottoms different to
men's bottoms? I should think so.
Are they? Yes.
'Having selected the correct cream,
'I went to apply it
in the changing room.'
'This made everything worse.'
Have you ever put toothpaste
on your testicles for a joke?
To be honest, yes, I did,
when I was a teenager.
Yes, exactly, so did I.
Do you remember the pain? Yes, I do.
Well... Is that what it's like?
'James was very sympathetic.'
♪ Goodness gracious
great balls of fire! ♪
'With the pain getting worse...'
Ooh! Ow! Ow!
'..I had to make an emergency stop.'
Please may I use your lavatories?
My scrotum is on fire.
Have you ever put toothpaste
on your scrotum?
'With my gentleman's area sorted,
we got back on the road.'
Right, so the light just went red,
so that means go
when you're on a bicycle.
'And soon we were picking up
Taxi driver. Very polite. Thank
you very much, sir. Another taxi.
Yeah, look at that, you see,
he politely let me go.
I've been riding now for three hours
and not a single car driver
has done anything annoying.
You'd imagine that cycling
around Hyde Park Corner,
which is what I'm doing now,
as dangerous as juggling chain saws,
but if you keep your eyes open
and you are courteous...
Every car has given me a
six-foot berth, taxis, vans.
Yes, all the cars
and vans have been very decent.
I haven't got a complaint.
'But...there was one type of road
user who wasn't courteous at all.'
Look at this idiot!
Whoa! God above!
So that bus just overtook me,
so I have to now go on the wrong
side of the road and you get...
And now he's just set off! See?
And I'm stuck
on the wrong side of the road.
These are the problem, I've decided.
Because all of the drivers think
they are literally
Lord God Almighty.
It's bloody murder!
Now they're giving me a wide berth.
Your bus is going to kill me!
You are going to kill me!
Keep going! Keep going!
But he is a homicidal maniac!
And another one!
No, don't do that.
Why do they put bicycles
in the bus lane?!
'And then, just to round
Whoa! Oh, no!
No, no, no, no, no, no!
What are you doing? Look,
the chain has come off.
I know! There's nothing much
I can do, is there? Go over here.
Why can't they build
a machine where the chain stays on?
You've got that derailleur miles
out of adjustment.
I don't know what you're talking
about. What is a de-rail-eum?
It's the thing that moves
the chain across. You've bent it.
So, the gearbox on this is broken?
We are going to have to sell it and
buy another one.
'After James had mended my geranium,
he gave me a stern lecture.'
Bicycles... The reason people
have accidents on bicycles
is cos of things like
the brakes not working,
worn out wheel bearings, bad...
Those out of adjustment, that out of
adjustment, this not tight enough.
It's really easy,
you only need about three spanners
and a screwdriver.
'With the fact-finding mission over,
'we felt we had become fully paid-up
members of the cycling community.'
Have you got the arts pages?
It seems to me,
for our public information film,
what we should do is make cycling
attractive to bus passengers
because then there would be
no need for buses.
And they are the biggest problem
on the road.
Not just for cyclists
but also for cars. Yes.
So if we get rid of buses,
remove the demand for buses...
We get an extra lane.
'A few days later, we cycled to the
Top Gear office to discuss
'some new ideas for our important
public information film.'
I think what that does is it
dissuades people from using the bus.
Yes, but it isn't true.
It is. It isn't.
It is, I went on a bus once
and I got an eye infection.
Some people get diphtheria
or rickets or scurvy.
They do. It is nonsense, it is
not going to work.
'I then showed Jeremy something
I'd put together.'
ON TV: 'Hello, cyclists,
'I am here today to talk to you
about bicycle maintenance.
'Let's start with the most
important part of a bike.
'You simply rotate this adjuster
'until the brake blocks are almost
in contact with the wheel.
'Lock it with the nut and then...'
'..the chain and the sprockets
will grind together.
'Make sure there is no
play in the steering head bearings.
'If there is, if you can feel
a little clunk, clunk, clunk...'
How much more is there of this?
Well, quite a lot. How long is this?
What, a 58 minute thing?!
It is more a public information
documentary, if I am honest.
'Annoyingly, James's other ideas
were even worse.'
Why is he dressed up as Hitler?
Because cyclists need to be visible.
Christ on a bike!
James, you can't do that.
Yes, I can.
'As he brought out a cross,
'I left him alone
and went off to work on my own.'
One of the problems I discovered
on my fact-finding bike ride
around London is that pedestrians
simply don't hear bicycles coming.
They step off the kerb,
the cyclist has to swerve
into the path of a bus.
Blood, artery gush, burst,
court case, murder, disaster.
need to be louder.
What I have done is attached to the
back of this bike a jet engine.
And now pedestrians can
definitely hear me coming.
And so can other motorists.
And people in subterranean caves
in other countries.
Even the profoundly deaf would know
I was on my way,
they would feel a disturbance
in the force.
another advantage is, you don't
have to do any of that
Again my genius is staggering me,
it really is.
Oh, dear, I am out of fuel.
I have run out of fuel.
That is what's happened now.
Think of it, really, as a hybrid.
There we go.
'For the rest of the day,
we tried all sorts of other ideas.'
Here we go.
What's it supposed to be?
It's a cyclist after an accident.
I couldn't use an actual cyclist,
So for example, the double
So you come round here, then it is
your right of way going up here.
'After a great deal of extremely
hard work, we ended up with
'a couple of films that we could
take to our panel of experts.'
Before we show them to you,
let me say,
do you remember the early public
information films from our youth?
I do. They always picked on some
very specific detail.
Don't put a rug on a polished
floor or don't fish under
power lines. They were very tight.
And so, we have tried to
focus on very specific details
of cycling that we experience.
We hope that erm...
This one first?
Yes, I think that's... OK.
'Cut the green wire. For God's sake,
do not cut the red wire.
'It is imperative
to cut the green wire.'
Well, I mean... I'm not sure we're
getting anywhere here...
What are you trying to
achieve with that?
Cyclists jump red lights,
we know this.
Everybody has seen that happen.
It is what annoys people
most about bicycles.
This is making the roads a happier
place because cyclists
wait like they are supposed to,
car drivers aren't infuriated.
And cyclists don't get
knocked off or indeed blown up.
You didn't listen to what we said,
You said we had to make the roads
a more harmonious place.
Exploding cyclists doesn't really
get that message across.
You're really trying to waste our
time today because that is way off.
What, you want them
to jump red lights? No, we don't.
I'm talking about that commercial,
it is absolutely wrong.
Well, let's try... Yes. Yes, please.
This may be more to your taste then,
'I have a dream.
That all men are created equal.
'Dr Martin Luther King was shot
'and killed on the balcony
of his motel in Memphis.'
♪ Imagine there's no heaven... ♪
'The former Beatle, John Lennon, has
been shot and killed in New York.'
♪ It's easy if you try... ♪
'The righteousness of Jesus Christ.
'Jesus died on the cross for our
So this is a no, isn't it?
'And with that,
it was back to the studio.'
So... There is no way... Come on. No.
So, you two completely cocked it up.
I don't know what was wrong
with my jet bike.
Well, it was a motor on a bicycle
and therefore it was a "motor"
It wasn't a motorcycle,
it was superb. How fast did it go?
At one point I was clocked at 73mph.
Yes, that does sound like the top
speed of a motorbike.
He is right, you know. Thank you.
He isn't right.
And anyway, listen, eventually
we did come up with a film which
we think will keep that
panel of experts happy.
Because, in essence,
it makes everybody happy
and gooey with everybody else.
Here we go, let's have a watch.
'Cyclists get wet, cold and tired.
'They turn up for work with
'Their clothes are hideous,
and to prevent boils and sores,
'they have to put
gel on their buttocks.
'However, because three-quarters
of a million people are prepared
'to go through this misery every day,
there are fewer traffic jams.
'The roads are quieter
'which is good news...
'for normal people.
'Cyclists. Give them an inch
because they have given YOU a mile.'
No, an inch? They need 6ft.
No, Hammond, it is
a figure of speech, you idiot.
I couldn't say, you know, give them
1.85m, that is ridiculous.
The fact is, we have solved cycling.
If people weren't watching
Call The Midwife on the other side
tonight, there would be no more
So, you're saying,
watching Call The Midwife is now
socially irresponsible? Yes. It is.
And it is morally wrong. Exactly.
Anyway, it is time to put a Star
in our Reasonably Priced Car.
And we are going to do
For the next few minutes,
we are going to stop your teenage
daughter from texting.
because my guest tonight played
Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad.
CHEERING AND SQUEALING
Ladies and gentlemen, Aaron Paul!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
How are you? What's up, buddy?
How are you? I'm good, I'm good.
I love them. Yes,
this is a big noise. Have a seat.
All right. Have a seat.
It is strange to
have on a guest from a show that was
never on British TV... Yeah.
..who is now in a film that
isn't even out yet. Yeah.
Everyone is screaming and yelling.
I love you all.
AUDIENCE: We love you!
Let's do the film, if we may. It is
Need For Speed. Need For Speed.
It is the story of Tobey Marshall,
the guy I play.
He spends a couple of years in prison
for something that he did not do,
so the moment he gets
out of prison it's just...
He is trying to right a wrong,
vengeance is on his mind.
He has to try and get
from the East Coast to the West Coast
in less than 48 hours
in a car, a very fast car.
What sort of car? It is
a Shelby Mustang.
Shelby Mustang? Yeah. Well, it can
be quite fast, nice straight line.
You should be able to do that.
So it sounds like it has got
Top Gear written all over it.
Yeah, he wanted to do a throwback,
to films that really
started this genre.
Like Bullitt and Vanishing Point
and Smokey And The Bandit.
Back then they couldn't rely on CG,
they couldn't rely on green screen
so everything you see in this
movie actually happened.
There is no CGI? No CG whatsoever.
Let's have a look at a clip
and you will see why I am looking
incredulous. Here we go.
'They took everything from me.
'All those who defied me...
'..shall be ashamed and disgraced.
'Those who wage war against me...
'I will find strength...
That was all for real? Yeah, it's...
It gets pretty violent.
So it really did do a roll?
They actually did those, yes.
I presume these are body shells,
they are not actual... No, no, no.
..million dollar cars?
We consider those cars
a piece of art.
But the kit cars they built
were about 300,000 a piece
and they just destroyed them.
That is unbelievable but forgive me,
I have got to get on to
There's quite a few puzzled faces
going, "What is Breaking Bad?"
"What is Breaking Bad?"
This is Jesse Pinkman.
As far as I am concerned,
I am now talking to the world's
greatest crystal meth salesman.
For those who don't know,
it was about a chemistry teacher who
meets a delinquent,
an ex-pupil. He's got this guy,
he has been diagnosed with cancer
and he thinks, "To pay for my
treatment I will start making
cos I am a chemistry teacher."
And the series runs from there.
We don't really have crystal
meth in this country. That's great.
What is crystal meth, do you know
what it is? No, not really.
I have been making
it for the past six years
and I have no idea what it is. No,
it is just a terrible, awful drug.
It just grabs a hold of some
people and just doesn't let go.
Do you know what I loved about the
show? It is the detailing in it.
And the cars you all drove. Yes,
they are incredible. Who chose those?
It was all Vince Gilligan.
He is the creator of the show,
his attention to detail is
There is this famous conversation he
had for two hours about the certain
colour of red nail polish that was
going to go on Skyler's toenails.
He was going to get the cars right
who is the chemistry teacher,
has a Pontiac Aztek. Yes.
Never been sold here
but it was probably the worst car.
It is just such a sad car. Look at
it. Look at that, it is just so sad.
It is a sign that your life has gone
terribly, terribly wrong.
It was interesting with you
because you started out with
a Chevy Monte Carlo, wasn't it? Yes.
When you were a delinquent.
But when you became more
and more successful,
switched to the Toyota Tercel.
Look at that.
I actually wanted that car so bad
when we wrapped.
Were you able to keep it? No, they
didn't allow me to take it. Why not?
It is worth 32.
That is shocking, but it is that
attention to detail which
I absolutely adored, I really did.
Now, more questions about Breaking
Bad, which fascinates me.
About American television. We know
that US networks, they are brutal.
You've got a chat show... Um...
Who are you talking about? Did you
know Piers Morgan? Oh, yeah! Yeah.
I had a feeling you were
talking about him.
Where I was going, really -
you have got these US networks,
presumably Breaking Bad was only
ever going to be one series.
They would have only commissioned
one, to see how it works? Yeah.
Every network passed on Breaking Bad
initially. HBO Showtime, everyone.
And then AMC decided to give it
a shot. With one series?
With one pilot. And then they had to
see how that was, how it turned out.
I mean, we were lucky we even stayed
on the air because our ratings
weren't that great.
But the critics loved us. So...
No, it was very clever.
Thank you. Now, your cars in real
life - not a Toyota Tercel?
You started out with a Toyota,
I did, I started out with an '82
Toyota Corolla. Mm-mm(!) Yeah.
It was beautiful. Was it(?)
Any time it rained,
the trunk would fill up with water,
But I loved that car. Stick shift
And I bought a Toyota Forerunner.
It's getting worse.
And then I bought an old classic
car. OK, which is?
A '65 Shelby Cobra.
We could have... You know,
you see... The Shelby Cobra...
Oh, there it is. That is actually...
that is you in it! That is my car.
I only take it... It is my weekend
car, I take it along the coast.
But if you are driving in a parking
lot, it sets off the alarms.
I love doing that. It's great.
They are absolutely fabulous.
My daughter is going to be
because that is her favourite car
and her favourite actor driving it.
I love your daughter. Yeah.
No, you don't. Um...
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Obviously you came down here...
This is ballsy, I've got to say,
because you have come down here to
do your lap, which is quite brave.
Yeah. Let's see how I did.
I mean, I don't know. It was fun.
Shall we have a look at the lap?
Here we go.
Wow, that is a brutal start.
I just don't want to get last.
Setting high goals for myself.
Not to get last.
No, it's OK, because for the first
time ever this year,
the weather is good.
That thing does grip well. Here
we go. Yeah.
It's OK, it's OK. Yeah.
Come on. Tongue out.
Oh, that is a very good line
around there. Thank you.
Very nice. The dreaded Hammerhead,
I hate this turn.
That is heavy braking you are giving
it there! Yeah. Well, you know.
Oh, that is very,
very neat and tidy.
Come on, you...
We knew it!
No way were you going to get round
the lap without saying THAT!
Ooh, the comfortable line,
missing the apex.
Well, that was absolutely bob on.
Now, Gambon, again kissing
and you cross the line!
Ah-h-h... Well, now.
These are the wet times.
You will not be last,
because Jack Whitehall, bless him,
he had never driven before.
So you will not be lower than him.
OK, good. So, where do you think you
came? I have no idea.
I want to be above James Blunt.
James Blunt was 1.49.4.
That is FW,
which stands for flipping wet.
So you are definitely going to the
So come on, be reasonable.
I mean, I would like to be
towards the top, but...
That is the 1.45 region. Yeah.
I mean, I don't know...
Do you know, I was just about to
"Well, Jesse Pinkman..."
But I won't.
Aaron Paul. Yes. 1...
That is the best we've ever had!
Come here. Yes! Wow!
That's good. Good man. Yes!
The fastest man ever to take
the Astra around the track.
Ladies and gentlemen, Aaron Paul!
Now, that is going to take some
This is the ã650,000 Porsche 918.
It is insanely fast.
It's rammed full of technology
and most importantly, it is a hybrid.
In many ways, then, exactly the same
as the McLaren P1 that Jeremy
fell in love with a few weeks back.
The big question, though...
Is it any good?
When Jeremy tested the P1, he took
it to the Spa racetrack in Belgium.
My F1 track may not have that
but at this place, at least the fun
doesn't stop when the sun goes down.
The Abu Dhabi circuit is also
famed for having a 1.2km straight,
one of the longest anywhere.
Seems like a good place to start.
Let's make some noise.
Oh, that is breathtaking!
Oh, that is... That is
acceleration unlike anything else.
I know Jeremy's head was blown off
by the speed of that P1,
but I absolutely cannot believe
that it felt any faster than this.
It can't have done.
'Like the McLaren, the 918 has a
joint strike force of petrol engine
'and electric motors
It's that electric power that gives
it so much punch off the line.
I have 500 foot-pound
of torque at 800rpm. 800!
The 458 doesn't
have 500 torques at any rpm.
It just wakes up, it's like a
sprinter falling out of bed
and going straight into
a world record
while the others
are eating cornflakes
and thinking about having a poo.
'The petrol engine,
which sounds ungodly through those
'is a 612 horsepower 4.6 litre V8.'
On the topic of power
the 918 and the P1
can trade punches all day long.
The 918 can't match the P1's top
speed, 218 compared to 211.
'But I get to 60 quicker.
2.6 seconds to his sluggish 2.8.'
I've got 875 brake horsepower and the
P1 has 903, but I've got more torque.
And on and on and on it goes.
It's King Kong versus Godzilla.
'There are some areas, though,
'where the 918 definitely has
the P1 on the ropes.
'It can retrieve energy
generated by braking
'and feed it back into the batteries.
'The roof lifts out so you can enjoy
some open-top cruising.
'And inside, you get some actual
'like electric seats
and an 11-speaker sound system.
'You don't get either of those
on a P1.'
I am not one to gloat,
but hello, glove box, yeah?
And then this centre console, from
where I can control the top screen.
That does many things up there.
And then over 800 functions can be
from the touch-sensitive screen
Maybe I can go online
and order Jeremy a set of spanners to
adjust the seat on his P1.
Look up "old-fashioned" for me.
'In addition to the
wealth of on-board amusements,
'the 918 also has many driving
I am in fully electric mode.
And I can whisper
around like this for 18 miles,
compared to the P1's seven.
But if I go down here,
I can select hybrid.
And that allows it to
alternate between petrol
and electric in the most
Or we've got sport mode, where
we have petrol power all the time.
But, I'm here on this racetrack,
so let's go one further.
Put it in race mode.
'Now the petrol engine is top dog.
'The electric motors
are acting as its wingmen.'
It's time to attack some corners.
God, this thing corners -
and I mean it - flat!
And there is none of that
bottom-clenching terror Jeremy
talked about in the P1.
'Partly, that is because where the P1
is rear drive only,
'the 918 has four-wheel-drive
and four-wheel steering.'
I think in essence yes,
the P1 is more a proper fighter
pilot, seat-of-the-pants staff.
This is altogether more civilised.
But that does not mean it's boring,
because it just isn't.
The back end crates away
like a rear-wheel-drive car.
What a thing!
'But even though the 918 is more
grown-up than the P1,
'it can still boast some pretty
The fact is,
this car has lapped the Nurburgring
in 6 minutes 57 seconds.
That is faster than any other
road-legal production car.
To put it into context,
a hard-core Lexus LFA did it
in 7 minutes 14 seconds.
The mighty Nissan GTR was almost
half a minute slower.
As for the P1, McLaren are saying
it has gone round in under
seven minutes, but they're not
saying an actual time.
I don't know, maybe they lost
the piece of paper it was written on.
'With daylight coming, I locked up,
'left the keys to the circuit
under the mat
'and went in search of breakfast.
'Full of awe for this
Here I am with 875bhp,
a 4.6 litre V8 that sounds...
And yet the CO2 emissions
are lower than a Toyota Prius.
And certainly, much lower than a P1.
I don't know, this is just all round
a more impressive achievement.
It is more of its time.
To put it another way,
McLaren have used hybrid technology
to liven up a supercar today.
Porsche have used hybrid technology
to save the supercar for tomorrow.
This is an important car.
There it is. I'm amazed it didn't
catch fire. Shut up.
Never mind that.
Now, listen, Hammond.
In that film, you said there is
none of the bottom-clenching terror
when you drive this that you get
in a McLaren P1. How do you know?
You haven't driven a McLaren P1.
I know that because after you had
driven the McLaren P1,
you said it was a day of
I did, a bit.
But I was driving
in the pouring rain at Spa.
You were in Abu Dhabi, bone dry,
and with eight mile run-offs
on all the corners.
The fact is, the 918 can handle its
Its dribble of power.
It has barely got enough to get
out of its own way.
And how do you know that? Because you
haven't driven the Porsche.
Because Porsche won't let me.
Yes, because they know, Jennifer,
you can't drive in a straight line.
We've seen it. At least
I didn't write a book about it.
And try to milk the moment.
Enough, enough, enough.
Let me interrupt with the solution
to all this.
Because later on in the year,
hopefully, we are
going to make a special
Top Gear programme.
One in which Richard and Jennifer
bring the Porsche 918
and the McLaren P1 down to our track
and we will see
which is the fastest.
Should be quite good, actually.
Hopefully, we will be able to put
June, July sometime, around then.
And it'll basically be
England versus Germany.
But before then, in fact,
starting next weekend,
we have our all-new, two-part,
Top Gear Christmas special.
Yet, it is a bit late, we're sorry.
A bit late, yes.
It's an Easter special. Whatever.
The three of us are told to build
a bridge over the River Kwai.
But first, we have to get there.
And that means driving all the way
across Burma in lorries that we
bought from the Internet
unseen for a few hundred quid.
And on that BURMA-shell...
There it is. ..it's time to end.
Thank you so much for watching.