Top Gear (2002–…): Season 21, Episode 7 - Burma Special: Part 2 - full transcript

Three daring BBC presenters continue their journey through the Shan region of Burma. Later on they discover another challenge waiting for them at the river Kwai.

'Our adventure began in
the old Burmese capital Rangoon,

'where, having bought
three ancient lorries...'

Hammond, this seat is a church pew.

'..We were told we had to build a
bridge over the River Kwai that was

'strong enough to support them.'

How big a bridge are we going to have
to build to support my truck?

How much does yours weigh?
About 1,000 tonnes.

'Getting to the river in Thailand
meant a 1,200 mile journey

'across Burma on roads that
were dangerous...'




'..And often not roads at all.'

Watch the wheel spin.
Sliding badly.

'Since the producers insisted
we stay in Burmese truck stops...'

Oh, it's not so bad.

'..We turned our lorries
into houses.'

Not all of my improvements
have turned out to be improvements.

'Way out in the middle of nowhere,
we ran out of fuel,

'and whilst looking for diesel...'

Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.

'..Hammond was thrown by a stallion
and injured his arm.'


'Worse still, James's snoring
forced us to take drastic action.'


'And everywhere we went,

'Hammond's vertical exhausts
were causing chaos.'

I've lost my other stack.

As you know, we're not the US
Marines, we leave a man behind.


It's OK. Nothing to see.


'Far ahead of Hammond's
disintegrating lorry,

'James and I were about to enter a
secretive region of Burma known as

'the Shan state.

'A civil war has raged
here for 60 years.

'No television crew has ever been
allowed in. We would be the first.'

There is a very good reason
why it's so secretive in there.

You see, the travel companies
would have you believe that

the Golden Triangle is,
well, it's a tourist attraction,

at the point where Thailand, Burma
and Laos all meet.

But the golden triangle
with the - how can I put this -

the special agriculture -
that is in the Shan.

Apparently, some of the special
agriculture is known as horse,

they're obviously growing horses
somehow. I shall look for those.

Fields of horses growing in them.

Here we go. Warm and cordial
welcome, this is it. This is it.

We are entering the Shan.

We genuinely are representing
the Western world.

Good job I'm wearing a tie.

as the roads started to climb,

'James and I rather forgot
the significance of where we were.'

Go! Come on, lorry.

'Welcome, then, to the inaugural
Shan state lorry hill climb.

'A sport where a
single botched gear change

'can make all the difference.'

Attempt to squeeze in.

It's coming.

No, no, no!
I'm trapped by the pick-up.

Eat my dirt.

Got the inside line.

This is the best race in the world.

I've blocked him, I blocked him.

Shall we call a temporary truce
while we go through the town, yeah?

When we get back,
if we're interviewed by MI6

and they say,
"What was it like in the Shan?"

We'll have to go, "I don't know,
we were racing lorries."

I am embarrassed to be
the first Westerner in here

and I'm driving a sports lorry with
a pink teddy bear on the front.

'To make us look more dignified,
I put Rudyard in the cab,

'and then
we set off into the unknown.'

God above.

I think I've accidentally
taken a short cut

into the set of Game Of Thrones.

'Here, in a region that is bigger
than England and Wales put together,

'there is just one road, built
150 years ago, by the British.

'But there is no electricity,
no mobile phone signal, no TV,

'no hotels, no hospitals.

'And in the skies, no planes.'

That is gigantic.

'Bowled over by it all,
James and I pulled over,

'and after Hammond caught up...'

Oh, yes, the 1920s is arriving.

'..We tried to work out why
us three had been the first ones

'allowed in here.'

Think about it.

If you were North Korea, and you
wanted to portray to your people

how lumpen and useless the West was,
you'd invite us three, wouldn't you?


Because we'd wander about
and the North Koreans would go,

"Why would we want to be Western?
Look at them. They're dreadful."

You've got bird poo on
your shoulder. I have.

So what the government is
essentially saying to these

people is, why would you want to
live like they do in the West?

Look at them. There's another
thing that we're doing.

This is just an incidental service.

They haven't seen many
Westerners here.

We are at least showing...
They're not going to end up saying,

"They all look the same to me,"
are they? With us three.

That's just blatantly racist.

No... Clearly. Yes, you are.
You are.

You're assuming that they think
we all look the same

because we think
they all look the same.

Now you're making a leap,
I didn't...

You're completing something
that I didn't put in.

Yes, we are,
but it's quite good fun.

'Keen to see more of the Shan,
we moved on.'

Chaps, check out the driver of this
tuk-tuk. What's he done?

I don't know what it was,
but he's done a lot of it.

He's off his face. Oh, dear.

Oh, Lord, I see what you mean.

James, do you see any fields
where they are growing horses?

No, I haven't seen a single
horse plantation yet.

'What we did see, however,
was evidence of what is officially

'the world's longest running
civil war.'

This is a big army presence, here.

'James, however, seemed to have
less important things on his mind.'

Time to try out my water
brake cooling system.

I'm ready. A little switch.

I think it works.


My steering has just locked up.

I'm not sure that's a good idea,
James, is it? Blocking the Army?

'The problem was a big one.
The front axle had broken.'

There's only one thing I can think
to play at a time like this.

Well, off you go. Goodbye.
That's a bad one, isn't it? See you.


'As Hammond and I travelled
deeper into the Shan,

'the road became worse.'


'And the reason why soon
became clear.'

That was an actual baby there,
building the road.

It's not a good policy, because
the road surface is dreadful.

Babies are no good at
building roads, look.

'Which were a problem for
Hammond's heavy lumber bus.'

God, it's torture.

I hate this, I hate this,
I hate this.

Change gear...
No. Grind, grind, grind.

And when we get to the end,

we have to build a bridge
over the River Kwai.

we had to rest our weary bones,

'so we pulled over in
a remote settlement.'

You know, in a village like this,

it really is possible
they don't know the West exists.

They will never have seen
faces like ours. No.

I'm amazed they're not more amazed.

I think it's a cultural thing,
it would be rude to show it. Yeah.

It's sort of...

Definitely the first white faces
they've ever seen.

'Many miles further back,

'I had sorted my axle issue
by using a ratchet strap

'to hold it in place.'

I hate my lorry.

What I'm driving here is a massive
dog's egg with a crane on the back.

Oh, God, let this day end.

'As the afternoon sun drew low,
I was reunited with my colleagues,

'and we decided to make camp
in a small town.'

Look at that lot.
Communal, open-air natural bathing.


We're in the middle of the Shan.

We're supposed to be
frightened to death.

It's not frightening though,
is it? It's lovely.

'As we set up camp, the locals
seemed to be busy as well.

'And Jeremy had found out why.'

Hammond, May. Yes? What? It turns
out we've been invited to a party.

Right. Where? Here, in the town.

You know there's been
a civil war raging?

All of the people who've been
fighting are coming together tonight

to welcome us here
to the Shan state.

You know the Good Friday Agreement
where they got Major,

Gerry Adams and Paisley all in
one room and it was amazing?

Well, apparently this
is as amazing as that in Burma.

Who do they think we are?
I don't know.

Probably Richard Dimbleby,
James McNulty and Jeremy Paxman.

They're not familiar with Top Gear,
are they? Evidently not.

The only thing I'm speculating on
is I don't think

we should turn up looking like this.
No. I have no formal wear with me.

Naked would be better than that.

'As Hammond wouldn't let us
use his shower,

'James and I had to go native.'

Women go there, and men go here.

'As we finished our ablutions...

'..the various factions
started to arrive.

'And Jeremy invited us over
for pre-dinner cocktails.'

Listen, help yourselves to a drink,
because I've had a thought.

It's possible MI6 or the DEA or
some intelligence agency will want

to talk to us when
we get back about here. Right.

So, manners - polite, British,
representatives of the BBC,

but pay attention.

But don't make it obvious that you're
finding things out, just be...

'With a final word of warning
to Hammond...'

Don't get drunk.

I'll just have one before I go.
'..we headed off to the party.'

From Britain, BBC television.

'Where we were offered
some local delicacies...'

It's a caterpillar?

That's right, that's right,
caterpillar. Caterpillar.

Goodbye, caterpillar.

'As caterpillars weren't
to Hammond's taste,

'he went off to find something
that was.'

Hello, hello. Hello, yes.
I can do that. Yes, I could do that.

This is all right.
I'm coming in, I like this.

'As the food kept coming...'

This is a cicada, a cricket.

'..I was discovering that
the region's special agriculture

'didn't seem to be that special.'

So it's sunflower seeds, soya bean,
nothing else. Nothing, nothing.

'Still, I was learning
more than James...

'..or Hammond.'

Who's got any Whiskey?
Have you got any Scotch?

'By midnight, I'd been through
every single crop in the area.'

Sesame seeds. Sesame seeds,
yeah, yeah. Maize.

'So, I took a leaf
out of Hammond's book...'

Cheers, cheers, cheers.

'..And, along with May and half
the film crew, joined the party.'

♪ I'm dressing sharp
and I'm acting cool,

♪ Got a cheerleader here... ♪

Well, one thing is for sure.

There are absolutely no drugs
in this part of Burma. No, none.

I talked to everybody and...

I talked to people involved
in the sales and distribution

of stationery, I talked to
farmers, Army people, Colonel Kurtz.

I spoke to Colonel Kurtz,
he was in vegetables.

We can say, "You're looking
in the wrong place."

Have you seen...
Our colleague is not well.

We've got a lot of time to kill this
morning before that is capable

of driving a lorry.

'Many, many hours later,
we were back on the road.'

I think I punched a colonel.

Or kissed him.

Hammond? Yeah? What was
your whiskey called again?

Hankie Banister.

"Hankie Banister. Third-best
Whiskey in northern Burma."

'Soon, though, the memories of our
summit at the end of Apocalypse Now

'were eclipsed by the sheer beauty
of this untouched paradise.'

I've never taken more landscape
photographs in my entire life.

It's just...

You've got to come here.
You have got to come and see this.

'James would have enjoyed
the view, too,

'but predictably he'd had yet
another breakdown.'

Cock. The problem is - well,
I don't know what the problem is,

on two, then it was definitely only
running on one cylinder, because it

sounded like the sort of generator
people put on in the night.


Non-BBC Two word.

'Once I'd fixed the problem,
which was wonky fuel injectors,

'I was on the move again.'

God, this lorry is appalling.

'And it didn't take long
to catch the others,

'because the road was steep,
and Hammond was in front.'

First gear. Bad.

Literally the slowest
I've ever been.

Hammond, I haven't got
any more gears left.

I can't get out the way,
the road's too narrow,

I can't go any faster,
I'm in a lorry.

It's pretty much vertical.

God, look at the smoke now.
I've got a mining lung disease.

I'm starting to imagine what Hammond
might look like without any skin on.

Now what?

I think if we all back up,
he can come in here.

Hammond, we can't -
there's nothing to be gained by...

Hammond, you idiot, you've
reversed into the sports lorry!

You've broken it. I didn't know.
Genuinely, that was an accident.

Don't just drive off, Hammond.
Hammond! Hammond!

He's broken my headlights, radiator.
My bull bar is broken. The mirror.

What, you just reverse and hope?

Where did you think I was?!
All day, I have been behind you.

I didn't think you were
that close behind me.

I now know why they have those
stickers for lorry drivers -

"If you can't see my mirrors,
I can't see you."

'Even though the incident had been
technically my fault,

'I still followed
the standard procedure.'

What? He knows the rules.
Live by the sword, you must...

I can't remember. Whatever.
Something to do with swords.

Held me up all day,
then he reversed into me,

so I think tonight Hammond's
other wrist might break.

However, when I reached
the overnight holds,

I came up with a more fiendish idea.

An idea that involved the bucket
Hammond had fitted to collect

rainwater for his shower.

I think this does pay him back
for holding us up all day long. Yep.

Oh, there's more. Part two.

'I then began to work
on my lorry's waterworks.'

Massive nuts holding the radiator
on. 22 millimetres. Yeah.

Oh, it's warm.
So warm, fresh rainwater.

Golden rain. I can taste
the goodness. The outdoors.

And neither of you two
thought of this.

'After dining on roast grasshopper,

'we spent the evening playing
with my Chinese lanterns.'

Are you going to set them off here?
Why not?

I should say in a country where a lot
of people live in houses made of...

What is it, dried grass? Oh, relax.
That's not going to be a problem.

The chances of you getting one
of those things to work...

There, let it fly.

Yes. Hammond, ye of little faith.

Go find a barn or a thatched roof.

Now, let's just... I'm going to get
a beer and savour the moment.

This is a... It's a mobile bonfire.
It is.

If it were to land in a field
of poppies, for example,

imagine how beautiful that would be.

'Feeling content and happy, we
went to bed. Well, one of us did.'

What do you think
the chances are of waking him?

You won't wake him,
he sleeps the sleep of the dead.

That's in neutral.

Jesus Christ!

'Jeremy hit the road
in a fractious mood.'

Why did you tip me out of my lorry?

Because you swung me
around in my tent.

You deserved that because you're
irritating. I'm never irritating.

It's a good point Jeremy raises,
I feel quite bad about it now,

because when has he
ever been irritating?

'To make my mood even worse,

'the endless hard going had had
a catastrophic effect on my brakes.'

I think they're only working
now on the left-hand side.

Nothing, everything.

You move your foot that much,
that's the difference.

Fortunately, we were now only 80
miles from the border with Thailand.

But, unfortunately,
none of those miles would be gentle.

Oh, it's bad in here and it will be
worse in Jeremy's lorry.

'It was desperately uncomfortable,
and hot,

'and ahead of us lay
the biggest mountain range yet.'

This climb is exactly what you need
in a lorry with a leaky radiator.

Oh, that is a
trouser-threatening drop.

James May is a man
who does not like heights.

He is also a man whose lorry has
its front axle held on with

a bit of string.

How's your vertigo, May?
I'm not looking.

But thanks for reminding me.

'Progress was extremely slow

'as I had to keep stopping to
refill my radiator.'

Pouring out from exactly
where the araldite was.

Fairly convinced this is an
old wives' tale, but we shall see.

'Meanwhile, James was having
his first breakdown of the day.'



'This time, it was the transfer box,

'which had burst
free from its mountings.'

That's the transfer box, that's
the bracket where it's bolted on,

those two bolts have been
shaken out.

Oh, cock.

Still going on,
still more mountains.

When will this end?

Oh, my God, it gets steep.

I've got to keep moving,

if I stop, pulling away will
kill the clutch, I'm sure of that.

OK, my temperature gauge is now
really very high.

I'm looking for a little stream.

'Still, at least the mood
was more cheerful than it

'was at the back of the convoy.'


BLEEPING second gear failed, and now
the engine has BLEEP BLEEP arse.

You piece of BLEEP.

'With some careful nursing,
Jeremy and I eventually reached

'the summit, where there was
one hell of a reward.'

That is insane.

Never seen views like it. Not as
extensive. Not all at the same time.

What have we got here?
Himalayas. Yeah. Austria.

Bit of Scotland going on there. Quite
a bit of Scotland. And the sky.

Enormous. Like a sky from Texas.
Texas sky. But bigger. Much bigger.

Absolutely staggering.

'Sadly, though, the piece
of the moment was then shattered.'

The A-MAY van has arrived.

He's in a rile.

Mate, you've got the crane here.

BLEEP! Heap of dog BLEEP!

Don't say anything.
I don't think he's very happy.

You know the old Buddhist
expression, don't you?

He who tips a man out of his lorry
will suffer from many breakdowns.

From here to the border
with Thailand it was downhill

all the way.

Which for me, at least,
was a bit alarming.

Oh, God. Look at that road now.

No brakes, no brakes.

If your brakes went entirely
would you stay with it

and hope you could sort it out
or would you bail out?

I'm actually sitting here
planning that very thing.

I've planned my bailout already.

I've even practised
lunging for the door handle.

I've got an image of James
punching his lorry all

the way down the slopes as they fell.

Amazingly, we all made it to the
bottom of the mountain in one piece.


And now we were
only 40 miles from the Thai border.

Oh, this is it.
We are about to leave Burma.

I'm gonna miss it.

Soon we cross the border
into Thailand and this meant

we were now just 90 miles from our
finishing line at the River Kwai.

19 miles of easy-going
on smooth roads.

Oh, it's... Hammond your tyre!
Your tyre is...

It's detonating, mate.

It's hard to explain to you...

I'm not giving up. I'm not stopping.
How many wheels do I need?

Happily, the rest of my tyres stayed
inflated and as darkness fell...

we finally reached our destination.

I believe we are at the River Kwai.

The crane is here, everybody.

It's bolted onto a BLEEP lorry
but never mind that.

My brain is frazzled.

To the lorry struggling and screaming
and straining to climb another hill.

Ah, ah, ah!

I am going to sleep for 1,000 years.

Has my spine come out
of the top of my head?

I can't see because my eyes
have been shaken loose.

I think my pelvis has
moved around in my body.

I'm not surprised in your lorry.
It doesn't work.

Your pedals are all different.

Releasing the clutch is that.

It's like a Masonic dance thing
that I have to do every time.

You know those power plates in gyms
that make you stupid?

There's also a psychological thing,

every time I hear a diesel engine
start I have a nervous twitch.

Manual gearboxes. What?

You have ruined me and my life.

The gearbox is too far...

"The Prisoners Of War
walked to their bridge site,"

"you have driven here so shut up."

"Work on the bridge starts at 0500."

"0500 and you can't go home"

"until all three lorries
have driven over it."

0500. What's the point?
We're not still in the war.

What's the point of 0500?
It will only be a little river.

The next morning at precisely 0500..
And 11,

we discovered just how wrong
we were.

It is much wider than I thought
it was going to be.

I thought it would be a comedic
gully. I did. It's 100 times wider.

We were going to need a 60m bridge
so James went off to make plans

and Hammond and I decided to measure
the depth of the water.

Well, when I say Hammond and I...

I'm approaching plumb depth.

Ah! Broach the plumb... Oh! Ah!

It's ever so cold.

I hate my job!

In Bridge On The River Kwai
did Alec Guinness go,

"Oh, it's ever so cold!"

I bet he did in reality.
Oh! I bet he did in reality.

Oh! Sadly, at this point my colleague
was carried away by the current.

Swim, man!

I am!

You're the weakest swimmer
in the world.

And since he was providing
no useful feedback,

I went to check on James's plans.

This is what I was thinking.

The bank goes down at each
side obviously,

we build up the approach area
with these baskets of stones,

make vertical piles out of bamboo
like this, these longerons

I'm calling them, they are bamboo
lashed together,

these will go this way...

Two tracks for the wheels,
the rest is immaterial

and then a superstructure like this

all adding strength.

You know the sort of thing so
that it looks a bit like the film.

Basically we need to start
with rocks

and some wire mesh to make boxes
to put them in.

Where are we getting rocks from?

That's your job
because you have the tipper lorry.

I set about making
the wire mesh baskets,

freed up the space in Jeremy's
cargo bay...

May, you imbecile!

And when Hammond finally returned,

I sent them both off to a nearby
quarry to get the rocks.

You've put them in the front
of this one.

Yeah, stick them in the front.

Let's have these ones here.

Are you going to do anything?

What can I do? Load the trucks.
He's loading them!

With the trucks loaded,
Jeremy finally got off his backside

and immediately started to shout
at me.

Hammond! You idiot.


You put about 400 tonnes of rocks
and it is stuck.

I woke you to say are you going to
help with the loading?

Your words were,
"There's nothing to do!"

That's exactly the kind of issue
you should have been awake for.

How do I know what your load is?
I don't know.

The only solution was to tip
some of the rocks out.

Oh, no, no, no!

Oh, my. That's a remarkable accident.

Oh, jeez, no.

Your windscreen has come out.

The breeze will be nice!

Predictably, when we got back, James
was overflowing with sympathy.

Did you head-butt it? But look...

Richard and James began to load
their basket by hand.

Oh, that's a big rock.

But I'm allergic to manual labour
so I used horsepower instead.

And then I went into town
to buy supper.

Is this a marrow?

A...? Name...

This is... Crikey, is it?
I thought it was a marrow.

That's something you learn. In
Thailand, the word for... Yes, that.

That's the word for marrow.

When I returned, I brought with me
a gang of local labourers.

What are you doing?

There's no way we're going
to be able to build

this bridge by ourselves,
let's be reasonable.

He's right, Hammond.

You and I are not going to be able
to build this bridge by ourselves.

I know.
Hello, officers won't work.

Alec Guinness made that very
plain in Bridge On The River Kwai

in the film.

That was the whole premise of the
story is that officers won't work.

You're an officer?
Of course I'm an officer.

Because you've got a stick.
That stick may disappear quite soon.

With the local chaps helping, James
and I started to make good progress.

As we toiled away,

the self-appointed officer seemed to
be setting up a children's tea party.

What are you doing now?

Well, it's a trick I learnt from
the British in Burma in the 19th century,

they would employ some local young
chap, cover him in jam,

he would follow them around all day
and he'd attract the insects.

They called him a jam boy.

This is my jam bear.
It doesn't seem very fair.

It was, it was because at the end
of the day he got to keep the jam.

At the end of our long difficult
day, I produced my delicious supper.

It smells very good, Clarkson,
what is it?

Mm, I'll whisper it to you because I
can't say it in front of the viewers.

What? She just looked at me
and went...

What did you say? Steady on!

I'd even prepared a treat
for Hammond.

For afters I've got you something
very special indeed. What?

I know you're partial to
a bit of Black Cock. Oh, yes.

And so I've managed to find...

Oh, you hero.

Oh, well done. Black Cock.
Stiff one? Yes, please.

Get that down your neck.

Bottoms up.

I'll tell you what, I'm going
to sleep tonight. Absolutely.

I am worn out.

The next morning, the dawn light
reveals just how little

we had achieved.

So, before the morning mist had
cleared, everyone was hard at work.

Well, when I say everyone...

Morning, May. Good morning. Are you
actually going to do any work today?

I have explained this to you
until I'm blue in the face.

Officers won't work.



Can you hear something?

I need a poo!

Guys, I've had a thought.
It turns out officers will work.

After they released me...
Right, work. Remains available.

I immediately decided we needed more
labour-saving machinery so I rented

a digger for Hammond and I went for
something that would humiliate May.

James has totally wasted his time
bringing that crane here.

Go on, son!

Oh, no!


What was that? It fell over, James.
What have you done?

Hold on a minute! Did you see
where the end of your jib landed?

I had only walked back
to see where the pile was.

If I'd still been standing
there, it would have taken

my head off! It fell over!
It almost killed me!

What do you mean, "It fell over"?
They don't fall over, crane lorries!

They don't fall
over on the motorway!

What do you mean,
it doesn't fall over?

You knocked it over!
Your crane is too small,

so, I've got a bigger one
to reach further into the river.

Right. My crane is too small.
That's punishable by death, is it?

After James had calmed down a bit,
we decided to solve the problem

by using the combined power of
Richard's digger and the A-May Van.

In three, two, one...

Lift away!



But, with stronger cables, we soon
had my crane the right way up.

Excellent. And back to work.

Just use this as
an enormous hammer so...

Just delicacy, this.


That little insect that he's dragged
all the way here

is simply getting in our way.

Oh, well done, Hammond.

Hang on.

That's the ticket! Hammond!
Come on, James, out you come.

Spiky things!

Even though we were now
working as a team, and the bridge

was starting to take shape, we were
still way behind James' schedule.

This side, the blue pegs, represents
how far we should have got by now.

The red pegs show how far
we actually have got.

Obviously not far enough.

It's worse than I thought.

So, the three of us worked
on into the night.

This long? This is long.

That's to go to Hammond.

Whoa, stop there. A bit further.
I've got it, I've got it.

And even though we went to bed

Sleep for Jeremy and I was



You funny man!

We were even funnier
getting him back in.

I think it's the red one.
Is it the red one? I don't know.

Right, so, hang on,
I've got one with, like, a circle.

This one looks like an alien.

That bottom one swivels. Jeez...

No, the bottom one!


James, you're falling out your tent!

He's fallen in!


That's an alarm clock, isn't it?!
Oh, sorry, James!

The bottom of this river's
made out of turds. I know.

Try not to drink more than a pint.

As I was carried away
by the current, I noticed

that the end of the bridge was
now beyond the reach of our cranes.

So when I returned,
we built a home-made piledriver.

Mounted it to a home-made barge...

And kept right on going.

Oh, no!


Get it, stop it, stop it! James!

I can't stop it!

Get it, get it.

Our bridge! Our bridge!


Quickly, go! Let's get it.

Took hours!

I've got it!

Hold on!

Oh, no! No! No!

That was a deep bit!
I'm drowning in BLEEP!

Oh, no!

Man overboard!

How the hell are we
ever going to...?

This is worse!

Abandon bridge! I'm getting back...


Once we were back ashore, we
gathered for an emergency meeting.

I presume it was one of these
that gave way.

The piling. But why did it?

Come on.

Would it help focus our minds
more on the problem

if we had a shot of Hong Thong?

Yes. Or we could have a Red Cock.

We haven't had that.

You got any white spirit?

Yes, I have.

I just don't get it.

If one of the piers was wrong,
that would do it.

If we used... What if we used more of
those whatever you call them,

those bags of...

I'm not helping him cough. What if
we use more of those bags of stones

to protect the bamboo
pillars from the current?

That White Spirit, by the way,
actually IS white spirit!

You're kidding?! What?
It's for cleaning brushes.

'We carried on with the build
and as the long, hot days passed,

'the bridge inched closer to the
opposite bank.'

There you go.

Oh! He's gone through the ramp.

Who here would like
an ice cold beer?

Oh, yes, please.

'But, as we passed the two
thirds point,

'I was forced to call another
emergency meeting.'

What's the matter?

Well, you know, we thought
we were building a bridge over

the River Kwai, which is noble?

We are. We're not.

The name of THAT river...

The Kok?

Top Gear is building a bridge
over the River Kok.

It's actually memorable.

It is, you wouldn't order the wrong
film from an Internet website.

You'd be very careful if you
were. How is BBC presentation...

You know the woman at the beginning
of every programme.

"And tonight, Jeremy, James
and Richard build a bridge

"over the River Kok"...

Well, we're not moving it!

'At this point we had been
at the site

'for what seemed like an eternity

'and we were desperate to get home

'so we were working
round the clock.'

Got it? Yeah. That's a heavy...

That's a bit denser, that one.

I hate bamboo.

I hate bamboo.

So much.

You know,

after that drive through Burma,

I was left with

an enormous amount of respect
for long-distance lorry drivers.


Here, now,

I have even more respect for those
prisoners of war...

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

I mean, let's be honest,
shall we,

we are eat eating here at night.

We haven't got dysentery
and we haven't got cholera. No.

And we're not been beaten, daily.
No, no.

This is difficult, hard, hot work...

But nothing... No... at all...

You know that metal box. Yeah.

There was a guy called
Captain Drauer

who broke the camp commandant's

He was sentenced to life underground
and they buried him

in one of those metal boxes with
a metal roof exposed to the sun

and he was in there for 76 days.
Oh, God.

He had a broken arm when they put
him in and when they got him out

the rats had eaten most of one
of his feet.

It just beggars belief.

'As the sun rose on the 15th day,

'after the hardest work any of us
had ever done,

'the bridge was finished.'

That is a proud moment.


There's a slope on it.

You're right.
It's definitely higher on that side.

'We decided to ignore the slope

'and move straight to the
opening ceremony.'

In three, two, one...

I declare...

the bridge open.

What a moment.

And James May,
you shall cross it first.

Why am I crossing it first?

Because I just said, "James May,
you shall cross it first".

He did, he said that. I did, didn't I?
You did, you said that. Definitely.


Lucky elephant, lucky owl,

Buddha, here we go.

Oh, yeah.

I on the bridge over the River Kok.

This is genuinely the most nerve
wracking thing I've ever done.

James, you are perilously...
Does he realise?

He's a long way over to the right.

Just keep calm,

keep calm.

Oh, my God! It's squirreling.

Oh! They're bending.

I'm more than halfway across.


All I've got to do is get down here.

I just got to get down here.

I've almost done it.


I'm over the River Kok
on our own bridge!


Come on!

Can you go next?

Yes, I will go next. Yes?

Yes, because your lorry is a lot heavier
than my lorry and will weaken it.

I didn't think of that.

I have a policy here,
speed and power.

Because, in my mind,

speed makes you lighter.

I'm approaching the bridge now.

Here we go.

Taking your first ever gear change
on the bridge over the River Kok

and I bolst it up!

Getting to close to the middle.

Oh, the splintering noises.

I'm weakening it for Hammond!

Yes! Come on sports lorry!


My sports lorry has broken its door

but it is across and is bouncing to
celebrate the moment.


'Now it was the turn of the heaviest
lorry of the lot.'

Oh, dear God.

This is a bridge that we built.

I mean, obviously, I want him to
fall into the Kok.


But, if he does, we can't go home.

The challenge said all three
lorries doing it. I know.

This struck is supposed
to weigh 7.5 tonnes.

I don't know if that takes
into consideration

all the extra bits on top!

Oh, my God!

Oh, oh!


Oh, I can hear it crushing.

I can feel it moving.

Oh, no, what's happened?

Oh, no!

What have I done?

It's going at this end, as well.

It's losing structure!


It's breaking apart!


Don't rush to the end, Rich.

Just go in your own...


Just tiptoe.

Just tread lightly.

Just tiptoe your way across.

That's it. That's it.

Light thoughts.

This way, this way.

This way a bit. This way a bit.

This way a bit.

This way, this way,
you're going to fall off.

You're going to fall in!




Richard Hammond!

I've never been
glad to see you alive before

but I am now.

You were so close.

We did it. We did it.

Ow! Sorry.


Do you know how close you were to
falling into the middle at the end?

Half a tyre.

Half a tyre over the edge.

The fact is, though...

All three of us have done it.

With our trucks, over the river.

Here we are.

1,200 miles, built a bridge... Yeah.

Drove all three lorries across it.

It worked.

Unlike the real film,
Bridge On The River Kwai...

there is no bombshell.

No. No.

But there is an ending.

Thanks very much for watching.
Thanks for watching.

What a journey!

God, you were close.