Top Gear (2002–…): Season 22, Episode 2 - Episode #22.2 - full transcript

The boys take a trip to Northern Australia in GT cars (Bentley Continental, Nissan GT-R and BMW M6 GC) to prove that modern cars with complex electronics can survive in rough conditions. Kiefer Sutherland is the star in the reasonably priced car.

'Tonight, I move my eyes...

'.. Richard vandalises a road...'

There you go.

'.. and James says, "Cow." '



Hello, good evening, and
welcome. Thank you so much.

Now, this is a mobile telephone.

It's fully functional

and what I'm going to do...

is throw it in that lavatory.

I know that's the first time
you've ever seen a programme

start that way, but bear with me,

because if we now look...

Yeah, it's only been in the
water for a few seconds,

but it's ruined for ever.

If you wanted to communicate
with somebody,

you'd be better off using
a Brussels sprout.

Of course, because if you expose
your phone to any form of moisture

or heat or dust or
vibration, it will break.

It's not just phones,
it's everything -

printers, laptops, Wi-Fi routers.

My coffee machine breaks even
when you expose it to coffee.

Anything with a circuit board is
as reliable as a Greek accountant.

It is. Except, weirdly, except cars.

Now, we were talking about this
in the office the other day,

and there was a bit of an argument.

We were saying you can drive a
car across the Sahara, the Arctic,

you can run it through hurricanes
and dust storms and it'll be fine.

Hmm, but the producers are saying

that because modern cars are
so complex and so electronical,

they are bound to suffer
from reliability problems

like everything else.

Right, so to see who is correct,

the producers said to us,

"Go out and each choose your
favourite modern GT car,

"and then report with
them to what's billed

"as the most hirsute and manly
proving ground of them all -


No, James, Australia.

Same thing.

'This is the hirsute and manly
proving ground in question...

'.. the vast, almost completely
uninhabited Northern Territory,

'better known as the outback.

'Richard had chosen to take on this
brutal and enormous wilderness

'in a car that was designed for
the car park at Old Trafford -

'a Bentley Continental GT.

'James had gone for a car engineered
for the velvet smoothness

'of the world's racetracks
- a Nissan GT-R.

'And I was in the ultimate
Monaco-to-Munich mile-muncher -

'the BMW M6 Gran Coupe.'

I tell you what.

~ What?
~ I think this is the first time

in all of Top Gear's history,

where all three of us like
all three of the cars.

Normally, I go, "Yours is rubbish,
and you've made the wrong decision,

"and I'm the only one
who's done it properly."

It's a good point, actually,
cos I do like your car

and I do like your car, Hammond,
and I like my car, obviously.

It's a GT-R. You can't
not like a GT-R.

If you like driving above all else

and to the exclusion of
all other considerations,

you have to have one of these.

If you have a Ferrari
or a Lamborghini,

what you're saying is, "I'm not
that interested in driving."

~ It's showing off.
~ It's showing off.

Speaking of which, the
Bentley Continental...

Now, what happened there?

We used to think it was a bit
dull, but now it's sort of good.

~ But it was overnight.
~ It was.
~ We all must have woken up...

I hate the Bentley Continental.
I hate the Bentley Continental.

I hate the Bentley Continental. God,
I love the Bentley Continental.

I don't understand that. Cos they
haven't changed the styling much.

It's been around a while now.

But then you just woke
up one morning and went,

"That looks really good."

I'd actually have a yellow one
as well. It looks tremendous.

But while we're on the subject
of styling... a-hem, a-hem, a-hem!

Oh, how we mocked when they said
they were going to do this.

Right, so you are going
to do a four-door version

of a two-door version of
a four-door saloon car?

And then it came out and you just
thought, "That is so good looking."

I love that back wheel. That dished
back wheel looks so fantastic.

Almost a double-bubble roof.

I know it's carbon fibre,
which is a little bit...

~ We can gloss over that.
~ But, God, it looks good.

'As we continued our three-car
love-in, a challenge arrived.'

Here we go.

"You will drive to a farm,
which is four days from here."

Everything is four days from
everything in Australia!

"And when you arrive you will use
your cars to round up 4,000 cows."

~ But...
~ Can you do that?

"The farm is a big one.
Three million...."

~ Three million acres?!
~ No, it's not.
~ You read that wrong.

~ It's in words.
~ It's in words, yeah.

~ Three...
~ It's not...? Are you sure...?
~ It isn't 300,000?

~ Three million in the country?
~ That's a big farm.

~ Never mind that. Rounding
up 4,000 cows using...
~ These.

Oh, God, James, what have you done?

What's he done, what?

As we know, there is a strong
republican movement in this country,

people who think it's ridiculous
to have a head of state

living in London on the
other side of the world.

He turns up here with that
on the number plate.


Can you not see that? It's obvious.

~ No.
~ "Charles and Camilla."

You've done it on purpose,
haven't you, James?

~ Let me explain.
~ You blithering idiot.
~ You idiot!

Oh, no! Mine says, "Big Royalist."

~ It does.
~ It totally does. You can see it.

"Big Royalist."

Luckily, mine just says BMW 001,

cos I've covered myself
on this occasion.

No, you idiot. "Bloody Mrs Windsor."

Oh, no! "Bloody Mrs Windsor."

~ We're in trouble now!
~ How could he possibly know?

I rang them up and said,
"Can you provide a car?

"Can you make sure the number
plate doesn't say 'convict'

"or anything on it?"

And they've done that!

We're going to have to drive through...
We'll be stoned by republicans.

'As we set off, though, we
had a more immediate problem.

'Could our complicated
cars really cope

'with this vast,
superheated dust bowl?'

Vauxhall once thought they'd try
and sell the Senator in Australia,

a big old saloon made
in Germany in the '80s.

So they shipped one out here
and it lasted a couple of days

and then it split in half.

Split in half!

That's how brutal the outback is.

This car has electronic
valve control,

electronic gearbox control,
an electronic differential.

Everything is electronic.

It actually has a sensor
in the engine that adjusts

all the settings, so that no matter
how hot it is or how cold it is,

you always get 575 horsepower.

And I'm expecting it to work
here in this dust and this heat

and with these vibrations...

and then go farming.

My Nissan is an absolute nerd-fest.

I'm going to give you a few examples.

It's built in a hermetically
sealed factory,

so that no dust can get into
the engine or the gearbox.

The tyres are filled with nitrogen,

because it's more stable
than atmospheric air.

The engine is canted slightly
forwards under the bonnet,

so that when it tenses
up under acceleration,

it all forms a nice,
straight, efficient line.

I mean, it's been built by the cream
of Japanese automotive engineers

at Nissan.

That's a pretty good guarantee.

But I bet even they, watching this,
would think, "Are we sure?"

This has 30 ECUs in it. That's
30 laptops buzzing away all over.

It's got two miles of wiring in it,

a lot of which is super-fast,

super-delicate fibre optics.

I mean, this dust is
going to get everywhere.

And delicate, modern, sophisticated
electronics do not like dust.

'As Hammond was rabbiting
on about dust,

'I decided to have
a debate with James

'about which of our
cars was the fastest.'

You know the Datsun you're driving
is unbelievably fast, yes?


Off the line, this will
leave it for dead.

The M6 will cream you.

No, not off the line it won't.
You know that's nonsense.

'To prove him wrong, I decided
to have a drag race

'on one of the many World
War II airfields that litter

'this part of northern Australia.'

It is absolutely
blistering, this thing.

0-60, 2.8 seconds.


Hammond, would you like to come and
amuse us with your stately home

in a drag race?

Yes, all right, if I must.

He's probably got a demented relation
living in a tower in there somewhere.

'It didn't take long
to find an airfield.

'And we lined up on the runway
with me resigned to my fate.'

I have a four-litre twin-turbo V8

making 521 bhp.

But I think... I may struggle here.

They've got launch control, more
power and they're lighter.

It's come up here what I have to
do to engage the launch control.

So, "deactivate dynamic
stability control.

"Select sequential mode with
drive programme three."

That sharpens up the gear changes.

"With the engine running, depress
the brake with the left foot."

Done that.

"Push the selector lever
forwards and hold.

"A flag symbol appears in
the instrument cluster."

It doesn't.

I'll start again. Into...

It will be a fairly simple process,

but it will be beyond the
mind of the average ape.

Maybe the air conditioning
has to be off.

Let's try that. No.

'Things were much simpler
in the Nissan.'

Right. On, on, on.

Red, red, red.

Manual mode first. Left
foot on the brake.

This is a tiresome formality.

I'm sorry to waste
your time, viewers.

Nothing in the world moves
off the line more quickly

than a Nissan GT-R. That's
just one of those facts.

It's probably in the Bible somewhere.

Right, not a lot to do in the
Bentley before we do this.

Lower the ride height. Done.

Firm up the suspension.

Let's have that on "sport".

And that's it. I'm ready to go.

'And, after about half
an hour, so was Jeremy.'

OK, we're good to go,
we're good to go.

Three, two, one.

Oh, it's gone, it's gone,
it's gone, it's gone.

BMW scrabbling about for
traction all over the shop.

Should prove the point.


This launch control doesn't work.

It does about five feet and it
goes, "Oh, I can't be bothered."

'As it seems, had James.'

Why did you stop?

I won.

What do you mean, you won?
The flags are down there.

~ No, you said which is
the quickest off the mark.
~ Mine was.

~ No, you weren't.
~ It was.
~ It wasn't.
~ It went like a scalded rabbit.

~ I know, but I was off the mark quicker.
~ You weren't.

Nothing is quicker off
the mark than this car.

~ Do you want to check the camera?
~ Yes.

~ Well, I'll check the camera.
~ All right, we'll check the camera.

'We went to check the camera.'

You watch this, OK?

~ Right, and go.
~ Go.

~ God, we haven't got very
good reactions, have we?
~ Not very good.

~ My God, we are useless.
~ That can't...

~ That's...
~ Yes, thank you, thank you.
~ Yeah, you were first.


Oh, God, look at the
BMW. Why am I last?

Right, we've established...

I think the Nissan just
wins it over 16 metres,

followed by the Bentley.

~ The BMW, a rather poor third.
~ Yes.

'I therefore decided we should
have another drag race,

'in which James would go all
the way and I'd go old school.'

I'm doing manual gear changes.

Manual start. No traction control.

Me and the machine.

This is a serious test,
actually, of these cars,

drag racing them in this heat.

107 degrees Fahrenheit.

Three, two, one.

Come on, Bentley, come on, come on!

I am hard on the heels of the Nissan.

Oh, my God, I'm overtaking it!

Come on, Beemer.

I've got the Datsun!

That Bentley is unbelievably fast.

But I going to get him.

This is the closest I've ever seen!

Come on, Beemer, you can't
lose to that monster!

No way. No way!


What a machine you are, BMW!

'Having established that the most
powerful car is the fastest,

'we got back on the road.'

Cooling down now in the evening.
It's down to 98 degrees Fahrenheit.

'The producers said we'd
be staying that night

'at the Million Stars Motel,

'which boasted "the finest fish
restaurant in the outback".

'And we were looking forward to that.

However, when they told
us we'd arrived...

Where is it?

I know exactly what
this is. I've got it.


Million Star Motel.

Best fish restaurant in the outback.

It's a joke.


~ It's a funny joke.
~ Funny!

Funny, yeah - good!

So, we're tenting.

'We were given some
horrible camping stuff

'and an Australian kitchen.

'And once that had been set up,
we had to catch our supper.'

No, thanks.

Welcome to Top Gear.

~ Oh,
~ hell!

~ What are you struggling with?
~ Everything.
~ Oh, watch it!

Can you look behind
you, when you do that?

Yes! Why are you in your car?

I am in the car because the
crocodiles are in THAT pond.

Oh, there's no crocodiles here.

Well, there are! They
can sit under water.

These are machines for
killing and eating!

They can tackle a water
buffalo, whole.

Are you not scared of crocodiles?

I'm not when they're not there.

Then there's the snakes.
There's the death adders.

There is no country on earth where
the public perception of the country

is further removed from the
reality than Australia.

It's just tourists.

Hold on, what was
that? What did that?

It's gone under the water.

~ Where is he gone?
~ I don't know but he's gone down.

~ Argh, look at that!
~ It is!

~ Yes, it is!
~ That is moving towards us, isn't it?
~ Yes.

Did you read about that one last
week that ate a Bentley whole,

~ complete with the man in it?
~ Yes, but it spat the Bentley out.

~ It carries a spare set of teeth.
~ Does it?
~ Yes.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

Now, because we're in
Australia this week,

and because Australia is enormously
full of a million things to do,

we have no time to do
the news, I'm afraid.

Nor do we have time for The
Stig to go round the track.

But we have made time to put a
Star in our Reasonably Priced Car.

And that's because my guest tonight

is THE best British actor
ever to come out of Canada.

Ladies and gentlemen,

please welcome, from America,
Kiefer Sutherland!

Well done. How are you, mate?

~ Great to see you. How are you?
~ Great!
~ Look who's here!

Jack Bauer!

Thank you very much. How are you?

~ I'm very well. How are you?
~ Good.

A lot of people would be surprised
to find that you were

~ actually born in London, weren't you?
~ Yeah.

I was born in Paddington. In fact,
there was a very funny moment.

I was doing a documentary
with a friend.

He was following with
a camera, and I said,

"St Mary's hospital
is right down here.

"That's where I was born." And
as I was showing it to him,

a wrecking ball came out of nowhere
and just knocked it down

and, apparently, they were
moving it across the street.

I got the last vision of the
hospital that I was born in.

The place of your birth,
they'd knocked it down.

Yeah, I know. They
did that with mine.

While I was being born!

~ Of course, your father, he's Donald.
~ Yes.

I want to get on to this.
It's slightly delicate.

But nobody likes to think
of their parents having sex.

This is not something
we can even visualise.

But your father, of course, was in
Don't Look Now, with Julie Christie.

~ Yes.
~ Is that a struggle for you to watch?

It was a real struggle
at about 13, 14,

because Julie Christie was stunning,
and you're 14 years old

and you're watching it, trying
to block your father out.

And then, "No, this
isn't going to work.

"This isn't going to work." But,
yes, that moment was kind of tricky.

Um, now, obviously, you're
best known for 24,

and I know a lot of people here
will want me to talk about 24.

I think I'm right in saying,
was it the first of the what

~ we now take as the binge-viewing box set?
~ Yes.
~ It sort of was.

And there had never been before...
You were a big-name actor

who took up a TV role
which, now, is the norm.

You've got Kevin Spacey going
in House Of Cards and so on,

but, back then, you were either a
TV actor or you were a movie actor.

So it was a ground-breaking thing.

For me, it was a no-brainer. I noticed
the film world was changing.

We used to have five studios
that made 50-odd movies a year.

It went down to three studios
only making 15 movies a year.

And all of a sudden,
the movies that I liked,

like Ordinary People
or Terms Of Endearment,

that kind of 20 million movie,
wasn't getting made any more.

It was all superheroes.

And all of the great drama was kind
of shifting over to television.

And with regard to
the binge-watching,

I ran into a gentleman at
an airport, and he said,

"You ruined my honeymoon." I said,
"How?" He said, "Well, my wife..."

I said, "I don't even
know your wife."

And he said... "No, no,
no, not that. Not that.

"We watched the first 12
hours of 24 on the plane

"from Los Angeles to Paris.

"And the first day of our honeymoon,

"we spent the next
12 hours in the hotel

"watching the next 12 hours."
And I was flattered by that.

You know, ruining...

24 actually ruined my children's
lives because they were young

when it first started, and
nine o'clock was their bedtime

but they had to go immediately
at nine o'clock.

And even now, when they hear the
word "Previously..." they go to bed.

That's quite a great tool.

But it was very important in
my life. Very, very important.

Thank you very much.

I'm sure a lot of people here
would agree with me on that.

~ Didn't you do Rodeo riding?
~ I did, yeah.

~ Actually professionally?
~ I roped in the US TRC circuit.

And I was fortunate enough, I
think I won about three or four.

So why don't you do more
movies that call for you

~ to ride around on horses?
~ They don't make a lot of them.

I'm one of the few actors
I know that's actually

gotten to do a western. Earlier
in my career I got to do films

like Young Guns and Young Guns II.

Can Charlie Sheen ride a horse?
He must be able to ride a horse.

Charlie Sheen didn't like horses
and horses didn't like him.

And that was firmly established
when we were shooting Young Guns.

And most of the scenes involving
Charlie on a horse,

he was on a ladder with a saddle and
some poor teamster holding the bit.

He would hold the reins and he would
kind of act his way out of that.

When we went to go do Three
Musketeers I remember saying

to the AD, Lee Cleary, "What
are you shooting right now?

"He said, "We've got Charlie coming
round the bend on a horse."

I said, "You do, do you? Oh,
that's going to be great!

"I'd get your people out
of the road." And he said,

"No, no, he's going to stop right
by the camera over there."

I said, "I promise you, he's not."

And they called action and
you could hear the horse

starts off in a kind of a
trot and then, in seconds,

you could hear it's in a full gallop.

~ Then off in the distance you hear, "Whoa,
~ Whoa!

~ "Whoa!
~ Whoa!" And then he came around the corner

and he's holding on to the mane.
He's let go of the reins.

He's now holding on for dear life

and he's hitting the horse
in the back, behind the ear.

I remember Lee Cleary went,

~ "Well, you weren't
~ joking there, were you?"

And he didn't move
a muscle to help him.

Now, we're going to
move on to your cars,

~ cos I've looked at your car
history, which is pretty good.
~ Thanks.

~ Cos you began with a '67 Mustang.
~ I did, yes.

When I was about 17 years old,
I was living in New York

and I wanted to get to Los Angeles,
and I did a print ad for Levis.

And I took that money and I bought
a '67 Mustang. Six cylinder.

And I learned how to drive somewhere
between New York and Maryland.

And then got pretty good at it

somewhere around the Texas Panhandle.

~ You've got a Panamera now.
~ I do, yeah.

What in the name of all that's holy
possessed you to buy a Panamera,

which is not a good-looking car?

It was... I think it's one of
the most beautiful interiors.

~ I like those buttons, that's brilliant.
~ I think it's phenomenal.

But I was actually going to shoot
24 in Cape Town in South Africa.

And the flight I had was from
Los Angeles to Frankfurt

and then Frankfurt to South Africa.

And Porsche, before
Panamera had come out,

they would take you off the plane,
take your luggage off the plane,

put it in a Panamera -

the Panamera was being driven
by a race-car driver -

and they would take you
to the next terminal,

which was about five miles away.

And he would get it up to about
145mph and halfway to the terminal

~ you're like, "Holy
~ I got to get me one of these!"

Anyway, the lap. How
was it out there?

Well, first of all, you know,
it's an amazing experience,

I have to say. I've been watching
this show for years.

I've been making fun of people
driving this car all the time,

and the whole time while The
Stig was driving, I'm like,

"Oh, I wish I had never made fun
of anybody driving this car!"

It scared the crap out of me.

He got it going at such
a point where I'm like,

"You're not going to make it,
you're not going to make it!"

Literally I felt like that sticker
of Garfield at the back of the car,

trying to crawl out.

That'll be The Follow Through.
Or going through the tyres.

So, who would like to see the lap?


~ Can I introduce this?
~ Yes.

The following events
take place in real time.

I've always wanted to do that!
Here we go, let's play it.

~ I like the colour.
~ Yeah, the colour stands out well.

This is unusual weather
for Britain in January.

This is that moment where
you think of nothing to say.

Except scheisse.

You could have said, "Dammit!"
We would have liked a dammit.

Or maybe "Send me the schematics
of the track on my PDA."

That would have been
another good one.

That's very tidy through there.

And - oh, yeah, that's very
well done in that weather.

Come on - oh, you're
in fourth, ya prat.

~ "Prat" gives it away.
~ Yes.

No American's going to
say prat - or Canadian.

Tidy again.

Hit the brake like you hate it.

Yes, look at the tech line there,
it does handle very well, that.

Oh, no, wait, you've got
it understeering there.

That is very slippery.

It felt so much faster
when I was doing it.

Yes, it's tragic.

Don't you dare take your
foot off, you pussy.

~ The slower it looks, weirdly,
sometimes, the faster it is.
~ Yeah.

See, look at that, staying away
from the tyres. Very smooth again.

I don't know what the time
is yet, I haven't seen.

~ This was the tricky part.
~ Oh, that's a tricky corner, that is.

Oh, it's mean.

But that is beautifully done.

And, again, beautifully done around
Gambon and across the line.

Well, there we are.


where do you think you've come?

~ Oh, gosh, I have...
~ Bearing in mind... OK,
these are all dry laps.

The wet ones start with James Blunt.

I can't remember what "FW"
stands for. It think "fairly."

~ But it might not be.
~ Oh, fairly wet.

I think our fastest wet lap
we've had so far is at 1.49.4.

What do you think?

I really haven't a clue.

OK, Kiefer Sutherland,
you did it in...

~ Well,
~ 1. Good.
~ That's not surprising.

~ What is surprising in that
weather is the next one - 40.
~ OK.


What's terrifying me...

~ .. is if, and I like James Blunt
a lot, he's a really good guy.
~ Mm-hm.

~ But if James Blunt's faster than
Jack Bauer, this could end 24.
~ Yeah.


Right, here we go.



2. 2.

So that...

Are you happy with that?

You know what? Yes. I've
never run on a track.

I mean, anything that I've ever been
asked to do in a car, which is

quite a lot of stuff,
but they basically say,

"OK, I want you to go as
fast as you can, start here,

"and then when you
see that bus, hit it."

That, I do really well.

Anyway, ladies and gentleman, can
I just say, on behalf of all us,

~ thank you for coming.
~ Gosh, thank you so much.

~ Kiefer Sutherland!
~ Thank you, guys, very much.


Tonight we are in Australia,

trying to find out if
modern, complicated cars

can survive the outback.

Indeed, the producers had told us

to drive from Darwin to
a three million acre farm,

where we would have to round
up 4,000 cows using a BMW M6,

~ a Bentley Continental, and a Nissan GT-R.
~ Yeah.

When we left the action,
we were sitting beside

a crocodile-infested swamp, trying
to catch fish for our supper.

And the good news is we
survived the crocodile.

We did, but we weren't
out of danger yet.

Because in Australia animals
don't just like to bite, sting

and strangle you,

they also love to jump out in the
road and kill you in a crash.

Absolutely. And that's why, before
we set off on the second day,

we thought we should probably
test our brakes.

So we found a long, straight,
empty piece of road -

which isn't actually very
difficult in the outback -

and we set up a little experiment.

Here is what we've planned -

Richard Hammond will drive
down this road at 60mph.

When he gets to the chequered
flags over there, he will brake.

Now, the Highway Code says
he will stop 240 feet later

on this line here, right where
James May and I are standing.

Ah, yes, but the thing is, when
the Highway Code was written,

cars were small and light.

That Bentley weighs
two and a half tonnes.

Yeah, two and a half tonnes.

So, let's see how long
it takes him to stop it.



Highway Code.

Two and a half tonne Bentley.

I'll regret that.

Missed opportunity. I mean, that's
never going to come along -

they volunteered and everything.

Was that 60mph?

~ Yep.
~ Miles?
~ Miles?

I'm going to mark it here, look.

B for Bentley.

~ And the little wing.
~ There you go.

I elected to go next
in the Gran Coupe which,

unlike Hammond's Bentley,

didn't have carbon-ceramic brakes.

I'm going to be relying
on old-fashioned steel.

And the quick reactions
of a man in his prime.

~ Do we need to be this far away?
~ No, we could confidently move forwards.

Yeah, think who's driving.
Maybe that much.

~ That much. That much.
~ OK. I'm ready.

Here we go.

OK, up to 60. That
does not take long.

And... braking.

Oh, that hurt my face!

More to the point, it had
shattered Hammond's effort.

What is the Highway Code on about?

I don't know, what are
they talking about?

The BMW had stopped in just 75 feet.

Quite a target for
the Datsun to beat.

What worries me is he doesn't ever
use anything he's given to the full.

Give him 900 horsepower, he uses 20.

~ So he might not use all the brakes?
~ No, he won't.

As it turned out, he
did use all the brakes.

But even so...

~ Ooh!
~ I think it's actually
gone over the BM. It has.

The BMW has cleaned up there.

'But, although the BMW had won,

'all three cars had made
a very good point.'

When you go on a speed awareness
course and the man goes,

"It'll take you 240 feet to stop."

Just put your hand up and
go, "No, it doesn't."

We have to do 70mph in
Britain on the motorway,

because somebody might have a Ford
Anglia and it will take them

that long to stop. But if you're
driving a good car like this - well,

any one of ours, really -

~ you should be allowed to go 140... 210mph.
~ Yeah.

I shouldn't have to suffer because
somebody's still got an Anglia.

Having established that our
cars could stop on a stamp,

we let them off the leash.

542 horsepower from a twin-turbo V6.

It is absolutely ballistic.

The mid-range thrust of this, when
you're midway through a corner,

it just... phwoar...

launches itself.

I think in this you could give
some pretty good sports cars

a pretty big surprise.

In the early days, BMW's
M cars sounded like

500 yards of ripping calico

and they had telepathic steering
and they were magnificent.

In recent years, though,

some of the magic has sort of gone.

With this one, though, it is back.

It is properly back.

God, this is just...
electrifyingly good.

Soon the producers
told us to pull over

for some kind of motor racing event.

What manner of thing
will it be, I wonder?

The mystery deepened when we arrived

and were given idiotic
health and safety outfits.

But then all was revealed.

Holy cow!

Most of the steel used
to build modern China

came out of this vast
hole in the ground.

But today it would be our racetrack.

Must be a hill climb.

~ Like Goodwood.
~ Yeah, it is.
~ It's not exactly like...
~ Not exactly, no.

Every single corner has got a drop
on it that's... lethal. Oh, hello.

Oh, it's you.

"You will now take it in turns to
drive up the hill climb course..."

~ It is, yeah.
~ ".. attempting to beat a benchmark time."

~ Let me guess, the benchmark
time is set by The Stig?
~ It isn't The Stig.

But it is... The Stig's
Australian cousin.

~ He's bigger than English Stig.
~ Mm.

And he's got a bigger... sausage.

~ How did you find that out?
~ Well, look.

~ Even from here, one can see that he is a...
~ Big Stig.

Big Stig would be laying
down the gauntlet

in a typical Aussie sportscar -

a Holden Ute.

~ You know that, whatever it's called, Maloo?
~ Yeah.

~ It's got more horsepower than my BMW.
~ Has it?
~ Two more.

Three, two, one, go!

Whoa, that's a spectacular
thing to look at.

~ Oh, no!
~ Oh, he's gone a bit sideways there. What...?

~ Am I the only one who really likes that Ute?
~ Yes, you are.
~ OK.

And they're ready, steady, and...

across the line.

Gordon Bennett, he was... Oof.

As Big Stig's dust settled,
the three of us

made our way to the
bottom of the mine.

~ I'll win this.
~ I seriously doubt that.

~ Well, I will or he will cos
we've got four-wheel drive.
~ It's true.

Four-wheel drive is useful on a
tractor but on a normal road car

~ it's pointless. It's like water.
~ How's it like water?

Cos it's neither good nor bad,
it just doesn't do anything.

Water's useful for a lot of things.

It is if you put hops in it,
or grapes. But on its own...

When was the last time
a rear-wheel drive car

won the World Rally Championship?

~ Huh!
~ Oh... recently.

~ Not that recently.
~ In my mind, it was.

~ It was 1983 and that was yesterday.
~ Correct.

Ever since then it's been four-wheel.

~ That's a rally stage, isn't it?
~ I shall do this first.

~ And you will witness poetry.
~ Fire away.

In front of a crowd of bemused
miners, I prepared for my run.

Traction control... off.

Three, two, one, go!

It's struggling for traction already!

Second, still spinning
the wheels. Third!

Still spinning the wheels.

Maybe I should have kept
the traction control on.



Big slide.

God above.

What if, all of a sudden - twoo! -

and then we just saw the
underside of the BMW.

Could check the exhaust is OK.

Come on, Beemer, give
me that 575 horsepower!

Four-wheel drive is for the weak.


And through the lorries
and across the line!

Next, the Bentley.

And the magnificent country residence
of the Duke of Marlborough

takes its place on the starting line.

I'm going to bias the suspension
slightly towards soft.

I might get more traction that way.

Three, two, one, go!

Grip, grip, grip! Good girl.

After just 100 metres,

the four-wheel drive Bentley was
four seconds ahead of the BMW.

Into the hairpin.

Oh, four-wheel drive helping
me round that a treat.


The China and silverware
is going to fall over

and make a terrible mess for
the butler to clear up later.

Right, braking, ready for
the... Oh, God, turn here...

Come on, bite! There you go.

Right, viewers, now we're alone,

look, that car should be
the fastest up that course

but with the best will in the
world, I'm not going to be,

so I've got a plan.

English Stig. I've been carrying
him around for days.

With English Stig smuggled
into the driving seat,

the GT-R readied for the off.

Here he is, look. "Hello."

Three, two, one, go!

~ That's quite a vigorous start.
~ Hello!

~ Um...that was a racing
line, there, did you see?
~ Yeah.

~ None of what I'm seeing...
~ Makes sense?
~ .. is possible.

~ Oh, my God.
~ He's twitching, he's actually...
~ Oh, my...!

Where's he going?

He forgot where the end... Well,
he did something James May-ish.

Thanks very much.

Here he is.

~ That was very quick.
~ Yeah.
~ It was vigorous.
~ Four-wheel drive.

~ It's a good car. It flatters.
~ It does.
~ I'm not saying...

You're right to say it. I... You
know, I wasn't that confident,

~ but it does look after you all the way.
~ We have the times here anyway.

The Australian Stig in the
HSV Maloo did a 1:17.8.

~ I was a little bit slower,
as it's turned out.
~ Really?
~ Go on.

He was 1:17.8.

I was 1:31.6.

That is slower, isn't it?

Bentley... 1:18.6.

~ Oh, that's not bad.
~ That's pretty good.

I'm pleased with that.

You were really... You
were only a second off.

I was on it on the old Bentley.

GT-R. 1:13.3.

Four and a half seconds
faster than a Stig.

~ Well done, you.
~ Thank you.

'As we got back on the
road, I could accept that

'four-wheel drive makes
sense in an iron ore mine.

'But James's time...


1 minute 13 seconds, James May.

It normally takes James May 1 minute
13 seconds to go through a door.

How did he do that?

'And more to the point,
how did our cars do that?'

To be in this Bentley
hammering up that hill,

you're asking a lot
of a modern luxury car

weighing the best part
of two and a half tonnes.

It did it.

'After a dirty, dusty day,

'we were looking forward to
staying in an actual hotel.

'Sadly, though, this was
the only one for miles.'

~ Evening.
~ Evening.

~ Is that a bed?
~ Is it?
~ Yeah.

'Jeremy, therefore, suggested
we should leave immediately...

'.. and try a new type of tenting
that he'd just thought of.'

What are you doing?

~ Most people build a campfire
and then sit around it, yes?
~ Yes.

What I've done is built
the campfire round us.

So we can sit in the middle,

cook our salmonella

and none of all the dangerous
animals can get at us.

I have revolutionised tenting,
is what I've done.

Hang on.

~ What are you doing now?
~ What's the best way of starting a fire?


What must the world look
like from inside that head?

~ Are you ready?
~ Yes.

Behold! For I have made
fire all around us!

~ Brilliant. Jeremy...
~ It's quite warm.
~ What?

One of the many advantages of

a single traditional campfire
that you sit round

is that you can move out of the
way of where the smoke is going.

Yeah. You can't with mine,
but we are safe. Get down low.

~ Down low. It's better.
~ I already am down low.

~ It's worse.
~ No, it's better here.

~ Anyway...
~ What?
~ Where are the tents?

In the cars.

~ Well...
~ You plum sack.

'The next morning, after
another dreadful night,

'we were back on the road.

'And after about four hours,

'Professor Hammond finally
realised something.'

It's big. It is big, Australia.

'We were headed for the gigantic
farm where we'd be herding cattle,

'and had decided to try
and reach it in one day.

'The drive would be... enormous.'

I spy with my little eye
something beginning with T.


I spy with my little eye
something beginning with T.

Termite mound.

I spy with my little eye
something beginning with T.

It's "tree". Just stop it!

'Since Hammond wouldn't play,

'I tuned into the only station
that my radio could receive.'

'.. lightweight heifers out
of Darwin heading to Indonesia

'are now fetching up to 2.25 a kilo.

'Fattening steers heading to
Indonesia up to 2.45 a kilo.'

Why don't you play Steely Dan?!

'Normally you get SOME excitement
in this part of Australia

'when you have to overtake a
convoy of gigantic road trains.'

'We were actually quite looking
forward to the peril.'

A lot of dust coming up here.

'But in cars as fast as
ours, it was a doddle.'

I'm out of the way. I'm free.

'At one o'clock, I had
a delicious Aussie lunch.'

"Bloody hot ring-burner."

'And then it was back
to business as usual.'

'C2 heifers sell from 160-176.

'Lightweight C3 heifers lifted four.

'They sell from 160-190.

'And heavyweight heifers
returned up to 204 cents...'

Oh, God!

'Darkness had fallen

'when we finally reached the
bottom of the farm drive.'

Joy of joys!

' took another
two hours to reach

'the farmhouse at the top of it...'

~ Welcome.
~ Thank you.

'.. where there were
no spare bedrooms.

'So I decided to try another
new sort of tenting.'

~ Do you know what?
~ What?
~ We started this, I liked all three cars.

I still do.

But my conviction that the Bentley
is the best is now absolute.

I just...

~ I still find it slightly sort of...
~ What?

There's a slight hint of
faux-toffery about it,

which suits you very well, obviously.

But the great thing
about the Nissan is

it's just a finely honed
driving instrument.

Well, no... OK, on the
Nurburgring, yours is...

Don't mention the Nurburgring.

~ That's what it's for, James.
~ No, it's not.
~ And Jeremy, your BM.

~ It does look brilliant.
~ There you go.

It's a very competent
motorcar, the BMW.

That's damning with faint
praise, that is, May.

Yes, exactly.

Yours is a bit too Dolce & Gabbana.

Yours is a bit too Poundland.

They're both brilliant
cars, make no mistake.

~ What are you doing, by the way?
~ Claymores. They're mines.

I brought them from Britain.

Ring our campsite with claymores.

Then any animal that comes...

.. they will... it
will become a veneer.

'When my work was done and May and
Hammond had drunk all the beer,

'we turned in for the night.'

~ What was that?!
~ That was the sound of me saving your life.

'The next morning, our campsite
looks like an abattoir.'

~ What's this?
~ Crocodile's ear.

~ It's hairy.
~ Crocodiles do have hairy ears.

They don't even have ears.

They do. That was a crocodile
that was coming to eat us.

And my claymore saved our lives.

Look what we've got here, Hammond.

It's a crocodile's hoof(!)

You've detonated one
of the man's cows.

Let's not get bogged down
with..."ooh, blew up," all right?

Because I've been reading
about this farm.

~ Yes.
~ It's actually 3.2 million acres.

So another 200,000 acres
just slipped in there?

And to put that in perspective,

this single farm is the same
size as Buckinghamshire...

and Hertfordshire... and Surrey...

and East Sussex and West
Sussex and Kent, combined.

It's the same size as the
South East of England!

'Everything you see here, and
a lot more besides, is one farm.

'And as we set off
to do cattle herding,

'we were still struggling
to get our heads

'around the enormity of it all.'

It's 250 miles from this farm
to the nearest supermarket.

That's like driving from
London to Newcastle

just to buy some washing-up
liquid and some bog roll.

And it's not driving on motorways.

It's not the A1 and it's
not the M1, it's tracks.

In Britain, the average beef herd
is between, sort of, 28 and 50 cows.

And here it's 64,000.

'Our task was to round
up 4,000 of them,

'and we assumed this many
would be easy to spot.'

~ Now, have you raised your
suspension up, Hammond?
~ Yes, I have.

~ Can you see any cows?
~ No, no. Not one.

But we could be in the
equivalent of Dover

and the cows could
be in Beaconsfield.

Well, I was just thinking that.

What if they're all in
the opposite corner?

They could be 100 miles
away from here.

'Even the hi-tech BMW was no help.'

'Voice commands. New entry.
Spell name of place.'

Some cows.

'Did you mean Sheep Hills?'

No, not sheep. Cows.

What's the noise you
make to attract a cow?

If it was a dog it would be...

I don't know anything about cows...

apart from what they taste like.

It is difficult to be a cowboy
when we can't find any cows.

41 degrees out there.

No cows.

'After an hour's meandering about,
however, we struck gold.'


Over there. Yes, cows!

I'm counting four cows.

That is a start. Get
'em, round 'em up.

You two take the flanks,
I'll stay at the rear.

Don't get too close. If you panic
'em, you'll spoil the burgers.

We've got them. We have them.

This is perfect.

We're brilliant at this!

'But then...'

They're going to brake
and go in the woods.

They're getting into the trees!

I can't go in there. It's too rough.

'And even though Hammond
had four-wheel drive,

'it turned out he couldn't
go in there either.'

Um, I'm beached.

'And by the time James
had pulled him out...'

Three, two, one. Action!

'..our four cows had wandered off.'

Sitrep - we found four
cows and we lost them.

'So, what chance would we
have when we found 4,000?'



Now, this is the biggest
flock of cows

I have ever seen in my entire life.

'Our job was to get
them all turned round

'and then herd them into a giant
pen, which was 10km away...

'.. a pretty tall order for
three cars like these.'

It's like Zulu, watching
them coming towards us.

Here we go.

Has anyone got any
plans, cos I haven't?

'Hammond suggested we break
the herd into smaller chunks.

'But that didn't work at all.'

They're going in completely
the wrong direction now.

Oh, now... How are they...?
What, they've gone...

They're just going round me.
They are not very scared of me.

I'm in the middle. I've been herded
by the cows. It's all gone wrong.

~ Clarkson, where the hell are you?
~ I am now in cow dust.

I can see nothing.

OK, they're charging
me. This is unexpected.

They're running towards me.

We are in the middle of the cows.
We've been outwitted by cows.

Um, nice cows. Morning, cows.

That bull's menacing me.

This is a remarkably brave cow.

It won't be pushed
back into line at all.

When I say "cow",
I mean massive bull.

I may need some help here.
This guy is properly stubborn.

I shall call you James May.

He fears the Nissan more.

'And as it turned out, that
wasn't entirely accurate.'

He's head-butting me!

He head-butted your Datsun.

'Meanwhile, back in the Bentley...'


'Clearly, things weren't going well,

'so we made a decision.'

I think there are too many for us.

Well, yes.

We need the cavalry.

'And ten minutes later, it arrived.'


One of the most dangerous
jobs in the world,

flying the Robinson helicopters
to muster the cattle.

On average, round about eight
are killed every year.

Sometimes they will use the skids
to actually push the cows into line.

'With the air cav as backup, we
started to get our act together.'

Hammond, you're the rough
terrain response.

And I'm the quick response.

That's good, that's good.

Channel 'em in, I'll
drive them forwards.

Flanking, flanking.

Go on, go left.

? I was riding my horse... ?

Braking right.

Good work, Hammond, good work.

That Bentley going across that
field is a sight to behold.

Look at... Look at its wheels!

'Soon, we realised something.'

Ah, there you go. Look at that.

'For once, Top Gear was being
ambitious and not rubbish.'

~ All right, cowboy!
~ I feel pretty manly!

I feel like one of those bulls.

~ I loved that.
~ I thought that was fun.

~ That was a lot of fun.
~ It was.
~ And these cars...

~ better than horses.
~ And nobody fell off.
~ Much better.
~ Yeah.

But can we just stop for a moment?

The amazing thing - the cars survived
it. Nothing broke. All three.

Fantastic. And if Nissan... well,
actually, or Bentley or BMW,

if they made a laptop, I'd buy it.

You could throw a Nissan laptop
in the lavatory, do a log on it...

.. and you'd still be
able to log on on it.

You would. Anyway...

we must now decide which
of these cars is the best.

Well, I'm not backing
down. It's the Bentley.

I'm not backing down.
It is this Nissan.

James, sorry, mate.
You are just wrong.

The Nissan GT-R, it has a
whiff of the Nurburgring.

It's not just a whiff of the
Nurburgring. It reeks of it!

Your clothes will smell of it six
weeks after you've been in it.

It's better than it smelling
of Ryan Giggs's bath water.

Mate, it's a Bentley.

~ Think what that means.
~ I'll tell you what it means, Hammond.

It means it is ?66,000
more expensive than this.

Yes, because that's a Nissan!
That's a Bentley.

Exactly. It's a Nissan. And when you
strip everything off this Nissan,

you find underneath a racing car.

When you strip all the
stuff off of that Bentley,

underneath it is a VW.

If we strip all the stuff off you,

we'd find underneath
the same basic skeleton

as you would find in a racing driver.

But when we put it all back on,
as we must, to make you James May,

you're James May! That's
the wrong car.

Yes, but, Hammond, if we stripped
everything off of you,

we'd find the same skeleton that you have
in a racing driver when he was a little boy!

But when you put it all back together,
you are still Richard Hammond.

You in that GT-R is like
you in those shoes.


Says the man in the jacket
woven out of 100% pure 1935.

That was designed very
specifically for a purpose -

to feel good on the ragged
edge of performance.

You're not going to do that.

You have a watch that
can go to the moon.

You're never going to go to the moon.

They don't make moon boots in your
size, but you like having that watch

because it means it is a good watch.

And it's the same with the car.

~ You're just being a

Thank you.

~ And you've got a
~ like a

A baby one.

Gentlemen. Gentlemen, gentlemen,

I'm sorry, I'm going to have
to interrupt at this point,

because the fact of the matter is,

by any measurable means you choose,
the BMW is the best car.

~ But... Y...
~ But I wouldn't buy one.

Well, why?

Because fast, expensive BMWs plummet
in value as soon as you buy them.

You buy one of those,

within 18 months you are going
to lose ?40,000, ?45,000.

And as a Yorkshireman, I
just couldn't handle that.

~ I really couldn't.
~ That means you have to choose one of these.
~ I know.

I find myself now with
the casting vote.

Um, the problem I have is,
OK, I'm at the precise age

when I'm growing out of the
Nissan and into the Bentley.

~ That's the problem I've got.
~ And that is why you should have this.

The Nissan will help you rage
against the dying of the light.

Rather than any of that,
you can grow old gracefully

and in comfort in the Bentley,
which is a great place to be.

It's got quilted leather in there.

Hammond, quilted leather is what
an incontinence sheet looks like

if you look at it under a microscope!

I have made up my mind. Right
now, I've made up my mind.

I'm going to ditch my Yorkshireness,

not care about the depreciation,

go for the Beemer.

~ You never chose...
~ The thing is...

~ You never will.
~ .. it's breathtaking, that car.

~ All right.
~ And on that bombshell, it's time to end.

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