Top Gear (2002–…): Season 6, Episode 6 - Episode #6.6 - full transcript

Jeremy, driving a Mercedes McLaren SLR, takes on Richard and James on a boat in a challenge to see who gets from Heathrow Airport, London to Oslo quicker. The Stig takes the Aston Martin DBR9 racing car on a lap of the test track.

CLARKSON: Tonight,  Question Time comes to   our Reasonably Priced Car.


-- Aston's DB9 racer  -- comes to our track.

-- And an offshore power boat  -- against a Mercedes SLR.

Hello! Now, tonight,  we have our biggest   Top Gear--challenge ever.

You may remember, in the past we've raced an Aston Martin DB9

against one of the 200-mile-an-hour trains to Monte Carlo.

Then we raced a Ferrari  612 Scaglietti like this

against a plane  to Verbier in Switzerland.

Yes. And both times,  the car won.

So, we have shown that  the car is faster than a train  and faster than a plane.

Now, though, it's time  for the big one.  Is it faster than a boat?

See, here's the deal. Okay?

We get many letters  asking us...

"What is the fastest way of  getting from London to Oslo?"


Actually, that's a lie.

We've never had a single letter on the subject,

and now we never will,

because tonight,  we're going to find out.

We are. Now,  the starting point for  our race is here, Heathrow.

James and I will be catching  a plane up to Newcastle,

and then hopping  on the ferry over to Norway.  It's simple.

Meanwhile, I will be  driving all the way  around the M25,

through the  Channel Tunnel,  France, Belgium,

Holland, Germany, Denmark,  which is much bigger  than it looks on any map,

up through Sweden  and then finally to Oslo.

-Yes, an that's how many miles? -1,320.

Which is a lot.

Which is why I decided  to get myself  a very serious car.

And here it is.

-- A £330,000 -- Maclaren Mercedes SLR.

-- A car designed to be fast  -- and comfortable.

Exactly the qualities you need

when you have to   get across eight countries   in a single day.

-Ready for this? -Oh, yes!

-Ready?  -Yes!

'Cause as I see it,  you're going to spend  all day queuing,

and then all night  in a nightclub  on a car ferry

-dancing with lorry drivers.  -Pretty much, yeah.

-Yeah, but then you...  -What are you  gonna be doing?

Driving, man... A lot!

I have to say I've got  every confidence in this car.

-In the car, yeah.  -Yes.

In the driver, he's old. His hip's gone. He'll never make it.

I can't believe we're doing this again.

I think we really should beat him this time. I'm going to run!

CLARKSON: Heathrow to Oslo.

I'm mad for doing this!

-Hello. Newcastle, please.  -Hello.

Can I check your passport?

-Is the flight delayed? -No, there's no delay on the flight.

-What sort of aeroplane is it?  -737.

-737?  -Yes.

-Is it a 737-400...  -Stop it. Please stop it.

It's funny, sitting here,  it's impossible  to tell, really,

that I'm in one of the most  powerful road cars ever made.

Till I put my foot down,  of course, and then...  Yes, now it's... Yes!

See, the SLR was designed  so you could  cruise to the Nurburgring,

listening to Terry Wogan, do a mind-blowing lap,

and then cruise home again listening to Ken Bruce.

What I can't bear about  air travel is this business  of getting here an hour early

to check in, checking in,  and then you just  sit around, wasting time.

I'm in a hurry. There's  nothing to do but buy rubbish  you don't need.

Yeah, you just made  my point, mate.

CLARKSON: Right,   it was time to set   the Merc's sat nav for Oslo.

So there we are,  it's saying it's 1,320 miles.

--SAT NAV: Prepare -- to keep right.

Continue to follow the M25...

Good job.  I've got some power.

Hurry! Hurry!

Come on, man! I've got  a ferry to catch! I'm in a race! Come on!


-Hurry up and wait.  -Queue situation.

---Channel Tunnel straight... -- -Now turn left.

The Channel Tunnel  is straight. I can read!

You useless harridan!

CLARKSON: Despite the sat nav, I reach the Channel Tunnel with time to spare.

-That's an airbus-A340.  -I don't care about the plane!

HAMMOND: Meanwhile,   we'd only managed   to get from the check-in

to the steps of the plane.

So, it's a short flight  to Newcastle, and then we're on that boat?


-And we're on it for... -17 hours.

-But he has got to drive... What is it? 1,300 miles. -1,300 miles.

He's going to have to stop.

But we're gonna be  still be travelling  while we're sleeping.

We're travelling now.

Part of me really, actually  wants that car to win, though.

-But all of me wants Jeremy to lose. -Wants Jeremy to lose.

CLARKSON: Obviously,  you get a CD auto-changer  with the SLR

and the office has very kindly provided me with two CDs.

"Teach Yourself Norwegian."

Fluent already.

-- 101 Classic Speeches  -- from Mrs Thatcher!

(IMITATING THATCHER)  "No, no, no, no, no, no,  this lady's not for turning!"

FLIGHT ATTENDANT:   Welcome to Newcastle   where the local time is 1:00.


CLARKSON: Hamster!

-- -How are you?  ---Not very well, mate.

-Why are you not very well?  -You know the 1:30 train  we're catching?

-- -Yes.  ---No.

-You've missed your train?  -No, haven't missed it.  it just doesn't exist.

What do you mean it doesn't...  How can it not exist?

I've given public transport one little chance,

one little section  of my journey,  and it's let me down.

Yeah, you missed your train,  but that's okay.

It doesn't exist!

You can get one after 2:00.  We've got a bus to catch.  So we're off.



-He sounded a bit cross towards the end of that. -So he's missed it?

Yes, and he's got  some preposterous  excuse that,

"There isn't one!"

-"They've demolished  the terminal."  -"Everybody else is wrong."

--HAMMOND: While Jeremy  -- waited for his train,

we'd lunged ahead and were now on our way to Newcastle's ferry terminal.

-Oh, good!  -Bus! Excellent!

Come on!

As soon as we get off  this bus, we get straight on  to the big boat,

which is like a big party.

You've built this thing up.

No, I've been on it before.

CLARKSON: Ooh, spooky!

I wonder what the fastest anyone has ever been in a Eurotunnel train.

How tempting is it to...

No, no, no! Grow up!

You've got a band, cocktail,  beautiful dancing girls  everywhere,

17 hours of being forced  to enjoy yourself.


So do I just drive all the way to France in the train?

-We have James...  Hello there, James.  -That's me.

Permission to come  aboard, skipper?

-Stop it, James.  Please, stop it!  -Have a nice voyage.

-Can you make this boy  walk the plank, please?  -Whatever. Get on the boat!

--CLARKSON: Unbelievable!  -- I still hadn't left England!


That's enough health and safety. Can we go now?

--MAN ON P.A.: ...followed by  -- an evacuation announcement...

Will you stop this whole  nautical term thing?

That you are then  abaft the beam.

-- Safety instructions are also  -- displayed on the side panels.

Oh, it's pretty large.

Pretty blowy as well.

If you ask to be piped aboard,  I'm throwing you off.

-(ANNOUNCEMENT IN FRENCH)  -We gotta have it in French!

Start the train!

MAY: We've got a touch  of over-steer  on the Princess--here.

HAMMOND: Bit of tailing  action occurring.

-He's turning it around.  -Yes, I realise that.

-Which way is the sea?  -He's not turning around,  he's going about.

CLARKSON: It's going!


Since we are in a box  for half an hour,

it's probably a good idea  to explain  why I chose the SLR.

You see, most super cars  are so brittle and so fragile,

that when they are  being developed,

they have to be  transported everywhere  like Hannibal Lecter.

But with this,  But when they were  cold-weather testing it,

they drove it up  to the Arctic Circle,  did the test,

and then drove it all the way back again.

Oslo should just be a langlauf in the park.



MAY: Ahoy there, Clarkson!

Stop talking  in stupid nautical terms.

-It's not--Blue Peter...  --Where are you, then?

There's no other word for it.  I'm thundering through  Northern France. And you?

We're on the poop deck  of the Princess--just  steaming out of Newcastle.

All right, so  now the race is on.

Very much so, I'd say.

I just wanted to ask you.  How many horsepower  have you got in your Mercedes?

Oh, 626.


That's the sound  of a lot of horsepowers.

-- Do you know  -- how many I've got?

Oh, I don't know, 100?


-- Twenty-five thousand, sir. -- Think about that

-- as you drive along  -- in your small hatchback.

-I've got to go now, Jeremy.  -Take care.  Hope you lose. Bye.

CLARKSON: Frankly, though, the chances of me winning looked bleak.

-- On the sea, -- you can go in a straight line.

On land, you can't.

So, this is it.  We're really under way.  Out there's the North Sea.

Seventeen hours across there  to Kristiansand in Norway.

And then,  we're on the way to Oslo.  So, we're getting serious now.

-Fancy a game  of table football?  -Brilliant idea.

This thing was just designed  to eat the miles.

I mean, watch this.  Okay, ready?

Blink.  And there's  the Belgian border!

Ninety-eight miles of France, gone. Poof! In the blink of an eye.

Have you got a fog horn?

-Huh?  -Fog horn?  (MIMICS HORN BLOWING)

-Oh, yes, we have. -Can we try it?

You can try it.


Oh! That's a good sensation.

CLARKSON: So, Belgium...

-- A lot of people say that -- not much happens here,

but that's simply not true.

Did you know that  Belgium has

the only fully lit  motorway network  in the world?

Did you know that?

There you are, you see.

If there's one thing  that's annoying me  at the moment,

and there is only one thing,  it's the brakes.

'Cause look, I want to  slow down a bit...  Nothing, nothing.

Push harder!  Argh, my face comes off.

Just want  something in-between.

To take my mind off   the braking problems,   I turned on the CD player!

--THATCHER: -- U-turn if you want to...


Very good.

The lady's not for turning.


-- And then I hit Holland  -- at rush hour.


The traffic was appalling.


-- -CLARKSON: Hello.  ---Jeremy!

Yes, how are you doing?

We're very well.  We're on the bridge.

It's very exciting. Where are you?

We're in Holland, we're not doing as well as we'd hoped.

It's nice here.   We've booked   a table for dinner.

And we're still  ahead of you.

Okay. But do bear  in mind, Richard,  that I'm penetrating Germany.

The time I've lost  in Holland, trust me,

I'm going to make up  on those autobahns.

Yeah, yeah. I'm sure.

What are you  having for dinner?

We haven't decided.  We think we might  go for the Scandinavian...

-Scandinavian buffet. -Scandinavian buffet.

I'm having a Thai supper.

Would you like anything  from the bar? Oh, you can't.

Can you, now?  That'd be a problem.

No, no, I'm well catered for  with drinks.

And I'm going   a damned sight   faster than you are.

---Bye-bye. Good luck.  -- -Bye. Take care.

Hammond! Ha-ha!

The tallest race on Earth now,  the Dutch, officially.

Mind you,  they do take a lot of drugs.

That's why they like Top Gear  so much. Hello, Dutchie.

We got a pub, a casino,  a nightclub,  a disco and another bar.

Then on the next deck  we've got another restaurant,  and we've got another bar,

and yet another restaurant and some conference facilities.

So, we could say, one thing we're not short of is facilities.

In fact, we've got a lot  more to do than, let's say,  for instance, Jeremy.

--CLARKSON: Actually,  -- I did have something to do.

Find a new route   round the top of Holland   to miss the traffic

-- and work out -- how fast I should drive

-- on the fast-approaching -- autobahns.

What I've got to do  on this journey, really,

is balance fuel economy and speed,

because if I drive this car  flat out, 208 miles an hour,

it will empty its 21-gallon  fuel tank in 19 minutes.

Nineteen minutes!  21 gallons, gone!

CLARKSON: As the sun set,   the boys prepared   for a night out.

And I find myself riding on top of Holland's biggest dyke.

Eight hundred  and thirty-one  miles still to go.

Still, Germany soon.

Bring it on!

To our future.

Stop doing that. Please.

You can start doing the  nautical references instead,  if you like.

I've really enjoyed  our day out together, Richard.

It's not very often I get to take someone out for a nice dinner.

This car's a bit like  a chemist's shop.

Just dumps adrenaline  every time you move  your right foot.

-SAT NAV: Please take   the next exit on the right.  -Shut up!

I know he can be a bit of a pain  and everything...

-Who?  -Jeremy.

-Yeah.  -But that is a very  long way to drive.

-Yeah.  I mean, he's still  got hundreds

and hundreds  and hundreds of miles...


So, here we are in Germany.  The last refuge  of the speed freak.

CLARKSON: Two hundred   and fifty-two   miles of autobahn

where we'll see   what the SLR   is really made of.

It's probably a good time now

to talk about this car's ferocious engine.

It's a big supercharged V8  and it needs to be big,

because the supercharger  needs 120 brake horsepower

just to run it.


But has Jeremy  got dancing girls in his...  That's a very expensive car.

-But it doesn't have  dancing girls. No.  -No, I don't think it has. No.

65% of Germany's autobahns  are restricted.

But not this bit.

That is now  160 miles an hour!

And it's legal.

Oh! This is quick now.

(LAUGHING)  I'm such a child.


If you ask me to dance, I'll stab you.

CLARKSON: As the boys slipped   ever more deeply   into their drinking trousers,

-- I hit Denmark  -- and started to feel weary.


if you drive after you've been awake 18 hours,

your concentration levels  are around the same

as someone who's hovering  around the drink-drive limit.

And if you drive  after you've been  awake for 24 hours,

your concentration levels  are about the same as someone

who's had half  a bottle of scotch.


--THATCHER:  -- British sovereign territory

-- has been invaded -- by a foreign power.

It is very late now,  but I've got everything  a man needs to stay awake.

ProPlus, energy drink,

coffee, Mrs Thatcher...

and 626 brake horsepower.

And none of it was working.

At times like this, desperate measures are called for, so I...

What I like to do is reach  for my packet of Spunk.

Oh, yeah.

Now I'm ready.  Oh, yeah.


Oh, I don't like Spunk.


Right, well, now...

It's midnight.  I've done 650 miles.

I've been on the go  for 12 hours  and guess what!

I'm halfway.

This is where our race starts.

-Is it?  -Now, we're gonna  go to sleep,

and we're still moving.  Look at that speed.

-Do you think he will stop?  -He's old.

He's got an arthritic hip.  He will have to stop.

I've got the window down.

That's good.

Well, I would and you would,  but I don't think Jeremy will

because he'll become obsessed  by power and winning.

THATCHER: That country's   armed forces attacked the   Falkland Islands yesterday.

MAN: The message we've got is   that British troops landed on   South Georgia this afternoon.


He'll just drive on  through the night.

He can't possibly.  This is where  we start to win. Honestly.

It's the first yawn.

It's no good,  I'm gonna have to pull over  and get some sleep.

I finally threw in the towel   at a service station   just outside Copenhagen,

and settled down  for some kip in the world's  most expensive hotel room.


So tired!

I was so tired. No!

Anyway, listen...

Listen, we will pick that up  in the morning,  if you see what I mean.

Later in the show.

But now it's time  for the news.

Indeed. And...  How can I put this?

Are you the sort of chap  who likes the popular melodies  from the big musicals?

Yes! Do you have  a lot of scatter cushions  around your flat?

Do you go out in a vest  at night with a moustache?

-Are you well groomed?  -Do you look like this man?

Well, we've got  the car for you.

Here it is. It's called the Nissan Micra C+C, coupe plus cabriolet.

You'll love this. Come and look at this.

That's right up your street.

It goes with the face,  hair and everything.  You like that?

-Up my street.  -Up your street.


Well, you're about to hear.  Does it come with a hard top?

Oh! Yes, it does.

It comes with a metal  folding roof,  as is fashionable.

That's gonna cost  less than £14,000.  Coming out at Christmas.

-Coming out!  Coming out!  -(LAUGHTER)

It's already out.

The AA has launched  a road map this week.  I've got it here.

What makes this one  different is that

they've featured in it  every single  speed camera location

in the country. Okay.

Hang on. Some people  have been saying this week  that this is a bad idea.

-But we've had a meeting  and we've decided it isn't.  -It isn't.

It's a brilliant idea.  Does anyone live near  Stoke-on-Trent here?

If you go from  Stafford to Stoke...

Look, you've got speed camera...

speed camera, speed camera, speed camera, speed camera,  speed camera.

-It's a joke.  -That's the sort of  information we need.

Exactly. 'Cause you can go up  to Eccleshaw, then up here, no  speed cameras at all up there.

See, how can knowing that  not be a good idea?

That's a good idea.  This is the road map  we must all have.

Good news for  rural inbreds this week.

Hummer, the people  who make those enormous  pseudo military off-roaders,

you know the sort of thing,  they have come out  with a new range

of aftershave  and smelly stuff.

There it is. "Hummer"!  It's the first name  that springs to...

You wanna have a look at that?  There you go. It's nice.

When you open the top,  listen to the sound.



-Eau de--banjo. -Guaranteed not to repel your sister.


"Splash it on  and make him  squeal like a piggy."

I think that's remarkable.  A better tip,  if you're thinking about this,

just wash instead.  That'll be a better idea.

You'll love that.

Now, there's a new  Mercedes S-Class.  Here it is.

This actually is  a very important car  because as we know,

if you want to know what  gadgetry will be on your car  in ten years' time,

you look at this, 'cause  this is where it all starts.

It is. The S-Class was  the first to have  anti-lock brakes, airbags,

first with traction control.  It's always the first car to

-get the technology, yeah.  -Always ahead for that stuff.

So what's that one got?

Infrared headlights.

Infrared light's  invisible, James.

But is it?  We can't see it,

but the image from it  is displayed on  a screen in the car,

so, that means, as you're  driving along at night,

you can see badgers hundreds of yards away.

So there's more chance  of hitting them.


HAMMOND: I think avoiding  is what they're thinking.

Avoiding. Yeah,  I meant avoiding.

-What else?  -Massage seats  with four settings.

Ooh, so you can select  "Happy Finishtronic".  That'd be nice.

-I want the Vietnamese  sandwich massage.  -So do I.

What is it?

It's where the other seat  covers itself in baby oil,  then rolls on top of you,

and you get this thing  going on  as you're driving along.

Sounds a bit dangerous,  to be honest,  if you're driving.

Not in this car, though.

'Cause this car knows  when you're going  to have a crash.

-Really? How?  -Yes.

It's got sensors and radars.

If you're going to hit something, it puts the brakes on,

and does  an emergency stop

quicker, they say, than you could actually do it yourself.

And then, what about  if something brakes  and then sets off again?

-Then you'll set off again.  -Automatically?

Yes, you don't need your legs.

You don't need legs at all?  You just sit there... Oh, yes.

-Not having accidents  all the way home?  -Yes.

This is the car for me.  Now, if you've got  small children watching,

might I make a suggestion,  please send them to bed?

Because what we've got  coming up now is...

-Well, it's pornography,  to be honest.  -Yes. R-rated stuff.

We've had Nine Songs,   9 and 1/2 Weeks,  and now this.

CLARKSON: Yep, this is  the Alpha Romeo Brera,

and we think  it may very well be

the best-looking car that money can buy today. What do you think? Yes?

Do you think so?  Anyone got any better-looking  cars that you can think of?

Aston Martin Vanquish.

You've come here  with that hair  to comment on style?

Right! Anybody else?

You've got a theory?

-Ford Mondeo? -(ALL LAUGHING)


The SD220.

-The best-looking car?  In the world ever...  -Yes. It is. It is. a Ford Mondeo SD...

Your aspirations  are pathetic, man!

Have you seen the lights...  I mean, look at  the way all this...

It's just gorgeous  from every angle.

I mean, everything about it.  Have you seen  the door handles?

Look, it's all special bits.

I only have to imagine this  in black with tan leather  and I'm nursing a semi.

Yep. You could set up  on one of those  premium phone lines.

"Tell me about your Brera.  Is it black? Tan leather?"  It's too much.

It is. Have you seen  inside this thing? Look!

It's got sat nav,  telephone and buttons...

I mean, they'll  all break, obviously,  but God, that's amazing.

HAMMOND: It looks gorgeous.

You cannot be  a true petrol-head  until you've owned an Alpha,

until you've experienced that roller coaster of

pain and disappointment and agony

for the brief moment  when everything works  and you're on a nice road.

They are...  Has anyone here got an Alpha?


"Yes." you see, human beings are way over there at the back.

They had to walk  the last ten miles but  the first ten were brilliant.

Absolutely. They are gorgeous cars.

You've never had one,  though, have you?

No, but I think  I might be about to.

Do you want to get  some details on it?

-Go on. Yeah.  -Price?

Starting at around £25,000.

-You're joking. -No.

-For something that  looks like that?  -I know.

£25,000 to £35,000,  probably,

depending on what engine you have.

Engines, you've got  2.2 litre, 3.2 V6.

You can have a diesel  if you're the sort of person

who thinks the Mona Lisa should have a moustache.

-It's down a bit.  -It's down a bit.  But nevertheless...

It's just magnificent.

I'd love to meet someone  who looks at this and goes,

"No, I think I'll have  a BMW, actually."

'Cause I think now we have  a new definition of insanity.

Someone who could buy  one of these and then  buys something else.


Right. Our quest continues  to find the greatest  driving song of all time.

We're down to the final five.  Here's this week's candidate.


MAY: Our second finalist is   one of the all-time great   American rock songs.

# Get your motor runnin'

# Head out on the highway

# Lookin' for adventure

-- # And whatever  -- comes our way...

Released in 1968,

during troubled times,  Born To Be Wild   became an anthem

-- for every biker -- and every rebel

-- who'd had enough of -- being told what to do.

# Like a true nature's child

-- # We were born, -- born to be wild

# We can climb so high

# I never wanna die

# Born to be wild

-- Americans like their driving  -- a certain way.

-- An empty road, a big horizon  -- and no bends.

# Get your motor running...

And--Born To Be Wild,   the first song to use   the phrase "heavy metal",

-- is the perfect soundtrack  -- for this backdrop.

# ...whatever comes our way

-- # Yeah, darlin', -- gonna make it happen...

-- It may not work as well  -- on the A412 into Slough.

-- But just close -- your eyes and imagine.

Well, actually,   don't close your...   You know what I mean.

-- # We were born, -- born to be wild

-- # We can climb so high  -- I never wanna die #

So, to vote for Steppenwolf,  you telephone 09011 986363.

That call will cost you 10p.  You can also do it  on the interweb,

You can vote for  any song at any time

but I should warn you  that research has  recently revealed

that voting for Meat Loaf  means you are  statistically twice as likely

to have no mates!

That is true, actually.

Anyway, we must now move on  and meet our guest.

He really is the voice  of the nation.

He's the man we turn to in moments of solemnity and gravity,

times of change,  times of crisis.

And tonight we've got him  driving round an airfield

in a small, cheap  Japanese hatchback.

Ladies and gentlemen,  David Dimbleby!



Have a seat.

Thank you.

Thank you.

The master himself,

the master is among us.

You really are a part of a broadcasting dynasty, aren't you?

Um, there have been  other people in my family  who've been broadcasters, yes.

Your brother on ITV,  and your father,

he pretty much started  BBC Radio news, didn't he?

He did start BBC Radio news.

So, are your kids  going into broadcasting?

Because by the time  they get into TV,  it's just going to be...

-Britain's Heaviest   Paving Slab.  -Yes.

and Britain's Muddiest Golfball,--and it'll all  just be rubbish.

-No, it will  never be like that.  -You don't think so?

We've been doing this   A Picture of Britain--thing,  and it's had a fan...

I've been in television 45 years,

I've never had...  You never know whether  a thing's gonna work or not,

And this has suddenly  hit the bull's eye.

So things... It means people  like serious programming.

Which, as far as I can work out,

mostly involves driving down

really beautiful, empty roads.  Bit unrealistic!

If I may be so... I don't know  where you got that idea from!

But we were doing lyrical,  you see, we wanted it to look

calming and reassuring.

The reason I chose this car  was it was just unobtrusive,  the Land Rover.

We've got it here, actually.

DIMBLEBY:I'm amazed it arrived in one piece!

CLARKSON: I was looking at  your one this morning.

It is hysterical when you look  at the engineering on it.

"Well, we need some hinges  for this back door.

"There's some from  my garden gate,  they're hinges, they'll do."

-Every single bit of it...  -The drive shaft  fell off on the motorway,

the front tyre blew  on the motorway,

the, um, what do you  call that, brake?

-Handbrake.  -.Handbrake broke.

-Didn't work at all.  -You can always  put it in gear.

And the nice thing is,  when you're driving  around in the car,

we did a lot of it in the winter,

the rain comes in, and the snow comes in,

and you're sitting there  and you feel you're  out in the open air.

So, are you one of  these people that  thinks that

roads have somehow  spoiled the countryside?

I don't know, really.  I mean, I'll tell you  one way they've spoilt it,

which is, if you go...

We went to places where  painters had been,  you know, 200 years ago.

And the scene would be exactly  as it was 200 years ago,

but there would be  this hum all the time  and it would be...

This was in Kent, in fact,  and it was the  motorway to Dover.

Dual carriageways make  just this constant noise.

But they are beautiful.  To watch a motorway snaking...

The M6,  when it snakes through,  if you get an aerial shot,

snakes through  the Lake District,

that is one of the most...  They're wonderful pieces  of engineering, motorways.

Somebody once described the M1 to me.

He said, "Imagine it  as a skyscraper,  200 miles tall,

"but lying on its side." That's how complicated they are.

I mean, I just  look at them  and think,

"Much better than anything  on either side."

But you don't... (LAUGHS)

So you'd like to set up  your picnic table  in the middle of the motorway?

Slightly off to one side.

Why don't people  get out of their cars  when they do reach a place?

'Cause that's  disconcerting to me.

I think the statistic is

that they don't move  more than 200 yards,  on average, from the car.

That far?

--Anyway, going back to  -- Picture of Britain,

you've had, I understand, a number of complaints

about the way you drove your Land Rover.

Yeah, absolutely.

Because of talking. You see,  I use my hands when I talk.

And the cameraman's  sitting beside you,  like where you are.

Driving along,  "The thing about Shropshire  is... Whoops!"

Changing gear and  going on talking.

You're not big on safety,  are you?

I don't believe  in what I call safety fascism.

We had a car,  we've just got  rid of it,

which I think is one  of your favourites,

which is a Volvo...

-The big...  -The XC90.

It was so soft and rolly and no acceleration,

but the thing  that really irritated us,

if you didn't put  your seatbelt on,  it turned the radio down

until you put  your seatbelt on!  Can you believe that?

You're listening to the news,

"Here is the news  with so-and-so."

"The Prime Minister  has announced..."


What's happened?  Put your seatbelt on.

-How far would the  Vikings have got...  -Yes.

...if they had to put  their seatbelts on  in their longboats?

"We're going raping  and pillaging.  And careful with that axe."

How dare they tell me  what to do in my car?

No, you're being foolish now,  which is not unknown,  but you are...

-You're being very foolish...  -I'm using hyperbole.

Oh! You're being clever, then?

Yes! See,  there's a big difference.

Can I talk about  your car history?

Because we have  a number of people come on,

and mostly they've had  very boring cars.

You have the best,  most interesting car history,  frankly, of anybody.

Because you had a Lancia Fulvia, an NSU RO80,

-a Jensen Interceptor  and a Bristol.  -Yeah.

This is what is interesting.  I'm looking at your  list of cars, okay?

Normally there's a link.

I look back at the list of the cars I've owned over the years,

they've all had good engines.  That was really it,  the engines.

Yours have no link other than  they are quite unreliable.

Interceptor's unreliable.

The Interceptor was  not unreliable,  except for one minor flaw,

which was that it had  one of the early  electric roofs

-that went down like that.  -Yeah.

And this is  when I got rid of it,  I have to say.

When it started raining,  you pushed the button, and  the thing was meant to go...


And I had three friends in it  and it started raining,  in Scotland, it really rained.

And I pushed the button  and the roof went...


And that was that!

And I thought,  "That's not good."

'Cause I can see now  why you chose  the Land Rover for...


---No. For the unreliability.   -Picture of Britain?--Oh, yes.

"The drive shaft's gone, I'm used to this.

"I'm used to engines going  and drive shafts coming out!"

The Sunbeam Alpine was fine,  the BMWs I've had  have been fine.

The Lancia was terrific.

Was it? That was a pretty car.

I had a Mini,  that was good.

They're pretty cars.

That was one of the things,  they are pretty, yes.

Today, of course, you drove  a car that wasn't so pretty.

-What was this?  -The Suzuki Liana!

Oh, yes, I didn't like  to ask its name!

The little blue car  that you've been  driving around the track.

I don't think it's got much  of a second-hand value,

I have to say, after I've been at it.

How was it, enjoyable?

I thought it was absolutely fascinating.

We went round and round  and gradually I learnt  things I never knew.

The start,  you accelerate 4,500 revs,

and then just lift your foot  off the clutch, boom!  It was very exciting.

-Shall we see how  that worked out? -Badly!

-AUDIENCE: Yes!  -Let's have a look at the lap.  Here we go.


CLARKSON:  I see what you mean!  That's what's called a dumped.

Great face!

This is very tricky, me having to commentate on your lap

in front of possibly  the world's  greatest commentator.

And so, as the trumpets play...


CLARKSON: It's what to  leave out, really,  that's the key, isn't it?

It's not to talk all the time.  Chicago, there.

-Hammerhead.  -I was fighting.

This is the difficult...  I love this, the chicanes.

That's very good. Actually,  you did that beautifully.

DIMBLEBY: This is  the frightening one where you  just keep going. Look, there.

CLARKSON:  That's why we call it  the follow-through

because that's  what can happen.

And this also is... Yes!

Do you know what?  David, you had  the back wheel off the ground!

-Look!  -Oh, bugger!

You're off!

And then kept it together.  Missed the apex.  That was looking so fast.

And you're across  the line now.

I think you speed up the film.

I promise we don't  speed up the film.

And also, that was  your fastest lap,  even with the off.

-Yeah.  -So where do you think  you've come?

I've been driving  a 55mph Land Rover  for the past nine months.

So, I don't think  I would have gone very fast.  I would say I was in...

If I was at the top end  of the bottom third,  that's where I would be.

Top end  of the bottom third?

-You've done better than that.  -Have I?

You've done better than that.

I suspect that  if you hadn't had  that off on that lap

and gone onto the grass,

you'd have been  really very high up.

As it was,  because you went off,

unfortunately,  but nevertheless,  still a good time.

One minute 52 seconds dead.

-(LOUD APPLAUSE) -So you are...

in there!

Who's that?

You are as fast as Jordan!

I'm as fast as Jordan!  A bit faster than Jordan.

You're the same speed  as Jordan, Rick Parfitt,

-Eddie Izzard and Dr... -It's not very good.

I promise you,  if you hadn't done that,  that was such a quick lap.

That is a time about which  you can be proud.

Just try to stay on the track next time.

-Ladies and gentlemen,  David Dimbleby!  -Thank you very much.

Thank you very much.

Now, Aston Martin  has brought out  a racing version of its DB9,

-and it's actually  doing all right.  -It is, yeah.

-Won in America, it won...  -Silverstone.

Ran out of petrol at Le Mans.

Still, it now has the chance  to redeem itself on our track,

which means we must  hand it over  to our tame racing driver.

Some say he naturally faces  magnetic north and that  all his legs are hydraulic.

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

--CLARKSON:  -- It's called the DBR9,

has an all-carbon fibre body,

-- so it weighs nearly a ton  -- less than the standard DB9,

-- and yet its V12 chucks out  -- 600 brake horsepower.

-- The result is 0 to 60  -- in 3.4 seconds.

-- And now, let's see  -- what that sounds like...


-- Ooh, pretty fantastic,  -- I'd say,

as The Stig spears   off the line   with plenty of wheelspin.

-- First corner,  -- gently on the way in there.

-- Then hard on the power,  -- cornering absolutely flat.

Oh, dear! The DBR9   has no stereo   so no prog rock!

Look at it,   through Chicago   with no drama at all.

-- Bouncing on the way  -- into the Hammerhead.

-- Slow in again,  -- and here comes the power.

Ooh, that's what   I'm talking about.   That is amazing!

That's not 200 miles an hour   on the speedo,   'cause this car is in euros.

Very quick through the tyres.   This is really fast,   I have to say.

-- He's turning in now,  -- downforce working with him.

Coming up to Gambon.   If he gets that one right,   we're on for a quick time.

-Any guess?  What do you reckon?  -1.18.

1.18. He reckons  one minute 18, this chap.

The actual time was 1 minute 8 seconds!

That's how fast that thing is!

But... But...


You can't buy this car, so it has no place on our board.

-Aw.  -Sorry, it's gone.

But he's right though.  Those are the rules.

However, you can  buy one of these,

this is the DBRS9  and it's a sort of  ready-made racer.

You buy one of these,  you are an  Aston Martin racing driver.


The car we've just  seen on the track,

that was the full  chicken vindaloo.

This is more  a chicken madras.

Yeah, exactly. You only get two chilies with this one,

but you still get 550 horsepower,

and you still get carbon-fibre bodywork.

Absolutely. With an aluminium roof.

He said, being pedantic.  But never mind.  How much is it?


So it's this or a bungalow!


Now, if you've just joined us,   Top Gear--tonight is  staging a race

from London to Oslo,  I know it's a popular commuter route.

Anyway, James and I flew  from London to Newcastle  and hopped on a ferry

across the North Sea  to Norway.

It's the sensible thing to do.  Jeremy was attempting  to beat us

by driving a McLaren Mercedes  all the way, that's through  eight countries,

an amazing 1,300 miles.

When we left the action,  James and I were tucked up  safely asleep on our ferry

still steaming across the North Sea.

Jeremy was slumped  exhausted in his car  trying to grab a few Zs,

in a motorway service station  car park just outside  Copenhagen.

Now, we pick up  the story at dawn.

--CLARKSON:  -- I've got it all to do now.

After my cramped,   cold sleep in the car,   I'd lost the lead,

-- and had to build it up  -- all over again.

Pedal to the metal!

Well, that is a beautiful,  beautiful, beautiful bridge.

Scrambled eggs  with smoked salmon?  That's a bit poncey.

Toast with fried eggs,  bacon and onion. Just tea.



-- -Yes, hello.  ---How are you?

Fine. Slight hangover,  but, you know.

How are you?

I've had a sleep.  Well, when I say a sleep,

sitting up  in the freezing cold

with a head  full of stimulants.

Well, we're not far  from docking.

-- -Where are you?  ---I am south of Gothenburg.

Well, good luck.  Keep going  and we'll see you there.

Just, please try  not to beat me  'cause I couldn't bear it.

(CHUCKLES) Okay. Bye.

If I lose this,

I'll be suicidal.

-- The map shows the scale -- of my problem, however.

They were docking in Norway

-- and I still had 350 miles  -- of Sweden to cover.

It all depended on   how they would get   from Kristiansand to Oslo.

Thank you.

Thank you.

It's 9:00 local time.

Jeremy is going very quick.

But we have a plan.  You're going to like this.

It's going to be good!

Time to unleash  our secret weapon.

MAY: He-hey!

What we have here  is essentially  a racing powerboat

with two 370  horsepower engines.

That adds up  to more than Jeremy's got.

This is our secret weapon.

He's in so much trouble.

-Hammond! -What?

-I think I might have  Norwegian wood!  -Hey!

HAMMOND: We only had a short hop up a fjord ahead of us.

-- Victory, it seemed certain,  -- was ours.

How do I sum up this car?

Cruise control,  electric seats,  air conditioning,

CD auto-changer,  and it does 208 miles an hour.

And it hasn't put  a foot wrong,

hasn't missed a beat.

Any other super car, there's always a sense,

every five seconds  it's going to break down.

What was that noise?  What was that?  What's that judder?

This, though, just pounds on.

Clarkson, it's May. Where are you?

I'm in the pouring rain somewhere in Sweden, I don't know.

Where are you?

We've just taken  a small local boat

from Kristiansand to Oslo.

-What is it?  -It's got several  hundred horsepower,

I think it's what you call  a big powerboat.

I'm doomed.



Is he dead?

We have now done  30 nautical miles

and there's 120 to go,

and they just told us  it might get rough. Ha-ha!

If this looks fun, it isn't.

CLARKSON: Nevertheless, they were in an 80-mile-an-hour boat

-- with no speed limits  -- to worry about,

-- while I was  -- in a 200-mile-an-hour car,

-- and could only drive  -- at 60-ish.


To win this race,

I was going to need a miracle.

-- And that's exactly  -- what I got.

HAMMOND:  Oh, God, look at it.

-I can't believe this.  -We've got engine trouble.

-I think we have to  change the boats.  -We've got to what?

We've got to go  in that boat?


That's the boys!

---Hello? -- -Hello?

Hello, how's things?

Well, we broke one boat,  calamity, but  we're not giving up,

we're going in the chase boat.

We've all squashed into it, it's damn near as fast as the big one.

Whoa, whoa!  What do you mean,  you've lost a boat?

We've broken it.  The engine's blown up  and it's sinking.


This thing is small  and very, very loud.

Oh, dear, what a shame!

We're going to carry on.  We'll see you in Oslo. Bye!

What a rotten bit of luck.


This is actually  less comfortable  than the other boat,

amazingly. God!

Come on!


Whoo! Ha-ha-ha!

Whoa! Oh! Oh!

And again!

I'll get the window  down in here, 'cause  I love to hear the noise.



CLARKSON: Their breakdown   and the rough sea   had allowed me to catch up.

It looked like we were heading for a classic Top Gear photo-finish.

-- But then I hit  -- the Norwegian border.

I've been expecting this.  Single-track road

all the way,  pretty much, to Oslo.

--SAT NAV: -- Now turn right.

Don't be stupid.

-- Still, they were  -- having problems, too.

Oh, dear.

Mr Hammond is unwell.



-- -Hello, Clarkson, it's May.  ---May, how's things?

Not good, I'm afraid.

We're in the middle  of the sea,  it's very rough,

the driver's been sick,

I think Hammond's dead.

-Oh, that's a rotten  bit of luck.   -It is.

We're freezing to death. Oh, Hammond's come round. Hello.

He's better.

Well, thanks for the call  and the update.

-- I wish you  -- all the best of luck.

Oh, well, we'll stick at it.  We're gonna have to  go and refuel,

because the sea  is so rough that  the engine's using more fuel

than it would normally.

---All right, take care.  -- -Okay. Stick at it.

It's very cold, but we're still in it!

We're still in the race!

--HAMMOND: I didn't know  -- where we were,

-- but we did know  -- Jeremy was only 50 miles

-- from the finishing  -- post in Oslo.

Got to beat those boys.

I have got to  beat them,  somehow.

HAMMOND:   Knowing he'd be determined,   we gave the boat everything,

-- thinking that lightning -- couldn't strike twice.

But, of course, it did.


Our rib had burst. We had to get to dry land fast.

Core temperature's dropping,  hypothermia's setting in.

Boat's broken at the front,  engine's knackered,

we're running out of fuel,  the sea's too rough,  it's freezing cold,

the weather's coming in...

Should we just jump overboard and end it quickly?

Bloody tempting, mate.


Sentrum--must mean centre.

I got it.

HAMMOND: We arrived in a town, didn't know which one,

-- knowing that -- we'd have to get a bus.



And some money.

Let me have a go.

No, I'm going to do it.

We've been through  a lot together today,  shall we not fall out now?


Look for the large sculpture  of a hand pointing.

Ah, there's no hand doing anything!

They'll be here!  What hand?

Come on!

Where are they?

Where are they?

--CLARKSON:  -- They weren't there.

They weren't even close.


Jeremy, how are ya?  Where are ya?

I'm well. But, well, let's cut to the chase,

I'm here and have been  for some time.

Oh. Right.

-- So I'm afraid  -- the race is done.

But I gather that you've got some serious problems.

Um, yeah, we've broken two boats,

the rib burst when we hit  a particularly big wave,

so we're now wandering around  I have no idea where,

-looking for a bus, I suppose.  -(LAUGHS)

How far away are you,  do you think, from Oslo?

To be honest,  I don't really know.

Listen, honestly, I shall be  thinking of you,  and, um, take care.

-Okay, thank you. We will. Bye. -See you later.

He's there, mate.

What's the Norwegian  for "Oh, cock"?

I thought I'd had a bad day,  but, oh, no!

HAMMOND: What the hell  do we do now?  MAY: Get a taxi.

-HAMMOND: Not allowed. -Still, I don't need to  run, though, do I?

HAMMOND: No, I guess not! I can't see much point!


Thank you.  Can I just say, though...

Can I just say,  when we were  50 miles from Oslo

we were neck and neck,  absolutely neck and neck.

I made it to Oslo, flew home  and was halfway through supper

before these guys arrived at the finishing point.

-That's how badly it went wrong for them. -Yeah.

I have to say, it was the end.  We don't even know  what that place was called.

The town. No idea! Just a place.

Freezing cold,  nobody spoke English to us  and we had no money.

No! Then there was a cashpoint that was unbelievable, it said,

"5,000 kroner."  How much is that?

Do I buy a pencil sharpener  or a car with that?

All I know is  that's more than he had,

because when he  asked for that, it said,

"insufficient funds  available",

which didn't go down well.

What we have proved, though, I think, is that if you let someone else

take charge of your journey,  as we did...

-At any point. goes wrong.

The thing is, though, that, on this occasion, I have to say,

my victory was,  frankly,  a hollow one.

The car was great.  It made it to Oslo easily.

I could've beaten them  in a Vauxhall Astra.

But, after 24 hours,  I was absolutely  wasted in there.

So, really, that's what we have to say,

the weak point  of the modern car

-is the squidgy organic bit  behind the wheel.  -Yeah.

Me, basically. And on that  bombshell, we have to end.

See you again next week.  Goodnight.