I’ve been greatly looking forward to this year’s Top Gear Christmas season special – especially after I heard it would take place in India – a country that would surely challenge our crew. The question is – could they top last year’s Middle East special or the best Christmas special of recent years – the Vietnam special?
I think they have.
The premise of this year’s special is simple – to help save Britain’s economy they set off to India on a trade mission. Amusingly, they start out at 10 Downing St with the Prime Minister telling them not to go and to stay away from India.
Fast forward to India and they introduce their choice of cars for the journey. They make Interesting choices of cars – Jeremy chooses a Jaguar XJS, James a Rolls Royce and Richard chooses a classic Mini cooper. I question the logic of choosing a mini with a Union Jack painted on the roof…
One thing is clear from this special – India is a dizzying place. I’m not sure it’s a place I could comfortably travel too.
This special had a slightly different structure than previous specials. Their journey across India was interspersed with several mini adventures including an 18 hour train ride, creating banners to promote British Business, a hill rally using locals, etc. I liked the new structure.
Indian highways are rather crazy and the crew gets into several altercations and discover that when they get into accidents with Indians, they Indians keep on driving. I would also not recommend playing ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ on a loudspeaker as you drive through India.
The highlight of the episode is when they attempt to have a British Garden Party to demonstrate British Food, products and culture. It of course ends up being a disaster of Top Gear proportions.
The journey ends with them driving through in the Himalayas to reach the end of India and it’s a beautiful journey with plenty of scenery to admire. If you can watch this special in HD – it’s quite spectacular.
There’s a rather funny moment near the end where they share their dream of a fantasy Top Gear Christmas special. Honestly, it’s much more entertaining to watch them suffer.
The 2011 Top Gear Christmas India special was a very entertaining journey and I can’t wait to see where they take us in the new series of Top Gear (Series 18) due to start in the UK in January.