|Country of Origin:||UK|
|External Links:||Official site, BBC|
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The show's premise
In its original incarnation, Top Gear was a straightforward programme about cars. However, fannish interest didn't develop until the show was rebooted into its current format in 2002.
Now, a standard episode features:
- Jeremy Clarkson reviewing a high-powered, expensive car on the Top Gear track.
- The Stig taking the same car on a power lap of the track.
- News - largely an excuse for the three presenters to banter for a bit.
- A Challenge - eg, proving that the British car industry made one or two usable cars, turning a Reliant Robin into a rocket, racing a Bugatti Veyron against the Eurofighter, building an amphibious car and driving it to France
- Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car - a celebrity is interviewed by Jeremy Clarkson, after taking a reasonably-priced car around the Top Gear track.
Particular Appeal to Fans
The three main presenters - Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May - have defined personalities and an easy camaraderie that's very appealing.
There's also a crack element added by the Stig, an anonymous racing driver whose face is never seen and is strongly hinted to be non-human. 'Facts' about the Stig include that he invented the hostess trolley, that his watch goes up to 14 and that he drinks by sucking the moisture out of ducks.
Clarkson's Exit and Future Uncertainty
In March 2015 Jeremy Clarkson was fired from the BBC after an incident in which he punched a producer. The last episodes of Season 22 were dropped from the BBC2 schedule, and as of April 2015 there are no plans to broadcast the footage. While Clarkson's dismissal would not automatically mean the cancellation of the show, a statement made by James May strongly suggested that neither he nor Richard Hammond would be willing to continue, citing the strong bond between the trio as key to the show's success.
On 16th June 2015 it was announced that Chris Evans will be one of the hosts of the show, as part of an all-new team.
The fandom and its history
Top Gear has a relatively large slash fandom which slashes the boys in all sorts of combinations. Richard Hammond is the most conventionally attractive of the presenters and so appears the most.
There's also a high proportion of crack stories, with car-sex being a popular sub-genre.
Many of the gen stories are crossovers, e.g. putting a well-known character (such as Tony Stark) into the Reasonably Priced Car, road-testing brooms or spaceships, etc. The Stig is often portrayed as an alien, supernatural being or Highlander-style immortal as fits the needs of the plot.
- Harry Potter and the Poky Motoring Show by Culf (2007) - Harry Potter crossover comic.
- Watch Out For Bears by Blink-sum-new-muse (2008) - "Jeremy, James and Richard run into Sam and Dean in a forest. Insults and discussions of bears ensue." Gen, Supernatural crossover.
- Better Days by dracothelizard (2009) - "In which the Top Gear presenters possibly have powers and ruin Mohinder's afternoon." Gen, Heroes crossover
- Driving Offensively and White Van Man by Nothorse (both 2009) - Buffy crossovers, Drabbles.
- Star in a Reasonably Priced Car by Kaitou (2010) - "Tony Stark is a guest on Top Gear, because of course he is." - Gen., Iron Man crossover.
Lists and Communities
- In the show's canon the original "Black Stig" was killed off by his car being catapulted off the deck of an aircraft carrier at the start of the third season, and "White Stig" replaced him in the next episode.