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Ghost Canyon

'Top Gear: Complete Season 13'
(Jeremy Clarkson, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / BBC Home Video)

Overview: Season 13 of this BAFTA-winning show skids, roars and explodes its way back onto DVD, with man versus machine experiments, exhaustive road tests of the latest models, a look back at the history of motoring, weekly power tests featuring the world’s most exotic super-cars… and a surprise revelation.

DVD Verdict: Come on now, America needs reality television like Top Gear. You know this, I know this. The fact that we don't air this program on a mainstream network channel baffles me. Do Americans like cars? Yes. Do we like comedy? Yes. Do we watch far worse things than this on average? Regrettably, yes.

Top Gear has the laughs, has stunningly good production values, and can keep audiences of all types entertained. It's 13th series set rounds out to about eight and a half hours of entertainment; a definite improvement over the paltry offerings in Top Gear 11!

That said, and yes, Top Gear 13 has some of the more amusing episodes in recent memory, but when Top Gear returned to BBC Two on 21 June 2009, with the usual presenting team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May and The Stig, this year the series contained just 7 episodes. Despite forced budget cuts, series 13 contains new challenges, new power tests, more foreign travel and more races!

Some of my fav moments are in the first episode, when Jeremy Clarkson takes the Lotus Evora around the track. The Stig takes it around with a time of 1:25.7. Michael Schumacher dressed as The Stig takes a Ferrari FXX around the track in 1:10.7, making it the leader on the lap times board. Another is in episode 3, when Jeremy tests the new face-lifted Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black. It set a lap time of 1:23.0, just 0.1 seconds behind the Ferrari F430.The Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black used in the filming of this episode belonged to Theo Walcott.

Another comes in episode 7 when Richard reviews the Vauxhall VXR8 Bathurst Edition, a modified version of the VXR8 with a supercharged LS2 V8 engine. He also reviews the Maloo E Series, a ute built on the same body with a naturally-aspirated LS3 engine. The Stig tests both cars on the track, with the Maloo clocking in at 1:27.1 and the VXR8 coming in at 1:26.3.

Other cool stuff that occurs through the episodes are such things as the always great actor Stephen Fry, who drives hisreasonably priced car around their track and sets a time of 1:51.0. Plus the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt who drives his Reasonably-Priced Car and sets a worse laptime of 1:46.5!

Or the Challenge in episode 4: Richard and James race against a letter delivered by the Royal Mail from the Isles of Scilly (England) to Birsay on Mainland, Orkney (Scotland) in the new Porsche Panamera. Richard and James lose to the letter!

Whatever you get out of this show, Top Gear is the best show on TV. These episodes have more footage than you saw on TV and even more than the "director's cuts" that show up in the Special Features. I ALWAYS laugh until hurt whenever I watch these - and you will too! [AMW] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Stig POV
Spitfire Magic
Ken Block: Slow Motion
Extended Brian Johnson Interview
Extended Jenson Button Interview
Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4-SV 200 mph Run in Abu Dhab
Train Race Sequence with JC