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"Top Gear" Polar Special (2007)

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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Excellent challenge

10/10
Author: Andrew Taylor from Calgary, AB, Canada
2 September 2007

Wow. This challenge was amazing. All the guys and all the gear were stretched to the limit. The madness of driving to the north pole could only have seemed reasonable when reached from the slightly less maddening heights of other Top Gear challenges (Bugatti from Italy to UK, Merc Mclaren to Sweden, Mini jump, etc). As ever, the photography was and composition was beautiful. This episode was one of the few that made me stand back and think 'wow, that was special. I'm very lucky to have seen it.' Very well done, tho no crazy supercars and no Stig.

Here's a summary to fill out the (stupid) 10 line requirement: Jeremy and James in a Toyota Hilux (known as the Tacoma in North America) pickup truck race Richard on a dog sled to the 1996 magnetic North Pole.

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Car vs Dog: A race to the Magnetic North Pole

10/10
Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
30 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Top Gear team have done some crazy things over the years but on the face of it this could have been one of the craziest and most dangerous… to stage a race between a dog sledge and a modified Toyota Hilux from the most northern settlement in Canada to the Magnetic North Pole. Before setting off the team get some advice on how to cope in Arctic conditions from the likes of explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and an ex-special forces soldier with a pixelated face! Once the challenge proper begins Jeremy and James set of in the Toyota while Richard sets off with polar explorer Matty McNair and her the dog team.

At first it doesn't seem much of challenge as they speed across the smooth ice. That doesn't last though; later Jeremy and James have to contend with thin ice where one false move could plunge them into the freezing Arctic Sea and later a field of ice boulders where it takes days to travel a few miles and the rough surface can cause serious damage to the car… they may have a support team but they have to contend with the same terrain themselves.

This special was enjoyably in a different way to the others; usually they are packed full of pranks and attempts to sabotage the others progress but here things are far too dangerous for such silliness and they know it… there must be a reason nobody has driven a car to the magnetic pole before. That isn't to say there are no laughs though; the car toilet was pretty funny as was Jeremy's observation that it was OK for him to enjoy a G&T while driving as there are no drink driving laws in international waters! Even though it was obvious that nothing really bad would happen there were plenty of tense moments; most notably when they found themselves on thin ice. Away from the challenge itself one must comment on the look of the show; the snow covered Arctic looks as beautiful as it was bleak. Over all this was one of the best challenges yet; the team and those helping them did a fantastic job getting to such a remote inhospitable place!

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Top Gear: Polar Special

9/10
Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
10 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Top Gear have done great challenges and gone many places in the world, including a caravan holiday and America, and this was one of the essential viewing ones. Basically the presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May (all calling themselves Sir Ranulph whatever their surname is) set themselves a challenge to travel across the Arctic from a base to the North Pole. They got the essential training from many experts and learnt all the dangers that could occur, including from Sir Ranulph Fiennes (there was even a shocking image of his hand covered in blood). The challenge was basically a race with Clarkson and May in a specially adapted Toyota Hilux against Hammond with traditionally husky, dogs (some kind of wolves) and sledge. What was gripping about this special was the moments of humour, distress and almost torture, more for the car than the huskies, but it was kind of obvious that the car was going to win. Very good!

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