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After just having watched the inaugural episode of Top Gear Australia I must say: It wasn't bad.....for a start. However, it could have been MUCH better: And here's why.
First Point: Why not start with the comparison between the FPV F6 and the HSV GTS (I think it was the GTS) and BLOW us all away??? Ohhhhhh what an opener that could have been!!!!!! And oh what a letdown it was settling for a soft roader comparison instead (I know these cars are popular with us Australians, but so are our TITANIC battles between Ford and Holden)!!!! I feel slightly ripped off having had SBS play scenes from the F6-GTS comparison only to have Cox announce 'what you've all been waiting for' will appear next week (And yes you can bet I'll be watching next week).
Second point: The comparison between the soft roaders....was it a comparison or just 3 dudes having a play? There was no discussion at the end of the comparison between the three hosts as to which car won the day....even if the hosts do end up disagreeing at the end it's still nice to know.
Third Point: The Franchise. Yes Top Gear is borrowed from the UK version, and it needs to follow a certain formula. But there is no way in hell that Charlie Cox, Warren Brown, and Steve Pizzati can be expected to manufacture the sheer charisma that their Top Gear opposites in the UK have. They need to be left alone to create something of their own. Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond have this truly wonderful-to-watch magic style of their own that should not be attempted to be replicated as I saw in Top Gear Aus: Just won't work, the Aussie hosts will just end up looking like clunky fools, and the show will be ridiculed. Charlie Cox should not be billed as Australia's version of Jeremy Clarkson, there can only be one Clarkson. Warren Brown should not be billed as Australia's version of James May, there can only be one May. And Steve Pizzati...I didn't get the feeling the show was trying to manipulate him into being an Aussie Richard Hammond as much as the other two were. I had the fortunate opportunity to see Warren Brown compete in a Peking to Paris drive, recreating a trek that was made at the turn of the 20th century. He was brilliant in that, so I suspect that if allowed, these Australian hosts are capable of coming up with a magic of their own.
Forth point: The test track. The camera angles were bad, I didn't get a feel for how the cars were responding to the turns or get a feeling for just how quick they were racing around the track (The Skyline didn't look as quick as it so obviously was), the track didn't seem long enough, and it all seemed like a bit of a blur.
Fifth point: Weren't you lot hamming it up a bit with the chop up and pasting of footage when you dipped Brown into the sea with those sharks? It was crap! That entire part of the show wasn't as scary as it could have been. I think it's fair to say.....you lot made a meal outta that one :P
Conclusion: Top Gear Australia has a lot of work to be done to it to get it rolling smoothly, mainly camera work on moving car footage around that track, the track itself should be slightly longer, hosts need to be left to develop a personality of their own, but all in all, it passed..only just!
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