Sorry posting has been a bit thin on the ground recently – three reasons for this 1) Mad busy at work with the Jersey Marathon (thousands of photos and HOURS of video to sort through) 2) Top Gear is back and I’ve been hitting the Final Gear Forums pretty hard and 3) I’ve been trying to write my own theme for Up Your Ego from scratch after not finding a theme that did exactly what I want.
Well I’m more or less finished with 1 and 2 will be on going for the next nine weeks (what’s left of the Top Gear run) which just leaves 3 – I’ve made a start on photoshop mocks but haven’t started writing the code yet.
So lets go back to two – Top Gear being back and me hitting the forums – I’m a big Top Gear fan, as are many other people, and usually I wouldn’t bother you with it as it isn’t really new media related but this year it is.
As well as the 60 minutes of television every week and a magazine every month – this series the topgear.com website is going to be posting a mass of related media.
Content that would normally be available from the BBC site related to a show but this time is going on the related commercial offering instead.
There are weekly blog posts from one or more of the stars of the show – Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Andy Wilman – they did ask the Stig but he just sent a blank page.
There are also video clips from the main show – these come in the form of extended versions of the news segment (normally relatively restrained if slightly ranty – well in the extended version we get it in its raw, sweary splendour.
There are also preview clips for the next episode and a lot more beside. BBC Worldwide recently committed a big chunck of money to investment in New Media products and it looks like topgear.com is getting some of that money.
Now all it needs to do is move away from the BBC standards of Real and Windows Media and develop a flash based video player (where you can order clips, create a playlist and share embed links) and it will be spot on.
In fact the BBC are already starting to introduce elements of this sort of feature on bbc.co.uk. Most recently with the new Nature portal – that combines a Google type map with flash based video, tagging and other web2 goodness.
Actually Nature of Britain really is a stunning site, a real example of some of the ground breaking, forward thinking work the BBC New Media and BBC2.0 teams are getting up to – I’ll write a post on this site later.
So my review of episode one of Top Gear series 10 (this was my first reaction as posted to finalgear.com within a few hours of the show finishing – I was working at the time sorting though thousands of photos of marathon runners and eating a very nice three cheese pizza.
Really incredible episode .
I know I’ve said in the past that I only really like the mucking about and not so much the car stuff but after re-watching series 9 – I now admit I was wrong – Top Gear lost a bit of its soul in the last series – this episode saw it come flooding back.
A real gem of an episode in what looks set to be a perfectly balanced series featuring a great group of guys with a geniune love of cars, each other and have a laugh.
Top notch and beautifuly shot – as always.
And here is the comment I sent to Top Gear supreme, Andy Wilman, in response to his blog post about the future of Top Gear – he ponders on whether to chase ratings and go for the quirky challenges or stay true to their petrol head roots and settle on fewer ratings but feel better about the content.
I think you had the right mix in Series 7 and 8 – a bit of cocking about in ever few episodes and then good, funny films featuring cars – mixed with a few reviews of over the top, outlandish cars very few people could ever afford.
I don’t drive – never saw the point when everywhere I need to be can be walked to (I live in Jersey, Channel Islands – although we have thousands of supercars you can only do 40 anywhere), I’m not a big car person – never found them interested – but Top Gear draws me in by immersing me in the friendship of the three lads and teaches me something about cars at the same time.
I think, over the last few years of watching the show I’ve developed a ‘respect’ for cars and people that find them sexy – and thats down to TG.
I even get the mag now.
What do you think of Top Gear and the new series? Should they go for ratings and give it big on the challenges or concentrate on car based stuff but get fewer ratings?
So far it looks like they’ve gone for a middle ground – some episodes will be challenge based and others will be car based but even the challenges are very car based and with a sort of point.
Also they seem to have done well with ratings too – getting 6 million with the first airing on Sunday and 2.5 million with the repeat on Wednesday – down from the average 8 million last series but that was a blip anyway due to Hammonds crash – so a good half way all around.
Here’s my ratings round up for Top Gear on Sunday:
Top Gear – 6 million and 23.3% share.
Same time on BBC One – Antiques Roadshow 5.7 million and 22% share
Same time on ITV1 – Rugby World Cup – 4.8 million and 19.3% share
Same time on Channel 4 – Wife Swap – 1.9 million and 7.3% share
Same time on Channel 5 – End of For a few dollars more – 1.6 million and 6.6% share
Highest viewing figures of the night – XFactor (ITV1) 7.4 million and 31.6% share.
Second highest Strictly Come Dancing (BBC One) 6.8 million and 29.3% share.
Third highest was the 19:30 news on BBC One (6.4 million – 26.6% share).
Fourth was a tie between BBC News at 10, Michael Palin’s New Europe and Top Gear with 6 million and 23.3% share.