That Number Plate & the Top Gear Patagonia Special

The Trio

Its the programme that avid viewers of the motoring show, Top Gear, wait for, its the Christmas special. This consists of the presenters buying a particular type of car, then travelling a long distance in specific locations to test the cars, with banter and challenges along the way. This wait was finally over on the 27/28th December 

The number plate

What was the plot shall we say of this special? Also what was the big problem about the entire show anyway? The aim was for the presenters to have chosen a V8 sports car and fly out with the car to Argentina. Simples, but the issue arose once half way through the journey, when tweeters, were in outrage over the number plate on Jeremy Clarkson’s Porsche. This number plate read; H982 FLK, many felt that this plate was a direct reference to the conflict in the Falklands. The problems were not just online, after this, actual violence occurred when protesters gathered outside the hotel where the programme were staying and were prepared for an argy bargy over their number plate. Though the main trio were evacuated, the remaining crew members, had an entourage following them through their travels to the border,  throwing stones, resulting in 3 members of the crew being injured. 

When the trio arrived back on home soil, questions were raised and answers needed to be given. Was this number plate intended? Did the Top Gear going out of their way to cause an issue? Or was it a genuine coincidence? When their PR team got involved, all 3 presenters stuck to their guns and said that it was a genuine coincidence, number plates are never planned, they are on the car when they are purchased, who even looks at number plates? With all this conflict, we as viewers were excited to see what was to unfold, it was very similar to when Hammonds car accident was aired, millions tuned in for the last 15 minutes of the show to see it, like they did for this, but was it worth watching the entire show? Was it a top notch special?

I will be completely honest when I write this, I can’t say that I thought this was an amazing special, I didn’t think it was as funny as other specials. Yes it was enjoyable and I enjoyed it as I always do, but I can’t say that it was really great. However the Twitter spectrum went crazy for the special, tweeting their praise to the presenters, as revealed in the 5 million of us that tuned in for both parts. When the conflict broke out, there was no getting away from the elephant in the room, that it looked frightening, it was real, not set up. 

As a fan of the show, I would like to believe that the number plate was a coincidence and not a plant for controversy, I cant imagine the producers aiming for this, seeing as the last special caused issues with the word ‘slope’.  I also can’t imagine the show wanting to make fun of a war, where people died especially as the team are great supporters of war charities. Although it was not my favourite special, it will be replayed on Dave so many times in a week that it will no doubt become a favourite. Despite my views, this special has given the Mirror and the Mail plenty of headlines so I suppose they will be happy. 

It is very exciting to know that a new series (22) is in the pipeline and heading for a January air date, all I can hope is, is that it stays out of this much publicity and goes into the good news for a change. 

Good job Top Gear!

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