The gauntlet has once again been laid squarely at my feet; it has fallen to me to explain to you just why you should be watching Top Gear and just what you'll gain from the experience. BBC America just starting airing the 15th season of the show and alongside that Warner Bros. and the BBC have released The Complete Season 13 to DVD. In this piece we will be concerning ourselves with the latter much more than the former.
Top Gear, as I have said before, is ostensibly a car show, but not really. In reality, the show is a comment on our society, a comedy, and an adventure all rolled into one. The show follows the exploits of James May, Richard Hammond, and Jeremy Clarkson as they put cars through their paces in order to see just what makes for a good car and just what a car can really do. This basic formula holds true for season 13, although it does hold true for fewer episodes than in season 12 as only seven were made as part of this season and eight as a part of the previous one (although it must be added that a mere six were included in season 11).
One of the things that has made the new version of Top Gear so special is the enigma known as The Stig. Referred to as Top Gear's "tame racing driver," it is The Stig who is tasked with racing cars around the Top Gear Test Track to see how well they perform. It also falls to The Stig to train the celebrities who come on the show so that the celebrities can put up their own times in the reasonably priced car they take around the track. The Stig doesn't speak, The Stig shows no emotion, The Stig doesn't even take off his helmet. This has actually led to much speculation in England as to who the man in the white racing suit might be. At first, this revamped version of Top Gear (there was another, older, version of the show before this one) featured a Stig in a black racing suit. That particular Stig, announced who he was to the world, was forced to drive off an aircraft carrier, and was subsequently replaced with the white-suited one.