Top Gear season 25, episode 5: has the show hit its stride?

Forbidden supercars and a wacky homemade tractor thrill critics of the BBC motoring series

Top Gear
Top Gear is back
(Image credit: Top Gear)

Top Gear returned to BBC Two’s schedule last night with an adrenaline-fuelled start to its 25th season that wowed critics.

The motoring show appears to have “finally recaptured some of the boyish brio” that has been absent since Jeremy Clarkson left in 2015, The Daily Telegraph says.

“Bromance blossomed” between presenters Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid, who took three muscle cars to the US state of Utah to celebrate the 116th anniversary of the American V8 engine, adds the newspaper.

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The episode felt “scripted” at certain points, according to the Radio Times, but the “love and knowledge of cars” the presenters have is “palpable”.

“The moment when all three delivered an ode to the V8, that beloved emblem of American engineering, was rather beautiful,” the magazine says.

The trio pitted their muscle cars against an off-road buggy driven by drift legend Ken Block, says Digital Spy, and the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment also made “a very welcome” return.

Overall, says the Radio Times, the first episode was “quintessential Top Gear”, although the presenters need to “relax and let their exchanges flow naturally” if the show is to return to its former glory.

The opening episode was also a hit with fans, who took to Twitter to give their verdicts.

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