Top Gear Thursday: Clarkson, May and Hammond Go to Ukraine

Hammond, Clarkson and May. from left to right, with the site of the Charge of the Light Brigade behind them. (BBC AMERICA)

Hammond, Clarkson and May. from left to right, with the site of the Charge of the Light Brigade behind them. (BBC AMERICA)

In next week’s show, our intrepid hosts demonstrate their … intrepidity (it’s a word, honest, we looked it up) on a trip to Ukraine, a journey which ends up in the heart of Chernobyl. A reviewer for the Telegraph wrote that it is “undoubtedly one of the eeriest, most spine-chilling sequences I’ve seen on Top Gear – as the pair [Jeremy Clarkson and James May] drove around in the shadow of the devastated power station, their Geiger counters clicking like demented crickets.” Here are some of Jeremy’s thoughts on Chernobyl, courtesy of TopGear.com:





Is that a nuclear missile - or are you just happy to see me? (BBC AMERICA)

Is that a nuclear missile – or are you just happy to see me? (BBC AMERICA)

When the Top Gear trio visited Ukraine to film the episode, throngs of Ukrainian fans gathered outside of the triumvirate’s hotel in Kiev. One fan posted a photo of himself with Richard Hammond. “I live in Ukraine,” he wrote. “So you can imagine my surprise when I saw this man getting on board our domestic flight.”

Richard Hammond with fan in Ukrainian airport (imgur.com)

Richard Hammond with fan in Ukrainian airport (imgur.com)

Here’s a teaser from the episode:

• Also on next week’s episode, which airs Monday, Feb. 24 at 8:30p/7:30c, British singer James Blunt is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. The day he visited the track was especially rainy, as we found out from this TopGear.com behind-the-scenes video:





• One subset of viewers was especially pleased by last week’s show: the people who work for the company that made the Quadski amphibious vehicle that Jeremy drove in (literally) Lake Como. The Quadski, described as “the world’s first personal sports amphibian” recreational vehicle, is manufactured by Gibbs Technologies, Ltd, based in the Warwickshire town of Nuneaton. Company chairman Neil Jenkins was quoted by the Nuneaton News as saying: “We’re delighted that the Quadski was given the chance to demonstrate its capabilities on the show. The race was the perfect stage to showcase what personal sports amphibian is all about and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the experience turns Clarkson into a Quadski owner!” Here’s an inside look at the Quadski in action:

• Here’s another behind-the-scenes look at last week’s show – this video is about James’ visit to Afghanistan to look at the “biggest movement of military vehicles since World War II.” Producer Oison Tyman is our guide:

• The “Stigcam” is back! Take a look at a Stig’s eye view of a spin in an Alfa Romeo 4C, which was featured in last week’s episode:

• And finally, we have a rare look behind the scenes at Top Gear Live. The creators of “Inferno” talk about how they put together the ballsy—that’s fire-ballsy—stunt.

Here’s more Inferno, this time in slow motion: