If you’re reading this, then you’re a certifiable (if not certified) car enthusiast and you’ve undoubtedly watched your fair share of Top Gear. Until recently, the only way to do that in Canada was on YouTube, where the episodes are old and incomplete; BBC Canada, where the episodes are just plain old; and torrents, which are slow to download and spotty in terms of quality. If you wanted to get your hands on a copy that you could watch on your laptop, iPod, or iPhone, you had better live in the US or the UK.
Not anymore. In the last couple months, iTunes Canada launched its own library of classic TG seasons, every one of which is worth owning if you have gasoline running through your arteries and exhaust gas through your veins. Although the earliest seasons aren’t currently available, they lacked the polish of the more recent efforts. Currenlty, you can buy Seasons 7-14, which should keep you occupied and thoroughly entertained for about a week straight.
There has been a fair bit of complaining that the most recent season or two have fallen short of expectations, but considering the worldwide phenomenon that the Top Gear boys have turned in to, it’s hard to imagine anything that could meet the over-hyped anticipation. In that sense, the last two seasons of TG were a bit like Apple’s iPad. Everyone was shouting and screaming for years, begging for Apple to release a super-sized iPhone-like tablet, but when Steve Jobs finally made his way on stage wearing his usual blue jeans and black turtleneck, armchair critics were quick to point out limitations and short-sighted in seeing the potential of the new platform.
But enough about Apple. Top Gear is the best motoring television show… in the world, and Season 10 is still my personal favourite, with Season 11 close behind. Prices for the seasons range from $10.99 to $18.99, or you can buy individual episodes for $1.99. Very reasonable pricing considering the peerless production value, witty banter, odd-ball challenges, and mesmerizing supercars.