The formula for Top Gear, after Clarkson completely revamped it from a very pedestrian ordinary car review show, was lifted, almost directly from Jerome K Jerome's Three Men in a Boat. A quintessential English novel that captured the relationship, in-fighting, sulking, and entertaining dynamic of three men on a boat trip. This theatre was played out week after week on Top Gear, when they went on their contrived, ridiculous, and entertaining adventures. By missing this enormous formula, the producers of the show delivered a turkey. Two hosts, do not give you the opportunity to pit two against one, with the teams always changing.
The signature segment, "star in a reasonably priced car" worked because the guests were driving cars that average people owned. The replacement with a super-charged mini on a part rally course misses this point completely. Top Gear was always silly, slightly annoying, superbly shot and soundtracked.
Chris Evans, who seems to only have one set of clothes in his wardrobe, was shouty, predictable, and seemingly incapable of interviewing anyone. Matt Le Blanc was surprisingly good.
Did you know that for the price of a 280-Z you can buy two Z-80's? -- P.J. Plauger