Former Top Gear Producer Talks About Amazon’s New "Top Gear"
After striking a new deal with Amazon Prime that will see them thoroughly paid, we’re starting to get a better idea what the Top Gear refugees have planned for their new show. In addition to the former faces of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, the new show will also include Andy Wilman, the former producer of Top Gear, who is often credited with creating the voice and format that turned a relatively dull consumer information show into an international hit.
Wilman recently spoke with Broadcast to share his vision for the new show. "Money, freedom and a love of quality. Those three things are what was attractive," said Wilman when asked what drew the former Top Gear crew to the Amazon offer. The deal is thought to be Amazon’s largest-ever investment in original content.
"Everyone we have talked to has said to us: ’They leave you alone to make your show.’ That’s a big one for us – we don’t like interference, we don’t need to be policed," he continued. The new show won’t be beholden to advertisers, which for three guys who typically aren’t afraid to share less-than-glowing thoughts about cars, is important.
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Wilman went on to share a bit about the format for the show. Each of the three seasons on order will consist of 12 one-hour episodes, and, like Top Gear, will feature both an indoor studio and adventure features filmed in international locales. "But there will be a new look, new elements, new home. We’ve been so busy doing the bloody deal ... that [the development] process now begins in earnest," Wilman explained.
Unlike most original programing on Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu, episodes for each season may not be released all at once. Instead, episodes could be released on a weekly basis, but this is far from finalized.
When asked about the ‘fracas’ that paved the way for the new show and a new direction for Top Gear, Wilman was effusive: "We didn’t plan this and we would have carried on but that’s life, and crikey it’s looking pretty good right now. We get to carry on working, we get new challenges and Top Gear is in good hands. The viewers get two car shows, there’s nothing wrong with that."
Why it matters
Looks like it’s time to shell out for an Amazon Prime subscription. If what Wilman says here is accurate, then the new show is probably going to be excellent. Top Gear was always pretty outrageous, and, while we don’t expect any Game-of-Thrones-type profanity, violence or nudity (no thanks), a less-filtered version of the Clarkson, Hammond and May trio is really something to look forward to.