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The Best Top Gear Specials, According to Reddit

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The five best Top Gear specials – it’s a debate that’s been raging for decades at this point. And there are so many fantastic specials that it really does make the task of finding the top five very difficult. In fact, the task is so difficult that we asked the wonderful people of Reddit what they thought the top five Top Gear specials were.

Say what you like about Reddit, but the people on the platform tend to know their stuff. After many heated and often circular arguments, we finally nailed it down. So here it is, in no particular order – the top five Top Gear specials, according to Reddit.

Vietnam

The Vietnam episode was almost universally at the top of everyone’s list, and for good reason. In this episode, Clarkson, Hammond and May were given shoe boxes of cash and tasked with finding their way to a specific destination. Since their cash couldn’t cover the cost of a car – to their dismay – they had to buy motorcycles. As you would expect, the trio continually try to inconvenience each other with silly challenges and tricks, and Clarkson’s passionate hatred for motorcycles and general misery during the episode makes it extremely funny.

Our favourite quote: “You’ll now attempt to achieve in 8 days what the Americans failed to achieve in 10 years. Get from the South of Vietnam, to the North. You will ride from here in Saigon, to Hạ Long City near the Chinese border, which is 1,000 miles away”.

Reddit proof: u/retsushimura – “Vietnam is a god tier episode.”

Bolivia

Right behind Vietnam in almost every list was Bolivia. In this special, the trio went on a jungle journey through the Amazon, travelling from the heart of Bolivia to the coast of Chile. Battling a relentless climate and one of the most dangerous roads in the world, this episode really highlighted just how dangerous their escapades can be. But of course there was plenty of comic relief, like when tampons, Vaseline and condoms were used to waterproof various parts of a vehicle.

Our favourite quote: “James is killing Jeremy. Things are going well.”

Reddit proof: u/porcupixl – “May slipping on the plank in Bolivia is brilliant.”

Botswana

After Vietnam and Bolivia, the Reddit hive mind became much more difficult to interpret. At number three, we have chosen Botswana, as this special seemed to pop up in the majority of people’s lists.

In this special, the team travelled across Botswana in a car they each bought for less than £1500, attempting to prove that they are just as capable as 4x4s for off-road use. The conditions were that the cars had to be 2-wheel drive and not be intended in any way for off-road use. In true Top Gear fashion, their vehicles often broke down, and plenty of shenanigans took place, including time trials in each vehicle by “The Stig’s African cousin”, and of course who could forget Oliver.

Our favourite quote: “Some say that he’s seen The Lion King 1,780 times, and that his second best friend is a Cape Buffalo. All we know is he’s not the Stig, but he is the Stig’s African Cousin.”

Reddit proof: u/Periklos_Kyriakidis – “Botswana no.1 for me.”

Burma

The Burma special didn’t make it into every Redditor’s list, but when it didn’t there was a fair degree of outrage, as is customary with the platform, so we thought that we should add it to our list.

In the Burma special the famous three were tasked with building a bridge over the River Kwai. But before they could do that, they needed to drive across Burma, a country which had been all but shut to Westerners for decades. The Burma special features the perfect balance of bickering, banter and silliness with some of the BBC’s best cinematography, which is why it’s up there in our list.

Our favourite quote: “I’m a butler with Parkinson’s and I’ve got a gun.”

Reddit proof: u/Gomer8387 – “I find the lack of Burma special and the sports lorry unacceptable.”

Middle East

Coming in at fifth, we have the Middle East special. Now if you’re a Redditor yourself, you’re probably already trying to stifle your fury that such-and-such an episode didn’t make it onto the list. Well tough, this is our list (actually it’s your list, but it’s our interpretation of it, so there).

The Middle East special attempts to (very roughly) recreate the journey of the Three Wise Men, travelling from Erbil International Airport in Kurdistan to Bethlehem by way of Aleppo, Palmyra and Damascus. We think the car modifications were particularly inventive in this one, especially Hammond’s that resembled a shisha tent and Clarkson’s technicoloured Mazda.

Our favourite quote: “We are Three Wise Men. We have travelled far from the East and bring presents of gold, shampoo and an electronic toy.”

Reddit proof: u/Stevie22wonder – “Haven’t revisited the middle east one in a while.”

Cheers, Stevie.

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