Top Gear

Top Gear: Polar Special


The distance between Resolute in northern Canada and the magnetic North Pole at Ellef Ringnes Island is 320 nautical miles [450 miles]. It's a journey across sea ice and unforgiving mountainous terrain, where temperatures can drop to minus 65ºC - a temperature at which exposed skin can freeze in less than 30 seconds. Only fools would attempt such a journey. So Jeremy and James are attempting to do it in the now legendary Toyota Hilux and Richard hopes to make it on a sled pulled by ten Canadian Inuit dogs.

Watch the complaints from environmentalists roll in.

A foolhardy but extremely entertaining quest in which the trio of Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May attempt to reach to the North Pole. Poor little Richard Hammond is pulled on a sled by an Inuit dog team while Clarkson and James May try to beat him in an enormous winterised Hilux. If Clarkson and May manage to succeed they will be the first people on earth to drive a car to the North Pole.

This special is constructed with carefully measured doses of humour, suspense, suffering, thrills and James May making gin and tonics while Clarkson drives across the Arctic Sea.   Jeremy has fitted a toilet seat to the back of the Toyota but when James tries to use it – Jeremy drives off with him at the back truly caught with his trousers down!

I couldn't really see how the boys could make ice interesting-I humbly apologize. Polar was an extended 72 min version and it was simply superb.
Yes, I laughed out loud, but it also exposed that behind the japery are three men who care very much about what they do and had a serious point, particularly in view of it being done after Hammond's Yorkshire Escapade.
I suspect that after months of having family & friends hovering every time he tried to do more than open a pickle jar, Hamster really needed the solitude of that region and the opportunity to test himself and his own recovery. James May also shone; he acted the wimp whinger but he did what all the best mates do - quietly got stuck in helping Jeremy shine without fuss or histrionics.