Top Gear fans: Nostalgic for before political correctness took over

Last week Top Gear returned to television screens worldwide after an unscheduled refresh.  

I'm sure that anyone who has made it this far through the article already knows what happened: controversial host Jeremy Clarkson lost his job after a "fracas" with a producer and his co-hosts left the show in support. 

Over the past fourteen years, Top Gear became one of the most successful shows ever from the BBC. As part of the success, Clarkson became one of the most loved and loathed figures on British television. Sort of like a Nigel Farage who you might actually want to have a beer with. 

Inevitably, the show has been widely criticised upon its return with a new cast. Given the number of people claiming they were going to hate it before a single scene was even filmed, let alone broadcast, that isn't a surprise.

To me all of this just feels childish. The school bully got sent to the headmaster's office and expelled from school. And now school's just not the same. 

I'm unsure what exactly caused Clarkson to be fired because I wasn't there. None of us were. But, in most workplaces violence would almost certainly warrant dismissal. Probably instantly. And this was far from the first time he had been in trouble with his employers. 

Listening to some people it feels like the BBC cancelled Christmas, and Easter. But they only fired someone who didn't really want his job anymore.

Personally, I feel like the best days of the old Top Gear were already in the past. I remember sitting through the Vietnam special and wondering what the point of it was. It was like being on a lads weekend without the benefit of being drunk or leaving home. More and more episodes would go past without any gold at all.  

Top Gear had become the Daily Mail of television shows. How great would Britain be if the E-Type was still in production and the sun hadn't set on the British Empire?  How much better was life when we could call foreigners by racist names? When we could go to the pub and drive home drunk? When there were none of those annoying bike lanes or speed cameras? Ah, nostalgia, how I miss you!

Top Gear had become a picture of a bygone era that never really existed. Not in my lifetime, at least. And now it has gone, replaced by something else that may or may not recapture that glory. 

In 2002, Clarkson's Top Gear took more than a couple of episodes to find its feet. And this series will too. We might even look back in a few years and miss LeBlanc and Evans as much as Clarkson, but only if they make it their own and stop being compared to the past.