It takes a lot of time, effort and planning to get a new series off of the ground. And when a new show is rising from the ashes of an old show, things can get even more complicated. At least, that’s what seems to be happening on the set of the BBC’s Top Gear. New reports from the set indicate that Top Gear is off to a shaky start, and new host Chris Evans is only one part of the overall problem.
We’ve known for a while that Chris Evans has been overcommitted to too many things. The radio host and presenter even noted in a magazine that he had worked for 26 hours straight one day between his radio show, TFI Friday and Top Gear production. Eventually, the TFI Friday gig ended—either because it was set as a one-off as the network suggests or because the BBC put the kibosh on its Top Gear host working too many gigs, as various media outlets suggest. Regardless, the main host has been stretched thin across several jobs for some time now. The Sunday Times has even called the production “in a shambles.”
A new report from The Sun also says that Evans even crashed a car during his first day of filming. The report indicates that the brand new Jaguar also happened to be lent to the Top Gear team.
Obviously, accidents happen and people sometimes overcommit, but a lot of this seems to stem back to a lack of focus from Evans, who is supposed to be the star of the new iteration, replacing the very, very popular Jeremy Clarkson and co. In addition, Clarkson had two beloved co-hosts in Richard Hammond and James May, while Chris Evans has been given a bunch of relative unknowns to work with. In time, people may come to love David Coulthard, Sabine Schmitz and Chris Harris, but for now, Chris Evans is the well-known name and will need to do a lot of the heavy lifting to get Top Gear back into the TV game. If he’s overcommitted, it’s hard to see that happening.
The big casting shakeup of 2015 isn’t the only problem Top Gear is facing. Several of the show’s behind-the-scenes people left when Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond did. Longtime producer Andy Wilman will be a part of that gang’s new Amazon show, and if that weren’t enough, a short time ago executive producer Lisa Clark and script editor Tom Ford also left the series. Then, there's the Top Gear producer who was hit by Clarkson and who later engaged in a lawsuit.
Look, anytime there is a huge shake-up things are bound to change and change rapidly. Just because the BBC’s new iteration of Top Gear is not going so smoothly right now doesn’t mean it is doomed. However, Chris Evans will eventually need to adjust to being the head of Top Gear and understanding all of the responsibilities that entails. The BBC will need to find new, good people to replace those who have left. Unfortunately, the toughest part won’t even be doing any of those aforementioned things. The toughest part will be convincing audiences to tune in now the original cast is gone. If Top Gear can get over all of those humps, it should be easy street.
We'll let you know as soon as Top Gear nabs a premiere date.