Sunday, July 29, 2007

Top Gear Polar

Just watched the Top Gear Polar Special on the BBC for the second time. Jeremy Clarkson and James May drove to North Pole in a Toyota Hilux (seriously modified) while Richard Hammond took the traditional dog sled. Of course they had backup cars and teams or real explorers to keep them on track but still driving in the Arctic to the North Pole is not exactly the safest thing to do. Of course Clarkson and the car won, they always do. It must be written into his contract or something that he always wins, but it's still great fun watching someone drive to the North Pole for the first time.

But then I read that they hadn't actually gone to the North Pole. At the end of the show they show their coordinates as being 78° North. That is 12° and about 800 miles short of the true North Pole. Of course one could argue that they could had gone to Magnetic North, which moves and that is exactly where they did go. Unfortunately they did so 11 years late since they conveniently used the position of Magnetic North from 1996, it is currently around 82° or 83° North. It was a bit disappointing, really all they did was go for a long drive in the snow to an almost random point 400 miles away.

Still that fact doesn't stop it from being a great bit of television. There was stunning scenery, a sense that it was a dangerous place even for experienced explorers, a challenge that most people would never dream of taking and Clarkson with a car nut frozen to his lip. Anyone who likes Top Gear will love it.

1 comment:

Capone said...

I don't know if you've seen this, but they were following the "Polar Challenge" route.

Still, awesome episode.