This weekend, the BBC aired the first episode of its revamped flagship series, Top Gear, and has now made it available for American audiences online.
The episode, which drew the lowest opening numbers in the show's history (4.7 million) and was met with scorn from fans on Twitter, marked the first time Matt LeBlanc and co-host Chris Evans (not that Chris Evans) took the iconic stage following the departure of previous hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.
According to fans, the formula for the revamped version of the show felt too similar to what Top Gear had always been, but without the witty and line-totting humor that the series became famous for. The word "boring" was used more often than not during the show's premiere, and while the BBC regards it as a success, others think otherwise.
Prior to the show's premiere, Evans said that if it didn't pull in at least five million viewers, it would be pretty surprising and disappointing. Following the premiere, however, Evans changed his mind and tweeted that it was still a success in every regard despite coming up short.
Even with the BBC backing the newly remodeled series, fans were pretty adamant that the version they were most excited for was the new one starring Clarkson, May and Hammond, which will premiere on Amazon Prime later this year. The new series, called Grand Tour, is essentially Top Gear but without the name and studio. It will focus on the three friends traveling to various parts of the world with some of the best — and worst — cars available on the market. Of course, the original trio will return to participating in the shenanigans that made them household names in the first place.
The new version of Top Gear comes months after Clarkson was fired from the BBC after he assaulted a staff member. The incident was the final straw for the network. Clarkson had been given multiple warnings over the years for his vulgar and offensive jokes, but had always slid by.
Top Gear airs Saturday nights on BBC2 in England, with episodes uploaded to the BBC America site shortly after.