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Analyzing the structure of top gear media essay

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We have passed a long way and a journey to date, while we are entertaining the luxury of the word Automobile. The History reflects the evolution which has taken place in the Automobile dream to reality. We are capable of pointing the pioneers such as the scientist Sir Isaac Newton and the painter Leonardo da Vinci. Among the many more who first dreamt and created the structure, mechanism and the so called motor vehicle to the world. Their energy, sweat and blood is taken into account with gratitude in this modern world of motor vehicle technology or very simply ” The Automobile”. In 1885 Karl Benz, the German mechanical engineer, designed and built the world’s first practical and usable automobile. Later a car transmission system was invented by Henry Ford after initiating all the strategies in the said particular industry multi-part features, automobiles started to evolve with the first steam, gasoline-engine cars and electrical cars. The path of the communicating the news, features and information came a long way as the automobiles to the new era of Television programming. The important of the motor show or a program evolved over the years in television program production. BBC actually leads this in front in the industry for telecasting the TOP GEAR shows.

BBC’s motto of this particular program was ‘ To inform, educate and entertain,’ the audience. They are very professionally achieving their target. They do inform, educate and entertain their audience with a firm strategy. We should take the point into the consideration. What was there methodology of such a successful TV program? How did they succeed achieving their goals, such as the secret of being the number one motor show for such a long time? What were the success formula of the production and the creative output of the final product as well?

The most powerful part of this product was the planning stage of season 1 in1977 and again the planning of the re-launch in 2002. What is concept development and production planning in the Television Media? We will analyze it briefly. The concept development and the script of a project is a unique practice of well trained professionals.

2. 0 Start with an idea

An idea to develop a video program doesn’t come suddenly from the moon. There should be something which has given that idea. Sometimes it may come across certain incident that reminds us about the video. Sometimes a person in the local store would have asked to prepare a video for him. This is the way to go on with the project: we should be aware of what subject to be covered, what kind of program we should use, who are the viewers of us? Therefore we should know what the client’s exact requirements is, whether it is one hour or five minutes video clip. Make sure the way by which our viewers are going to integrate with the program. If we are dealing with a series the make sure we don’t repeat it unless otherwise it needs a revision. There is a high probability that the audience will not recognize the availability of the other videos in our series.

3. 0 Objectives and Goals

What do we think our audience? would need to know after viewing our video production? If we get the answer for this question it would help us to develop a suitable production. The objectives would give a clear picture on what kind of measures to be used in entire process of our production. Basically Goals are considered very wide concept that we want to achieve. However the objectives are calculatable goals that are developed based on SMART characteristics. For example we can use some measures to make sure whether our viewer has understood any main concepts of our program. Therefore start thinking on the point of view of our viewers on what they should know after viewing our production. After our viewers watched the program they should be able to do the following things:

Should be able to recognize three kind of sponsorship

Should be able to recognize position of four crews

Should be able to recognize issues with respect to scheduling

All above mentioned are objectives in nature since those can be measured. Basically the number of objectives to be used is decided based on the goals. Therefore at any given time it may require only one objective or many.

4. 0 Audience Targeted

Then we decide on whom we are targeting whether it is a video of “ family album or learning methods in physics. we have to make sure whom we are addressing and what is the purpose:

The nature of our audience

Decide if it is for the local or general publics or the group of specialist.

What is the level at which we have to produce like basic or advanced

Are there any unique background, qualification or experience required for our audience

What are the style in which our audience require our production

It is our targeted audience who decide on what type of coverage or style that they need. It is obvious that the kind of program expected by the specialist is not similar to that of younger. Then we have to make sure they have got a suitable condition for the audience to watch our production. The productions are mostly viewed as VCDs, DVDs, or they watch in home, lecture rooms, or offices. They are not produced to broadcast. A talented director would foresee these unique situations and they would influence on making the program more effectively.

How are they going to see our program and where? Would they be together to watch the video? In darkened room? Will they be watching a solid video or through the internet? Or would the video be watched on iPod while driving a vehicle?

Directors would have to get ride off the dark or low-key scenes if that is to be viewed in direct daylight. People watching from the distant picture monitor would be able to identify the problems in terms of displaying the images in many monitors. Long range shots will have very little impact. Further closer shots are nessacery due to its value addition in terms of drama and emotion. Small letters will have no use in the small distant screen. To improve the visibility of headings, maps, charts etc., only provide limited and necessary information.

If the target audience are using the iPods or any other small screen videos equipments directors should consider these aspects in developing more close ups shots than long shots that were used to be developed usually. Following questions can help you in identifying viewer’s problems in detail:

Is our video program relying more on our already developed knowledge and skills? To what extent it knows the real subject?

Does that program have any connection with any other programs in the series?

Does the program have to remind any already developed programs?

Are the viewers going to watch the program grouped? Or individually?

Will they be seeing the program continuously or only once?

Do they have the feasibility to watch the program again and again?

Will it give a beak for the audience for the discussion about already shown program?

Will any supporting thing be give for the audience to refer when they require?

Will there be any other aspects such as noisy or inter competing?

Would developed program be out of date soon?

Will it be developed for formal situations or humor?

5. 0 Research

To establish program content or to ensure that the content is accurate and suitable there will be researches conducted. The programs such as news’s, documentaries or interviews require high research before the production. This is one by going through the library books or online browsing or by contacting some specialists in the area. Sometime it may require travelling also. Further the research is very time consuming and have a great impact on overall budget. If the specialist whom we meat for our research purposes would request high fees then it one come really true and problem come more severe.

The above chart shows the number of review scoring votes per episode.

6. 0 Covering the subject

This examines what is the subject matter covered, who includes in the group of viewers, further the ingredients will affect the decision on what kind of camera settings should be used for the program, how long or close the shots should be, what are the variations expected. Directors need to think about the following things very seriously:

What are the content of the program?

What are the angles to be used in the program developing?

Are any additional graphics required to transfer the idea to audience more effectively?

What is the best view point of making the cameras?

How he is going to transfer the exact requirement to the crews so that the production can be more effective which ensures the achievement of the goals?

Will all camera operators need to create a separate shot?

A shot list would explain the requirement of each shots, it will be prepared in clear order, therefore the camera operators would only require a minimum level of direction for the director since it already give the clear picture about the shots required.

6. 1 The Genre of Top Gear

As per the television Industrial genre The Top Gear Show listed under The Magazine/ Documentary genre mix up with the Reality formations.

Variety of topics presented in a television program which based on current events contains interviews and commentary with an entertaining features, reports, music spots etc. linked by a presenter is called a Magazine Program. A film or TV program which presents facts lined up about a person or an event literally called a documentary, docudrama, infotainment movie etc. in the television or movie genre. It is said and understood that this show is a factual example for a combination of both genres as mentioned earlier, The Magazine/ Documentary.

The quality of the presentation and narration plays a vital role in developing the TOP GEAR show. Actually changed the original concept of documentary and magazine genres will combine into a reality formation. It is the time to rename such program genres.

It is better to understand and analyze these specific words. It is well conversed among the professionals of the television industry. People create creative interpretations of actuality. Yes we do have to agree. This concept is followed by the analytical formations of formats.

We could see there are basically ten types of formats and only two sorts of programs available:

Panel show: contact the presses

Programs to demonstrate

Conducting game shows : Thanga vettai, Kodishwaran in India

Live coverage : On the day of elections, president’s addressing

Sport games : Football, cricket

Documentary programs : Reality programs like Derana superstar in Sri Lanka

Programs are basically scored or scripted in other major categories, such as follows:

News: Hourly news In India, morning and evening coverage of the stations situations.

Dramas: This includes the Comedies and tragedy programs in a series.

Music Programs: Younger’s music competitions in India, Sirasa superstar in Sri Lanka.

Performance art

Some of these formats are related. They all borrow techniques and skills from one another, so it’s common to see music video techniques in dramas and documentary techniques in the news

Shooting session of Top Gear Show

7. 0 Duration of the Show

In commercial television, the script must also factor in commercial breaks. These breaks include regular commercials, promos, and other material supplied by the local station affiliate.

+ A one-hour show actually only broadcasts about 44 to 48 minutes of programming, along with 12 to 16 minutes of breaks. The script is generally about 50 to 55 pages long.

+ A half-hour show runs 22 to 24 minutes with 6 to 8 minutes of commercial breaks. The traditional guideline is that one page equals one minute of action; this can vary with the genre.

Top Gear was produced under the base of motor car, and broadcast since 1977 to 2001. It was originally created in 30-minute magazine format. The show was re-launched in 2002. The format was revived into a studio based format. The origination of this concept and creation of the program was totally done by BBC. BBC America. BBC Canada, RTE Two and Setanta Ireland has also shown the program in their respective countries.

Top Gear was also shown on Setanta Ireland in Ireland too. Then gone on long journey through Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Sweden, Malaysia, Australia as well as New Zealand etc. along with Latin America, and a number of other television channels around the world produced this format in their versions too.

The popularity of this particular program made its path a long way around the world. Three versions have been done internationally adapting the format and the concept. The production locally done in United States. Russia and Australia. In each country they have created it with respective local talents and production teams. History Channel of US has taken the rights to the American version of top gear. On November 21, 2010, they have aired the first episode to the American television industry. It’s said and estimated that the worldwide viewership was more than 350 million viewers. The show has received vast appreciation among the audience for its presentation and visual style.

The original series reached its peak in the 1990s and according to the critics and enthusiasts program came to an end by the end of the particular decade. But with that producer Andy Wilman successfully presented a new format for Top Gear to the BBC which has changed their intention of freezing the program in 2001.

The new series began its journey in 2002. It’s on the move since then, up-to-date. Dunsfold’s runways and taxiways are the place where top gear people using as their temporary racing circuit designed and maintained for the show. They use standing audience to create the production.

The new series which has formatted in 2002 had some new changes to the product. Those changes were much appreciated by the audience other than the old show. The length of the program has been changed to one hour. Two new presenters were introduced to the product.

A helmeted racing driver introduced as the test drive. The Stig… made the change worthy watching. There were new segments also, including “ Stars in a reasonably priced car”, “ The Cool Wall”, “ The News”,” Power laps”, and off features such as races, competitions and the regular destruction of caravans etc.

8. 0 Segments

The show is all about having long distanced races. Here the presenter would drive a car against the different types of vehicles. Although it is very easy to mention like that, it is great to see a person going unorthodox using other mode of transports. The main challenge here is to use different combination of vehicles such as plan, ferry or train. This part is edited in exciting way that will attract and keep the audience to the maximum gear. They make sure this remains till the program ends. It is the viewer who sees who is the winner.

This kind of qualities is required in presenting the program to keep the viewers motivated till the end of the show. Then as a secondary activity they should remember to emphasis on rating to face the television industry.

The variety of the program is very important on the other hand. Many small races will be held to ensure the variety. Then they would be able to know the strength and weaknesses of a specific vehicle.

9. 0 Challenges

In early few series they included some unique challenges and very short stunt films generally based on the broken premises like buses jumping over the motorcycle as opposed to the usual style of motorbikes jumping over the busses.

This show had a great impact on viewers they really loved the series very much. These cars are still available at a museum. [Refer: http://www. youtube. com/watch? v= DtTnfFH2Hjc ]

10. Celebrity in a Reasonably Priced Car

In celebrities will appear in each episode this would attract the viewers by giving a opportunity for them to see the fast track of the popular person.

11. 0 Power Laps

The celebrity Stig completed a fast round in the high top gear in order to evaluate the performance level of the numerous cars in the Power lap segments.

If the car can meet the criterias such as road worthy, able to negotiate a bumper and commercially available then it can be considered to be qualified for the Power lap Board.

12. 0 Christmas specials

There were special segments created according to the time of year to give the seasons impact to the audience.

13. 0 Car of the Year

This was another special segment introduced at the end of each autumn series. The segment contains the favor and the choice of the hosts. They present an award. The award is given as the favorite car of the year. The criteria of the award are so simple, yet powerful. It is all three presenters’ choice. They have to agree unanimously to take the decision.

14. 0 Presentation History

BBC started this program called Top gear in 1977. The presenters were William Woollard and Noel Edmonds along with Tony Mason, Chriss Goffey and Frank Page. It said that the name actually arrived form a radio series called Top Gear. It was a magazine show that spoke about the new car models to the market and various car related problems. Further it included some special events like motor spots and classic car events. Jon Bentley appeared as one of the show maker in 1987. Other new makers were using new previous Formula one driver Tiff Needl and Jeremy Clarkson and that got a great respond from the audience. Further it became very controversial and humorous becoming more critical.

According to the necessity and segments the presenters have changed over the history. Total Top Gear is based on three main Presenters. They are James May and Jeremy Clarkson Richard Hammond. Stig test has driven many of the cars who was considered to be a Non speaking presenter. Each presenter actually targeted wide variety of people based on the age of the people. For example James May targeted older demography where as Richard Hammond targeted the young female audience. Therefore Top Gear presenters are very special and unique to each other in terms of performing in the show.

there are four main presenters involved in the Gadget show such as John Bentley, Jason Bradbury, Ortis Deley and Suzi Perry. The use of female presenters really surprised the entire audience since it was traditionally dominated by only male.

15. 0 Worldwide Telecast

It’s a known factor there are magazine, documentary and other genres such as talk shows, reality shows etc are created and done allover the world to enhance the motor vehicle lovers.

But first of all we can enlist the countries which broadcast the Top Gear Show and few of its own versions.


Australia managed to retain the rights to telecast the TOP GEAR shows locally and this is the first country to do like this.

2004 series of TOP GEAR was telecasted in 2005, it attracts the audience to the great extent. Then they came out with their own version.


This series includes high level action and excitement. It’s full of action. It can be mentioned as adventures as well. This show was mainly made for car lovers. This featured super cars, challenges and stunts, reviews about cars and interviews of celebrities.

United Kingdom

On Sunday nights Top Gear is first broadcast on BBC2 and repeated on the following Wednesday evening and again the following Saturday

16. 0 Themes

The rock’n’roll theme of top gear inspired the world because of the macho-ness it emphasized in the mentality of the audience. It was utter human psychology which the producers used to create the atmosphere. Women who watched the program loved it. It really created the connection of the car with human in a musical bond.

4/4 rock beat also was a heavy in sound system that has to beaded for the macho content.

The drum track adds a bass and snare to have heavy sound effects. Further for masculine themes it adds a deep riff over the drums. It was amazing that when it was played audience quickly realized that it was the Top Gear’s soundtrack.

The Allman Brothers Bands instrumental hit “ Jessica” has been used as the theme song since 1977. The show used part of the original Allmans’ recording of the song until the late 1990s, later they’ve changed it to cover versions According to the later requirements, and producers have searched for new themes according to the segments introduced.

For an example, for the series 6, there were nominations for showing a drive sound, the final and last list of ten were voted for by write-in nominations on the Top Gear website, the top five has been selected, and then submitted them to the viewers to vote. The best one was selected by the audience. It actually took the Magazine format of the Production in to the Reality format.

(Taking these points to the consideration and, we’ve noted the factor earlier. As per the television Industrial genre The Top Gear Show listed under The Magazine/ Documentary genre mixed up with the Reality formations.)

Top Gear had a unique compilation of songs.

Several songs have been released while the run of the particular show. These driving songs have been attracted many people. The factor should be taken into consideration. How the audience appreciated the program and the music. It’s the marvel reality we find today, not the themes emerged through the era. But the artists who have received the fame because of the product.. Top gear. It was vice versa as well. This is the most amazing, wonderful gravity of this media…. Television.

17. 0 Set

The Top Gear set totally looks masculine. The background made out of car body parts all attached together looks like a young boy’s toy. But a person could gather things from it and build up a car on his own. Such an environment to a program… It is very creative, but the hidden factor is the approach of the designers. There are things or factors to be considered when creating such a set to a program. The motto of the show, the target audience, concept, the feel and the look, the subject matter of the product, etc

For an example we can identify the ‘ tyres’ in the cool wall. What does the idea reflects. Even the seats made out of leather from car seats. The look and feel is a man’s garage. Then to the target audience. Mainly males. So do the main set. It does reflect a racing track. The show is about cars, tracks, races are the firsthand feeling of the viewer. Throughout the show the viewer is bonded with the feeling of the show. This is a well planned set done by professionals.

18. 0 Audience

It is said and believed that the Top Gear is the most popular car enthusiast’s show on the earth. According to the surveys done through variety of methods it’s said, the program is having minimum viewership of 350 million people around the world.

Targeted Top Gear Audience is males because of the content of the product, but females are attracted to the show. Why is it? The very basic factor is women too love and like cars. Secondary factor is women too like adventure. Then comes the attraction of male presenters.

19. 0 Activity of Scheduling

These are the patterns of scheduling taken place in Major telecast in UK on BBC HD as well as BBC two.

20. 0 Other Dominating Channels

Following channels from world wide also telecasted this show such as Canada BBC, America BBC, BBC, Dave (Channel), Setanta Ireland, Nine Network, Netherland Veronica, Belgium Canvas, Sweden Kanal 9, Malaysia Media Prima, BBC Entertainment, TV Latin America, New Zealand

21. 0 Comparisons between the Similar Shows

Fifth Gear

It is an early Motoring Television magazine program in UK. Channel 5 showed it originally; in 2010 the 17th series was started.

22. 0 Format

23 minutes was the initial running time for seven series of the program in the autumn of 2005 eighth series started with some amendments? It was in a format of 45 minutes,

Then in the ninth series air time increased to one hour, the episodes consisted was thirteen. At the beginning of the seventeenth series they made another changeover by reducing the running time. It was a half hour slot canned to a twenty three minutes program.

Several of Top Gear’s ex-presenters, were hired by Channel 5 to present Fifth Gear.


Motoring Television program launched  in 1998 by Channel 4, UK.

The style was similar to top Gear.  But there were additional different type of components included as well. ‘ Driven 100’ was such a feature. Three cars of the same class road tested in the segment. The criteria of the marks given to the cars associated with the qualities such as Practicality, Desirability and Cost of Ownership.

Driven was cancelled by Channel 4 in 2002.

Vroom Vroom

British entertainment program telecast in Granada media. The shows will run for one hour , and facilities a numerous mix of segments, from the Vroom Vroom test drive featuring (among other things) tips for buying and selling cars and banger racing.


This is a very well popular and established program in the India. This is on BBC World News India. The program was launched in 1994 and done in Delhi. The show went for a re-launch in2004. The program covers a vast area of cars and bike information and news. The product is holding an annual award ceremony as well. It’s called ” Wheels Award”’.

23. 0 Conclusion

The conclusion of this report and findings would indicate the clear picture about the success and failure of the TOP GEAR in its history.

‘ Top Gear entered a world in which cars are not considered as mechanics anymore, but rather it is all about lifestyles. It is about going a road-trip, seeing great places in the world, fighting ever-madder challenges. Or, to put it simply, it is about having exiting fun. Clarkson and his boys’ adventures have really given a great exiting experience showing a totally different world., including the very dangerous efforts like entering the North Pole in a specially-prepared Toyota Hilux..’

By Branko Brkic Main photo: BBC 2

MPH Live featuring Clarkson, Hammond and May is currently on in Johannesburg

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