So the show-makers finally admit fans think the show is in crisis and that they think it is too. It also seems they are trying very hard to fix it but they don't know what's wrong with the show or what to do to fix it.
Well I too, like the Monk, think I have the solution! Going with the band analogy, I think they would do the equivalent of an "acoustic set".
Everyone on the show keeps batting on about the Bolivia film and how it's the best part of this series and the 'races' and 'challenges' that fans 'loved' from, "back in the day when Top Gear was good". They also seem to love talking about the presenters and their 'on-screen chemistry' and how it's a show about 'three blokes cocking about with cars'.
It's a case of their making a fuss about everything else and forgetting it's a show about cars. It'd be like spending all your time as a band thinking about the onstage show and forgetting the [real] fans are there primarily for the music.
The part of Ep 5 I enjoyed the most was the Noble test because it was about the M600 and nothing else. Cars are interesting enough without exotic locations, 'brilliant cinematography' or contrived plots and staged humour. The clips of Top Gear I watch repeatedly on YouTube are always the 8-10 minute tests where they talk about the cars and nothing else and the best film they've put together in a while was James May's FCX Clarity test.
Nowadays, I enjoy watching clips of Tim Schrick on DMAX D Motor more than I enjoy watching TopGear. The tests are done on a featureless airfield and don't always involve supercars, all speech is in German and I have to read subtitles to follow it, but it's compelling because although there is some humour every so often, 90% of the dialogue is about cars and the joy of driving them.
I understand TG need to cater to those who watch the show for 'entertainment' but this shouldn't be at the expense of those who watch it for the cars. I propose one show in each series devoted to 'power' tests, one each from the presenters. And nothing else!