Shocking as it may seem, a television show that makes a habit of doing silly things like incinerating caravans, dropping pianos on Morris Marinas, converting a Ford Transit into a hovercraft and recruiting British Touring Car Championship drivers to race airport support vehicles isn't targeted at a high-brow audience. Yes, we're talking about Top Gear.
The Telegraph sat down with Andy Wilman, the executive producer of Top Gear ahead of the 21st season's premiere, slated for this Sunday in the UK and February 10 in the US. Wilman, who's produced every season of Top Gear UK since its 2002 relaunch, could be thought of as the silent, fourth partner to Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.
"If you're actually nine, you need something to watch that isn't a computer screen," Wilman said. "And if you're 29, 39 or 59, part of your brain will most likely still have a mental age of nine, and that part struggles to get nourishment." Considering that, Wilman believes the show provides an "important service" to the working public. "Modern life for adults is, after all, bloody hard. The workplace is not freer, but more regimented by management systems and nonsense enforced by going on 'courses'," Wilman said. "The demand to be accountable and produce results hangs heavy over every worker, and by the weekend they need a release valve. That's where we come in - an hour a week where three badly dressed middle-aged men bicker, fall over and catch fire."
According to The Telegraph, the upcoming season will include things like a timed rally inside of a supermarket, as well as the usual crop of exploding cars and a tank smashing through walls. The team will also journey to the Italian lakes for a "pointless" race, make a visit to a nuclear disaster site (hinted to be Chernobyl) and learn how to embroider while driving. Our inner nine year olds can't wait.