This review includes Sacrilegious Spoilers. You have been warned.
Segment 1: Three Wise Men Introduction
For this episode, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May will be playing the role of the Three Wise Men. The guys will be traveling to the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem. The guys would each have to pick a car that costs less than 3,500 pounds and is a two seat convertible. The guys have another issue. Due to political reasons, the guys cannot buy a car from any of the surrounding nations. The guys would have to buy their cars from Georgia and then fly them over to the starting point using a Russian transport plane. The guys did not know where the starting point would be.
Richard Hammond picked at Fiat Barchetta Riviera Special. Richard says he is brave for picking the Fiat, but Jeremy says he is stupid for picking the Fiat. Jeremy says he is a wise man for picking a Mazda MX-5. James chose a BWM Z3. James May paid 3,966 pounds for the Z3, which is more than what the guys are allowed to spend. Jeremy says that they are not three wise men. Jeremy says he is a wise man, Richard is an idiot, and James is a cheat. As the plane approaches the starting point, the door opens and Richard is screaming. After the plane has landed, Jeremy is handed an envelope and all three guys are given bullet-proof vests and helmets. Jeremy opens the envelope and finds out that they are in Iraq. For the special, the guys would be travelling 1200 miles to Bethlehem. They are to pickup gold, frankincense, and myrrh along the way. There is a helicopter flying above the plane. Richard is closest to the door. Jeremy is in the middle, and James is the farthest from the plane door. Richard does not want to be the shield for the other two. They decide to count 3, 2, 1, then get as fast as possible off the plane. Richard counts down and leaves the plane and gets to a shed as fast as possible. Richard is mad because Jeremy did not leave. Jeremy says his car "stalled." Jeremy counts down and he and James quickly leave the plane and make it to the shed. The guys take out a map to plan the route. The guys would be travelling from Arbil, Iraq into Iran, then Turkey, Syria, Jordan, and then Israel. The guys are avoiding Mosul, Iraq. The guys set off.
Segment 2: Iraq
While driving in Iraq, James thinks it is a mistake to drive in the front. The guys play leapfrog with the goal of being in the middle so that they have a smaller chance of being shot at. The guys are so busy with playing leapfrog that they are not looking where they are going. The guys are lost. The guys are driving in an area with tall buildings, a perfect place for an ambush. Jeremy stops at a corner. Richard pushes Jeremy, asking him to see what is around the corner. The guys make it back to the highway, but The Z3 has problems. Smoke is coming from the engine and fluid is leaking from the Z3. Richard and Jeremy are giving James a hard time. Richard and Jeremy realize how normal the surroundings are and that it takes just one person for things to be not normal. As James is looking at his Z3 while he is blocking traffic, the guys find out that the producers have got a back-up car, an Opel Astra Convertible.
|Opel Astra Convertible|
Richard and Jeremy head off, leaving James behind. Meanwhile, James is attracting a lot of unwanted attention. James got his Z3 back up running and is off. 20 minutes later, the Z3 issues returned. James makes it to a shop and discovers the problem. There is water in the cylinders. A new gasket will be installed on the engine. The guys are off the next day and it is revealed that James is not in the Astra. His Z3 is up and running. The Astra is stalking James. The guys are going through several military checkpoints on their way to Iran. It starts raining, the roads become slippery, and Jeremy spins off the road. The guys are driving on mountain terrain, a good place for an ambush. They decide to put the roofs up. The guys pull over to a market when Jeremy has an idea. He suggests taking the door linings out, fill the doors with sand, and put the door linings back on. Jeremy buys Richard a cigarette lighter made from a bullet (this is an important for a later incident). The guys stop and Jeremy fills his door with sand. A guy fires a 9mm bullet at Jeremy's door and it goes right through the car. Jeremy experiment fails. The guys make it to the Iran border, only to find out that members of the BBC are forbidden from entering Iran due to political reasons. The guys stop at a place for the night. When they wake up, they discover they stayed at an Iraqi amusement park. While enjoying the amusement park, the guys discover they have been in Iraq for two days and are never shot at. They decide to take their protection off. They are in the Kurd region of Iraq. The guys are enjoying the mountain roads of Iraq and their cars. The guys arrive at the Turkish border. At the border, the guards ask Richard to step out of the car and discover the lighter made from a bullet. Richard's lighter gets confiscated. The guys enter Turkey and pull over for instructions.
Segment 3: Turkey
In the instructions, the producers call the guys idiots for leaving a region where the is no war and into a region where there is war. The Kurds are fighting for independence from Turkey. The guys have to get to their hotel in the safe zone in Sanliurfa by nightfall, which is 363 kilometer, or about 220 miles from the border. The guys put on the bulletproof vests and helmets and set off. They have 4 and a half hours until nightfall. The guys speed while driving on bumpy roads. Jeremy tries to speed off and his MX-5 has problems. A sparkplug came loose in the MX-5. The Astra crept in as Jeremy is working on the MX-5. Richard and James are working on Jeremy's car and Jeremy points out that Richard's feet are not even on the ground while he is working on Jeremy's car. The guys reach smoother roads and increase their speeds. The guys reach the safety zone well after dark. Richard is bragging that his car never broke down. To get payback on Richard, James and Jeremy unwire Richard's stereo, install a hidden stereo, and wire the hidden stereo to the car. Then they put in a CD containing music that annoys Richard. The next day, they get in their cars. Richard starts his car and music from Genesis, a band that Richard Hammond dislikes, starts playing. Richard is just miserable. While approaching the Syrian border, James has issues with the Z3's alarm. The alarm disabled the car. Richard drives through the border first. Jeremy pushes the Z3 past the border. The guys stop at customs. Richard bolts for the restrooms as James is trying to get his Z3 back up and running. Jeremy puts a X made from red tape on the doors of Richard's Fiat, signifying that Richard has "the plague." The Z3 is back up and running and the guys enter Syria.
Segment 4: Syria
The guys drive into Syria and pull over to plan their route into Israel. For political reasons, they cannot go from Syria to Israel or from Lebanon to Israel. They plan to go from Syria to Jordan and from Jordan to Israel. Another issue, if the Israelis know that the guys have been in Syria, they would not allow the guys into Israel. The guys think that no one in Syria watches Top Gear. When they reach a town, they are surrounded by fans. The Syrians are taking pictures with the three presenters. The guys enter a hookah bar and come up with a way to avoid their fans. The hookah bar is showing an episode of Top Gear on the television. Jeremy comes up with an idea to avoid the roads. He proposes to sneak through the desert. That night, the guys modify their cars to handle the desert. It is the next day and the guys explain what they did to their cars.
Segment 5: Jordan
The guys enter Jordan and James is giving random facts about Jordan. While driving in Jordan, the guys find a race track in the shape of an oval. The guys decide to have a race. The guys finish racing and decide that the Fiat is the fastest. The guys return to the road and head for Israel. The guys reach the Israel border and have to use a different passport that does not show that they were in Syria. The guys enter Israel.
Segment 6: Israel and Episode Finale
The guys enter Israel and are advised not to head towards the disputed West Bank. Jeremy convinces the other two to head to the Sea of Galilee. The guys drive through the curvy roads of the Golan Heights. While enjoying the roads of the Golan Heights, they enjoy the sunset over the Sea of Galilee. The guys pull over by the Sea of Galilee and Jeremy says that he is JC. Jeremy takes James' bandage off and says, "I have healed you." Jeremy takes of the bandage around his arm and Richard notices that there are no marks that show that Jeremy was pricked there. Jeremy pulls out a bag. He says that that he used to have one sweet, but now there are many. He even tries to walk on the water, but he fails and falls in. When he is in the water, he says, "I have invented swimming." The guys drive on towards Bethlehem and reflect on their journey and their cars. The guys pull over into a car park at the Mountain of Olives to decide which car is the best. James says his Z3 is rubbish and that there is a place in hell for the man who built the gearbox for the Z3. James says that he coveted his neighbor's Fiat. Jeremy also picks the Fiat. The Fiat was surprisingly the most reliable on the journey. At nightfall, the guys reach Bethlehem. The guys are guided by a light in the sky. The guys reach the Nativity scene and present their gifts of gold, frankincense (hotel shampoo), and a Nintendo DS. The guys look into the crib to see this newly born child. There is the Baby Stig in the crib. The guys look surprise and on that bombshell, the show ends.
Final Score: 100 Stigs out of 100. This is one of my favorite episodes of Top Gear. I can watch this episode over and over again. It was very entertaining, The chemistry is nearly perfect. Jeremy Clarkson trying to prove that he is JC and failing at it was fun to watch. The Baby Stig in the crib might anger some people.
To see more car related articles, check out http://carjunkie713.blogspot.com/.
Like me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CarJunkies-Car-Review/120292601386720.
Follow me on Twitter @CarJunkie713.