And time is running out.
Set to debut on Amazon Prime this fall, the new car showing starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May is currently in production, but there's a problem: it doesn't have a name. And, as it turns out, one of those previously rumored names, Gear Knobs, actually turned out to be a contender. There was a snag, however. Clarkson revealed in his recent Sunday Times column that the BBC isn't making things easy.
"In short, the BBC not only owns the rights to the Stig and the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car and the Cool Wall, but also to any name that is remotely similar to 'Top Gear,' "Clarkson wrote. Point being, "Gear Knobs" was a no-go, but what about "Fifth Gear"? "We tried explaining there's a show called 'Fifth Gear' that doesn't belong to the BBC but it was no good. Arguing with a lawyer costs more money than we had, so we hurriedly put the phone down and went back to the drawing board." Speaking of lawyers, this whole naming thing is costing Clarkson thousands of pounds:
"Every morning, I'd make a £7,000 call to the lawyer with an idea, and every afternoon I'd get a £7,000 reply saying the name was already in use by someone in New Zealand or France or Ukraine. Prime Torque. Autonation. Skid Mark. Everything was a no-no." Whatever name is eventually chosen, "it can't even be a minor play on the words 'Top' or 'Gear'. Oh, and it had to be a name that was liked by me, our producer, Hammond, Eeyore and a billionaire in Seattle." If all else fails, we think the show should be called simply: "The Clarkson, Hammond and May Show."