Rory Reid was one of new Top Gear's best and underused assets. Glad he's sticking around for the next series.
When Clarkson, Hammond and May left Top Gear, the BBC were left with a dilemma for the show's future direction. They had an opportunity to reinvent it, but instead they tried too hard to rekindle the original show's winning formula. The problem was that the chemistry of the original trio could never be replicated, no matter how hard the producers tried with the reboot's overcrowded cast: it was painfully obvious that Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc didn't get on, resulting in some very awkward scenes. And yet they were given the most limelight.
Remaining co-hosts Chris Harris and Rory Reid were criminally underused by comparison: car reviews by Harris were both informative and entertaining thanks to his infectious passion and driving skill, whereas Reid brought some youthful energy into the show and, unlike Evans, seemed comfortable on-screen.
One of Reid's best films in the series was his segment on the savage Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible which, unlike many of the films in the series, felt like a classic race from the original show. Rather than simply tear it round a racetrack, Reid re-enacted the E-Type Jaguar's 750-mile journey to Geneva in 1961. It was a race against time to reveal the iconic car to the waiting press at the time, making it with only ten minutes to spare. Driving the then-new F-Type SVR Convertible, which was a spiritual successor to the E-Type, Reid raced from the UK-based Coventry factory to Geneva to mark the 55th anniversary of the E-Type's adventure.
There was tension, the cinematography was excellent, and you ended up rooting for Reid. And after making it to the show just in time, Norman Dewis, who made the original journey 55 years ago, made a poignant appearance. It was easily a standout film of the series, and we're glad that Reid will be sticking around for the next series of Top Gear due to start in early 2017 with Matt LeBlanc as lead host.