Top Gear Wiki

Clarkson, Hammond, & May in Vietnam

Specials, originally, were episodes of Top Gear in which the show's three presenters at the time, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond, head to an international location for a road trip. These specials differed from regular episodes insofar that they were longer than the standard sixty minute episodes; the Top Gear studio is only used at the beginning of the episodes and there are no power tests or SIARPC segments. Generally, these specials aired at Christmas time during each Winter series.

Though often disputed, there were eleven specials broadcast over nine separate years, the first one being the Winter Olympics Special which aired in 2006 as the finale for Series 7. This special was different from the others as it did not feature a road trip, with the first of the familiarly-formatted specials being the USA Special in 2007. The show's final special, the Patagonia Special, aired in 2014, as a prelude to Top Gear's twenty-second series. Typically, the specials were one-off episodes but later the format changed - in the Africa, Burma, and Patagonia Specials, which were broadcast in two parts.

Special episodes were revived in the presenters' successive show, The Grand Tour, with a two-part special set in Namibia, entitled The Beach (Buggy) Boys, having aired in late December 2016. A second special, set in Colombia, originally intended to air in between Series 2 and Series 3, ended up as two-parter episodes for the latter, increasing its episode total to 14. Prior to that, a "mini-special" set in Mozambique, served as the finale to the second series due to Hammond's accident and Clarkson's near-fatal bout of pneumonia. A third special set in Mongolia aired during the third season. The fourth season, which marks a departure from the usual studio based show, kicked off with a special set in South East Asia where the trio crossed the Mekong River. A special set in Madagascar, was released on 18th December 2020 almost an year after the first episode of season four came out.

After the format and host changes, Specials did not return for the Chris Evans format as well as the Matt LeBlanc format, from 2015-2019.

Before the twenty-seventh season finale of Top Gear, it was announced that a one-off Christmas special would air in 2019. The special was filmed in September 2019, along with some of the show's forthcoming twenty-eighth series.

Top Gear (2002 - 2015) Specials

Title Season (Episode) Year of Airing Countries Visited
Winter Olympics Special 7 2006 Norway
Polar Special 7 (7) 2007 Canada
USA Special 9 (3) 2007 United States of America
Botswana Special 10 (4) 2007 Botswana
Vietnam Special 12 (8) 2008 Vietnam
Bolivia Special 14 (6) 2009 Bolivia, Chile
Middle East Special 16 2010 Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel
India Special 18 2011 India
Africa Special 19 (6 and 7) 2013 Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania
Burma Special 21 (6 and 7) 2014 Myanmar (Burma), Thailand
Patagonia Special 22 2014 Argentina, Chile

The Grand Tour Specials

Title Season (Episode) Year of Airing Countries Visited
The Beach (Buggy) Boys 1 (7 and 8) 2016 Namibia, Angola
Feed the World 2 (11) 2018 Mozambique

Colombia Special

3 (2 and 3) 2019 Colombia
Survival of the Fattest 3 (13) 2019 Mongolia
International Buffoons Vacation 3 (8) 2019 United States
Seamen 4 (1) 2019 Vietnam, Cambodia
A Massive Hunt 4 (2) 2020

Madagascar, France (Reunion Island)

Lochdown 4 (3) 2021 Scotland (UK)
Carnage A Trois 4 (4) 2021 England, Wales (UK)
Scandinavian Special (Soon) 5 (1) 2022 Norway, Finland, Sweden
Untitled/Unfilmed Russia Special [CANCELED] TBC TBC Russia

Top Gear (2019 - Present) Specials

Title Season (Episode) Year of Airing Countries Visited
Nepal Special 28 2019 Nepal