Critics underwhelmed with new Top Gear

We've got new stars Matt LeBlanc and Chris Evans holding forth but after the first episode aired in Britain on Sunday, it seems British reviewers were somewhat underwhelmed by the first post-Clarkson/Hammond episode.

Here's what they said:

"It's not a disaster. It's polished, the stunts (so many of them!) are fun, the tweaks are improvements. But it is a shame there wasn't more in the way of refreshing the show itself. It's just new people doing same old same old ... When something is so closely associated with someone, or even with three people, say, it's hard - when suddenly there are other people doing it - not to feel something is missing."

- Sam Wollaston, Guardian

"No doubt some diehards will conclude that the new Top Gear was like choosing between a classic car and a plastic reproduction - what was gained in ease of use was lost in character. Others, myself included, will moan that the format was already in need a major revamp and this relaunch was much too cautious and unimaginative.

Even so it would be churlish not to admit this made for slickly entertaining television. And given time to bed-in, there's little doubt that we will warm to the new regime."

- Gerard O'Donovan, Telegraph

"BBC has not so much reinvented Top Gear as given it a minor paint job. There was nothing particularly revolutionary as it returned to our screens last night. It was rather like watching a tribute band going through the motions. Quite fun in places, yet oddly undaring. Still running in, perhaps. Or possibly just an inferior model ...

"It was reasonably entertaining. But it has lost its spark of genius. It all felt a little middle-lane and underwhelming, really. Gaskets remained unblown. Pass the jump leads, someone."

- Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

Tune in

When: Sunday 7.30pm
Where: Prime
What: Souped-up or out of gas?

- TimeOut

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