My betting is that for the first couple of weeks, the knee-jerk reaction will be to hate it, followed by the knee-jerk reaction to the knee-jerk reaction, which will be to say how much better informed and different it is, and how we love it, and then everyone will settle down and go back to discussing Brexit, before all switching to Amazon Prime in the autumn for Gear Knobs, or whatever it’s going to be called. All in all, no one will know which programme has been the better received until series two.
But then, yesterday, I saw the little Ariel Nomad teaser clip they put out with Matt LeBlanc behind the wheel. And it was funny, and the footage was shot in a sexy location, with great filters and angles, and it all looked pretty good, and I suddenly realised how much I’ve missed Top Gear.
OK, it wasn’t Clarkson humour, and Matt LeBlanc couldn’t bounce his personality off the brick wall of James May’s insouciance, but he got a mouthful of dust in the desert and looked pretty peeved as he spat it out, and that brought a smile to my face.
So I’ll tune in next month, if only because I’ve missed my car fix on TV and I don’t know how Amazon Prime works (I know, I know, I’m a luddite. I still don’t really know what Netflix is).