Top Gear (1977 TV series)/Series 20/Episode 5

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Episode 5
TG 1977 S20E05 Lead Image.jpgTiff Needell presents the VW Corrado.
Prod. code NBML612K
No. 175
Runtime 29:54
Prev ep. Series 20, Episode 4
Next ep. Series 20, Episode 6
Airdate 20th October, 1988

Series 20, Episode 5 of Top Gear aired on the 20th October, 1988. It was the fifth episode of Series 20; the 175th episode of Top Gear overall, including compilations. It was the 166th episode since Top Gear entered national broadcasting in 1978, and was the 14th programme to air in 1988 out of a total 18. Series 20, Episode 5 was originally broadcast in 576i at a 4:3 Standard aspect ratio on British television channel BBC Two. The episode was primarily presented by William Woollard, Tom Boswell, and Tiff Needell, with additional segments presented by Chris Goffey and Frank Page. This episode was Page's last TV credit after 8 years on Top Gear and a career which spanned 36 years. It is also perhaps slightly infamous for being the final episode before the on-screen debut of Jeremy Clarkson, Page's replacement. The episode also accompanied the BBC's coverage of Motor Show '88, airing one day after Part 1 aired.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

A thorough synopsis is not presently possible due to all or parts of the episode being unavailable for public access.

Radio Times Listing[edit | edit source]

William Woollard at the British International Motor Show which opens on Saturday. Chris Goffey road tests the estate version of Peugeot's successful 405; and reports on Malaysia's emergence as a car-building nation with the Proton. Tom Boswell sheds some light on lead-free petrol. Beki Adam looks at the late Sir Alec Issigonis 'poached egg', the Morris Minor, 40 years old this year.

Note that Adam's segment on the Morris Minor appears to be a print error, as the Infax entry lists this segment as having aired two weeks prior.

Infax Listing[edit | edit source]

According to information stored on the BBC's Infax database, the episode began with William Woollard introducing the episode from the 1988 British International Motor Show. The first segment involved Tom Boswell briefly talking about the Vauxhall Cavalier, before to Woollard, who introduces the Volkswagen Corrado for fellow host Tiff Needell to briefly present and drive, as the marque's successor to its well-known Volkswagen Scirocco. Needell then briefly presents a new Audi, before Woollard and Boswell present a piece on lead free petrol, espousing the effects it has on a car engine's valves and the reduced cost of unleaded fuel, in addition to the cars which support this type of fuel. The duo are then joined by Chris Goffey, with each of them comparing the estate variants of the Ford Sierra, Peugeot 405 and Austin Montego. There's also brief looks at the Nissan 200SX, Mitsubishi Galant, and Hyundai Sonata, before moving on to the Proton Saga, making its British debut at this show. Chris Goffey drives the car, mentioning how the Malaysian government are very interested in its overseas success.

After Goffey concludes his segment on the Proton, there's a brief look at the Aston Martin Virage, before the episode's final segment, a retrospective on Jaguar presented by Frank Page. Page interviews then-reigning World Sports Car champion Martin Brundle, who drove for Jaguar at the time, and wishes to return to Formula 1. He then interviews Roger Woodley of the Jaguar Car Club, who remarks positively on the brand, with brief clips showing the company's success at Le Mans. It is here, back at the show, where William Woollard helps to debut the Jaguar XJ220, which is set to become the ultimate road car, dethroning the Ferrari F40 as the fastest car in the world. Frank Page finishes the episode with a retrospective piece on the Jaguar XK120, which marked the last time Jaguar held the record for the world's fastest production vehicle. The closing scenes of this episode mark the final time Frank Page would ever make a TV appearance, as he permanently retired immediately thereafter.

Soundtrack[edit | edit source]

Series 20, Episode 5 contained the following tracks:

▶️ The Allman Brothers Band - Jessica: Plays during the title sequence.
▶️ Elton John - Out of the Blue: Plays during the closing sequence.