Top Gear writer Richard Porter:
If the idea couldn’t pass muster in the office, in particular at the hands of chief scrutineer Clarkson who worried about this stuff more than anyone on the team, then it didn’t happen. Case in point, we once had this notion that we would re-invent the fire engine. Why were we doing that? Because it seemed like they were too big and too slow and therefore took too long to get to emergencies. The solution was obvious; Top Gear would build a small, high performance fire truck.
The trouble is, if you make a fire engine smaller there’s no room on board for all the ladders, hoses and burly men it needs to do its job. So it has to be big. And then it can’t get through gaps in traffic. So you make it smaller. And then it can’t do its job. And then…
We sat in a meetings for hours debating this round in circles before concluding with heavy heart that the ideal design was a fire engine, as in the sort we already have. The whole idea was thrown in the bin. It would have been easy to have plugged on simply for the sake of seeing Richard Hammond trying to fit a massive ladder onto the roof of a tiny van, but really we’d have been doing it purely for the jokes and, much though it may have seemed otherwise, such brazen comedy chasing was never enough for Top Gear.
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