9. India Special
The India special, a massive improvement from the last entry, though it certainly lacked something when first viewed. Repeat viewings have made this one come across much better, once the expectations from previous specials are taken away.
The downsides of this one were that if there is any country in the world to buy really cheap cars and get them across a vast distance, it is surely India. The fact they were given more money to buy a British car and pretend to be on a trade mission was their attempt to update the specials' usual format.
Though that was unsuccessful, the India special did mark the first time that the BBC allowed them to make the show more than an hour long, which was a huge plus. The more of the boys we got to see the better, and as a result following specials all came in two hour-long parts, so India proved that audiences weren't switched off by the longer than usual run-time.
The highlights of the episode and the banter between the hosts was fantastic at times, in particular when they are all inspecting each other's cars and finding fault with them.
In truth, Hammond's mini stole the show over Jeremy's Jag and James' Rolls. What with Richard accidentally painting the flag of Mexico on his bonnet (as opposed to the Indian flag he thought he was painting), and not putting the winch on properly, resulting in the Mini essentially being pulled apart at the front as Clarkson looked on. It was definitely the best car there.
In the end, it was a good showing with some obvious drawbacks.
Best Car: Hammond's Mini