Jeremy Clarkson's Extreme Machines (partially found BBC Two television series; 1998)

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The title card for the show.

Status: Partially Found

Jeremy Clarkson's Extreme Machines was the second of Clarkson's five television series he produced during Top Gear's intermission period, and aired during the beginning of 1998[1] on BBC Two, when he was still working for the latter program. The basic premise of Extreme Machines was that it entailed Clarkson discussing and testing out various pieces of powerful machinery[2] both inside and outside the world of automobiles, a topic he would revisit for his 2001 series Speed.


Originally, six episodes of Extreme Machines aired on BBC Two in January and February of 1998. Each episode was approximately 30 minutes long, totaling in a series length of 3 hours. The episodes were repeated a few times in the following years. Some of these BBC2 airings were recorded.

When the series was released for the home video market, namely VHS[3] (and later transferred to DVD),[4] it was reduced to a "Best of" compilation, removing over 2 hours of footage in the process, and replacing the voiceovers.

During later years, the series was re-aired in a cut 23-minute form on BBC World (only episode 4 recorded) internationally, and on the UKTV network, namely the channel UKTV People (24-minute cuts, only episodes 1-4 recorded), in the UK.

In around 2010, the series was aired on BBC Knowledge in a 25 minute form (except for episode 4, which was aired in full), at least in Australia and Poland. The last two episodes of the former, and everything of the latter recording (however dubbed over) is available).

Lost content

At one point, the whole last two episodes were deemed lost, as the BBC Knowledge Australia recordings which were once available couldn't be found. Even so, the only available versions of the other episodes were the shortened UKTV People rips. However, recently, thanks to some discoveries and re-discoveries, the state of completeness has become much better.

Episodes 1 and 2 have become more complete thanks to search efforts and a partial original recording of episode 1 being made available, though around a minute is still missing from each. Even when combining all of the available footage, one or two clear cuts are visible in each episode. In addition, a few minutes of content are only available in a dubbed-over form, even though the original audio can, even if not very clearly, be deciphered.

The rest of the episodes can be fully restored. Episode 3 - mainly thanks to all of the episode's segments being featured in the DVD, episode 4 - thanks to the BBC Knowledge version having no cuts, and full original BBC2 recordings are available for episodes 5 and 6.

Episode Guide

Episode Airdate Synopsis Footage Available Footage Lost Description of missing content
1 01/08/1998 Reno Air Races, hydroplanes, private jets 27:24 ~1:30 Part of the private jet segment
2 01/15/1998 Class One powerboats, space shuttle, Jahre Viking supertanker, hot air balloon world record 27:40 ~1:00 Part of the supertanker segment
3 01/22/1998 F15 jet fighter, snowmobiles, combine-harvester banger racing 28:32 None N/A
4 01/29/1998 Snow-traversing vehicles, Riva Aquarama luxury speedboat, hovercrafts, private train, Apache Helictoper Gunship 29:02 None N/A
5 02/05/1998 Zorball, supercharged speedboat, B52 bombers, model Ferrari PB312, abandoned air force base 28:53 None N/A
6 02/12/1998 Racing swamp buggies, Swedish stealth warship, mechanical elephant, superyachts, airboats 28:55 None N/A