Sometime in 2016, a new automotive program on Amazon Prime will rise from the ashes of Top Gear, one that will see Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May return to their former car-smashing, prank-pulling glory. According to a new report by Buzzfeed, that show could very well take the title of Gear Knobs, so I guess Top so-called Gear was taken.
There hasn’t been official confirmation of the name yet, but a law firm called Olswang LLP — a company that has represented Clarkson in the past — filed a trademark claim for Gear Knobs and the variant title Gear Nobs back in June. In July, an associated company filed a trademark for Speedbird, which could be an alternate moniker for the program or the name of a character on the show. Fans have already begun speculating that Speedbird could be the designation for a new Stig-like character, as the rights to Top Gear’s tame racing driver are still owned by the BBC.
To spin the rumor mill even further, James May recently uploaded a picture of himself on Twitter with the caption, “Here I am, looking like a nob.” The post could be purely coincidental as the presenters use the term often, but it’s worth noting.
Whatever the show is eventually called, it was clearly a very expensive purchase for Amazon. Sources close to the deal have said the Seattle-based company spent some $250 million for 36 episodes over three years, reportedly out-bidding Netflix and Apple for the massive British stars.
Before Top Gear was put on hold after Jeremy Clarkson’s scuffle with a producer, the program was raking in boatloads of cash for the BBC — around $78 million annually, in fact. So despite the impact on Amazon’s pocket books, it appears the acquisition will be worth it in the end.