After more than 18 months without Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond on our screens, the boys are back following the premiere of The Grand Tour exclusively on Amazon Prime.
As we expected, the show is filled with all of the great elements that made Top Gear so appealing and that of course starts with the presenters. There’s still the same chemistry between them and the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, insults at each other. In between it all are some amazing cars and cinematography that leaves Top Gear for dead. It’s pretty apparent where much of the insane budget has gone.
Here are a few parts of the show that stood out to us. Warning, spoilers aplenty.
Top Gear 2.0
It’s almost exactly the same as Top Gear once was, despite some fears that legal issues would force the trio, and producer Andy Wilman, to ditch most of TG’s signature segments. There are still power tests of the world’s latest performance cars, most notably the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder in the first episode.
Additionally, The Grand Tour has its very own racetrack located in the UK where various vehicles will be put to the test, timed and placed on a leaderboard. There will also be a celebrity segment albeit for the first episode, it was introduced in a rather strange way where no actual celebrities drove a car. They died instead…
Also like Top Gear’s good ‘ole days, there is a news segment, dubbed ‘Conversation Street’ hosted from the tent in front of a live studio audience. All very much like Top Gear then.
The presenters are as good as ever
It’s no understatement that Clarkson, Hammond and May have all mastered the craft of automotive journalism and just like on Top Gear, they still provide very insightful reviews which don’t just appeal to enthusiasts. Instead, the reviews are appealing to a wide range of people, generally free of boring technical specifications and glossy over some of the nuances picked up by more comprehensive written and video reviews. If you want serious advice about buying a car, The Grand Tour isn’t for you. It’s all about entertainment and like Top Gear used to, it delivers.
The budget promises some amazing adventures
Although the presenters have consistently denied rumors of a monumental budget, there’s no shying away from the fact that they have more money to play with than previously. In a brief video previewing the series at the start of the episode, we see the trio gallivanting around the world on some insane road trips. Here’s hoping they’re as good as the ones Top Gear graced us with.
The opening sequence is just as epic as we expected
Rumored to have cost up to $3.2 million to film, it features the boys driving three Ford Mustangs in the Californian desert surround by over a 100 other vehicles in a Mad Max-style convoy. There’s even jets, acrobats and stilt-walkers and an outside stage where the three are introduced to a hoard of screaming fans.
What we didn’t see coming was The Grand Tour opening on a rather sombre note. It recreates the moment Clarkson left Top Gear and the BBC feeling downbeat and looking for something new. He sets off to Los Angeles and the rest, as they say, is history.
The show is only getting started
As the presenters have worked with each other for so long, it’s not surprising the show is seamless and takes off exactly where Top Gear left. Given that is was the first episode, quite a bit of time had to be dedicated to introducing the various segments of the show. For the most part, this was done well, but it’s good to have it out of the way.
In future episodes, we can expect nothing but amazing cars, endless laughs, beautiful banter and bold escapades.
Fans are already loving it
A quick look on the Amazon website reveals that it has already been rated 4.9 stars out of 5 in over 1,200 reviews. It is also on track to become the highest rated TV series on IMDb, currently enjoying a 9.7 score out of 10. Watch out Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, The Grand Tour is here.
All in all, The Grand Tour has kicked off in the best way possible and unlike TG, we can now enjoy 12 episode seasons for at least the next three years. This is living.
Have you watched the first episode of The Grand? Did you like it? Did you hate it? Let us know in the comments!