The Grand Tour (TV series)

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The Grand Tour
An image of the programme's logo, consisting of the letters GT inside of which is the text Amazon Original surmounting the words The Grand Tour. The letters GT are in the form of five horizontal red bars. Amazon Original is also red, and all uppercase letters. "The Grand Tour" is in black, title case lettering.
Genre
Created by
Written by
  • Jeremy Clarkson
  • Richard Hammond
  • James May
  • Richard Porter
Directed by
  • Phil Churchward
  • Brian Klein
  • Kit Lynch-Robinson
  • Gavin Whitehead
Presented by
  • Jeremy Clarkson
  • Richard Hammond
  • James May
Starring
Composer(s) Paul Leonard-Morgan
Country of origin United Kingdom[2][3]
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 24
Production
Executive producer(s) Andy Wilman[4]
Producer(s)
  • Chris Hale
  • Greg Vince
  • Richard Evans
  • Ronan Browne
Cinematography Ben Joiner
Editor(s)
  • James Hart
  • Dan James
  • Chris Denton
  • Joe Orr
Camera setup Multi-camera setup[5]
Running time 44–71 minutes[6]
Production company(s)
Distributor Amazon.com
Release
Original network
Picture format 4K (Ultra HD) 23.976fps, 25fps HDR[5][6]
Original release 18 November 2016 – present
External links
Website

The Grand Tour is a British[2][3] motoring television series for Amazon Video, presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, and produced by Andy Wilman.[4]

The four agreed to produce the series following their departures from the BBC series Top Gear with an initial agreement of 36 episodes over three years.[7][8] Episodes are released weekly to those with Amazon Prime Video accounts, repeats of the first series began airing on traditional broadcasters in late 2017.[9] As of December 2016 the show was made available to an additional 195 countries and various territories.[10] Studio audience segments for the first series were filmed in the travelling tent between 17 July and 11 December 2016 in various countries, while for the second series the tent was stationed permanently in the Cotswolds. Series one was filmed over the course of mid- to late 2016 and premiered on 18 November 2016. The second series was filmed over the same time period the following year; however, filming was set back due to various illnesses and injuries suffered by the presenters. Due to this, it premiered on 8 December 2017.

In the days following the launch, "The Holy Trinity" became Amazon Video's most watched premiere episode.[11] Overall, the show has received positive reviews from critics.[12][13][14][15]

Format

The Grand Tour is presented as a mix of pre-recorded television films and live-audience segments presented in a large tent to an audience of about 300 members.[16] The show and its segments are hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. The show is presented from a pair of large tents on a Grand Tour around the world.[17] The presenters sit around a trestle table, with the studio audience seated in front of them.[17]

Films

Each show is generally bookended by two television films, or two parts of the same film, produced by one or more of the hosts. Similar to the films from Top Gear, these may focus on one or more cars and their features, including how it performs on the test track. These have also included similar Top Gear-like challenges, such as building their own eco-friendly car chassis atop a Land Rover engine base and undergoing challenges sent by text message by their producer Mr. Wilman, unconventional races between the hosts in different forms of transportation, selecting and driving certain types of cars along a route in a foreign locale in the same manner as the Top Gear specials, or other motoring-related segments.

Test tracks

Eboladrome

"Eboladrome" test track at RAF Wroughton

The show has a dedicated test track called the "Eboladrome", at the former RAF Wroughton. Clarkson states in the first episode that the name is due to its shape resembling the structure of the Ebola virus.

It is designed to "trip cars up", according to Clarkson. Section names include the "Isn't Straight", "Your Name Here", "Old Lady's House", "Substation" and "Field of Sheep". In the first episode, the track was said to have been modified following the discovery of an unexploded Second World War bomb.

In the first series, the cars were driven by former NASCAR driver Mike Skinner, known as "The American"; Amazon had requested that their test driver be American, according to the hosts. "The American" was portrayed with a stereotypical redneck accent and viewpoints, and prone to tangential speech and calling several things communist.[17][18] Due to poor reception, for series two Skinner was replaced by British racing driver Abbie Eaton.[19][1]

Prior to the airing of the first episode the lap-board had been pre-populated with ten lap-times by a selection of cars. The laps themselves were not shown, only their lap-times. The first car to be shown, with an on-screen lap-time, was a 2016 BMW M2 with a time of 1:26.2 set by Skinner. The Eboladrome is also used for general filming and testing by the presenters, meaning that other vehicles – such as a Ferrari 488 used in episode one – may appear on the track, but do not set a lap-time set by the racing driver.

Lap board
Car Time Condition Episode
Aston Martin Vulcan 1:15.5 2
Lamborghini Huracán Performante 1:16.8 20
Ford GT 1:17.6 21
McLaren 650S 1:17.9 not shown
McLaren 720S 1:17.9 17
Mercedes AMG GT R 1:18.7 15
Audi R8 V10 Plus 1:19.2 not shown
Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1:20.4 not shown
Nissan GT-R 1:21.2 not shown
Porsche 911 C2S 1:21.4 not shown
BMW M4 GTS 1:22.4 4
Porsche 718 Boxster S 1:23.4 not shown
BMW M5 1:24.2 not shown
BMW M3 1:24.3 not shown
Honda NSX 1:26.0 Wet 9
BMW M2 1:26.2 1
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio 1:27.1 Wet 10
Honda Civic Type R 1:28.2 not shown
Ford Focus RS 1:28.4 6
Lexus GS-F 1:29.6 Damp 12
Ford Mustang GT 1:29.6 6
Tesla Model X 1:29.6 not shown
Ford Fiesta ST200 1:32.8 not shown
Bugatti EB 110 Super Sport 1:32.8 Wet 22
Fiat Abarth 124 Spider 1:33.7 Wet 11
Jaguar XJ220 1:35.1 Wet not shown
Volkswagen Up! GTi 1:39.7 Wet 18

Enstone

Gravel course at Enstone Airfield introduced in Series 2 and used for Celebrity Face Off

For the second series, a new test track was created at Enstone Airfield, close to the fixed studio tent location, and which the production team had previously tried to use for Top Gear.[20] The main Eboladrome track was planned to continue to serve for the testing of loud and fast cars.[20]

Celebrity Face Off

Following complaints regarding the "Celebrity Brain Crash" segment in the first series,[21] this segment was replaced by "Celebrity Face Off". Two celebrities join the show each week, with a similar background or connection and often from different countries, to see which one of the two is faster. The car used for this segment is a Jaguar F-Type R-Dynamic coupe, racing around a half gravel, half asphalt track at Enstone. Prior to showing the lap results, Clarkson interviews the guests.

Lap board
Celebrity Time Condition Episode
Ricky Wilson 1:20.1 Dry 14
David Hasselhoff 1:24.1
Kevin Pietersen 1:17.2 Dry 15
Brian Wilson 1:17.5
Hugh Bonneville[22] 1:22.2 Dry 16
Casey Anderson 1:18.6
Michael Ball[22] 1:23.3 Damp 17
Alfie Boe[22] 1:24.4
Dominic Cooper[22] 1:23.6 Wet 18
Bill Bailey[22] 1:25.1
Luke Evans[22] 1:21.3 Dry 19
Kiefer Sutherland[22] 1:17.8
Bill Goldberg[23] 1:20.4 Dry 20
Anthony Joshua[23] 1:18.7
Nick Mason[24] 1:21.3 Dry 21
Stewart Copeland[24] 1:24.2
Dynamo[22] 1:39.3 Snow 22
Penn & Teller[25] 1:33.8
Rory McIlroy[22][26] 1:21.9 Wet 23
Paris Hilton[26] 1:25.8

Conversation Street

The trio discuss car news. Running jokes in the first series include Hammond "oversharing" intimate personal information, and Clarkson being cut off after asking "Can I talk about...?" before either Hammond or May introduce the next segment; frequently, the subject he attempts to raise is Alfa Romeo and their new cars. The video introduction to the segment shows the men, in silhouette talking animatedly: in each episode the silhouettes change in various ways.

Running gags

The first series included several running gags. During the opening titles of each episode, a camera drone was destroyed. From episode three onward, one of the presenters' names is always seen misspelt during the opening. For "Celebrity Brain Crash", celebrity guests are humorously "killed" in an accident while making their way to the tent. After each "death", May asks "Does that mean he/she's not coming on then?" to which Hammond deadpans "No James, they're not" while bluntly outlining how "dead" the celebrity is. This element of the show reflects the BBC's efforts to stop The Grand Tour from interviewing celebrity guests,[27] as had been the focus of the Top Gear "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment.

It was announced on 16 November 2017 that both "The American" and "Celebrity Brain Crash" would not be returning and will be replaced for the second series as they had been unpopular with the viewers.[28] The segment was replaced by "Celebrity Face Off" in which celebrities compete for the best lap times around a new track in a Jaguar F-Type.[29] Abbie Eaton replaced "The American", being billed as "Driver". Hammond's crash in Switzerland and Clarkson's pneumonia, both of which were talked about between series, are also often used as a joke.

Awards

Episode 4 of Series 2, Conversation Street was turned into an awards ceremony as this was the last episode of 2017. Clarkson, Hammond and May gave out awards (also known as the "Nigel Award") to cars and moments in 2017 on various aspects. The nominee and winners are:

Award Nominee Winner
The "Nissan Juke" Award (worst car) Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, MINI Countryman, Renault Kadjar Nissan Juke
The "Hard Ass to Follow" Award (worst rear end) Honda Civic Type-R, Toyota C-HR Land Rover Discovery
The "You would, but you know you shouldn't" Award (embarrassed to like) Corvette ZR1 Corvette ZR1
The "Lack of Continuity" Award James May, Richard Hammond Richard Hammond
The "Accidentally filling the tank of a super car with water" Award Richard Hammond Richard Hammond

Episodes

Series overview

Series Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 18 November 2016 (2016-11-18) 3 February 2017 (2017-02-03)
2 11 8 December 2017 (2017-12-08) 16 February 2018 (2018-02-16)

Series 1 (2016–17)

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Tent location Vehicles tested Special guests Original air date
1 1 "The Holy Trinity" Lucerne Valley, California, United States[31] McLaren P1, Porsche 918, LaFerrari, BMW M2 Hothouse Flowers, Chris Goodwin, Jérôme d'Ambrosio, Armie Hammer, Jeremy Renner, Carol Vorderman 18 November 2016 (2016-11-18)[n 2]
Clarkson, Hammond and May launch their new programme with a film showing Clarkson leaving London to fly to Los Angeles where he meets Hammond and May. As the Hothouse Flowers play "I Can See Clearly Now" the trio drive Ford Mustangs[n 1] through the California desert to Rabbit Dry Lake, accompanied by a range of cars and a fly-over by the Breitling Jet Team. Following a sequence where they greet the audience and viewers, and introduce the tent, the first feature shows the three presenters testing three hybrid hypercars; with Clarkson in the McLaren P1, Hammond in the Porsche 918 and May in the Ferrari LaFerrari at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal. After a series of tests including a drag race (which had no determined winner), a road drive and an electric race (both of which the LaFerrari did not take part in), Jérôme d'Ambrosio performs timed laps in the hypercars. Hammond's Porsche 918 sets the fastest time and both he May declare that they will demolish Clarkson's house as forfeit for losing a bet: that the McLaren P1 would be fastest in a timed lap and beat the Porsche 918 and LaFerrari. Clarkson introduces the show's new test track, the "Eboladrome" with laps by a Ferrari 488 and then tests a BMW M2 which is then sent round the track by the new test driver "The American". May is revealed to have been caught speeding in a segment called "Conversation Street". Jeremy Renner, Armie Hammer and Carol Vorderman are all humorously "killed" before being able to take part in the show in a segment called "Celebrity Brain Crash".
2 2 "Operation Desert Stumble" Johannesburg, South Africa[34][35] Aston Martin Vulcan, Audi S8 Plus Johan Ackermann 25 November 2016 (2016-11-25)[n 4]
The tent is at the Cradle of Humankind nature reserve overlooking Johannesburg. The presenters discuss President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, the Nkandla compound firepool controversy and carjacking. Clarkson tests the Aston Martin Vulcan at the Eboladrome, followed by a fast lap set by "The American". Producer Andy Wilman sends the presenters to the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre (KASOTC) outside Amman, Jordan for a SAS-style military training exercise. After a poor start they review an Audi S8 Plus while rescuing a VIP and transporting them to the "British Embassy". Car-builder Johan Ackermann shows his self-built replica of a Sauber Mercedes C9. May visits Soweto to take part in South African motorsport of "Spinning" where cars generate smoke by performing doughnuts set to rap music until the tyres blowout. A person introduced as actress Charlize Theron[n 3] is pounced on by a lion and "killed".
3 3 "Opera, Arts and Donuts" Whitby, England, United Kingdom[37][35] Rolls-Royce Dawn, Aston Martin DB11, Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Simon Pegg 2 December 2016 (2016-12-02)
The tent is on the quayside of Whitby harbour in North Yorkshire. The presenters go "Grand Touring" in Italy with May in the Rolls-Royce Dawn, Clarkson in the Aston Martin DB11 and Hammond in the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. Clarkson and May's tour starts at the Palio di Siena horse race, before viewing The Birth of Venus painting at Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Clarkson and Hammond race each other the Mugello Circuit. Hammond visits the Lamborghini Museum whilst Clarkson and May watch Carmen staged at the Verona Arena, in the Piazza Bra. The tour continues via the Piazza dei Signori, Vicenza and ends up in the Venetian Lagoon. In the tent the presenters discuss Whitby jet. Simon Pegg "falls to his death" from Whitby Swing Bridge. Clarkson presents his take on automated vehicles. Fulfilling their bet from episode one, Hammond and May destroy Clarkson's house at Diddly Squat Farm in Chadlington, Oxfordshire.[n 5][36]
4 4 "Enviro-mental" Whitby, England, United Kingdom[37][35] Porsche 911 GT3 RS, BMW M4 GTS Jimmy Carr 9 December 2016 (2016-12-09)
The tent remains on the quayside of Whitby harbour in North Yorkshire. Clarkson reviews the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and compares it to the BMW M4 GTS at the Eboladrome; despite criticising the M4 GTS for sacrificing creature comforts for no overall gain in performance, he declares it the winner simply because Hammond owns a GT3 RS. The Porsche is revealed to be two seconds faster than the BMW following Laps set by "The American". The presenters travel to South Wales and set out to make the most environmentally friendly car bodies using the platform of a Land Rover Discovery. They take an 11-mile road trip to a dirt track, where they race against three normal cars. The idea of environmentally friendly car bodies is abandoned after Clarkson's meat car is infested with maggots, Hammond's garden car catches fire, and May's mud and hay car falls apart. Jimmy Carr is the guest of "Celebrity Brain Crash", but his jet ski collides with a boat on his way to the tent. To fill in the time, the presenters introduce an Audi TT Mk1 Quattro with Hammond hidden behind the rear bumper to show a new smuggling technique used by illegal immigrants, as well as using Hammond as an improvised parking sensor.
5 5 "Moroccan Roll" Rotterdam, Netherlands[38] Mazda MX-5, Zenos E10S, Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Golden Earring 16 December 2016 (2016-12-16)
The tent is at the Port of Rotterdam. To settle an argument over the best affordable roadster, the presenters go to Marrakech, Morocco with Hammond in a Mazda MX-5, May in a Zenos E10S and Clarkson in an Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. During the road trip Clarkson suddenly pulls over due to a leg cramp while driving the 4C. Later, he challenges Hammond and May to weigh their cars to prove that the 4C is lighter, using an improvised scale and animal carcasses as counterweight. The scale breaks just as Hammond is about to remove the MX-5 from it, and the crew are ordered to leave the premises due to their use of animal carcasses. Clarkson and the film crew leave Hammond and May to focus on the 4C. The presenters stop at Atlas Corporation Studios in Ouarzazate to perform timed laps with their cars. Hammond wins, despite crashing into an Egyptian statue prop. Also in the episode, Hammond and May play an explosive game of Battleships using old cars as the "ships" and several G-Wizes as "missiles". Dutch band Golden Earring perform live outside the tent, but are electrocuted on stage. To fill in the time, Clarkson uses a V-8 engine to inflate a blow-up doll.
6 6 "Happy Finnish Christmas" Saariselkä, Lapland, Finland[39][40] Ford Mustang GT, Ford Focus RS Bob Geldof 23 December 2016 (2016-12-23)
The tent is at the forests of Saariselkä. At the Port of London, Hammond welcomes the new right-hand-drive Ford Mustang GT and gives it a tour of London and Stonehenge before Clarkson arrives and proceeds to argue that Mustang has no place in Britain and that the Ford Focus RS is a better option. This escalates to a chase between both cars up to Cheddar Gorge. The Mustang beats the Focus in a drag race, but is slower around the Eboladrome when driven by "The American". In "Conversation Street", Clarkson and May debate over which confectionery creates more mess in a car – a Flake or a Double Decker. A person introduced as a drunk Kimi Räikkönen[n 3] arrives outside the tent for "Celebrity Brain Crash", but collapses from drinking too much vodka and is left to die in the arctic temperatures. To fill in the time, the presenters introduce their "Santaland Grotto", where they talk about their Christmas gift ideas, mostly consisting of everyday items emblazoned with car-manufacturer logos. May introduces Bob Geldof via tablet on a Double telerobot. He then talks about the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans rivalry between Ford and Ferrari, which gave birth to the Ford GT40 and the Ferrari P3.
7 7 "The Beach (Buggy) Boys – Part 1" None[40] None None 30 December 2016 (2016-12-30)
The presenters are set a challenge by their producer, Andy Wilman, who wishes to show that beach buggies are poor vehicles. Their challenge is to drive one thousand miles (1,600 km) along Namibia's Skeleton Coast in three beach buggies, each built to their personal specifications but all derived from the Volkswagen Beetle. After 36 hours of going nowhere, the presenters camp by the shipwreck of Eduard Bohlen before venturing to the Namib Desert. The trio climb and descend several dunes and travel through harsh terrain before finally reaching a road. Clarkson's buggy breaks down and is abandoned by Hammond and May, who arrive in Windhoek to have a beer while Clarkson struggles with overheating problems on his way to town.
8 8 "The Beach (Buggy) Boys – Part 2" None[40] None None 31 December 2016 (2016-12-31)
Clarkson finally arrives in Windhoek to meet up with Hammond and May and prepare for the second leg of their journey to the Namibia-Angola border. The rough road takes its toll on Clarkson and May's buggies until May suggests they continue off-road, which ends up being worse terrain and they end up in softer sand before returning to the road. After the trio sets camp, May attempts to sabotage Clarkson's buggy when he accidentally sets fire to the front end of his own car. With a third of a mile away from the border, the presenters create a cable car line to cross through a crocodile infested river. Clarkson and May cross successfully, but Hammond is stuck within 200 metres from the goal. Because of this, Clarkson concludes that their failure has proven Wilman right.
9 9 "Berks to the Future" Ludwigsburg, Stuttgart, Germany[41][42][43] Honda NSX Diego Costa, Thibaut Courtois, Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian[44] 6 January 2017 (2017-01-06)
The tent is within the courtyard of Ludwigsburg Palace near Stuttgart, where Clarkson praises Germany as the "cradle of the automobile." May reviews the new Honda NSX at the Eboladrome after which "The American" sets a wet Lap. Clarkson fuses the body of a 1978 MGB Roadster with the chassis of a Land Rover Discovery to make a "proper" sport utility vehicle, but when the MG body falls off, he replaces it with a 1980s Mercedes-Benz SL and christens it "The Excellent". He then gives Hammond and May a ride in it to the Cobham Training Centre of Chelsea Football Club before having it displayed at the Coys of Kensington car auction, where it fetches £4,000 (it cost £14,000 to make). A human figure introduced as German singer Nena[n 3] is carried away from the courtyard by 99 red balloons. The presenters develop alternative means to recharge mobile phone batteries. May then demonstrates how much power a gym generates to recharge a G-Wiz. Hammond tries his hand on post-apocalyptic "Bug Out" vans, made out of a Volkswagen Transporter T25; Ford Transit Mk.3 and an Alvis Stalwart but it is not long before Clarkson and May destroy his creations using a rocket-propelled grenade, Scimitar and Challenger 2 tanks, and a 4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun on HMS Richmond.
10 10 "Dumb Fight at the O.K. Coral" Nashville, Tennessee, United States[31] Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Brian Johnson 13 January 2017 (2017-01-13)
The tent is in Nashville facing the Cumberland River. Clarkson drives the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio in Wales and at the Eboladrome and the American sets a Lap in the wet. The presenters then travel to Barbados to solve the problem of dying coral reefs by dumping five car body shells into the ocean, but they lose four of the cars, a boat, and a raft due to their numerous mishaps. Eventually, they pull a Land Rover into the ocean before Clarkson ditches his partners to chase a trimaran. They reach the reef site and sink the Land Rover. Former AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson is tackled and trampled to death by American football players on his way to the tent before the presenters instigate a verbal clash with the audience over the meaning of the word "football".
11 11 "Italian Lessons" Loch Ness, Scotland, United Kingdom Fiat Abarth 124 Spider Chris Hoy 20 January 2017 (2017-01-20)
The tent is on the shore of Loch Ness. Hammond test drives the new Fiat Abarth 124 Spider at the Eboladrome and "The American" then sets a slow Lap in the wet. To prove that a second-hand Maserati priced under £8,000 is a better buy than a used Ford Focus, the presenters travel to Circuit de Croix-en-Ternois in France for a series of tests with Clarkson's Biturbo S Coupé, Hammond's 430 Saloon, and May's Zagato Spyder. Because May injured his right arm prior to the challenge, he bought an automatic variant. The presenters then embark on a road trip through Northern France before racing back to England via the Port of Le Havre, with the loser selling his Maserati. Clarkson's Biturbo dies, but he continues the race with it on a tow truck. He reaches the ferry port, but discovers that his Biturbo fell off the tow truck while chasing Hammond. May launches his Spyder toward a boat and crashes in spectacular fashion. The presenters conclude that buying a second-hand Maserati will result in a 66% chance of it working. For "Celebrity Brain Crash", Chris Hoy rows toward the tent, but his boat hits an underwater mine. To fill in the time, Clarkson uses a Bulgarian man to demonstrate a new hands-free system for any car and a Thai woman as an inexpensive massaging back seat.
12 12 "[censored] to [censored]" Loch Ness, Scotland, United Kingdom Lexus GS-F, Bentley Bentayga, Range Rover, Jaguar F-Pace Tim Burton 27 January 2017 (2017-01-27)
The tent remains at the west end of Loch Ness because Hammond and May are convinced that the Loch Ness Monster is deep in the water. Clarkson test drives the Lexus GS-F at the Eboladrome, driving past many animal-like figures and "The American" sets a Damp Lap Time. The presenters travel to Wank, Germany, where May in a Bentley Bentayga, Clarkson in a Range Rover, and Hammond in a Jaguar F-Pace plan a road trip on the Romantic Road via Kissing, Bavaria, then Petting, Bavaria, to Fucking, Austria. After passing Landsberg Prison and staying overnight in Fucking, Clarkson and Hammond suggest to May that they should skip Wedding, Germany, and head for the Nürburgring instead. A mistake in the voice recognition of May's navigation system leads them to the Nuremberg Norisring, after which the trio find a quarry to perform timed laps in. Clarkson cheats by climbing a hill and crossing the water to beat Hammond and May's times by two minutes. Tim Burton crosses Loch Ness in a mini-submarine, which implodes before reaching the tent. During the final announcements a mysterious object is seen rising from the loch in the background.
13 13 "Past v Future" Dubai, United Arab Emirates[45] Volkswagen Golf GTI, BMW i3 Roger Daltrey, Wilko Johnson, Daniel Ricciardo, Steve Biagioni, Bartek Ostałowski, Conor Shanahan 3 February 2017 (2017-02-03)
The tent is in Dubai. Clarkson compares his Volkswagen Golf GTI to May's BMW i3 with a drag race at an airstrip and a road trip from London to Dartmoor to attend a Roger Daltrey and Wilko Johnson concert. Clarkson and Hammond make May hang out with "winchers" who drive their 4x4s deep into mud. For "Celebrity Brain Crash", F1 racer Daniel Ricciardo drives a hovercraft toward the tent, but crashes before being sucked into the hovercraft's fan. Hammond defeats the Bugatti Veyron in a drag race with the Porsche 918 Spyder, but quickly loses to a 1900 horsepower Nissan Patrol. Later, he travels to Michelin's proving grounds in France to learn how to drift. He must then prove his skills against two professional drifters – double amputee Bartek Ostałowski and 13-year-old Conor Shanahan – at Rockingham Motor Speedway. May ends the episode with a series of outtakes of Clarkson and Hammond attempting to drift cars.

Notes

  1. ^ Clarkson drove a blue Fisker-Galpin Rocket Mustang, Hammond a red Shelby GT350 Mustang, and May a white Roush Stage 3 Mustang.[30]
  2. ^ Advertised as being released at 00:01 UTC on 18 November 2016; Episode 1 became available 20 minutes earlier, before midnight, on the previous day (17 November 2016).[32][33]
  3. ^ a b c Neither credited, or identifiable.
  4. ^ Advertised as being released at 00:01 UTC on 25 November 2016; Episode 2 became available 60 minutes earlier, before midnight, on the previous day (24 November 2016)
  5. ^ This actually happened. The team demolished Clarkson's Oxfordshire home, which was scheduled for demolition, and filmed it for The Grand Tour.

Series 2 (2017–18)

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Vehicles tested Special guests Original air date
14 1 "Past, Present, or Future"[m 1] Lamborghini Aventador S, Honda NSX, Rimac Concept One David Hasselhoff, Ricky Wilson 8 December 2017 (2017-12-08)
The tent is now in the Cotswolds and will remain there for the duration of the series. To determine whether the past, present, or future of motoring is best, the presenters visit Switzerland with Clarkson in a petrol powered Lamborghini Aventador S representing the past, May in a hybrid powered Honda NSX representing the present, and Hammond in an all-electric Rimac Concept One representing the future. After starting at the top of the Gotthard Pass,[46] Hammond brings the trio to a stay at the Park Weggis (de) health retreat and visit the Swiss Museum of Transport and other museums in Lucerne close to a charging station for the Rimac car.[46] May and Clarkson reject this and go to a hill climbing race at Hemberg instead. As Clarkson cannot fit into the Aventador whilst wearing a mandatory racing helmet, Clarkson sends a Lamborghini test driver in his place, thus setting the fastest time of all three. Hammond crashes after completing the course, destroying the Rimac in a fire. Footage taken from YouTube shows the wreckage being extinguished and Hammond being airlifted by the Swiss Air-Rescue (REGA) to hospital. Celebrity Brain Crash is replaced by Celebrity Face Off, in which Ricky Wilson beats David Hasselhoff to determine who the "fastest former talent show host" is.
15 2 "The Falls Guys"[50] Ford GT, Mercedes AMG GT R[50] Kevin Pietersen, Brian Wilson[50] 15 December 2017 (2017-12-15)
The presenters race from Central Park in Manhattan, New York City, to an observation tower overlooking the Niagara Falls. Clarkson drives the new Ford GT whilst May and Hammond (on crutches) use public transport, taking the New York City Subway, AirTrain JFK, a JetBlue Embraer E190 flight, plus two Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority buses. Despite Hammond and May's flight arriving 15 minutes early, Clarkson narrowly wins the race. Clarkson then reviews the Mercedes AMG GT R, after which new test driver, Abbie Eaton, takes it for a timed lap around the Eboladrome. In "Celebrity Face Off", Kevin Pietersen of South Africa beats Brian Wilson of the U.S. as the "fastest person who makes a living throwing and hitting and catching small balls".
16 3 "Bah Humbug-atti"[51] Kia Stinger GT, Bugatti Chiron[52] Hugh Bonneville, Casey Anderson 22 December 2017 (2017-12-22)
The presenters begin with Christmas tree lights made from vehicle parts and, Starting with Scalextric, they exchange humorous and inappropriate Christmas gifts in Conversation Street. May travels to Majorca to race a Kia Stinger GT against a pair of longboard riders along a mountain road, with May winning the race despite him racing uphill and the riders downhill. Hammond and May attempt to relieve lunchtime boredom by inventing "lunchtime office car park racing" at Houghton Hall business park in the Luton/Dunstable Urban Area. After brief interviews in which both share their own ownership of a Tesla Model S, Hugh Bonneville, representing the UK, and Casey Anderson, representing the United States, compete during "Celebrity Face Off" as the "fastest person who lives with a bear", with Anderson winning by setting the faster lap time. Clarkson experiments with the jet set lifestyle, starting in the morning from the Da Vinci super-yacht moored in Saint-Tropez and then driving a Bugatti Chiron to the Alps for skiing at lunchtime, stopping briefly for a drag race against a BMW M4 at Gap–Tallard Airport to give viewers a perspective on how fast the Chiron is. After leaving the Alps, Clarkson then pays an homage to the 1976 film C'était un rendez-vous, by speeding across Turin and reaching the Piazza Carignano (it) in 9 minutes.
17 4 "Unscripted"[55] McLaren 720S, Audi TT RS, Ariel Nomad Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Silvija Jurin[53][56] 29 December 2017 (2017-12-29)
The presenters begin by having a year-ending awards ceremony in Conversation Street. Hammond heads to the Eboladrome to test the McLaren 720S after which Eaton sets a lap time. Since The Grand Tour has been criticised for being too "scripted", the presenters head to Zadar county and the island of Pag in Croatia to make a completely "unscripted" film.[53][54] This results in Clarkson turning up in the Audi TT RS, Hammond turning up in the not at all comparable Ariel Nomad, and May turning up in an old Lada Riva which he turns into a fire engine. They go their separate ways though Clarkson and Hammond end up comparing their cars in a drag race, a rally stage (both of which are won by Clarkson), visiting Maslenica, the Plitvice Lakes National Park, and following the D106 road until running out of road at Žigljen ferry port.[53][54] Due to a lack of fires, May has to setup his own ones until Clarkson and Hammond setup one that proves too difficult for May, which the real fire brigade manage to put out with a firefighting aircraft, destroying May's Lada fire engine in the process. Michael Ball and Alfie Boe compete in "Celebrity Face Off" with Ball setting the faster time and becoming the "fastest classical singer with some kind of interesting connection to the British motor industry".
18 5 "Up, Down and Round the Farm"[58] Ripsaw EV2, Volkswagen Up! GTI Bill Bailey, Dominic Cooper, Mark Higgins 5 January 2018 (2018-01-05)
The presenters introduce some of the new cars for 2018 in Conversation Street. Hammond heads to Dubai to test a Sandrail dune buggy in the desert, followed by the Ripsaw "high-end luxury tank", visiting the Dubai Mall. May reviews the Volkswagen Up! GTI at the Eboladrome and in thick fog Eaton records a record slow time. Guests Bill Bailey and Dominic Cooper discuss their shared ownership of old French cars before racing each other in greasy/wet conditions with Cooper becoming the "fastest person who has a failed former career in a band". Clarkson creates a Ken Block-style "Farmkhana"[m 2] film using an old Subaru Impreza WRX STi around Hare Farm, near Rye, with bullet time photography.[57] Hammond and May show the audience that Clarkson's driving was mostly fake by sharing a "making-of" consisting of outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage featuring rally driver Mark Higgins, producer Phil Churchward, plus camera operator Ben Joiner breaking the fourth wall. Clarkson suggests that the whole thing is like sawing a woman in half during a magic show, and that really the audience don't want to know.
19 6 "Jaaaaaaaags"[61] None Luke Evans, Kiefer Sutherland 12 January 2018 (2018-01-12)
Visiting the Colorado Western Slope, the presenters head to the area around Grand Junction, Colorado, staying at the Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa,[59] and eventually travelling to Telluride, Colorado with a variety of old Jaguar cars to establish the manufacturer's reputation for reliability with Clarkson buying an XJR, May taking an XK8 convertible and Hammond bringing a Mark X. During the course of the trip the cars are driven around a dirt track (where Hammond's car is badly damaged, and is replaced by an XJ6), along the runway at Telluride Regional Airport,[59] (where May's car is destroyed, and is replaced by an XJS) and down the slopes of the Telluride Ski Resort. At Hanging Flume overlook, Clarkson experiences a traffic stop by a Mesa County police officer and reads the "Her Britannic Majesty" text from his British passport.[60] Despite Clarkson's car being the best, May admitting his car had poor brakes deemed the challenge pointless. Kiefer Sutherland beats Luke Evans to become "the fastest actor with a middle name of George".
20 7 "It's a Gas, Gas, Gas"[62] Lamborghini Huracán Performante Anthony Joshua, Bill Goldberg 19 January 2018 (2018-01-19)
The presenters discuss some new supercars and how handbrake turns impress women within the Conversation Street Segment. Hammond tests the Lamborghini Huracán Performante at the Eboladrome beating May's Ferrari 458 Speciale in a drag race before Eaton takes it round the track setting a fast time. May and Hammond then look at ingenious ways of filling up with fuel instead of stopping at a fuel station. Anthony Joshua becomes "the fastest man who makes a living out of punching or strangling someone" beating Bill Goldberg, with both previously owning cars from General Motors. Clarkson then talks about the Rivalry in rallying between Audi with the Quattro and Lancia with the 037. They conclude with a "terrible disappointment" that Lancia is no longer around.
21 8 "Blasts from the Past"[63] Jaguar XK SS, Aston Martin DB4 GT, Honda Civic Type R, Ford GT Stewart Copeland, Nick Mason 26 January 2018 (2018-01-26)
The presenters head to the City of Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France, and home of the Pau Grand Prix on the Circuit de Pau-Ville (fr) street course. At Palais Beaumont (fr) Hammond arrives with a Jagaur XK SS and Clarkson in an Aston Martin DB4 GT; both being modern builds of older designs from the 1950s "back-catalogues" of Jaguar and Aston Martin. They both race around the Streets of Pau before May turns up in a modern Honda Civic Type R to prove that new cars are better. All three depart to drive south over the Pyrenees mountain range, with Clarkson and Hammond experiencing difficulties in dense fog. Clarkson recants a previous incident from 2013—when Clarkson and Hammond's driving licences were confiscated whilst filming The Perfect Road Trip in France—and tries to goad May into speeding on the Autopista AP-2. At Barcelona the presenters race around the abandoned Autódromo de Sitges-Terramar and the extreme banking on its corners, with May winning, and Hammond abstaining following his history of crashes. During Conversation Street the presenters discuss names for gritters. At the Eboladrome, Clarkson retests the Ford GT following the Niagara Falls race, with Eaton setting a test lap. Nick Mason goes on to record a faster lap than Stewart Copeland to become "the fastest drummer for a band beginning with the letter p".
22 9 "Breaking, Badly"[64] Jaguar XJ220, Bugatti EB 110 Super Sport Dynamo, Penn & Teller 2 February 2018 (2018-02-02)
The presenters discuss new sport cars by various companies, jumpers and the speed of pigeons vs blackbirds during Conversation Street. Clarkson unsuccessfully sets out to prove that mankind has not significantly improved over the last 25 years by testing the Jaguar XJ220 and the Bugatti EB 110 Super Sport, the fastest supercars from the early 90s, both of which set slow times at the Eboladrome when driven by Eaton. The trio tries to break the UK speed record for amphibious vehicles by building one of their own. Clarkson oversees his idea of combining a Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engine from a Nimrod jet and a speedboat with a Suzuki Jimny. However on a nearby lake, Clarkson and May have to abort their run after achieving only 3 mph (5 km/h) and nearly sinking. Hammond and May then go on to build a vehicle of their own by combining a Bond Bug with the engine of a personal water craft nicknaming it the "Pond Bug". Competing on Coniston Water during Coniston Power Boat Records Week, Clarkson, being the only with a speedboat licence, operates the "Pond Bug" and achieves an average of 47.81 mph (76.94 km/h), setting a new UK record. After performing a series of magic tricks, Dynamo and Penn & Teller compete to become "the fastest magician in the world", with Penn & Teller prevailing on a snowy track.
23 10 "Oh, Canada"[66] Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, Range Rover Velar P380, Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Pack, Tesla Model X, Ford F150 Raptor Rory McIlroy, Paris Hilton 9 February 2018 (2018-02-09)
The presenters head to Canada to prove that small SUV's are useless with Clarkson picking an Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, May choosing a Range Rover Velar P380 and Hammond taking a Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Pack. They are shown to be slower round the Area 27 circuit than a BMW M3, not practical enough to carry Canadian Newfoundland dogs, and slower round a barrel course than a horse: concluding that SUVs are pointless. Despite this executive producer Andy Willman informs via text that they will race their SUVs whilst each towing a boat up a mountain. May abandons his Velar for his boat, which sinks, causing him lose the race. Because Clarkson's Stelvio has no tow bar he cheats and exchanges it for a Ford F150 Raptor, ultimately arriving first with the presenters concluding that the Raptor was better than all the SUVs being tested. On Conversation Street the presenters talk about new SUVs and vans. Clarkson reviews the Tesla Model X at the Eboladrome and on the road, accompanied by some lawyers to prevent Tesla from re-sueing his team, following the previous Tesla v. Top Gear court cases.[65] Rory McIlroy and Paris Hilton discuss their car collections before McIlroy beats Hilton to become the "World's Fastest Golfing Enthusiast".
24 11 "Feed the World"[67] None None 16 February 2018 (2018-02-16)
The presenters head to Mozambique on a mission to feed the people of Bingo, an isolated town, with fish from the country's capital of Maputo, covering a distance of 200 miles. To do this, each of them goes down their separate ways in finding the best transport solution. May buys a Mercedes-Benz Estate and modifies it by fitting a Perspex tank filled with sea water to keep the fish alive, Clarkson buys a Nissan Hardbody truck which he fits with a generator and an ice machine to keep the fish frozen and Hammond buys a TVS Star motorcycle and devises a rack on the back of it, inspired by a local method of drying and salting the fish to keep it preserved. After unsuccessfully trying to catch fish using local methods, they buy fish at the market. Early on in the journey, Clarkson's Truck crashed into May's Car, upon rescuing it, damaging its radiator grille. Deeper into the rural area of Mozambique, May constantly soaked himself with sea water, and due to his damaged radiator grille suffered multiple breakdowns due to water intrusion. Hammond lost a large number of his fish on the bumpy road along, constantly got stuck in thick mud and endlessly fell off his motorbike. Clarkson suffered very few issues except when his ice machine broke, causing him to make small adjustments to his Nissan in order to smoke the fish with his exhaust. Upon May's car breaking down in the middle of a lake, despite Hammond and Clarkson crossing succesfully, Clarkson cuts of the front end of the Mercedes and tows it using his Nissan, much to May's annoyance. Eventually, the three reach Bingo, with May's fish dead, Clarkson's fish ruined and Hammond having almost no fish. As a result they sell no fish and leave Bingo in a Helicopter like all Charitable Celebrities.


Notes

  1. ^ Episode title spelt with varied capitalisation and comma use; "Past, Present or Future"[47] / "Past, Present, or Future"[48] / "Past, present or future"[49]
  2. ^ Segment variously spelt "Farmkhana" in segment titles, or "Farmkana" on the clapper boards.

Production

History

The presenting line-up consists of Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson.

Clarkson, Hammond and May had been presenters on BBC's Top Gear, both as part of the rotating hosts of the original, and permanent hosts for the 2002 rebooted series up through 2015. Under them, the show had an estimated worldwide audience of 350 million, and listed by Guinness World Records as the highest-viewed factual television programme.[68] Due to several incidents involving Clarkson, BBC terminated Clarkson's contract with the show in March 2015. Both May and Hammond affirmed they would not return to Top Gear without Clarkson, even though the BBC offered them lucrative salaries to remain on for additional series.[69] Along with their departure, their long-time producer and Clarkson's classmate Andy Wilman also opted to leave at this time.[70] BBC retooled the show for 2016, bringing in new hosts Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc.

Shortly after his dismissal, Clarkson stated his intent to start a new car show, saying "I have lost my baby but I shall create another. I don't know who the other parent will be or what the baby will be like."[71] Rumors that Clarkson, Hammond, and May were developing a new show through discreet meetings with various networks emerged starting in April 2015.[72][73] These rumors pointed to a potential American broadcaster, as the terms of Clarkson's non-compete clause with the BBC stipulated he could not make a rival car show on a BBC competitor, like ITV.[74] Among those that had been approached included Netflix, who felt Clarkson's team wanted too much money for what they were worth, and BT Sport, believing this show would be a better fit on a network with a more global reach.[75]

In July 2015, Clarkson announced he had signed a deal with Amazon to develop a new car show that followed a similar format as Top Gear, with both Hammond and May joining him as co-hosts, and Wilman directing.[76] The deal included 36 episodes across three series which would be available to Amazon Prime members starting in 2016. Wilman stated that Amazon promised them to have the freedom they wanted to make the show how they wanted along with the necessary budget. Additionally, by using a subscription-based service over an advert-based network, they would not be beholden to commercial pressure for their advertisers.[77] Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said he was "very excited" about bringing this program to Amazon, and that producing the show would be "very, very, very expensive", but added, "[Clarkson, Hammond and May are] worth a lot and they know it."[78] According to insider information reported by The Daily Mirror, Amazon paid GB£160 million for all three series.[79] Wilman denied the show cost this much, but did admit the show was costly, partially due to Amazon's intent to have it filmed in 4K resolutions.[16] The production of this show would be based in the United Kingdom, and done by W Chump & Sons, a company set up by Wilman, Clarkson, Hammond and May.[77]

The show's name, The Grand Tour, was revealed in May 2016. Clarkson said the name brought to mind the tradition of Grand Tours, and reflected how the show would travel to several different countries to film.[80] There was speculation that the show could be called Gear Knobs after a trademark application was made for that name by an associated company,[81] but Clarkson stated in October 2015 that this would not be the title.[82][83] He explained in April 2016 that the word "Gear" could not be used for legal reasons.[84]

The Grand Tour tent behind school buses in the Lucerne Valley, California for the first episode of series 1

Initially, the show's format was to present individual television films, using location shooting without studio segments.[85][86] They later came up with the idea of using a traveling tent to provide a mobile "studio", to go along with The Grand Tour name. They would be able to use local audience members, and would give the hosts the opportunity to explore the local culture around cars.[16] According to Wilman, the idea to film audience segments in a tent came from Clarkson, who had seen an episode of True Detective that took place at a Baptist revival ceremony.[16]

Legal issues

Wilman said that lawyers for Amazon were very mindful of any perceived similarities in segments to Top Gear, requiring changes to the format and regular segments.[27][17] Named elements from Top Gear like The Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, the Cool Wall, and the Stig could not be used at all, but they also had to clear other legal concerns. For example, the lawyers said they could test cars on a test track, but they could not post the times using hand-written signs as they had done on Top Gear; instead, they used a digital leaderboard.[87] Wilman said that some of the lawyers concerns "got funnier and funnier", such as whether May could say "cock", or whether during one of their exotic roadtrips, if they could stop and admire the scenery by saying "it's beautiful" as they frequently did on Top Gear.[87]

Many outlets falsely reported that the BBC had explicitly told the crew they could not have celebrities come on the show and race around a track.[27] This was later confirmed to be false, with the crew admitting that the real reason for the nature of the segment was a last-minute panic.[88]

"Celebrity Brain Crash" was replaced in series two by "Celebrity Face Off" where two celebrities compete to be fastest around a track, avoiding the legal complications with the BBC.[89]

Filming

United Broadcast Facilities (UBF) in The Netherlands won the contract for the outside broadcasting tent segments.[5] Fourteen microphones are used for recording the audience reaction laugh track within the tent.[5] The mobile studio audio setup uses Lawo mixing desks connected via MADI for live sound mixing, recording and talkback intercoms.[5]

During the first series, the studio segments were filmed in various locations around the world. Studio recording for the first series began in Johannesburg, South Africa on 17 July 2016.[34] Recording in the United States took place on 25 September 2016 in Southern California, with further recording taking place in Nashville on 21 November 2016.[31][90] Studio recording in the United Kingdom took place in Whitby on 13 October 2016,[37] with further recordings taking place at Loch Ness in December 2016. Further studio recording took place in Rotterdam on 22 October 2016 and Lapland on 3 November 2016.[38][91][39] Stuttgart (Ludwigsburg) was also a filming location.[41] The final studio filming took place in Dubai in December 2016.[92]

For the second series, following Clarkson's pneumonia and Hammond's car crash, the producers decided that there would no longer be a travelling tent.[93][94] Instead the tent would be in one location near Clarkson's home in the Cotswolds as this would be more convenient for the crew to operate. It also would be useful for new features such as Celebrity Face Off.[95] In September 2017, West Oxfordshire District Council gave planning permission for three months of filming from a fixed tent location on the Great Tew Estate, near Chipping Norton.[96] Two-hundred parking spaces already used for hosting the Cornbury Music Festival on the same site would be used to accommodate 350 guests per week, plus 80 members of staff.[96] The time window allowed for the series 2 filming was between October and December 2017.[96]

Promotion

The Grand Tour parcel tape used for orders in November 2016

Following the public naming of the show, Amazon offered new customers a £20 discount for their first year on Amazon Prime during 14–16 May 2016.[97] A trailer announcing the release date of the show as 18 November 2016 was posted on the show's YouTube channel on 15 September 2016.[98] A second, full-length trailer, was released on 6 October 2016.[99] Trailers for series one have used the music "Come with Me Now" by Kongos.,[100] while series two trailers have used "Live and Let Die" by Wings.

As part of their marketing campaign, Amazon placed crashed Toyota Prius cars at Hackescher Markt in Berlin, in front of London King's Cross railway station, and on the Hollywood Walk of Fame outside the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.[101]

Sponsorship

In mid-2016 DHL began sponsoring the transport costs of the tent and mobile studio.[102][103] In June 2016, in connection with the sponsorship deal, the presenters had uploaded videos of themselves attempting to assemble DHL-branded shipping boxes.[104] The first episode stated that "promotional consideration" had been given by the Breitling Jet Team, DHL and Samsung.[105] Eight of the Breitling Jet aircraft took part in the opening sequence flyovers.[106] For episode 2, the list included 5.11 Tactical.[107] A DHL Boeing 757 was featured in the opening sequence of episode 5, the tent was located in Rotterdam, and the DHL logo is featured on part of the crash barrier at the Eboladrome.

Technical Issues

During filming for some episodes in the second series of the show, the production team suffered major technical issues with the tent lighting, which threatened to derail filming.[108] Nonetheless, all episodes were released on the correct dates, with all delays having been averted.

Reception

As of November 2016 the show has received positive reviews from critics,[109] with The Guardian saying "Jeremy Clarkson and co leave the BBC in their dust".[110][dubious ]

Daily Express TV reporter, Neela Debnath commented that the first episode "resembled a Hollywood blockbuster" and added that "[The Grand Tour is] basically Top Gear on steroids".[13] However, BBC Arts Editor, Will Gompertz said of the opening that "there is no irony. It feels uncomfortably hubristic" but once the presenters were in the tent "Normal service has been resumed" and that "It seemed to me that Grand Tour is a TV show that wants to be – and quite possibly should be – a movie"[111] The Independent described The Grand Tour as "the best of Top Gear but with a greater budget"[112] TheWrap reported an estimate by Symphony Advanced Media that the opening weekend viewer count for The Grand Tour was three times the size of the opening weekend of The Man in the High Castle.[113]

Episode 2 was somewhat less favourably received by fans and critics. The Telegraph wrote about the Jordan segment: "[...] a tedious action movie segment suggested that they were in danger of losing the run of themselves slightly and that Amazon's hands-off policy towards the production had potential downsides."[114] Radio Times said that "many of the viewers were disgruntled to say the least, branding the show as dull and not funny."[115]

Richard Hammond was criticised by Stonewall, Peter Tatchell, and Olly Alexander, amongst others, for a comment he made in episode six where he implied that men who eat ice-cream are homosexual.[116][117] It was later revealed that the comment was an in-joke for the Finnish audience as a reference to a controversial TV commercial that aired in Finland.[118]

The Grand Tour received a nomination in the Original OTT Streamed category at the 2017 Television and Radio Industries Club Awards.[119]

Kevin Yeoman of Screen Rant gave the show a positive review, stating "Fans can rest assured Top Gear hasn't gone anywhere, it's just hiding out at Amazon under a different name."[120] Sonia Saraiya of Variety was also positive of the show, stating "When it comes to the cars, The Grand Tour delivers gearhead porn in spades... Clarkson, Hammond, and May's love for machinery... is still present, pure, and appealing, even with the shift in networks and formats."[121]

Conversely, in April 2017 Brad Anderson of CarScoops stated that he prefers Top Gear to The Grand Tour. According to Anderson, Top Gear had "become even better", whereas The Grand Tour "seemed more scripted, less natural and at stages, forced... attention is often skewed away from the cars as the presenters, namely Clarkson, seemed to chase controversy and headlines". Anderson continues that in-studio segments became repetitive quickly, particularly "Celebrity Brain Crash", also noting that all three hosts seem to spend far too much time needling each other, and test driver Mike Skinner offers no worthwhile commentary.[122]

On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the first series of The Grand Tour has a "fresh" rating of 86%, based on 7 reviews, with an average rating of 8.0/10.[123]

Digital Spy was positive of series 2, episode 1, calling it "An understated premiere for a show that feels like it's finding its feet."[124] The Times was also positive, giving the show 4 out of 5 stars, stating "Some parts of the show are flat but mostly it works, the production values remain high and it has clearly been hit with a juggernaut of money."[125] The Daily Telegraph, while not as positive, still approved of the episode, stating "The writing is still rather ropey. Clarkson's suggestion of a new nickname for May – "Dingleberry Handpump" – failed to raise a titter even among the super-fans gathered for the London premiere" but also said that "for each wobble, there are just as many moments when The Grand Tour manages the clever trick Top Gear could pull off at its best: raising a chuckle while sneaking in a bit of serious journalism at the same time." and ultimately gave the episode 3 out of 5 stars.[126] Jeremy Clarkson himself believed that they had "hit the ground running with series 2 of the Grand Tour".[127]

Radio Times has criticised the gender balance of guests on the "Celebrity Face Off" segment.[128] There was only 1 woman guest in the episode "Oh Canada"; Paris Hilton.

Hothouse Flowers playing for the opening sequence of "The Holy Trinity" episode in the Lucerne Valley, California

Broadcast

Australian free-to-air network Seven Network started broadcasting the first series of The Grand Tour in mid-October 2017.[129]

French channel RMC Découverte started broadcasting the first series with the Namibian special episodes on 29 November 2017 and L'Équipe (TV channel) broadcast episodes 1 and 13 on 15 January 2018.

At the start of 2018 high-speed Eurostar train services between Paris or Brussels and London began to feature The Grand Tour as part of the available on board entertainment package.[130]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b From episode 15 credits
  2. ^ a b Barraclough, Leo (31 July 2015). "Why Jeremy Clarkson's 'Top Gear' Team Went to Amazon". Variety. Retrieved 31 May 2016. The program will be U.K. based 
  3. ^ a b @@thegrandtour (16 November 2016). "GMT, it's a British show" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  4. ^ a b Juss, Mindy. "'The Grand Tour' with executive producer Andy Wilman". Edinburgh International Television Festival. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Sharples, Sarah (29 November 2016). "Lawo gears up for The Grand Tour with former Top Gear presenters". Pro Sound News Europe. NewBay. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Wilman, Andy (25 August 2016). "The Grand Tour Masterclass" (Interview). Interview with Elaine Bedell. Edinburgh: Edinburgh International Television Festival. Retrieved 7 November 2016 – via YouTube. (2:01) ...they want everything in 4k, they want a specific framerate, they want it in HDR ... (17:35) ...built a new server to deal with the 4k framerate, the 23.98... (22:18) first show ...comes out at 70-odd minutes. ... we're trying to discipline ourselves to 60 minutes 
  7. ^ "Clarkson delighted with terms of new Amazon show". 2 August 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015. The new motoring show, which will be available to Amazon Prime customers next year, will feature at least 36 episodes over three years. 
  8. ^ Barraclough, Leo (31 July 2015). "Why Jeremy Clarkson's 'Top Gear' Team Went to Amazon". Retrieved 23 December 2015. will be 12 episodes in each of the three series, and each episode will run for around an hour. ... deal was brokered by Amazon U.K. film and TV strategy director Chris Bird and Conrad Riggs, the U.S. company's head of TV production. 
  9. ^ "Repeats of The Grand Tour are coming to your TV – MotoringBox". www.motoringbox.com. 
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  11. ^ Shepherd, Jack (22 November 2016). "The Grand Tour breaks Amazon Prime streaming record with debut episode". The Independent. Retrieved 9 February 2017. Despite the difficulty, the trio's debut was an undisputed success, becoming Amazon Prime's most-watched premiere in the streaming service's history. The previous record-holder was The Man in the High Castle. 
  12. ^ Warner, Sam (18 November 2016). "The Grand Tour gets rave reviews from critics as Jeremy Clarkson and co make triumphant Amazon Prime debut". Digital Spy. Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
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  21. ^ Reed, Jason (24 January 2018). "The Secret Story Behind The Grand Tour's Celebrity Braincrash". Shifting Lanes. Retrieved 26 January 2018. 
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External links

Map all coordinates in "The Grand Tour (TV series)" using: OpenStreetMap · Google Maps
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX
  • Official website
  • The Grand Tour on IMDb
  • The Grand Tour's channel on YouTube
  • Geographic data related to The Grand Tour's "Eboladrome" test track at OpenStreetMap
  • Geographic data related to The Grand Tour's Enstone gravel test track at OpenStreetMap
  • Quotations related to The Grand Tour at Wikiquote
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