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'The Grand Tour': Reviews of the Episodes

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  • 'The Grand Tour': Reviews of the Episodes

    "The Grand Tour," The most awaited Amazon's new Web series, was finally released to the world on Nov 18 2016(which obviously means I'm 10 days late with this post).

    In case you missed it(which you didn't ) , "The Grand Tour" is a new project of the 3 former "BBC Top Gear UK" hosts -- Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond as well as the BBC show former executive producer, Andy Wilman. The arrival of the series was highly anticipated by the entire world of automotive enthusiasts and the trio have been actively promoting the same for many months now. Zigwheels Forum members have been actively discussing about the upcoming show HERE as well .

    So naturally, there was a lot riding on this first episode. So, did the show manage to live up to the ridiculously high expectation for a car show ever???

    Yes. Oh Yes, it did.
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    The show was undeniably good and well made. Clarkson, Hammond and May clearly still have got what it takes to make a show about cars that even non-enthusiasts can watch and enjoy. The introduction especially was excellent. Clarkson leaves little to one's imagination, starting with him getting on an airplane in rainy London heading for Sunny Los Angeles, with background news anchors reading reports about how he's been sacked. He lands in California, makes his way to a parking garage and hops into a custom blue(with white stripes) Ford Mustang(725 hp model). Richard and May pull up alongside in two more Mustangs. Richard in a red(with white stripes) and James May in a plain white car( Probably a side joke indicating how boring James May is ).
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    The Blue, Red and White combo's of the cars are not selected random I presume, knowing Clarkson's obsession for leaving references all the time. The 3 cars then head out into a desert plain. As they cross the desert, they make their way through a pack of cars ranging from modern Super cars to Vintage classics and Art cars(150 cars, 2000 acrobats and 8 jet planes). This may be a 10-15 second scene reportedly is the most expensive shot in the entire series accounting to a massive 2.4 million pounds(~21 Crore Indian Rupees) and It is indeed a visual treat for an enthusiast. I'd say worth every penny!

    While they head towards a stage surrounded by a cheering crowd and a live performing music band, A formation of jets flies overhead. It really was a 'Grand' Opening of The Grand Tour.
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    After some hilarious introductions on the stage, they head into the 'tent' that will serve as their new roaming studio around the world. Now, they've always said the show is entirely different to the old Top gear format.

    FACT IS, IT ISN'T ! It is more of a refreshed version of Top gear. I have tried my best to make an awesome side by side reference image of the old top gear base and inside studio to the grand tour 'tent' and the rather posh tent interiors with my incredible and superior computer skills using MS Paint (Kindly excuse the shoddy work)
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    We can clearly see that it is indeed an 'Expensively made' Top gear without much censoring to Clarkson's speech. In later interviews Clarkson himself admitted it as, "The same wine, but in a better and expensive vessel".

    The main review then shifts our focus onto a hypercar shootout between a Mclaren P1, a Porsche 918(Weissach Edition) and a LaFerrari, quoted "The Holy Trinity" which if keen fans of old Top gear remember was been the main talk of the Series 22(which abruptly came to an end sadly) after their individual reviews. So they started off from where they left it. Tying up loose ends...
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    Much later, there is a review of the BMW M2, which Jeremy really liked(Sideways and Smiling).
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    These segments are separated by studio time, which show the 3 presenters interacting with each other and the crowd(again, reminiscent of Top gear but I did miss watching beautiful ladies perfectly showcased in front of the crowd by Jeremy ).Overall, the approach went well. Some parts do need fine tuning, but it's a new show and I can only imagine the immense pressure the team went through coming up with all this.

    One bit involved a new celebrity segment, but they ended up killing off three celebrities instead of actually interviewing them. I am hoping it was just a reference that "The Grand Tour" won't be going down that path. BUT at the end of the show, it did seem like Jeremy desperately wanted to wrap things up by saying, "And on that bombshell..." but couldn't because of copyright infringement.

    Now 'If' I had to point out some sore points from the show, It would be that it felt a bit too much like the old Top Gear(which is not essentially a bad thing but different from what was advertised a totally different show) and there were many moments that seemed a little too familiar, like for instance when Jeremy gives a tour of their new test track involving a "professional driver" which was not a Stig. Secondly, The audience laughter. It felt like from the 80's British sitcoms. They seem to have increased the volume after every joke, then abruptly cut it off when the 3 started speaking again. After watching them for so many years, We don't really need to be told when they are doing something funny. It wasn't much of a disturbance as background noise on top gear, but with this abnormal editing felt weird in the grand tour.

    I was hoping that the show would go in a different direction or try something new and different. But maybe my ridiculously high expectations are to be blamed.

    Regardless of these minor irritants, this indeed is television at its finest and we're tremendously happy to welcome Jeremy, Richard and James back into our lives after such a long wait.

    [P.S : I have watched the second film of the series like most of the people reading this right now, but don't want to make any comments on it and spoil the moment. Just hope the third episode redeems itself from the mess it made]

    What do you think guys? Feel free to pour in your thoughts on the matter.

    Your's Truly...
    If "Plan - A" didn't work. The alphabet has 25 more letters! Stay Cool...

  • #2
    JOY MRC Top Gear and now the Grand Tour are car shows for all people. Even though the show is about cars, many people will little interest in cars love the show for the British humor by the hosts. The hosts pulling each other's leg, the extra dose of sarcasm , the extremely politically incorrect views and the bashing is what keeps the show running. Even though I watch it as an enthusiast, my wife and mother who have little interest in cars also look ahead to each new episode. Even though the first episode was somewhat sane, comparing to the trio's standards, their preview for the season has shown them doing quite wacky stuff. The first episode gave me goosebumps, right from the beginning where the trio reunites on the roads with the mustangs to the camera work when the holy trinity is shown. The awesome camera work was one key feature at Top Gear and I felt that there is still some scope for improvement for the Grand Tour in that aspect. The celebrity segment has been skipped but I was never a great fan of it. The new track is interesting, however the earlier description with Hammerhead and Gambon corners will be missed bad. The Stig and his music choices would also be missed. The American driver doesn't match up with the silent treatment by stig. Not to mention Stigs multiple cousins around the world. Overall a great first episode which will not let down any of the fans.
    I know a lot about cars, man. I can look at any car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming.


    • #3
      JOY MRC It's surprising to see those three Mustangs didn't run over the crowd. By the way, I love the Mustang Rocket. That hexagonal grille and the overall design makes it look a lot meaner than the 'normal' Mustang! The show was amazing nonetheless.
      Keep the rubber side down!


      • #4
        Excellent review of the first episode JOY MRC
        Personally, I liked episode ONE too. It was quite slick, although I think they did waste a bit of time with the attempt at introducing a celebrity segment. I also watched the second episode last Friday, but since this is a review of the first one, I won't spill the beans here. Safe to say, the second one is not as great as the first one. Didn't impress me. Since they do have a LIVE audience and a travelling tent, they could probably also do some stuff right there, like they used to with Clarkson, Hammond and May LIVE for a short while.
        Drink coffee and drive!


        • #5
          Episode 3 is on air only on


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ivan_Ivanov View Post
            I have a subscription and Amazon Prime subscription. This works brilliantly. Today, I "Chromecast" episode 3 on to the TV and enjoyed it in all its glory. That said, let me just give you guys a feel of what I thought of Episode 2 and then Episode 3. So Episode 2 was shot in South Africa - at least the main tent part of it - and the banter was pretty interesting. The Aston Martin Vulcan bit was also neatly shot, but I don't think Mike Skinner does a good job of being funny. However, I wouldn't rate Episode 2 pretty high because of that whole gun-totting thing shot in Jordan, which really was BORING, because it became so repetitive, and stopped being funny after a point. That really killed it for me. After the fantastic episode 1, this was a bit drab.
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            On to Episode 3, anchored in the UK, and it's back to its brilliance. I really enjoyed the Grand Touring part of Italy with the Rolls Royce Dawn, the Aston Martin DB11 and the brute Dodge Hellcat. The photography and the fantastic countryside really made it worth it. The celebrity brain crash bit is getting to be a bit of a bore. The conversation street part was fun though. I think Episode 3 has really got the three back into their element. Thumbs up and a score of 9 on 10 for this one. Oh, and a 6 on 10 for episode 10.

            Oh, and JOY MRC I've changed the thread name, so we can all add our comments and reviews of ALL episodes here. For those of you who want to watch it on - here's the LINK
            Drink coffee and drive!


            • #7
              So Amazon Prime Video is finally here and just in time too. We managed to catch Episode 5 of The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime Video India, right here.
              I'm happy to say that Episode 5, shot in Rotterdam, Netherlands and including an extended sequence from Marrakech, was quite entertaining.

              The game of Battleship using G-Wiz (what we know as the Mahindra Reva-i) cars as ammunition and limousines, caravans, a Prius and a Chrysler PT Cruiser as battleships was pretty interesting.
              What was more interesting though was the racetrack sequence in the film sets in Marrakech between the Alfa Romeo Spider 4C, Mazda MX5 and the little-known Zenos bare-bones sports car was really entertaining.

              On a scale of 0-10, I would rate this a 7.5. Some fantastic photography in this one. Oh, and those of you who don't have an Amazon India Prime account - go get one:
              Drink coffee and drive!