So yesterday the first episode of The Grand Tour (GT) has premiered. Why is that so important? GT is sort of the successor to Top Gear (TG). Why is that?
In 2015, near the end of series 22, it became public that Jeremy Clarkson had punched a producer for not serving the hosts warm dinner. He was then fired (or technically, his contract wasn’t renewed) and the show was taken over by Chris Evans who then did another series this year with almost no one watching it.
Hammond and May left with Clarkson of course and the three were then approached by the new big ones: Netflix and Amazon (Prime). And Amazon Prime won them for at least 3 seasons as for now. The season airs in 12 episodes and it’s a new episode each Sunday (no binge-watching sadly).
Sidenote: Amazon has just announced they’re going to expand worldwide by December. They’re going in big with this one.
Now yesterday we could actually see what that brought us. And it’s great. Let me start with a quote from the Telegraph:
Somewhere out there you could almost hear Chris Evans locking his bedroom door from the inside and sobbing.
First of all, the three are just the same. Snickering about, leaving each other behind, unfair challenges and so on. That’s what killed Top Gear and that’s what Chris Evans will never understand. Top Gear is as much about cars as Michael Schumacher is the Stig (he isn’t). Most of all, it’s three blokes doing what all blokes would if they could.
There are a few differences from GT to TG. The BBC has ordered Clarkson not to use some of his keywords, so there’s no “On that bombshell” and “some say”. And the Stig is apparently trademarked.
First of all, there’s no studio anymore. They’re travelling around the world in a tent, so this episode they were somewhere in the USA, next episode’s stop is Johannesburg.
They’ve built a new track in England, mostly consisting of the Isn’t-Straight (cause it isn’t straight) and hired a new test driver who had to be American. I don’t like him yet but let’s see what’s to come. TG series 1 had no James May, so there may still be some changes.
The Reasonably Priced Car is gone and replaced by a new celebrity feature which they didn’t show properly in the first episode, you’ll see why.
The first episode is called “The Holy Trinity”. No, it’s not the three blokes. It’s about stuff they promised on Top Gear but was never shown. Let me just say hypercars and that will be it, you’ll have to see it.
For comparison, I watched the last episode of proper Top Gear first, where there’s just May and Hammond left. I hadn’t watched that yet because it was said to be too sad, so I waited until the new series. Let’s just say, GT starts where TG ends.
So you can fairly say that The Grand Tour is the successor to Top Gear. I wonder how long they’re gonna let that corpse lie around before they scrap it, but we now have something better.