The Long Awaited Return of Clarkson, Hammond and May is Finally Here
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have returned to our screens, finally we get to see what all the buzz was about, what that gargantuan £160 million budget was spent on and whether three old men still had the magic. Whilst the trio claim all they do is ‘cock about and fall over a lot’ what they actually did with the BBC was take a show that was going to be axed and turn it into the biggest show on the planet. We all have seen how hard it is to make a show your own, with the last series of Top Gear, which in all honesty was the worst of the entire 23 series run. But creating your own show essentially from scratch is a monumental task even without the pressure of what the fans want to see.
[highlighted]Great Start That can Surely Only get Better[/highlighted]
But from the opening sequence to the final scenes it was a riot. I admit there were a few wobbles in the middle which worried me but I feel The Grand Tour is heading on the right tracks and can only get better as it gains traction with viewers and fans. The opening sequence for the show was fantastic and while I doubt this will be the same for every show, it was a great way to bring people into it. We begin with Jeremy Clarkson leaving what we are led to assume is the BBC handing his ID to a security guard and heading off into a dreary rainy London, heading straight to the airport and getting a plane to California which just happens to be shiny and bright and happy, Clarkson who is driving in a Mustang hire car is then joined by May and Hammond in similar Mustangs and the three arrive at their new tent in the desert where a rock band is playing. Certainly a show of what is to come.
The Battle We’ve all Been Waiting for
Their was only one major film in the show which was the long awaited battle between the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 and the Ferrari LaFerrari, and this was classic old Top Gear right down to camera work and editing of it. All three presenters were at their best here like nothing had changed, you could have put it on Top Gear and it would have been exactly the same.
Now, however, is when we hit the slight bump in the road. We come back to the studio for the mid-show break and are lead to believe the trio get into a fight with the American crowd about who is better; the American air force or the RAF. This unfortunately was classically bad Top Gear when nothing was believable and everything was faked, and worst of all it wasn’t particularly funny either, so overall it was pointless.
The next segment introduced was the new track, which was strangely the same shape as the Ebola virus and had such comedic named corners as the Isn’t Straight, Your Name Here Corner (supposedly this corner is up for sponsorship) Old Lady’s House and Substation, named because if you crash here you go into “a cage of electricity.” This segment wasn’t bad, Jeremy took us round in the new BMW M2, which he says is his favourite M car ever. Then we come back to the studio for more not particularly funny jokes, and the introduction of the new racing driver an American called Mike Skinner, who apparently thinks that if a car doesn’t have a V8 it’s communist.
Hopefully no More Celebrity Segments
Now we get to climb back up the hill to the great finish. First, still in the studio we have the celebrity segment, which I hope doesn’t come back as it will slowly become unfunny to just be bad. They had three guests, Avengers star Jeremy Renner who jumped out of a plane to make a big entrance, and promptly fell to his death by smashing into the desert floor, never mind they had a back up guest a slightly less well known star, from films like The Social Network, The Lone Ranger and The Man from Uncle Armie Hammer, who in walking towards the tent through the desert gets bitten by a rattle snake and dies writhing in horrible pain. Never mind, they’ve got another backup former Countdown star Carol Vordeman who has been found dead in the crowd. As I said whilst this was funny once, I hope it doesn’t continue onto the next show as it will slowly just become annoying.
What bet? There was no bet
And finally we get back to the main film, and what we all care about which is fastest round the track. I think we are meant to have forgotten about the bet from Top Gear that if the McLaren was slower than the Porsche Jeremy would change his name to Jennifer as there was no mention of it and a new bet was even thought up. Jeremy now claims that if the McLaren is slower than the Porsche he will let James and Richard demolish his house. Now I won’t reveal the ending and spoil it for you but it did seem like there was genuine surprise on their faces when the times were revealed back in the tent, which may mean they didn’t actually know the times as they claimed because I doubt they are that good actors really.
A Great Start for a new Show
Overall I like the show, there were some speed bumps, but with a new show they are bound to happen at points. It seems it’s very difficult to do studio segments as these were particularly where new Top Gear fell down, but I think the new show can go from strength to strength and I am certainly excited for the show next week. Do I think it’s worth getting Amazon Prime just to watch The Grand Tour, no, but at the moment Prime is building a library of amazing content and is starting to rival Netflix in their original content, so given time I think a membership is worthwhile in the long run.