With their supercars, fame massacres and Eboladrome, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond prove they can still make a spectacle and keep the petrolheads happy

Enough of the secrets and reports, the crass PR stunts, the fracas/ non-fracas with an employee at Stuttgart airport; its day for Messrs Clarkson, May and Hammond to show us what theyve been up to. Come on then, what you got?

A lot of fund, thats abundantly clear from the opening cycle, shot in the California desert. But first weve have to go to get out of rainy old-fashioned Blighty. So Jeremy is leaving a construct, siding his pass in … got it, its supposed to be the BBC.( A heap of this first escapade seems to be aimed at his former hire if not quite meandering the window down and returning a caused midriff finger, then at least attracting up at the daylights and gazing over smugly: ha, check out my large-hearted fund .) Now hes at international airports, checking in , no fracases this time, he manages to catch the flight to Los Angeles, where he picks up his rental auto a muscly Mustang.

On the open road, lastly free, hes joined by the other two, James and Hammond( sorry but I dont do first name with him) in similar automobiles; cherry-red, grey and off-color. Crossing the desert, they hook up with a Mad Max convoy of cars and trucks and bikes, heading to a stagecoach where the Hothouse Flower are playing I Can Assure Clearly Now( Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind another delve there ). Its like Burning Man; actually they call it Igniting Van because there is one, plus a pirate ship, ardor and a squadron of aircrafts moving over. It is undeniably, gloriously cinematic, a brilliant beautiful spectacle.

At Burning Van festival it could only be The Grand Tour. Picture: Amazon Prime

Then they open their mouths, and abruptly its same-old same-old. They establish each other, and their tent, to the crowd. Were going to be like Gypsies, says Jeremy, referring to the itinerant quality of The Grand Tour. Merely the cars we drive are going to be insured. Nought to racist in less than 10 times.( Hes already said hes not going to get fired because were on the internet, which makes I could please a mare. The other two examine faintly embarrassed .)

Inside the tent the gathering are seated instead of reputation, but theres something familiar about it. And about the montage of what there is to look forward to. Cars of course, more stunts and big-hearted slams: three midlife souls messing about. Massively messing about now, because of that Amazon budget.

Theres some joke with the American gathering you say tomato, I say gearstick, this kind of happening. And between the three of them: James is a slow move, ho ho; Hammond is less tall than the others, lol; we got fired, tee hee. Then they have an extended top to manager to head between three supercars: a McLaren P1, a Porsche 918 and a Ferrari LaFerrari( or a Ferarri TheFerrari as James announces it, quite amusingly ). Its a extremely extended research, in two parts. This opening chapter is surely putting down a marker that says this is a serious motoring see, and theyre serious auto reporters , not say former sitcom performers. And it will appeal to the serious petrolhead.

You can move something into a different container, but it still tastes the same The Grand Tour. Photograph: Roderick Fountain/ Amazon Prime

There is a brand-new racetrack, the same shape as the Ebola virus its known as the Eboladrome with an old lady mansion next to it( theres going to be a rush to get the first interview isnt there ?). Plus a new, unhelmeted test driver known as The American. Conversation Street, the new chit-chat section, doesnt amount to much, and nor do the luminaries who are all killed off, hilariously, maybe because they US performers Jeremy Renner and Armie Hammer and Carol Vorderman arent the enormous figures theyd hope to see.

Clarkson, May and Hammond reunite for The Grand Tour – video trailer

In the detail, in the format, The Grand Tour is different: the committee is loadings of new ideas here there had to be, or the BBC legal eagles would swoop. And yet its all entirely familiar. Because more than format, more even than the amount of money you shed at something, what actually gives a television display its temperament is the personnel. You can run something into a different container, but it still savors the same. And, like it or not, this penchants of Clarkson, Hammond and May. Devotees of old Top Gear are going to be happy.

Episode one of The Grand Tour is available now on Amazon Prime, with a brand-new episode every Friday.


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