With their supercars, celebrity 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 federal employees at Stuttgart airport; its duration for Messrs Clarkson, May and Hammond to show us what theyve been up to. Come on then, what you got?

A lot of money, thats abundantly clear from the opening cycle, shooting in the California desert. But first weve “ve gotta get out of” rainy age-old Blighty. So Jeremy is leaving a build, handing his pass in … got it, its supposed to be the BBC.( A pile of this first chapter seems to be aimed at his former employee if not quite meandering the window down and passing a parent centre digit, then at least attracting up at the light-coloreds and looking over smugly: ha, check out my big-hearted budget .) Now hes at the airport, checking in , no fracases this time, he manages to catch the flight to Los Angeles, where he picks up his rental gondola a muscly Mustang.

On the open street, finally free, hes joined by the other two, James and Hammond( sorry but I dont do first name with him) in similar gondolas; red, white-hot and blue-blooded. Spanning the desert, they hook up with a Mad Max convoy of cars and trucks and motorcycles, heading to a theatre where the Hothouse Heyday are playing I Can Envision Clearly Now( Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind another dig there ). Its like Burning Man; actually they call it Igniting Van because there is one, plus a pirate ship, fire and a squadron of planes flying over. It is undeniably, gloriously cinematic, a bright beautiful spectacle.

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

Then they open their lips, and abruptly its same-old same-old. They interpose one another, and their tent, to the crowd. Were going to be like Gypsies, says Jeremy, referring to the itinerant sort of The Grand Tour. Exclusively the cars we drive are going to be insured. Nought to racist in less than 10 instants.( Hes already said hes not going to get fired because were on the internet, which symbolizes I could pleasure a pony. The other two search faintly embarrassed .)

Inside the tent the audience are seated instead of sit, 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 blows: three midlife followers messing about. Massively messing about now, because of that Amazon budget.

Theres some joke with the American audience you say tomato, I say gearstick, this kind of thought. 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 intelligence to premier to heading between three supercars: a McLaren P1, a Porsche 918 and a Ferrari LaFerrari( or a Ferarri TheFerrari as James calls it, quite amusingly ). Its a extremely expansive experiment, in two parts. This opening escapade is certainly putting down a marker that says this is a serious motoring see, and theyre serious vehicle reporters , not say former sitcom actors. And it will appeal to the serious petrolhead.

You can move something into a different receptacle, but it still feelings the same The Grand Tour. Image: Roderick Fountain/ Amazon Prime

There is a new track, the same condition 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 brand-new converse division, doesnt amount to much, and nor do the luminaries who are all killed off, hilariously, possibly because they US performers Jeremy Renner and Armie Hammer and Carol Vorderman arent the enormous figures theyd hoped for.

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

In the detail, in the format, The Grand Tour is different: “theres” consignments of new ideas here there had to be, or the BBC legal eagles would swoop. And yet its all completely familiar. Because more than format, more even than the amount of money you throw at something, what actually generates a television evidence its identity is the personnel. You can move something into a different receptacle, but it still appreciations the same. And, like it or not, this preferences of Clarkson, Hammond and May. Followers of old Top Gear are going to be happy.

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


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