With their supercars, fame homicides 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 rumours, the crass PR stunts, the fracas/ non-fracas with federal employees at Stuttgart airport; its era for Messrs Clarkson, May and Hammond to show us what theyve been up to. Come on then, what you got?

A lot of coin, thats abundantly clear from the opening sequence, kill in the California desert. But first weve got to get out of rainy age-old Blighty. So Jeremy is leaving a building, 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 committing a conjured middle paw, then at least pulling up at the ignites and seeming over smugly: ha, check out my big plan .) 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 automobile a muscly Mustang.

On the open superhighway, finally free, hes joined by the other two, James and Hammond( sorry but I dont do first name with him) in same vehicles; red-faced, white and blue. Intersecting the desert, they hook up with a Mad Max convoy of cars and trucks and motorcycles, heading to a stage where the Hothouse Flower are playing I Can Watch Clearly Now( Gone are the dark glooms 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 sprays winging over. It is undeniably, gloriously cinematic, a brilliant beautiful sight.

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

Then they open their mouths, and abruptly its same-old same-old. They innovate 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. Simply the cars we drive are going to be insured. Nought to racist in less than 10 minutes.( Hes already said hes not going to get fired because were on the internet, which makes I could please a pony. The other two seem faintly flustered .)

Inside the tent the audience are accommodated instead of stand, 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 blows: three midlife people messing about. Massively messing about now, because of that Amazon budget.

Theres some banter with the American audience you say tomato, I say gearstick, this kind of concept. And between the three of them: James is a slow driver, ho ho; Hammond is less tall than the others, lol; we got fired, tee hee. Then they have an extended pate to president to premier 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 extended test, in two parts. This opening escapade is surely putting down a marker that says this is a serious motoring substantiate, and theyre serious vehicle correspondents , not say former sitcom performers. And it will appeal to the serious petrolhead.

You can spout something into a different container, but it still savors the same The Grand Tour. Picture: Roderick Fountain/ Amazon Prime

There is a new track, the same influence as the Ebola virus its known as the Eboladrome with an old ladys room next to it( theres going to be a rush to get the first interview isnt there ?). Plus a brand-new, unhelmeted test driver known as The American. Conversation Street, the brand-new chat slouse, doesnt amount to much, and nor do the luminaries who are all killed off, hilariously, possibly because they US actors Jeremy Renner and Armie Hammer and Carol Vorderman arent the huge names 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” onus of new ideas here there had to be, or the BBC legal eagles would swoop. And hitherto its all utterly familiar. Because more than format, more even than the amount of money you hurl at something, what actually imparts a television testify its identity is the personnel. You can pour something into a different receptacle, but it still flavors the same. And, like it or not, this experiences 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 escapade every Friday.


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