It’s been a very, very long time coming, but The Grand Tour is finally here. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have returned to our TV screens for episode one, but has their new show lived up to all that hype?
Without giving away the details (no spoiler alert needed here), episode one offers all of the thrills of old Top Gear but successfully manages to carve out its own identity. In short, it’s everything we could have hoped for.
Several things feel familiar: the on-screen jesting between the three presenters, the camera work and even the structure of the show. At several points you could easily be forgiven for thinking you’re watching an old episode of that BBC show on Dave. But The Grand Tour feels different, too.
It’s an Amazon show, so unsurprisingly there’s an American twist to certain parts, such as the opening scene, which features three Ford Mustangs as protagonists, or the use of NASCAR champ Mike ‘The American’ Skinner in place of Top Gear’s tame racing driver the Stig. But then again this first episode is based in the US; the second takes the team to Johannesburg in South Africa.
Perhaps what has actually happened is that The Grand Tour has been designed to appeal to more of an international audience, where as Clarkson and co’s Top Gear always felt like a British show that managed to work elsewhere.