So, after much drama, (and newspaper articles) Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May finally made their long anticipated return on Friday and it was certainly worth the wait. It was like meeting up with old friends and falling back into the same old jokes you always had. Except in this scenario Amazon has spent a lot of money on your friends so they look much better than they used to.
“it’s the three presenters that make the show what it was”
The Grand Tour does have noticeably higher production values, but it’s the three presenters that make the show what it is. They make such a change from the bland and whiny Chris Evans, a man with about as much charisma as a plank of wood with ginger hair stuck to it. You could have Clarkson, Hammond and May presenting Bargain Hunt and it would still be interesting, they have the sort of on screen chemistry that doesn’t come along very often. They seem to enjoy each other’s company, which is more than can be said of Chris Evans and Matt Leblanc. The easy humour and comedy that comes from the interactions between the three presenters is the essence of the show.
I know many people will disagree with this, a lot find Jeremy Clarkson insufferable, but this show has clearly been made for the die-hard fans, of which there are many; the old Top Gear was for a long time the most popular show in the world (feel free to read that in a Clarkson style voice). The opening section, a Mad Max homage, with a subtle dig at the BBC, let the fans know we were in safe hands.
“the basis of the show is broadly the same as before, just with more money on screen”
Though, with the new-found riches there has been a step up from the old Top Gear, the show travels to a new destination each week, it was Los Angeles this week, again showing the broad appeal of the show. There is a new test track as well, called the Eboladrome, because it looks like the Ebola virus, obviously. Again, Clarkson shying away from controversy. A new driver as well, some say he’s called The American (he is), so the basis of the show is broadly the same as before, just with more money on screen.
“if you’re not a fan already then the new show probably isn’t for you”
If you’re not a fan already then the new show probably isn’t for you, but for the old fans, this is everything we wanted. After the boredom of the Chris Evans’ Top Gear, this is exactly what was needed, excitement, fun and fast cars. The car test that formed the main part of the show of the new Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche was perfectly done. As was the celebrity section of the show, which involved killing Jeremy Renner, Armie Hammer and Carol Vorderman, as you do.
If the first show is anything to go by then the fans have been given what they wanted. Is the show revolutionary? No, but that’s not what we asked for, we simply wanted what made the original show so successful and that’s what they’ve given us. Clarkson, Hammond, and May, it’s good to have you back.