The Grand Tour Season 2 Episode 1 review
Clarkson, Hammond and May are back with a tweaked format for their Amazon Prime motoring show, The Grand Tour. Here’s our review of the first episode of Season Two.
LAST NIGHT SAW Amazon Prime host a lavish premiere for the first episode of the new season of The Grand Tour. Held at Carriage Works in Sydney, the place was filled with D-grade celebrities and instagrammers galore (and that’s something I never, ever thought I’d write on this website), and a smattering of motoring journalists and plenty of beautiful people.
The broadcast was akin to an open-air cinema with popcorn and lolly bags being passed around to add to the atmosphere. I was looking forward to watching the first episode. Honest. I mean, I drove more than 100km to be there, so… but about 15 minutes into the show starting I was starting to wish I hadn’t bothered (apologies Amazon Prime).
See, The Grand Tour isn’t meant to be watched on a big screen like a movie… not in my opinion, anyway. It changes the feel and, as the mate I took along said afterwards; “you were constantly waiting for something more to happen because it was on a movie screen, and I was eating popcorn”.
I’m a big fan of the three presenters and both religiously watched them on TopGear and read them in TopGear but, for me, The Grand Tour doesn’t work the way their version of TopGear did. When they were on TG, there was more to get your teeth into, more car porn.
That wasn’t the case in this first episode of the new season. It was meant to be a whiz-bang but the studio chatter felt far too scripted and there just weren’t enough segments.
Yep, the trio drove the tyres off three amazing supercars, representing the past, present and future. In the case of the Lamborghini Aventador S that Clarkson was in, he literally drove the tyre off it… and Hammond crashed his light-speed fast electric car.
But, beyond that and a head-to-head race around the new part bitumen, part dirt track with The Hoff and some Pom I didn’t know, there just wasn’t that much to watch. If I’m honest, it felt as if they were given 10 months to develop the next season and only really got to work on it in the last two weeks. It really did feel like this first episode was missing a couple of segments with other cars in it… it felt like TG-lite.
Yes, the banter between the three presenters is still there and the filming is truly epic but if you wanted to introduce someone to the GT TV show, well, I wouldn’t recommend doing it with this first episode. I’ve had a look through the episode list and the show will get better, but they need to stop looking back at what they’ve done on TG and consider things they’ve not done before or that no-one’s done before, after all, that’s what turned TG into the juggernaut it was.
So, if you’re a carhead and a Clarkson, Hammond and May fan then I’d suggest ponying-up for the Amazon Prime subscription, but if you’re expecting anything ground breaking you’ll be disappointed, at least judging by the first episode. That’s me off the Amazon Prime Christmas card list – I’d love to know what you all think… follow the link below for a 7-day trial.
“The Grand Tour Season 2 is available on Amazon Prime Video at midnight GMT on December 8. Customers who are not already Amazon Prime Video members can sign up for a free 7-day trial at PrimeVideo.com.”