This past Friday was the premier of Amazon Prime’s much anticipated show The Grand Tour and for fans of Clarkson, May, and Hammond; it feels like a better looking Top Gear.
To call this an Amazon Original is a bit of a stretch, but after seeing what the BBC tried to pass off as Top Gear I can’t complain.
One of the main differences from the very begging, between this and the trio’s first show was the budget. Amazon is sinking some major money into this ‘original’ and from the scale of some of the shots (particularly the opening cinematic) it’s pretty evident where all of it is going. One segment of the show had the trio driving three super-cars, each worth over one million dollars around a race track in Portugal. Now this is not an odd sight for fans of the original show, the BBC certainly gave them some pricey toys to play with every once in a while, but certainly not on their first episode of a season/series, and not all three presenters at once, and not for a single segment of an already packed show.
To give an example of how much this show threw money around, it starts with a car convoy through the desert to a “Burning Man” style rock concert, then they unveil their new track (lovingly named The Eboladrome after sharing its name and shape with the disease), then they raced the aforementioned super-cars, and then to top it all off they killed off three celebrities. That’s right, they had Jeremy Renner, Armie Hammer, and Carol Vorderman make appearances only to end up as corpses mere seconds after saying hello (if they even lasted that long).
This was a fantastic first episode and in no small part because we got to see the trio back together again. They were what Top Gear fans missed the most when the BBC tried to bring the show back with new hosts Matt LeBlanc and Chris Evans. As the BBC found out, you can’t fake that kind of relationship/dynamic (LeBlanc and Evans tried their best to), and at the end of the day that’s what makes The Grand Tour already better than new Top Gear. The show will take place in Johannesburg next week and I personally can’t wait to see what antics these three get into next.