The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour premiered last week on Amazon Prime. Of course I watched it. And yes, overall I thought it was very good.

Poo Came Out

If you have ever seen an episode of Top Gear, most of what this show is about if very similar to what we saw during the final 2 series with Jeremy, Richard and James. The cinematography is brilliant, the overall production values are brilliant and it's scripted just enough to be entertaining and funny.

I wouldn't say it was perfect. While the filmed pieces were on point, the new studio/tent parts felt very awkward. Almost like they were trying too hard. I'm chalking that up to first episode jitters while they try to discover what this new show really is while staying on their tiptoes to avoid getting sued by the beeb. That said, the intro was amazing! Rumor is that it cost $3 million to record that bit, and you can tell. It was exactly what you would hope to see with the boys coming back to television.

It would seem that you quite enjoyed it as well. According to Amazon, it is the most popular show they have ever released. It has also resulted in the highest number of prime sign-ups, second only to Prime Day.

I would highly recommend checking it out.


It's time that Bruce got a little bit of love. I'll be doing 4 wheel brake job later this month or early next. As per my usual, I'm upgrading pads at the same time to, also per my usual, EBC Green Stuff pads. Going with a more basic rotor this time by Bosch and I'll be sure to report back.

This will also be my first brake job on an R56. I'll be doing the fronts more that likely myself, but leaving the rears (and a full system flush) to the professionals.

5 Comments

  1. As just about anybody who publishes anything related to cars on the internets – we too were talking about TGT on last week’s The Bloke and A Bird Show. Ultimately, I think we decided that it just rated a good. In many ways TGT felt exactly like the last Clarkson, Hammond, & May season of Top Gear (aka V2) – which to some extent was good, but in other ways not so much…

    It was good that this was very much the Top Gear that we lost when Clarkson got drunk, hungry, and stupid and punched his producer – the same Top Gear that Chris Evans (aka V3) couldn’t reproduce. When V2 was good, it was really good and TGT seemed to be much the same.

    On the other hand, the last few series of the TG V2 were extremely uneven, as much as any show needs to be scripted the last few series of V2 had many bits that didn’t flow naturally and felt like they were only being pushed along by a script. There seemed to be an increasing number of bits and gags in V2 that felt forced, and a lot of the vibe of the show from the good years was missing. In that respect, TGT seemed to pickup right were V2 left off – what worked, worked extremely well, and what didn’t work was dragged on for much longer than it needed to and made those bits worse… By the time they got to “killing” Carol Vordermen I was sick of the “Celebrity Brain Crush” segment and was ready to pull the plug – if they tried that stunt a fourth time we would have turned it off. The whole RAF vs USAF bit – it was mildly amusing at first, but they dragged it out to the point that it was just stupid.

    I was amused by the Ebolodrome name, but unlike the original TG test track, this isn’t a track to test cars – it’s a road to shoot pretty pictures of cars. I’m also not a fan of the not-Stig, the guy might be a really good driver, but couldn’t they find somebody who didn’t fit every country’s stereotype of an American, let alone try and lump some new stereotypes in? Hell, Tanner Faust is looking for a new gig and he’s got some pretty decent skills. Maybe Alexander Rossi, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Scott Dixon etc…

    Maybe it’s just me – but I didn’t think the open was that great. Maybe if we’d seen more of those cars surrounding them in the desert.

    My final let down though – was that Episode 1 at least felt like it picked up right where V2 left off. From reading the press and seeing the trailers, I expected it to be different than Top Gear. With a name like The Grand Tour, I expected the show to be that – a Grand Tour. The show would be focused on the country/state/city the tent was pitched in, the road trip/challenge/stunt would be focused on the place their were visiting. Instead we got a tent studio in the US, a review filmed in Swindon UK, and the buddy feature filmed in Portugal all placed in a production that followed the same formula and format that V2 followed for 22 series. That was a huge disappointment to me.

    Reply

      1. You comment editted to include a link to your show so everyone can (and should) check it out.

      2. I think you wanting to see something different than the TG of old makes you the odd man out. While I think it would be good if some change came about (maybe series 2), I think for this first season I (and I’m sure many others) want to see the boys doing what they do best, and that’s a show that they spent 22 series in the making. If it’s not broken…

      That said, I still think this was slightly rough. Looked and felt like they are still trying to figure out what they can and can’t do with Amazon and trying (too hard) to not piss off the BBC.

      Thanks Michael!

      Reply

      1. I think you miss understand what I mean by different.

        The show as is, is essentially Top Gear. The format is identical to what they built with Top Gear, just in a tent instead of a studio.

        What I was hoping for, was a true Grand Tour from them, where the films and “challenges” that they did so well would be the focal point with the tent studio used as a base camp or something similar – like the scenes they used to do after an evening of screwing around in a film to “debate” the merits of whatever solution they came up with.

        I had high hopes going into this week based on this intro – it really seemed like we would get a Grand Tour. Instead we got exaggerated buffoonery in the Special Operations piece. We’ve seen them handle firearms without looking like clowns before (shooting the Stig in Virginia after Ben Collins’ book was published) which just made the boys seem even stupider in this week’s film. While I think the studio bits felt less forced than last week – I found them less entertaining. And I really wish they’d let the celebrity thing die already.

        Reply

  2. Why the EBC green stuff vs the EBC OE replacement pads? I have found the OE Ultimax to work well with the EBC rotors.

    Reply

    1. I’ve used them since 2004 and have always been happy with their performance on the street and track. The lower dust amount helps too!

      Thanks Mark!

      Reply

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