The Grand Tour Episode 1
The Grand Tour (GT) hit our screens last night, well that is if you were lucky and lived in one those areas where you could actually watch it. if you missed it, dont worry; Amazon has promised that Prime services will shortly be available in 200 territories. I know this might not cover my beloved country but all is not lost, somehow we will manage with this heart ranching disappointment and soldier on.
So did the three musketeers nail it? The social media certainly did think so. The enthusiasts and general run of the mill patrol heads took to the social media to show their approvals. The tabloids in the morning were not short of praise either which suggests they have got it right, well almost all tabloids, however BBC Arts editor Mr Gompertz flowery review drew comments from number of fans. If you have not read it, HERE it is, in all its glory. Be the judge, jury and the executioner and decide for yourself.
TV celebrity Philip Schofield joined in the merriment and his praise was well received.
Even this humble blogger stayed up later than usual to catch rays of The magic which has been missing for what feels like an eternity from our screens.
The Good bits:
The opening scene was rather interesting and inspiring, however these words cannot even remotely portray my feelings when I sat glued to my iPad. Let us just say who ever dreamed up that opening scene is a genius, an inspired individual touched by heavenly baby Jesus.
You Sir/Madam/ greater being, have created possibly one of the most memorable opening scene in history of motor journalism / shows.
The banter is there aplenty and the dialogue seems natural and well-rehearsed. The original Top Gear was never about cars, it was all about banter and their loathing of one another. I am happy to report, that has not changed, and by the reaction of the studio/tent audiences all the trusts and riposte thrown at each other was greatly appreciated.
All of these should not hide the fact that, the tent felt small and cramped and Mr James May in some scenes felt and looked rather distant, however as he was never truly with it to begin with, most viewers most probably would never notice this imperfection.
As expected, they managed to find enough time to show case numbers of cars, ignoring the Mustang Rocket at the airport; we at last get to see a very expensive drag race. It all started with Jeremy Clarkson behind a wheel of McLaren P1 and Richard Hammond driving the stunning Porsche 918 Spider.
You know the story, they swap cars and fall in love with them and then there is the usual drag race, a rather expensive one if I may quote “The Hamster” and they stop to discuss. Mr May, Capt. slow as he is knows to rest of us, joins in with one of the most flamboyant cars that has graced our tracks (since it’s not actually road legal), a Ferrari La Ferrari.
The grid is now full and there is only one thing left to do, and that is decide which car is the fastest. After number of attempts where each wins equal number of tries, it was decide to allow a professional to decide. The honour falls to the Ex-Lotus F1 Driver, Jerome d’Ambrosio, and let me cut the story short here, there is a looser here and it is not “The Hamster” or Capt. Slow.
There is a quite a bit of interaction between the presenters and the tent audience and the usual joke around how the Americans can’t speak proper English is the initiator of a kick fight between the presenters and the audience. It’s all tongue and cheek but fun.
The second part is divided into two sections; the first part is taken by Jeremy Clarkson walking us through the new GT test track in a BMW M2, followed by the introduction of Mike “The American” Skinner. A very quick introduction is needed here, for those who actually don’t know Mike. He is a NASCAR champion, not sure what else I can add here. A very quick run-down for those who don’t know what NASCAR is. A popular American motorsport spectacle that closely resembles our Formula 1 if the car could turn left.