The Grand Tour episode 3
At time of writing this article, episode 3 has been aired and the national newspapers have had a chance to digest what they were given and spill out their catchy headlines to dazzle the readers. So if you were looking for a dazzling headline, sorry to have disappointed you.
Now apologies are done and dusted with and its buried deep along side the abysmal episode 2, the reviewers and writers have officially announced that show is back on track, but is it really?
I have said this before, the only thing that makes the show so damn watchable is the profound chemistry/hatred between the three presenters and to delight of viewers, there were plenty of testosterone flying around to captivate and in some level make the show Top-Gear-ish. There are scenes which we shall cover later in this article, that even though it’s staged comes across silly and eccentric but yet toe curling funny.
- Whitby is battered by wind and petrol heads.
- Clarkson drives a brown Aston Martin DB11.
- May, cruises in a Rolls-Royce Dawn.
- Hammond destroyed Italy’s countryside and historic cities.
- May and Hammond demolish a house with a digger an there is a BANG….
Location Location Location:
Let us unroll the carpet, unpack the tent, get the fish and chips ordered, and queue the music “the boys are back in town” and we are in Whitby, North Yorkshire, the home county of all three presenters and world famous for its fish & chips. A bit of history for you, did you know that the ruins of Gothic Whitby Abbey was Bram’s Stocker’s inspiration for “Dracula”?
Let me set the scene, it’s early afternoon, in a small fishing town. The rain which is a familiar sight in UK is present and the seagulls are flying around making a complete nuisance of themselves. The familiar noise of seagulls and fishing men bantering fills the air, but today is rather special, a big tent has been set up at the water front and now is overflowing with enthusiasts who were lucky enough to win tickets and be there to see their unsung heroes make their historic entrance.
Clarkson, being his usual self, made number of digs at various sources to get a custmerly reaction from his co-host and audience members. These comments are some what amusing and has Clarkson signatures all over it, but of course they are all blown out of proportion.
Dig1: The cost of improvement of some roundabout in Oxford costing the taxpayers around £9 million.
Dig2: The fall in number of people passing their driving test
Dig3: Our children’s lack or limited education because they don’t know who Hitler was etc….
The light banter is funny and amusing to the audience, however I think readers should take some time out and read THIS article, which I found even more amusing.
However if you thought the controversial Clarkson would just be satisfied with this and draw the line some-where, you are sorely mistaken as he continued with his usual off the cuff remarks by:
Dig4: Branding BMW Prick teasers.
Dig5: His dig at environmentalists: “You can’t burn coal any more ‘cos Al Gore goes nuts and a polar bear falls over”,
Dig6: And we should make a special mention around the sketch where he unveiled a “self-driving car” pedalled by a Romanian migrant.
None of these, he would get away with if he still was making episodes for ever politically correct BBC. I wonder if Amazon even has a compliance department to deal with this and how long would it actually take before some one, some where starts complaining.
The scene is filmed on a warm bright sunny day, Clarkson is the first at the meeting point with a brown Aston Martin (if you are wondering why I am call it brown, then you have not seen the show and should watch it). Quick recap on this great car, AM DB11 debuted in Geneva Motor Show in March 2016 is the first all new car launched since the company tied the knots with German car manufacturer Daimler AG. The DB11 is powered by an all-new 5204 cc twin-turbo V12 engine, making it the first turbocharged Aston Martin. The engine produces 600 bhp (447 kW; 608 PS) and 516 lb·ft (700 N·m). The car is equipped with a rear-mounted 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox. The DB11 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds and reaches 322 km/h (200 mph). A smaller 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine developed with Mercedes-AMG is also expected to be put into the DB11 in the future.
Next up is May, sliding in with a Rolls-Royce Dawn, a 4 seater convertible. Technical jargon is as follow, the engine is a direct-injection twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12 with power output of 563 bhp (420 kW or 570 PS) @ 5,250 rpm and torque of 605 lb ft (820 NM) @ 1,500 rpm. The car has a limited top speed of 250 kmh / 155 mph and weighs around 2560 kg or 5,644 lb It can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds.
This calming scene is now brutally destroyed by the arrival of the shortest party crasher this side of the pond. The Hamster unceremoniously crashes the party, the scene, the atmosphere and blazes in driving a Dodge Challenger Hellcat and not one but two Lorries carrying spare tyres.
This piece of American muscle car, comes with a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI engine rated at 707 hp (527 kW) and 650 lb·ft (881 N·m) of torque, and can accelerate from 0-60 in 3.6 seconds and top speed is 199mph to 202mph. The European-spec Hellcat, yes there is a European one, is capable of 0–62 mph (0–100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds, 0–124 mph (0–200 km/h) in 10.7 seconds, and 0–186 mph (0–300 km/h) in 38 seconds.
There is the usual exchange, the classic jabs at one another we’ve come to know. The trio set off on their Italian Grand Tour from the scenic city of Siena to the timeless location of Florence and ending in the City of Water, Venice. Along the way we get to see more of the trio doing what they love, and what we love watching, which includes May developing a twitch, Jeremy being pompous, and Hammond acting like an idiot.
The three Grand Tourers head to the beautiful racetrack known as Mugello Circuit in Tuscany, Italy. While there the classy James May take an absence to practice his watercolors while Clarkson and Hammond battle it out on the circuit to see who’s car is the fastest ’round. Clarkson, Hammond, and May leave the circuit along leaving behind several of Hammond’s tires and travel to the Vicenza main square where Clarkson & May attempt to ditch Hammond with a cleverly thought out social media post.
Leaving the party crasher behind, the hosts head to their final destination of Venice Unfortunately they aren’t the only host who make it to this point and another stunt pulled by The Hamster, sees his co-hosts a bit wet and even more frustrated.
The third episode does finish with a BANG…. A very BIG BANG…. If you recall, Mr Clarkson boldly lost a bet made earlier in episode 1. So now Richard Hammond and James May happily and delightfully see that the debt is fully paid and gloriously blow up their co-host house. Sounds exciting and bold, but piece of warning to anyone who wants to be this bold. The reality is that Clarkson was going to demolish the house any way so he really didn’t lose much on this.
Unfortunately the celebrity Brain Crash piece was not and in this episode Simon Pegg meets the bit of bad luck dished out to the show guests. Surprisingly, The American test drive section was not included; I think it would have been great to get him behind the wheel of all the cars featured on episode 3.
Episode 3 was a return of the old musketeers and what the fans were looking for; it was also a perfect kick in the face for BBC as they prepare for the next season of Top Gear. BBC some-how needs to recapture the magic and fill the gap and I am not sure all the celebrities they are enrolling will ever fill this gap. The fans of the show, related to Clarkson, May and Hammond and saw them as one of them, three lads from common background, rising through the ranks. That is why, no matter what the trio do, their followers will always enjoy and relate back to Top Gear.