Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Grand Tour: What We Know So Far

Image credit: Amazon.
On Friday November 18, the whole world will be tuned to watch the debut of The Grand Tour -- Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May's post-Top Gear project following a major fracas that really went on for way too long. Following almost a year of speculation, the beloved trio is finally coming out with a new car show on -- surprise surprise -- Amazon Prime.

Oh, when I said "the whole world", I actually meant the UK, the US, Japan, and Germany. You live somewhere else other than these four countries? Well, too bad. You won't be watching with the rest of us in the developed world.

Don't fret, however. Amazon has just announced yesterday that Amazon Prime streaming will be available in over 200 countries starting December this year. Unless you are HoldenMan3000. In which case, I am afraid you are stuck with... Whatever it is that you watch over there.

So, what can we expect from this brand-sparkling-new motoring show that is not Top Gear, but featuring a transferred-from-Top-Gear cast and Andy Wilman, the executive producer who made the old Top Gear one of the best TV programs at not only the BBC, but -- insert Clarkson voice -- in the world?

In this blog, we will look back and try to dissect what GT will actually be like.

What We Know So Far:

  • The Grand Tour is named after a kind of upper class European trips popular in the 16th - 18th Century. The name is also a play of sorts on the Grand Tourer -- a category of sleek, highway-slaying sports cars. The show is named as such because the word "Gear" is not legally allowed. We have no idea why
  • Also, I resent the fact that they didn't take the opportunity and name the show "Auto-ness Prime". Come on, guys. 
  • In all seriousness, don't expect to see everything you've loved from the old TG to show up here on this show -- that includes everything from the Stig, to the Cool Wall, to a grand piano being dropped on a Morris Marina (I am assuming), to the delight of the two Morris Marina owners left in this world.
  • Anyway, perhaps appropriately, the new show will feature the three blokes traveling around the world -- Grand Tour style -- and shoot the studio segments on location. The studio segment for the first episode is filmed in Los Angeles, California -- with Johannesburg, Stuttgart, Nashville, and Dubai to come for future episodes. In total, 44 countries were visited so far. 
  • That said, it is unlikely that we will see them visiting Argentina anytime soon. 
  • This show will be expensive. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, has reportedly paid $200 million dollars to finance 36 episodes. That works out to be about $5.5 million dollars per episode for just a car show. 
  • We are assuming that some of the budget will be reserved for blowing up camping trailers and RVs. 
  • But of course, it isn't just a car show. According to The Guardian, the first episode is rumored to be a "Mad Max-style chase across the Californian desert involving 150 cars, 2,000 extras, stilt-walkers, fire-eaters and a squadron of jets". 
  • Otherwise, the old TG formula of "Ambitious, but rubbish" -- three middle-aged blokes messing about and hitting things with hammers should remain, if the promotional materials are to be believed: 
  • One familiar element: Stars. There will be guest stars in some particular episodes, ranging from Simon Pegg to British comedian Jimmy Carr. 
  • The show is going to be shot in 4k resolution. If anyone was worried about how the show is going to look without the money flowing in from the BBC, well, don't. The show looks so bloody gorgeous I am sure it can win a beauty pageant. 
  • The show will still feature a test track of sorts to evaluate a car's performance. However, we are not sure if said road tests will be conducted in the same continent as the host (where they set up the tent) locations. 
  • Cars to be featured on the show include: some powersliding LaFerrari, Porsche 918, and a McLaren P1; Dodge Viper ACR; Dodge Challenger Hellcat; Alfa Romeo 4C; a couple of Aston Martins; an amphibious Land Rover Defender; an exploding GMC Yukon; a helicopter; and a tank. Oh, there is a camel in there somewhere
  • Unlike most online-only shows, the Grand Tour will not be all uploaded at one go. Rather, each episode will be uploaded on Amazon Prime every Friday. That means no 12-hour marathons where you are glued in front of the TV until a natural disaster happens. 
  • If you drive a Toyota Prius, this show may not be for you.

Are you excited, or are you excited? Let us know what you most look forward to in the comments section!

No comments:

Post a Comment