Disregarding the probable blasphemy of the opening episode of The Grand Tour the reality of it was that it had the feel of someone trying to prove a point. A discarded lover who tries to get their own back by dating someone who is 10 times better than their previous lover – only of course to discover that such measures are pointless when the only place you really want to be is snuggled in the arms of the lover who has cast you aside.
Of course now they have lots and lots of money, although that wasn’t the problem last time. What Clarkson, May and Hammond don’t have is any love. Instead they have created something that is soulless. Gone is the understanding between them and their audience, indeed there was one part of the first episode where they tried to educate their American audience but to no real avail. Gone are the reference to a ‘ Evo at Donny..’ or ‘..Onix in Surrey…’ Gone is the Stig to be replaced by something that isn’t even close to a caricature and possibly sums up the whole problem with the Grand Tour. They just want to be back on Top Gear so badly that it hurts so very much. There is nothing new and so the same old formats are being recreated, this time by lawyers so that they can’t be sued by their previous employer.
Will I watch again? Of course I will in the vain hope that the show might pick up, the sparkle might be found once more. But I watch more in hope rather than expectation. If the Sun is be believed, fill in your own prejudice here, then the viewing figures have been fantastic and perhaps to a worldwide audience the very British, no Englishness of their time at Top Gear has been lost. This, of course, is of no concern to Amazon so long as the take up of Prime increases. However, I suspect that for all their bon hommie Clarkson, May and Hammond would rather be in a drafty aircraft hangar outside Gilford rather than travelling the world in a tent which looks like it came from the TV series MASH, no matter how much richer they are now.