The ex-Top Gear trio are back, bigger and better than ever by the looks of it.
Having drip-fed us behind-the-scenes teasers over the last couple of months, Amazon Prime has finally done what we’ve all been waiting for and announced the air date of the first episode of The Grand Tour in the first official trailer.
And that date is November 18.
I’m unashamed to admit that watching this trailer makes me feel like a five-year old on Christmas eve. In 30 seconds, it shows almost nothing but says everything: Clarkson, Hammond, May, and their production team, headed by Andy Wilman, are back, bigger and better than ever.
What the trailer does show is nothing that’s actually new. Indeed, all the old Top Gear tropes are present and correct: stunning scenery, gorgeous slowmotion, gratuitous powersliding, and random helicopters. But the switch to 4K high definition photography - and the bigger budget - lends a truly cinematic feel. I suspect The Grand Tour will benefit from being watched on the biggest screen you can find.
But, of course, the most important thing is that Clarkson, Hammond, and May are back and in fine form, hollering as they hoon around a race track in the holy trinity of hybrid hypercars. And due credit to the crew, most of whom followed the trio to their production company W. Chump & Sons from the BBC, where they were regarded as one of the best production teams in the entire television industry.
Being British, I've had the great pleasure of following all three presenters' TV odyssey virtually from the start, long before they came together on Top Gear in 2003. It truly is amazing to see how far they've come, especially considering how bad some of their early stuff was! None of them really hit their stride until they teamed up and, as the most recent series of Top Gear proved, their dynamic is lightning in a bottle - it simply can't be replicated. In fact, their success together is probably unique in TV history.
12 episodes will air in the first season of The Grand Tour; a total of 36 episodes in three seasons will be produced. Not everyone will be happy about having to pay to watch them, but on this evidence it looks like the subscription will be worth every penny.