The boys are back in town. Well, actually, they’re not in town at all, unless you live near Oxfordshire, UK, anyways. As you most likely have heard, The Grand Tour is no longer touring. But that’s not the point. Let’s get into what’s most important, how the premiere episode of the newest season did.
The episode starts out with a similar preview segment that we saw last season, showcasing what we can expect over the coming weeks. This is quickly followed by the main film of the series, a fantastic comparison between three amazing supercars; the Lamborghini Aventador, Acura NSX, and Rimac Concept One. The film is set in the jaw-droppingly beautiful, Swiss mountains, as if we’d expect anything less.
Clarkson, Hammond, and May debate throughout the film over which of the vehicles is best. Harkening back to the episode’s title, Past, Present, or Future, the cars each represent one of those aspects, Aventador being the past, NSX being the future, and the Rimac taking up the position of future. The boys never really come up with a solid decision, not that you’d expect them to, but the beauty of the cars and the scenery and the comedy musings we’ve come to expect from the trio result in a great start for the season.
Conversation Street is back this season. The segment really just consists of the three hosts harassing each other and making fun of random subjects. If there’s one thing the Grand Tour hosts have fantastic chemistry, and the segment shines because of it. It’s nothing new, but we like that.
As is the tradition with Hammond, Clarkson, and May, in the following portion of the Past, Present, or Future film, our hosts end up taking very nice, very expensive cars off-roading.
It’s hard not to grimace at the sight of such high end driving machines scraping over rocks and rubbing into walls, but it does make for entertaining television.
I know you’re probably wondering, do they ever end up racing these amazing cars? Well, yes. But no spoilers here. You’ll have to watch the episode to see who wins, but we do have a few gorgeous screenshots for you.
The film then continues with some proper supercar hooning and Clarkson running into a bit of trouble with his Lamborghini.
Continuing on, we see a welcome change to The Grand Tour, the replacement for Celebrity Brain Crash. From now on we will be seeing the new and amazing segment, Celebrity Face Off, or Celebrity F-Off for short, in which two celebrities from the same fields will face off in a Jaguar F-Type for the fastest lap times. No doubt this will do much better with audiences this season.
The Grand Tour also has an all-new track for this season and, taking a bit of style from Top Gear UK, it’s got tarmac and gravel bits, which should create some excitement.
The guests in the first ever Celebrity F-Off are a man who really needs no introduction, David Hasselhoff, aka the Hoff, and Ricky Wilson, lead singer of the Kaiser Chiefs and former judge on the Voice UK.
While there’s no Stig (obviously), and no American (thankfully), the interview, the laps, and the segment as a whole are a breath of fresh air for The Grand Tour.
The premiere episode wraps up with an already infamous bit of film. The boys take off to a hill climb event in Hemberg to see who’s car is the king of the hill.
The course, which covers 1.09 miles, contains 11 corners, puts all three hosts and their cars to the test, but none so much as Hammond and the Rimac…
In a bizarre series of events, Hammond careened off of a turn and the Rimac was up in flames in next to no time at all.
Luckily, and with a great sigh of relief, we can all be happy that while the car is no more, Hammond is alive and well.
The same can also be said of The Grand Tour. Gone are many of the gimmicks and forced humor, back is the fantastic chemistry, beautiful films, and amazing cars. I can easily say that The Grand Tour is off to a fantastic start and here’s to season 2.
We give this episode, 5 stars.