Spoiler Alerts Ahead...
Damn you Jezza for making me feel as if someone was chopping onions on the couch next to me. And in the first 5 minutes no less.
As I type this I've just watched the very first episode of The Grand Tour, and I must say it did not disappoint. I'm really at a loss for words on where to start, so I'll just jump in and have a go. The episode starts with what I can only describe as a level of cinematic greatness not yet seen on a "car show." From a film and aesthetics standpoint, The Grand Tour sets a bar high enough to make any Olympic pole vaulter nervous. I truly felt like we had all been along for the ride when the fate of our favorite car show fix hung in limbo. Fortunately for us, the three musketeers prevailed and gray skies gave way to sunshine.
As I watched the familiar banter between the hosts I couldn't help but feel sorry for the crew left behind in the BBC offices trying to carry on without them. You can have all of the Porsche 911 R's Stuttgart can supply and every color of rainbow Stig to drive them. But at the end of the day, all of the spark has left the old show. And for the first time in almost 2 very long years, its good to see that magic back in full force.
I like the concept of the "traveling tent." It truly brings meaning to the title "The Grand Tour" A part of me will miss the familiarity of the old hangar at Dunsfold, but I think the new mobile-studio will keep things fresh and new for many seasons to come. I was a little unsure about the "celebrity" segment, so I will wait until the next episode to see where that goes before I comment further on that matter. If that segment stays its present course, however, might I suggest some of the Kardashians for the next time you pop into LA for a taping.
As for the new track, I think it holds great potential. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a teensy bit disappointed a street clothes clad Ben Collins didn't climb behind the wheel of the M2. But I can only imagine the contracts still filed away in the BBC legal department, so it didn't come as a surprise he was nowhere to be seen. But we should probably try and find a loophole if we can. And fast.
The Holy Trinity of the P1, 918, and The Ferrari The Ferrari was nothing short of glorious. Being at least 3 years in the making I think the footage we saw was well worth the wait. The absolute look of horror in Jeremy's face as he was trying to wrestle with the force of nature that is the McLaren spoke volumes. Each of the car's strengths and weaknesses were fairly and objectionably compared. The repeated drag races with ever-differing results pretty much summed up the three cars for me...as unpredictable as they were fast.
I anxiously await the rest of the season on Amazon Prime. That being said, if you're reading this, Jeremy and Richard, you've done a very, very good thing. Words can't convey how happy I am to see you back in action. And you too, James May! It's just that I know you aren't the biggest fan of Volkswagens, so I wouldn't expect you to be glancing over the Oh Bugger! DriveTribe. Because lord knows as bad as communist cars are, the socialist ones are even worse...