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The Grand Tour Makes Its Welcome Return

Clarkson, Hammond and May are back with the new series of The Grand Tour

The Grand tour has made its return to our screens with its second series. It’s been a long wait for the second season, just over a year in fact. That long wait won’t have been helped by the numerous injuries, accidents and illnesses the trio of presenters have suffered over the past year, many of which are mentioned in the show. The first episode of the new series focuses on a battle between the past, present and future in the form of a Lamborghini Aventador, Honda NSX and the electric supercar the Rimac Concept One.

It’s dead, Celebrity Braincrash is gone for good, thank god!

I was very critical of some of the features of the show last year (which you can read about here) one of which was the in studio segments known as ‘Conversation Street’ it was clearly just a replacement for the ‘News’ sections they had done on Top Gear and for the second series it seems to be much of the same. Another in studio segment that became the bane of my life during the first series of The Grand Tour was ‘Celebrity Braincrash’, a completely pointless segment that involved killing off celebrities in vaguely funny ways. Thank god that is over, GT have come to their senses and have gone for a much more conventional head to head celebrity segment in which various celebrities battle it out on track to see who gets the fastest time. GT do seem to have taken example from the first series of new Top Gear though. The celebrities battle it out in a Jaguar F-Type on a rally cross track, not unlike they did in the first series of revamped Top Gear.

Past, Present and Future battle it out in the Swiss alps

The Grand Tour’s main focus however is the big films, this week saw the trio travel to Switzerland in a normal petrol powered supercar (Lamborghini Aventador S) a hybrid supercar (Honda NSX) and an electric super car (Rimac Concept One) representing the past present and future of supercars. There wasn’t really anything to write home about in the film, Jeremy in the Lambo got stuck because it was both too wide and too low, Richard kept wanting to go to museum because of the nearby charge points, and James was just sort of there not really doing much.

I would loved to have seen what the original plan was

It seemed like the trio were just wasting time until the eventual hill climb at the end (where Richard Hammond crashed the Rimac after the finish line) nothing really happened it was fun but when you really looked at it they weren’t really doing much. The Rimac monstered the other two in a drag race and then Jeremy tore the tyre off the Lamborghini’s wheel during a high-speed drift. All of this was enjoyable but I couldn’t escape the fact they weren’t doing anything. Maybe something was meant to happen after the hill climb race but due to the accident they couldn’t continue, otherwise it just felt half finished. The culmination of the film was the hill climb in which Hammond crashed after the finish line. We don’t see much of the crash itself (the footage from YouTube is used to show what happened) all we really see is the aftermath, Richard is carried off the hill in a stretcher and then helicoptered to hospital. Then the screen fades to black.

The Grand Tour Season 2, a good start but room to grow

Overall I think the first episode of the new series was good not great, it felt half finished which is understandable. Many of the new elements I liked, seeing David ‘The Hoff’ Hasselhoff battle it out on the track with Ricky Wilson of the Kaiserchiefs was much more entertaining than Celebrity Braincrash and the Conversation street segment feels much less forced that the last series. The accident was unfortunate and is a circumstance the team have never really faced before, they’ve always been able to continue, either with a comical bandage on or by carrying on without a third presenter, in this instance none of these were an optional Hammond was in hospital. Overall I’m excited for the next episode which will hopefully be more complete and overall be a better product.

What did you think of the Grand Tour episode one, let us know in the comments.

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