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The Grand Tour

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The boys have been all over Twitter today releasing some tidbits about the new show. Apparently it involves a giant tent where they shoot part of the show (probably similar to how they shot parts in front of an audience in the old hangar) and the tent can be moved around.

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12 episodes, 1 of which is the Christmas special. This means 11 episodes for the touring tent.

The only definitive place they will pitch the tent at the moment is Yorkshire. I didn't realize all three of them had spent formative years there. Aww.

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The boys announced on Twitter this morning the location of the first episode taping, Johannesburg. I'm excited.

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Ordered my Amazon stick yesterday.  Gonna try it out before things get serious.

Bring it on, guys!!!!

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2 hours ago, emma675 said:

The boys announced on Twitter this morning the location of the first episode taping, Johannesburg. I'm excited.

Amazon is running a contest for trips to the taping.

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James has the boys doing a challenge--seeing who can assemble a DHL box the fastest. Here is Jeremy's turn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbbkDiuz9fw

This is what the new TG is missing, the joking and camaraderie between the hosts. These guys genuinely like each other and just happened to know cars and it made the show what it was. You can't duplicate that, BBC.

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Amazon is now running sweepstakes for audience tickets in Germany, the UK and the US. The US rules mention airplane tickets and hotel accommodations somewhere in California.

Edited by halopub · Reason: added link
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It will be interesting to see how they deal with foreign studio audiences. Obviously their appeal is widespread, given the old show's popularity around the world, but much of their in-studio humour seems like it could fall flat with a crowd whose first language isn't English.

I don't currently have Amazon Prime, but I'm thinking about taking it out just for this show (and then being able to watch other shows as a bonus). I really hate the £79 upfront fee, though. That's such an awful business model, in this day and age.

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I've totally entered for the US drawing. It appears you can only enter once (unless I've missed something), which I actually prefer. I hate contests where you can enter constantly and do little things to get even more entries. Give me a one and done, thank you.

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On ‎7‎/‎9‎/‎2016 at 5:56 AM, Danny Franks said:

I don't currently have Amazon Prime, but I'm thinking about taking it out just for this show (and then being able to watch other shows as a bonus). I really hate the £79 upfront fee, though. That's such an awful business model, in this day and age

You're equating it to Netflix, but it's much more. You also get a ton of free music and a handful of other goodies that pop up as "Since you're a Prime member, you get this free." Most importantly, it's free shipping for a year. If you make a reasonable amount of purchases on Amazon, it pays for itself quickly.

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On 7/9/2016 at 6:56 AM, Danny Franks said:

I don't currently have Amazon Prime, but I'm thinking about taking it out just for this show (and then being able to watch other shows as a bonus). I really hate the £79 upfront fee, though. That's such an awful business model, in this day and age.

In the US and UK, you can pay a monthly fee, just for Prime Instant Video. I think over there the fee is £5.99. You won't get any other Prime benefits but I think the commitment is only monthly.

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A TV critic for the Radiotimes talked about the first clips he got to see.

Edited to add: There's an official video of the Andy Wilman talk in Edinburgh, without the show clips.

Edited by halopub · Reason: Added link
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Listening to the interviews now.  I can't wait to see it. The press for this is so totally different then the press for last season of Top Gear. Hopefully they all learned lessons from the past BS and will stay away from political and cultural conversation.

It sounds like they are more in control and able to do what they want, which should be interesting and is a bit dangerous. I would hope that Amazon made it clear that there are lines that they cannot cross and that they are serious about those lines. Look, the three guys are juvenile and have no filters so there is always some danger. But I suspect that a show that lets them unleash their creativity will be very interesting and will lead to some awesome shows. 

Andy Williams is excited that they were challenged to do all sorts of crazy things.

And there is a catering joke in there. Andy mentions the catering and how great it is and how much money is spent on every thing and is available to the show. I suspect that they will bring it all back in pretty easily.

And please tell me that Jeremy has someone who knows him who is responsible for him and can help him keep his mouth in check and his temper in check.

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Between this and the Gilmore Girls Netflix series, I'm going to be doing nothing but watching shows online in late November. I can't wait!

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The Grand Tour Twitter feed announced this morning that there will be a new trailer released this Friday. I need Nov. 18th to get here faster!

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The first episode went online early yesterday (are we going to have threads for each?)--the boys seem thrilled and relieved on Twitter with the reaction so far. I adored it.

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Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May start their brand new car show with hundreds of cars, thousands of people, a fire spitting metal scorpion and a squadron of jets in the California desert, plus three amazing hybrid hypercars and a brilliant BMW.

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Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May bring the traveling Grand Tour tent to The Cradle of Humankind near Johannesburg in South Africa. In this show, the three hosts are forced to become special forces soldiers with an all action challenge at a top secret training base, deep within Jordan. Also in this episode, Jeremy introduces the 800 horsepower Aston Martin Vulcan to the Grand Tour test track, and James is sent to investigate an unusual form of motorsport called spinning.

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I'm US and have barely ever watched Top Gear (but have followed the Clarkson drama), so I'm probably not the best marker of GT's success, but I liked it well enough. Each segment went on a bit too long, but I did enjoy the hosts' chemistry with each other and the production values were pretty fantastic. I'll probably continue to watch, mainly because I can d/l shows from Amazon and not burn up data away from home.

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I love the format, it's good for the boys so they can get their mojo going, but I thought they were unsure with the American audience and tried a bit too hard to be funny. It didn't seem spontaneous inside the tent. The celebrity sketch was a riot. I liked the Belgian racing driver, esp the subtitles.

Plenty of promise for a first episode, the next one should be fascinating in Johannesburg. As remarked, the photography is second to none.

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14 hours ago, lambertman said:

I'm US and have barely ever watched Top Gear (but have followed the Clarkson drama), so I'm probably not the best marker of GT's success, but I liked it well enough. Each segment went on a bit too long, but I did enjoy the hosts' chemistry with each other and the production values were pretty fantastic. I'll probably continue to watch, mainly because I can d/l shows from Amazon and not burn up data away from home.

The one problem these guys never had was with chemistry. 

I actually think it's always been so good because on some level they don't like each other... but they do respect each other. It makes their jabs at each other sound natural, but they avoid going too deep out of respect.

Clarkson is an ass, but he's an AMUSING ass. People who only know him from news reports until now need to keep that in mind. It's his CHARACTER to be an ass, but as aggressive of one as he can be, he's also self-depreciating. Both at the same time (which is rarely than you'd think). 

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On 19/11/2016 at 8:22 AM, Kromm said:

Clarkson is an ass, but he's an AMUSING ass. People who only know him from news reports until now need to keep that in mind. It's his CHARACTER to be an ass, but as aggressive of one as he can be, he's also self-depreciating. Both at the same time (which is rarely than you'd think). 

This is why I never take offence at any of the things Clarkson says, even though a lot of them run counter to my own views. He's a buffoon, and knowingly exaggerates his buffoonery for the sake of entertainment. He's never advocating that people should think like him, and most of the time he's left looking like an idiot whenever they go out and do one of their challenges. 

I don't quite agree with your assessment that on some level they don't like each other, though. I remember when Hammond had his crash a few years back, Clarkson and May spent a lot of time at the hospital with him. I think they all care deeply about one another, but they do definitely get annoyed with one another. That's where I think the tension comes from: close friends who know exactly what buttons to push, and who just can't help doing it.

Regarding the show, I enjoyed it a lot. It felt fresh and new, despite using a lot of the same ideas that Top Gear ran into the ground. But there are new elements. The production is even slicker, the budget clearly larger. Just that feature with the McClaren, Porsche and Ferrari, I don't think they ever would have been able to get those three cars together on the track on Top Gear (especially with the way they made fun of the Ferrari). The hype of this new show was clearly too much for the manufacturers to resist. 

The American audience were a bit too desperate to laugh at everything, which was a little off-putting. And I do agree that they need to edit a little bit more ruthlessly, and cut a couple of minutes from each segment. Particularly the section where Clarkson was introducing the new track. They belaboured too many points for too long.

The stereotypical southern Nascar driver was amusing. The celebrity gags were fun, but I'm not sure what that braincrash segment is going to be about.

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1 hour ago, Danny Franks said:

The stereotypical southern Nascar driver was amusing.

I found it offensive, but typical of what I expect from Clarkson.  We're all just a bunch of yahoos over on this side of the pond. 

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I'll admit it, I teared up at the opening sequence. It was just so nice to have them back together and I could practically feel Jeremy's relief and joy through the screen.

They filmed (or are filming) this week in Nashville, so it will be interesting to compare this episode with the future one and see if they've relaxed a bit with an American audience.

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21 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

I found it offensive, but typical of what I expect from Clarkson.  We're all just a bunch of yahoos over on this side of the pond. 

Considering they took great pains to emphasise the Nascar stereotype, I don't quite see how he was tarring all Americans with the same brush. Especially when this was filmed in America. 

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2 hours ago, emma675 said:

I'll admit it, I teared up at the opening sequence. It was just so nice to have them back together and I could practically feel Jeremy's relief and joy through the screen.

They filmed (or are filming) this week in Nashville, so it will be interesting to compare this episode with the future one and see if they've relaxed a bit with an American audience.

I legit cried when Hammond and May pulled up along side Clarkson and he looked at them and they all smiled. I can't help it! I love them all! 

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I'll admit to being torn.  Screaming at and physically assaulting staff because there isn't a hot meal ready (which is what got him kicked off the BBC) is indefensible, but he is good on this show.

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The Grand Tour traveling tent pitches up on the quayside in the English coastal town of Whitby from where Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May introduce a modern take on the traditional gentleman’s tour of Italy. With Jeremy in an Aston Martin DB11 and James in a Rolls-Royce Dawn, the pair are set for a leisurely trip of culture and fine dining until a noisy and unwelcome guest arrives.

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The opening sequence which shows Clarkson journeying from a dismal, wet London day, right to the big, Desert-Man-ish party in the bright sunshine well represented my own feelings since the BBC dismissal debacle.  A change of circumstances, for the better!   Without a doubt.

I'm very glad to have the Three Stooges back together, again!

And even more welcome, after the terrible mess that Evans made of the new TG.  OMG, did someone actually think that crap was worth airing?

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As you would expect, the production values remained extremely high, but I feel this episode was mediocre at best.

In the premiere episode when the star guests kept being killed right outside the window was amusing enough, after a fashion.  But I never thought they'd try to repeat that gag again!  I surely hope that they aren't going to make that a weekly stunt, because I think it will get old very quickly.

The American.  I hate him.  For god's sake, we need a competent driver that can be tasked with putting various vehicles through their paces.  We certainly don't need him to be a fucking comedian!  Which he ain't, anyway!  He ain't funny, no matter how much redneck he comes out with.  Oh, and just so's you know?  I hated the Stig too.  In fact, the only page I wish The American would take from The Stig's book is to shut his damned mouth!  They shoud fire The American immediately, and hire that Belgian, Jérôme d'Ambrosio, to be their permanent pro driver!

The Special Forces section was much too long.  The Edge of Tomorrow  stuff was fun to start with, but I didn't think we needed to see James May go for the car quite that many times.  Somewhat annoyed at Capt. Slow for knocking off HRH Liz, too!  But the embedded car review was a clever idea!

So.  Not the greatest episode.  But this is very early days!  I remember the earliest episodes of TG with Jason Dawe instead of James May.  Tweaks can and will be made!  I'm confident that after a couple of episodes this show will be 'on the cam.'

Edited by Netfoot

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I totally agree. A foreign driver would solve the problem of having a speaking driver, and one you can't understand. Jeremy can do the subtitles again. The desert stumble really was a stumble. It reminded me of the TG India special, which just felt way too choreographed. The best moments are the ones that just emerge naturally.

One problem I haven't seen other people pick up on, Richard opening the wine. Jordan is an Islamic country, alcohol is probably highly frowned upon. But considering that it got reused, it probably wasn't even real wine.

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30 minutes ago, Joe said:

 

One problem I haven't seen other people pick up on, Richard opening the wine. Jordan is an Islamic country, alcohol is probably highly frowned upon. But considering that it got reused, it probably wasn't even real wine.

Not really, they even have a few wineries, I visited one and their Wines were quite delicious.

The operation was stupid and long and had homophobic jokes! The fun.

And they really have to get rid of the celebrity segment. it was cute the first episode but was already old by the second.

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On ‎2016‎-‎11‎-‎21 at 8:16 AM, emma675 said:

I'll admit it, I teared up at the opening sequence. It was just so nice to have them back together and I could practically feel Jeremy's relief and joy through the screen.

 

On ‎2016‎-‎11‎-‎21 at 10:19 AM, Lisin said:

I legit cried when Hammond and May pulled up along side Clarkson and he looked at them and they all smiled. I can't help it! I love them all! 

Yes, yes, all the happy was just blasting off the screen. And I think they are very good friends off the show, I agree with Danny Franks above, who said they look like they're close enough to know exactly which buttons to push on each other.

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I don't care about The American. He's not in the show enough for his two or three lines to even really register.

The first twenty minutes of this episode were about ugly, absurd and astronomically expensive cars that don't interest me. So I kind of zoned out for much of it. Richard summed up that entire third of the show with, "yes, James, it really isn't a practical car, is it?"

They seem to be doing a decent job of tailoring their material to get a laugh out of the local crowds.

I liked the exchange about the snake:

"You can't train a python, can you?"

"No you can't. That's why you never see sheep-snakes or guide snakes for the blind."

I've seen Jeremy take part in a special forces exercise before, in another show he did. He was terrible at it. Dazed by the flashbangs and gunfire within seconds, and actually a little bit distressed by it all. And that was all genuine, not like the shambles of the three of them here. I do enjoy how utterly non-macho they are about this sort of thing. No fake bravado, just making themselves the butt of the joke. But again, the segment was overly long.

Although, James May is anti-royalty? Good man.

I have to say, I really want them to get back to buying three crappy cars and doing challenges in them. That's always been the best part of the show to me.

Edited by Danny Franks

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10 minutes ago, Danny Franks said:

I really want them to get back to buying three crappy cars and doing challenges in them. That's always been the best part of the show to me.

Agreed.  That, and the Specials.

A glimpse of James May wearing a wok as a crash-helmet (Vietnam special) still causes me to laugh up a lung, after all these years.

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On 11/27/2016 at 10:07 PM, Joe said:

IThe desert stumble really was a stumble. It reminded me of the TG India special, which just felt way too choreographed. The best moments are the ones that just emerge naturally.

One problem I haven't seen other people pick up on, Richard opening the wine. Jordan is an Islamic country, alcohol is probably highly frowned upon. But considering that it got reused, it probably wasn't even real wine.

I've been wondering how gamers and war flick fans view the episode. As neither, I get what they were trying to do with that whole film but just didn't think it worked. Then again, I've been streaming these eps multiple times in the background while I'm doing chores, etc. and weirdly the Jordan segment began to suck a lot less after the fourth viewing. I actually chuckled at that scripted Fortnum & Mason bit.

I do agree, though, that the spontaneous moments that happen despite the scripts are the best. I usually can tell by Clarkson's laugh when there's a naturally entertaining moment.

If I recall correctly, drinking is legal in Jordan but that there is local consumption etiquette.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that I'm impressed with whoever writes the X-Ray notes for Amazon. This episode I especially liked this bit: “If you ever wonder whether Jeremy is pretending to be an arthritic elephant, please remember that he is quite old, he has been in several deliberate accidents, and he thinks reading a newspaper is exercise.” I also liked: "True fact. The Cradle of Humankind is not a cradle."

Edited by halopub · Reason: added thought

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The celebrity dying on the way to the show is well past it's sell-by date.  

I missed that they didn't have a car to track-test.  I didn't miss The American.  

Richard Hammond and his horrible yank-tank ticked me off almost as much as it ticked off James May!  Not that I believe for an instant that Clarkson genuinely wanted to enjoy any sort of Grand Tour.  May, perhaps, but not Clarkson.  But I'd have preferred to watch them making the journey in their task-appropriate vehicles without Hammond and his meshback motor car turning up every minute.  

I'd say better than episode #2, but not the greatest.

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2 hours ago, halopub said:

I've been wondering how gamers and war flick fans view the episode. As neither, I get what they were trying to do with that whole film but just didn't think it worked.

As both, I completely agree with you.

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While I'm over the gimmick of "killing off" the celebrity guests, having Simon Pegg film in what appears to be Whitby made me wonder if they actually had Charlize Theron on the Joburg episode. I doubt it, because the person was quite out of focus, but they did have silent Carol Vorderman and Jeremy Renner on episode one.

Since this is one of the segments that has been less successful, I wonder if the GT team will think of some other way to poke at the reported BBC ban on celebrity interviews. Would it be sufficient for their legal department if the celebrities made some other kind of silent appearance? Notably, the Grand Tour is so far enlisting more impressive guests than Top Gear for this throwaway segment.

I think the crashed drone is another regular element that could easily go but I did like the closeup of the lobster. And that view of Whitby was lovely.

I didn't miss the track test at all. If other viewers really want to get lap times and have a speaking test driver, then the show should hire a racer who will give the cars a chance. What's Tanner Foust up to these days? I thought he and May got along well during that academic discussion of rallying strategy.

I think we probably all started twitching after a couple minutes of Hammond revving up the Hellcat.

I could see how the Rolls Royce Dream might be an enjoyable driving experience but I'm not a fan of the shape. It was good to see the contrast of the DB11 on the picturesque road versus the track and I suspect that ribbing about the orange vs. brown was probably genuine. I remember Clarkson inexplicably posting a bunch of annoyed tweets at the time about orange things.  

I think they actually did film different introductions for Conversation Street. I caught Clarkson wearing stiletto heels in this one.

While I can't blame Clarkson for using the demolition of his old house as a storyline, I don't know that it fit with the rest of the episode.

I continue to enjoy the bits of commentary on X-Ray:

  • The official name of this colour is actually Cinnabar Orange. Other colours available on the DB11 include Silver Fox, Yellow Tang, Silver Blonde and Hardly Green. We're not making this up.
  • As on all modern Rolls-Royces, the Dawn's Spirit of Ecstasy radiator mascot electrically retracts. This stops people stealing it when you're parked and means if you run over someone, it won't stab them in the kidney.
  • Richard Hammond went to art college. Not that you'd know.

Edited to add: Was the "Jane May" on the welcome sign a genuine typo or someone purposely trying to irritate May?

Edited by halopub · Reason: additional thought

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