In the immortal words of Thin Lizzie ‘the boys are back’ in a series that’s oh, so familiar but oh, so good.
Yes, after the BBC’s rather disastrous attempt to resurrect Top Gear, the Holy Trinity (coincidentally this episode’s title), Clarkson, Hammond and May are here to rescue us from middling car programmes the world over.
While it’s undeniable that The Grand Tour is basically Top Gear with the branding shaved off, the first episode is a hilarious mish-mash of the usual over the top stunts and hilarious car based banter which serves to remind us what we’ve been missing in the year the boys have been off TV.
From the moment Jeremy and his two giggling school chums walked onto their ridiculously expensive looking desert set after a sketch lampooning the gang’s misfortune with their previous employer we knew we were in for a treat.
And boy were we right, from jokes about American gun culture, the BBC and serious chats about horse-power, The Grand Tour was a triumph, somehow managing to be more entertaining in a single episode than the entirety of the BBC’s last season of Top Gear.
Of course, as Jeremy reminded us early in the episode, The Grand Tour is a car show and the boys do show off the awesome power of Ferraris, Porches and McLarens in a challenge that’s entertaining whether you’re a car fan or not thanks to the gang’s childish bickering.
The chemistry between the three hosts is as electric as it ever was on Top Gear if not more so now and it genuinely felt like you were hanging out with old mates while watching them zip about in cars that’ll have petrol heads salivating.
One of the most exciting things about The Grand Tour is that it feels like anything could happen without the calming influence of aunty on Jeremy and co.
Or in the words of Jeremy, who clearly loved being off the BBC’s leash: ‘There’s no way I’m getting fired now because I’m on the internet which means I could pleasure a horse’, which while terrifying is worryingly true, even if Hammond promises he won’t.
Now The Grand Tour’s by no means perfect, as we keep saying it’s obviously a Top Gear rip-off and it doesn’t exactly push any boundaries beyond making things bigger and I do have some reservations over the overly racist jokes.
The Grand Tour is basically everything we wanted in a car programme, it’s funny, well shot, exciting and more ‘explodey’ than the boy’s previous show and we can’t wait for more.
And on that bombshell I may have to admit that The Grand Tour is the best car programme… in the world!
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.