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Grand Tour (Clarkson & Co) - running out of ideas?

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MotCO

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I've just watched the latest Grand Tour on Amazon Prime (Massive Hunt), and was disappointed by it. There was none of the usual banter, and not many silly tricks which we associate with them. Has the idea reached the end of the road?

If you wanted to send the boys off on an adventure, where would you send them? I particularly enjoyed the Monogolian adventure, the Vietnamese trip and the Bolivian salt flats expedition, if nothing else for the landscapes.

As an aside, how do they choose their vehicles? In the Massive Hunt, Clarkson drove a Bentley Continental; I magine that the production crew go ahead in a 4x4 and check out the routes and feasibility etc, but does anyone know?
 
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Bald Rick

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There’s only one more of these feature length specials, and then that’s it.
 

nlogax

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They're old, they're tired, they aren't motivated by the same stuff that made them fairly funny ten years ago. The edge that once existed in the relationship between them all which helped the comedy along seems to have worn away to be replaced by complete comfort in each other's company, to the point of being pretty dull. I thought the latest one was disappointing too. It's time they stopped doing this for a bit.
 

birchesgreen

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I've just watched the latest Grand Tour on Amazon Prime (Massive Hunt), and was disappointed by it. There was none of the usual banter, and not many silly tricks which we associate with them. Has the idea reached the end of the road?
Did you watch a different episode to me?
 

LOL The Irony

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Did you watch a different episode to me?
The silly tricks were:
  • Richard removing James's ignition cut-off switch
  • Jeremy doing the same
  • James hiding Richard's key
  • Jeremy & James leaving the broken boat at the opposite bank of the the river
Nowhere near the cannibalising of each others cars that the Africa Special had.
 

westcoaster

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I watched it also and was unimpressed, it was like watching a drive from point A to point B ( felt the pirate nonsense was added to create a back story). It started so promising in Reunion and as soon as they got to Madagascar it just fell away.

Enjoyed the james may in Japan series.
 

LOL The Irony

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I watched it also and was unimpressed, it was like watching a drive from point A to point B ( felt the pirate nonsense was added to create a back story). It started so promising in Reunion and as soon as they got to Madagascar it just fell away.
I 100% agree. A lads on tour around reunion would've been more entertaining than what we got.
Enjoyed the james may in Japan series.
I can't wait for the next travel series he does.
 

GusB

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I don't have Amazon Prime, so I've never actually seen an episode of The Grand Tour, but towards the end of their time at Top Gear, I found myself becoming increasingly annoyed with the three of them. Having said that, I was never a big fan of the "new" Top Gear format in the first place.
 

Butts

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I don't have Amazon Prime, so I've never actually seen an episode of The Grand Tour, but towards the end of their time at Top Gear, I found myself becoming increasingly annoyed with the three of them. Having said that, I was never a big fan of the "new" Top Gear format in the first place.

Did you prefer it when Angela Rippon was the host ?
 

GusB

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Did you prefer it when Angela Rippon was the host ?
I don't remember her being the host! Probably before my time ;)
 

Jordan Adam

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As strange as it may seem i find the bits they do on YouTube for DriveTribe/FoodTribe etc far more interesting, even the non-car videos. James on his own is very entertaining and can make pretty much anything interesting.
 

birchesgreen

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The silly tricks were:
  • Richard removing James's ignition cut-off switch
  • Jeremy doing the same
  • James hiding Richard's key
  • Jeremy & James leaving the broken boat at the opposite bank of the the river
Nowhere near the cannibalising of each others cars that the Africa Special had.

Maybe not as many as before but i was replying to the OP who said there were none.
 

richw

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Have to say I was disappointed and didn’t find it entertaining.
personal opinion but the recent paddy, Fred and Chris top gear have now passed these for entertainment factor
 

SeanG

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I thought the same as the OP. Unfortunately I think it should be the end of the road for them before the programmes become dire.
After Clarkson/Hammond/May left TG I thought there were some really ropey years, but I really enjoy the current presenter line up, even more so than Clarkson/Hammond/May.

Re the production of the programme, yes the producers scope out the route beforehand, obviously something too hard or too easy wouldn't have been great.
I'm not too sure on the cars but I believe that they are predominantly bought by the production company fir much cheaper than you would believe. For instance, Hammonds RS was brought from a scrapyard and Clarksons Bentley was a rest mule which by law must be destroyed to prevent it coming onto the open market (as the law doesn't deem it to be safe etc)
 

TheEdge

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I'd agree with the OP. I've always thought the Grand Tour has never been quite as good as Top Gear. Yes, it still has the Three but it's lost all the things that go along with it. Maybe they should have stopped when they left Top Gear.

I do enjoy their single work more now, James is on fire in that sense.
 

birchesgreen

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Personally i enjoyed it a lot, i seem to be in a minority here, though as a rail enthusiast i am used to that :lol:
 

Bobdogs

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I thought that the last series they did on BBC was not so good.
Chris, Paddy and Freddie, as richw said are very entertaining.
Best thing they did was to ditch Leblanc and Evans.
 

LOL The Irony

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Maybe not as many as before but i was replying to the OP who said there were none.
Ah ok, fair enough.
Maybe they should have stopped when they left Top Gear.
If Jeremy didn't hit that producer, that was going to be their last Top Gear contract and would've only lasted 3 seasons, so we got a slightly better deal this way.
 

507021

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I got the impression they were running out of ideas during their latter seasons of Top Gear, personally.
 

Peregrine 4903

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I personally loved it. Watching James go through the mud in that car was hilarious.

Also those roads in Madagascar were utterly awful, how an earth can they even be considered roads.
 

Strathclyder

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I concur with others upthread that their Drive/FoodTribe has been far more interesting and engaging as of late than the Grand Tour. James is my favourite of the trio too and always has been; the most interesting boring man alive. His recent series on Japan was excellent. Highlights there-in include Robo-Hon, that statue and the resulting bouts of quacking laughter from both. He literally has the most contagious laugh ever lol
 

JohnMcL7

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I got the impression they were running out of ideas during their latter seasons of Top Gear, personally.
I thought the same and wasn't sad when Top Gear ended as I thought it would be good as Clarkson and crew would do something new to revive the stagnant series and BBC would do something new as well. I was disappointed both have carried on trying to do the same.

As strange as it may seem i find the bits they do on YouTube for DriveTribe/FoodTribe etc far more interesting, even the non-car videos. James on his own is very entertaining and can make pretty much anything interesting.

I don't think it's strange and I'm frustrated they've decided a while back that their main focus is horribly scripted setups where they all play idiots. I thought James May's Dissassembler series was amazing since he could make even a food mixer fascinating despite it just being him and a table of parts. Clarkson and Hammond can both do interesting segments as well, Clarkson's experience with the F1 type car and how hard it was to get fast laps provided quite an insight and I loved their Nurburgring segments, both the original Jaguar one and the follow up van one. On the back of that I've been to the Ring a few times and even managed to get a lap drive by Sabine. I liked some of their original challenges especially the one pound car challenge when nothing much happened but they just seemed to enjoy themselves which was entertaining, since then they've continually tried to make it bigger and better but have completely lost the original charm of it.
 

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I was disappointed both have carried on trying to do the same.
Initially, TGT was a fresh start as they were less restricted by censorship and budgets, however, both of their specials have been a bit of a let down. The best specials were the cheap cars in (insert country here) ones and I really want those to return.
 

Cowley

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Initially, TGT was a fresh start as they were less restricted by censorship and budgets, however, both of their specials have been a bit of a let down. The best specials were the cheap cars in (insert country here) ones and I really want those to return.
I always enjoyed the episodes when they did trips in cheap cars the most over the years too.
 

MP33

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When Chris Evans joined Top Gear I thought the script read the same when there was a change of cast in Are You Being Served that instead of Lucas being crossed out in biro and replaced by Spooner, it was Clarkson and Evans.

Do you remember every time Chris Evans was in a car being driven fast, afterwards the first thing he did was find a place to be sick in. With his collection of cars, I thought of him as like someone who took up Fox Hunting or Steeplechasing and found that they were allergic to horses.

At least by dropping the celebrity segment there will no be no more Phil Sick, sorry Seasick Steve promoting his unlistenable albums.
 

johntea

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I watched this special and the problem was it just repeated the same several jokes over and over again for 90 whole minutes...in particular Amazon seem to have set up James May as the 'comedic' member of the trio

James is drenched in mud...again...and again! Just like James was drenched in water again...and again in the previous special

James is being laughed at by the locals...again...and again!

James is pretending to crack the code...for another 10 minutes...and another 10 minutes

A bit like the tent episodes where the 'does that mean they're not coming on' line raised a chuckle the first couple of episodes but then rapidly outstayed it's welcome

They also usually have an aim that is actually somewhat logistical rather than 'we are GOING TO FIND £100 MILLION OF BURIED TREASURE AT THE END OF THIS!'

Still...cracking effort on the token 'CLARKKKKKSONNNNN!' bellow at least :D

My favourite episode is still the budget supercar challenge with the classic line 'James has bought an AA truck!'

 

Tracked

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Not seen TGT, as the last several series of Top Gear on them on were starting to get a bit tired I decided not to bother, seen a few clips and it looked like more of the same but with a bigger budget. It's probably quite difficult after 20 years for them to get the same freshness as there was in the first 12 series of TG, even though I had the feeling that some of the situations were set up they're still entertaining at that point. I find series 14 (the series after the race on Tornado) onwards a bit hit and miss; Series 21 in particular seemed quite tired, even the Chernobyl trip (on paper this sounded epic, Christmas Special material, but dragged in a few places even with the normal stuff going on around it), 22 was an improvement but then Clarkson had his dinner issue.

The Chris Evans series was awful, but I found Top Gear Extra with Chris Harris and Rory Reid a lot more in tune with early Clarkson/May/Hammond - I'm not into cars that much, but they pulled off the trick of remaining entertaining whilst going full on Petrolhead - and it felt a lot fresher and more natural than on the main show (not sure if they'd manage to sustain this over more than a couple of series of TG itself). I got the feeling a few times early on with LeBlanc/Reid/Harris that producers were trying too hard to fit them back into the C/M/H template after the Evans mess, though they improved after the first series.

Flintoff/Harris/McGuinness are ok, it's certainly better than the last few years of C/M/H, even if it sometimes feels a little over the top in its attempt to entertain.
 
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