The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour: Best, Worst and Awkward Moments from the Premiere Episode

The holy trinity is back! No, not the cars, well also the cars. They’re actually the main part of the premiere episode, but I am referring to the boys, of course! Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May are finally back and are now streaming with the premiere of The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime Video!

Now that the show has premiered, Grand Tour Nation is here to break down the good, the bad, and the awkward, from the very first episode. If you haven’t watched it yet, *spoiler alert*!

Watch the episode first before reading anymore!

The show starts out with a rainy London backdrop as we follow Jeremy Clarkson, leaving what is alluded to, as the BBC. The radio plays blurbs about his time at the network ending as he heads to the airport, (he gets on board this time!). From there, we end up in a parking garage in a car you wouldn’t expect, a Ford Mustang, or rather the Fisker-Galpin Auto Sports Rocket, a highly modified vehicle based off the new Mustang. Jeremy cruises through L.A. and into the California desert where he magically meets up with two old friends, likewise in Mustangs, in the form of Richard Hammond and James May. It’s all sunshine as rainbows as a great rendition of “I Can See Clearly Now” is played by The Hothouse Flowers. The boys are then joined by a massive gang of amazing cars, trucks, and motorcycles, as they race across the desert flats! No doubt, if you’re much of a petrol head, you’ll spot some familiar faces! The boys meet up with their cheering and adoring fans, who are awaiting them at none other than Burning Van, (haha), where a host of fighter jets flights over the crowd, ending the breathtaking opening sequence!

We won’t be doing a play by play of the rest of the show, you’ll have to watch it for yourself to get that, but we have made you a breakdown of a few of our favorite moments including some of the best, a few of the worst, and as is often the case with these three, a few of the most awkward moments from the premiere episode of The Grand Tour!


The Best

This was almost impossible to narrow down, but for the sake of our audience, we did our best to give you a few of the many shining moments that we loved from the premiere. Here they are, in no particular order, for your convenience.

Dead Celebrities

This segment was a rib-tickler from start to finish. One of the many jabs directed at the BBC and Top Gear during the show, it was meant to mimic the celebrity guest segment from Top Gear. While it did indeed feature a celebrity, three, in fact, they all met with their, no doubt untimely end before they could be interviewed. It’s not quite as morbid as it sounds, and we hope to see more hysterical clips like this in the remaining 11 episodes.

Jeremy Becoming Homeless

In what can only be described as a poorly conceived bet by an extremely overconfident man who often goes by the nickname of Jezza, Jeremy Clarkson found himself on the short list for a new home makeover, although, probably not the kind he would like. All we will say is that the next time Hammond is over for dinner at the Clarkson’s, he will be driving a bulldozer.

The Ebola Drome

What would a show like The Grand Tour be like without a racing track? No doubt, no proper motoring show is complete without a way to fairly test the vehicles which appear on it, and The Grand Tour has done a spectacular job in that department. The new track, nicknamed the Ebola Drome, features some clever names (where else have I seen that?), some dangerous obstacles, and an unexploded ordinance. As Clarkson said, “This track is a lot cheaper than Silverstone, and I know which one I’d rather drive around”.

Credit Amazon

The Worst

I’ll be honest, this was by far the hardest part of the show to narrow down. There was little in the way of downsides to the show’s premiere, but we managed to get ourselves together, hunker down, and pick a few things that just rubbed us the wrong way (even if they were supposed to).

The Segment Intros

Terrible. They were all terrible. We will give the boys and Amazon a break on this one, though, because well, they were supposed to be terrible. I told you it was hard to come up with the worst moments. Luckily, they made this one for us, so we didn’t have to try as hard.

It Was Too Short

Who makes a racing show that’s only an hour and eleven minutes long? How are we, the viewing audience, supposed to make up for all that time we lost in between the boys leaving Top Gear and the premiere of The Grand Tour?  I could have easily watched them for several hours, and the episodes should be made much longer for the rest of the season. I guess we will just have to re-watch the first episode a few dozen times while we wait for episode two to air.

The New Racing Driver

The new racing driver, also known as The American, made his debut alongside the debut of the series. Here’s one part of the show we actually liked just a little bit less than the rest. The jokes were a bit tired and overdone, the driver was fairly unfunny, and the whole thing was just a bit forced. Regardless, the man can drive, and as we said before, this is a minor negative in a sea of positives. Who knows, maybe we will get used to him, and maybe he won’t even be on the show again.

Credit Amazon


The Awkward

Now this, this part was easy. There’s never any shortage of awkward moments when it comes to Clarkson, Hammond, and May, and the premiere of The Grand Tour was no exception. From the very first segment up until the very end, there were awkward jokes, comments, and general hijinks abound. Not that we’re complaining.

Jeremy’s Jokes

From poop jokes to pleasuring animals to weird comparisons, The Grand Tour’s first night was rampantly filled with Clarkson’s brand of off the cuff and odd humor. We laughed, we cringed, we welcomed back Jeremy with open arms.

Staring at Sheep Bollocks

That’s right. There’s a good solid moment of staring at sheep testicles. Brace yourself. That is all.

Teaching Americans English, English

What’s more awkward than going to a country you’re not from and telling the locals how they speak is incorrect? Well, it’s not only awkward, it’s also very British, and the boys do a flying good job at teaching we, proud, red-blooded Americans, how to correctly speak everything automotive. From the parts of the vehicle to the types of cars, the boys break it down so we don’t sound quite so silly.
Credit Amazon

In Conclusion

What did you think of the premiere of The Grand Tour? Was it everything you had hoped it would be? Did it live up to the massive hype? We think it did so, and more! We here at Grand Tour Nation will be impatiently awaiting the premiere of episode two, but in the meantime, we will be bringing you all the most up to date news and information on The Grand Tour, Clarkson, Hammond, and May, and everything else automotive.

Have something else we should have put in our list? Let us know in the comments!

And on that disappointment…

Source: Amazon

Nick Dunlap

Nick is a lifelong automotive enthusiast, as well as journalist, and content creator. Nick also successful competes in a variety of automotive fields including national level car shows, autocross, SCCA races, and more. He enjoys designing and building a variety of cars and helping others do the same with theirs.

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  1. Air Force joke too much. Dead celebrities, perfect. New Driver…kill the monologue and just drive. Overall a great show. I’m looking forward to Johannesburg!

  2. loved it loved it loved it…watched it twice without pause. frankly the opener brought a tear or two to my eye 🙂 overall damn near perfect but I do wish they’d at least let Armie Hammer get closer before dying…eye candy wasted.

  3. Waited so long, like a starving man, -anything tastes good. I loved the show, but for the BIG return, I did expect it to be longer, more celebration. I expect it needs some refinement. A bit much on the effects, sound was off, some jokes didn’t work. As an American who loved UK Top Gear and only thought ‘American TG’ was just okay, I’d really like ‘The American’ driver to crash and burn (fictionally) and try something else. Just my opin. Other than that, the new test track is awesome, loved the hypercars, and sincerely, welcome back gents!!!! After your 3 year contract, get this on regular TV!

  4. Though I know the lads are of the opinion that this is them sticking it to the man, their wrinkled, saggy jeans that haven’t been washed in weeks don’t say rebel, they say old guy who lives alone and doesn’t remember to change his clothes over from day to day. A decent wardrobe person would have seen to it that the pants were washed and possibly even (dare I hint it) pressed. Keep the jeans if that makes you feel like rebels (guess what, it doesn’t make you look like rebels), but please stop looking so much like my dad in the retirement center.

    1. If you think this is too harsh, please do moderate it — I love the lads!!! But those pants! Ugh! They made the guys look like slobs and not in a cute, British eccentric way. If you don’t want to post the remark, please pass it on to Andy Willman.

  5. The only thing I didn’t really like was the Air Force bit – it seemed a bit forced. Everything else was perfection – sheep bollocks and all. I let out an audible “awwww!” when Jeremy was driving in the Californian desert and finds himself flanked by May and Hammond. It was surprisingly sentimental and I really enjoyed what it represents – three good friends, having each other’s backs and messing about in cars. All in all, it was worth the wait.

  6. The whole family has enjoyed every “true” TG show and the GT was no different. We did disagree on the “rib-ticklers” though. The best laugh I had in the whole show was the silent moment after discussing the Porche’s MPG (when referencing the parent company). To be honest though, American and English humor has always been a bit different. There has always been jokes that skipped over our heads, but this wasn’t the case here. We understood the jokes, we just didn’t find them funny.

    I’m not complaining though, just sharing my thoughts… We love these three and can’t wait until the next Episode.

  7. I think the dead celebrity segment their way of letting everyone know that celebrities would not be a part of the new show. I always found it to be my least favourite part of TG and I’d be happy if it was gone forever.

  8. Bloody brilliant, better than some of their episodes on the old Top Gear show I would even go to, roll on episode 2

  9. Overall an entertaining show. The three personalities are back, being themselves, with some great (organic) and some forced (scripted?) jokes, and of course, with some awesome cars.

    The American driver was quite lame (boring character), but my only big issue is actually with the production: although it’s quite nicely shot, the editing is just not as beautiful as the BBC shows were, the effects are just a bit too forced, too fake CGI-y.. While the BBC shows felt like a stylistically cohesive, bold, cutting edge movie production, the first GT episode felt like an internet show trying to look like the old series, but done by young software-savvy editors, rather than pro filmmakers. They shouldn’t try so overly hard with the visuals, let the hosts’ style and the gorgeous cars sell themselves. They should rather add fine details as opposed to try to impress with a completely different visual effect style every 5 seconds.

    Even more so for the audio… come on, Amazon, hire a proper post production supervisor (like me:)! The dialogue should have been more compressed (especially in the first 10 minutes), the music was strongly pushed forward in the mix… fans want to hear the roar of the ENGINES, screeching tires, etc., not the music library tracks! Too low on location sound, real sounds (engines, fighter jets, details of tires, dirt particles, etc. should have been much bigger) and too much on the designed fake sounds (car 3D structure view, dashboard display sounds, etc.).

    Take advantage of the 5.1 platform and make the show sound as bombastic as the narrative is!

    I know that most viewers don’t care as much about the production as the hosts and the content, but TG also stood out because of its style was more refined, better styled and more original than anything else on television.

    With that said, I’m very glad that the concept lives on.

  10. KUDOS Amazon! I knew we were going to see something real good, but it went far and beyond that! Great job Clarkson, Hammond and May! #Newfavoriteshow

    1. Knowing that the BBC would never let them do something as daring as kill off a celebrity, let alone 3 of them. It was a hilarious twist because it is the kind of humor you would expect from the trio.

  11. I was in utter joy to see them back on TV. I loved the Road Warrior/ Burning Man opening. I truly enjoyed seeing them a little nervous, it shows that they are trying to put out the best show they can and they look happy in doing so. I know they will get more relaxed as time goes by, just watch Series 2 of Top Gear to see how they grew throughout that series. This is going to be a hell of a ride and I can’t wait for next Thursday/Friday. All in all, it was glorious.

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