The Grand Tour

How Close Is The Grand Tour To Toeing The Legal Line Set By The BBC?

Last summer, The Grand Tour producer Andy Wilman revealed a set of limitations put into place by Amazon’s lawyers in order to avoid getting sued by the BBC. That meant we wouldn’t see things such as The Stig or the famous Top Gear test track.

Some of the rules made sense and some were simply absurd. However, two episodes into the second season and The Grand Tour is starting to feel very “familiar.” In fact, take away the intro sequence and you might be forgiven for thinking it was simply an episode of…that other show.

The boys and Wilman seem to be testing their limits with what they are allowed to do. But just how far are they willing to go? Let’s take a look at the “rules” from a piece we did over the summer:

Nothing is Beautiful

It might be a little too early to tell with this one. Evidently, The Grand Tour is not allowed to feature scenery that’s “too beautiful,” which is absurd because beauty is subjective. Did I find the concrete canyons of Manhattan beautiful? I sure did. Does that mean there’s a lawsuit incoming? I’d be shocked if there was.

The Stig is Left Behind

The Grand Tour obviously could not use a faceless, nameless driver for their show, so for the first season, they went in the completely opposite direction: The American. The American was loud, brash, and was completely exposed.

As we know, The American wasn’t received too well, so this season, we have a new driver, Abbie Eaton. Abbie’s face is completely covered except for her eyes, and other than one line prior to setting off, she was completely silent her whole lap. As a matter of fact, Jeremy never even mentioned her name.

In essence, we now have a “nameless,” near silent driver.

No More Racetrack – No More Chicago, Hammerhead, or Gambon, and No More Reasonably Priced Car Challenges

I think the boys are safe with this one. Not only do they have the Eboladrome with clever section names, but they also have a second circuit devoted entirely to the Celebrity Face Off segment.

As far as a reasonably priced car goes, the celebrities drive around in a Jaguar F-Type…not a reasonably priced car by any means.

No More Handwritten Times for the Leaderboard

I suppose the boys had to enter the digital age at some point in their car program careers, right? No handwritten leaderboard? Not a problem; they boys simply went with a digital leaderboard instead. Moving along…

The Use of C*ck by James May

I wonder how difficult it is for James to not utter that word while filming The Grand Tour. So far he’s doing a bang-up job!

No Cheap Car Challenges

This one hurts the most, as cheap car challenges were easily the highlight of Top Gear for most viewers. I’m not sure what defines “cheap,” but I’m sure there’s a dollar amount in the legal papers somewhere. As it stands, The Grand Tour episode “Enviro-mental” probably came the closest to what could be considered a cheap car challenge. I suppose time will tell if the boys will test this rule any further.

Tony Hsieh

Cars, the Buffalo Bills, video games, comics, sandwiches, jelly beans, and the shooting star press; these are the things that Tony loves (in addition to his family, of course). When he's not spending his time writing tech reviews for, Tony puts his lifetime love of muscle cars to use on his 2015 Mustang GT. Tony's top three favorite cars are the 1973 Mustang Mach 1, Ferrari 458, and Aston Martin DBS.

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One Comment

  1. The BBC are such douche-bags, they lost their toy and now they don’t want anyone else to play with it.

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