The Grand Tour

Legal Limitations The Grand Tour Have to Not Get Sued by the BBC

In an interview yesterday, TGT Executive Producer, Andy Wilman broke down some fun stories behind the scenes of the much anticipating Amazon motoring show. The part most interesting is the amount of rules Amazon lawyers have put into place to avoid getting sued by the BBC, owners of the Top Gear property.

First, imagine the absolute worst and you’re probably going to be right. Let’s get started in no particular order of absurdity.

Nothing is Beautiful

“They got funnier and funnier. We went to Namibia to make a big film,” Wilman explained. “The lawyers got out a film we had done [forTop Gear] in Botswana. The lawyers go through everything and they said, ‘There’s a scene in [Top Gear] where you’re in the middle of the Okavango and you go, “This scenery is beautiful”, so watch that you don’t do that.'”

“So we were in the desert in Namibia and we had to go, “for legal reasons, this scenery is shit’,” Wilman said.

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The Stig is Left Behind

Again, the lawyers at Amazon wanted to avoid any reasons for the BBC lawyers to sue, so there will be no race car driver setting lap times . . . why, because of the next limitation:

No More Racetrack – No more Chicago, Hammerhead, or Gambon

Top Gear Test Track

For cock’s sake, this is one of the most ridiculous things the suits are asking from the team. The power laps were one of the staples of the show and a lot of amazing testing went on that track. My guess is that the lawyers are playing it safe now and will probably incorporate more famous racetracks into the show as they check their mailboxes for any cease & desists.

No More Reasonably Priced Car Challenges

Obviously one of the most popular segments of the show, the Reasonably Priced Car celebrity challenge is going to be the one thing I miss the most. There’s nothing like fear and competition to show you what these celebrities are made of and most of the times, it’s just great television.

No More Handwritten Times for the Leaderboard

Andy Wilman says that there will be a leaderboard that travels with the GT Tent around the world, but the lawyers have asked that they no longer be handwritten times to avoid the look established at Top Gear.

The Use of C*ck by James May

Wilman talked about how the lawyers even brought up the use of the now infamous word because of how much James May used it on Top Gear. The verdict is still out and we’ll just have to wait and see if May whips it out.

The fellows definitely have their hands full (or empty) with these restrictions, but I think most fans can agree with me that it’s the chemistry between the Clarkson, Hammond & May that make the show what it is.

What are you going to miss the most?

Full Andy Wilman Interview

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  1. I’m actually good with no celebrity BS. Worst segment of the show. Some prat on about his/her new movie or book or whatever. Just get on with the good stuff.

  2. How about the leagal beagles talk to JKR and see if Voldemort is usable….the BBC is in fantasy land why shouldn’t the rest of us be.

  3. Can we at least speculate? Some say the driver that’s not the guy whose name we can’t say is the offspring of a rabid baboon and a cheetah.

  4. I can’t wait till the true Big 3 are back on the air. Knowing them, they’ll go to absurd lengths to piss off the BBC all the while driving the Amazon law team insane. Come on BBC, just sell the rights to Amazon. And come on Amazon, grow a pair. They NEED a test track or at least to use one. There are plenty you could ‘borrow’, many would do it for the promotional credits. Hell, let the celebs drive exotics and call it “A Star in an Un-Reasonably Priced Car”. The knobs at the BBC will suffer collective apoplexy and the fans will laugh their collective asses off.

  5. Seems like some of that could be incorporated in a different fashion. For example:

    Instead of Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, they could do Celebrity Track Day events where they take a celebrity to a track day at some well known race course, OR better a local HPDE or Autocross wherever they’re filming.

    Instead of a hand-written leader board, an obnoxious bar graph showing the top time differences… heh…

    For the Stig… heh, I’d suggest they hire Tanner Foust (now that they’ve cancelled the US Top Gear) as the Non-Anonymous Racing Driver… “All we know is… He’s not called the Name Which We Can Not Legally Say On The Air”.

    Those would certainly be snarky… but pretty darned funny IMO. But drive the lawyers nuts…

  6. The absolute absurdity BBC is emulating comes directly from their profound discomfort in knowing that these three gentlemen including Andy have in fact set the standards for all car shows past and present. The followers and fan base is proof of that. To try and barricade them from doing what they did and are doing just shows BBC’s true colors in how terrified they have become knowing what a flawed and atrocious mistake they made in removing Clarkson,and then Hammond and May following suite. It all boils down to the BBC losing their top money makers and then trying to stifle their success by attempting a legal coop if they do anything remotely resembling anything from their tenure on TG. BBC,shame on you…

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