The Grand Tour

Our Reaction To Richard Hammond’s New Solo Show ‘The Great Escapists’ Trailer: We’re Unsure…

When I first read the synopsis to Richard Hammond’s solo show, I was very excited to hear that he too, like his fellow presenters James May and Jeremy Clarkson, was getting some time away from the driver’s seat. Not only that, but MythBusters Tory Belleci would be joining him to really allow Hammond to embrace his inner American.

The two presenters will be tasked with surviving on a desert island with nothing but the leftovers of a shipwreck to work with, and while this sounds like an epic adventure for the duo and an interesting, fun, and informative show to consume, I’m not so sure about it since I watched the trailer.

The thing is, I know Hammond’s TV history. Outside of Top Gear, he’s had minimal really good work. Wipeout was great for about ten minutes, and the rest was aimed at children so obviously not my cup of tea. Richard Hammond’s Big! was very good, and I hope he continues his work on continuing this series. But when you match his history to the trailer of The Great Escapeists, I think it’s going to be a much more childish series that what I was expecting.

But this is okay! We all have different opinions and different likes and dislikes, and I’m sure like there will be hordes of fans out there that will love this. But for me, here are a few reasons as to why I don’t think I’m going to like this show. Of course, I’ll go into it with an open mind, but these are my prejudices towards it.

Firstly, I was hoping for it to be less scripted. Quite obviously the majority of this show will follow a script, where I was hoping instead for these episodes to be much more real as we follow the presenters actually fight to survive. I’m sure they could do it, which is why I feel this is such a waste.

Something that really jumped out at me throughout the trailer was not only the explosions, but the number of CGI explosions. This is an entertainment show, after all, but like my last point, I was expecting a little more realism. Leave the explosions to The Grand Tour maybe?

Finally, I want to see more of the real Richard Hammond, not the facade he uses for his shows. James May’s Our Man In Japan and more recently his cooking show, Oh Cook, were brilliant. And I believe this is down to the fact that he’s not trying too hard to be funny or to add drama. It’s natural, the pace is slower, and it’s easier to empathise with him throughout.

Of course, this is only one man’s opinion, and I’m sure you’ll each have differing opinions which I’d love to hear about. And despite my initial reactions, I’m very much looking forward to watching the show when it comes out later this month, January 29 on Amazon Prime Video.

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  1. The Escapists is a different show than The Grand Tour/Top Gear so why does it have to be “unscripted”? I think RH has presented many great shows: Big (yes) also, Brainiac:Science Abuse, Engineering Connections, Jungle Quest, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Wild Weather, Crash Course-(especially season 2 is awesome)… He’s a very successful presenter with great enthusiasm, voice and intonation.. I hope he will make many stand alone shows in the future.

  2. there is a certain synergy from the three that won’t be equalled as individual shows or pursuits. each brings their own unique talent and perspective but combined the result is great entertainment. i hope they get the chance to pursue their joint efforts of top gear. i am sure their style and over the top locations and stunts have to be almost too much for any production company to spend now despite covid. not sure if there is a way to dial down the cost and keep the energy of the show intact. but at 6.5 million per episode on amazon’s version. of the show… i am sure even bezos is not willing to fund that much…

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