With the episode ready to be watched on Prime Video later this month, Andy Wilman, the show’s executive producer, talked to Grand Tour Nation and other press about what’s to come.
He was asked about how such a show was planned, and whether there was a strong script or schedule that had to be completed by the show’s front runners. This came after fans of the show had wondered whether the show was scripted, and I can confirm now that it’s not. Wilman calls it a “very loose” level of planning.
“We know where we’re headed. There’s a mix of finding a big size thing, dealing with it.”
Of course, the major plot points of the show are scripted. For example, there’s a part of the episode where the trio race each other with their modified rally cars on an ice lake. Behind them, they’re dragging professional skiers who are themselves competing while hanging on for dear life as cars swerve around them.
“We don’t find those by accident. That sort of thing you set up in advance but you don’t know what the outcome will be.”
Another part of the episode sees Clarkson, Hammond, and May build make-shift caravans to tow behind them on their travels. This idea was planned, but the presenters were simply told to “go”.
“So you work that in and you go, we will build some sheds but what will happen to them or how will it play out? We don’t know.
“We usually go with a sheet of A4 with bullet points, which for a 90 minute film I think is still good.
“I can still hand on heart say we’re still making this s*** up – overarchingly.”
Obviously, you need strong chemistry between the presenters and producer to pull something like this off. There’s no chance you could create a 90-minute film with planning in the form of bullet points with three presenters who don’t know how to bounce off each other or set each other up for jokes and entertainment. They know exactly what works as a trio and roll with it.
“You could change Bake Off and get a new team in and because it’s Bake Off you’re watching, as long as that team is good enough, you’re fine,” Andy said.
“Our show is always about those three, which means that they’re central to it. Their relationship is intense, and it is more like a band.
“They do bicker, they do get opinions differing, because they’re so much part of it. They have fallouts and then they come back together.”
Andy also briefly discussed their relationship after such long careers together.
“They’re just bickering or concentrating on small things, but their relationship is fully there.
“They’re still happy in each other’s company. I think they see less of each other. They’re not as together as much so it’s still strong and still good.”
The Grand Tour presents: A Scandi Flick launches on Prime Video on September 16.