The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour Fans Revisit The Madagascar Special 2 Years Later

The Grand Tour Reddit community has been very quiet as they wait patiently for more news to come from The Grand Tour team. But while things have been slow in the way of content from Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, fans of the famous trio have been re-watching old episodes, specially the Madagascar Special from two years ago. This is what they had to say about it.

Aptly named A Massive Hunt, this episode saw the presenters search for hidden pirate treasure with three highly modified cars made specifically to battle the treacherous roads of the country.

At the time it was one of the more positively reviewed episodes – still pretty mixed, though – from the list of special episodes we’d been given at the time. But two years on we’ve been treated to a few more and have slowly gotten more used to this new, special episode focus. These are thoughts from fans two years on.

Fudgeller83 had this to say:

“I liked the take on modifying new cars – that was a refreshing tweak on the old formula.

“The two issues were the ‘plot’ with Hammond’s drip feeding of revelations being painfully forced and the complete lack of variety in the challenges of it all.

“When you think back to pretty much any of the Top Gear specials, each one had numerous challenges to overcome. Bolivia started in the rainforest, went through mountains and ended up with a sheer drop down sand to the coast. Botswana went through salt flats, dust and a river. Middle East went through war zones, border crossings, deserts. Mongolia literally showed each different obstacle on the map. The list goes on.

“Madagascar (and Scandinavia but that was stronger in other areas) suffered from the entire journey just being the same challenge.

“Its a very good TV episode because its our favourite three idiots being idiots, but definitely below average in terms of a Top Gear/Grand Tour episode.”

I feel like episodes released since this has made changes to keep the plot more varied in comparison to the Madagascar Special, which I agree did feel like one long road.

Panadwithonesugar added:

“I did enjoy it, a lot of the specials seem to have long stretches of crawling along at an absolute snails pace along bad off road routes (Botswana, Polar, India, Middle East, Africa, Bolivia, Namibia, Madagascar, Patagonia, Columbia, Mongolia), so in those stretches of the episode it can seem repetitive.

“But away from that, the scenery was fantastic, the culture of where they were was fascinating, the cars were great and a muddy James is always a bonus!”

A Massive Hunt has obviously been a divisive episode, but I think the majority of the interest for this show for many fans came from the cars. The MFB was obviously a fan favourite – so much of a fan favourite that it was seen again on Clarkson’s Farm. The Ford Focus, while being disastrous, was really interesting with its aftermarket tracks setup, and fans obviously enjoyed seeing May getting plastered with mud.

Leafybug13 agrees:

“I enjoyed it but probably not one of my faves. Seeing James get slimed over and over again was pretty funny. The MFB was a beast. Hammond’s tracks sucked for the most part lol. I wish they’d release a new one…

“I’m at the point where I’m re-watching episodes. I also can’t find a place to stream the first 10 seasons or so of Top Gear.”

You can read all the comments by clicking here, but it’s certainly interesting coming back to the episode after so much time. I feel as though despite the lack of episodes, The Grand Tour has already evolved from where these special episodes started and, hopefully, we’ll get to a place where these specials aren’t so divisive for fans.

Alex Harrington

Alex started racing at a young age so certainly knows his way around a car and a track. He can just about put a sentence together too, which helps. He has a great interest in the latest models, but would throw all of his money at a rusty old French classic and a 300ZX. Contact: [email protected]

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