Despite The Grand Tour being presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May from Top Gear, it felt very different from the BBC car show. For one, fans complained of the show feeling more scripted than before. Regardless of this, it’s still been incredibly successful with it now becoming a show that focuses on specials only, with no more studio/tent episodes alongside an audience. So, with the new Scotland special on the way as well as a special that found the trio in Wales and Warwickshire, we had to go through all of the special episodes released up to this point.
So, with one hell of a budget from Amazon, The Grand Tour has managed to explore the world in all sort of different cars, and even boats. But which are the best to watch? Read on and we’ll find out together. We’ll go from the worst to the best episodes in this list. Enjoy.
The Grand Tour Presents: Seamen
This was possibly one of the least liked specials from The Grand Tour, with fans complaining about a lack of storyline and a severe lack of cars. Clarkson, Hammond, and May boat from Siem Reap, Cambodia to Vũng Tàu, Vietnam, on the Mekong Delta. May brought a 1939 Wooden Cruiser, Hammond a Scarab, and Clarkson brought a custom-built PBR.
Interestingly, this was the first episode without the usual writer Richard Porter behind the script and was the first to really come under negative criticism from fans. While there’s a definite correlation here, it was also the first full episode of The Grand Tour without the tent. It may have been too much of a change from the previous season.
Executive Producer Andy William found the change of format very challenging. He told BT the following:
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“We’ve always tried to make a special feel special,” he said. “If you look back at the Top Gear ones, they started at an hour. Then they became 90 minutes. Then some of them became two-parters. None of that was planned. The key thing is the 90 minutes. That’s the biggest thing that beats you around the head.
“A 90-minute special needs a narrative. In an hour you can piss around more. Just jump around like children with too much sugar. But these longer specials need a journey and narrative, which is added pressure.”