Everything was going so well for Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May prior to March 2015. Their BBC motoring entertainment show was enjoying worldwide popularity and the trio were close to 'national treasure' status in their native U.K. Then, as the now-famous story goes, a hungry Jeremy Clarkson got angry at the lack of catering after a long day of filming and punched producer Oisin Tymon in the face, resulting in his suspension from the BBC, a rebooted Top Gear with new hosts and Clarkson, Hammond and May heading to Amazon Prime to work on their new venture, The Grand Tour.
The trio have kept most of their new show's details under wraps, only revealing the title and filming locations relatively recently and as such, anticipation from fans has been quite high. However, their recent segment on The Late Late Show With James Corden hinted that the veil was ready to be lifted on The Grand Tour - and now that suspicion has been confirmed with the release of a full trailer for the series.
The clip features everything Top Gear fans will be lovingly familiar with; a bevy of top-of-the-range supercars in exotic locations, continuous banter from the presenting trio, some mad looking custom vehicles and of course, plenty of things going very wrong.
Reassuringly for fans of the trio's work on Top Gear, the format, style and feel of the new show looks to be near identical, clearly adopting an 'if it ain't broke...' philosophy. The Grand Tour will also recycle Top Gear's live audience studio setting, although it has been confirmed that the location of the GT tent will change for each episode, with confirmed locations including Johannesburg, California and most exotic of all, Whitby in the U.K. One evident change from the trio's BBC days is the bigger budget they have been afforded on Amazon Prime. Jeremy Clarkson often spoke of money restraints at the BBC and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has described The Grand Tour deal to be "very, very expensive," which may just explain the massive tank in the trailer.
Keeping the Top Gear style is likely to prove a wise move; after all both the fans and presenters themselves were quite happy with how the previous show was running and had it not been for Clarkson's anger management issues, it probably would have continued unchanged for a number of years. There's also a significant gap in the market for a new motoring show, given that the rebooted Top Gear with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc was met with a frosty reception from audiences.
The one element that might hinder The Grand Tour's success however, will be its platform. Although the trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May have a ready-made audience, the BBC channels are tax-funded and don't run commercials in the U.K. and are therefore free to the majority of viewers. Whether the Top Gear audience will be willing to pay out to see the boys on Amazon Prime will be a test of the trio's popularity; but if they do, it's hard to imagine the show being anything other than a resounding success.
The Grand Tour premieres on Amazon Prime on November 18th, 2016.
Source: Amazon Prime