The Grand Tour can be said to be Jeremy Clarkson’s first TV show ever since he left Top Gear. The show, which launched last month on the Amazon Prime Streaming Service sparked a substantial amount of critical acclaim with some critics comparing the Grand Tour to Top Gear, claiming the former is Top Gear, given a nitros boost of Amazon Finances.
Since Top Gear is BBC Property, the producers of the new TV series set out to make the show entirely different. This article samples the differences between the two shows.
To begin with, Top Gear is hosted and Presented by BBC II while The Grand Tour is being organized by Amazon Prime Video, which is a new streaming service.
The opening credits of Top Gear usually feature a split-screen montage of flashy cars in exotic locations around the world, often ending with the usual gear cog logo. The Grand Tour’s opening sequence is a whole other story altogether. It cost the production company a whopping €2.5 million and is reported to be TV’s most expensive opening sequence.
The series begins with Clarkson leaving the BBC in London and traveling to Los Angeles. He, Hammond and May get into red, white and Blue Ford Mustangs respectively and drive a la Mad Max across the desert to the “Burning Van” festival where they are joined by over 150 cars, 2000 petrol heads, eight jet planes flying in formation and flanked by stilt-walkers and acrobats. What’s more, the first episode is symbolically titled “The Holy Trinity.”
The Top Gear theme music featured 1973’s instrumental “Jessica” by the Allman Brothers. It also featured a mix of electronic, rock and classical. The Grand Tour, on the other hand, opens with a live gospel rendition of “I can see things clearly now” by the Hothouse Flowers. The rest of the music is gentle and moody.
When we Look at the presenters of both shows, the familiar trio has been replaced by Chris Harris, Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid with cameos from Sabina Schmidtz, Eddie Jordan, and the Stig. Grand Tour features the former team from Top Gear which included James May, Jeremy Jackson, and Richard Hammond.
The studio in Top Gear features a Dunsfold Aerodrome Hangar which is styled with scaffolding poles, checkerboard walls, and floodlights. The Grand Tour is, however, different; it does not have a permanent set. The show is meant to travel the globe with a giant tent. The producers shot the first episode at the Dry Rabbit Lake in the Mojave Desert on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
Top Gear features an audience which is standing as they laugh at the presenters’ jokes on car bonnets and make-shift chairs made from leather Rolls Royce seats. In the Grand Tour, the audience sits around a stage while the hosts sit at a table. There is increased audience interaction in the show.
Top Gear, in the last series, featured different supercars, hot hatches, SUVs and classic cars. The Grand Tour on the other hand strictly featured hypercars in the pilot episode as the presenters headed to Portugal for a race between the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 and Ferrari LaFerrari. Jet skis and armored vehicles are expected to cameo later on in the series.