The BBC tried to put Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May’s car show dreams to an end when it canceled their right to present Top Gear a few years ago. The corporation didn’t like the trio’s antics, and their politically incorrect comments didn’t sit well with its prevailing culture.
However, that didn’t stop the public from loving them. In fact, it made them want to watch them even more. Amazon saw this and launched The Grand Tour, a new Top Gear in all but name with ratings that absolutely destroyed the old version.
The Grand Tour ran for three complete seasons. But then at the end of Season 3, Jeremy Clarkson issued a tearful announcement saying that it was going to be the final episode and that the Grand Tour wouldn’t be returning in the future in the same format.
In a way, he was right. The first episode of Season 4 seemed to have very little to do with cars at all. But the show did go on. And this time, Clarkson, May and Hammond were mainly getting up to all their usual antics in boats.
However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, filming for the series had to stop. And so since the release of the first episode last year, only one new episode has been made.
For lovers of car shows, this is a tragedy. We have had no new material from the group in little over a year, leading many to wonder whether The Grand Tour can return at all.
It turns out that Amazon is not cancelling the show. It knows that The Grand Tour is a real money-spinner and something that those who use Amazon Prime want to watch more than anything else.
Whether we will see Hammond, Clarkson and May getting up to their usual antics all together in a single episode this year remains unclear.
Directors and producers of the show changed their filming strategy last year in light of the pandemic. Instead of sending the presenters all over the world, they limited the location to Scotland, filming the vast bulk of the episodes there. Scotland offered numerous advantages, including offering vast wildernesses to keep the filming private.
How much of the series will actually be about cars remains a bit of a mystery. The show’s producers did seem to indicate at the end of Season 3 that they would no longer play a central role and that, instead, the topic would be vehicles in general. But whether this is true or not remains to be seen.
Sponsors will also still want to leverage the show. Ads saying “we will buy your car” will likely continue to make an appearance.
The current consensus is that The Grand Show Season 4 arriving late would be better than it not arriving at all. Recently, fans have been deprived of their regular dosage of the trio of presenters, thanks to circumstances beyond anyone’s control. But that doesn’t look like it is going to be the case for long. As we move out of the pandemic, things are changing. And The Grand Tour schedule is likely to continue very much as it was before.