Less comedy, more cars please.
After a promising start, The Grand Tour Operation Desert Stumble was the show’s difficult second album. Focusing on the presenters joining a special forces team in Jordan, the second episode has garnered a mixed response compared to the universal praise of the show’s debut, with many viewers criticizing its lack of actual car content. Here are our best and worst moments from The Grand Tour episode 2: Operation Desert Stumble.
The Best: The Aston MartinVulcan The V12 Vulcan is Aston Martin’s scariest supercar yet, and Clarkson’sroad test perfectly captured this, striking a perfect balance of beinginformative, entertaining and beautifully shot. To quote Clarkson: “I’m notgoing to say it’s like being attacked by a bear, but it is like being in a roomwith a bear that is thinking ofattacking you.”
You Spin Me RightRound Watching James May being an unwilling passenger alongside aprofessional driver always makes for good television, and his introduction toSouth Africa’s spinning sport was no exception where people drive RWD cars incircles until the tyres explode. It was original, entertaining and gave insightinto the country’s car culture. Those few seconds of May’s genuine reactionwhen the driver stepped out of the moving car were funnier than many of theshow’s scripted jokes.
The Cinematic Car Chase Part of The Grand Tour’s appeal is the obscene amount ofmoney being thrown at it. In the last episode, we had the Mad Max FuryRoad-esque intro. In this episode, we get a cinematic car chase full ofgratuitous gunfire and explosions, with Clarkson, Hammond and May evadingterrorists in an Audi S8 – the movie star’s car of choice, according toClarkson, having appeared in The Transporter, Taken and Ronin. The shot of May firing an assault rifle out of a moving caris worth watching alone.
The Worst: Operation DesertStumble The show’s main feature was fun to watch as a parody of TomCruise’s Edge of Tomorrow, but it was very contrived and barely related tocars. It was like watching three middle aged men acting out a Call of Duty game,as the team were tasked to infiltrate a town, get to a plane, take out someterrorists, rescue a VIP and escape to an embassy. They certainly looked likethey were having fun, but it dragged on far too long. Also, while pretty hilarious, did we really need a gaginvolving Clarkson being implicitly molested by terrorists?
The American Replacing the silent Stig with a vocal racing driver maykeep the BBC’s lawyers happy, but Nascar driver Mike Skinner’s appearance inepisode 2 was just as jarring as the first episode with his incessant trashtalking in every car. Less talking, more driving please.
Celebrity Brain Crush Seriously, this isn’t funny anymore. Watching celebrities“die” was a mildly amusing way to kill off Top Gear’s Star in a ReasonablyPriced Car in episode 1, but it doesn’t need to be a recurring joke everyepisode. As soon as they announced Charlize Theron as a guest, we all knew whatwas about to happen. And it did. So, what did you think of The Grand Tour’s sophomore episode? Let us know in the comments.