The Grand Tour’s Big Bang

Since Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were so ceremoniously kicked off Top Gear and out of the BBC, and moved over the pond to Amazon Prime, the rumour mill has been churning out stories about their next venture, the Grand Tour. We have seen a number of teaser clips of what we can expect and to be frank, they all looked like everything we had come to love about the old Top Gear.

Whilst that was enough to get most of us salivating in expectation, it would now appear that they want to go one further; they want to start not with a splash but much more a Big Bang, according to UK’s The Sun, which carried a story reporting that the opening scene for the new extravaganza cost a mere US$3.2 million to film.

Apparently, the scene, which we haven’t seen yet, included more than 150 vehicles, about 2000 fans, circus acts and six aircrafts. Filmed in the Californian desert, the scene starts with Clarkson, Hammond and May speeding across the barren landscape in three modified Ford Mustang’s painted in the Red White and Blue of the American Flag. Following closely behind were the other 150 or so cars; these of course were not just any cars. Behind the Mustangs are seen Rolls Royce’s and Bugatti Veyron’s, to name just two. The total estimated value of the following horde of automotive excellence was US$25 million.

So far, the Grand Tour has filmed just about all over the world, starting in South Africa and seemingly ending in California, where the recent automotive love-fest took place. It will first air on Amazon Prime on Friday, November 18th, and there are to be twelve episodes in the first season. Thus far, Amazon has committed to three seasons. If they continue to spend at the current rate, that will put the cost of each season at almost US$40 million.

Over at the BBC, Matt LeBlanc is set to helm the old Top Gear; well, at least for the next two seasons when coincidentally Clarkson and Co. will be available again, but in the interim it will be interesting to see just how the BBC and LeBlanc will respond to the most expensive opening scene that the small screen has ever seen.

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