It’s been called a “smoke-belching success”, a “petrolhead romp” and even a “guilty pleasure”. The first episode broke records during opening weekend, becoming Amazon Prime Video’s most-watched premiere and after an intense 12-week filming schedule crammed with challenges, unforeseen hurdles and constant continent hopping, we can’t help but feel our own sense of “guilty pleasure” in knowing we were a part of it all.
Our globetrotting trio – Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May – wrapped up Season 1 last week on February 3. It’s safe to say they’re quite satisfied with the last 12 weeks…well, maybe.
“It’s not important work,” said Clarkson with a smirk in Episode 13. “But we are very good at it.”
May disagreed, and proceeded to show the audience some hilarious outtakes “from the unseen footage bin” that didn’t make the final cut – for obvious reasons. “Don’t worry,” said May afterward. “In the future, we’ll just get an armless man and a small boy to do those bits.”
“As opposed to a fat man and a small boy,” quipped Clarkson.
It’s not important work, but we are very good at it!Jeremy Clarkson, Episode 13
Pushing the limits
The Grand Tour – which is now available in over 200 countries and territories – pushed TV boundaries in more ways than one. The stunning opening sequence in Episode 1 leads to a Mad Max-style cross-desert chase to thousands of screaming fans at a “Burning Van” festival in the California desert. The team has tootled through Tuscany, motored across the Moroccan landscape, and track-tested some of the most powerful cars on the planet. Viewers at home were also treated to gorgeous overview shots and high-speed action-packed montages – with plenty of boy banter in between.
Enjoy this gif of Jeremy laughing, then catch up and stream all episodes of season 1 now on Prime Video. pic.twitter.com/1YTZKmEbKM— The Grand Tour (@thegrandtour) February 4, 2017
If you haven’t seen the first season of The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime Video, then you’ve literally been left in the dust! This famous trio of self-described “car journalists” have gone from the California desert in three amazing hybrid hypercars to the Cradle of Humankind outside Johannesburg, South Africa in an Aston Martin Vulcan to the picturesque port of Whitby, England in a Rolls-Royce Dawn and beyond!
We’ll see you later in the year for more of this!Jeremy Clarkson, Episode 13
We had to put our petrol heads together many times to help transport the year’s streaming sensation on time. The centerpiece of The Grand Tour’s jaw-dropping set pieces was, of course, the marquee – the massive green tent that served as the presenters’ travelling studio. And overall, the tent and equipment travelled nearly 80,000 kilometers in the DHL network.
For the Christmas special filmed in the Arctic Circle of Finland (Episode 6), the tent had to travel in a temperature-controlled environment to ensure its components didn’t freeze during transport and potentially break during assembly. (And we thought transporting very delicate and very expensive production equipment over 3,000 kilometers in snowy, freezing temperatures was enough of an obvious logistics challenge!)
After filming Episode 1 in California’s Mojave Desert, an unexpected dust storm enveloped the site and damaged some of the equipment. With some last-minute scrambling, we rerouted the damaged gear through Amsterdam for cleaning and repair before forwarding it on to the next filming location in Whitby.
Overall it was a massive logistics operation – a true test with unforeseen obstacles thrown in our path along. The kind of test we relish as much as Clarkson relishing proving May wrong.
Thank you, Jeremy, Richard and James – and Amazon Prime Video! It was certainly one heck of a ride!
The Grand Tour premiered on Amazon Prime Video on November 18, 2016. A new episode aired every Friday for 12 weeks. The series is currently set to run for three seasons.
Keep up with Clarkson, Hammond, and May on Twitter @thegrandtour. And stay tuned for more from DHL right here on InMotion.