The Grand Tour Namibia Special Does Not Disappoint

Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Amazon Prime Video)
Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Amazon Prime Video) /

So, Jezza shoots Hammond, May sets a buggy on fire, and Clarkson chases goats. The Grand Tour decided to close out 2016 in style.

With the late announcement of The Grand Tour two-part New Years special, I was not sure what to expect. Seeing the first part was only 44 minutes I was even more on edge about what to expect. I had also been concerned about the seemingly bottomless budget ruining adventures like this. Boy did I turn out to be wrong!

When I saw they were going to be traversing the African desert in buggies, I figured they would have chosen ultra high-end sand rails. Turns out they went back to their Top Gear roots and built buggies to match their personality. Who else but Jeremy Clarkson would strap a V8 to a sand buggy!

The first part of the two-part episode involved navigating the beachside without the assistance of a map or compass. That left Jeremy to show off his celestial navigation skills. You can imagine how that went. After two days and several trips backtracking, they ended day one finally finding a road.

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Once the gang got onto the road they thought their trip across Namibia would be easy. As anyone who knows about dirt roads, they get rough, very rough. It seemed to be a competition to find out who’s buggy would break down first, James or Jeremy. The V8 in Jeremy’s rail had overheating issues, throttle issues, fan belt issues, and drank fuel at an astounding rate. James vintage 1960’s buggy had electrical issues and was trying to vibrate May to pieces.

A change in navigational decision making along the way led to James May leading the group. They went from high speed vibrating apart to bouncing over rocks and sinking in ultra soft African sand. Needless to say, Richard and Jeremy were not shy in letting James know how they felt about his decision making.

An unexpected, alcohol induced, decision to help stop the ramped poaching of Rhino’s led to some of the funniest antics we have yet seen on The Grand Tour. It was what we all had hoped to see when they announced the new Amazon Prime show. It was the guys in their element, out of their comfort zone and playing off each other.

The second part of the special culminates with them finding themselves in an impossible situation. As long as you are willing to suspend reality for a little while, you are in for quite a treat. In classic Top Gear style, the chances of all the presenters making it to the finish are slim.

As much as I have enjoyed The Grand Tour, this was the first time I felt like there was no pressure to outdo Top Gear. Now that we are halfway through the first series, I feel like we are going to see nothing but more natural episodes going forward. It is a great time to have Amazon Prime.

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