After a long hiatus, due to Covid, “The Grand Tour” is back with their latest adventure, “Lochdown”. In this endeavor they find themselves in Scotland with three large American cars from a bygone era, the 70s, when gas was cheaper and the concept of overweight and under-powered land yachts made sense across the pond.
For their latest adventure Jeremy Clarkson cruises in a Lincoln Continental Mark V, Richard Hammond in a Buick Riviera, and James May rolls in a Cadillac Coupe De Ville. It’s an awesome selection of vehicles for our hosts that were raised on 70s American TV but never had the opportunity to own such ostentatious cars.
Flashy, impractical and filled with too much velour the cars are ill equipped to navigate the narrow roads in Scotland, but no bother as they make do and hijinks ensue. In the same vein as their previous work on “Top Gear” and the previous seasons of “The Grand Tour”, the trio maintain their timeless chemistry and quick wit.
Due to Covid and the global shutdown “Lochdown” was delayed after initial filming started last summer. The episode is a poignant reminder of the early days of this tragic plague that has affected all of us.
As I reviewed earlier, “The Grand Tour” is the best car/motorsports show on Amazon, but as a longtime “Top Gear” fan the current show with Clarkson, Hammond and May is not the same as their previous BBC work. This isn’t me throwing shade at the current show and reminiscing fondly of yesterday.
My perspective of “The Grand Tour”, specifically the first couple of years, was that it was a “Top Gear” knockoff but didn’t have the same mojo as their previous work. I figure that executive producer Andy Wilman, who previously worked on “Top Gear” and helped develop the show’s style and flair, took a little time to get “The Grand Tour” going with its own panache.
After season two the show got its legs and here we are with some legitimately funny entertainment. The previous format in the tent was kind of painful, “Celebrity Brain Crash” specifically, but the addition of Abbie Eaton was a dope choice for the show.
By dropping the tent and going to a more long-verse format was pure genius. For me, the best facets of “Top Gear” were the films and adventures but I always loved “Star In A Reasonably Priced Car” because it made realize that I am not the worst driver in the world.
Long format episodes (Are they considered films?) like “Lochdown” and “Seaman” show that the fellas are better suited for longer adventures where obstacles lead to greater dialogue and comedy. With their ages increasing I don’t think we will have “The Gran Tour” much longer and James May was very blunt about this concern in a recent interview.
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“I’ve got a few things left to do. It probably won’t be for another 10 years let’s be honest.” – James May
The notion of the trio riding off into the sunset after one last adventure is a major bummer to think about, but it makes me appreciate that much more when a new episode is released. I thoroughly enjoyed “Lochdown” and I recommend it to anyone, regardless if they are car people.
Simply put, “Lochdown” is entertaining and well worth a spin. Go check it out.