Every petrolhead has gone wild as the first episode of Amazon Prime's The Grand Tour hit screens across the world. The show launched on Amazon Prime's streaming service on November 18, and it has garnered critical acclaim.
Since their infamous falling out with the BBC, which resulted in Jeremy Clarkson being sacked from Top Gear, and eventually James May and Richard Hammond following him out the door, all eyes have been on the trio and their new motoring series.
Writing in Digital Spy,Tom Eames said, "It was genuinely exciting to be streaming the very first episode of The Grand Tour with hardly any teasers or info about what to expect. And damn, was it good."
He also added, "Yes! The Grand Tour is bombastic and silly. Yes, a lot of it is [knowingly] a rip-off of Top Gear [Jeremy even said "meanwhile..."], but that's exactly what we wanted.
"It's all the things we loved about their old show, but bigger, brighter and more blow-upier. They've somehow come up with the world's first scripted comedy factual show, and it works perfectly."
Ed Power of The Telegraph described it as "exciting". "A lot was riding on the outcome – with Amazon lavishing a reputed £4.5 million on each of 36 planned instalments (to be aired over three seasons) and viewers around the world anxious to discover whether there was to be a second chapter in the careers of Clarkson and co after their ill-tempered exit from the BBC in 2015."
He added: "The Grand Tour isn't a shameless Top Gear rip-off. The new series will certainly go some way towards obliterating memories of TG's terrible Chris Evans-fronted relaunch [Clarkson even repurposed his "bombshell" catchphrase as "and on that terrible disappointment"]."
According to the BBC Arts editor Will Gompertz: "The scale of the production, the quality of the cameras, the epic sweeping shots and the pastiches of old movies - it seemed the show was aimed at the big screen, not the telly."
"As ever with these three, the best bits are the banter. Hammond, in particular, stands out. His energy, eagerness to please, and ability to crack genuinely funny off-the-cuff jokes are a boon for the viewer", he added.
The Guardian's Sam Wollaston wrote, "But first we've got to get out of rainy old Blighty. So Jeremy is leaving a building, handing his pass in ... got it, it's supposed to be the BBC. [A lot of this first episode seems to be aimed at his former employee – if not quite winding the window down and giving a raised middle finger, then at least pulling up at the lights and looking over smugly: ha, check out my big budget]."
"Because more than format, more even than the amount of money you throw at something, what really gives a television show its personality is the personnel. You can pour something into a different container, but it still tastes the same. And, like it or not, this tastes of Clarkson, Hammond and May," he said.
Jack Shepherd of The Independent wrote: "As with the new Top Gear, the structure feels familiar. The trio launch into a sgement beginning with just Hammond and Clarkson debating which one of their chosen cars is better. It looks incredibly cinematic, filmed in pristine quality with the same incredibly capable cameramen that helped make the BBC show such a success."
The Grand Tour Season 1 airs every Friday on Amazon Prime.