After enjoying a very frosty Christmas in Finland, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were in North Africa for episode 7 and 8 of the Grand Tour. And they were on fire in the two-part special episodes in Namib Desert Beaches with their beach buggies. The episodes are definitely proving to be the best episodes so far as there are no scripted jokes, no tent, no conversation street and specially no celebrity brain crash. This has shown the real grand tour acquiring their old Top Gear style.
Here are a few highlights from both the episodes:
The Namib Desert Beach:
The New Year's eve special episode was shot in the exotic Namib Desert Beach. And, thankfully there was no tent and no lame scripted conversation.
Somewhere in the Namib Desert, the giant shipwreck found emerging from the desert was jaw-dropping. It was gorgeously captured by the cinematographer.
The Volkswagen Beetle:
Clarkson, Hammond and May have a simple tip for viewers on how to turn a Volkswagen Beetle into a beach buggy — just remove the entire bodywork.
The trio has driven 1000 miles:
Jezza and co. has literally driven a thousand miles across the desert, and also came across some crocodile-infested rivers.
Here's what critics have to say about it:
The Guardian's Ed Power has spoken highly of Grand Tour cinematographer David Lean. "Amazon is pouring cash into the Grand Tour the way some of us have been pouring Quality Street down our throats all week and here you could see the money at work. Top Gear had its moments of grandeur, but on the Beach (Buggy) Boys, the cinematography was David Lean on steroids."
In another write-up, Ed mentioned, "It was once more unto the beach as the concluding half of the Grand Tour Christmas special saw the crew continuing their dune buggy romp across the parched plains of southern Africa. Banter was exchanged, spectacular landscapes luxuriated in, a rudely-shaped gear-stick prompted deafening man-giggles. All that was missing was an incensed mob to chase our heroes out of the country."
Autoblog's Brandon Turkus described the best thing about the two episodes. "The quality of The Grand Tour's work feels more appropriate for the BBC's phenomenal Planet Earth series, rather than some geeky car show, and that's doubly true of the entire Namibian saga. The show brilliantly displays the vastness and desolation of the Namib Desert, while the later segments are just as stunning – I'd rather not spoil those, because they're truly jaw-dropping," he said.
"The Grand Tour Namibia Special was harmless entertainment for the family, while you sit and attempt to digest your Christmas over-indulgence. Any other time of the year and you'd find yourself getting up and leaving halfway through the first episode," explained Ally Heath of GQ.
"...the scenery is beautiful and captured magnificently, of that there's no doubt. There's great shots of the cars descending over sandbank crests and kicking up dust while shaking themselves to bits on bumpy, barely inhabited road, plus the odd encounter with wildlife, where Clarkson adds his own unique documentary reinterpretations, because "what David Attenborough never told us was how bad they smell," he added.
The NYE special Grand Tour episodes have got us the special touch of BBC's Top Gear Christmas special episodes. But the grand touring in the Namib Desert is reluctantly beautiful. It was exactly as you'd expect.
The Grand Tour airs on Amazon Prime at one minute past midnight on Fridays.