I have fallen in love with the specials of the Amazon Prime show, The Grand Tour. It follows three well-known auto journalists on adventures around the world. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are a hilarious bunch who bring out the best in each other.
I don’t really care for their regular episodes – not being a car person – but their specials have evolved to bring about hilarity, history, nature and the occasional cooking show in one extra long episode.
I have ranked the best specials below.
*There are more specials forthcoming and I will update this list as I watch them.
7. Operation Desert Stumble, Season 1 Episode 2
Operation Desert Stumble is the first “special” but it only constitutes about 1/3 of this episode, and is more a set of rehearsed skits.
6. International Buffoon’s Vacation, Season 3 Episode 8
In International Buffoon’s Vacation, the boys try a stereotypical American RV vacation, and it does not go well.
5. Sea to Unsalty Sea, Season 3 Episode 11
This episode sees the trio travelling from the edge of the Black Sea in Georgia, to the edge of the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan.
4. Feed the World, Season 2 Episode 11
Taking place in Mozambique, this hilarious effort to transport fish to a poor village more than 200 miles inland had me in stitches. “I know we said we were working as a team, and we are working as a team. By leaving him behind”.
3B. The Beach (Buggy) Boys, Season 1 Episodes 7 & 8
Yes, I’m cheating a bit here, but I really couldn’t decide whether I enjoyed this special or the next better. My top four choices are all really close together, then Feed the World is in the middle, and the others share a distant last place.
In this two episode special, the boys modify some beach buggies. They’re told to drive them 1000 miles across Namibia, but cover at least 3000 miles instead as they go in circles around the country.
3A. Survival of the Fattest (Mongolia), Season 3 Episode 13
May, Clarkson and Hammond are dropped off in the middle of Mongolia by helicopter, along with three large care packages. To their great displeasure, they discover British Army MREs and water for sustenance – no alcohol – and all the parts for an off-road buggy. Cue days of assembly and driving to the nearest town of Moron.
2. Seamen, Season 4 Episode 1
Seamen was a very close second; I kept dithering about with this list, switching No. 1 & 2, but finally decided on this order. Just know it is basically 1A and 1B! Seamen takes a bit of a break from the car aspect of the show, as our three gents pick boats and sail from the north end of Cambodia, down the Saigon River into Vietnam and the South China Sea. Not professional or avid boaters, it is truly hilarious to watch these three navigate their way. I almost peed myself laughing.
1. Columbia (Wildlife Photography), Season 3 Episodes 2 & 3
Columbia sees our three favourite hosts on a special assignment for Mr. Wilman: photographing wild animals in Columbia, to serve as Amazon’s new screen saver. The blokes are to locate and photograph a bear, a condor, a jaguar and … a hippopotamus?