Entertainment

The Grand Tour: ‘Moroccan Roll’ Review (2016)

ScreenCritics Adam offers his take on the latest episode from Amazon’s The Grand Tour. This time round, the ‘Moroccan Roll’.

We all know that The Grand Tour is at its best when the trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May are each given a car and told to do a challenge of some sorts. Doesn’t matter whether the cars are new, old or made by themselves, that’s the way it goes.

It’s the reason why every single episode apart from the poor Operation Desert Stumble has followed this structure. But this presents another problem, how to keep this formula fresh. After all, when you get down to it this is just three prats doing stuff in cars. How much is there you can really do?

This time, James May and Richard Hammond have had an argument. Hammond insists the new Mazda MX5 is still the best lightweight sportscar, while May disagrees and thinks it’s the stripped out Zenos E10. So they go to Morocco to test them. Then Clarkson complicates everything by bringing along the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider.

There is nothing really wrong with the first segment of the episode. It’s the usual thing, the trio drive fast on some lovely roads with stunning scenery, boast about how good their car is while saying the other two are complete rubbish. It’s amusing enough and this does get some laughs, but the problem is familiarity. We had these sort of jokes in Opera, Art and Donuts and that was just a fortnight ago. It could do with bumping down the schedule, just so it can feel a bit fresher than it is.

Luckily the second half of the segment much better, most notably for the weighbridge. Because Alfa Romeo keep changing their mind as to what the weight of the 4C Spider is, Clarkson makes his own weighing scales which of course need some animals to use as counterbalance. Seeing the trio have to deal with ignorant animals is a blast, and quite honestly I completely lost it when the two male cows decided they had found love and were going to show off that love. Can’t say they don’t have diversity on this show now!

Like many of these segments, it ended with some lap times, with the course being set around some of the famous movie sets that were built in Morocco. Again, this has the issue with over familiarity, though this is lightened by the fact this isn’t a traditional race track and it is rather cool to see all these different sets. If you are a movie buff like me anyway.

Of course that isn’t the entire episode, with May and Hammond also deciding to take each other on in Car Battleships, with the likes of limousines taking on the roles of aircraft carriers and G-Wizes being the bombs. There’s not much to say about this segment really, as it’s so simple. Yet it is also very funny and full of explosions, which means it is a joy to watch and I do sort of want to see if they could do other takes on classic board games. Just don’t play it at home in your garden like they say you can, it will cause problems with the local police force.

What this all leads to is another good episode of The Grand Tour. I’ve been a bit harsher on it than I usually am, I blame the terrible headache I have right now, but I do expect a lot from this show because of the talents involved. And with this episode being so very similar to my favorite of the series so far Opera, Art and Donuts, I am going to be critical as I feel they can give us very different episodes each time and this one doesn’t.

 

Reoccurring Jokes

  • So I’ve decided to create this section to tell you the repeating jokes that happen in the show, as I want to comment on them but they often don’t fit into the natural flow of my reviews.
  • This week, the tent is in a port in Rotterdam, Netherlands. It’s an interesting challenge for The Grand Tour as this is the first time they’ve gone to a place where English isn’t the primary language. The audience still seemed to have a lot of fun though.
  • The drone at the start got took down by one of those massive crate crane thingies.
  • The guest on Celebrity Brainsmash was Goldern Earring. I’ve never heard of them, but they did make the classic song Radar Love, which was on actually in the final five when Top Gear did their Greatest Driving Songs of All Time, so there is some relevance here. Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now won by the way.
  • Anyway, it was a remarkably clever way of killing them. A crate dangled above them, making it seem obvious that they were going to get knocked off that way, before they got electrocuted by a cable that fell into the sea.
  • In Conversation Street, they discussed who have the worst Police Cars, it’s the Brits’ Vauxhall Astras, while complimenting the Dutch police on somehow getting Porsches for there’s. Also in discussion, the Dutch killing otters with their cars, pointless squirrel bridges and how when you don’t race a train, it’s time to go down the assisted suicide route. The opening graphic sees James May handling a hawk.
  • Instead of Celebrity Brainsmash, the trio show off many of the goods they got from a driving aids store, which of course was a sex shop. As the blow up doll is slow to do merely by mouth, and they need it in case America’s HMO Lanes come to Europe, they use a V8 to quickly blow it up. It goes as well as you’d expect.
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