‘The Grand Tour’ Recap and Reaction: ‘Morroccan Roll’

This week’s Grand Tour is in Rotterdam. Clarkson loves it for the tall people, Hammond hates it for the tall people and James has junk food. Continuing with his ‘tell it how it is’ trend, Clarkson claims Rotterdam is great because – due to emission laws restricting cars before certain years – there are no poor people to create traffic. He might be right but it still hurts.

The Best Sports Car

Trying to figure out exactly which Mazda is best, James and Richard head to Marrakech. Hammond has the MX5 with all the bells and whistles whilst May has gone with the practical Zenos. It has no roof, windows, heaters, etc. An engine and four wheels are it. A full body and windows to deter thieves might be a good idea but they skimped on that. The damn steering wheel even comes off. A race car, not a road car.

The Mazda MX5 (left) and Zenos E10 (right)

Somehow, Clarkson has caught up with them in an Alfa Romeo 4C Spyder. Despite ignoring the constant criticisms from his colleagues, he does end up having to make frequent stops to admire the scenery and stretch his legs. Stubborn to a fault, the idiot refuses to admit the shortcomings of his car – even after losing a drag race to Captain Slow. Their first night on their journey, he attempts to prove the Alfa the best by merit of weight. For some absurd reason, it appears the hotel does not stock a weighbridge and the first segment ends with him promising to build his own.

Conversation Street

Police across the world fail in their various ways but which have the worst cars? Well, it’s not Holland. They needed cars which can reverse at high speeds and have removable roofs in order to address traffic and the public in emergency situations. Somehow, they managed to convince the government to purchase 911’s.

Wildlife is a constant problem with motorists. Every now and then, the spirit of Darwin carefully selects a small furry creature to turn suicidal and leap in front of cars. But the thoughtful Dutch created a lovely squirrel bridge for a meagre €150,000. In the past two years, only five squirrels have ever crossed. Well, five crossings. Possibly just the one squirrel.

Battleships

Board games have largely disappeared in recent years. But what if they were bigger and had more explosions? To that end, Richard has recreated the iconic game of Battleships using various cars. Playing against him is James May. During their first attempt at launching a car as a torpedo, the pair accidentally kills the Health and Safety inspectors. I’m not entirely sure where the law would come down, but I think that they are now completely safe as no dangers will be uncovered.

Possibly acting under the same thinking, the Grand Tour has the worlds first game of Battle-Car-Ships after replacing the car launchers with cranes. Filled with dangerous explosions, safety glass shields and copious amounts of smoke, the victory eventually goes to May after a close finish.

Celebrity Brain Crash

Instead of a single celebrity, the Grand Tour has called one of Holland’s biggest bands – Golden Earring who will play their hit track ‘Radar Love’. Somehow, right as they launch into their track, a snared cable electrocutes them all. At least it wasn’t the obvious container floating above their heads. With no other celebrities lined up, the three presenters attempt to show off new ‘cycling equipment’. In case any children happen to read this, I’m not going to say what they were. Adults can think the word ‘dungeon’ and made the connection.

The Best Sports Car

Having constructed some scales, the problem has arisen where they cannot load the other side of the scales. Using various animals – cows, camels, turkeys and chickens – they manage to weigh the Mazda at two-and-two-legs of cow, one camel and three goats. Standard international forms of measurement. After breaking the scales trying to unload the Mazda, the police arrive and ask them to leave – politeness and politics barely preventing them from arresting the three idiots – the Grand Tour continues into Morocco.

Trying to fix the problem, Hammond and May convince Clarkson to leave. In a petulant childish retaliation, he takes the camera crews with him. Following some artistic and beautifully edited shots of the Alfa, he happens to encounter the latest Indiana Jones wannabe and his girlish companion. They have somehow encountered old film sets in the middle of the desert.

As Hammond walks around concocting wild theories about alien and expired civilisations, the less deluded presenters create a track through the sets as Clarkson dons a suit. Although somewhat idiotic – having barely spread gravel before they start racing – it has style. Touring through Egypt, the Soviet era and Westeros, this track has everything. Unsurprisingly – as Captain Slow and careful driver – James comes solid last. But with Hammond crashing through an ‘ancient pillar’ the show ends on a sad note.

Observations

  • Although the comment about ‘poor people’ might have been in bad taste – however true – Clarkson did at least draw attention to how Rotterdam is tackling emission problems.
  • There is at least one generational gap between the average view of the Grand Tour and people who understand Clarkson’s taste in jackets.
  • Possibly going slightly too far in trying to revitalise board games, Hammond does bring up a good point. The younger generations are too attached to their electronics.
  • We can probably stop trying to create any nerdy racetracks now. The Grand Tour accidentally made the best one ever.

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