[04x02] Dec 17th, 2020 - Pirate Treasure in Madagascar

jack_christie

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The intrepid trio find themselves back on four wheels for their latest adventure. Armed with sports cars, Richard, James and Jeremy think they are in for a cushy road trip as they arrive on the exotic island of Reunion and race on the world’s most expensive piece of tarmac. But a bizarre challenge propels them to Madagascar where they must tackle the world’s toughest road.
 

Ferrari333SP

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I thought this was a great adventure. The mods they made to the Ford and Bentley were really cool to see. Still haven't gotten used to see that Bentley going over those kinds of "roads". Some proper hard laughing throughout. The purpose of their adventure seemed genuine enough. Hour and a half long. Nothing to complain about really. So happy the Grand Tour is back
 

Perc

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Is this where we can post spoilers without risking being lynched?
 

chocho55

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Agreed, this is not a bad one for a special. There is a purpose for the trip. The modifications were interesting. They interact with each other during the trips. Pretty much everything that we like to see. Poor Hammond, he probably over done it a bit on the Focus. James's Lotus was surprise consider that is not designed for this kind thing at all. Nevertheless, it was quite a fun esp after all.
 

Mike Bull

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Lovely to spend time with three old mates again and some genuine laughs, though really it was just three cars trying to get along one really shitty 'road'.
 

gaasc

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After not seeing them together for so long, I was actually rather reticent to seeing the three of them together again being how the formula had gotten a bit stale.

But this was actually quite good fun. And they even got over most of the stupid "cocking about" bits within the first half hour. and when they came back it was a ten second thing. One canon continuity error though.

When Hammond destroys the RS, he says that it's the first car they ever lost on their adventures. It isn't. it's not even the first ford.

capri-28-injection.jpg
 

Perc

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Ah, so there's a spoiler tag. Nice. Forgot about that.

You have to wonder if they knew the tracks would fail like they did and figured it would make good tv, or if they just didn't have a clue and found out along the way that they don't do potholes very well.

The tracks probably gave Hammond better gearing, which means his hot hatch did fine crawling over rocks. Once he switched to standard sized road tyres he had to abuse the clutch to crawl over stuff and that's where it failed. And that's why torque converters are superior. :D

It would be interesting to examine the AWD system after all that abuse, though. The Focus (like the current generation Opel/Vauxhall Insignia) doesn't have a rear diff, it just has a friction clutch for each rear wheel and a brain box that applies power individually as needed. GKN Twinster.

Either way, I enjoyed this a lot more than the stupid Seamen episode. I know it's been shot on a very tight schedule beacuse Covid killed their original plan, so everything happened in a few short days. I'm glad they got a show out the door considering the circumstances.
 

jack_christie

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Not very special, more a sub par TG episode.

Hope there are more episodes before Xmas 2021?
 

gaasc

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To answer your spoiler tag:

I expect they knew that the tracks would fail at some point through the journey, but they didn't count on how often they would or the damage they would cause to the car when they did. They are especially problematic on pavement where your top speed is severely limited just by the physics of the thing and the excess grip causing an effect not dissimilar to driving around with locked diffs.

Even as someone who enjoyed Seamen; this special is indeed an improvement over it. It also validated Richard Porter's theory that the further away from cars you get on these specials, the worse they get. IIRC Covid didn't actually kill their original plan and most of the filming was done just before it reached globally and countries went on lockdown, but the editing process took exponentially longer as the production companies had to adapt their workflows to lockdown
 

93Flareside

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I liked it, the worst part was Clarkson in the auto parts shop. The rest, fine. I did enjoy a few self aware moments with the shark jump joke and trying to get around the blurring with the number plate. I don't think they used the same cars as they had at the start though, if they did, alright, but I have a hard time believing they got a Focus RS from Cologne just to ruin on the other side of the planet. It smells of press car to me and they just copied the plate for the modified one. I would be more inclined to think they got a non-roadworthy car due to some minor crash than buying a new/used car and taking it. The Bentley is another one I'm suspect about as well, the interior stitching changed between the drag race and when on Madagascar, right?

I had an overall sense that there wasn't a serious focus as to what was going on. Even the source of the Nile river challenge seemed more put together in my opinion.
 

Aston Martin

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I have never been more bored in my life.

Jumped The Shark in 2013? Yep and been jumping ever fucking since.
 

gaasc

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I liked it, the worst part was Clarkson in the auto parts shop. The rest, fine. I did enjoy a few self aware moments with the shark jump joke and trying to get around the blurring with the number plate. I don't think they used the same cars as they had at the start though, if they did, alright, but I have a hard time believing they got a Focus RS from Cologne just to ruin on the other side of the planet. It smells of press car to me and they just copied the plate for the modified one. I would be more inclined to think they got a non-roadworthy car due to some minor crash than buying a new/used car and taking it. The Bentley is another one I'm suspect about as well, the interior stitching changed between the drag race and when on Madagascar, right?

No they didn't use the new ones. With the possible exception of the Catheram, which they could easily buy outright, they used pre-owned vehicles for the actual challenge. For example, in the close-up shots of the Bentley's dash once the challenge is undergoing you can see that the odometer is showing 70k km or thereabouts. It is still a huge step from the cheap car challenge, which I have to imagine even them are getting somewhat tired of.
 

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I liked it.

I thought the Caterham bits were some of the best. Nothing like watching James completely caked with mud.

I learned the drawbacks of those tracks things.

You can complete cover any vehicle, even a Bentley, in a Jegs catalog worth of crap.

I was also shocked by the infrastructure project being done. We do anything like that in the United States.
 

93Flareside

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I was also shocked by the infrastructure project being done. We do anything like that in the United States.

How to never have progress: "It costs too much." :|
 

RedPandaXP

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I liked it. I saw more adventure than cocking about, and I liked that. Even the killswitch gag was fun, mainly because it's not been overused for the entire episode.
 

SirEdward

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I liked it. It's certainly not as good as others specials, but it had a... "freshness" to it that helped quite a lot. The guys were mostly having fun. It's like finding again something that you loved in the past and discovering you still like it and it brings happiness (and we all need it, these days). It also shows that the formula is indeed getting older, or maybe it's just that the production had many problems. I think the best part was the section on Réunion.
 

MiXAL

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I had an overall sense that there wasn't a serious focus as to what was going on. Even the source of the Nile river challenge seemed more put together in my opinion.
I second that. Not the worst one that have made but. It felt little lazy overall.
 

Mike Bull

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Enjoyable, at face value. But we just have to accept that we've seen it all before and it will probably never seem quite as funny or fresh again, and go with it.
 
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