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The Grand Tour Season Two Episode 8 – Review


The eighth episode of the second season of “The Grand Tour” on Amazon Prime is entitled “Blast from the Past” mostly due to the inclusion of replica versions of the 1950s-era Jaguar XKSS and Aston Martin DB4 GT – once everybody recovers from the visual shock of James May’s attire featuring a denim patchwork jacket covering a black t-shirt emblazoned with lemons.

The main segment gets underway with Richard Hammond piloting the Jaguar XKSS replica and Jeremy Clarkson taking the wheel of the Aston Martin DB4 GT and going to the French town of Pau which is famous for two things – being the site of the first Grand Prix and being one of the more popular stages of the Tour de France due to its location near the Pyrenees mountain range. Later, James joins the duo in a modern Honda Civic Type R and the trio take the cars on a scenic road test around the region encountering TDF-training cyclists as well as “attack cows” before finally ending up at a 78-degree banked track near Barcelona where James and Jeremy take their cars around the aging, pothole-strewn track at speeds near 100mph while Hammond wisely begs off an attempt in his convertible Jaguar XKSS.

Conversation Street is a hit-and-miss affair this week with the hits being the naming process behind snow plow machines in Jeremy’s hometown and an idiotic staged race between a Formula E racing car and a cheetah and the misses being a short bit on the questionable naming of the Lamborghini SUV Urus and the reason for the existence of a Ford F-150 Hybrid.

Jeremy provides a brief diversion by taking the Ford GT – seen in an earlier episode engaged in a race to Niagara Falls against a disabled Hammond and May using public transportation – onto the track, its proper home.

Celebrity Face-Off features a drummer battle between Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and Police drummer, Stewart Copeland – with the race being won by Mason [who also collects and races cars].

Overall, the episode is better than last week’s disappointment, and even though old classic cars were featured, they were still replicas, but the best bits continue to be the banter between the chaps, particularly any that are not purely scripted. ASN awards this episode a respectable 84 out of 100.

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