The fourth episode of “The Grand Tour” remained in the UK at a place called Whitby – a seaside town in Yorkshire – where the boys go “Enviro-mental”.
After some of the usual banter with the audience, the show begins in earnest with the killing off of the celebrity – in this case, British comedian Jimmy Carr steering his jet ski into a large boat – before sauntering off to the “Conversation Street” segment where Richard Hammond has been given a gigantic alien hand in silhouette [last week, Jeremy Clarkson had a stiletto heel]. Next week is presumably James May’s turn.
The episode then pits a Porsche 911 GT3 against a BMW M4 with Clarkson conducting the testing and, as such, bringing his innate dislike of all things Porsche to the table. But it’s all a ruse as Clarkson is testing the BMW M version he likes the least against the Porsche therefore creating – in his mind, anyway – an even battle between two cars he detests. Then “The American” – who they still have not replaced with Nico Rosberg – test drives the BMW M4 with unremarkable comments and results.
After that comes the crux of the episode – a battle of vehicles constructed by the trio using natural resources – May originally constructs his of mud, Clarkson goes with dead animal bits and Hammond uses plants and trees. Hammond’s vehicle is winning the day easily and actually has a borderline chance to be shown as a viable concept until it is intentionally destroyed by May who seems to get lost while operating a large hedger vehicle.
There is also a bit where Hammond is smuggled inside the bumper of an Audi TT that must have been funnier in person than it translated on television.
Overall, every element was a bit predictable and while the signature challenge event segment was entertaining to watch, it was ham-handed in its message that supposedly, environmentally-motivated reasons for building a car are inane. It was not as bad as Episode Two – and they still need to replace The American with Rosberg – but it was not one of the better episodes of the quartet shown us so far. ASN awards Episode Four with a barely passing grade of 81 out of 100.