With the first episode being a winner out of the chute, there were only two ways for the second episode of “The Grand Tour” to go – up or down. Unfortunately, it was down.
The second episode, entitled “Operation Desert Stumble”, was, alas, just that – a stumble. The celebrities were killed [and that was already beginning to wear thin, so, perhaps a new direction for that segment is mandated], “The American” spewed out some more clichés [and that segment wore thin in the first episode] and the Johannesburg audience was entertained with some South African mathematics lessons to keep them in light spirits. The new segment entitled [rather lamely] “Conversation Street” is humorous in putting a silhouetted Jeremy Clarkson in stiletto heels.
But the real blunder in “Operation Desert Stumble” was the lengthy commitment to the main staged production of having the trio traveling to a terrorist-fighting practice facility in Jordan and engaging an operation against facility personnel posing as trained terrorists. While in the past episodes of the old “Top Gear” such a segment would be good for mild entertainment value of, say, 10-15 minutes, it would definitely not be worthy of taking up nearly the entire show as this did for this episode. With the glaring exception of the image of the pudgy Clarkson getting stuck in a hole in a wall in an attempt to escape a situation, it was far too long.
Perhaps the lone saving grace of this episode is that it at least appears that the boys enjoyed participating in the faux terrorist invasion and they were still able to get a car review in [though of a boring BMW] and a brief look at the Aston Martin Vulcan that looks absolutely useless on anything except a private track.
Unlike the episode, our review will be short and sweet – a disappointing 79.