Grand Tour Production Resumes: Overcoming Coronavirus

Many motoring enthusiasts may recall that the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May began an Amazon Prime show called, The Grand Tour. That show is now in its fourth season. However, production was suspended during the COVID-19 lockdown. Only the first episode was released. As a result, fans that have been binging everything they can stream during the quarantine have not been able to watch more of the Grand Tour. That’s changing.

The three presenters of The Grand Tour
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson, and James May attend a screening of ‘The Grand Tour’ season 3 held at The Brewery on January 15, 2019, in London, England | Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Coronavirus impact

We already covered, back in early March, that the production for the series had been stalled before the second episode was completed. What we did not know was that Andy Wilman, the Executive Producer of the Grand Tour, had actually contracted the Coronavirus. He apparently had a rough go at it too. So, that created a heightened sense of caution for the team, which decided that taking the necessary precautions to get their jobs done without danger to their own wellbeing was the only way of moving forward.

Tweet with a teaser on The Grand Tour
Only teasers for release dates of the Grand Tour episodes have been forthcoming.

A teaser

Satisfied with Mr. Wilman’s “deathbed” recovery, and that the rest of the team had a cleansing and social distancing plan in place at the production office, the work resumed on the series. Early this morning, a post from Jeremy Clarkson indicated that Mr. Wilman, would finally have some news on the timeline of the next episode. Clarkson told people to expect that answer in a Youtube video later in the day. So, the Grand Tour fans would have to wait a few more hours for a nugget of information about the series.

The news

This afternoon, I watched the video of the conversation with Mr. Wilman. So, let me share the information about the Grand Tour with you. The team travels to Madagascar in the second episode. The final editing of the episode will be completed in the next two to three weeks. After that, the episode will be turned over to Amazon. Amazon will then schedule and promote it. Amazon’s process could a few additional weeks.

As you may recall, making episodes is no easy task. Large support teams follow the hosting trio to locations around the world. Hijinx ensue amongst the hosts along the way, which the filming crew happily captures for posterity. So, filming new episodes is a tremendous undertaking.

According to today’s video, over 1,000 hours of filming are recorded for each episode. That is filtered down into 100 hours of useable film. Of that, 100 hours of good film, the editors whittle down to the time constraints of the actual episodes, which run one hour, or one and a half hours.

Grand Tour Crew Receive News That They Have Work For Two More Years
July, 2019: Grand Tour Crew Receive News of work for two more years.

Anything beyond season four?

The future of the Grand Tour beyond season four has been up in the air. Some are even questioning its return for season five. But back in July, Mr. Wilman made an Instagram post indicating the crew had received the news they would be around for another two years. Since then, however, there have been discussions of spin-off shows. So, it is still unclear if the Grand Tour will continue, or if the crew will be used in the new spin-offs after The Grand Tour.

Fans of The Grand Tour have been waiting months for episode two. They will be happy to know that the team has overcome the challenges of Coronavirus. So, editing will be done in the next three weeks. Then Amazon will also have a short spell with it. So, the episode will conceivably premiere in May sometime. That’s something to look forward to.