Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are back on the road—and car fanatics are rejoicing.
The "Holy Trinity," as they sarcastically refer to themselves, have reunited for another adventure on The Grand Tour, a revamped version of Top Gear that hits all the right notes of the original (supercars, absurd stunts, crotchety British men making fun of each other) with a few key upgrades (jaw-dropping 4K Ultra High Definition video, a studio that goes on the road with them).
The show's official description: "A show about adventure, excitement and friendship... as long as you accept that the people you call friends are also the ones you find extremely annoying. Sometimes it's even a show about cars."
This time, however, they've departed their longtime home at the BBC and found a new place to park themselves: Amazon Prime, the Everything Store's in-house production studio. As of its launch on November 18, The Grand Tour is only available to Prime subscribers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Japan—which led to some frustration from fans in the rest of the world—but it will be available worldwide in December, according to Amazon. As part of the show's release, Amazon also announced that it'll be offering discounted Prime subscriptions ($79, instead of the usual $99, for the first year) on Friday only.
And if the early reviews are any indication, The Grand Tour is poised to become one of Amazon's highest-regarded hits (and smartest investments) in years. "If The Grand Tour is basically Top Gear with a nitros boost of Amazon finances, the difference is immediately apparent—it’s a stunningly beautiful show, shot in vibrant 4K that captures every swirl of dust and gleam of chrome," wrote Ben Travis in London's Evening Standard. The Guardian remarked that it "leaves the BBC in the dust." Hell, even the BBC mustered the emotion to publish a relatively positive review, with editor Will Gompertz writing that the "Mad Max meets Easy Rider" show seems almost too big for TV, even if "it feels uncomfortably hubristic." (Most English review ever, guys.)
It's also been an emotional homecoming for fans and the hosts. Clarkson, who departed bitterly from the beloved BBC original, tweeted that he was "relieved" and "grateful" that the show had been received so well. May echoed those sentiments:
Genuinely relieved and grateful today. Huge thanks to everyone who has sent messages.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) November 18, 2016
Thank you to everyone who's been kind about our new car drama. We're flattered. And relieved.
— James May (@MrJamesMay) November 18, 2016
One of their notable supporters? Comedian (and fellow Brit) Craig Ferguson:
I'm not too proud to admit that I cried at the opening sequence of @thegrandtour. They're back. A morsel of joy in these troubled times.
— Craig Ferguson (@CraigyFerg) November 18, 2016
He's not the only one. In one review on the Amazon Prime page that we found particularly illustrative, a viewer wrote: "Have you ever bought something like low-fat cheese, thinking 'yeah, this should still hit the spot,' only to be disappointed by a mouth full of sawdust and play-doh? That was basically BBC's new 'Top Gear.' Well, get ready for the full, melty, artery-clogging, took-four-cows-and-eight-years, extra sharp English cheddar of automotive television." (And for the record, lads, full-fat dairy is perfectly okay in moderation.)
So whether you're a car guy or a Monty Python superfan, a longtime Top Gear devotee or a complete newcomer, consider adding this one to your "watching" queue—just make sure you save it for when you're done with your gym routine, or you might never leave the couch.
The Grand Tour, debuting with November 18 in the U.S., airs Fridays on Amazon Prime. Here's the full trailer for the show: