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'More power': Clarkson's new show is bigger, louder and loved by viewers

The first episode began with a reference to Clarkson’s controversial BBC departure, which sparked the beginning of this show.

Jeremy Clarkson Source: The Grand Tour/YouTube

BBC’S TOP GEAR was famed for its high-octane tests, it’s exotic adventures abroad, the interactions between the three co-hosts and frankly – because there was no other show like it on television.

When it was announced that the three presenters – the controversial Jeremy Clarkson, the competitive Richard Hammond, and the old-fashioned James May – were leaving the national broadcaster to start a show with the new online streaming service Amazon Prime, people heralded it the end of an era.

If anything, it appears the new programme will be a more concentrated version of what made Top Gear so popular.

The show is shot as if it were a blockbuster, the budget is much bigger and Clarkson, who was never afraid to say what he thinks, is much more loose-lipped.

What could possibly go wrong?

Source: The Grand Tour/YouTube

The first episode of The Grand Tour, which was released on Amazon Prime last night, begins with an ode to Jeremy Clarkson’s departure (or removal) from the BBC.

Earlier this year, the presenter was dropped by the broadcaster after he is said to have hit an Irish producer during the filming of Top Gear.

The episode begins on a rainy London morning where Jeremy Clarkson leaves a huge grey building, hands his badge in to the security, and heads off in a black cab to the sound of news reports of his departure.

A few minutes later, Clarkson is racing through a Californian desert with Hammond and May, flanked by an army of cars, towards a massive crowd of fans and a rock concert.

The opening sequence, as well as acknowledging the controversy that started the new series, also hints at the new-found freedom Clarkson has to say and do what he wants – without the regulations of the public service broadcaster.

One such example appeared very early on, as he explained to people how they would travel:

“We’re going to be roaming the world in [the studio tent], we’re going to be like gypsies, only the cars we drive are going to be insured.”

But from the reaction on Twitter, fans seemed to love the show.

This is in stark contrast with the BBC’s continuation of Top Gear with Chris Evans and Matt Le Blanc at the wheel, where 4.3 million people tuned in to watch the first episode – much less than previous Top Gear season debuts.

Chris Evans has since left the show.

The €187 million budgeted Grand Tour will have 12 episodes, with each episode taking place in a different country.

Amazon has also dramatically reduced the price of its Prime subscription to mark the launch of The Grand Tour and encourage people to sign up to the service (full subscription costs are £79 annually, or around €100).

But will the Grand Tour keep up the adrenaline rush to create a draw to Amazon Prime’s membership?

Read: A year after their Top Gear walkout, its former stars are having no trouble raising cash

Read: Jeremy Clarkson apologises to Irish Top Gear producer

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