Jeremy Clarkson and The Grand Tour executive producer Andy Wilman hosted a live YouTube stream earlier this week where discussed how the pandemic has delayed the series’ forthcoming Madagascar Special and indefinitely postponed a jaunt to northern Russia.
Wilman explained that his own personal bout of covid-19 caused significant strain on the editing process for the Madagascar piece, which had been already been shot. Apparently, the thousand-plus hours of material the production team had captured on the island off of eastern Africa already takes weeks to even prepare for editing, and that having to work remotely has further complicated things.
Luckily for Wilman and the rest of the Grand Tour team, the show had already done away with its studio segments, typically filmed in front of a large audience for the last special they did, a journey on boats across the Mekong Delta. While I may have liked those segments because they provided a bit of continuity between the Top Gear of old and what the team is currently up to, it’s probably for the better for social distancing reasons, and because they would give Clarkson and team more opportunities to berate minors and uh... steal press cars.
Without studio segments to film, the Grand Tour team is busy putting edits in on the special and expect to deliver their final cut to Amazon within the month. After that, Wilman says that it’s up to Amazon to sign off and ultimately schedule the special’s premiere when it’s right for them. Eventually, though, it should arrive.
What won’t be coming for some time is the next special. Clarkson, Hammond, and May were planning to shoot another special in northern Russia in March and had to cancel due to the pandemic. That shoot will have to be pushed back until both the weather is right and the virus is under control.