After weeks of anticipation, The Grand Tour has come roaring back to television and computer screens around the country with its Scotland special ‘Lochdown’.
The 90-minute episode, which follows Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond as they tour the country in classic American cars, has started streaming on Amazon Prime.
As the ‘Lochdown’ title suggests, the show was filmed during the coronavirus pandemic last year, when travel restrictions barred the petrolhead trio from the globetrotting for which they are best known.
Confined to the UK, they make a decision to take on the ultimate Scottish road trip – taking in the cobbled streets of Edinburgh, remote Highland roads and a floating bridge in the Hebrides.
And despite having released specials in Cambodia and Vietnam over the last two years, May is heard in the ‘Lochdown’ trailer describing their journey as “the most beautiful drive we have ever done.”
— The Grand Tour (@thegrandtour) July 15, 2021
The Grand Tour in Scotland
The three presenters were spotted travelling along the North Coast 500 route last October, driving a Buick, a Lincoln and a Cadillac with a caravan in tow.
Excited local Grand Tour fans took pictures as they pulled up outside the Torridon Hotel in stunning Wester Ross, before taking on the notoriously bendy Bealach na Bà road across the Applecross peninsula.
Even ferry company CalMac got involved with the production.
Check out @thegrandtour on Amazon Prime now for shots of CalMac ferries, which carried the crew and their unusual cars during filming! #TheGrandTour #Lochdown @JeremyClarkson @RichardHammond @MrJamesMay pic.twitter.com/NFzDAXfbro
— CalMac Ferries (@CalMacFerries) July 30, 2021
As part of the marketing strategy for Lochdown, Clarkson, Hammond and May asked fans to mock up their own posters.
They responded in numbers, with designs ranging from impressive picture edits to not-quite-so-impressive Scottish puns.
What do you do when you've got no promo budget for the new episode of The Grand Tour? Get the fans to do it for free.
Just remember to include wheels and something Scottish… pic.twitter.com/xQQlkQg5XZ
— The Grand Tour (@thegrandtour) July 19, 2021
Specials replace series’
The Grand Tour filmed 38 episodes across three seasons before shifting format to focus on one-off specials.
Lochdown is the third special in as many years – the first, Seamen, was set in south-east Asia and released in December 2019, while delayed Madagascar-based show started streaming in December last year.
In the meantime, the three presenters have been hosting their own individual shows for Amazon.
James May has released travelogue Our Man In Japan and cooking show Oh Cook, while Richard Hammond has made adventure show The Great Escapists and Jeremy Clarkson has released agricultural documentary Clarkson’s Farm.