The first episode of the first series of the Amazon Prime motoring show The Grand Tour, featuring ex-Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, premiered on the 18th of November, 2016. It is entitled The Holy Trinity. Filming for the studio segments of the episode took place in Southern California in September of 2016, and it was the first time since the belated Series 22, Episode 8 aired in June the year prior that we saw the trio in a studio setting, and the first time since 2008's Top Ground Gear Force that the trio hosted a show that was not Top Gear.
If counted as a continuation of the trio's previous show, Top Gear, it is the 187th episode since the show's premiere in 2002, following the second series finale of James May's Cars of the People, and complements Series 23, Episode 1 in this respect.
The episode begins with a prologue, set during a Very Wet rainy day in London, wherein the freshly-fired Jeremy Clarkson leaves a studio heavily implied to be the BBC, before entering a taxi which plays a series of newsreels each concerning Clarkson's firing from Top Gear. He is driven to an airport to depart for a flight to Los Angeles, where upon his arrival, he drives a heavily-customized Ford Mustang known as "The Rocket". Though Clarkson seems to initially be on his own driving down deserted streets, much reflecting BBC's initial decision to keep Hammond and May instated should they choose to do so, he is soon joined by the pair in their own Mustangs, driving off the beaten path into the desert. It is here they are joined by many other cars who follow them to a concert headed by Hothouse Flowers.
The guys head to the Portimao Circuit for the long-awaited 'holy trinity' three-way shootout, as they hit the track with Clarkson in the McLaren P1, Hammond in the Porsche 918 Spyder and May in the Ferrari LaFerrari at the same time.
Also, Clarkson introduces their new track, "the Eboladrome" using a Ferrari 488 GTB.
The trio also introduce their news surrogate,"Conversation Street", and "Celebrity Brain Crash", a mock celebrity segment created to spite the BBC's demands of no guests setting competitive lap times on the show.
Clarkson briefly tests a BMW M2 on the track, which is then taken round by their new test driver, "The American".
The guests for the first episode were Jeremy Renner, Armie Hammer, and Carol Vorderman. Renner was 'killed' after parachuting out of an airplane and failing to deploy his parachute, Hammer was 'killed' by a rattlesnake, and Vorderman was already 'dead' inside the tent.
The tent for this episode was pitched in Southern California, USA. More specifically, the tent was set-up in the High Deserts of California near Los Angeles.
- The intro sequence was rumoured to cost £2.5 million to film.
- Had the split from the BBC not occurred, this would've been Jeremy Clarkson's 400th episode of Top Gear since his debut on the original format back in 1988.