The Grand Tour Madagascar Special nearly finished: Jeremy Clarkson explains episode delays

The next Grand Tour episode has been delayed, and host Jeremy Clarkson put producer Andy Wilman on the spot to answer the internet’s questions to when the episode will be released. The live session on Youtube revealed some good insights.

By:April 25, 2020 8:03 PM

The Grand Tour is one of the most popular shows in the world on Amazon Prime Video. In facts, most subscribers initially tuned in just for it, and have stuck on… I included. Just like the rest of the avid followers of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, I too was wondering when the next Grand Tour episode would be released. The next Grand Tour special episode is the Madagascar special. However, no further information has been released or hinted at the moment.

Friday morning, Jeremy Clarkson announced that later in the day, a live session on the trio’s DriveTribe Youtube channel will be held where the question of the internet would be answered.  In the session, Clarkson roped in Andy Wilman, the silent horse who has been a part of the trio behind the scenes as the executive producer since the Top Gear days. Clarkson and Wilman both go way back to when they were kids in school.

During the live session, Clarkson put the question on to Wilman when the next episode of the Grand Tour would be released and why it is taking so long. And generally, why does it take so long to put out an episode of the Grand Tour.

Clarkson and Wilman live session on Youtube

Naturally, some of the delays have been credited to the coronavirus lockdown in the UK that has hampered progress. However, Wilman led onto some insights of what it takes to plan, film and edit a single one and a half-hour-long episode of the Grand Tour.

Wilman highlighted that usually the production team is required to gather 1,000 hours for every hour-long worth of content. Then when the footage arrives to be edited, it first needs time to be fed into the editing machine. As the footage is required to be delivered in 4K resolution from Amazon, it takes 5 weeks to simply dump the data for the edit. Then it takes another five weeks for an editor to cut the footage down to usable material, followed by another five weeks to stitch all of together to create a cohesive linked episode. Once the cut is finalised by the team it is then sent to Amazon to be approved which Wilman said takes another five weeks. It is then up to Amazon to release the episode.

Wilman showing the enormity of the transcripts of the Madagascar special Episode of The Grand Tour.during the live session.

As far as the upcoming Madagascar special is concerned, Wilman confirmed during the live session that the episode is in the final stages of post-production and it would be finished from The Grand Tour production team end by the next two weeks. Following which it would be sent to Amazon for their thoughts, and changes if there is a need. Then it will be up to Amazon to release the Madagascar Special.

The Grand Tour started as a studio / portable tent format for the first three seasons. The trio then announced that they would move away from the studio like format which they had started together when they reincarnated Top Gear in 2002. However, they confirmed that the show will go on and the production will focus more on elaborate longer ‘Specials’ kind of episodes from the subsequent seasons. the first episode fo season for of the show streamed in December 2019 which was hilariously called “The Grand Tour’s production of  Seamen” where the presenters attempt to cross the Mekong Delta using boats for the first time.

The net special will be the Madagascar Special which is likely to make its debut sometime August if the past release dates of the show are to go by, but there is no definitive timeline given by the production team, or Amazon yet. But, the episode after Madagascar is supposed to be filmed in Northern Russia. The team had already spent on pre-production for the episode, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic and global lockdown, the filming of the episode was put on hold, and has been used to a later date when it is said to be snowing.

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