Thankfully after weeks and weeks of speculation surrounding the Grand Tour’s next episodes, we have finally had many of our questions answered during Jeremy Clarkson’s DriveTribe interview with the shows executive producer and editor, Andy Wilman.
In the interview, we received an important update in regards to the third episode of the season, set to come out after their Madagascar special – which is apparently 94% done.
Sadly, the third instalment of the worlds most popular car programme is nowhere near done.
Firstly, the location. The first episode of season 4 saw Clarkson, Hammond and May head to Vietnam for ‘Seamen‘, the second episode has been announced to be in Madagascar and both Jeremy and Andy have now confirmed that the third episode is to be filmed in Northern Russia:
Jeremy: “The next one we were meant to film was in Northern Russia but we obviously didn’t go – so what went wrong?”
Andy Wilman confirmed to Jeremy that the original plan was to go in March so that they could take advantage of the countries snowy season:
Andy: “Well we were supposed to go.. when was it.. early March because we wanted to catch the snow.”
However it would appear that there were some issues causing the trip to not go ahead, it wasn’t for a lack of trying and it also seems that most of the logistics were already in place for filming to commence:
Andy: “Part of the process of setting up these films, you have to spend quite a lot of money before you go. You’re paying fixers, you’re setting up stuff, you’re getting the locations sorted out, you’re shipping cars, all that kind of thing.”
Not a cheap process as I’m sure you can imagine, with Amazon and The Grand Tour having spent an awful lot of money to get everything set up prior to the filming dates in March, all while the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic was taking shape across the globe:
Andy: “It’s hundreds of thousands [of Pounds] and all the time we’re spending it, there is all this stuff going on about ‘are countries going to close their borders’… so we were spending money like crazy not knowing we could have kept going like that. And then the Russians go ‘oh actually we’ve shut the borders’ and there is no word in Russian for ‘I’ll give you a refund’.”
So not only could filming not take place, both the show and their network, Amazon, have lost a huge amount of money getting everything set up for the shoot. Inevitably, this has caused the third instalment of the show, much like the second, to be delayed – this time indefinitely:
Andy: “So we had to call it, it was the right move thank christ and now we’ve got to wait for the snow again. We’ll go next year, so we will do it.”
So don’t panic just yet, the episode will definitely happen but by the looks of it, not until 2021 – due to the requirement for snow to be underfoot (or wheel) in Russia. Either way, we’re happy being patient for now, at least episode 2 isn’t a million miles away.