The Great Escapists: Grand Tour's Richard Hammond reveals Amazon Prime Video survival series

The Grand Tour TV presenter will be shipwrecked with Mythbusters Tory Belleci for the epic new Amazon Prime Video show.

By Alex Fletcher Updated: 29 January 2021 - 12.42pm

Richard Hammond is getting his own Amazon Prime Video series, and it will be dramatic departure for the Grand Tour presenter.

The Great Escapsists will find Hammond shipwrecked on a beautiful desert island and challenged to not only survive, but also create a 'paradise island'.

Rather than his usual pals Jeremy Clarkson and James May, Hammond will have some more useful suppport on the island from his pal, and Mythbusters legend, Tory Bellici.

Watch The Great Escapists now on Amazon Prime Video.

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What is The Great Escapists about?

Tory Belleci  and Richard Hammond on their paradise island

The series follows Richard and Tory as they masterfully construct their exotic wonderland using what they have from the shipwreck and what they can find on the island.

Each episode will see them take on huge feats of engineering to achieve epic builds in what will be a once in a lifetime operation for the two lovers of science, engineering and making the impossible, possible. The duo's hare-brained builds will range from island hopping vehicles to a supersized hydro-power waterwheel.

Describing the series, Richard Hammond said: "It’s a big one, a noise-maker. It’s not often you get to work on something genuinely new, but this is genuinely new because it’s a mash-up of pop science, engineering, survival and drama.

"It’s two guys off two of the biggest pop science shows ever – myself and Tory Belleci – who’ve been cast away on a desert island. Thanks to their pop science knowledge, they are surviving.

"Not only surviving but sur-thriving. They wash up on this island then gradually build bits and pieces to help them firstly find food, shelter and water, but then they increasingly build a more and more luxurious place to live with better toys to make their lives better, or great Hooch."

Watch the trailer

Two men shipwrecked together on a desert island, The Great Escapists is the story of Richard Hammond (The Grand Tour) and Tory Belleci (Mythbusters), (arguably) two of pop-science TV’s greatest minds, with nothing but their smarts and their scrap shipwreck for survival. Can they invent themselves off the island? Or will they be castaway forever? This is the engineering challenge of their lives, will they succeed and become The Great Escapists.

Where is The Great Escapists filmed?

Richard Hammond and Tory Belleci filming The Great Escapists Prime Video

The series was shot on an idyllic island off the coast of Panama. 

"It’s beautiful, isn’t it? We had very specific requirements: we needed a lot of freedom, privacy, and it had to look like a desert island, which we couldn’t have done if there were hotels in the background," explained Hammond.

"It will be visually delightful on screen and I‘ve never seen that kind of setting in a pop science show before. In fact, I've spent decades standing on windy airfields in the east of England.

"They are fabulous places to shoot the pop science stuff, when you’re experimenting with a rocket-powered shopping trolley or whatever, but to be standing on a tropical beach with Tory discussing if our beercooling windmill is powered by pressure differentials across the blades or Newtonian laws of equal opposite forces – that’s fantastic.

"We could have done that at RAF Bentwaters but I’d rather do it on a tropical beach."

What is the inspiration for the new series?

Tory Belleci - Star of Discovery Channel's Mythbusters Rex/Shutterstock
Tory Belleci - Star of Discovery Channel's Mythbusters

"Somebody needs to take hold of Popular Science as a genre and reinvent it for a new age.  And there are only two people to do that job. Unfortunately neither of them are available so it’s me and Tory Belleci," said Richard Hammond. 

"Working with Amazon, who have demonstrated their faith in us by commissioning this hugely ambitious show, we shall create something genuinely fresh and new on a scale of greatness never before seen. There’s every chance that both Tory and I shall make it back from the island alive and sane...Probably."

Tory Belleci said: "I'm so excited to be working with Richard for the first time. This is gonna get crazy!"

Georgia Brown, Amazon Originals director said: "This show is all about going to the extremes to pull off the impossible.

"And with this outstanding duo at the helm, I can't wait to see what lengths they will go to in order to create a series that is sure to stun and delight our viewers across the globe."

Talking about how he came up with the idea for the show, Hammond said: "A long time ago I started thinking, ‘Pop science is up for grabs a bit at the moment’.

"It’s an area I love because it’s fun fact filled content, which is also entertaining and accessible. Anyone can watch and enjoy it, because finding out about stuff is enjoyable.

"So, I thought about it for a while and then about three years ago I decided I wanted to hook up with Tory because he’s MythBusters and I’m Brainiac and between us we have an audience that’s looking for this resurgence in pop science."

 

How to watch Richard Hammond's The Great Escapsists

The Great Escapists - Richard Hammond and Tory Bellici fighting on the beach

The Great Escapists is released on January 29 on Amazon Prime Video.

BT TV customers can add Prime Video and on their BT TV box.

In an interview with Drive Tribe (below), Hammond speaks about his great excitment at bringing back 'pop science' to TV - in a similar style to his former series Brainiac.

Although more details about the series are top secret, Hammond promises fans that the survival series features "epic" moments and TV "unlike anything that's been done before".

When is The Grand Tour back?

Clarkson, Hammond and May

A new Grand Tour special featuring Clarkson, Hammond and May on their biggest adventure yet - a road trip across Madagascar was released in December on Prime Video.

A new special coming in 2021 will feature the presenters on a road trip across Scotland. If travel restrictions are lifted the team are also hoping to begin shooting a new special in Russia.

Jeremy Clarkson is also currently finishing his own Prime Video series I Bought The Farm.

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Don't miss The Grand Tour, Jack Ryan, The Boys, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and more.