The Trip To Spain, Episode 1 - Txoko
Just as Don Quixote undertook three journeys, Steve and Rob set off on a third jaunt of their own, this time travelling over 1,000 miles down the entire length of Spain. Following in the footsteps of poet and novelist Laurie Lee, Steve and Rob's semi-fictional alter egos hit the road in search of culture, history, breathtaking vistas and, of course, some of the finest food in Europe. All the while serving up sparkling, free-flowing conversation, peppered with barbed back-and-forths, in-car singalongs and their peerless trademark impersonations.
As you disembark from the ferry at Santander, take some time to admire the busy ports of the coastal city before hitting the road to reach your first destination.
Along the way, you may want to visit the famous Cave of Altamira, renowned for its cave paintings of fauna dated back to the Upper Palaeolithic era - making them about 14,000 years old.
While tours are given through the replica cave built nearby, access into the actual cave is sadly very limited. Even for an Academy Award-nominated writer and a comedian who does a very plausible imitation of a man trapped in a cave.
Based 25km west of San Sebastian, Getaria is a charming fishing village founded in 1209 and sheltered by the humpback islet of El Ratón (The Mouse), known for its gastronomy and local white wine, txakoli. It's by its picturesque port that you'll find Txoko Getaria.
Established in 1953, Txoko is famed for its grilled seafood caught fresh from the port. Although the coastal setting may invite flash rainstorms on occasion, it is still the ideal place to sit and discuss matters of the heart, or perfect your Mick Jagger impersonation.
- Thursday 6th April 2017
- Sky Atlantic
- 35 minutes
Cast & crew
|Victor M. Magaldi||Altamira Guide|
|Ida Camara||Txoko Waiter|
|Itxaso Roteta||Waitress in Bar|
|Jon Mountague||Exec Producer|
|James Clarke||Director of Photography|
|Zoe Liang||1st Assistant Director|
|Julie Harkin||Casting Director|
|Alison Lewis||Costume Designer|
Sad that it's no longer on terrestrial, but this is an utterly welcome return for the comedy travelogue starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as slightly fictionalised versions of themselves. This show isn't just about their work; it's their best work. This time, they're on a culinary jaunt through Spain, with Brydon escaping domestic life and Coogan on a literary mission. Mick Jagger and John Hurt are among the impersonated.David Stubbs, The Guardian, 6th April 2017
The Trip has been one of the most critically praised comedies of recent years. However, there is at least one thing about the new series that will mean that fewer people will watch it as it goes out: it's now on Sky Atlantic.Ian Wolf, On The Box, 6th April 2017
The channel and backdrop may be different, but The Trip's comic-drama formula remains decidedly unchanged.Mark Butler, i Newspaper, 6th April 2017
"Two middle-aged men looking for adventure, like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza." That's how co-star Rob Brydon pitched The Trip to Spain (Sky Atlantic), although I don't recall Cervantes' epic novel featuring so many Michael Caine impressions.Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 6th April 2017
Two middle-aged men meander through the country having existential crises and doing impressions. It's brilliant, hilarious and with a bit of Cervantes thrown in for good measure.Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 7th April 2017
I can't tell you what happens in The Trip to Spain because nothing does - and it's brilliant.
But first, the bad news.
The previous two series were broadcast on the BBC, but now that the show has been poached by Sky, it becomes less accessible.
This is a shame for the viewers who can't afford, or don't want, Sky subscriptions but it's also a shame for the BBC who can add The Trip to the list of high-profile names and shows they've lost recently.
It may not have pulled in as many viewers as Clarkson's Top Gear or The Great British Bake Off, but it brought value, big-name talent and credibility to the BBC. No-one wins in this scenario except Sky Atlantic, who are hosting some brilliant shows these days, such as Silicon Valley (the latest series will be starting soon), Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, and now The Trip.
Let's turn then to the good news: if you have a subscription to Sky Atlantic then you have a whole series of this wonderful show awaiting.
It follows the same format as the two earlier series, which shows the great confidence the creators have in it. Nothing has been tampered with: we still have Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon playing exaggerated versions of themselves, and they're off around Spain to visit various fancy restaurants and send some nice, witty reviews back to the publicists in London. There ends the plot. With that flimsy framework, we see Coogan and Brydon set off together for a working holiday and they bicker and chip at one another. On the surface they're friends and colleagues, but underneath the veneer they're showbiz rivals and competitors.
Coogan is always fretting over his age and why his film, Philomena, isn't more widely celebrated. Is he getting the critical acclaim he deserves?
Should he even be out here in Spain or should he be barging his way into Hollywood, getting proper attention?
Is he wasting his time sampling chorizo with Brydon, who sometimes irritates him and who, at other times, has him reluctantly laughing?
Soon the two are trying to outwit and outdo one another, clattering down their cutlery to go louder and better with an impression of Mick Jagger doing an impression of Michael Caine ... A lot of these scenes at the table are improvised, and the viewer might feel privileged to watch these two comedians at work as they goad one another, dig up the other's insecurities, and then top it all off with a faultless impression of Henry Kelly.Julie McDowall, The National, 8th April 2017