20 years ago to this day, Jeremy Clarkson returned to BBC’s Top Gear following a hiatus that bordered on 4 years long. Prior to the announcement, it was doubtful that he was to ever return to the show again, or even if Top Gear would continue to exist as a televised programme, given the various presenter changes following Clarkson’s departure, and its axing in August 2001.
Thankfully, under the controllership of Jane Root, BBC Two took a chance and it paid itself back a thousand times over. Within a matter of years, Top Gear became inarguably one of the biggest shows in the world. The antics of Jeremy Clarkson and his two co-hosts, Richard Hammond and James May (alongside The Stig) filled the screens of hundreds of countries, and the Top Gear intellectual property entered the 2010s as a veritable juggernaut, making the BBC hundreds of millions of pounds per year through various syndication and licensing deals, book and magazine publications, merchandising, and home video releases along with other media.
This website will aim to chronicle this journey in as much detail as possible in a manner which has never really been seen before.
You’re probably wondering where I’ve been all this time, and you’re quite right to ask that. I will begin this inaugural post with an explanation.
Aside from a few bright spots, the past two months have been far from the best. This website (along with its associated Wiki), was supposed to launch sometime in late January. However, what followed was delay after delay as things continually did not go my way.
My web provider, OVH, haven’t been the most useful bunch after hearing good things about them from an acquaintance. Their customer support is practically non-existent, with tickets taking multiple days to be answered and their English-language forums completely devoid of activity. I did manage to sort the majority of issues out, only to be locked out of my account and unable to get the blog up and running until a couple days ago, at which point I realised it was probably best to just wait for the anniversary before making my first post. I still need to set the general theme of the blog up before I progress any further.
The next delay came in February, after the three pieces of Top Gear media I showcased in this video were purchased. After a week or two of waiting (and finishing off MPH ’05, another video), I gleefully bought a USB cassette converter along with a player only for it to transpire that the seller had lost the items following a renovation, which he told me more than a week after making the purchase, costing me another week in the process as I waited for an auction on the same converter to finish. Luckily, after digging out my sister’s Walkman, I was able to get the tape digitally converted and should be available on Patreon sometime before the end of the month.
After that, while upscaling MPH ’05 (including a couple of ill-fated destabilisation attempts), I realised I needed a better GPU sooner rather than later. The 1080 Ti I’d set my sights on for a couple years was now out of production, so I had to go upmarket to an RTX card, which is something I initially didn’t want to do. However, the increased number of cores means it can process videos even quicker than the card I originally wanted, and also means I can do far more in terms of future videos.
However, even after this, my issues were far from over. I bought a better graphics card only for it to turn out my PSU was inadequate. So I had to waste a couple more days for the PSU to arrive and then fit it to my machine, reconnecting every single component in the process, in addition to installing the necessary drivers. By the time I was finished, I was exhausted, and lost another day as a result.
Eventually, everything seemingly fell into place, and I uploaded the video as intended, but during the past few days I’ve had to keep a low profile due to personal reasons. I’d prefer not to disclose exactly why, but it’s a problem which has existed for many years regarding the people I live next to and the trouble they manage to attract.
That said, I think it is finally time to put everything behind me, and start afresh. The website is launched, everything is set-up and I can finally re-commit to a consistent social media presence.
More will (hopefully) follow in the next few days.