I figure I owe this much to those who have been patiently waiting a very long time now. This post goes over everything that has happened in my life since January 2022. To try and give everyone a thorough understanding, no matter how few people may read it.
If you’re worried or concerned at all, don’t be! I’m not going anywhere if I can help it. I have a lot of outstanding work to do, and I want to see to it that it’s finished, no matter how long that process may take.
First of all, I am absolutely thrilled with all the success I had last year in spite of my many shortfalls. Millions of views across several videos, and it’s all thanks to everyone who watched them. I’ll be honest, I never thought my efforts would be recognised as much as they have been, and it’s pushed me to keep going.
January 2022 was a lovely month, as was February. But then, the work started piling up.
Part of my motivation in taking a break on Discord was to more directly focus my efforts on the two videos I used to start up my second channel Gearknob Productions; a documentary on the 2002 Finnish freeware title GeneRally, and one on the works of early video game modder Ryuji Kainoh. My original intent was to get those videos finished, then return at the end of the month. Alas, I wasn’t able to finish those videos until much later on, but I did get myself back into a position to return.
And then, something I couldn’t control happened. Though I’ve briefly covered it in the past, our neighbour is a trouble magnet, and has had numerous run-ins with rambunctious teenagers and yobs who have smashed every window in her house multiple times over, and nearly confused our house for hers in the process. The event shook me, especially as they continued their assault over the course of weeks over the fear of further escalation, and I lost my focus. So I opted to take a month out to recover.
And from there, I just kind of lost it.
My motivation went kaput as I occasionally contributed to the Wiki I set up, and it took a long while for me to get going again.
But I did get back up. I dusted myself off, and from June – August, I was easily at my most productive. I completed a documentary on Jason Dawe, as well as the Top Gear Iceberg video to blow off some steam, as I looked towards Top Gear’s imminent 20th Anniversary. I’d even started watching Motorworld from the beginning with my sister who has similar interests to mine, in the hopes of eventually rewatching Top Gear and The Grand Tour from start to finish, something I’d never actually done before.
Everything was finally on track. Nothing could go wrong.
A really bad illness had something to say about that, which left me bedridden for much of September. During that time, I had only recorded half of my magnum opus and was in no condition to edit or put together anything. So I channeled my efforts into the S01E01 mini-documentary so I still had something to celebrate Top Gear’s 20th Anniversary with on the night. I got it finished with mere hours to spare in a nauseous sleep-deprived stupour, and what does the BBC do?
Block it worldwide within 10 minutes of the video going up.
I was absolutely FURIOUS. I tried for several hours to amend the video, but the BBC’s demands were ridiculous. Essentially, the video would have been turned into a 5 minute slideshow, as they claimed every last piece of footage from S01E01, despite the fact it had been chopped up and edited and would be well within the terms of “fair use”, given that it was a critique and recap. In the end, I gave up, and hosted the video as a free bonus on Patreon which anyone can view. I have decided it will form the basis of a larger Series 1 review, since to make video reviews of all ~250 episodes of Top Gear and The Grand Tour would take, as I calculated in advance, 12 years. Which is a very long time.
At the time, I had a Richard Hammond documentary I’d finished the script to and had hoped to get out just before this reworked documentary in September/early October 2022, but this had to be shelved. If I had to guess, I would say my illness and the resulting ennui I developed as a result has easily cost me a lot of money, and I desperately need to set things right before it’s too late.
The emails are again piling up. I’ve tried my hardest to answer as many as I can, but to be brutally honest, for every useful tip and message, such as the fact we now have over 8 minutes of reconstructed 1977 Episode 1 footage as opposed to the 2 minutes we had before, I had 100 people trying to flog me sponsorship deals and other stuff I am quite frankly not interested in. I want to become something more than just some guy that loves Top Gear in its first two incarnations.
The fact of the matter is, I have made Top Gear a big part of my life since around August/September of 2017, when I developed a serious interest in archiving the pre-2002 version of the show. For over 4 years, particularly during the Pandemic era, I spent weeks and months tirelessly curating and reassembling everything I could get my hands on. Not to be rude, but that kind of work is tiring!
And to be honest, I kind of wanted a break. 2022 was my first “real” break in over 4 years. So I basically took the winter off with the intent of hitting the ground running in 2023.
But the Hot Wheels documentary, which I’d been working on since July 2022, took a lot out of me. I spent most of January and February working on it, and still didn’t get it finished until the end of March. And since then, I’ve had to recuperate and push myself to 110% to get stuff done within reasonable time.
In the meantime, what I really want to do in my life is to get a car and drive around, something that is unfortunately becoming more and more impossible with soaring petrol prices, the threat of ULEZs, and the idiotic astroturfed urbanist movement where an entire generation of impotent, infantilised car-haters are trying desperately to get our beloved hobby banned because it gives them brain pollution or something equally inane and want everyone pushed into crime-ridden, rickety, late-running buses because they hate the idea of doing stuff for themselves and want everyone to live as vanilla and sedentary lives as possible. As a matter of fact, Hallam’s Orangeshirts were part of the reason I didn’t go to the NEC Classic Car Show last Autumn, out of fear I’d be arrested due to physical altercations which may have arose, and as a result I missed a possible once-in-a-lifetime meeting with Richard Hammond, which I deeply regret.
Again, thank you all for the attention and support. But before I can consider any sort of full-time return, there are some people I need to talk to first. Above all else, RacingFreak/Nik, who I was working on an F1 video game documentary with in early 2022 (and I still intend to make). If he’s still interested, I would love to work with him, as my Wiki desperately needs his knowledge, particularly for Japanese and other Asian and/or obscure motoring shows.
I think that’s about everything covered. If not, there’ll surely be an addendum in the coming days.