Particulate Matters: Gear Selection
For any "writer," especially professionals—people who put proverbial pen to paper for a living—not knowing what or how to "say" something is never a good thing. Each month, my colleagues at Diesel Power and I, as well as scribes at other publications that cover diesels, are charged with "finding the right words" to describe trucks, engines, events, and all other aspects of the hobby. While doing this is never really easy, thankfully, we usually manage to produce some type of content for you to read.
As editor of this brand, one aspect of my job is to give Tech Editor John Lehenbauer and our regular freelance contributors their writing assignments—basically, let them know what they need to write about. And, of course, I also have my own writing responsibilities (I have to come up with the words you read in this column, as well as the occasional tech piece, and such). It's rare that I'm ever given a story assignment by someone else. Very rare.
Well, a writing assignment actually did come my way (the editors/staff writers of the entire Motor Trend Group received the same mandate). As part of the company's celebration of acquiring the British television program Top Gear UK's, 25-season/172-episode library (available on MotorTrend on Demand and via the MotorTrend App starting August 30, 2019), we were charged with the task of writing about "our favorite Top Gear episode."
That order instantly created a dilemma for me, as I haven't/don't really watch Top Gear. OK, don't revoke my "car-guy" card for this. It's just one of those deals. While I appreciate and even applaud the program for its popularity, I guess not being much of a TV guy (with the exception of racing and sports events, news, and documentaries)—and definitely not being a hard-core "reality TV" (even when it's of the automotive variety) fan—has made the program low-interest/zero-priority for me.
With that being said, I do acknowledge many of you really enjoy the bonsai driving and sometimes-destructive, often-zany antics of the show's cast, which include appearances by a hot-shot mystery wheel man called "The Stig," and, occasionally, a diesel-powered machine is among an episode's featured vehicles.
For those who really dig Top Gear, and folks like me, who I guess should get with the program, MTOD will be the home for Seasons 2 through 25, as well as all the Top Gear UK specials (including the controversial Patagonia and U.S. road trips), three seasons (19 episodes) of Extra Gear, and an exclusive "Best of Top Gear" compilation, featuring episodes hosted by MotorTrend talent and friends.
Understandably, I don't think I'll be asked to appear as a panelist on any of those best-of programs, but I plan on taking advantage of the free trial that's being offered, so I can bring myself up to speed with the company's marquee acquisition. I suggest you do the same by dialing up: MotorTrend.com/topgear. Of course, subscribing after the free window closes is also encouraged.
So, as these things go, right now, I don't have a "favorite" Top Gear episode to tell you about. However, I sense there are probably quite a few of you who know the program very well and have several favorites from the vast library.
Do me, and fellow readers, a solid by sharing details (to firstname.lastname@example.org, or on our Facebook page, Instagram, and such) about the episodes you like most and why you dig them. I think it will be pretty cool to compare all of your feedback and see if there is one Top Gear episode that proves to be top gun in the collection.