'Top Gear' episode filmed in Forks to air tonight; eateries plan to tune in to let patrons see West End appearance on History Channel
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Hosts of History Channel's “Top Gear” Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood, from left, stand at Quillayute Airport in front of three log trucks they drove for an episode of their show filmed on the West End. The episode is set to premiere tonight on the History Channel. — History Channel/BBC Worldwide Ltd.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — All of Forks just might be planted in front of a TV set tonight for the premiere of an episode of the History Channel show “Top Gear,” filmed in the West End and other North Olympic Peninsula locales.

Starting time is 6 p.m. for satellite customers and some cable systems that receive the East Coast video feed, and 9 p.m. for Wave Cable and others who receive the West Coast feed. (Check your onscreen listings.)

“I'm anxious myself to see what they've done because there was a lot of filming,” said Ron Davis, one of three local log truck drivers who taught hosts Tanner Foust, Adam Ferrara and Rutledge Wood the ins and outs of trucking.

“It's going to be a surprise for me, too,” Davis added.

The film crew was based in Forks for about 10 days in April and filmed “pretty much everywhere, from Neah Bay to Port Angeles,” Davis said.

None of the Forks truck drivers will be in Tuesday's episode, “Off Road Big Rigs.”

But that hasn't squelched the community's enthusiasm.

Lissy Andros, executive director of the Forks Chamber of Commerce, said she knows of at least two restaurants that plan to tune in to the show: Blakeslee's Bar and Grill at 1222 S. Forks Ave., and the Hungry Bear Cafe at 205860 U.S. Highway 101.

“I wouldn't be surprised if every TV in town was tuned to it, [and] at every restaurant,” Andros said.

Now in its fifth season, “Top Gear” features the three hosts test-driving the newest-production cars and taking on automotive-themed challenges, such as building the ultimate amphibious vehicle, according to the History Channel website.

“Top Gear” joins History Channel offerings “Ax Men” and “Ice Road Truckers” in a list of shows that have either been filmed on the Peninsula or featured local residents.

Also filmed on the West End is “The Legend of Mick Dodge,” which recently was renewed by the National Geographic Channel for another season.

Most recently, a separate film crew from National Geographic was in Neah Bay in June filming for a new, as yet unidentified reality survivor series.

The “Top Gear” website describes the upcoming episode this way:

“Tanner, Adam and Rutledge take on two of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in America at once when they each get keys to a logging truck, and instructions to pick up and deliver as many logs as possible in a remote Washington location.”

Davis said he offered up his own blue log truck for use in the show and taught host Rutledge Wood how to drive it.

“They knew they had to be extra careful and not really tear stuff up because it's all we have to make a living with,” Davis said.

“And they were good about it. Nothing broke.”

Andros said she's looking forward to the episode based on a 30-second promotional video she saw posted on the “Top Gear” Facebook page.

“It looks like it's going to be full of humor, excitement and drama,” Andros said.

Andros said she'd welcome another film crew back in the Forks area.

Crews stayed in the town's motels, ate at the restaurants and hired a few locals.

“Just having them come was a huge economic boost for us,” Andros said.

“It was a real shot in the arm.”

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 30. 2014 7:00PM
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