BBC America kicked off its TCA sessions with a panel on its new show Mud, Sweat and Gears,  announcing the premiere date: Monday Jan. 26.  BBC America is calling the show a “car transformation series” in which UK car journalists and longtime friend Tom ‘Wookie’ Ford and Jonny Smith who have 24 hours to (according to press materials) “mutate, supersize and reconstruct the vehicles,” then race them.
The hosts, joined on the panel by EP Nathaniel Grouille, joked about American cars vs. British cars, the best car chase in movie history (according to Smith, it’s Bullitt) and the trials of shooting the series in the American desert, saying there was no “mud” of the title — just dust, dirt and sweat.  And rattlesnakes: “36 on the set in one week,” complained Ford.
Ford also solved the mystery of his nickname, Wookie. He was not named after the English village of Wookey, noted for its caves, but borrowed the monikler from Star Wars. “I used to have very long hair and be very fat,” Ford said.  “Everyone would call me Wookie. I made indecipherable mooing noises.”