|Based on||Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike
by Charlotte Gray
|Screenplay by||Paul Scheuring
|Directed by||Simon Cellan Jones|
Tim Blake Nelson
|Theme music composer||Adrian Johnston|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||3|
David W. Zucker
|Editor(s)||Oral Norrie Ottey
|Running time||272 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Scott Free Productions
|Original network||Discovery Channel|
|Original release||January 20– January 22, 2014|
Klondike is a three-part mini-series by the Discovery Channel that was broadcast on January 20–22, 2014. It was the network's first-ever scripted miniseries and was directed by Simon Cellan Jones and executive produced by Ridley Scott. Klondike stars Richard Madden and Augustus Prew as two adventurers who travel to Yukon, Canada, in the late 1890s during the Klondike Gold Rush.
The story centers on the friendship of two adventurers, Bill Haskell and Byron Epstein, as they travel Northwest during the Klondike Gold Rush. Along the way they "must navigate harsh conditions, unpredictable weather and desperate, dangerous characters", yet supported by mill owner Belinda Mulrooney and aspiring writer Jack London.
- Richard Madden as Bill Haskell
- Abbie Cornish as Belinda Mulrooney
- Marton Csokas as Superintendent Sam Steele
- Ian Hart as Soapy Smith
- Greg Lawson as Goodman
- Conor Leslie as Sabine
- Tim Blake Nelson as Joe Meeker
- Augustus Prew as Byron Epstein
- Johnny Simmons as Jack London
- Tim Roth as The Count
- Sam Shepard as Father Judge
- Brian Markinson as Cavendesh
- Ron Selmour as Sundown
- Colin Cunningham as "Swiftwater" Bill Gates
Klondike was green-lit by the Discovery Channel in December 2012. The network believed the miniseries would complement their other offerings, such as the reality series Gold Rush and Jungle Gold. Executive producer Dolores Gavin stated, "Our audience loves the idea of the frontier spirit. That whole thing about man versus nature, man versus man, man versus self—those are themes we talk about everyday on Discovery. There was really no difference when we started talking about this project because there were those similarities." It is the network's first-ever scripted miniseries, and contains six parts.
Set in the late 1890s, it is based upon Charlotte Gray's book Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike and follows a variety of individuals as they flood into the Klondike in search of gold. Ridley Scott is serving as executive producer, and said "Klondike was the last great gold rush; one which triggered a flood of prospectors ill-equipped, emotionally or otherwise, for the extreme and grueling conditions of the remote Yukon wilderness. The personal adventures are as epic as the landscape, where ambition, greed, sex and murder, as well as their extraordinary efforts to literally strike it rich, are all chronicled by a young Jack London himself." Paul Scheuring, Josh Goldin and Rachel Abramowitz are penning the script.
Production began in March 2013 in Alberta, with Simon Cellan Jones directing. It was expected to take 54 days to shoot six hours of footage. Some of filming took place in April on Fortress Mountain in Kananaskis Country, where the cast contended with "frigid" conditions. A set was created on the CL Ranch (west of Calgary) to represent Dawson City. There, the crew experienced warm weather, which created problems as the actors were forced to wear many layers of clothing and pretend they were cold.
Richard Madden was cast as adventurer Bill Haskell. He agreed to join the miniseries because he was impressed by its script; he also enjoyed Discovery's reality series Gold Rush. The actor explained to Entertainment Weekly in August 2013, "It’s epic, and 'epic' is a word I use rarely to describe something. It’s a story that’s not really been told. [The character's] situations are so extreme physically and emotionally. I’ve done lots of different [projects] and I’ve never been so excited." For the role, Madden had to learn mountaineering in Alberta and at one point was required to jump into river rapids with a grade of 4. He made sure to research his real-life counterpart in books and biographies. He had to contend with high altitudes and wind machines, and noted that the adverse conditions helped him get into character.
|Episode(s)||Date||Viewers (millions)||18–49 Rating|
|Part One||January 20, 2014||3.434||1.1|
|Part Two||January 21, 2014||3.128||1.0|
|Part Three||January 22, 2014||2.855||0.8|
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- Andreeva, Nellie (December 11, 2012). "Discovery Channel Greenlights 'Klondike' Miniseries To Enter Scripted Programming". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- Volmers, Eric (May 11, 2013). "Discovery Channel looking for TV gold with Alberta-shot miniseries Klondike". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- Marable, Eileen (June 2, 2013). "Gold Rush Drama Heads to Discovery in 2014 with Epic Mini-Series Klondike" (Press release). Discovery.com. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- "Discovery Channel official Klondike cast page" (Press release). Discovery.com. October 31, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- Webb Mitovich, Matt (March 19, 2013). "Game of Thrones Star, Tim Blake Nelson Join Discovery's Gold-Digging Miniseries". TVLine. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- Hibberd, James (August 1, 2013). "First photos: Richard Madden as 'Klondike' explorer -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- Gorman, Bill (January 21, 2014). "Night 1 of Discovery Channel's Miniseries 'Klondike' Delivers 3.4 Million Viewers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
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- Bibel, Sara (January 23, 2014). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Wins Night, 'American Horror Story', 'Wahlburgers', 'Workaholics', 'Psych' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 28, 2014.