Discovery channel is all set to air its first ever scripted mini-series "Klondike" on Jan.20. The six-hour long, three-part series will air Monday through Wednesday at 9 PM EST.
"Klondike" is based on a book by Charlotte Gray's "Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike" , which chronicles the adventures of six people in search of wealth and their fight for survival in the remote region of Klondike, a small town in Northwest Canada, east of Alaska.
The book itself derives inspiration from the real life historical event of the Klondike Gold Rush, also known as the Alaska Gold Rush or the Yukon Gold Rush. The Gold rush symbolizes a migration that took place between 1896 and 1899. Gold was found in the region in 1896, news of which soon reached San Francisco and Seattle. This triggered off an exodus to the region with about 100,000 people travelling to Klondike in search of gold. However, prospectors had to battle harsh weather and other difficulties. While approximately 30,000 to 40,000 people managed to reach Klondike, only about 4000 of them found gold.
In its first venture at a fictional TV show, Discovery's new miniseries blends reality, fiction, nature and history perfectly to whip up a hair-raising account of Bill Haskell (Richard Madden of Game of Thrones) and Byron Epstein's (Augustus Prew) journey towards Dawson City in the Yukon Territory in search of the yellow metal.
The series is directed by Simon Cellan Jones and the screenplay is written by Paul Scheuring, who also happens to be an executive producer of the show. Other cast members include Abbie Cornish, Tim Roth and Sam Shepard.
Discovery has scored great success with its gold-mining reality shows, which is why it decided to move forward with a scripted show in the same genre.
"Obviously, we have a very successful track record in the reality space with Gold Rush. We said, 'What about the real gold rush?" Dolores Gavin, head of production and development at Discovery told USA Today.
Like the real Klondike Rush, shooting for the series was tough. The cast and crew shot in bitter cold temperatures in period costumes, sans the thermals, reported CTV News. They even filmed stunts like swimming through frigid water after being knocked off a boat and being surrounded by wolves on reaching the shore.
"I was nearly hypothermic at the end of one of those days, I couldn't do a take because I was shaking too much," Madden told LA Times. "It was so wet. Water was just running off me. That wasn't a rain machine. That was weather. I never thought I'd say it, but I wished I was back on the mountain," he added.
Check out the trailer of the mini-series below: