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Review: Gold Mining Shows on Discovery Channel

The Discovery Channel is bullish on gold
Review: Gold Mining Shows on Discovery Channel
Photo illustration by 731; Photographs by Alamy (2)

The two leads of Klondike, Discovery’s miniseries about the 1890s Alaskan gold rush, are having a tough time. In just one episode, Bill (Richard Madden from Game of Thrones) and Byron (Augustus Prew) get creamed by an avalanche, thrown off a white-water raft, and chased by wolves. And that’s all before they encounter anti-Semitism and Sam Shepard’s crazy hair. The pair eventually finds some of those shiny nuggets, but, to paraphrase the Notorious B.I.G. 100 years later, the more money they come across, the more problems they see. It’s hard out there for an old-timey gold miner.

Klondike is the network’s first foray into scripted drama, and the three-part series’s première on Jan. 20 attracted 3.4 million viewers, the channel’s largest-ever Monday prime-time audience. Co-produced by director Ridley Scott, Klondike is a fictionalized companion to the network’s other gold mining hits, Gold Rush, Bering Sea Gold, and Jungle Gold, which feature real-life miners dredging their way through Alaska, South America, Africa, and the Pacific Ocean. (Jungle Gold’s second season was cut short after the cast and crew had to flee Ghana following an attack by an armed militia.)