Dawson City toasts Klondike TV miniseries
A few inaccuracies don't tarnish the allure of the modern Gold Rush myth
You don't need a prospector's sharp eyes to spot inaccuracies in Klondike.
But residents say it's a fun adventure series and a fine reason to throw a costume party.
Last night Dawsonites packed the KIAC ballroom to watch the first episode of the new Discovery Channel miniseries.
Rian Lougheed-Smith was working the bar at the event.
“You know what, I think it was entertaining,” she says. “The sets are really incredible, the storefronts, the mud...”
Lougheed-Smith says it doesn’t really take away from the series but there are more than a few inaccurate details. One example: Snow and darkness in Dawson in July.
And then there are the man-eating wolves.
“I hesitate to be overly critical because I think we all take great pride in living up here and knowing about this place but I think there are very few television programs, books, articles that are able to capture everything of any place, of any town,” she says
Curtis Collins says one mistake came at the expense of the local first nation.
“The most inaccurate part was in reference to the Tlingit being in the Dawson City area and as you know it's the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in."
Factual mistakes aside, the crowd in Dawson City will likely be tuning in for more.
It might be true of many others too. Last night on Twitter hashtag #Klondike was trending around the world.
The 'American gun slinging myth' comes North
Michael Gates is a Yukon author and historian. He says the series is especially notable for its cowboy gun culture. Call it a Northern Western: A man is shot dead in a saloon right in the series' trailer.
"They portray the Yukon as a wild and lawless place but law and order and British justice had been well established in the Klondike before the gold rush started," he says.
"To suggest that it was a lawless place is totally inaccurate but it conforms with the American expectation of the western gun-slinging myth."
As was the case in 1898, it seems, tales about the Klondike have a way of turning from history to myth, changing from person to person as they get retold.
The Discovery channel show has two more episodes airing tonight and tomorrow night.