|The cast of Klondike, including Sam Shepard and Tim Roth (middle, front)|
PASADENA, CA–It’s a tad chilly in Klondike country, so Discovery brought Klondike to critics.
Thursday night, the sprawling back lawn of the Langham Huntington Hotel was transformed into a large casino/saloon, set up just for critics. Inside was a full bar, a honky-tonk piano, chili, hard liquor and fast women–or maybe it was the other way around.
Not all the critics dragged their butts out to the lawn, however. Thursday was a punishing day, ending with several all-star HBO sessions. Some folks were either writing or sleeping.
It was all thrown together to promote Klondike, Discovery’s first foray into scripted television. The miniseries premieres Jan. 20 on Discovery and Discovery Canada. It follows two adventurers (played by Scottish actor Richard Madden and Brit Augustus Prew) as the set out for Dawson City in 1897 at the peak of the gold rush.
|Richard Madden on location in Alberta|
A few of the stars of Klondike made the walk out to the lawn, including surly Pulitzer Prize-winner Sam Shepard. The 70-year-old gave reporters the shrug all night, grunting one or two word answers to questions, squinting at credential badges and looking past anybody who wasn’t from The Wall Street Journal.
Outside, a fine horse–featured for the 10th consecutive year in the Rose Bowl parade–was there for the petting.
|The casino set up on the back lawn of the Langham|
Klondike is set in Dawson City but shot in the Rockies near Calgary, Alta. The cast all said they froze working this show last April through July. Shooting in Dawson City–which retains much of the look of a gold rush town–was never considered. Among the reasons for that is the fact there simply isn’t a ton of daylight in Dawson in April.
Read more about Klondike the series here at this article I wrote for The Canadian Press.