Most don’t need to read the paper to know we live in hard times. We all know families struggling to get by, or others almost at the end of their rope. That’s the situation that each person in the reality series Gold Rush: Alaska faces. Underemployed, unemployed and most with families to support, each man is desperate enough to risk everything for a chance to strike it rich.
And with the price of gold skyrocketing, the estimated $250 billion in gold buried in the Alaskan wilderness looked better and better. Led by Todd Hoffman and his father, Jack — who once unsuccessfully mined for gold in Alaska — the team purchases excavators and other mining equipment and heads north from Oregon to spend five months mining the Hoffmans’ claim.
The drive to their claim at Porcupine Creek provides the drama of the first episode as their large trucks navigate roads barely capable of carrying cars and face bridges crumbling in the spring runoffs. Once at the claim, the series’ executive producer Sam Maynard says the drama came from “uninvited visits from bears, people getting desperate to find gold and the inevitable tensions that come from being broke and staking it all on a small chance of striking it rich.”
And while it may be a spoiler, Maynard hopes to go back for a second season. “Todd Hoffman has some big plans for next year’s mining and I’d love for us to be there and film the thrills and spills,” he says.
Gold Rush: Alaska airs Fridays beginning Dec. 3 on Discovery Channel.