We’ve been written about, featured on TV, and immortalized in CGI. What more could a territory want? Gather around as we take a gander at the narratives inspired by our humble home.
Yukon in literature
We couldn’t think of a better way to begin than with the Bard of the Yukon: Robert W. Service. Featuring comedic and harrowing tales of the Klondike Gold Rush, his books Songs of a Sourdough and Ballads of a Cheechako catapulted him to success. But with stirring poems such as “The Ballad of the Northern Lights,” it’s safe to say that the Yukon left its mark on the poet—and the poet returned the favour.
Taking a leap from poetry to prose, we have the undisputed literary darling of the Yukon: Jack London. His Gold Rush-inspired novels White Fang and The Call of the Wild have captivated generations of readers as they experienced redemption through the eyes of his canine cast. Really, who doesn’t love a dog on a quest?
Remember Jack London from two sentences ago? His books White Fang and The Call of the Wild have seen several film adaptations, with the latest remake of The Call of the Wild set to be released in 2020. With live-action, CGI animation, and a big budget to boot, this film has all the makings of an epic movie night. The only thing that’s missing is the popcorn with extra butter. Mmm, extra butter.
On the flip side, if you like your movies silent, you’ll love Charlie Chaplin’s misadventures in the 1925 comedic masterpiece Gold Rush. Snort your way through his dance of the dinner rolls and snicker at his misguided attempts to eat his shoe. Hey, times were tough. We get it.
When it comes to the small screen, the Yukon is all over it. If drama is your choice du jour, the 2014 mini-series Klondike offers great heapings of it. If you’d rather go vintage, the 1955 series Sergeant Preston of the Yukon remains a popular choice through the ages. After all, what’s not to love about a Mountie battling crime in the Klondike while being aided by a horse and dog? Seriously.
That said, if you prefer your TV tinged with a tad more reality, you’re in luck. Gold Rush (2010) and Yukon Gold (2013) offer a glimpse of the heart-racing reality of placer mining while Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet (2014) follows the everyday adventures of Yukon’s very own Dr. Dolittle—minus the whole talking-to-the-animals bit.
And finally, if you’re in the mood for some PBS and chill, the 2015 documentary The Klondike Gold Rush just may be the ticket. Kick back, relax, and stoke your inner pioneer as you learn all about the richest gold strike in North American mining history. Whoever said learning can’t be fun?