January 22, 2014 8:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Klondike' Cast, EPs Reflect on the End, Mull Journey to Nome
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the conclusion of Discovery's Klondike miniseries.]
Discovery's trip to the Klondike has ended its run, bringing an end to the journeys of real-life characters Bill Haskell, Belinda Mulrooney and Jack London.
The network's Klondike "left nothing on the table," David Zucker says, because the network early on in the process decided the six-hour scripted miniseries would have a closed-ended arc, despite what the executive producer says is a world that could have easily continued on.
While Bill (Richard Madden) ultimately made it out of the Klondike, the real-life character eventually returned to the mining community and was never heard from again. Belinda (Abbie Cornish) remained in the Klondike to open her hotel and eventually married (and divorced) The Count (a vastly different character than the one portrayed by Tim Roth) before moving to Seattle after her money ran out. Jack London (Johnny Simmons), meanwhile, left the Klondike and rose to fame as one of the greatest authors of all time.
In the Discovery mini, producers wrapped the series with a mention of the next town to be mined: Nome, a neighboring community that was invaded after the Klondike ran dry.
"I don't want to say no to anything. It's like an Alaskan Deadwood. We're still going to look at scripted in an event way," Discovery and TLC topper Eileen O'Neill tells THR. "If there's a story that comes up that could be told in more of a miniseries-type way, that would be good."
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the cast and creators behind Klondike to see if they tell a story set in Nome and if they are satisfied by how their respective characters ended their journeys.
Have you considered exploring Nome as a scripted miniseries follow-up to Klondike?
Paul Scheuring: I haven't personally explored that. I know that the network will say, "Never say never." In the case of Prison Break and Fox, they all knew. That was a finite story and once they're out of prison, we come to the resolution that it was over. But the ratings were so high Fox said to throw them in another prison. If this knocks the doors off the place, then Discovery may change their tone.
Zucker: It was discussed because we needed to know from a narrative standpoint if we were going to take it the full cycle. Paul ended up framing this within one seasonal cycle, but there was a series to tell here and if that's what they wanted to do, it was going to affect the type of cast we went after. At the end of the day, given this was Discovery's first venture in scripted, there was no other choice but to tell that complete story. We left nothing on the table and yet there is so much more that one can really draw from this world. It would have been an exciting world to continue in.
Are you satisfied with how Bill, Belinda and Jack's journeys ended?
Madden: I wasn't. I had a big chat with Charlotte Gray, who wrote the book [Klondike is based on], and we don't know anything about what happened to him. I don't need to know what he spent his money on or what happened to him later in life or if he became corrupt and made bad decisions. I like this memory of him where he's the best possible man that he could be and I like wondering what happened to him, what he did and why he went back. It's nice to leave it like that and I'm not frustrated by it. I've made up lots of different things, but I never settle on one. I like to think he went back for Belinda.
Cornish: I liked that it went the way it went. I liked the fact that she achieved all the things that she wanted to achieve. In that time, it was probably an incredible amount. She eventually did get married and have children, so she did experience love. She lived her life the way she wanted to live her life, which is most important.
Simmons: Exactly how it ends. I really admire his life and I wouldn’t change anything for him. I like everything he did.
Would you return for a Nome sequel?
Madden: I think I need to film something in a warm climate! (Laughs.) I think I need something that's about a volleyball team on a beach in Hawaii by a bar.
Cornish: As Belinda? For sure. She’s still alive within me and taught me things about myself.
Simmons: As long as Jack London’s the lead, yes.
What did you think of Klondike? Would you watch a series set in Nome? Hit the comments below with your thoughts.