23 October 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Abu Media begin filming on Western Drama Series 'Klondike'
04 Sep 2014 :
Last week saw filming commence on Abú Media’s new four-part drama series KLONDIKE. The series is set against the backdrop of the Alaskan Gold Rush of the 1890’s and tells the story of the Connollys; three emigrant Irish brothers from Rosmuc, Galway, who make their way to the Klondike Valley in the hope of striking it rich.

“This is a landmark drama series for Irish television. It is Ireland’s first Western Drama Series and the project has already generated international interest, with presales in place to five international broadcasters,” says Klondike’s producer Pierce Boyce.

The series is being produced for broadcast on TG4 and will be bilingual with the majority of the dialogue in Irish. As they would have done at the time, the Irish characters speak to each other in Irish and speak with the American characters in English. “We wanted to take an approach similar to that used by shows like Deadwood and Boardwalk Empire and draw on historical accounts in the construction of storylines and characters,” says series creator Dathaí Keane. “One of the main inspirations for the story is Micí MacGabhann’s account of his adventures in the Klondike as told in Rotha Mór an tSaoil. Many of the characters and events featured in MacGabhann’s work are incorporated into the storylines of Klondike. Other characters, such as Bridget Mannion and Belinda Mulroney, are based on newspaper reports and historical accounts of the Yukon goldrush.”

As part of the production a purpose built mining town called Dominion Creek has been built near Oughterard in Co. Galway. Production Designer Padraig O’Neill and his team spent months researching and designing each building that makes up the town. Interior sets for key locations such as the Golden Nugget Saloon and the Fairview Hotel have been constructed in Teach Solas Studios in Inverin. “The desolate pine forests and lakes of Connemara are a perfect backdrop for the story we are telling,” says Pierce Boyce. “The landscape of certain parts of the West of Ireland is identical to the regions of the Yukon where gold was discovered.”

The Connolly brothers are being played by Owen McDonnell (Single Handed) Dara Devaney (Na Cloigne) and Sean T. Ó Meallaigh (1916 Seachtar na Cásca). Other cast members include Native American actors Julian Black Antelope and Glen Gould, Steve Wall and Bríd Ní Neachtain.

Produced by Pierce Boyce, Abú Media, Director on Klondike is Dathaí Keane, (1916 Seachtar na Cásca) the series is written by Marcus Fleming (The Running Mate), Director of Photography is Colm Hogan (Corp + Anam 2) and production designer is Padraig O’ Neill (Garage). Klondike is funded by BAI, TG4 and Section 481 and will be broadcast on TG4 in September 2015.

Filming continues for another 6 weeks on their purpose built western town in Oughterard Galway.

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