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Goldrush: A Real Life Alaskan Adventure

A century ago a real-life young NYC office worker, packing her bags, her typewriter and her pooch, joined a gold mining troupe headed for Alaska to make her fortune. Scripters Jacqueline Feather and David Seidler have cooked up a mild, by-the-numbers account of the adventure in her story; fair family fare.

With:
Cast: Alyssa Milano, W. Morgan Sheppard, Stan Cahill, Frank C. Turner, Tom Sholte, Bruce Campbell, Larry Musser, Tom Sholte, Peter Fleming, Tom Heaton, Tom McBetah, Terence Kelly, Dean Wray, Charles Siegel, Jerry Wasserman, David Longworth, Brock Johnson, Beverly Elliot, David Fredericks, Pablo Coffey, Gillian Barber, Ginta Rae.

A century ago a real-life young NYC office worker, packing her bags, her typewriter and her pooch, joined a gold mining troupe headed for Alaska to make her fortune. Scripters Jacqueline Feather and David Seidler have cooked up a mild, by-the-numbers account of the adventure in her story; fair family fare.

Vidpic’s souped up by a vigorous, charming Alyssa Milano as fictionalized Fizzy, who keeps her eye on the gold. Hired by smooth-talking, square-jawed P.T. Madison (Bruce Campbell), she’s alone with a dozen inexperienced gold chasers headed for the Yukon to mine. At least one of them — a Pittsburgh athlete (Peter Fleming) — resents her, but she forges ahead.

The story meanders too much as the company sloshes out of Nome for Council City, where Madison’s going to do big things. It takes Fizzy a time to catch on, but Madison’s plans go pfft, and it costs her work and money. One of the other men — Ed Hawkins (Stan Cahill) — falls for her and even proposes in public, but she’s got her ambitions to keep her warm.

Staking out a claim, she now has equity. When Madison sweet-talks her into investing in his Nome-to-Council City telephone, she learns better. But there’s a third man interested in her, and the vidpic wisely doesn’t bear down on that one.

The story as directed without much excitement by John Power moves through the assigned paces. Milano’s the prize nugget in this gold rush. W. Morgan Sheppard manages to make ol’ timer Whiskers seem fresh, and Fleming’s a sure draw as the Quiet Man. Campbell’s OK as the undependable entrepreneur; Stan Cahill’s helpful as Mr. Nice Guy who’s also after Fizzy.

Filmed on location in Alaska, the vidpic has a credible, gritty look thanks to Laszlo George’s camerawork and helpful vintage film clips. Production designer Michael Bolton’s contributions are helpful.

Goldrush: A Real Life Alaskan Adventure

Sun. (8), 7-9 p.m., ABC

Production: Filmed in Vancouver by Gold Rush Prods., Hugget Prods. Ltd. Partnership and Walt Disney TV. Executive producers, Joan Sittenfield, Jeni Munn; producer, Fitch Cady; director, John Power.

Cast: Cast: Alyssa Milano, W. Morgan Sheppard, Stan Cahill, Frank C. Turner, Tom Sholte, Bruce Campbell, Larry Musser, Tom Sholte, Peter Fleming, Tom Heaton, Tom McBetah, Terence Kelly, Dean Wray, Charles Siegel, Jerry Wasserman, David Longworth, Brock Johnson, Beverly Elliot, David Fredericks, Pablo Coffey, Gillian Barber, Ginta Rae.Writers, Jacqueline Feather, David Seidler; camera, Laszlo George; editor, Scott Vickrey; sound, David Husby; art director, Eric Fraser; music, Richard Marvin; production designer, Michael Bolton; casting, Darlene Kaplan, Michelle Allen (Alaska).

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