As someone who grew up reading Jack London, I was excited when I read about this mini-series as well as Discovery's foray into scripted content. I enjoyed the History channel's Vikings this summer. They won great praise for their Bible mini-series, so Discovery isn't off the mark by expanding their content.
Also, Robb Stark in the Yukon who could say no to that? (April 6th, too far.)
My first impression is that it is beautifully shot. The landscape reminds me of Brokeback Mountain. It also reminds me that winter is coming. (I will refrain from anymore GOT references.) The mini-series follows Bill Haskell and Byron Epstein in their entrepreneurial attempt at mining gold. As much as it is a get rich quick scheme. It doesn't come without the risk of avalanche, drowning, anti-semitism, and being new kids on the block learning how to make it in frontier Canada. (I feel the need to reference How to Make it in America, RIP.)
The scene with the Northern Lights (which is on my bucket list to travel to see) is marred with the shooting of Bill's partner, Byron. The cruelty of the frontier is finally realized after Bill's many close calls with death on their travels to their claim to the land. The land that "might" yield gold or nothing at all.
Justice is elusive just like the gold that can be found in the mountains. Bill finds himself alone trying to figure out how to function in the derelict society, where having the upper hand or making a deal is the new way of life.
Part I has set the stage for a good story, and I will be watching to see what happens and if Bill is rewarded with the fortune he has risked so much to obtain.