Rewatching DuckTales! The series finally gets some lore going in episode 23, “Back to the Klondike.” What would YOU do for a Klondike bar?
Here’s what happens: It’s Valentine’s Day, and Scrooge isn’t having it. But then the kids find Scrooge with an old Valentine hidden away in a closet. He tells them the story of how he got it, from his younger years as a prospector in the “days of the great gold rush.” While in this (basically) Old West town, he met singing saloon girl Glittering Goldie.
In a game of cards, Goldie swindles Scrooge out of a precious gold nugget. The two of them then cooperate to dig for gold on Scrooge’s land. This goes on throughout winter to spring, and they fall for each other. When the gold disappears and Goldie vanishes, Scrooge believes she’s ripped him off. Scrooge went on to gain his fortune… alone.
The story inspires Scrooge to go back his claim, which he still owns, to see if it still has gold (and Goldie?). Scrooge fights a claim jumper on his land, only to discover that it’s Goldie, still living there. She believes Scrooge abandoned her as he believes she abandoned him. It was all a plot by Dangerous Dan, the local saloon owner. Dan attempts an old-timey train robbery to steal Scrooge’s gold, and he’s defeated by Scrooge and Goldie.
Scrooge invites Goldie to come back to Duckburg with him, but she says the Klondike is her home. As a Valentine’s gift, Scrooge gives her the deed to his claim.
Humbug: If Scrooge was a young man during the Gold Rush, and assuming DuckTales is set in then-contemporary 1980s, then does that mean he’s around 120 years old?
Junior woodchucks: When everyone is menaced by a bear out in the woods, the nephews know to avoid danger by climbing the nearest tree.
Maid and maiden: Mrs. Beakeley and Webby are all about celebrating Valentine’s Day. Mrs. Beakeley bursts out in song, reminding us of her opera talent.
All that glitters: Although she will appear only a few times in DuckTales, Glittering Goldie was a mainstay of the original Uncle Scrooge comics by Carl Barks and others. She’s famous for loving gold as much as Scrooge, wildly shooting guns at inappropriate times, and how she rides a bear instead of a horse.
Foul fowls: It should be obvious to anyone that Dangerous Dan is the villain, but I wonder what his plan is. He wants all the gold, but has no aspirations outside his crappy little mountain town.
Down in Duckburg: A hallway leading to a closet full of Scrooge’s hidden old knickknacks is an area of the mansion we haven’t seen before.
Reference row: Carl Barks based Glittering Goldie on singer and actress Katherine “Klondike Kate” Rockwell, who was a vaudeville star during the actual Gold Rush.
Thoughts on this viewing: Again, I’m impressed at how much story they can pack into a single episode. Goldie is a fun character, and a good match for Scrooge. Best of all, this is a rare world-building episode, giving a look into Scrooge’s backstory.
Next: Horse feathers.
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