The Alaskans

The Alaskans

Infobox Television
show_name = The Alaskans

caption =
show_name_2 =
genre = Western
creator =
director = Leslie Goodwins
Richard Gordon
Charles F. Haas
Jesse Hibbs
Leslie H. Martinson
William A. Seiter
Richard Sinclair
Robert Sparr
Herbert L. Strock
Jaques Tourneur
George Waggner [ Sir Roger Moore's official site] ]
developer =
presenter =
starring = Roger Moore
Dorothy Provine
Jeff York
Ray Danton
Frank DeKova
voices =
narrated =
theme_music_composer = "Gold Fever" by
Mack David and
Jerry Livingston [ Classic TV Themes entry for "The Alaskans] ]
opentheme =
endtheme =
composer = Max Steiner
country = flag|USA
language = English
num_seasons = 1
num_episodes = 37
list_episodes =
executive_producer = William T. Orr [ Classic TV Archive entry on "The Alaskans"] ]
producer = Barry Ingster
Harry Tatelman
Charles Trapnell
supervising_producer =
asst_producer =
co-producer =
editor = David Wages
Robert B. Warwick
story_editor =
location = flag|California
camera =
runtime = 60 mins.
network = ABC
picture_format = 1.33:1
audio_format = monoaural
first_run = Sundays
at 9:30pm
first_aired = 4 October 1959
last_aired =
19 June 1960
preceded_by =
followed_by =
related = "appears to have
shared scripts but
not characters or
settings with:
website =
imdb_id = 052441
tv_com_id = 6235

"The Alaskans" is a 1959 television series set in the port of Skagway, Alaska during the 1890s. The show features Roger Moore as "Silky Harris" and Jeff York as "Reno McKee", a pair of adventurers intent on swindling travelers bound for the Yukon Territories during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush. [ Episode World's synopsis of "The Alaskans"] ] Their plans are inevitably complicated by the presence of "Rocky Shaw" (Dorothy Provine), "an entertainer with a taste for the finer things in life". [ [ "The Alaskans" at] ]

The show lasted for just one year, and is principally notable for being Moore's first regular work on American television.

Relationship with "Maverick"

"The Alaskans" is closely related to the series "Maverick" through broadcast and production.

"Maverick" was a lead-in for ABC's Sunday night of western dramas. For the 1959-60 season, Sundays began with "Colt .45" and "Maverick", went to "Lawman" and "The Rebel", and concluded with "The Alaskans". [ [ "The Rebel" at] ]

This may have influenced the career path of Roger Moore. The same year that "The Alaskans" was canceled, James Garner decided to leave "Maverick". Moore became, under protest, Garner's replacement, playing Bret Maverick's cousin Beau in the fourth season of "Maverick".

"Maverick" and "The Alaskans" were also related through script, if not narrative. The two shows were not part of the same fictional world, as evidenced by a lack of crossovers between the two. Because of the 1960 Writers Guild of America strike as well as an ongoing Warner Bros. policy to save money on writers, however, "Maverick" inherited a certain amount of scripted material from "The Alaskans". Moore bristled at the lack of originality in "Maverick" scripts: "An old "Bronco" script would interchange with an "Alaskans" or "Maverick". In some cases, even the dialogue stayed unchanged." In 2007, Moore indicated that the "script-sharing" went both ways, saying of "The Alaskans": "Quite often I realized that we were filming "Maverick" scripts, with the names changed." [ [ Moore answer to a June 2007 question on his official website] ]

Since the show has not been available to home audiences for over 40 years, independent verification of either claim is difficult. However, "The Alaksans" may have drawn from other series, as well. One viewer has detailed which specific "Maverick", "Sugarfoot" and "Cheyenne" episodes spawned clones on "The Alaskans". [ [ WBTV Posse forum thread, giving parent episodes on other programs and their children on "The Alaskans". Free registration required to view.] ]

Roger Moore's views

For Roger Moore, the series is memorable for being "my most appalling television series ever". In particular, he found that attempting to recreate Alaskan exteriors on a studio backlot in California made for disagreeably hot work days. Moore, Roger and Ken Roche. "The Roger Moore Story". "TV Times Extra". Independent Publications, Ltd. 1972.] The show also caused some marital strife for the actor when he had to admit to wife Dorothy Squires that he had fallen in love with co-star Dorothy Provine. Moore, Roger and Ken Roche. "The Roger Moore Story". "TV Times Extra". Independent Publications, Ltd. 1972.]


*Roger Moore as Silky Harris
*Dorothy Provine as Rocky Shaw
*Jeff York as Reno McKee
*Ray Danton as Nifty Cronin
*Frank DeKova as Fantan


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