"Back to the Klondike" is the 33rd episode of DuckTales, and the first episode in production order. It is a loose adaption of the Uncle Scrooge comic story of the same name by Carl Barks, and as such, it also marks Glittering Goldie's first appearance in animation.
One mid-February evening at McDuck Manor, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webby and Mrs. Beakley are getting ready for Valentine’s Day, making their own valentines. Scrooge tells them that he could care less about valentines, but the kids soon discover him obsessing over an old valentine in a closet. Scrooge explains that he received the valentine from an old flame back when he was a prospector during the Klondike Gold Rush, and he proceeds to tell the kids a story.
As a prospector at White Agony Creek, although not wealthy yet, Scrooge was far from being a wimp. One night he brought his earnings to Dangerous Dan’s honky-tonk, where he met Glittering Goldie as she sang for a crowd. Dangerous Dan taunted Scrooge, saying that he couldn’t afford a mint soda, but Scrooge displayed his earnings: a gold nugget, to the crowd, and impressed everyone. Goldie and Dan forced Scrooge into playing poker, with his nugget at stake, but Goldie rigged the deck in order to win.
Goldie hid the nugget in a piano, but Scrooge and Dan quickly got into a fight, causing Dan to get knocked onto the piano as he rolled outside, and he soon discovered the nugget. When Scrooge was unable to get his nugget back from Goldie, he demanded that she dig him up another one. Despite their initial dislike towards each other, Scrooge and Goldie actually got along well as they dug for more gold over the next little while. When Scrooge got ready to return to Duckburg with Goldie, he hid his gold under a rock, and received a valentine and a kiss from Goldie. Unfortunately, the gold got stolen, and Dan told Scrooge that Goldie made off with it. Depressed, Scrooge instead dug for gold by himself at Red Agony Creek, and finishes his story.
Dewey asks if there’s still any gold left in White Agony Creek, to which Scrooge responds by saying that he only took a small amount to start with, and that he still owns the claim. So Scrooge and the boys head up to the Klondike on Scrooge’s train, and are quickly spotted by Dan and his partner. Scrooge returns to his claim, only to discover that a claim jumper has taken up residence in his cabin. To avoid being shot at, Scrooge waits until nightfall to approach the cabin, but is chased around by a bear. After a while, the claim jumper calls off the bear and returns to the cabin.
While Dan concludes that Scrooge returned just because there was more gold on the claim, Scrooge and the boys try to set up a bear trap. The bear easily breaks through the trap and chases Scrooge some more, while the nephews use a rope to pull the claim jumper’s shotgun out of her hands. At this point the boys tell the claim jumper (Goldie) to call off her bear from attacking Scrooge. Surprised by Scrooge’s return, Goldie quickly freshens up, but only to chase after Scrooge with a revolver.
Before shooting Scrooge, Goldie explains that she’s living on his property because she had no place else to go. Scrooge apologizes to Goldie, telling her that he thinks of her every day. Scrooge and Goldie then make up and go for a walk, but their harmony ends when they get into an argument over what happened to Scrooge’s stolen gold. Goldie fires at Scrooge, but hits a rock, blasting open a small cache of gold within. When Scrooge tells Goldie she can pay him back with some of the gold she just discovered, she gets mad and heads to town with her bear, whose name is then revealed to be Blackjack.
Scrooge and the boys mine some gold, and later they leave the Klondike by train. Dan tries to convince Goldie to help him rob the train, but she declines his offer. When Dan and his partner catch up to the train on horseback, they begin to shoot, and Dan climbs up onto the roof. Scrooge takes on Dan, and ends up taking off his belt and tying him up. But Scrooge gets knocked off the roof by a branch, while Dan’s partner forces the engineer to stop the train.
Dan tells Scrooge that he was the one who stole his gold, and that he simply lied about Goldie being the thief. At that point, Goldie rides up to the train on Blackjack, shooting at Dan and his partner, who then ride off. Now that they know the truth, Scrooge and Goldie properly apologize to each other. Although Goldie declines Scrooge’s offer to come back to Duckburg with him, Scrooge presents to her the deed to his claim. He then tells Goldie that while she didn’t steal his gold, she did steal his heart.
- Because the original story was written in 1953, it was possible for Scrooge to have been alive back in the 1890s, when the gold rush took place. An artistic license had to be used for this episode, or else Scrooge couldn't have been alive back then at the time of the show.
- When Scrooge and the nephews are setting up the bear trap, the boys suddenly appear on one of the branches without appearing to have climbed the tree.
- When this episode was shown in syndicated reruns (such as on Toon Disney), two brief scenes involving gunplay were cut. The first edit is done to the flashback; at one point, Dangerous Dan shoots a pistol across the room and knocks the cork out of a bottle of whiskey on the bar, then blows the smoke from the gun into Scrooge's face, causing him to cough. As a result of this edit, Scrooge appears to be having a inexplicable coughing fit. The second edit completely eliminated Goldie's line, "Nah, I'm gonna try to take another shot at him!" while holding up her gun (in response to the nephews asking "Are you going to help Unca Scrooge?"). However, these scenes were reinstated on the episode's DVD release.
Differences from the original comicEdit
- Besides the obvious "Donald's not in this version."
- In the original comic, the plot gets underway when Scrooge is suffering memory lapses and starts taking pulls to recover his memory, and as a result, he ends up remembering the cargo of gold he left buried in the Klondike.
- In the original story, Scrooge is suggested to call the police and he says that since he stopped paying property taxes on his claim since the old days, he no longer holds legal rights on the property.
- The character of Dangerous Dan did not exist in the original story.
- Red Agony Creek was not mentioned in the original story (or any other comic).
- The Goose Egg Nugget is much smaller here than in the comic (nor actually referred to by that name).
- DuckTales: Volume 2