Snow Dogs — wildlife filmmaker Gordon Buchanan guides us through his adventurous Christmas special

Snow Dogs: Into The Wild on BBC2 sees Gordon Buchanan sledding through Canada with huskies.
Snow Dogs: Into The Wild on BBC2 sees Gordon Buchanan sledding through Canada with huskies. (Image credit: BBC)

Snow Dogs arrives on BBC2 this Christmas and follows Scots adventurer Gordon Buchanan as he takes a team of gorgeous huskies across the snowy plains of the Canadian wilderness to follow the Gold Rush explorers who used the trails more than 100 years ago. And it’s packed with drama and excitement!

As a complete novice, the solo mission is also fraught with danger as Gordon has to earn the respect of the dogs to survive freezing conditions and negotiate the hazardous snow-covered trails, while also camping out for a week in below zero temperatures.

Here Gordon Buchanan, 50, gives his take on what we can expect from the BBC2 Snow Dogs: Into The Wild documentary…

Gordon with his new pal in Snow Dogs.

Gordon with his new pal in Snow Dogs. (Image credit: BBC)

Snow Dogs release date

Snow Dogs: Into The Wild will air on Sunday December 18 at 9pm on BBC2 and at 8pm on BBC Scotland, so there’s not long to wait! you can also catch up on BBCiPlayer. We will update if we hear of a US or international air date.

Interview: Gordon Buchanan on what happens in Snow Dogs: Into The Wild?

Snow Dogs: Into The Wild sees wildlife film-maker Gordon Buchanan take on his biggest challenge yet as he leads a team of adorable Alaskan huskies for eight days across Canada’s frozen north.

Inspired by  the famous Jack London novel The Call of The Wild about gold rushers seeking their fortune in the Yukon’s frozen wilderness, Gordon attempts to fulfil his lifelong dream of mastering a dog sled team. The plan is then to singlehandedly lead Alaskan huskies Hero, Epic, Vicky, Lucky, Exy, Wookie, and pack leader Yukon down a treacherous 10km trail, known as the Burn Run. 

"I foolishly thought it was going to be easy, so the only practical preparation I did for this experience was taking my own dog for a walk," says Gordon who previously presented a BBC documentary on Snow Cats in 2019. ‘But I soon discovered this dog sled team were the Usain Bolts of the dog mushing world and the power was quite bewildering – a bit like having a Ducati motorcycle on full throttle. Hurtling through those forests at speed with an apparent lack of control and getting hit by branches was really terrifying!’

Snow Dogs: Into The Wild is fraught with danger, as Gordon camps out alone for eight days in freezing conditions, while dealing with sled crashes, blizzards and dangerous overhanging branches. More terrifying his when two lead dogs manage to break the central line connecting them to the sled and escape across the frozen plains, miles from civilization!

"It was a disaster, because they’re the two that actually have the most experience on these difficult tracks,’ says Gordon. "I realised that being stuck out there without them was a very dangerous place to be because you can’t possibly carry all the food and camping equipment you need to get back to the nearest town. I was totally dependent on those huskies. But in the end the whole experience was exhilarating. It was my 50th birthday at the beginning of the year and if I hadn’t been about to run a dog sled team in the Yukon that would have been the one thing I would have wished for. It was a dream come true."

Traversing the icy wilderness.

Traversing the icy wilderness. (Image credit: BBC)

Is there a trailer for Snow Dogs: Into The Wild?

Unfortunately the BBC hasn’t released a trailer yet but we’ll post it here as soon as it lands. No doubt it will tease all the drama and danger, with plenty of footage of the adorable huskies!

In the meantime do take a look at the Call of The Wild movie trailer below with Harrison Ford. Can Gordon Buchanan emulate what happens in that wonderful film?

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.

With contributions from