Pirate Gold of Adak Island Season 1 Review – There’s very little in the way of TV gold here

Season 1

Episode Guide

The Pirate’s Gambit
Shallow Grave
Seven Doors of Doom
Tundra Pit
Road to Ruin
A Pirate Decoded
Parcel 4


In the space of 5 minutes, Pirate Gold of Adak Island repeats the same information three times. We’re introduced to elevated boardwalks courtesy of a black and white picture. We’re then shown an animated sketch of said picture with accompanying narration. And finally a character within the show repeats the exact same information all over again. Just incase you weren’t paying attention 60 seconds earlier. This should tell you everything you need to know about this series and what audience this is shooting for.

For some people, sprawling out on the sofa with a mountain of food, scrolling through social media and glancing up at the TV every now and then will pass for entertainment. Pirate Gold of Adak Island feels designed specifically for those who watch TV this way. So if you’re looking for some background noise, Adak Island will be your jam.

The basic premise is actually quite interesting, and certainly enough to suck you in. However, if you’re actively watching this one the holes and logical flaws rear their ugly head halfway through episode 1 and continue to dominate until the big reveal at the end of episode 8.

Clearly learning from the success of shows like The Curse of Oak Island, Adak Island centers on an old pirate tale that stretches back to 1892. Back then, a pirate buried gold on Adak Island worth over $300 million. He died before he could return though, stashing said gold in tin cans across the landscape. His treasure is still out there, somewhere across the inhospitable terrain of this island.

Fast forward to the present and a bunch of treasure hunters arrive to unearth said gold and uncover the secrets of the island. Only, there’s a problem. They have absolutely no idea where the gold is. All they have to go on is a single black and white photo and some hunches, banking most of this on whatever else they find on the island. An island, I may add, that’s rigged with explosives.

The premise is alluring and of course, it’s perfect fodder for dramatic cliffhangers and moments of shock as our team head off in search of the treasure. As the episodes progress though, the journey turns into somewhat of a farce, with the group blowing up bombs, searching numerous different areas and becoming more and more outlandish in their attempts at justifying where their next dig site is.

Now, some of the fault here could lie with the editing which includes all the usual dramatic cues that we’ve seen in reality TV over the years. The big, dramatic cliffhangers, the overexplaining of simple information and the spikes of dramatic sound effects are all here.

Visually, the show is actually quite nice with animated cutaways and some gorgeous expository shots of the island. The music isn’t bad either, although as I said just now the dramatic cues and all the other reality TV shtick is so overdone by now that it borders on cliché. The script also leave a lot to be desired.

To Pirate Gold’s credit, the ending does at least give this one a conclusion, one way or the other. However much enjoyment you’ll get out of this lies in whether you’re the sort of person who can switch off and dip in and out of this one.

For those who will watch and logically pick apart what these guys are doing and wondering where their heads are at, you’re unlikely to find much in the way of TV gold here.


Edit: Just as a quick heads up, there are spoilers in the comments so if you don’t want to know how this show ends, don’t scroll down further than this!

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  • Verdict - 4/10

42 thoughts on “Pirate Gold of Adak Island Season 1 Review – There’s very little in the way of TV gold here”

  1. These people in this show couldn’t find their keys lost in a couch…that’s all I can say about this joke I just watched.

  2. What are the chances that the treasure was buried on the top of a hill that happened to be completely removed by the military. The soil, from which was then was cordoned off and used to bury explosives.
    The story just seems too contrived to be true.

  3. This series is full of overacting and BS I hate it. They think that viewers are stupid. How can a pirate make those concrete markets with cross when they’re in a hurry to stash those gold and leave as they’re being chased by the US Navy. Even the grass that they have dug seem like a square carefully laid grass.. People just keep coming up with trash

  4. For 1 I treasure hunt all the time, this whole show is absolutely made up and scripted. For 2 don’t throw a deceased human under the bus like that. For 3 hope ya’ll got a new mayor.

  5. Thank the Lord that I skipped to episode eight having watched the first 10 minutes of episode one!! The coins absolutely were placed there… The first coin found under the rock just happened to be metres away from a post (that was shown for a second) that they could attach the chain to!! Clearly they’ve lifted the rock using said technique and placed the coin there… and then gone back and used the same technique and filmed it!!! The second coin 🙈🙈🙈 they find another tin can with just one coin in, just one!! Jesus Christ! At the end the narrator says how the mayor ‘will be keeping hold of the two coins until they decide what to do with them’. Of course he’ll be keeping hold of them, they were his coins to begin with…

  6. If nothing else, I appreciate learning about this islands existence…it’s fascinating, although very disturbing, how irresponsible the USA government have been leaving the Island in such an appalling state…a dumping ground.

  7. What a load of absolute rubbish. Producers of programs such as this must think viewers are stupid.
    So many inaccuracies, a little research would have made it slightly more believable.

  8. Ok here is what I think. Yes they want to find it. No they don’t know what they are doing. It’s all for money and to better them. That is ridiculous. It’s all about their 5 min of fame. It’s suppose to be about history. Have no interest in them to better their life and if they don’t find it they leave their family down. Well that is not what we want to hear and learn. They say they have to find it every few minutes. I have watched many shows that they are looking for lost gold and more. They do not act or talk like these people. Not worth watching.

  9. Just when I think I might have started to fancy DrM she comes out with some absolute garbage, or crawls out of a tent looking as rough as a badger’s arse.

  10. While I feel for the economy and state of the islands and the long time inhabitants and natives of Aleutia, the show is a total farce and complete joke. Utter BS and a crock. Coins were clearly planted. Total disservice to writing, filmmaking, science or anything else associated.

  11. According to the US Army Corps of Engineers, “Rommel stake” is an unofficial term for screw picket.
    Yet in the Aleutians, Rommel stakes are what they’re commonly called. About three years ago, USACE published a brochure on the pointy little hazards, written by Corps archaeologist Forrest Kranda.

  12. Wow, there is so much hate on this page. You guys all need to get your head a shake. I absolutely loved it and congratulations on finding the two coins! Keep up the good work guys!

  13. I actually worked on Shemya island ,2nd to last in the chain. We had to make an emergency landing at that same airport they showed and not one person mentioned “gold” at any time….. that was in 2003. The story is interesting…. Island is sad and dying. I hope they find some but as for the rest of the show….. COME ON! Really? Show more bombs being dug up…. That more interesting.

  14. Why didn’t the military or the government look for the gold???
    Simple, they’re already sitting on a goldmine. It’s called tax dollars. The government takes and gives away more than the military would ever need.

  15. Been on and off Adak working as a UXO contractor since 1999 and was part of the team that removed those bombs from the road. Spitler’s drama is just that, drama. He mentions hundreds of explosive incidents that could potentially take your life in the UXO world. That is complete crap. After working in this niche industry for over 30 years, there hasn’t been a single explosive incident on a project. Matter of fact, explosive incidents are very rare and typically drives whatever company that has one out of business. The ‘armor’ they mounted on the back of that backhoe was a joke, too. So it stopped a shotgun blast with birdshot and a .45? Big deal, that is nothing compared to the actual shielding requirements needed for large projectiles they so dramatically mention so often. This show brings back a lot of fond memories when looking at the landscape and weather, but the science part of it is just silly.

  16. Watched it because my partner was into it. Glad I googled this and read the comments. I found this show entertaining purely because of how stupid and contradictory they all were throughout the show. This is basically one of those “finding Bigfoot” shows. Mindless “science” as a grand attempt to keep the audience interested… enjoy

  17. When the cans of gold were found during our military occupation, I wonder why the military didn’t make it a priority to find the rest of the treasure after the war was over ?

  18. it was somewhat entertaining for people like myself who like to just have the TV on in the background while doing other things.

  19. What a load of BS, the scientist discovers that it should have been 3 to 4 feet deep where the pirates have walked. Anybody thought of the fact that the pirates would have digged themself?? Nobody knows how deep so the treasure should be atleast 4 feet with a max of god knows what deep.

  20. But, but, but???

    How the finger manage to heal itself????
    There was definitely some magic in the island

  21. Had to laugh at the Spikes……Pig tail Barbed wire fence posts designed in WW1 and used through WW2, designed to be screwed into the ground quietly rather than hammering a straight one. and the wire can be easily affixed without ties. A sharpened end at the top was an added protection.

    just listening to this guy mansplaining the anti personnel spikes which they added entanglements of bardbed wire to ….OMG

  22. We know the original story is true, what happens after that is predictable. Of course the military would start ripping area apart to try to uncover the balance. With one hundred thousand bodies surely someone also found those markings possibly indicting an area where to dig.

    These bozos find out from the mayor that the hill they want to look at, the top was looped off by the military. No one asks why did they do that? Looking for gold coins perhaps?

    This show is retarded, that’s all.

  23. Angry D ‘There’s no such thing as a “Rommel Spike”. It’s just a barbed wire picket spike.’

    Rommel Stakes were employed on many Alaskan islands. And large efforts to remove them are still ongoing.

  24. “For some people, sprawling out on the sofa with a mountain of food, scrolling through social media and glancing up at the TV every now and then will pass for entertainment. Pirate Gold of Adak Island feels designed specifically for those who watch TV this way. So if you’re looking for some background noise, Adak Island will be your jam.”
    Are you watching me as I read this article, watch Adak Island, scroll FB, and shop online?

  25. Possibly the worst programme I ever watched, those two gold coins where placed there how would they find the tins they where supposedly hid in then there be one coin close by hahahahaha terrible acting terrible programme and I hope to god they don’t make a second season, 0/10 biggest pile of sh*t I’ve ever set eyes upon.

  26. Wow. It’s bad. I’d rather watch oak island where I know they will find at least wood. Not sure what mail order school gave “dr m” her degree but wow. My jeep tire would make a better contribution to this show. Bad plot. Bad editing. Bad talent. Don’t waste your time.

  27. Watched the first episode and got straight online to see if I was the only one who thought they were talking pish. Glad I’m not the only one lol

  28. I made the mistake of watching til the end, so many far out conclusions were reached based on hearsay, dodgy science and “experts”, “A world leading team”, two blokes who used to live on the island and who make the A-team look like professional engineers and who whirl metal detectors around like they are trying to find metal in the air, A scientist who’s main play seems to be that she knows some stuff about dirt but not a lot else a grumpy mayor who seems more determined to stop them digging than allow them to just search and another bloke who cut his thumb, ah didums.
    Several problems, the army have mashed up most of the areas, if the pirate had put one can in one place to hide it, it’s highly unlikely he would have buried more in the same place so why bother to waste so much time trying to work out where [previous cans have been buried, why not just divide the island up into sections and search as much as possible.

  29. I watched up till the point where the guy cuts his finger, all I have to say is if the 2 cans of gold were found so close to the shore then why on gods earth would one want to travel to far spots like Lake Betty I mean I don’t believe it would have been buried so far from the cove I mean if you have the US Navy chasing you down you a
    Wouldn’t hide it in some lavish way there just wouldn’t be time. Most of it was probably found already the finders just didn’t tell anyone would you? Nice try Netflix but this one is a snoozer.

  30. Another series about overweight, gray-bearded men who fight against nature to get rich quick.
    The clichés hail. “I’m not one to give up,” “it’s just a struggle.”
    The narrator repeats what has already been said.
    Since there is little that happens, every opportunity is taken to siding. Long explanations about how the grenades and other ammunition that the metal detectors find are built and work.
    Hope the mayor and the 45 residents got paid well by Netflix.
    Then at least someone has earned something on this tough standard story.

  31. I skipped tp the last show ,I suggest you do the same ,two cans found both with one coin,if there was really one coin there why not carry on digging around where that coin was found ?because they were planted there ans they knew there wereno more coins holy shit ,if the coinss were real then they cold also have terific value and at least they should be evaluated .Its lke he ghost hunters 25 series no ghosts

  32. Such horseshit in this show. There’s no such thing as a “Rommel Spike”. It’s just a barbed wire picket spike. Brian is the worst of the lot. He’s constantly talking out of his ass about everything from history to WWII facts that are flat out wrong.

    “Dr. M.” has the audacity to call herself a scientist when none of her conclusions make a lick of sense. No one on the show has a clue about how military fortifications were built, how basic construction is done, or even simple sailing navigation. They literally think (and claim several times) that there was no record of a military presence on the south side of the island so there couldn’t have been one– not even on the side of the island facing Japan that has a sheltered cove in a strategically important beaching location.

    These people are flat out stupid. I made it five episodes before I got sick of seeing the distortions and fabrications. There is NO evidence that ANYONE buried ANY gold on Adak.

  33. If you like to shop at Walmart at midnight then this show is for you. The end episode is so so full of BS yah just have to laugh.

  34. I watched the series… And I have to say, I’m sceptical. There are many many misses and lots of non gold being dug and then, by chance, right at the end they uncover two separate coins in very close proximity, suggesting that the ret of the gold is locked away in a “secure location” due to all the earth that contains the gold bullion having been dug up, and moved to the “secure location” as back fill. Come on. When they moved all that soil there would have been goild coins falling out all over the place… And the only two the did where found right next to where you can’t or are not allowed to access. The two coins they find show no siges of wear or even have built up mud on them (I know gold doesn’t tarnish etc…) So where did they “borrow” the two coins from to ensure at least a semi satisfying end to the first season… Sorry I don’t buy it … Great little plug for Adak and it’s declining population and pending economic collapse… But I smell BS.

  35. I really want to know if the government was also looking for the gold 😂 it most certainly seems that way when you watch it. So much until it seems the gold is tucked away in a government only area that you are not allowed to enter. This happens at the end on the last episode.

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