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Big Fix Alaska

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Many Alaskans rely on heavy-duty equipment like bush planes, logging cranes and fishing boats to make a living. What happens, however, when the tools of the trade break down and the nearest help is hundreds of miles away? Braving the elements in wild, remote corners of the state to repair super machines are the full-service master mechanics at Jim's Equipment Repair, an Anchorage-based company serving residents since 1994. "Big Fix Alaska" chronicles the around-the-clock "rescues" made by owner Jim Evridge and his team, from stranded crab boats in the middle of the Bering Sea to frozen multimillion-dollar cranes near the North Pole.

Latest episodes

aired 1,224 days ago
Three large machines put the master mechanics to the test: a bulldozer, an excavator and a landing craft.
aired 1,293 days ago
It's time to squeeze in as much work as possible before business dies down for the winter.
aired 1,293 days ago
Jim and Austin work to save a town from starvation; Aven goes back to his roots.
aired 1,293 days ago
Heavy machinery and pressing deadlines put pressure on the team.
aired 1,300 days ago
These handymen must go out and repair machines essential to survival in Alaska.
aired 1,300 days ago
The busy season causes some things to slip through the cracks, creating shop tension.

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Patrolling America's largest state is the job of roughly 400 troopers in one of the toughest law enforcement agencies in the nation. Essentially, these cops say, nearly every Alaskan resident is armed and they know how to use their weapons, which makes any scenario a trooper encounters a potentially fatal one. Follow along as the "blue shirt" Alaskan State Troopers police the towns and villages, and the "brown shirt" Alaska Wildlife Troopers enforce regulations covering both commercial and sport fishing and hunting activities.
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Before complaining about the market price of Alaska king crab, check out this gripping documentary series, revealing the mortal perils and intense discomfort that fishing crews face on the Bering Sea to catch the delicacy. Those perils include 40-foot waves, 700-pound crab pots that can easily crush a careless crewman, and freezing temperatures around the clock.
When bears, wolves and foxes are your only neighbors, life can be pretty lonely. Add minus-60-degree days and a constant battle for the most basic necessities, and you have the daily challenges of people who live in remote corners of Alaska. This series takes viewers deep into an Alaskan winter to meet tough, resilient residents as they try to stay one step ahead of storms and man-eating beasts to survive the season. The closest neighbor to Sue Aikens is more than 300 miles away. Eric Salitan subsists solely on what he hunts and forages. Chip and Agnes Hailstone catch fish for currency in bartering for supplies, and Andy and Kate Bassich use their pack of sled dogs for transportation. Also highlighted is a time of year not always part of what viewers see in Alaska: spring! Ice is breaking, animals are waking, and residents face new tests before deep cold returns.
Various networks
The breathtaking beauty of Alaska sometimes hides the fact its winters can be incredibly harsh, especially for those who live in the state's outlying areas. "Alaska: The Last Frontier" perfectly illustrates this reality, as the series profiles life for the Kilcher family in the isolated community of Homer. For four generations the Kilchers have lived off what their 600-acre homestead has provided, but cultivating that living is never easy. Led by patriarch Atz Kilcher and his brother Otto, the family spends the short summer and fall gardening, hunting and fishing for food, gathering supplies from the land and preparing their animals for the winter. Viewers, who may or may not have a fancy phone by their side while watching on their big-screen high-def TV, also see the Kilchers living off the grid, where running water and electricity aren't daily staples, nor is contact with the outside world. Atz, by the way, is the father of music superstar Jewel.
Various networks
"Alaskan Bush People" is a reality-documentary series that introduces the Brown family -- Billy, wife Ami and their seven grown children who -- according to Discovery -- are interesting because "they are unlike any other family in America." The channel says they are so far removed from civilization that they often go six to nine months each year without seeing an outsider. They refer to themselves as a "wolf pack" and, perhaps due to isolation, have their own accent and dialect. The Browns live in the Copper River Valley, where temperatures can drop to 60 degrees below zero, and the family recently relocated and built a cabin there because, they say, their former home of many years was seized and burned down for being in the wrong location on public land.
Various networks
When it comes to dating on the island of Kodiak, Alaska, residents there often say, "The odds are good, but the goods can be a little odd." So six native Alaskan women -- fed up with scruffy men who are preoccupied with hunting and fishing -- cast their love line about 5,000 miles away in the sun-splashed and romance-filled city of Miami. This six-episode series documents how the women trade their rugged boots for high heels and fancy dates with firefighters, football players, personal trainers and cops. The cast includes Tina, who knows what she wants and how to get it; Jenny, who looks forward to ditching long socks and long johns for dresses and makeup; single mom Heather; Sabina, a free spirit who wants to be swept off her feet; quintessential Alaskan tomboy Lacy; and 22-year-old Haley, the youngest on the trip.
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A former Midwesterner, Dee Thornell moved to Alaska more than 25 years ago to pursue her life's mission: to care for wild and domestic animals of America's largest state. After starting her veterinary business out of a pickup truck, she now owns and operates Animal House, the most sophisticated veterinary hospital in Fairbanks, Alaska. Animal Planet documents her single-minded dedication to care for creatures like bald eagles, owls, chinchillas, beavers, iguanas, ox, moose and bears. It often requires her to leave the high-tech luxuries of her clinic and travel to remote villages by plane, four-wheelers, and even a horse and carriage. Once there, she relies on bare necessities to get the job done, while also dealing with subzero temperatures and days without daylight.
Various networks
Back to the beautiful state of Alaska for another reality-documentary series, this one set in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a protected area home to thousands of native animals... and a handful of people. In 1980, the U.S. government banned human occupation in the refuge, and only residents in seven permitted cabins are allowed to remain. The series depicts the daily rituals of four families living in isolation and contending with bitter weather, frustrating setbacks, and aggressive wildlife in an unspoiled and unforgiving wilderness. The nonconformists include Heimo Korth, the "godfather of the final frontier," and wife Edna; Bob Harte, who has spent 40 years living by his own rules; and young couple Bob and Ashley Selden, who admit that they've survived by trial and error, learning day by day the harsh reality of frontier living.