'Gold Rush' Introduces Special Forces Veteran as Rookie Miner in New Season, Get an Exclusive Sneak Peek of the Premiere

It's a whole new ballgame for the Gold Rush miners as they return to the Yukon in pursuit of the greatest payday of their lives amid the global coronavirus pandemic. A brand new season of the hit Discovery show, which introduces greenhorn miner Fred Lewis, is set to premiere Friday, Oct. 23 with a two-hour special at 8 p.m. ET, and PopCulture has an exclusive sneak peek of the first episode.

Parker Schnabel, Rick Ness and Tony Beets are all returning for more high-stakes gold mining this season, scrambling to meet their quotas after two months of shutdown forced by the coronavirus put them behind schedule to make ends meet. This season, they're joined by ex-special forces medic and greenhorn miner Fred Lewis, who is staking his claim in the gold fields of Oregon with a group of veterans facing unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the help of fellow veteran and experienced miner Kendell Madden, is Lewis ready to take his fate into his own hands in the dangerous world of gold mining?

PopCulture's exclusive sneak peek of the premiere shows just how dangerous things on the mining site can be, as Schnabel's crew attempts to set up the massively heavy plant on the newly-completed pad. "What I'm really concerned about here is just, you know, having any hiccups here today," Mitch tells the camera as he drives the plant carefully the half-mile to the pad. "I know Parker's real adamant about getting the last plant running and getting some money coming in. At the end of the day, we need a lot of things to go right and a little bit of luck ... maybe a lot of luck."

The next challenge is easing the plant off the trailer, and despite concerns about the "sketchy" plan to do so safely, Shane begins to turn the plant to get it into place. "Some days you just gotta sit back and watch an old boy do it and learn something new here," Mitch notes, standing back. Everything looks like it's going well, until the plant begins to slip, possibly sending it towards disaster. The clip ends with pandemonium, as someone shouts for everyone to stand back and the camera cuts to black.

The all-new season of Gold Rush debuts with a two-hour premiere Friday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. ET and will continue to air Fridays at 8 p.m. ET for the remainder of the season. Gold Rush is produced for Discovery Channel by Raw Television, where Dimitri Doganis, James Bates, Mike Gamson, and Tom Sheahan are executive producers. For Discovery Channel, Carter Figueroa is executive producer and Greg Wolf is coordinating producer.