When Mikey McBryan first came to Toronto a half-decade ago to promote the very first season of "Ice Pilots NWT," it was the turning point that "changed everything." The Buffalo Airways personality had already shot the first season of the series, but since no one had seen it, he and the pilots still considered it something of an "inside joke."
Fast-forward to today, and McBryan is back in Toronto to promote the show's final eight-episode run. According to the star, now it's really starting to really feel like the end.
"Coming back six years later and reflecting on it ... man! I was just a little kid back then. I can't believe all the trouble we got into," he tells HuffPost Canada TV. "It's totally bittersweet."
According to McBryan, the show's fifth season was supposed to be the last, but everyone was on the fence about giving a proper sendoff to fans. They took so long to make their decision that once they decided to go, shooting started later, resulting in a shorter season.
"In television, the 'c' word, 'cancelled,' is just a horrible, horrible word and I hate it," McBryan says. "But we all worked together and the show is going out on a high note. I like 'final season' vs. getting a press release saying the show is cancelled. It's cool we're doing it this way."
McBryan reveals the crew didn't set out to do anything different than previous seasons, yet the dramatics that go down in the final run wound up giving closure on many different levels. Sophie -- the dog that has always been a background player of sorts on the series, a fun part of the show for many fans -- had to be put down at 16 years old in a "heart-wrenching" episode. And something that's been two years in the making, McBryan jumping out of a plane on D-Day, will serve as one of the series' final scenes.
"It's one of the craziest experiences of my life," he says. "As I was laying, mangled up on the ground because I didn't land that well, it was nice closure for me too. To know that was the end. Luckily I survived."
Looking ahead, McBryan isn't opposed to future projects involving the crew, so long as it isn't cheesy. He's looking at a variety of options, including an animated series or a pop-up children's book. He's also got the bug to do more work on-camera or with something involving media, and is looking into some options with Shaw Media, which currently owns "Ice Pilots."
"I'm hooked, I'm definitely hooked and I love it," he says. "Being stuck in a hangar for my entire life, I didn't realize there were other things you could do."
His dream gig? Being animated on "The Simpsons."
"Springfield reminds me of my hometown -- that's why I love 'The Simpsons' so much!" he says. "My whole goal in life is to be on 'The Simpsons.' I think if Matt Groening came up to Yellowknife and said hi to me, we could make a deal."
Proving that he's really thought that far ahead, McBryan is quick to reveal which characters he relates to most.
"I would probably be Barney ... or Duff Man!" he laughs. "And my father is the Mr. Burns, where he's always making references that are way out of date and all that kind of stuff. I'd actually love to try and do a web series where I host chats about 'The Simpsons.'"
Stay tuned, he says.
"Ice Pilots NWT" kicks off its final season Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.