The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles is an
American television series that aired on ABC from March 4th, 1992, to
July 24th, 1993. The series was an Amblin Television/Lucasfilm
production in association with Paramount Network Television.
The series explores the childhood and
youth of the fictional character Indiana Jones and primarily stars
Sean Patrick Flanery and Corey Carrier as the title character, with
George Hall playing an elderly version of Jones for the bookends of
most episodes, though Harrison Ford bookended one episode. The show
was created and executive produced by George Lucas, who also created,
co-wrote, and executive produced the Indiana Jones feature films.
Due to its enormous budget and relatively
low ratings, the series was canceled in 1993. However, following the
series' cancellation, four made-for-television films were produced
from 1994 to 1996 in an attempt to continue the series. In 1999, the
series was re-edited into 22 television films under the title The
Adventures of Young Indiana Jones.
During the production of the Indiana Jones
feature films, the cast and crew frequently questioned creator George
Lucas about the Indiana Jones character's life growing up. During the
concept stages of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lucas and
director Steven Spielberg decided to reveal some of this backstory in
the film's opening scenes. For these scenes, Lucas chose River
Phoenix (above) to portray the character, as Harrison Ford believed
that Phoenix most resembled Ford as a young man (Phoenix had appeared
as Ford's son in The Mosquito Coast). This decision to reveal an
adventure of a young Indiana led Lucas and crew to the idea of
creating the series.
Lucas wrote an extensive time-line
detailing the life of Indiana Jones, assembling the elements for
about 70 episodes, starting in 1905 and leading all the way up to the
feature films. Each outline included the place, date and the
historical persons Indy would meet in that episode, and would then be
turned over to one of the series writers. When the series came to an
end about 31 of the 70 stories had been filmed. Had the series been
renewed for a third season, Young Indy would have been introduced to
younger versions of characters from Raiders of the Lost Ark: Abner
Ravenwood ("Jerusalem, June 1909") and René Belloq
("Honduras, December 1920"). Other episodes would have
filled in the blanks between existing ones ("Le Havre, June
1916", "Berlin, Late August, 1916"), and there would
even have been some adventures starring a five-year-old Indy
(including "Princeton, May 1905").
During production of the series, Lucas
became obsessed with the crystal skulls. He originally called for an
episode which would have been part of the third season involving
Jones and his friend Belloq searching for one of the skulls. The
episode was never produced, and the idea ultimately evolved into the
2008 feature film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
A variety of filmmakers wrote and directed
many episodes of the series, including Frank Darabont, Nicolas Roeg,
Mike Newell, Deepa Mehta, Joe Johnston, Jonathan Hensleigh, Terry
Jones, Simon Wincer, Carrie Fisher, Dick Maas and Vic Armstrong.
Lucas was given a 'Story By' credit in many episodes, along with his
input as a creative consultant.
series was designed as an educational program for children and
teenagers, spotlighted historical figures and important events, and
used the concept of a prequel to the films as a draw. Most episodes
feature a standard formula of an elderly (93-year-old) Indiana Jones
(played by George Hall) in present-day (1993) New York City
encountering people who spur him to reminisce and tell stories about
his past adventures.
These stories would either involve him as
a young boy (10, played by Corey Carrier, right) or as a teenager (16
to 21, played by Sean Patrick Flanery). In one episode, a fifty-year-old
Indy (played by Harrison Ford) is seen reminiscing. Initially, the
plan was for the series to alternate between the adventures of Indy
as a child (Corey Carrier) and as a teenager (Sean Patrick Flanery,
below), but eventually the episodes featuring Flanery's version of
the character dominated the series.
The series' bookends revealed that the
elderly Jones has a daughter, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
There is no mention if he had a son, though he would be revealed to
have a son in the movie Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Many of the episodes involve Indiana
meeting and working with famous historical figures. Historical
figures featured on the show include Leo Tolstoy, Howard Carter,
Charles de Gaulle, and John Ford, in such diverse locations as Egypt, Austria-Hungary,
India, China, and the whole of Europe. For example, Curse of the
Jackal prominently involves Indy in the adventures of T. E. Lawrence
and Pancho Villa.
also encounters Edgar Degas, Giacomo Puccini, George Patton, Pablo
Picasso, Eliot Ness, Charles Nungesser, Al Capone, Manfred von
Richthofen, Anthony Fokker, Charles Webster Leadbeater, Annie Besant,
Jiddu Krishnamurti, Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, Norman Rockwell (same
episode as Degas and Picasso), Louis Armstrong, George Gershwin,
Seán O'Casey, Siegfried Sassoon, Patrick Pearse, Winston
Churchill, a very young Ho Chi Minh, Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, and
Carl Laemmle; at one point, he competes against a young Ernest
Hemingway for the affections of a girl, is nursed back to health by
Albert Schweitzer, has a passionate tryst with Mata Hari, discusses
philosophy with Nikos Kazantzakis, and goes on a safari with Theodore Roosevelt.
The show provided a lot of the back story
for the films. His relationship with his father, first introduced in
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, was further fleshed out with
stories about his travels with his father as a young boy. His
original hunt for the Eye of the Peacock, a large diamond seen in
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, was a recurring element in
several stories. The show also chronicled his activities during World
War I and his first solo adventures. The series is also referenced in
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, when Indy
describes his adventures with Pancho Villa (chronicled in the first
episode) to Mutt Williams.
series was unusual in that it was shot on location around the world.
Partly to offset the cost of this, the series was shot on 16mm film,
rather than 35. The series was designed so that each pair of episodes
could either be broadcast separately, or as a 2-hour film-length
episode. Each episode cost about $1.5 million and the filming with
Young Indy usually took around 3 weeks. The "bookend"
segments with old Indy were mostly shot at Carolco Studios in
Wilmington, North Carolina and on location in Wilmington. The show
also featured footage from other films spliced into several episodes.
The series was shot in three stages. The
first production occurred from 1991 to 1992, and consisted of sixteen
episodes; five with younger Indy, ten with older Indy, and one with
both - for a total of seventeen television hours. The second
production occurred from 1992 to 1993 and consisted of twelve
episodes; one with younger Indy and eleven with older Indy, for a
total of fifteen television hours. The third and final production
occurred from 1994 to 1995, and consisted of four two hour
made-for-television movies. In 1996, additional filming was done in
order to re-edit the entire series into twenty-two feature films.
The series' main theme was composed by
Laurence Rosenthal, who wrote much of the music for the series. Joel
McNeely also wrote music for many episodes; he received an Emmy in
1993 for the Episode "Scandal of 1920". French composer
Frédéric Talgorn composed some music for the episode
set in World War I France ("The Somme, July 1916/Germany, August
1916"). Music for "Transylvania, September 1918" was
composed by Curt Sobel.
Indiana Jones was played by no fewer than
four actors all playing the character at different stages in his life
in the series.
Corey Carrier (above) as Henry
"Indiana" Jones, Jr. (ages 9 to 10). Carrier was 11 when he
was cast for the role. His manager had given him a list of TV series
he could try out for, and after his initial audition, he was called
back several times before getting the role. Like Flanery, Carrier had
viewed the Indiana Jones films before production began on the series,
finding Henry Jones, Sr. to be his favorite character. During the
first year of production, Carrier's family was able to travel with
him, and his mother served as his tutor. Carrier also was able to do
some of his own stunts. Carrier and co-star Flanery spent little time
together during production, as they were often shooting episodes
simultaneously around the world.
Sean Patrick Flanery (above) as Henry
"Indiana" Jones, Jr. (ages 16 to 21). For the role of young
Indy, Lucas wanted an actor who could effectively portray Jones as
idealistic and naive. River Phoenix, who played Young Indy in Indiana
Jones and the Last Crusade, was originally offered the role, but
turned it down because he did not want to return to television.
Flanery, who had never done a screentest prior to auditioning for
Young Indy, played the character for six scenes from what would
become "German East Africa, December 1916" in full make-up
and wardrobe for his Young Indy audition. Three weeks later, Flanery
was informed that he got the part. Upon receiving the role, Flanery
was given a large amount of research material on the historical
characters who would be involved in the series. Vic Armstrong, who
had previously served as stunt double for Harrison Ford and stunt
coordinator for the Indiana Jones films, assisted Flanery in many
physical acts in the show, such as using a lasso, using a whip, and
mounting a horse. However, Flanery prefered to do his own stunts
whenever possible. Producer Rick McCallum provided Flanery with
copies of the feature films, which Flanery used to study Harrison
Ford's mannerisms he would later attempt to emulate in the series
Harrison Ford (above) as Dr. Henry
"Indiana" Jones, Jr. (age 51). Ford appeared as a
middle-aged Indy in the episode "Young Indiana Jones and the
Mystery of the Blues", which aired in March 1993. Ford sported a
beard for his appearance, as he was on break from filming The
Fugitive (1993) at the time his scenes were shot, and didn't have
time to shave it.
George Hall as "Old Indy" (ages
93-94 above). The idea for an Indy in his 90s originated with author
Rob MacGregor, who originally wrote an older Indy bookending his
novel Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi. Although these segments
were cut from the book, the "Old Indy" concept later
resurfaced in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Harrison Ford was
first offered the role of the older Indiana Jones, but turned it down
because he felt television had nothing to offer his career. Hall was
eventually cast due to his acting ability, and was required to wear
makeup for the role. His scenes were shot at Wilmington, North
Carolina, and are set in the present day (1992/1993). Refering to the
character, Hall remarked "He's heroic in the sense that he's
past the age of caring whether people appreciate what he's saying or
not. He's old enough to know that truisms are truisms and should be
believed because they are true. He's a good storyteller and he makes
people want to listen to him and learn from listening to him. And
then they go off and learn something else and continue the process of
learning." Hall was born on November 19th, 1916 in Toronto,
Ontario, Canada. As an actor he is known for Remember WENN (1996),
Big Daddy (1999) and Courage the Cowardly Dog (2002). Hall died on
October 21st, 2002 in Hawthorne, New York.
The other major characters were:
Lloyd Owen (below left) as Professor Henry
Jones, Sr. Since Sean Connery had previously played the role in
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Owen prepared for the role by
viewing many of Connery's films in order to learn to imitate
Connery's accent. Owen was born on April 14th, 1966 in London,
England and appeared in Apollo 18 (2011), Monarch of the Glen (2000)
and Miss Potter (2006).
Ruth de Sosa (above right) as Anna Jones.
Ruth de Sosa is an actress and producer, known for Planes, Trains
& Automobiles (1987), Hook (1991) and My Life (1993). She was
previously married to Larry Drake. Very little had been established
about the character prior to production, so de Sosa was allowed to
create many aspects of the character, in additon to the basics that
had been established by Lucas.
Margaret Tyzack (below left) as Miss Helen
Seymour, Indy's childhood tutor. Tyzack was born on September 9th,
1931 in Plaistow, London, England as Margaret Maud Tyzack. She was an
actress, known for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange
(1971), The Forsyte Saga (1977), Match Point (2005) and EastEnders
(2011). She was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the
British Empire) in 2010 and died on June 25th, 2011 in Blackheath, London.
Ronny Coutteure (above right) as Remy
Baudouin. Coutteure's native language was French, and he spoke very
little English, so he worked extra hard in memorizing his lines. His
wife accompanied him during the filming of each episode. Coutteure
was born on July 2nd, 1951 in Werwik, in Belgium. He had a 30 year
career as an actor, author, director and realizer, a career which
began as clown. Ronny Coutteure worked for the cinema, the radio,
television, the opera and the theatre. He died in 2000, after
Several actors from the film series
returned to the franchise to play different characters in the show.
From Raiders of the Lost Ark, Paul Freeman (above left) returned to
play Frederick Selous, William Hootkins to play Sergei Diaghilev,
Wolf Kahler (above center) to play a German diplomat in the episode
"Barcelona, May 1917" and Vic Tablian (above right) to play
Demetrios. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom actor Roshan Seth
played Kamal while Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade's Kevork
Malikyan played the Armenian Agent.
Most episodes of the series depicted
famous and not-so-famous historical figures, including Theodore
Roosevelt, T.E. Lawrence, Leo Tolstoy, Winston Churchill, Ernest
Hemingway, Manfred von Richthofen, Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, George
Patton, Al Capone, Pablo Picasso, Frederick Selous, Princess Sophie
of Hohenberg and Mata Hari.
Notable guest stars (playing either
fictional or historical characters) include: Catherine Zeta-Jones,
Daniel Craig, Christopher Lee, Clark Gregg, Tom Courtenay, Peter
Firth, Vanessa Redgrave, Beata Pozniak, Jennifer Ehle, Elizabeth
Hurley, Timothy Spall, Anne Heche, Jean-Pierre Castaldi, Jeffrey
Wright, Jeroen Krabbé, Jason Flemyng, Michael Kitchen, Kevin
McNally, Francisco Quinn, Ian McDiarmid, Max von Sydow, Douglas
Henshall, Sean Pertwee, Terry Jones, Keith David, Lukas Haas, Frank
Vincent, Jay Underwood, Michael Gough, Maria Charles, Elsa
Zylberstein, Isaach de Bankolé, Emil Abossolo-Mbo and Haluk Bilginer.
The pilot episode was aired by ABC in the
United States in March 1992. The pilot, the feature-length Young
Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Jackal, was later re-edited as two
separate episodes, "Egypt, May 1908" and "Mexico,
March 1916." Eleven further hour-long episodes were aired in
1992 (seven in the first season, four were part of the second season)
- during the second season, it was placed as the lead-in to Monday
Night Football, just as fellow Paramount series MacGyver had done for
the previous six years. Only 16 of the remaining 20 episodes were
aired in 1993 when ABC canceled the show. The Family Channel later
produced four two-hour TV movies that were broadcast from 1994 to
1996. Though Lucas intended to produce episodes leading up to a
24-year-old Jones, the series was cancelled with the character at age 21.
The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones is
the name given to the re-edit of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
in 1999 for airing on television and release on VHS and DVD. While
the original television show was primarily one-hour programs with the
occasional two-hour special (forty-four one-hour episodes), the
episodes were re-edited into twenty-two feature length chapters for
the video release.
The revised and updated edition of the
book George Lucas: The Creative Impulse, by Charles Champlin,
explains how The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles series would be
re-edited into the new structure of twenty-two Chapter TV films, for
the 1999 VHS release. New footage was shot in 1996 to be incorporated
with the newly re-edited and re-titled "chapters" to better
help it chronologically and provide smooth transitions. The newly
shot Tangiers, 1908 was joined with Egypt, 1908 from the Curse of the
Jackal to form My First Adventure, and Morocco, 1917 was joined with
Northern Italy, 1918 (now re-dated as 1917) to form Tales of
Innocence. Also included in the home video release were four unaired
episodes made for the ABC network: Florence, May 1908; Prague, 1917;
Transylvania, 1918; and Palestine, 1917.
A notable difference from The Young
Indiana Jones Chronicles and The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones is
the removal of nearly all the bookend segments from the original
episodes. All of the bookends which included George Hall, who
portrayed a nonagenarian Indiana Jones who recounts the adventures of
the episode were removed. Sean Patrick Flanery's bookends for Young
Indiana Jones: Travels with Father were removed and expanded into
part of the second half of Winds of Change. The only bookend segments
that were retained can be found in Mystery of the Blues, which has
Harrison Ford portraying Indy during 1950. Despite the removal of the
George Hall bookends, each chapter ends with Old Indy closing his
diary - a shot that was originally used only for the 1994-1996 Family
Channel TV movies.
All the original episodes had their
opening titles removed when re-edited and chronologically connected
into the 22 feature-length chapters. The episode Daredevils of the
Desert was expanded and Winds of Change was edited from three
separate episodes, with part of one episode originally having been
aired as the bookends to Young Indiana Jones: Travels with Father.
New titles were created for each chapter, often based on the theme of
one of the chapter's halves.
In addition to the removal of the bookend
segments, some chapters included new footage to help connect the
separated storylines of the two episodes being edited into one story.
While much of this bridging material had been filmed at the time of
the episode's filming, some additional scenes were filmed after the
show had aired. In some of the new additional scenes that were shot
later in 1996 with Corey Carrier, digital techniques were used to
shrink the actor to make him appear younger.
To present the story of Indiana Jones'
life as a more continuous saga, several episodes of The Young Indiana
Jones Chronicles were moved from their original place in the timeline
presented in the episode titles. For instance, Chapter 3: The Perils
of Cupid has the events of "Vienna, November 1908" take
place before the events of "Florence, May 1908".
Other smaller changes were made. In some
instances, characters were re-dubbedsometimes with completely
new voice actors. Rather than fading quickly to the end credits, most
of the chapters slowly transition from the series' color footage to a
version of the footage rendered to look like old black and white film
reels. The credits themselves were also changed in many instances.
The Lucasfilm logo at the end of each episode was replaced with the
then-most recent Lucasfilm logo at the beginning.
As is the case with many TV series, the
"bumpers" were also removed; at commercial breaks, either
Corey Carrier, Sean Patrick Flanery, or George Hall would announce
over an image of the opening credits that the series would be right back.
Lucasfilm remastered the re-edited
episodes for the series' DVD release, and upgraded the picture
quality of the original 16mm prints. The series was released on DVD
release in three volumes as The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones;
The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Volume One, The Early Years
was released on October 23rd, 2007. It contained 12 discs, which
included Chapters 1-7, as well as thirty-eight in-depth companion
documentaries, an interactive game, timeline, and a historical
overview. It contained all of the episodes with Corey Carrier as well
as some episodes with Sean Patrick Flanery. The Adventures of Young
Indiana Jones: Volume Two, The War Years was released on December
18th, 2007. It contained 9 discs, which included Chapters 8-15, as
well twenty-six in-depth companion documentaries, interactive game,
timeline, and a historical lecture. The Adventures of Young Indiana
Jones: Volume Three, The Years of Change was released on April 29th,
2008. It contained Chapters 16-22 and thirty-one documentaries. Lucas
and McCallum hoped that the DVDs would be helpful to schools, as they
believe the series is a good way to aid in teaching 20th Century history.