5 September 2008 | fred-kolb
Experiencing the early 1900s with Indiana Jones!
First of all, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank George Lucas. He has been bashed quite often, recently for the Star Wars prequels and the new Clone Wars movie, but "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" is one of his greatest works ever, and even though it was never as popular as he had hoped for, he tried everything to keep the series going for as long as possible. Thank you for that! Now, don't expect something like the Indiana Jones movies when buying or renting this, because in that case, you will be disappointed. Archaeology is only featured in 2-3 episodes and there is a lot less action. But, if you are interested in seeing an exceptional TV Series, that invites you to be entertained and educated at the same time and you want enjoy a wonderful journey through the first two decades of the past century, this might be what you've been looking for.
The character of Young Indiana Jones is portrayed by two actors in this series. Corey Carrier starrs as an 8 year old Indiana Jones, who travels around the world with his parents, the strict professor of medieval studies Henry Jones, Sr. and his caring mother Anna. They are also joined by Miss Seymour, an Oxford tutor, who teaches Indy everything about the history and culture of the countries they visit. Indy usually gets separated from his parents and Miss Seymour and explores everything on his own. Then a 16 year old Indy is portrayed by Sean Patrick Flanery. Indy participates in the Mexican Revolution and, being inspired by their causes and their resolute way of taking action against their enemies, decides to sign up in the Belgian Army and fight in World War I. In Mexico he also meets Remy, a Belgian, who will accompany him in many of his adventures.
Most episodes start and end with so-called bookends, 3 or 4 minute segments starring George Hall as an Old Indiana Jones, who usually tells the stories of his youth to stubborn and arrogant people, with the purpose of making them better persons. Those bookends often provided some historical background for the episodes, but were cut out for the DVD releases in 2007. A shame, in my opinion.
The series starts of great, already, with an awesome pilot that takes Indy to Egypt and Mexico, hunting down a tomb robber. After that the series leads Indy to many exotic locations, including British East Africa, the Congo, Barcelona, Petrograd, Vienna, Peking, the Ganges River, the South Pacific Islands etc. The cinematography is absolutely spectacular and on a big TV screen the images look magnificent. In this series, the world is shown more beautifully than hardly ever before.
Lucas created this series for historical purposes, and Indy is involved in many events that actually took place, like the Mexican Revolution, a safari with Teddy Roosevelt, or the Battle at Verdun. There he also meets many famous people of that time including Pablo Picasso, Howard Carter, Sigmund Freud, Charles de Gaulle, E.M. Forster, Ernest Hemingway and many others.
Besides that, the series also features quite a bunch of famous actors in supporting roles, like Elizabeth Hurley as Indy's first great love in London, Vanessa Redgrave as her mother, Catherine Zeta-Jones as a dancer and spy in a mission in Palestine, Daniel Craig as a German officer, Jeffrey Wright as Sidney Bechet, Friedrich von Thun as Albert Schweitzer and Christopher Lee as Austrian Foreign Minister Czernin. Harrison Ford actually reprises his role as an Old Indiana Jones in one of the episodes.
The series has been nominated for many awards, including 25 Emmy awards, but wasn't very successful when first aired, mainly due to the fact that people expected a huge action series, similar to the movies with Ford. Don't make that mistake. Like I said before, if you want to be entertained and educated at the same time, treat your eyes with the most beautiful locations on Earth and meet historical persons, watch this series. You definitely won't be sorry!