TV Series | | Action, Adventure, History
The boyhood adventures of the greatest action hero of all time: Indiana Jones. Young Indy travels the world, meeting some of the greatest figures of the early 20th century, and participating in the events that helped shape history.
The original series was titled "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles." It aired on ABC from March 4, 1992 to July 24, 1993. Twenty-eight episodes were produced by Paramount Pictures and Lucasfilm. Each episode was approximately 40 minutes, and the series was designed so that a given pair of episodes could either be broadcast separately, or as a single feature-length episode. Filming took place in various locations around the world, with each episode costing about 1.5 million dollars to produce. Most episodes followed a standard formula of a 93-year-old Indiana Jones encountering people who would spur him to reminisce and tell stories about his past adventures. These stories would either involve him as a young boy (9-10), or as a teenager (16-21).
Due to its enormous budget and relatively low ratings, the series was cancelled in 1993. Following the cancellation, four TV movies were produced in 1994 and 1995 in an attempt to continue the series. Overall, the series was shot in three stages. The first production ran from 1991 to 1992, and consisted of sixteen episodes - five with younger Indy, ten with older Indy, and one with both. The second production ran from 1992 to 1993, and consisted of twelve episodes - one with younger Indy, and eleven with older Indy. The third and final production ran from 1994 to 1995, and consisted of the four TV movies.
Lucas wrote an extensive timeline detailing the life of Indiana Jones, assembling the elements for about 70 episodes leading all the way up to the feature films. About 31 of the 70 stories had been filmed when the series came to an end. Had the series been renewed, Indy would have been introduced to younger versions of characters known from Raiders of the Lost Ark: Abner and Marion Ravenwood, and René Belloq. During production of the series, Lucas became obsessed with crystal skulls. He originally called for an episode which would have involved Indy and Belloq searching for one of the skulls. The episode was never produced, and the idea ultimately evolved into the fourth feature film.
In 1996, Lucas did additional filming in order to re-edit the entire series into twenty-two feature-length episodes, which he re-titled as "chapters." He also re-titled the series as "The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones." Each chapter was approximately 90 minutes, containing two episodes, and removing the scenes in which 93-year-old Indy reminisces. The new footage shot in 1996 was incorporated to better help arrange the chapters in chronological order and provide smoother transitions. Twelve of the chapters were released on VHS in 1999, with the rest set for release in 2000, but this was cancelled. All of the chapters were released on DVD throughout 2007 and 2008 to tie into the release of the fourth feature film.