The Lost Chronicles of Young Indiana Jones

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April 7, 2008

New Boyhood Adventures

By Pablo Hidalgo

Though it found critical success and approval among fans and educators, the treacherous television landscape of the early '90s caused The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles to leave the air after only two seasons on ABC. Young Indy once again picked up his hat for a series of made-for-TV movies that constituted the "third season" of the series, but at one point, Lucasfilm had much more ambitious plans for young Jones. Recovered from the archives are the story synopses for the third season, dated February 8, 1993. Now, we offer no comment as to whether or not these adventures "really" happened in Indy lore, but instead surface this information for Indiana Jones fans curious as to what might have been. (Note: Episodes marked with an asterisk were actually produced. Reading the synopses may spoil the ending if you have not already seen them).

Episode #30 "Stockholm, December 1909"
Indy's Age: 10
Subject: Geography and Ecology
Characters: Selma Lagerof
Theme: Where Is Sweden?

Synopsis: In Stockholm, Indy and his parents attend the Nobel ceremony honoring the writer Selma Lagerlof. Indy falls asleep and enters a fantasy where he is only five inches high and ries around on the back of a goose getting into a series of ecological adventures with several types of wild animals.

Episode #31 "Athens, July 1910"*
Indy's Age: 9
Subject: Philosophy
Characters: Aristotle, George Santayana
Theme: What is Reality?

Synopsis: Indy visits Greece and goes off with his father to visit the Hanging Monastery. On the way, Indy gets a brief lesson from his father about philosophy and logic. Their trip to the monastery is an adventure, and there are discussions about politics, stoicism, and Aristotle. They spend time with the monks, and while his father is working, he sends Indy off to write a paper. Indy meets Santayana, who talks with him about logic. The trip down the mountain in a "cage" is another adventure and lesson in logic.

Note: This episode was actually produced, and is part of Travels with Father found in Volume 1 of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones on DVD.

Episode #32 "Russia, March 1909"*
Indy's Age: 9
Subject: Literature and Religion
Character: Count Lev Tolstoy
Theme: What is Good?

Indy and his parents are at a palace in Russia, where Indy gets into a lot of mischief, and his parents reprimand him several times. He runs away, with the intention of returning to New Jersey because he misses his dog. On his first night out, he meets an old man who says he is also running away. Indy "hates old people," and the man "hates young people," and they have a rivalry but set off down the same road. They ultimately become friendly and discuss what is good, honesty of living, and simplicity of life. Indy discovers that the man is Tolstoy. On their journey, they have adventures with gypsies, villagers, and Cossaks.

Note: This episode was actually produced, and is part of Travels with Father found in Volume 1 of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones on DVD.

Episode #33 "Jerusalem, June 1909"
Indy's Age: 9
Subject: Archaeology
Character: Montague Parker; Abner Ravenwood
Theme: Greed

Indy visits Jerusalem. His father goes off an a separate trip to visit Crusader castles. Indy is disappointed to be left behind, but Abner Ravenwood, an archeologist, invites Indy to spend time with him. Indy meets Montague Parker, who offers to let Indy work at his dig. Parker is secretly searching for the Ark of the Covenant but needs a map of the ancient tunnels, which Ravenwood has. Parker talks Indy into "borrowing" the map, which shows that the Ark is below the Temple Mount. He and his men, disguised as Arabs, enter the temple and begin excavating, but are discovered. The temple keeper brings a large mob of locals, which chases Parker's group of out of the city. Ravenwood explains to Indy that the Ark is not believed to be under the Temple Mount, but elsewhere, and someday a real archaeologist will find it.

Episode #34 "Tangiers, July 1909"*
Indy's Age: 10
Subject: Slavery
Character: Walter Harris; Emily Keene Wazan
Theme: Are We Animals?

On a trip to visit the Sultan of Morocco so that Indy's father may give a presentation, the family is at the home of Emily Keene Wazan. Indy meets a slave boy (Omar) owned by her, who accompanies them on the journey to Fez. Their guide is Walter Harris, who resides there. Indy begins to learn about slavery and has a discussion with his parents about it. When the boys sneak off on an adventure in Fez, they are kidnapped by slave traders. Harris disguises himself as an Arab to try to find them. He locates them at the slave auction in Marrakesh and buys them back. When the family is reuinited, Indy realizes that, while he may be free, Omar must return to slavery.

Note: This episode was actually produced, and is part of My First Adventure found in Volume 1 of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones on DVD.

Episode #35 "Geneva, May 1909"
Indy's Age: 9
Subject: History
Characters: Jean-Henri Dunant
Theme: What is Compassion?

Indy meets Henri Dunant, the elderly uncle of a friend, who tells him the story of the Red Cross. While on a mission to visit Louis-Napoleon in Italy to ask his assistance in a business deal, he views Louis-Napoleon and the Austrians in battle. Going across the battlefield to meet him, he sees the carnage and stops to help, the original mission forgotten. He looks for the hospital tent, which has been blow up, along with many medical people trying to save lives. Dunant formulates a plan for a neutral organization that would take care of people after a battle and would have a recognizable symbol for hospitals and medical personnel. After much work, Switzerland agrees to sponsor a conference composed of European leaders, and the Red Cross is formed.

Episode #36 "Tokyo, April 1910"
Indy's Age: 10
Subject: Marine Biology
Characters: Hirohito; General Nogi
Theme: What is Honor? Or Interdependence of Species

Synopsis: Indy visits Peers School in Tokyo, where his father is teaching. He meets a Samurai instructor, who will teach him the ways of Japan. They discuss the importance of education and information about Japanese society. On a trip to the coast, Indy meets a local fisherman and discusses the mystery of the ocean. Indy meets young Hirohito (age 10) and explores tide pools with him; they talk about interdependence of species. Indy and Hirohito go whale-watching and have an encounter with a shark; the Samurai exhibits bravery in saving them.

Episode #37 "Princeton, May 1905"
Indy's Age: 5
Subject: Treasure Hunt
Character: Paul Robeson; Captain Kidd
Theme: Life at Five

Synopsis: Indy is five years old, and he and his friends have a funny, charming adventure that begins with Indy organizing an event to raise money for a vase he has broken, culminating in a search for buried pirate's treasure and the capture of some hoboes who are wanted by the police.

Note: Had this episode entered production, it would have required casting a new, younger Indy. Though this story was not produced, the idea of Indy being friends with Paul Robeson resurfaced in the bridging material of the broadcast version of Travels with Father, and a new episode created as a conclusion to the Winds of Change.

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Keywords: Behind-the-Scenes, Indiana Jones

Filed under: The Movies, Other Lucas Films
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