Young Indiana Jones has come to DVD and it is more than past time. Ever since the series, depicting the early adventures of the iconic archeologist, aired in the early 1990s, it has been hard to find on video and has reaired infrequently on TV.
Corey Carrier played Indiana Jones at age eight, in a series of episodes depicting a trip around the world in the company of his professor father, played in the series by Lloyd Owen, in the third film by Sean Connery. Eight year old Indiana Jones were meet historical figures such as T.E. Lawrence and Teddy Roosevelt and have exciting adventures in various, exotic locales around the world.
Sean Patrick Flannery played Indiana Jones as a teenager and then young adult in the majority of the episodes. Most of the Flannery episodes concerned Indiana Jones’ service in World War I, partly in the Belgium Army, partly in the Allied Secret Service. As with the episodes of Indy at age eight, slightly older Indy found himself meeting historical figures (such as Winston Churchill and Mata Hari) and participating in historical events. Young Indiana Jones, unlucky fellow that he is, finds himself at two of the biggest bloodbaths of the First World War, the Somme and Verdun, and fortunately survives both.
In a way, Young Indiana Jones could be considered a more moral Flashman or more intelligent Forrest Gump. George Lucas, in a number of interviews, admitted that part of the purpose of the series was to slip in little history lessons in amongst the running, jumping, explosions, and gun play. The episodes are all great fun, done in the movie serial spirit of the original Indian Jones films.
George Hall played an extremely old Indiana Jones in modern times with little vignettes that frames the original episodes. Those were taken out in subsequent airings, but have been restored for the DVD collections.
Harrison Ford himself did a turn as his iconic character in one of the episodes in a vignette set in 1950.
Lucasfilms has inserted in a number of features for the DVD series, including documentaries about the periods of history depicted in the Young Indiana Jones series. Thus the DVD collection does not come cheap. The first collection, due in late October 2007, costs seventy dollars on Amazon.com. The second collection, due out in December 2007, is around ninety dollars.
If one can afford the steep price, the Young Indiana Jones series can be the perfect way to ease the wait for the fourth Indiana Jones film, now entitled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The film, staring of course Harrison Ford, will be out in the Spring of 2008. The film will depict an adventure set in the 1950s with Soviets as the bad guys. It promises to be great fun.