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The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles is an ABC network adventure series created by George Lucas based on the "Indiana Jones" character created by Lucas.

The show aired from March 4, 1992 to July 24, 1993, lasting for three seasons & 28 episodes.

It was produced by Amblin Television, Lucasfilm & Paramount Television.

Plot

The series centered on an elderly Indiana Jones in present-day New York City encountering people who spur him to reminisce & tell stories about his past adventures.

These stories would either involve Indiana as a young boy (8 to 10 years old) or as a teenager (16 to 21 years old).

Cast

  • Sean Patrick Flanery as Indiana Jones (16 to 21 years old)
  • Corey Carrier as Indiana Jones (ages 8 to 10)
  • George Hall as Indiana Jones (93 years old)
  • Ronny Coutteure as Remy Baudouin

Production

Development

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 to portray the character, as Harrison Ford believed that Phoenix most resembled Ford as a young man Phoenix had appeared as the son of Ford's character 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.

Writing

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".

Casting

A number of actors connected to the "Indiana Jones" films and/or George Lucas's Star Wars franchise made guest appearances.

Harrison Ford appeared as a middle-aged Indy (age 50) in the episode "Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues", which aired in March 1993.

Paul Freeman, who played Rene Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark, portrayed Frederick Selous in a couple of episodes, while Roshan Seth, who played Chattar Lal in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, played a North African sheikh in "Morocco, 1917" (later re-edited into "Tales of Innocence").

The late William Hootkins (Major Eaton from Raiders of the Lost Ark) played Russian ballet producer Sergei Diaghilev and Wolf Kahler (Colonel Dietrich in Raiders of the Lost Ark) played a German diplomat in "Barcelona, May 1917".

In the episode, "Attack of the Hawkmen", "Star Wars" veteran Anthony Daniels played François, a French Intelligence scientist (in the mode of James Bond's "Q") who gives Indy a special suitcase filled with gadgets for a special mission in Germany.

Clint Eastwood was approached to play the elder brother of Indiana Jones, but he turned it down despite a $10 million offer.

Filming

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.

The 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 two-hour film-length episode.

Each episode cost about $1.5 million and the filming with Young Indy usually took around three weeks.

The first production filming alternated between "Sean" and "Corey" episodes. The segments with old Indiana Jones were referred to as "bookends."

Filming a pair of them typically took a day and most were 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 made-for-television movies, for a total of eight television hours.

In 1996, additional filming was done in order to re-edit the entire series into 22 feature films.

Broadcast History

The pilot episode of "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" 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.

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