The next episode in Volume I of the DVD set is called Passion for Life. The combination of episodes are aptly title because Young Indy discovers the importance of preserving wildlife and enjoying life through the passion of art. Some thoughts about each part:
British North Africa
This is another episode that stands out strong in my memory. Indy heads on a safari with Teddy Roosevelt to discover a rare antelope called an Oryx. While exploring the savannah and befriending a boy from a local tribe, Indy is also learning about the big game hunting world through the eyes of Teddy Roosevelt. Indy eventually stops Roosevelt from killing more animals and saves the herd of oryx from the big game hunters. I remember the impact this episode had on me because I did my third grade animal research paper on the Oryx, further cementing the fact that I was perhaps modeling my life too much on a fictional character. Watching it now, I am impressed by the conservationist tone taken in the episode, especially for a product of the early 90s. Fun fact: The actor who plays Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark plays one of Roosevelt's hunting guides!
The second half of this episode is much less memorable from its original airing, perhaps because I did not appreciate it as much at 9-years-old. Indy discovers the Paris art scene in this episode and meets Degas and Picasso, all while having an adventure with a young Norman Rockwell. Watching it with my current lens, I appreciated the way the episode depicted the transition of art styles, from the Impressionism of Degas to the Cubism of Picasso. In addition, the episode touched on the complicated nature of artistic ownership and how easy it is to copy someone's style and try to sell it as an original work. All of that was probably a little over a kid's head, but I can really appreciate the episode now.
Next up: The Perils of Cupid!
Indiana Jones: The name might conjure fond memories of the 80s, dreamy posters of Harrison Ford, or the name of adventure itself. For me, however, Indiana Jones could almost be considered a lifestyle. When I was first introduced to the Indiana Jones movies back in the early 90s (except for Temple of Doom, of course. No hearts being ripped out before the age of 13), the Indiana Jones movies introduced the idea of archaeology and history as a career path, and this career path was one which greatly intrigued me. Years later, I veered only slightly from that path by becoming a high school Latin teacher, but I credit Indiana Jones with leading me down this career path.
In honor of the final movie coming to theaters at the end of June, I decided to start a massive chronological rewatch project including both the movies and the entire Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV show. Of course, it would not be a true rewatch project if I did not also blog about it, so follow along for the next 2 months as I explore the world of Indiana Jones and the occasional connections with my own life.
Initial note on the Young Indiana Jones TV show: I am using the DVD sets which combine episodes in an order different from the original air dates. I do not love this choice, but it is basically the only way to watch the show now, so I work with what I have.
Episode 1: My First Adventure
The original pilot for the show included both 9-year-old Indy and college-aged Indy in a multi-year spanning adventure, which was an excellent pilot and kick off to the show. Both versions of young Indy were well-introduced with a single MacGuffin crossing over both time periods. I wish this version of the episode still existed with easier access because it is far superior to the DVD version. With that said, the DVD version begins with 9-year-old Indy traveling to Egypt with his parents to begin a huge world tour. In the episode he meets Lawrence of Arabia and Howard Carter and experiences the opening of a mummy's tomb. It would not be an understatement to say that this episode profoundly affected my life. I was 9 years old when watching the show (the same age as young Indy), and his desire to become an archaeologist became mine also. I also credit this episode with my choice to research both mummification and King Tut's tomb for my capstone Junior and Senior English research projects.
The second half of the episode is where things get a little weird from an editing perspective. The Jones family travels to Morocco from Egypt in an episode that never actually aired on TV. What makes the episode weird is that the young actor (Corey Carrier) who plays Indy is clearly older than the first half, despite the conceit that this adventure takes place immediately after Egypt. Although that editing choice leaves something to be desired, I am glad the episode is included because it covers the difficult topic of slavery and Indy's feelings when confronted by it. This episode reminded me why this show was so great. The creators managed to craft an interesting adventure while mixing in real historical figures and issues.
Next up: Young Indy heads to the African plains and underground art world of Paris in Passion for Life!
I love my family and this is the place to find all of the adventures we experience.