Young Indiana Jones 1.14 – London, 1916

I knew that my wife would enjoy the scene in this episode where Indy and his new girlfriend Vicky try to one-up each other over their bank of languages. She’s conversant in a couple and interested in many others. Maybe it’s stretching credulity just a tad to have two people in London who are fluent in French, German, Italian, Hungarian, Arabic, Greek, and Swedish meeting cute after a suffragettes’ meeting, but it sure is fun to watch. Indiana Jones doesn’t, at this time in his life, know Welsh, it turns out.

I also knew that our son would be bored out of his skull by this one. It’s built around Indy and Vicky Prentiss falling in love while waiting for his call-up from the Belgian army, where he and Remy have enlisted. It’s not tremendously exciting, basically. It’s an absolutely terrific character hour, and the producers hit the jackpot in casting Elizabeth Hurley as Vicky, but our son tuned out just like the TV audiences in 1993 did, when this ran as the second episode. Also in the cast this time in small parts are Julian Fellowes, who would later create the popular hit Downton Abbey, and Pauline Melville, who had played Vyvyan’s mum, the shoplifter, on The Young Ones ten years previously.

The episode also marks the last chronological appearance of Miss Seymour in what we get to see of Indy’s story. It’s kind of weird how ABC ran these and literally gave us the character’s first appearance in week one and her last appearance in week two, with all the other stories with Younger Indy coming later. Interestingly, visiting Miss Seymour was actually our son’s favorite part of the episode!

Here’s another downside to the way they edited these episodes into the sausage-link movies: we lost Indy’s reunion with Vicky. From what we see here, Indy and Vicky never meet again. But the TV episodes were bookended by the 94 year-old Indiana Jones, played by George Hall, telling his stories to whomever will listen. Admittedly, some of these were pretty amazingly nonessential, as the writers struggled for any tenuous reason to connect an event in the present day with an element of one of the episodes, but the bookends for this story were not. In the bookends for “London, May 1916,” Indy reconnects with a 90-something Vicky, played by Jane Wyatt from the classic sitcom Father Knows Best, who then joins him in two or three of the other bookends. We were meant to understand that Indy’s first great love was with him again at the end of his days, but I think George Lucas later decided that we were never meant to think that Indiana Jones ever had the end of his days.

That’s all from Young Indiana Jones for now, but we’ll start looking at the character’s War Years in July. Stay tuned!

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