One of my favorite TV shows of all time is finally coming to DVD starting this fall, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! George Lucas’s epic series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles certainly isn’t a spy show through and through, but it did feature a good number of fantastic espionage-themed adventures. A teenaged version of Harrison Ford’s globetrotting archaeologist (played to perfection by Sean Patrick Flannery) cut his teeth on cloak and dagger missions in WWI. One episode (written by Carrie Fisher no less) of the historically based series found young Indy crossing paths with (and losing his virginity to!) that most famous of spies, Mata Hari. Another (written by Frank Darabont and later titled "Adventures In the Secret Service" for home video), had him embroiled in Austrian and Prussian court intrigue when tasked with delivering a secret treaty from one European royal family to another at the behest of guest star Christopher Lee. (That one had trains, illicit border crossings, shadowy European alleyways... everything you want from a good spy movie!) There was a wonderfully tragic episode where Indy was assigned as station chief for the British secret service (I think) in Istanbul that reminded me a lot of W. Somerset Maugham’s Ashenden stories. Those are some of the spy episodes I remember off the top of my head, but there were even more. I can’t wait to rediscover this childhood favorite on DVD!
According to TVShowsOnDVD.com, the first of three sets comes out October 23 from Paramount. The second batch is due in January, and the third timed to coincide with Indy’s latest theatrical adventure (which is set during the Cold War and rumored to have a spy angle itself) next May. The only problem with that release pattern is that if they go chronologically, most of the first batch will feature the even younger version of Indiana Jones, Cory Carrier, instead of Flannery, and those episodes tended to be not as good and not as spy-oriented. On the upside, Lucasfilm has been busy for years creating hundreds of hours of historical documentaries as bonus material for this release, so it shouldn’t disappoint!