The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, Volume Two - The War Years
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Product Description

Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 12/18/2007 Rating: Nr

George Lucas' The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Volume Two, The War Years continues the extraordinary narrative, historical, and production achievements found in Volume One. As with the first series, each feature-length program (re-editing material from the original, one-hour broadcasts to smooth out the chronology of Jones' experiences as a child and young man) resembles a theatrical experience more than episodic television. Each drama is remarkably rich in layered detail, shedding light on major events, figures, and ideas from a pivotal era in world history. Where Volume One largely focused on the early childhood of Indiana Jones as he traveled the world in the company of his parents, meeting the likes of Picasso, Tolstoy, Freud, and T.E. Lawrence, Volume Two is exclusively concerned with Jones' experiences during World War I. This time, Jones (Sean Patrick Flanery, introduced in the final episodes of Volume One) is serving in the infantry of the Belgian army under an assumed name, eventually rising in rank from corporal to captain and becoming a spy after paying extensive, nightmarish dues on the war's front line in Europe. The series captures some of the horror of World War I's most infamous battles, directly inserting Jones into the thick of the action at Verdun, the Somme, the Middle East, and elsewhere. In time, Jones is repeatedly recruited to become a secret agent, going undercover in Austria to help forge a separate peace between the last Habsburg emperor and the allies, and playing a crucial part in the survival of British and Australian forces crossing a merciless desert. Along the way, Indy befriends Bolsheviks preparing for the Russian Revolution, has a romance with Mata Hari, attempts a prison break with Charles de Gaulle, and has a wonderful encounter with Albert Schweitzer. As with Volume One, this follow-up box set includes an astonishing number of excellent special features, primarily dynamic documentaries about many of the real-life people and incidents introduced in the stories. These extras provide much depth and analysis without being at all dry; a creative history teacher would do well to incorporate them (and, for that matter, the shows themselves) in a class about the 20th century. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • Pluses and Minuses
    Most noted plus and minus for Volume Two of this collection is about the same as it was for Volume One - no poignant Old Indy bookend for each episode, and the astonishingly generous and thorough - if somewhat pedestrian collection of accompanying documentaries. By pedestrian, meaning very much conventional historical wisdom about the various figures, incidents and campaigns. This makes them, as intended, an excellent introduction for people who have heretofore heard little or nothing about a whole gallery of interesting characters. Basically, what you are getting is two TV series (for the price of two, unfortunately) - a marvelously improbable series of World War One adventures centering on the character of Henry "Indiana" Jones, serving under a nom du guerre as Henri d'France in the Belgian forces - and a good set of History Channel type documentaries.

    The marvelously improbably part of the drama series is that our hero manages to be everywhere that something relevant was happening - as a soldier on the Western Front, in Africa and the Middle East and slinking about as a spy practically everywhere else. He also got to have a brief affair with Mata Hari, but this is young Indiana Jones so he did have the energy. He also had the energy and the luck to escape from a German POW camp at least twice. Locations, costuming and sets are impeccable; there were no corners cut in production, and no lack of ingenuity on the part of the writers in setting up the story so that he would encounter everyone from V.I. Lenin, war poets Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon, Charles de Gaulle and the Red Baron - and the entire Lafayette Escadrille. This might have the makings of a history buffs' drinking game - knock back one every time Indiana Jones meets up with a historical figure. I don't think any but the most hard-headed would make it past disc 5.
    ...more info
  • Young Indiana Jones, Vol. 2
    The Young Indiana Jones series produced by George Lucas provides wonderful history lessons for young people as it gives background on a little studied period of world history, ie, from about 1900 through the early 1920's. Not only are the movies entertaining and educational, but the accompanying documentaries provide valuable factual information about the time period. For example, there are documentaries on T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), Giacomo Puccini, Henri Petain, Charles DeGaulle, etc. One caveat, however, is that some of the movies do contain some violent scenes as well as some scenes with sexual content. If parents do a good job of monitoring for these scenes, the material in the movies and documentaries will provide great history lessons for young adults. I highly recommend these DVD collections....more info
  • Young Indie 2
    Glad to have it, but not my favourite of the 3. TOOOOO much war - not enough of all that went on during that time beside war. Loved the 'spy' sequences.........more info
  • Pricey, but well worth it 110%
    Knowing that this presentation was made for tv, I expected something low budget and PBS like, along the lines of "Wishbone the Dog Presents All Quiet on the Western Front." Not at all. I find this series convincing and outstanding! The battle scenes are done as well as any hollywood flick. The acting is superb, and the scenery appears to have been filmed on location. Check out the extras, they are very well put together and informative about the subject material covered in their respective episode. Very pleasantly surprised and recommend it to anyone who is into the history of the early 1900's....more info
  • Young Indiana Jones Volume Two
    I got caught up in the hype for Indy 4, so I brought these dvds when they were on special. I put on disc 1 and pretty much turned it off after 10 - 15 mins. I didnt like it. I had never seen the series before and it just wasnt what I was expecting....more info
  • adventure movie
  • Don't see why many miss the George Hall bookends - this re-edited series is amazing!
    Why four out of five stars? Simply put, I paid a lot of money - these are pricey! (Definitely angry at the fact that the price dropped about $20 a week after I finally got around buying these...). All this aside, I absolutely love this series - I'm a huge Indy fan. Although some say the packaging is cheap (I disagree - really it's not that bad - any of you own the Sex and the City DVDs - that's cheap). There's 8 episodes (all about 2 hours long), loads of bonus features - for those history buffs -, plus an interactive 9th disk with the time line and game. I know many fans of the original are disappointed because of the new editing - they try to follow a more chronological order of Indy's life (which means that the beginning of some episodes with Corey Carrier have been completely revamped) and more notably the missing original entrance theme with the George Hall (old Indy) bookends. Honestly, I think the editing is great. Besides, I always fast forward the George Hall part (do your really think Indy would have turned out like him anyways?). Overall, (to wrap things up) this was a great buy and I'm very happy with my DVDs! Love the show!...more info
  • better Than Vol. 1
    The second in a three volume set of the Adventures of Young Indiana Jones has been released and Paramount is certainly wasting no time in getting these out in anticipation of the new Indiana Jones film. The second volume features 8 full length episodes over 9 discs, with the last disc being an interactive bonus disc. Once again the set is packed with historical documentaries, some two-dozen, that relate to the themes of the episodes.

    Those who might be looking for an Indiana Jones lite may be surprised to know that there is little mention of archaeology or treasure hunting in these episodes. In fact, the set might me subtitled "The War Years" as these adventures are set against the backdrop of World War I. Each full length episode runs approximately 90 minutes. Some are two connected episodes from the TV show while others were shot as full length features. We follow Indy's exploits first as a corporal in the Belgian army and later as an agent for the French Secret Service.

    The opening movie, "Trenches of Hell" deals with the horrors of war as Indy is on the front lines, joined by his friend Remy (Ronny Coutteure). His unit is assigned to take a chateau occupied by the Germans. While not gory, the battle scenes are quite intense. Soldiers are shot, blown up, gassed, and burned alive with flame throwers. These are massive and very well-framed scenes, especially for a TV show. Indy is eventually captured and sent to a prison that is supposed to be escape-proof. There he meets Charles De Gaulle, then a captain, and they plot their escape.

    In "Demons of Deception" Indy is now a runner for the French army. Several top generals argue over an attack which will be a disaster if it goes on as planned. Later, Indy is on leave in Paris and has an affair with exotic dancer and suspected spy, Mata Hari.

    One of the best features is "Phantom Train of Doom." Indy and Remy have been sent to Africa but get lost when they board the wrong train. They stumble upon an odd company of soldiers, all older men from different nations who have banded together under a British General. Indy is sort of shangheid into helping them locate a phantom train which the Germans are using to move a gigantic piece of artillery. He then helps them try to capture a genius Germany general who has evaded them for years.

    Another terrific episode is "Attack of the Hawkman." Here Indy is assigned a reconnaissance position as an aerial photographer. His assignment is to last only two weeks but he's disheartened to learn that none of the previous photographers have lasted more than eight days before being killed. Indy will also encounter one of the most well-known figures of World War I, Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the infamous Red Baron.

    In "Adventures in the Secret Service" Indy is escorting two brothers into Austria. Their sister is married to the Austrian Emperor and they want to negotiate peace terms to remove Germany's biggest ally. Getting in was the easy part, getting out of Austria to neutral Switzerland will be the hard part. Christopher Lee Guest stars.

    George Lucas and the writers did a fantastic job in shaping young Indy into the man we know from the films, and they did so often subtly. For example, in "Phantom Train of Doom", one of the aged officers chastises Indy because young people always wants a plan and the officer explains he's "making it up as he goes along." This would become one of Harrison Ford's more famous lines from the film. And of course, this set goes a long way to developing Indy's hatred for Nazi's and what they stood for. While he may not be tomb-robbing, Young Indy is still at his two-fisted, adventurous best. Sean Patrick Flannery is really underrated for his performance as Young Indy.

    One of the great benefits of these sets is the historical documentaries. While I'm a bit of a World War II buff, I learned more about World War I through the documentaries and episodes than I ever learned in school. ...more info
  • highly entertaining
    Not only are these episodes entertaining but they are also educational. Much thought was put into the special features to satisfy the curiousity the shows spark. ...more info
  • This is not new!
    Found an old copy (1999) of Young Indy (Treasure of the Peacock's eye) and watched it. There I discovered all the episodes in this DVD collection are actually re-cut and edited back then, not now. Old Indy was gone on that tape. All that was left of him was his hand closing the notebook at the end of the show. It also has a promo clip on most of the tapes available and they are all "Chapters" like the DVD we have now. So I guess they are just putting out the tape on DVD plus the documentaries as extras in this "new" collection....more info