It was recently announced that Dr. Jones is being eyed for a TV spinoff series for Disney+. Further adventures with the globe-trotting archeologist with the famous fedora, whip, and wily persona would undoubtedly be well-received by audiences everywhere, especially if the upcoming film is a hit. However, what some modern fans might not know is that Indy already had his TV debut.
Produced by franchise director George Lucas, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles served as a prequel/sequel spinoff series covering the developmental years of the famous adventurer. Before he was running from boulders, escaping the temple of Kali, or drinking from the cup of Christ, Henry Jones Jr. was traveling around the world, exploring ancient ruins, thrashing through jungles, and wandering through the desert as a novice explorer. Before Disney sets their sights on a new series of expeditions for the admittedly older Indiana Jones, they might want to consider pulling this nearly-forgotten series out of mothballs for Disney+ subscribers.
The core of the series focuses on Indy’s adventures before the events of the first movie, ranging from the early 1900s until the march of World War I. Over the course of the show, young Henry Jones Jr. is exposed to a number of famous historical events, culture shifts, and important figures of the century. It was these special guest appearances from figures like Pablo Picasso, T.E. Lawerence, Winston Churchill, and Ernest Hemingway that truly gave the character a sense of reality and some pull for his place in the world.
Perspective is everything, and the changing world after the turn of the century seen through the eyes of a character like Indiana Jones offers a fascinating lens. From his first introduction in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Dr. Jones is already a character who has seen, done, and experienced a whole world of adventures in his life. Before he was even 21, Indy had already explored Egyptian tombs, matched wits with Sigmund Freud, and explored Paris with Norman Rockwell and Pablo Picasso. Tussling with Nazis and grave robbers is just another day at the office at this point in the archeologist’s career.
But why would Disney want to resurrect this ’90s series? While it won a handful of Emmys, it also came under some heavy criticism. Before the studio jumps headfirst into a new series surrounding the iconic explorer, they should revisit The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles to test the waters before bringing in a new Indy project. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with Disney’s ambition, but they might want to tread carefully before putting too many irons in the fire.
Did you watch this Indiana Jones spinoff? Tell us in the comments below!