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The Adventures Of Young Indiana Jones: Volume 1 & 2 Review

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Swot up on your history before Indy IV

★★★★★

Designed very much with an educational remit in mind, the George Lucas-sponsored Young Indiana Jones Chronicles took the ambitious challenge of filling in the backstory of Henry Jones Jr. while simultaneously charting the history of the early 20th century.

As such, Indy encounters such luminaries as T. E. Lawrence, Teddy Roosevelt, Pablo Picasso, Giacomo Puccini and Sigmund Freud. If this Forrest Gump-meets-Simon Schama approach feels far-fetched, the seven feature-length adventures offer solid, enjoyable globetrotting hijinks.

As ever with Lucas, there has been some post-release tinkering going on. The episodes have been placed into chronological order - the TV running order juxtaposed a pre-teen Indy one with an older Indy one - with two sandwiched into a feature-length episode. The result is that the arc feels a little one-note, gathering up the sedate adventures of Corey Carrier’s pre-teen Indy before launching into the more action-packed teenage years starring Sean Patrick Flanery.

Still, the episodes are skilfully mounted and display an engaging innocence and exuberance. But what it doesn’t really tap into are the reasons why you fell in love with the character in the first place.

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