The Great War still rages around young Indiana Jones (Sean Patrick Flanery) serving in the Belgian army as Henri Defense, and this film, cobbled together from two episodes first debuted on 31 October, 1999.
Verdun, September 1916
Written by Jonathan Hensleigh, from a story by series creator George Lucas, this portion of the film originally aired as an episode on 25 March, 1992.
Indy finds himself working as a motorcycle courier running messages back and forth between headquarters and the trenches at Verdun. Having served at the Somme, Indy is shocked by the contradictions he sees before him when he arrives at the lush headquarters. While the fighting men languish, and suffer, the men making all the decisions rest in the lap of luxury, far form danger.
When Indy is given intelligence that tells of dangerous new artillery being brought to bear on the French forces at Verdun they are ignored because of pressures being brought to bear by policy makers behind the lines. How will it play out? Will countless more die? or will those in charge listen to the needs of their men?
Henry is shocked by the brutal and senseless violence he sees on the fields, and taking into account the things he saw at the Somme, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to think he was shell shocked (the term at the time for what became known as PTSD).
Through his continued correspondence with Ned (Lawrence) he begins to question the validity of the war, and what it is all for. It’s an unflinching look at the war in all of its horror.
In a truly poignant moment, Indy comes across Remy (Ronny Coutteure) in hospital who is suffering worse than our young hero which also helps to put a human face on the terrible things taking place.
Paris, October 1916
Carrie Fisher pens the script for this episode, from a story by Lucas that sees young Indiana becoming involved with Mata Hari (Domiziana Giordano). When broadcast as an episode, it debuted on 10 July, 1993.
Indiana returns to the trenches and after a time he and Remy get a two week furlough, and head off to Paris looking for a good time.
The leave is arranged by a friend of Indy’s father played by the Emperor, himself, Ian McDiarmid who has all sorts of plans for Indy’s time off, as well as word from his father. Indy figures a way out of it, but is immediately smitten when he meets Mata Hari.
Unfortunately, not only is she a beguiling temptress, she is also carrying on an affair with a number of men at the same time, but perhaps not for love… she may be a spy.
There is heartbreak, discovery, and the horrors of all manner of deception and betrayal.
Indy learns a harsh lesson but also listened to one thing Mata Hari told him to do, and that is get a transfer to the front in Africa where he encounters his next adventure on The Phantom Train of Doom.