Indy continues his time in French Intelligence this week as he serves in Gaza in this extended unaired episode that was released as a home release movie on 21 November, 1999.
Directed by Simon Wincer, the story was written by Frank Darabont, an sees our young hero helping the British and Australian forces take the city of Beersheba.
Indy encounters some familiar faces this week when the guest cast is filled out with the likes of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Daniel Craig.
Summoned by his old friend T.E. Lawrence (Douglas Henshall), the blossoming spy finds himself taking on a huge new adventure.
Indy goes undercover with a beautiful spy, Maya (Zeta-Jones), sneaking into the city to defuse bombs set by the German occupying forces, set to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.
Opposing him is the dangerous German captain, Schiller (Craig).
And there is a time factor, as Indy and Maya only have a small window of time before the Australian and British armies are coming across the desert behind them, and they will have no water left by the time they arrive in Beersheba.
But of course, things aren’t going to go as smoothly as Indy hopes, there are dangers everywhere, as well as trouble, adventure and betrayals.
This is an episode that gets bigger and bigger as the story continues, and there’s a gorgeous horse charge featured in the climax. The effects, practical and computer generated for this sequence, as well as the logistics of how it was shot, and all put together is great. It’s a great climax to the story that sees Indy and his friends surviving the assault, and liberating Beersheba.
You can see the developing visual effects that will come into play for series creator George Lucas’ Prequel Trilogy.
I love that Indy makes reference to events that happened in his younger years that we didn’t see – he spent time in Australia and flew a plane with Harry Houdini. I also enjoy the interactions he has with Lawrence about the war, their respective families, and Lawrence’s growing fame.
This is just a great story, and it’s fantastic to see both Craig and Zeta-Jones in early roles, and while Craig wasn’t playing James Bond at the time, knowing the history of the creation of Indiana Jones, it’s fascinating to see the characters square off in this way.
This wraps up the second volume of the Young Indiana Jones stories, and next week we move onto volume three which will see the end of Indy’s involvement in the war, and his adventures after them culminating in the year, 1920.