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Doom Town was a fake town built on a nuclear test site in Nevada, United States of America.


After escaping the Soviet Forces at Hangar 51 via a supersonic rocket sled, the American archaeologist Indiana Jones walked for miles until stumbling across a what he thought to be at the time, inhabited town. Finally arriving within the compounds of the town, Jones vaulted a wooden fence landing himself in the back garden of a house, narrowly missing a Soviet Patrol, consisting of Franklin, Hoover and Lincoln, looking for him in a staff car. After he approached the rear door and knocking with no answer, he forced entry calling out still to no answer. He attempted to turn on the kitchen faucet to get some water but it dispensed nothing. At this point Jones was confused, and goes into the living room stumbling across what he thought was a family watching The Howdy Doody Show on the television. He approached them only to find out that they are actually mannequins, this then worried Indy.[1]

He ran outside the front door of the house in an attempt to get an idea of where he was, where he comes across 138 Main Street which was full of mannequins in positions which would be expected of an actual human. The moment after Jones accidentally disrupted them, a siren blared out with a stern voice warning that "All personnel it is now one minute to zero-time, put on goggles or turn away!" Do not remove goggles or face first until 10 seconds after first blank. After hearing the announcement, Jones truly discovered what was going on. Hearing the siren and the announcement also, the Soviet Patrol which were looking for Jones under Irina Spalko's orders got back into the staff car and sped off, and despite looking for Jones, they blasted past him, horn blaring as he attempted to signal them down for help and to hitch a lift out of the fake town.[1]

Jones was furious by this, and bolted back into the house where he was in earlier, as the announcement voice then stated Minus 15 seconds. Jones searched the house for anyway of possible survival, after not finding any in the living room, even up a chimney, he rushed back into the kitchen where he started. He looked around desperately, his eyes passing a King Cool refrigerator without much thought until it snapped to him that it could be his only chance of survival. He swung open the refrigerator door, and flung out the contents of the fridge and attempted to close the door, but it got blocked by a singular canned food container, and an orange. He swept them out the way with his hand and finally slammed shut the door in the very moment that the announcement voice stated the number "Zero!".[1]

The nuclear bomb exploded, at first causing any flammable material within the town to catch alight such as the mannequins, and evaporating water like that which was coming out of a hosepipe set up for test purposes. Then the blast wave hit, utterly eviscerating everything in its path, sending chunks of the fake town flying, including the refrigerator. It flew a fair distance, eventually reaching the staff car occupied by the Soviets going right over the top of it, just as the blast wave hit and destroyed the vehicle killing all occupants, proving that Jones missing the escaping vehicle was actually a blessing in disguise.[1]

The King Cool refrigerator smashed and rolled down an embankment eventually coming to a stop, with a clunking noise the heavy door of the lead-lined refrigerator opened with Indy rolling out exhausted, making him the only survivor of the event.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

"The idea of actually testing atom bombs is so absurd, we now find it almost humorous that we were, as a country, so naive. But setting Indy right off the bat in a test area with an atomic explosion seemed like exactly the kind of thing an audience would want."
Kathleen Kennedy on Doom Town's inclusion[src]

The idea of a fake town located at a nuclear test site in Nevada is similar to that of earlier drafts of Robert Zemeckis' film Back to the Future which was produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment company. In the film's first draft, the protagonist Marty McFly, was to use a refrigerator time machine at a Nevada nuclear test site. However, after speaking with Spielberg, Zemeckis was dissuaded from using a fridge as a means of time travel over concerns that it could inspire children to recreate the scene with their home appliances.[3]

Doom Town-02

For Indiana Jones, the titular archaeologist surviving an atomic blast inside a fridge was conceived by George Lucas and Jeffrey Boam, a set-piece which survived through the various iterations of the screenplay that became Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.[4] Frank Darabont included it in his his draft but, unlike the finished film, the Soviets dump an unconscious Indy there deliberately and only two of the Russians are killed by the blast while trying to escape on-foot.[5]

For the Doom Town scenes, sets were built near the hangars of Deming Municipal Airport, New Mexico while a large model was constructed for wide shots at Kerner Optical (formerly part of Industrial Light & Magic) in San Rafael, California. The shot of Indy overlooking Doom Town from a cliff was filmed from a high point on Corralitos Road.[6] To create Doom Town's destruction, a miniature set of the town was built and then destroyed, augmented with CGI.[7]



Notes and references[]