"Music is a very special language. It can make you feel happy or sad or lonely, just by the way the notes follow one another."

Anna Jones[src]

"Florence, May 1908" is the twenty-fifth episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and the nineteenth episode in season two. Although it was produced for ABC and released in other territories, the episode went unaired in the United States. For home video, it was paired up with "Vienna, November 1908" to become The Perils of Cupid.

Plot summary[edit | edit source]

Opening bookend[edit | edit source]

After a woman in a bar wins a game of pool, watched approvingly by Professor Jones, another man challenges Indy to a game of nine-ball against her with the winner getting a hundred dollars. Indy accepts and immediately sinks four balls on the break, prompting Mimi to ask how he did that. He tells her "that comes from a thorough understanding of physics," which he first learned about when his family and tutor went to Florence during his father's world lecture tour.

Closing bookend[edit | edit source]

Mimi tearfully asks Indy if his mother ever saw Puccini again, to which he replies that he doesn't think so, and if Puccini wrote any more music. Indy answers that by describing La Fanciulla del West, an opera about an American woman "who gives up her home and friends for the man she loves," before accidentally sinking the cue ball on his next shot.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Cast and characters[edit | edit source]

Locations[edit | edit source]

Artifacts[edit | edit source]

Miscellanea[edit | edit source]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Production[edit | edit source]

Principal photography for this episode took place in part from October 25 to October 30, 1992,[1] with extensive location filming in both Florence and Pisa, Italy, along with additional location filming in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and soundstage shooting at Barrandov Studios in Prague.[2]

Director Mike Newell appreciated how accommodating the production team was with what he envisioned for the episode, particularly its climax:

I remember saying, "You know what? This one, I'd really like to make it like the end of Anna Karenina, have the end of the drama all happen in front of a great big steam locomotive." And the guy who was producing it...said, "Yeah." He said, "There are great steam trains in Prague. Let's go to Prague."[3]

Although it was anticipated that "at least another seven" episodes featuring Corey Carrier would be made after the first production series for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles had been completed,[4] only "Florence, May 1908" was filmed with him during the second production series.

Continuity[edit | edit source]

  • According to Henry himself, the family stays in Florence for a week whilst his father travels to Rome and back.
  • Puccini is shown personally conducting a performance of La Bohème, but that would typically have been done by a separate conductor even if the composer were in attendance.
  • The US copyright for "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" had only just been registered on May 2, 1908,[5] with its first performance by Nora Bayes in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1908 after June 15[6] and its first recording by the Haydn Quartet on September 9,[7] so Puccini's awareness of the song is slightly anachronistic.
  • Anna tells Miss Seymour that the family will be "on to Paris" immediately after their stay in Florence, a possible vestige of when "Paris, September 1908" was originally scripted as occurring in July.[8]

Release[edit | edit source]

Television[edit | edit source]

"Florence, May 1908" never aired in its original form in the United States. The episode's first known airing was in Sweden on October 17, 1993, and it is also known to have aired in Italy, the United Kingdom, Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands between 1993 and 1995.[9]

Home video[edit | edit source]

This episode was edited into The Perils of Cupid in 1996, which was not released on VHS but came out on DVD in 2007 (as part of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Volume One, The Early Years).

Soundtrack[edit | edit source]

The episode's score is credited as being "Adapted by" composer Laurence Rosenthal because much of it is made up of excerpts from the Puccini operas La Bohème and Madama Butterfly, though none of these arrangements were released on any official soundtrack.[10]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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