Young Indiana Jones and the Phantom Train of Doom is the seventeenth episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and the eleventh episode in season two. It is the tenth film in The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones. The two-hour episode originally aired on ABC on June 5, 1993. The title was shortened to Phantom Train of Doom for its release on home video, but the home video edit is otherwise nearly identical to the broadcast version.
- 1 Publisher's summary
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Behind the scenes
- 4 Release
- 5 Reception
- 6 Notes and references
- 7 External links
Chapter 10 in the complete adventures of Indiana Jones proves age is no barrier to adventure when Indy and a group of elderly commandos take on a fiendishly powerful weapon in war-torn Africa.
Indy is ordered to locate and destroy a powerful German artillery gun that is mysteriously able to appear and disappear at will, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Assisting him is a colorful group of soldiers nicknamed "The Old and the Bold" because of their old age and reckless courage. Their mission takes them on a dangerous journey across the German-held veldt via wagon train and hot-air balloon. Overcoming all manner of obstacles presented by the enemy, his own side, and the harsh African terrain, Indy relentlessly follows the trail of the mega-gun right into the bowels of a secret mountain hideout, where he plans an explosive end for the phantom train of doom.
Weary of the carnage of the Western Front, Indiana Jones and his friend Remy transfer to Africa, each receiving promotions to the rank of lieutenant in the Belgian Army. A few missteps put them on the wrong train, and the young officers end up hopelessly lost in the veldt. Trying to get back to their unit, Indy and Remy come across a colorful group of soldiers nicknamed "The Old and the Bold." The 25th Frontiersman Battalion, Royal Fusiliers are led by Frederick Selous, the famed hunter that Indy met years ago while on safari with Teddy Roosevelt. Selous sees Jones' passing knowledge of trains as good luck, and orders Indy on a mission to destroy the Phantom Train: a powerful rail-mounted German artillery gun that is mysteriously able to appear and disappear at will.
Jones is the youngest of the lot by far -- most of the Frontiersmen were too old for active service, so they formed their own unit -- and this adventure causes him to rethink his assumptions about age and experience.
Pleased with Jones' luck, Selous takes the unwitting Indy on the next Frontiersman caper: the capture of the notorious German military mastermind, Colonel Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck. Peasant disguises, a hot air balloon, a pride of lions, a giant termite snack and angry natives all figure into a thrilling chase across the Africa savannah as Indy ends up unwilling captor to the opinionated officer. "It's like we kidnapped my father!" remarks Indiana Jones.
Cast and characters
- Sean Patrick Flanery as Indiana Jones
- Ronny Coutteure as Remy Baudouin
- Paul Freeman as Frederick Selous
- Freddie Jones as Birdy
- Norman Rodway as General Jan Christiaan Smuts
- Ronald Fraser as Donald
- Lynsey Baxter as Margaret Trappe
- Tom Bell as Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck
- Julian Firth as Richard Meinertzhagen
- Mac McDonald as Big Mac
- Abdulla Sunado as Mr. Golo
- Perry Davey as Zoltan
- Graeme Crowther as Harper
- Roger Haller as Belgian Troop Major
- Frederique Lemaire as Belgian Captain
- Bruno Pasquiers as Belgian Lieutenant
- Daniel Kiare as Native Man
- Wilhelm Nelson as Cook
- Jon Freeman as Telegraph Man
- Klaus Reese as Sentry Captain
- Marco Hillman as German Sentry
- Thomas Schaal as Huge German Captain
- Martin Hub as Engineer #1
- Pavel Vokoun as Engineer #2
- Jurgen Mueller as Gunnery Captain
- Tillman Proske as German #1
- Hans Gruber as German #2
- Paul Olungae as German Askari
- Horst Lehmberg as Sentry
- Freddie Lustenberger as German Captain
- Lenny Juma as Warrior Chief
- Jimmy Were as Moshi Ticket Seller
- Gábor Piroch as German Soldier
- Charles Tombeur (Mentioned only)
- British East Africa
- German East Africa
Behind the scenes
- Produced by: Rick McCallum
- Created by: George Lucas
- Music by: Joel McNeely
- Written by: Frank Darabont
- Directed by: Peter Macdonald
The final draft scripts by Frank Darabont (consisting of the teleplays "German East Africa, Early November 1916" and "German East Africa, Late November 1916") are dated October 25, 1992. Those scripts include a "Story by George Lucas" credit which does not appear onscreen.
Principal photography took place from November 4 to December 16, 1992, with location filming in Mambrui, Kenya, as well as in the Taita Hills and sites near Nairobi such as the Hopcraft Ranch, the Lukenya Hills, and the Ngong Hills. While filming, the cast and crew "lived in a tent compound in Kenya for weeks" and "even grew their own vegetables."
- Indy and Remy Baudouin both receive automatic promotions to the rank of lieutenant in the Belgian Army, as provided to all enlisted men who have transferred to Africa.
- Numerous anachronistic vehicles appear in this story, including a 1929 Chevrolet International, a 1930 Chevrolet Universal, both 1929 and 1930 Ford Model A's, a 1928 International Harvester, and a 1928 Willys-Knight.
- The Wilhelm scream can be heard twice.
Young Indiana Jones and the Phantom Train of Doom was first broadcast as a TV movie on June 5, 1993. In some territories, however, it was aired in two parts on different nights.
This film was edited only slightly to become Phantom Train of Doom in 1996, which was released on VHS in 1999 and on DVD in 2007 (as part of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Volume Two, The War Years).
Companion Historical Documentaries
- At Home and Abroad - The Two Faces of Jan Smuts
- Chasing the Phantom - Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck
- Dreaming of Africa - The Life of Frederick Selous
Selected tracks by composer Joel McNeely were included on the official soundtrack The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Volume Four, released in 1994, as conducted by McNeely and performed by The West Australian Philharmonic Orchestra in Perth. Some of this music was also used in LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, listed in the game credits as "Africa Movie of the Week."
Young Indiana Jones and the Phantom Train of Doom received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 1994 for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Drama Series, but lost out to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Genesis."
Notes and references
- Although the 1999 VHS box art refers to this as The Phantom Train of Doom, the title appears in the film without the initial article.
- TheRaider.net - The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Screenplays
- Young Indy Filming Timeline
- Phantom Train of Doom - Young Indy Film Locations
- George Lucas: The Creative Impulse — Revised and Updated Edition
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles - Internet Movie Cars Database
- Young Indiana Jones Air Dates
- Chapter 10: The Phantom Train of Doom - Young Indiana Jones Music
- Reuse of the Music - Young Indiana Jones Music
- 46th Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners - Academy of Television Arts & Sciences