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[1] for its release on home video, but the home video edit is otherwise nearly identical to the broadcast version.

Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]

VHS release[edit | edit source]

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.

DVD release[edit | edit source]

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.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Cast and characters[edit | edit source]

Frontiersmen on a mission.

Locations[edit | edit source]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Production[edit | edit source]

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.[2] 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,[3] 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.[4] While filming, the cast and crew "lived in a tent compound in Kenya for weeks" and "even grew their own vegetables."[5]

Continuity[edit | edit source]

  • 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.[6]
  • The Wilhelm scream can be heard twice.

Release[edit | edit source]

Television[edit | edit source]

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.[7]

Home video[edit | edit source]

VHS cover

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[edit | edit source]

Soundtrack[edit | edit source]

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.[8] 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."[9]

Reception[edit | edit source]

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."[10]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Indiana Jones films
Raiders of the Lost Ark · Temple of Doom · Last Crusade · Kingdom of the Crystal Skull · Indy 5
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
Feature-length episodes
Curse of the Jackal · Mystery of the Blues · Scandal of 1920 · Phantom Train of Doom
TV movies
Hollywood Follies · Attack of the Hawkmen · Treasure of the Peacock's Eye · Travels with Father
The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones
The Early Years
My First Adventure · Passion for Life · The Perils of Cupid · Travels with Father · Journey of Radiance · Spring Break Adventure · Love's Sweet Song
The War Years
Trenches of Hell · Demons of Deception · Phantom Train of Doom · Oganga, The Giver and Taker of Life · Attack of the Hawkmen · Adventures in the Secret Service · Espionage Escapades · Daredevils of the Desert
The Years of Change
Tales of Innocence · Masks of Evil · Treasure of the Peacock's Eye · Winds of Change · Mystery of the Blues · Scandal of 1920 · Hollywood Follies
previous next
September / October 1916 November 1916 December 1916
Demons of Deception Phantom Train of Doom Oganga, the Giver and Taker of Life
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