Most fans don’t know that Harrison Ford appeared in Young Indiana Jones in the 1990s. Here is the story of Ford’s comeback as Dr. Jones on the series.
Harrison Ford appeared in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles But most fans don’t know about his 1993 portrayal of the fedora-wearing archaeologist. Ford starred as Indiana Jones in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster trilogy, produced by George Lucas from 1981 to 1989. It would be 19 years before he returned to the big screen for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008. Ford becomes Dr. Jones will play again in Indiana Jones 5, directed by James Mangold, with a 2022 release date.
After Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade completed the original trilogy, Lucas was motivated to create a television series about Indy’s teenage adventures. In the prologue to Last Crusade, River Phoenix played young Indy during a throwback to an early adventure that showed how he got his fedora and won his fear of snakes. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (AKA Young Indy) premiered in March 1992 and ran for 28 episodes on ABC. The series featured a number of guest stars, while Corey Carrier played Indy at ages 9 and 10, Sean Patrick Flanery played him from 16 to 21, while George Hall portrayed Indy in his 90s during the 1992 bookends. However, Harrison Ford also made a return as Indy during the second season.
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Harrison Ford’s Indy comeback took place in the two hour episode “Young Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Blues,” which aired on March 13, 1993. Ford plays a middle-aged Indiana during the 1950s Wyoming Bookends episode, which stars the young Indy in Chicago in 1920, where future archaeologist and roommates Elliot Ness and Ernest Hemingway are embroiled in a homicide investigation . Elderly Indy tells this story to his Indian friend Greycloud (Saginaw Grant) while they are on the run from gangsters and seek refuge in an old cabin that Dr. Jones heard. Indy discovers an ancient relic, his saxophone, that prompts Jones to tell Greycloud about his time in Chicago. The episode ends with gangsters chasing Indy and Greycloud to steal a sacred pipe, but Dr. Jones outsmarts the bad guys and gets the last laugh.
A notable change in Harrison Ford’s appearance on Young Indy is that Dr. Jones wears a beard. This is because the actor was also filming The Fugitive, in which he played the role of Dr. Richard Kimble played alongside Tommy Lee Jones. Ford filmed his Young Indy scenes in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in December 1992 in between filming the early scenes of The Fugitive. Since Dr. Kimble had a beard, Ford kept it for Young Indy, which was appropriate since he was playing Indiana Jones when he was 50 and they were in the snowy wilderness of Wyoming.
Ford’s cameo in Young Indy was the only time he had his iconic role in the 1990s, when he and the audience waited for George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to come up with an idea for a fourth Indiana Jones film, which eventually ended in 2008 appeared. In fact, since Young Indy is canon, Ford’s 1950 appearance can be viewed as an unofficial sequel to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and his Wyoming adventure takes place seven years before the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Ford’s appearance in Young Indy also indicated that Dr. Jones is a jazz lover who plays the saxophone, a musical talent he was unable to show in either of the two Indiana Jones Movies.
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About the author
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John Orquiola is a Features employee who has been with Screen Rant for the past four years. He started as an assistant director on various independent films. A lover of film and film theory, John wrote humorous film reviews on his blog Back of the Head that caught his eye from Screen Rant. John happily became the Star Trek guy at Screen Rant, directing coverage of the various Star Trek series but also writing on a wide range of topics from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to Cobra Kai. His other big nerdy loves are British TV series like The Crown, Downton Abbey and Killing Eve. John can be found on Twitter @BackoftheHead for photos of the food he’s eating.
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