The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

Season 3 Episode 6

Attack of the Hawkmen, Ahlgorn, Germany 1917 (2)

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 08, 1995 on ABC

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  • Indy goes undercover to grab an aviation genius!

    While the first part of this story was great it's the second that stands out a little more. Indy's mission of espionage continues, this time on ground in the second part of 'Attack of the Hawkmen'. As stated in the previous review this was originally filmed as one of four TV movies to be shown as part of a proposed third season. For various reasons a third season never materialised although many scripts had been completed for this season or had been outlined. This TV movie format allows for a slightly more coherent structure and abandons the 90-year-old Indy segments that in this reviewer's opinion never quite worked.

    Having taken a trip through the skies to gather intelligence on the enemy while managing to successfully dodge bullets from the dastardly Red Baron our hero Indy is safely on ground. 'Safe' can be a misleading word and soon he's helping the French Secret Service to retrieve revolutionary aviation plans. For this to work Indy must try to persuade aviation genius Anthony Fokker to join the French side against the Germans. But Fokker isn't so easily bribed and soon Indy has his work out cut trying to stop the scientist engineer from unleashing his crafts on the world in the name of Germany. Whoever gets Fokker working for them could win the war. Can Indy stop him from helping Germany create an invincible new aircraft?

    With a solid and adventurous first part of 'Attack of the Hawkmen' involving air photography and death defying dog fighting the second part manages to succeed even further due to it's fairly high television budget, competent acting as well as a witty script that continuously entertains. Without a doubt the best was definitely left for Part 2. Having now officially joined the French Secret Service in the hope of finding a more peaceful solution to ending the war Indy's first proper mission of espionage is to locate and persuade aviation genius, the rather unfortunately named Anthony Fokker (Craig Kelly), to side with the French. Someone like him on their side could turn the tide in the war against Germany. The problem is that Fokker doesn't seem to care either way which side he's working for. Money isn't the issue it's simply that the Germans asked him first. Kelly is quite good with his portrayal of real life engineer Fokker. He carefully keeps Anthony Fokker a neutral player in the war, never turning the character to one side or the other. The engineer is loyal to the first person that asked for his help. Fokker as a result comes across as a victim of chance rather than a victim of choice. Early on before his mission begins in one excellently amusing scene Indiana goes to the French Secret Service laboratory to get outfitted with the latest gadgets he will need. One gets the feeling the scientists are completely mad nutcases who have never actually tested any of their new equipment. Interestingly one of the scientists is played by Anthony Daniels, familiar to 'Star Wars' fans as C-3PO. For Indy it's a bit hit and miss with the gadgets. One clever gadget appears to be a box of cigarettes but in fact can be reconstructed to make a camera for taking espionage photographs. Then there's the shoe that extends a knife, which is the cause for a huge amount of comedy throughout the story derived from the shoe not being able to detract when it needs to. It's an amusing little scene. However, the episode is full of nice little touches of humour and action. The Red Baron (played by Marc Warren) is back after being defeated by Indy in Part 1 and this time he's going to make sure that everything goes according to plan. The Baron wants to see the unveiling of Fokker's new aircraft, which could help Germany win World War One. To make sure this happens the Red Baron's got the added help of General Von Kramer played by Jon Pertwee. Yeah folks, it's the Third Doctor Who in one of his last performances! I'm geeking out seeing the Doctor in Indiana Jones. On a calmer note I think Pertwee does a commendable job in his I believe last on screen role. His role as a German general is perfect. The Brigadier would be proud… One of strengths of Part 2 is that Indy as hapless as he can always be is thrown into this world of espionage without any help except for some untested gadgets. This is mostly where the humour comes from as our hero blunders his way through the whole episode whether it's haphazardly skydiving to his destination, firing a German policeman into a river by accident and eventually by the end (again accidently) burning Fokker's new aircraft down all while still managing to steal a kiss from a beautiful woman.

    This links to the episode's other big strength over the previous story or for that matter any other episode. As I've mentioned there's a great deal of enjoyment to be had with Indy being thrown into a world of espionage but with this episode it really does feel like a world. In nearly all episodes of 'The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles' the location shooting is amazing although frustratingly restricted. In Part 1 for instance while enjoyable the whole of that episode was confined to the American's base, the Red Baron's base and a field. With Part 2 Indy's journey takes him through the whole of 1917 Ahlgorn, Germany. We see so many locations that there's a great sense of freedom but Ben Burtt's direction does more than that. Part 2 achieves the impossible for television by presenting a living period of history. The sky's the limit. One minute he's parachuting into a town, the next he's on a train. There's the sense that anything for the series is now possible. The second part of 'Attack of the Hawkmen' is a hugely enjoyable story, which builds on the first part with it's witty and sometimes action packed script. Its biggest strength is its total lack of confinement period television normally suffers from. Anything could happen anywhere and therefore this episode truly captures Indiana Jones big screen escapades. Bravo Indy, bravo!