The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

Season 1 Episode 4

British East Africa, September 1909

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Mar 18, 1992 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

British East Africa, September 1909
Young Indy meets the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt while on safari in Kenya.

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  • Indiana is faced with a moral challenge

    Moral challenges are never easy, especially when you have to face them growing up. Technically the third or fourth episode (if you count the pilot as two parts) this story was later re-edited with a Season 2 story to form 'Passion For Life'. The themes present here deal with living a happy life and making the most of it.

    Our young nine-year-old Henry Jones, Jr travels to Kenya, Africa where he has the fortune of meeting President Roosevelt and Frederick Selous played by veteran actor Paul Freeman. Indy's views on amazing creatures living in the wild and fending for themselves conflicts with the views of Roosevelt as well as Selous. They believe hunting/killing these animals and putting them in a zoo will ultimately help the generations to come learn about wildlife. And so Indy faces a dilemma as he's torn between siding with his strict father who supports Roosevelt views (and doesn't want his son to embarrass him in front of a revered leader) while at the same time sees wonderful creatures in danger of becoming extinct.

    One of things that really works for this episode is Indy's friendship with an African boy called Meto. To begin with they both don't understand each other, they both come from different worlds but acceptance of one another brings them together. They begin to learn each other's language. Understanding of another's cultural ways and acceptance of them is what the episode is about. The friendship between the two boys is an example of how Africa and the outside should co-operate. By the end Indy is successful in making Roosevelt see what the animals of the wild mean to the environment but it's obvious it will take a long time before this change starts to occur. The other big plus of the episode is seeing Indy continuously going against his father's wishes, embarrassing his father and making the viewer see a conflict of difference between father/son. We have to remember this is a conflict that would last all the way through the series and not get resolved until the film 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'. The acting is more or less sound with fine performances from the regular cast, Paul Freeman while UK viewers may spot Crystal Maze presenter Edward Tudor-Pole in a small role. The location work is absolutely stunning. It captures the sheer beauty of the wild and makes you realize all those rolls of film for location filming wasn't a waste. If there is one gripe is Roosevelt played by James Gammon who is obviously trying to present a military commander but his delivery more times than often makes him come across like a WWE wrestler. His sudden change of heart doesn't quite work either, it just sort of happens. But he's okay in role.

    It's not the best or most remembered episode the show produced but this story's tale of morality and understanding set against stunning locations works very well.moreless
  • Entitled Passion For Life (1), during rerelease, this is among the best Young Indy episodes during his travels with his father.

    This episode, which is suposedly the 2nd, going by chronological order, tells the tale of Indy meeting the old president, Theodore Roosevelt, while his father is on tour with his book. It is a weel written encounter, and shows what would probably happen if Indy was real, and did meet Roosevelt at the age of 9 or 10.

    The episode features Roosevelt on one of his post president hunting expeditions, this one in Kenya, Africa. The gist of the episode has Indy meeting both the president, and befriending an African boy. In it, it is shown that Indy started taking T.E. Lawrence's advice from Curse of the Jackal, and has started to learn different languages. It also shows him utilizing some skills he uses later in his life as an archaeologist. By the end of the episode, he is able to, with the help of his new friend, find a rare animal Roosevelt was hunting for, and then prevent him from kiiling to many of the endangered species, after showing Roosevelt where to find the creature. Like I said, while not the best episode, and while it continues Indy's knack of getting lost far too much, it is well written, and very much enjoyable.moreless
Corey Carrier

Corey Carrier

Young Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. at age 8-10

Sean Patrick Flanery

Sean Patrick Flanery

Young Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. at age 16-20

George Hall

George Hall

Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. at age 93

Margaret Tyzack

Margaret Tyzack

Helen Seymour

Guest Star

Ruth DeSosa

Ruth DeSosa

Anna Jones

Guest Star

Lloyd Owen

Lloyd Owen

Professor Henry Jones, Sr.

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Indy's fear of snakes as shown when he shouts "I hate snakes!" is a throwback to the film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    • Non-fiction characters appearing in this episode:

      Theodore Roosevelt - 26th President of the United States, historian, naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier (1858-1919)

      Kermit Roosevelt - son of Theodore Roosevelt, explorer, soldier (1889-1943)

      Frederick Selous - British explorer, officer, hunter, conservationist (1851-1917)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (4)

    • The scene near the beginning where Henry Jones, Sr. and Medlicot exchange greetings similar to Jones' greeting to Marcus Brody in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was cut for TV movie Passion for Life. Instead it begins with Henry Jones, Medlicot and Indy sitting on the front of a moving train.

    • This episode is included on Volume 1 Disc 2 of the DVD collection. The companion documentaries are on disc 3, and they include:
      -Theodore Roosevelt and the American Century
      -Ecology - Pulse of the Planet
      -American Dreams - Norman Rockwell and the Saturday Evening Post
      -Art Rebellion - The Making of the Modern
      -Edgar Degas - Reluctant Rebel
      -Braque & Picasso - A Collaboration Cubed

    • This is not actor Paul Freeman's first brush with Indiana Jones. He played Belloq, the rival archeologist, in the film Raiders of the Los Ark.

    • Part 1 of the video Passion for Life with Paris, September 1908.


    • While young Indy and his friend are exploring the African bush, they are threatened by a snake. Indy exclaims, "I hate snakes."

      This is a reference to the Indiana Jones films where it's common knowledge Indy hates snakes.