The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

Season 1 Episode 7

Congo, January 1917 (2)

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Apr 08, 1992 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Congo, January 1917 (2)
On a military mission, Indy having rescued a small child in an African village encounters the legendary Albert Schweitzer, and helps him in his jungle hospital.

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  • Indy learns the value of human life from Albert Schweitzer!

    This follow-up story definitely works much better than the previous episode. So this episode 'Congo, January 1917' represents the second segment of what would later be re-edited into the TV movie 'Oganga, The Giver and Taker of Life'. As I've mentioned in my last review unlike a lot of stories later re-edited together 'Congo, January 1917' was actually shown straight on from the previous episode 'German East Africa, December 1916' as one leads into the other with 'Congo, January 1917' as Part 2 of this story. This didn't happen all the time so you can imagine the more dedicated viewers feeling just slightly relieved! Their mission to recover ammunition has been a disaster! Indy's commanding officer as well as most of his infantry unit have been killed by a terrible illness that began after a young boy was found alone among his dead people. Risking the safety of his remaining few soldiers our hero continues his journey only to succumb to the illness that affected his team. Thinking he will die Indy is surprised to wake up alive and well in a hospital where an intelligent doctor called Albert Schweitzer sets about curing anybody he can using unorthodox methods. What follows is a lesson in the importance of human life as Schweitzer teaches Indy that all human life should be respected. But not all of Schweitzer's superiors agree with his views and soon keeping his hospital open will be a fight for freedom.

    When comparing this episode to the previous one aired it's the second part 'Congo, January 1917' that works better. 'German East Africa, December 1916' which was the first of this two-parter had some interesting ideas but due to some poor dubbing and an aimless structure failed to properly engage. This second part 'Congo, January 1917' is structurally more straightforward and is better for it. It still has a couple of problems but unlike the previous story nothing that detracts from enjoying it. The main strength of 'Congo, January 1917' is its views of life, the importance of the living. Many have died recently. Nearly his entire infantry unit lead by Major Boucher have all died. This didn't leave Indy with a huge amount of confidence as Boucher's last damning words to him was that he isn't fit to lead. Sergeant Barthelmy also didn't make it to headquarters alive (well at least the child survived). We find out Remy's lost couple of toes. As he says he'll be okay as long as he doesn't get asked to dance although you could argue he never knew how to dance anyway. If that wasn't enough Indy's received some distressing news that Mata Hari, the famous dancer spy that he had an affair with has been killed. All this news plays a part in Indy almost losing his life to the same sickness that affected his unit. It is the intervention of German doctor Albert Schweitzer that ultimately saves him in more ways than just physical health. The doctor has devoted most of his career to helping cure others regardless of race or wealth. Equality in how people are treated is a fundamental rule Schweitzer abides by. It's no wonder that the African people he cures have given him the name 'Oganga', putting the doctor on a pedestal like a god. Schweitzer has become a person with the power to give or take life, a role he is always reluctant to accept. At first Indy is cautious of him and what he can do. It's not surprising considering he's a German doctor that uses some rather unorthodox methods to cure his patients. It's Indy's conversations with Albert Schweitzer that changes his views on the doctor and later inspires him to take a radical new approach to life. Indy has been fighting in a war that's taken many lives. He thinks this is the only way forward. Schweitzer teaches him that all life has meaning; everyone has importance whether it's human beings, animals or nature. This idea of resisting violence as it destroys human life is not unlike the teachings of spiritual leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Schweitzer, as shown here was adamant every life that could be saved should be saved. Violence obviously being the total opposite route to take leads to the loss of the human soul. He had a huge impact on those he cared for. The people he cured carried on his philosophy even after his death. The episode is both thought provoking and insightful, making Indy examine where he's going in his life as well as coming to the conclusion that he needs to change. There are some problems with 'Congo, January 1917'. While the structure of the story flows better than Part 1 as well as the pacing there is the feeling that there is maybe just not enough material for the length of the episode. The episode suffers slightly from padding and the ending as a result sneaks up on the viewer who is never quite sure how the story will conclude (a problem that also partly affected Part 1).

    However, I think we can forgive its flaws due to the philosophy presented here: altruism wins! It's therefore not surprising that Schweitzer offers no resistance when the French tell him to leave, violence would be a complete contradiction of his beliefs. But what Albert Schweitzer leaves behind is a legacy. A legacy of someone helping preserve life in all its forms. Considering the strong intentions of this story the series was cancelled after 'Congo, January 1917' aired. The series was renewed for a second season thanks to critics praising episodes like this. It provides a faithful look at a man devoted to preserving the human soul while at the same time shows people 'The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles' was all about the power of humanity typified by the character of Indy.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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Indy: That's an order Lieutenant!
      Remy (punches Indy knocking him to the ground then salutes smartly): Right away, sir!
      French Corporal: What the hell was that?
      Indy: A Belgian salute.

    • French Soldier: Keep moving.
      Indy: Corporal, that's not necessary.
      French Soldier: I don't have to take orders from a Belgian.
      Remy: Do you enjoy chewing your food?

  • NOTES (5)

    • Located on Volume 2 Disc 9 of the Young Indiana Jones DVD collection is an interactive game called The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Special Delivery. The interactive game is based on Oganga, The Giver and Taker of Life.

    • Originally broadcast but later cut when this episode was re-edited to form TV movie Oganga, The Giver and Taker of Life is a scene where a delirious Remy suddenly begins firing madly into the rain forest. Fortunately, Indy eventually manages to calm his friend down.

    • When this two part story was re-edited for home video Oganga, the Giver and Taker of Life is one of the few stories not to fade to the end credits through brown tinted old film stock or show the image of Indy's diary being closed.

    • This episode and its companion documentaries are included on Volume 2 Disc 4 of the DVD collection, they include:
      -Albert Schweitzer - Reverence for Life
      -Congo - A Curse of Riches
      -Waging Peace - The Rise of Pacifism

    • Part 2 of the video Oganga, the Giver and Taker of Life with German East Africa, December 1916 (1).