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The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

Season 2 Episode 25

Transylvania, January 1918

0
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Unknown on ABC
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
14 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Transylvania, January 1918
Indy heads to Transylvania and engages in mortal combat with Vlad the Impaler, who has an army of undead backing him up.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Indy must battle General Targo and his army of vampires!

    9.0
    Can Indy survive the forces of the undead? It's worth noting that 'Transylvania, January 1918' is one of four episodes from the second season that never originally aired as the show by this point had been cancelled. Viewers may also like to note that when the show was re-edited for home video in 1999/2000 this unaired episode 'Transylvania, January 1918' was combined with the episode 'Istanbul, September 1918' to form the TV movie 'Masks of Evil'. As you can see the date order doesn't make sense although my review of 'Northern Italy, June 1918' provides an explanation of why this occurred. All I will say is that as the show moves into Indiana Jones' later years more gaps in continuity will emerge.



    When agents have gone missing in Transylvania intelligence believes General Targo (Bob Peck) has captured or killed them. Colonel Waters (Keith Szarabajka) assembles a team to look for them recruiting Indiana Jones, Maria (Simone Bendix) the sister of one of the missing agents, scientist Dr. Franz Heiner (Sam Kelly) and agent Nicholas Hunyadi (Paul Kynman). Making their way through Romania to Transylvania the band of recruits discovers a castle of impaled soldiers. Realising too late that they're dealing with more than a deluded general Indy and his companions encounter supernatural forces unlike anything they've ever seen before. When General Targo reveals himself to be the reincarnation of Vlad the Impaler a trap is sprung and our hero as well as the rest of his team's lives are put in mortal danger. Indy must fight the forces of Targo otherwise his band of vampires will enslave the world!



    I write this review on a cloudy dull day, fitting for a bleak story filled with death set in a Transylvanian castle. Oh this episode definitely deals with death. Impaled soldiers, curved balls of energy that can incinerate you, stabbings, shooting and at least one person being hacked to pieces 'Transylvania, January 1918' is definitely a contender for most goriest and scariest episode. It makes the 'Trenches of Hell' two-parter (also written by Jonathan Hensleigh) look like a stroll through a World War I battlefield. Up until this point all episodes of 'The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles' have conformed to reality in some way as though the events witnessed by Indiana Jones could happen. 'Transylvania, January 1918' takes a break from the norm. While grounded in history using the ruthless Vlad the Impaler as a basis uses the Dracula mythology associated with him to create a supernatural tale of horror and death. The viewer at first will question the change in tone although it does make sense when the Indiana Jones timeline is seen as a whole. To present date all four Indiana Jones movies have contained some element of the supernatural. What writer Hensleigh does is incorporate that into the TV series for the first time so it's actually not so far-fetched for Indiana Jones. As I've just mentioned this episode draws on the history of Vlad the Impaler and the mythology of Bram Stoker's famous novel. No stone or stake is left unturned and Hensleigh creates an atmosphere of not just terror but futility as Indy is up against forces he doesn't understand. All the actors are on fine form with what they've got but special mention must go to Bob Peck who does terrific job as the vampire General Targo. Scene stealing his way through the episode Peck presents Targo as totally arrogant and deluded. Peck also makes Targo all powerful, an unnatural force to be reckoned with. Perhaps the general is the reincarnated Vlad the Impaler? It's a wonderful performance from an actor who around this time would become well known for his role in Jurassic Park.



    If this episode works so well a lot of credit must also go to director Dick Maas. He uses interior and exterior shots of Bouzov Castle well although he does an excellent job with the studio sets. Pyrotechnics go off, ceilings and walls drip with blood, there's a lot going on here. The pacing is great and never lets up as soon as they enter the castle. As Targo tortures his victims with relish Maas shows every gory detail. There are some issues I take with this episode. Firstly I would imagine Indy, cultured as he is would have read Bram Stoker's Dracula by this point since the novel had come out in 1897. Yet he doesn't seem to understand anything going on and seems a little unclear as to why Targo still needs to be staked when he dropped from the castle tower. It's a bizarre omission for someone who knows so much. Secondly where did Targo get the castle? It looks so cool! No seriously Targo is a general but where did he acquire the castle used to turn his victims into the undead? Inheritance? I don't think it's ever explained. Finally, a lot happens during the 45 minutes but not much is explained. Oh sure it would ruin the mystery but when writer Jonathan Hensleigh presents the viewer with destructive balls of energy, a general who's somehow possessed by supernatural forces and an undead army that camp outside a little understanding isn't uncalled for.



    But this is beside the point. 'Transylvania, January 1918' is an excellent hour of fun that will especially appeal to horror fans. It's incredibly fun, scary and horrific all wrapped up in a blood soaked package. While there is the feeling that Indy has learned very little from this events the action on offer along with a the terrific performance from Bob Peck make this an entertaining adventure for Indiana Jones. This episode also proves it's possible to integrate more of the fantastical elements of the movies into the TV show and let's be honest, that's what have made the movies so enduring and appealing to this day. In all don't lose your nerves and prepare to be impressed!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

Lee Norris

Lee Norris

Kid #1

Guest Star

Bob Peck

Bob Peck

General Targo

Guest Star

Keith Szarabajka

Keith Szarabajka

Colonel Waters

Guest Star

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