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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: Daredevils of the Desert Indiana Jones
"Daredevils of the Desert"
TV movie
Written by Frank Darabont
Directed by Simon Wincer
Original air date: November 21, 1993

Indy aids the British and the Australians in the Battle of Beersheba.


Read the "October 1917" and "October 31, 1917" entries of the It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage Indiana Jones chronology for a summary of this episode


Notes from the Indiana Jones chronology


This episode takes place in October 1917.


Didja Know?


"Daredevils of the Desert" was originally filmed as the 1-hour episode "Palestine, October 1917", which never aired in the United States, having its premiere broadcast in Sweden. For the TV movie version, the episode was expanded to about 1 hour, 22 minutes with previously cut footage as well as footage from the 1987 film The Lighthorsemen (also directed by Simon Wincer) which itself focused on the Battle of Beersheba.


The German solider named Schiller in this episode is played by British actor Daniel Craig, who would later go on to fame as James Bond in five of the Agent 007 films.


Notes from the Old Indy bookends of The Young Indiana Chronicles


There were no Old Indy bookends filmed for this episode.


Notes from The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones


The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones is a 2008 publication that purports to be Indy's journal as seen throughout The Young Indiana Chronicles and the big screen Indiana Jones movies. The publication is also annotated with notes from a functionary of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, the successor agency of the Soviet Union's KGB. The FSB relieved Indy of his journal in 1957 during the events of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The notations imply the journal was released to other governments by the FSB in the early 21st Century. However, some bookend segments of The Young Indiana Chronicles depict Old Indy still in possession of the journal in 1992. The discrepancy has never been resolved.  


The events of this episode are not covered in the journal. The pages jump from August 1916 ("Trenches of Hell") to November 1918 and the end of the war (The Treasure of the Peacock’s Eye).


The boxed set of DVDs of the complete The Young Indiana Chronicles TV series has notations and drawings in the storage slot for each disk that suggest they are meant to be excerpts from Indy's journal. Most of these notes and drawings do not appear in the The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones book. Here is the slot image for this episode:



Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


German general

German assistant

British officers

Australian officer

Dex (dies in this episode)

John "Jack" Anders

Captain Schiller (dies in this episode)

General Hodgson

Major Richard Meinertzhagen

Lawrence of Arabia


French officer

Phyllis (Anders' horse)

Miss Seymour (mentioned only)

Henry Jones, Sr. (mentioned only)

General von Kressenstein (mentioned only)

Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby (mentioned only)



Gunnery Sergeant Porter

Kazim Yoha


Mary (Dex's girlfriend, mentioned only)

Josie (Jack's wife, mentioned only)

Jack's child (mentioned only, soon to be born)


Colonel Ismet Bey



Brigadier Grant 




Didja Notice?


Many of the Turkish troops are seen armed with Mauser 1903/30 rifles.


The tank among the British forces seen at 1:59 on the DVD is a movie replica version of a British Mark V tank. This tank is seen about 15 seconds later to have the name "The Nutty HML5" painted on the side. It should more appropriately be HMLS for "His Majesty's Land Ship". "Nutty" was a nickname for the British officer who commanded the Palestine Tank Detachment during the battle of Beersheba, Major Norman H. Nutt. The tank footage is from the aforementioned The Lighthorsemen film.


At 2:53 on the DVD, the Wilhelm scream is heard as a mortar round explodes next to a British soldier.


At 3:25 on the DVD, a movie replica Lancia-Ansaldo 1ZM armored vehicle is destroyed. This is a shot borrowed from the 1980 historical war film, Lion of the Desert. The flag painted on the front of the vehicle appears to be the horizontal tricolor flag of Yugoslavia.


The German battle map at 4:09 on the DVD shows hostile and allied troop placements with mini flags of (clockwise from top): Yugoslavia, Ottoman Empire, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The cities marked on the map were all parts of Palestine at the time: Beersheba, Gaza, and Rafa.


The dialog between General Hodgson and T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and Meinertzhagen at about 5:00 on the DVD implies that the just-witnessed battle at Gaza was the historical Second Battle of Gaza. But the real world battle took place in April 1917, not October as seen here.


General Hodgson informs Lawrence and the officers of the Australian Lighthorsemen that he intends to have his forces in Jerusalem by Christmas. Major-General Sir Henry West Hodgson (1868–1930) was a British Army officer who was commanding officer of the Australian Mounted Division (the Lighthorsemen) during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of WWI. Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world, is a holy city to the three major Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The city was successfully wrested from the Ottoman Empire by forces led by the United Kingdom by the end of 1917, as depicted at the end of the episode. Indy, when he was 8 years old, first met Lawrence of Arabia in "My First Adventure" and has maintained a correspondence with him ever since. Lawrence was historically involved in the campaign.


Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen (1878-1967) was a British soldier, intelligence officer, and ornithologist. While initially celebrated for his strategies and espionage against the enemy, later evidence of fraud, false claims, scientific misrepresentation, and even the possible murder of his wife have greatly stained his legend. He is said to have come up with the "Haversack Ruse" that led to the Germans receiving false information about British troop movements prior to the assault on Jerusalem as seen in this episode.


Indy is working as a spy for the French in Cairo, Egypt when he is called in to assist with the Beersheba operation.


When Indy is informed that Major Meinertzhagen will be in charge on the new assignment, he remarks that Meinertzhagen almost got him killed during a mission to blow up a German train. This refers to events in "The Phantom Train of Doom".


Having obtained the false British documents and believing them real, Schiller announces his intention to inform General von Kressenstein of an impending attack against Gaza. General Friedrich Sigmund Georg Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein (1870-1948) was a German general in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of 1915-1918 during WWI.


The Australian Light Horse Brigade Indy spends time with specifically is the 4th Light Horse Brigade.


During Meinertzhagen's briefing on the plan for the assault on Beersheba, he says that Allenby is to march 50,000 men across the desert in a span of two days. Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, (1861-1936) was an officer of the British Army in the Sinai and Palestine campaign. After the war, he was appointed Imperial Governor of Egypt.


Indy's dialog to Lawrence suggests that he still has not written to his father in all this time since he joined the Belgian Army.


Dex remarks that he and the other Lighthorsemen took a beating at Gallipoli, but they gave as good as they got. This refers to the campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula of Turkey 1915-1916. 


The shot of the Moon over the sand dunes at 21:26 on the DVD is very funky. It seems the Moon was added in post-production and it doesn't even have the correct mare patterns on the Moon's surface! And there appears to be a star shining through the dark half of the Moon's sphere!


After Indy loses the horse race against Dex, Jack tells him Dex is the fastest bugger west of Warrnambool. Warrnambool is a city in Victoria, Australia.


Sitting among some ruins in the desert, Indy and Lawrence reflect on all the armies that marched past there in history, like the Israelites, the Syrians, the Hittites, the Romans, and Crusaders, and Indy wonders if any of them knew they were making history. Lawrence says their mission will make history if they manage to take Jerusalem by Christmas and, if not, they "shall fade with the glories of Nineveh and Tyre, unheralded, unremembered..." Nineveh was an Assyrian city of Mesopotamia, located in the modern city of Mosul, Iraq, that was sacked by its former subjects after a civil war. Tyre is a city in Lebanon and is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities of the world, founded in about 2750 BCE and having had both large and tiny populations at various points in its existence.


Lawrence tells Indy about the Well of Abraham in Beersheba. This is an actual well in the city, said in the Bible to be the well dug by Abraham to water his sheep when he brought them in from the desert.


The girly pinup postcard Indy looks at 26:05 on the DVD actually has her nipples visible if one looks I did. The painting is by Raphael Kirchner (1876-1917), an Austrian painter/illustrator.


Indy tells Dex and Jack that he flew an airplane with Harry Houdini in Australia. This is a reference to an unproduced episode that was planned for the third season of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. It would have been set in March 1910, so a "Little Indy" episode.


Maya refers to Indy (sarcastically) as "Oh great sahib." "Sahib" is an Arabic word, essentially meaning "friend" in modern parlance, which has passed into numerous other languages. 


Arriving in Beersheba, Indy is met by his contact, Kazim Yoha, who fills him in on the goings-on with the enemy and that the good news is that Colonel Ismet Bey has been repeatedly denied reinforcements from Gaza. It's possible this refers to Ismet Bey Kryeziu (1889–1952), an Albanian political figure of the 1930s and 1940s, but I've been unable to confirm whether he served in the military of the Ottoman Empire during the war, though he did study in Istanbul, Turkey before then.


Indy and Kazim agree to begin surreptitiously cutting the wires of the explosives rigged to the water wells in Beersheba by the Ottomans, starting at what Kazim refers to has the "Well of the Oath". The name of the city, "Beersheba", is Arabic for "Well of the Oath" and it is believed it refers to the well dug by Abraham, which was once claimed by Abimelech ("King") until the two men came to an agreement on the use of the well. When talking to Maya about it, Indy tells her it's the same Well of Abraham (mentioned by Lawrence earlier). As far as I can find, the Well of Abraham has not been specifically called the Well of the Oath.


Maya shoots down Indy's messenger pigeon with a Mauser Pocket Pistol.


At 1:03:08 on the DVD, the day calendar on Colonel Bey's desk shows October 31. This is the day in 1917 that the Battle of Beersheba historically took place.


Jack wears an Australian Rising Sun badge on his hat.


At 1:08:46 on the DVD, Indy is seen to be armed with a Ruby pistol.


At 1:15:09 on the DVD, Schiller uses a Mauser C96 pistol. Seconds later, he mans a Russian Maxim machine gun.


Memorable Dialog


I know the man you want.mp3

same as me and Phyllis.mp3

we've never really had that much to say to each other.mp3

it's not your fault your officers are idiots.mp3

Lawrence of Arabia.mp3


as you wish, oh great sahib.mp3

you don't need to know.mp3

I know.mp3 


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