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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: The Kidnapping Indiana Jones
"The Kidnapping"
(51:16-end on the Phantom Train of Doom DVD)
Written by Frank Darabont
Story by George Lucas
Directed by Peter MacDonald
Original air date: June 5, 1993

Indy, Remy, and Selous are captured by the Germans.


Read the "November 1916" entry 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 German East Africa, late November 1916.


Didja Know?


The title I've used for this episode ("The Kidnapping") is based simply on the British plot to kidnap German colonel Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck in this episode. This episode is the second part of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: The Phantom Train of Doom, a TV movie packaged for the Family Channel originally from two scripts of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, "German East Africa, Early November 1916" ("The Phantom Train of Doom") and "German East Africa, Late November 1916" ("The Kidnapping"). 


Notes from the Old Indy bookends of The Young Indiana Chronicles


There were no Old Indy bookends 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). 


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Colonel Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck

Major Richard Meinertzhagen

Bill "Big Mac" MacMillan

Captain Frederick Selous

General Jan Christiaan Smuts

Mr. Golo

Birdy Soames

Donald Parks

Indiana Jones

Remy Baudouin

Suzette Chambin (Remy's wife, mentioned only)

Remy's stepchildren (mentioned only)

Margaret Trappe

Margaret Trappe's mother (mentioned only)

German soldiers  




Didja Notice?


Colonel Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck (1870-1964) was a real world German Army officer who eventually reached the rank of general. For virtually the entire war, he held German East Africa against a much larger force of Allied powers.


Margaret Trappe (1884-1957) was a real world female German big game hunter in Africa. She assisted Von Lettow-Vorbeck's command as a wilderness guide for a short time during the war. Her mother was known as the best female aviator in Africa, as Selous implies here. I have not been able to confirm that Frederick Selous ever had an affair with her mother; that was probably made up for the episode.


At 55:27 and 1:13:52 on the DVD, Remy says Mon Dieu. This is French for "my god."


When Birdy shoves Margaret under the floorboards of the wagon to hide her from the Germans, he tells her, "Not quite the Ritz, my dear, but you'll have to make do." The Ritz is a luxury hotel chain (now more properly known as Ritz-Carlton).


The car seen in the German camp at 1:01:42 on the DVD is a 1930 Chevrolet Universal. Selous' team steals it later to make an escape from the camp.


Von Lettow-Vorbeck reminds Selous that they last crossed paths in the Karoo mountains. Karoo is a semi-desert region of South Africa.


At 1:04:56 on the DVD, Birdy pulls a Webley Mk VI revolver on the German guard in the cellhouse.


At 1:07:07 on the DVD, German guards appear to be using Mauser M1916 Guardia Civil short rifles.


The dusty vehicle seen at 1:13:59 on the DVD, is a 1929 Chevrolet International Phaeton.


The vehicles at 1:14:55 on the DVD are a 1930 Ford Model A and a silver/gray 1928 International Harvester.


At 1:15:32 on the DVD, Remy tries to use a Lewis Gun found in the balloon, but it's jammed. Margarete also has a Lewis Gun mounted on the biplane she flies later in the episode.


The motorcycle seen at 1:16:36 on the DVD is a 1970 Yamaha DT 125. 1970?!


When her biplane is shot and she is forced to land at 1:18:53 on the DVD, Margarete says "Verdammt." This is German for "damn it."


Trying to prevent the crash of the balloon after it is shot up, Indy and Remy decide to throw "everything" overboard to stay aloft. Indy throws the Lewis Gun down and Remy is seen throwing over a couple of chests. But, earlier, when they were throwing stuff over to keep above the German pursuit, they'd said they'd thrown over everything except the weapons. So where did those last chests come from?


This episode depicts that Remy seems fond of saying "I hate when that happens." 


The biplane Margarete flies has a figure painted on the side. What is it? It almost looks like a grim reaper.


At 1:28:21 on the DVD, Indy holds an FN Model 1910 handgun on the colonel. Margarete holds a Mauser Pocket Pistol on Indy at the same time.


Memorable Dialog


I don't have your figure.mp3

a bigger idiot.mp3

there must have been 80 of them.mp3

it's like kidnapping my father.mp3

if you were my troops, I'd have you flogged.mp3

any broken bones.mp3

I'll thank you to stop accepting my surrender.mp3

you're not going to get me to eat a giant termite.mp3

maybe you could marry the chief's daughter.mp3

nice shot.mp3


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