Ossus Library Index Young Indy Index

ADVENTURES IN THE SECRET SERVICE

Directed by Vic Armstrong and Simon Wincer (1999, Lucasfilm)
Starring Sean Patrick Flannery (guest cast)

Indy escorts some soldiers to Austria for a peace treaty, then observes uprisings in Russia during the Communist revolution.

View Count: Twice

 

 

2 stars

March 11th, 2000 on Video  
   

Slow is the word that I would use to describe this episode.  I remember it being much better.  Even though Indy has been through so much, I found the way he acted towards the two Austrian princes way out of character.  Even if he has been through so many failures, this is not the real Indy. 

The two Austrian princes are soldiers in the Belgian army, but they have a message from their sister, Empress of Austria, telling them that she and her husband want to negotiate a separate peace treaty from Germany.  So Indy is instructed to take them across the border.  They have the usual forged papers with tense moments, but they aren't really tense. 

They arrive, by roundabout way, and give the demands of the French government.  The Emperor agrees, but his advisor knows that there will be war with Germany if the agreement gets out.  So he makes a reply that is very vague.  But the Emperor pens a secret letter, and gives it to Indy at the last moment, agreeing to all the surrender terms.  Not much excitement here, or even much to interest a viewer.  The moral hits over the head, saying there should be grownups to solve the differences between empires. 

The best scene of the Austrian part takes place at the end, when Indy has to run across the top of the train to get across the border into neutral territory. 

Indy is then sent to Russia, where he befriends some Bolsheviks.  They agree that they will not gain intelligence from each other.  And so they drink together, they party together, and have a lot of fun.  One of them falls in love with Indy.  He even warns them when Russian military forces will be watching for his friends. 

But he breaks the agreement with his friends, when he knows that something is happening at a steel factory, and he finds out that his friends will be rallying there.  He confronts them, accusing them of starting the Revolution, and they lie, telling him it is not the time. 

And Indy is naïve enough to believe them.  He tells his superiors about it, and they verify his information.  They all believe the Revolution is weeks away.  But then unrest starts up again.  Indy goes to his friends at the steel factory, and tells them that now is not the time.  He knows that Lenin does not support the revolution now, and that it will fail.  But his friends ignore him. 

And so they march on the square, and are fired upon by soldiers on  the rooftops.  One of his friends is killed.  And that's how it ends. 

The ending is rather abrupt.  And we don't get to see the Russian Revolution.  That was disappointing.  So the episode doesn't amount to much. 

There was a neat misleading scene where the Bolsheviks get Indy out of the apartment so they can plan things.  The scene leads us to believe they are planning a key revolutionary meeting, but they are instead planning his birthday party!

There is humour in the Russian part, but not much in the Austrian part.  The Austrian princes were played like fools, acting very casual, and laughing at completely the wrong times.  Fortunately, they were balanced by the Russian revolutionaries that Indy befriends.  They know how to party!  But not enough to make the episode a winner.

 

  Guest Cast: Patrick Ryecart as Emperor Karl I of Austria
Jennifer Ehle as Empress Zita of Austria
Christopher Lee as Count Ottokar Graf Czerin
Benedict Taylor as Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma
Roger Sloman as Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
 
   

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