If you’ve never seen it, “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” ran for two seasons between 1992 and 1993. The show depicted Henry Jones Jr.’s adventures as a young boy, traveling the world with his studious father, and as a young man, fighting and working as a spy in World War I. The main gimmick of the series was that young Indiana Jones would run into famous historical figures, sometimes before they were even famous, like Sigmund Freud (Max Von Sydow), Winston Churchill (Julian Fellowes), and Norman Rockwell (Lukas Haas), as well as (deep breath) Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Mata Hari, T.E. Lawrence, Leo Tolstoy, Dorothy Parker, Al Capone, Pablo Picasso, the list goes on. And on. And on.
But the makers of “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” apparently felt they needed a framing device to explain why these stories are being told, and so the episodes began in the then-present day, the early 1990s, where a nonagenarian Indiana Jones — wielding a cane and wearing an eyepatch — finds himself surrounded by young people who don’t understand history and need to learn a thing or two. And so he interrupts their day with rambling oral histories of his adventures, which we know always take a whole hour (i.e., the duration of the episode) because the characters in the show have said so.
It would be one thing if “Old Man Indy” was treated with the dignity the character so richly deserves — he foiled Nazi plots on multiple occasions! But instead, these wraparound segments usually depict Indiana Jones as a hapless and/or ineffectual buffoon, and sometimes prone to weird outbursts of violence.