Petrograd, July 1917 (a.k.a. part 2 of Chapter 13: Adventures in the Secret Service)
This is also one of two episodes (along with German East Africa, December 1916) where I feel that the loss of the George Hall bookends really detracts from the potential impact of the story, rather than the more common laughs at Old Indy's expense.
I completely agree--the bookends for this episode provide a poignant framework which carries a lot of its emotional weight. Without them, the episode fits awkwardly in its own "movie" (and Indy's running in slow motion no longer has the narrative point it had when you knew about the photograph being taken).
Does anyone know where Morocco, 1917 is supposed to fit in?
Morocco, September 1917 (a.k.a. the second half of Tales of Innocence)
Indy dallies with all the nurses in ("Ah...") Venice before heading to North Africa to help the French figure out who is shipping arms to the rebels. Along the way he encounters stereotypes, deflects questions about T. E. Lawrence from his future biographer Lowell Thomas. And he meets Edith Wharton, who is the most interesting part of this dull episode... and she listens to Indy recount more interesting stories than this one. (I gave it another chance, I swear!)
The vistas are passable (was it shot in southern Spain?), the characters forgettable, the story is paper thin and over before you can blink, and even much of the score is re-used from Daredevils. They really phoned it in on this one. In spite of that, Wharton is well played as a self-assured woman in a land and a time which finds that too baffling to know how to react other than letting her have her way. She does not have her way with Indy, despite being confident in her sexuality; instead we get the "my father" / "if I had a daughter" moment.
Wharton arrived in Morocco on September 15th so I'm posting this slightly earlier than the episode is likely set. Also, in the episode Indy says "I was in Arabia earlier this year" - a bit of time-warping that helps the chapter order make sense, if not the actual timeline...
Next month, director Simon Wincer takes us to Palestine, October 1917 for an action packed portrayal of the Australian cavalry at the Battle of Beersheba, in... The Lighthorsemen.
It's been mentioned already but 100 years ago (plus three days), on the 15th of October, Mata Hari was executed by a French firing squad after being convicted for espionage.
Search the 'net and you'll find a metric tonne of articles commemorating the date, but the most interesting thing for me can be found here: Memoire des Hommés. It's a searchable database of all the French war dead over the years, and they just made the World War I archives public this past July. Try this link for a direct link to Mata Hari's case file. If it doesn't work, use the previous link to search. Surname: Zelle. For first name just use M.
The original records are in French, naturally, but there's a nice amount of detail if you have the time! I haven't gone through it all yet, but the trial is there, the verdict, and some case notes.
Location: Neuchâtel, Switzerland (Canadian from Montreal)
Mysterious Cairo Mission
Originally Posted by Le Saboteur
So that's what this thread is about.
Nice to see you in it, Sabs.
Before getting into "Daredevils of the Desert" next week, it's worth mentioning that at some point between the end of September and the beginning of October, Indy is sent by the French on a mission to Cairo. Details of this assignment are unknown but we do see him undercover, disguised as an Arab beggar. He's probably getting his new orders right about now (100 years ago, that is).
Location: Neuchâtel, Switzerland (Canadian from Montreal)
The action at the very beginning of "Daredevils of the Desert" is the Second Battle of Gaza which actually took place in April 1917 so there is a huge gap in time between this and the scene where Gen. Allenby explains that he wants to reach Jerusalem by Christmas.
Meanwhile in Cairo, the French officer tells Indy that he must "report to Rafah by Wednesday at the latest". In 1917, that date would have been October 24th. Let's pretend that he got there a day late (because it makes more sense as the episode plays out).
25 October - Indy arrives in Rafah, Palestine and accompanies Col. Meinertzhagen on his now-famous "Haversack Ruse" mission.
26 October - Indy plays rugby, races a horse and visits ancient ruins with T.E. Lawrence.
27 October - Indy & Maya leave Rafah by camel.
28 October - Australian Mounted Division departs from Rafah (real-life date).
29 October - Indy & Maya trek uneventfully through desert (not shown).
30 October - Indy & Maya cross "The Great Ravine" and arrive at Beersheba.
31 October - The Battle of Beersheba
Thanks for filling in the timeline, Stoo! I meant to post something but got crazy busy.
Pretend it’s still October 31st and we get to celebrate not only the anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba, but get a blood-curdling Halloween heads-up (or off?) that next is Transylvania, January 1918.
Indy's first encounter with the supernatural -- unless it's all just a story Old Indy is making up to scare some trick-or-treaters.
If you're watching the Masks of Evil edit you get to see SPF jump in age from 30-ish to 20-ish when the bridging sequence ends and Indy arrives in (Ahh...) Venice. Something is afoot in remote Romania, where General Targo is plotting succession... or worse. Ruh-roh. Indy and Colonel Waters are sent to find out what has happened to a German P.O.W. camp. Along the way they note that the Austrian border is no longer guarded -- the war is coming to an end soon. Picking up allies along the way... takes its time. A slow burn, or just a drag? Once they have the bruiser, the doctor, and the knife thrower, they make it to the camp which appears occupied by jovial Allied and Germans. But is all as it seems? Jinkies!
In the castle, they encounter... well, now it just turns into a bit of a house of horrors, with impalement, lightning, heat, cold, and blood. Zoinks! Then they meet Targo, whom all the "campers" happily follow. There's some betrayal and then it goes full on torture room until it's down to Indy and the knife thrower vs. Targo. Targo does some slight of hand (seriously, watch him pour the drink; never noticed that before...), things look bad for Indy, then he is rescued. Targo is down! Or is he? Jeepers! A final battle with a flaming sky reminiscent of 90's video games, and then they put a stake in it. Spoilers - the POWs were dead the whole time.
It's a really thin episode on rails. The soundtrack is Curt Sobel's sole contribution for the series; he leans a bit heavily on a variant of the YIJ fanfare theme, but it does a decent job of building tension. Some of the visuals - like the impaled bodies, disfigured spies, and rooms of horror - are quite well done, and I really do like the look of Targo/Vlad. Other bits, like the flaming sky and the explosion/smoke at the end are pretty cheesy. But at least it's a unique take on things, unlike the next episode...
Up next: Istanbul, September 1918, which is edited to precede Transylvania in the movie version. Indy something something spy something something city something something love interest something something oops she's dead. I think. They kinda blur together. At least we're almost out of this goddamn war if we can make it through 2018 without starting numero three-o in the real world. We've got to make it to Peacock's Eye, at least, people!