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Indiana Jones chronicles resurface for DVD collection

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

It might be daunting for some actors to be cast in a role made famous by another performer, but for Sean Patrick Flanery, the star of "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" there wasn't a lot of pressure.

Flanery told Reminder Publications in a telephone interview last week there was a "little leeway" in his characterization because his role revealed the elements that were "all of the things that created the Harrison Ford character we all know and love."

Flanery had the chance to portray events such as Indy's first kiss and the first time he took a life, he said.

The third volume of "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" will be released April 29 on DVD. The series, which was originally broadcast in 1992 and 1993, is currently being shown on The History Channel.

What made the series unique was placing the Jones character either as a boy of 10 or a young man in the middle of real historical events or meeting historical figures. Pancho Villa, Lawrence of Arabia, Louis Armstrong and Sigmund Freud were among the real people who shaped the life of the fictional archeologist.

And for people who might think history is boring, the films have the same kind of rousing adventure as the big screen Harrison Ford outings.

The DVD release of the stories which run close to two hours long is accompanied by documentaries that highlight the historical events and people.

Flanery said he is "super, super proud" of his work on the series. Although he said he doesn't have a lot of access to the show's fans, he's been told the shows have been well received by new audiences.

When asked if he was spoiled by the series with its high production values, Flannery said, "It did and it didn't."

Because the series was something no one had ever tried before, he really did expect other television shows to be similar to the experience. He appreciated the chance to work with the talent that was attracted to the chance to write and direct on the show. The roster included noted directors such as Nicolas Roeg, Mike Newell and Terry Jones.

Flanery has been very busy with both film and television work and he said his time on "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" also taught him not to prefer one medium to another.

"Young Indy is a great example of why I don't care," he said.

A very busy actor, he had a re-occurring role in the television series "The Dead Zone," as well as guest appearances in hit shows such as "C.S.I." and "Numb3rs."

On the sets of "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles," Flanery began his own interest as a filmmaker. He made his first film using the "short ends" the leftover film stock while starring in the series. He has made four other short films since then.

Right now, Flanery is waiting to hear whether or not his first feature film, "Sunshine Superman," will be able to go into production due to a looming strike by the Screen Actors Guild. The film is described at its Web site as "a grand love story that can only happen in that vortex in one's life when they are neither too young to reason, nor too old to dream."

Although many actors turn to directing as part of an evolution of their career, Flanery is actually going a bit backward. He actually wanted to write and direct, rather than act. He explained a friend suggested him for a part and was accepted and since then "I haven't not had a job."

His window for the shooting of the film is tight as he is going to begin filming the sequel to the cult hit "Boondock Saints" on Aug. 25. He admitted feeling "a mixture of desire and trepidation" toward the sequel and compared it to coming back from "the perfect exit" at a date because "the girl is so beautiful you just have to see her again."