Forward Into the Past

With a high-adventure history lesson, George Lucas joins a growing band of top filmmakers who are dabbling in TV

The prime-time Pancho Villa is a dashing figure. The Mexican revolutionary hero, who shows up in the first episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, battles gringos, champions the poor and makes inspiring speeches about the land. Yet his followers are an unsavory bunch who steal food from the peasants they are fighting to protect. "In a revolution, it's people who suffer," sighs a toothless old man whose chicken has been snatched. "All over the world, revolutions come and go. Presidents rise and fall. They all steal your chickens."

Indiana Jones, George Lucas' whip-wielding superhero, battled just about everything from giant...